The famous Douro River cuts through a barely-touched corner of Europe, a place where local people remain true to traditions and customs passed down through the centuries. It’s one of the great wonders of Portugal, providing passage from the ancient heart of Iberia to the Atlantic Ocean, whose maritime influence remains keenly felt along the Portuguese seaboard.
Despite flowing through lands less travelled, the Douro River and its surrounds haven’t been overlooked by UNESCO. Indeed, the Douro Valley is considered one of the foremost natural heritage sites in Europe, its storied history of winemaking and trade cementing it as an irreplaceable cultural highlight.
Elsewhere, the ancient city of Lisbon has received recognition from UNESCO, owing to its precious mix of historic architecture, while the Spanish city of Salamanca, itself a great highlight of our Douro river cruises, has one of the largest designated Heritage Sites of any country in southern Europe.
Keen to learn more about the heritage highlights which await in Portugal? Explore the region’s treasured UNESCO sites below.