You cannot visit Porto without mentioning the Douro, the city's essential river. The Douro flows quietly between hills and vineyards, offering magnificent landscapes to admire. Cross the bridges and look down on the Douro River, one of the emblems of Porto.

The Douro
The Douro, Porto’s artery

The Douro River and port, some essential data

Here is some concrete information concerning this Portuguese river which is not really since it has its source in the Sierra de Orbion, in north-central Spain. Across the border, he is nicknamed Duero, his Spanish name. Tormes, Esla and Pisuerga are the tributaries of the Douro which feed it before flowing 765 km to the Atlantic Ocean at Porto. It is possible to sail on the river during a cruise that goes up the waterway to Spain, or during a few hours of crossing to discover Porto by river. To travel between the two banks of Porto, the Douro is spanned by 6 bridges:

  • The São João Bridge
  • The Infante Dom Henrique Bridge,
  • The Freixo Bridge,

Get up high to admire the golden reflections of the sun on the water of the Douro in Porto.

To admire the city's 6 bridges, take a mini-cruise on the Douro during your stay! Boarding from La Ribeira or Vila Nova de Gaia!

Pont Infante Dom Henrique
Pont Infante Dom Henrique

Pont Infante Dom Henrique

The Douro Valley, an essential wealth of Porto

The Douro Valley is an enchanted valley where nature flourishes in the hills. Numerous vineyards dot the hillsides, offering incredible and colorful landscapes. The ideal conditions of sunshine and humidity offered by the Douro Valley explain the establishment of numerous producers of port, the city's emblematic drink. With a geography that almost resembles mountains covered with vines and grapes, the Douro allows the production of excellent ports, renowned for their finesse and their sweet sweet aroma. Visiting Porto means meeting the producers of this Portuguese nectar during a cellar visit which often ends with a tasting. For a total immersion in the life of winegrowers, embark on a rabelos, a flat-bottomed, keelless boat with a square sail that was once used to transport wine barrels.

The Douro Valley in Regua Photo: AdobeStock Vector
The Douro Valley in Regua Photo: AdobeStock Vector

The Douro River in Porto, an important economic factor

The Douro and the Douro Valley offer the ideal conditions for the production of Port wine, the city's emblematic product which quickly becomes essential when it comes to commerce. If we go back to the beginning of History, the port recipe was born from a problem of transporting wine from the Upper Douro to Porto. By adding eau-de-vie during vinification (port is made from grape juice whose fermentation is stopped with the addition of an eau-de-vie), the whites and reds keep much better and can be shipped! However, it was the English who exported this slightly sweet wine throughout the world, thanks in particular to the geographical location of the Douro which allows easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, then to other continents. The Douro therefore plays an essential role in the development of the city thanks to the port trade, which has today become an essential aperitif.

The Douro River is unmissable in Porto. River, wine and vineyard , it is an integral part of Portuguese wealth . Take the time to discover it during your stay.

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Cruise ship on the Douro
Mini cruise boat rabelos douro

Cruises lasting several days with large boats adapted to discover the Douro Valley, or just 1 hour to see the 6 bridges of Porto

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