Douro River Cruise
A trip by boat on the river Douro between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia
Friday, 03 June 2016 | Excursion
During our recent stay in Porto we have brought many photos and impressions from a boat trip on the Douro river that we would like to share with you. Rio Douro is one of three rivers rising in Spain and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean in the neighbouring Portugal. Porto, the third largest city of Portugal, is situated on the lower course of the Douro, and the city on the opposite shore, Vila Nova de Gaia, is well known for hosting the lodges and cellars of the port wine merchants, where port wines are aged sometimes for several decades.
We start our tour on the quay of Ribeira, the picturesque riverside quarter of the historical old town. The boat brings us upriver, crossing the bridge Ponte Luis I, one of six bridges connecting Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia. The two level bridge, a landmark of Porto, belongs to the World Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO since 1996. The lower level is dedicated to the road traffic, the upper level used by the trains of the Metro.
Shortly after we cross the bridge Ponte Maria Pia, a steel construction made by Gustave Eiffel in the 19th Century, who had also erected the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. The boat turns after reaching the eastern motorway bridge Ponte do Freixo. The way back brings us to the western motorway bridge Ponte da Arrábia close to the estuary of the Douro river, and from there back to the quay. Within one hour we have passed 6 bridges and enjoyed great views to both sides of the river.