Discover Portugal's enchanting Douro River on a wine-filled cruise with Good Housekeeping

·3-min read
Photo credit: Stock image. Ian.CuiYi - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stock image. Ian.CuiYi - Getty Images

Portugal's Douro River is one of the most scenic river cruise destinations in all of Europe. If serene natural beauty, charming villages and outstanding wine are your thing, it should be high on your list of places to visit.


With arched railway bridges, UNESCO-protected valleys and picturesque vineyards galore, we can't think of a more relaxing place to glide along sparkling water while soaking up breathtaking scenes and culture.

Known for producing excellent wine, the region is perfect for sampling delicious reds as you travel between gorgeous riverside towns, where famous vintages have been produced for generations.

The attractive city of Porto is your gateway to a Douro River cruise. Full of charm and atmosphere (and a great alternative to Lisbon), it has a historic, UNESCO-protected old town filled with colourful houses and narrow alleyways.

Photo credit: rusm - Getty Images
Photo credit: rusm - Getty Images

It's here that you can marvel at the traditional tiled facades of buildings from guide books and enjoy views of the river from one of the many viewpoints.

Like what you hear? Good Housekeeping's eight-day Douro River cruise holiday takes place this autumn (arguably the best time for a Douro cruise) and you're invited to experience the harvest season with us.

Photo credit: LuisPortugal - Getty Images
Photo credit: LuisPortugal - Getty Images

Your journey around the Alto Douro, this wine-producing valley region which also holds UNESCO status, begins with a stop at Régua, a town that has produced port wine since the 18th century.


You'll continue to the little town of Pinhão, surrounded by vineyards and quintas (local wine producers). You'll visit a quinta and experience the traditional grape harvest, including picking and crushing the grapes underfoot in traditional granite troughs.

The trip continues with a port wine tasting at Vega Terron in Spain, and a visit to Barca d'Alva in the Parque Natural do Douro. Here, you can also choose to go on an excursion to Spain (not included) to visit the historic university town of Salamanca.

The Linha do Douro railway, which dates from the late 1800s, runs through the region and on a stop-off at Pocinho you'll see the railway terminus and railway bridge, both listed monuments.

Photo credit: Sergio Amiti - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sergio Amiti - Getty Images

You'll then return along the Douro, back through the towns of Pinhão and Régua, and finish with a final full day to enjoy the sights of Porto.


During the cruise, you'll stay on the stylish A-Rosa Alva boutique ship, featuring spacious cabins and panoramic windows so you can feel at one with your surroundings. Air conditioning, TVs and hair dryers are some of the essentials included, while the luxuries are elegant dining and high quality drinks served throughout the day.

There's a sun deck with a heated swimming pool and sun loungers to soak up the sun, as well as a lounge bar to relax with music and drinks in the evening. The on-board spa offers a range of treatments, a sauna, gym and relaxation space, providing a touch of wellness to the trip.

Good Housekeeping's eight-day Douro River cruise holiday has a departure in October 2022 and 2023. Visit our holiday website for details about the trip and how to book.


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