The Portuguese River Douro is the third longest river of the Iberian Peninsula. Rising near Madrid, the river flows westward across Spain and northern in Portugal to the Atlantic Ocean. What used to be a fast flowing river with rapids and ravines is today a tranquil river tamed by the construction of 8 dams in the last 25 years. It is one of Europe's lesser-known rivers but one of the most beautiful as it meanders its way through the spectacular rural countryside of northern Spain and Portugal.
The home of port wine, the Douro Valley is spectacular with the hills covered with terraces of vines falling steeply down to the river banks. Explore an unspoiled river valley with lovely vistas, storied towns and lively cities. True wine connoisseurs and food buffs will enjoy indulging in the region's celebrated Port wine and local cuisine. In the very south of Europe, admire Portugal's lush vineyards and stunning natural beauty, where you will see restored palaces in modern cities and charming rural villages.
Salamanca is one of the prettiest and best preserved of the old Spanish cities, and justly deserves its place as a World Heritage Site. With a turbulent past, the city's been conquered, influenced and shaped by Hannibal, the Romans, the Moors and the French. Today it is a city of golden stone architecture, narrow cobblestone streets and beautiful plazas.
The Douro is one of Europe's most charming rivers, perfect for immersing yourself in a romance and nostalgia.