Portugal and the Douro river with AMA Waterways

Amadouro River Cruise to Portugal

Summer weather in Portugal is quite nice because it is cooler than many other areas in Europe. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean and is the most western country in Europe. They use the Euro for currency and English is limited in some parts of the country.

Welcome to Lisbon

The main city in Portugal is Lisbon. Modern-day Lisbon is a gorgeous blend of colorful old quarters, lively squares and cafés, cobblestone streets and chic boutiques and galleries

They have several museums including a unique Coach museum. They have many monuments including The Tower of Belem and the Monument to the Discoveries. It’s a beautiful coastal city and close to neighboring little villages like Sintra.

The Douro River

Three hours away by train is the city of Porto this is where the Douro starts. On one side of the river is Porto and on the other side is Gaia. Porto is a beautiful city best known for port wine and the many companies that manufacture it. There are several bridges that link the two cities. It is the “City of Bridges” and reminds me of Budapest. On the Porto side J.K. Rowling wrote one of her books in the famous bookstore The Livraria Lello, ranked one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. They charge 5 Euros just to go in and people line up for hours to see it.

Named after the Portuguese word for “golden,” the remarkable Douro River glitters across Europe’s Iberian Peninsula. It is here where you can sip renowned wines amid the sun-kissed vineyards of Port Country, taste the distinctive flavors of Portuguese and Spanish cuisine and discover rich culture in colorful cities on one of two specially curated river cruises. 

The Douro river is clean and one of the only rivers in Europe that I’ve seen beaches and people swimming in the river.

The Ama Douro

There are five locks on the Douro, so the ships are smaller. The AMA Douro has only 104 passengers and night travel is not allowed so the ship is docked each night. The scenery along the river is amazing and enjoyable without clutter.

The Douro is unique and different from other river cruises. Bus travel is necessary to reach the regions on the itinerary. One of my favorites was Peso Da Regua. A small village with vineyards, and local talented merchants with their homemade wares. They are best known for their wine, olive oil and almonds. Each region had their unique “stories” of their ancestors and customs.

I would recommend this river cruise to those who want to visit Portugal and have a unique experience, and those who appreciate wine and its history. The AMA experience onboard is relaxing and wonderful. The local talent onboard each evening was eventful. The staff was great and anticipated every need. The dining was delicious and they and special requests were met. This is a great and relaxing enjoyable way to visit Portugal.

If I can help you plan your next river cruise, please contact me!

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Karen Johnson

What started as a part-time hobby more than 30 years ago has turned into a full-time career. I feel fortunate to have had some incredible experiences. Catching a 45 lb king salmon on the Kenai River, visiting Hobbiton in New Zealand, touring ancient castles in Germany, feeding the sharks in Bora Bora, attending the premier for Cars Land in Disneyland, and so much more! I am passionate about travel and enjoy creating "once in a lifetime" memories for clients.

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