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We had a brilliant holiday cruising the Douro, in September 2016 on the Scenic Azure.
This was our first river cruise, and I would thoroughly recommend Scenic and the Douro, as well as our agents, Blue Water Holidays.
At the top of one hill and reached via sweeping steps is the magnificent baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, and on the other, the remains of a 12th-century castle.
The town has a pretty square laid out as a garden, and many fine 17th-century buildings.
Its charm stems from its dramatic position above the river, with little gabled houses closely terraced down the hill.
It was very well staffed, and the service was superb.
The town boasts several fine Baroque buildings including the 18th century pilgrimage church Nossa Schrum, a Gothic cathedral, and an 11th century castle where in 1143 Don Alfonso Henriques was elected first King of Portugal.
On certain itineraries you will visit Salamanca, Spain's ancient seat of learning with its grand buildings and the Plaza Mayor, the country's most magnificent square.
Birthplace of the navigator Diego Cap who discovered the mouth of the Congo, Villa Real is an attractive old Episcopal town surrounded by fruit orchards and vineyards Nearby is the little village of Maters with a beautiful Baroque country house and gardens belonging to the Counts of Villa Real, and featured on labels of Mateus Rosé wine.
Situated south of the Douro, Lamego is a major market centre, and is charmingly set amid vineyards and lush, fertile countryside.
Today it is a city of golden stone architecture, narrow cobblestone streets and beautiful plazas.