River Cruises The Best 40 Photos from Our Viking River Cruise in Portugal

The Best 40 Photos from Our Viking River Cruise in Portugal

viking torgil in port in portugal

Viking Cruises extended to us an invitation we simply could not refuse.  This was an opportunity to take a 10 day river cruise down the Douro River in Portugal.  It should be noted that 2 of those days were spent in lovely Lisbon as part of the pre-cruise experience.

You can see photos of our ship and what it looked like inside and out here.  You can also see our exact itinerary from this river cruise here.

I found Portugal to be one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever seen.  I was constantly blown away by the scenery as we cruised the Douro in Portugal to the edge of Spain.  Every hillside was terraced and every bend in the river brought new sites of vineyards, olive groves, and quaint houses overlooking the Douro valley.  Many of these homes were abandoned and brought reflections of their history.

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It was hard to narrow down how many photos I would put in this blog post, but here are what I thought were the best images in the order in which they were taken on the trip.  Hopefully it will to show you what kind of scenes we were able to see on this River of Gold cruise with Viking.  And a special thanks to Viking Cruises for allowing us to go on this river cruise.

The purpose of this post is to show potential cruisers what a River of Gold cruise with Viking will allow you to see and experience.

Lisbon

Even after Lisbon was decimated by an earthquake in 1755 it has been rebuilt in a rich and colorful way that reveals its splendor.  Artistic mosaics were found along almost every sidewalk as we strolled the cobblestone streets and viewed the brilliant hues of this Portuguese city.

Here are our best photos of Lisbon.

Lisbon Portugal from above
Lisbon from above. Shot from Lisbon’s oldest elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa). Cost is 5 Euro to ride.  You can see the old castle walls at the top of the hillside, looking down on the bustling city below.

 

Lisbon's colorful houses.
Lisbon’s colorful houses.

 

Mosaic sidewalks everywhere you go in Lisbon
Mosaic sidewalks everywhere you go in Lisbon

 

More mosaic sidewalks in downtown Lisbon
More mosaic sidewalks in downtown Lisbon

 

lisbon tower of belem
Tower of Belem, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 16th century

 

Jeronimos Monastery
Jeronimos Monastery, one of Lisbon’s most beautiful buildings, also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

Cloister in Jeronimos Monastery
Cloister in Jeronimos Monastery

 

Commercial Square in Lisbon
Commercial Square in Lisbon

 

Beautiful architecture can be found all around Commercial Square
Beautiful architecture can be found all around Commercial Square

 

Porto,Portugal

Just after I fell in love with Lisbon, we took a bus ride up to Porto where our cruise officially began, and I was absolutely smitten by this city.  I think you will see why when you see our pictures of this magical place.

Porto, Portugal
As soon as I saw Porto I knew I found a city I wanted to explore.

 

Porto from above
I climbed a few hundred steps in a tower to get this shot of Porto.

 

Porto Portugal tower and train
This is the tower I entered (Tower of the Clerics). Colorful buildings and public transportation.

 

Porto Portugal
Lovely streets of Porto with so much history

 

The fantastic train station in downtown Porto
The fantastic train station in downtown Porto

 

Sunset in Porto only means the vibrant nightlife comes to the surface.
Sunset in Porto only means the vibrant nightlife comes to the surface.

 

Mateus Palace

This baroque palace was home of the last Count of Vila Real and you can feel the regal vibes emanating from this place.  We were not allowed to get pictures from the inside, but hopefully you will be able to feel just how spectacular Mateus Palace is by looking at these photos.

Mateus Palace
Front of Mateus Palace and reflection pond.

 

Mateus Palace
Even the rear of Mateus Palace is spectacular with vibrant gardens and winding paths.

 

Mateus Palace
More of the gardens of Mateus Palace

 

Cedar love forest of Mateus Palace
The cedar love forest of Mateus Palace

Douro River and Valley

On day 6 we spent extra time just sailing the Douro River and enjoying the rich scenes of this valley.  Here are some images from all along the river.  I loved being on the sun deck while we were sailing so I could get 360 degree views of this gorgeous country.

Vineyards fill the terraced hills of Douro Valley
Vineyards fill the terraced hills of Douro Valley

 

The harvesting of grapes has drawn to a close as we take this look at the Douro River. But the valley is not just vineyards. It's full of olive groves and almond trees as well.
The harvesting of grapes has drawn to a close as we take this look at the Douro River. But the valley is not just vineyards. It’s full of olive groves and almond trees as well.

 

Incredible views from our ship, Viking Torgil
Incredible views from our ship, Viking Torgil

 

Viking Torgil in port
Viking Torgil in port

 

Régua

We didn’t spend much time in the quaint city of Régua, but I did want to post a photo I took there.  It’s a small town that has unique gift shops, bakeries, and cafes, and offers a glimpse at Portuguese life along the Douro.

Regua, Portugal
Regua, Portugal

Castelo Rodrigo

Located 2,200 feet above sea level, this castle offers amazing panoramic views of the city below.  Keep in mind there are some steep, narrow streets that might be too strenuous for some to walk.  It was a very windy day when we toured Castelo Rodrigo, which is one of twelve Portuguese historic parishes.  As soon as we walked in the front gate we were offered local almonds to eat.  I was hesitant to try one but I’m so glad I did.  Flavors like honey glazed, smoked, cinnamon and sugar coated, and herbs made these almonds one of my favorite Portuguese snacks.  So of course we bought some in the gift shop at the castle.

The town’s medieval alleys and houses really took us back in time, like it was the set of a movie.

Entrance to Castelo Rodrigo
Entrance to Castelo Rodrigo

Church at Castelo Rodrigo
Church at Castelo Rodrigo

 

Ruins at Castelo Rodrigo
Ruins at Castelo Rodrigo cost an extra Euro to explore. The first fortress built here was in the early 1200’s. It was later used as a deterrent to Spanish invaders, as it sits close to the Spanish border.

 

Salamanca, Spain

While most of this cruise was spent in Portugal, you can’t get this close to Salamanca, Spain and not visit it.  This might have been my favorite destination and you will see why once you see the pictures of this enchanting city.  It was a longer bus ride to the city, but well worth it in my opinion.  But as always, if passengers on the Viking Torgil wanted to stay on the ship and have a day off, they could certainly do that.

See why so many love to visit this ancient city, which is another UNESCO World Heritage site.

Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is the main square and is a wonderful place to admire while eating something from a nearby cafe.

 

 

Salamanca Spain
You can feel so much history in this medieval city. Amazing views from the top of this tower. You can see the city’s cathedral in the distance.

 

The "New" Cathedral was built during thr 16th and 18th centuries, blending two styles, Baroque and Gothic.
The “New” Cathedral was built during the 16th and 18th centuries, blending two styles, Baroque and Gothic.  You can see the slight lean in the tower of the Cathedral which was caused by the earthquake of 1755.  It is still considered unfinished but you wouldn’t know it by looking at this photo.

 

The fascinating detail of the Cathedral.
The fascinating detail of the Cathedral is impossible to ignore.

 

Casa de las Conchas
Outside wall of Casa de las Conchas

 

Salamanca
It’s all in the details. Every building is ornately adorned with detailed artwork. Here are two doors showing 2 different styles in Salamanca.

 

Patio de Escuela Menores at the University
Patio de Escuela Menores at the University in Salamanca

 

Pinhão, Portugal

In port in Pinhao
In port in Pinhao on a perfect day.

 

Near the train station in Pinhao
Near the train station in Pinhao, outside the much visited Vintage House.

 

Lamego, Portugal

Lamego is a small town that is mostly known for  its baroque Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies.  The church dates back to the 14th century and is considered by many to be an architectural masterpiece.  It is still used by pilgrims today who climb the 686 steps.

Sancturay of Our Lady of Remedies
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies.  Notice the ornate tile artwork that decorates the staircase.

 

Ceiling of Sanctuary
Ceiling of Sanctuary

 

Lamego town center with historic castle on top of the hill
Lamego town center with historic castle on top of the hill

For #40 I thought I would end the post with a shot of our Viking ship, Viking Torgil.  There’s nothing like exploring the world in one of these loungers on the sun deck.  This is the city of Porto and I would really love to go back to visit this wonderful city.

Viking torgil
Viking Torgil at port in Porto, Portugal.  Can’t wait to go back and visit.

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J. Souza
Jon got hooked on cruising after his first cruise on his honeymoon, and today he is always looking for cruise deals and reading information about the cruise industry. Jon lives in the foothills of North Carolina and wishes there were a cruise port that far inland. Jon can be reached at [email protected]
River Cruises The Best 40 Photos from Our Viking River Cruise in Portugal

4 COMMENTS

  1. We are taking this cruise during the Christmas Markets this December. I have a question, How many of the ports require a bus to reach the city center or town? Once docked, is it possible to walk into the City? We love Viking and have taken at least 16 European cruises, but we really enjoy getting off ship and walking into the City instead of busing 1-3 hours with a large group.

    We would really appreciate some info on how many ports along the Douro require busing. PS: Really loved your pics!

    • You are going to love this cruise, Beverly. I would say at least half the ports are within walking distance to the city if I remember correctly. Castelo Ridrigo, Salamanca, Spain, and I believe Lamego, Portugal all required a bus. Salamanca was a couple hour drive by bus but this city was well worth the visit. Porto is a wonderful city to explore and it’s right near the port.

  2. Very good cruise. Nice and relaxing as well as being on time. The crew was very friendly and made the trip that much more enjoyable. Very interesting sites on land. Viking arranged very good meals when we were visiting land sites.

    In the photos presented here, did not see one of the locks on the Douro River. Maybe it would have discouraged people from going, but everyone seemed to enjoy the experience of the boat being raised or lowered in the locks.

    Already thinking of another cruise, perhaps on the Danube or in Asia.

Comments are closed.

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