The Douro is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its delta at Porto.
The scent of dried spices and grasses hangs in the air. You look out onto an intoxicating countryside landscape of towering slopes and wine terraces of different shapes and sizes, where bulging vines stretch out towards the sun. The river makes its way gracefully through what is probably the most spectacular wine-growing region in the world – the home of port. Coming from Spain, the Douro flows from east to west across Portugal, then out in to the Atlantic at Porto. In the old days, skippers still transported barrels to the wineries by boat but today proud vineyards still adorn the river banks and along the river, medieval towns captivate with their beauty. This region attracted Romans, pilgrims and aristocrats, all of whom created idyllic gems here. Then there's Porto: the origin of the illustrious Portuguese fleet, with its mix of traditional and modern architecture.
Fishermen, seafarers, traders and ship builders from Porto were involved in the voyages of Portuguese explorers. In the 18th century, Porto gave its name to one of the most refined wines in the world: port, which you must taste during your visit to this remarkable city. Afterwards, explore the narrow lanes and centuries-old buildings as well as the city's landmark, the iron bridge over the Douro. From the cathedral on the Pena Ventosa hill, you get a breathtaking view over the river.
The Cradle of Portugal
Guimarães is one of the most attractive cities in Portugal and is notable for its 15th century palace of the Dukes of Bragança, the last dynasty of Portuguese kings. In December 2001, the city centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2012, Guimarães became one of the cultural capitals of Europe.
The golden city of Salamanca
All buildings in the city centre are clothed in a golden-coloured stone - Salamanca is unique! Join us on a tour through the oldest university in Spain to Plaza Mayor, where bull fighting once took place. The tour continues on to the House of Shells, a Gothic building that witnessed the wedding of two very influential families in the city. Visit the new Gothic cathedral from the 16th century and old cathedral from the 12th century.