Portugal is one of the most beautiful places you can visit on earth.
Officially called the Portuguese Republic, it can be found in southwest Europe and is located on the Iberian Peninsula and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The country is named after its second largest city, Porto, which is famous for its delicious port wine.
Portugal's natural beauty and long history is a huge attraction for people and is one of the 20 most visited countries in the world. Its largest city Lisbon attracts the most tourists but Porto and Northern Portugal near the Douro River valley, has grown quickly in popularity. Sailing down the Douro River on a river cruise is probably one of the best ways to experience this amazing country.
First visit the capital city of Lisbon and see the wonderful architecture and exquisite statues. Begin at Belém and see the Tower of Belém a Hieronymite and the Jerónimos Monastery, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Next make your way to Porto which sits at the mouth of the Douro River ready to take you on its magical journey. Renowned for its port wine, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the oldest, dating back many centuries. It also has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts more and more new tourists in recent years.
At Porto you can embark on a river cruise ship to bygone places. The Douro River takes you on a magical journey through a winding easterly course between stunning terraced vineyards, charming town squares, beautiful baroque mansions, majestic castles and historic monasteries.
Some river cruises also take you for a trip to the medieval city of Salamanca in Spain. Yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this living museum is quite unique as it is both historical and cosmopolitan at the same time, mixing the ancient with the new in a vibrant multicultural city.
The Portugal experience is a must in your travels across the world. As well as the stunning sights, feast yourself on specialties like salt cod, hearty soups and stews and wash this all down with the sensational port and tawny wines. To visit Portugal is a wonderful treat, to experience it on a river cruise sailing on the beautiful Douro river is just paradise and will hold special memories for ever.