If wine tastings, gorgeous landscapes and one of Europe's coolest cities sound good to you, a Douro River cruise should be on your radar. This cruise often begins and ends in Porto, Portugal, which is known for its Port wine, scenic cobblestone streets and the photo-worthy Dom Luís I Bridge which spans the Douro.
While the navigable part of the Douro isn't long, there are plenty of cool stops. Along the way you'll have the chance to explore an array of historic cities and towns including Lisbon, Régua, Pinhão and Salamanca in Spain. That includes a tour of Coimbra University in Porto, lunch at Quinta da Avessada (one of the last traditional bakeries in the Douro Valley) and wine tasting in Lamego, which is located in the heart of Portugal's wine region.
Cruise lines that sail the Douro River include Viking, AmaWaterways, CroisiEurope, Scenic, Emerald and Uniworld. Prices per person vary depending on each line's inclusions and the month you plan to travel. The Douro has a long cruise season, typically beginning in late March and running into November. For the most pleasant weather conditions, the best times to go on a Douro River cruise are in springtime, May and June, and during the fall months of September and October.