Getaway to Portugal’s River of Gold
We all want to experience the world and the vacation of our dreams. For the vast majority of us to achieve this, we not only want to vist some of the world’s most amazing destinations, but also do it in an affordable way. One popular tour that we are going to consider is the River of Gold in Portugal.
If you book yourself on Portugal’s River of Gold tour with Viking River Cruises, you will truly have an experience like never before. You will get to see one of the most amazing countries in Europe. You will first spend two days in Lisbon, giving you the time to explore this capital. You will then go to Porto, which is on the mouth of the Douro River and you will get aboard your cruise ship to start the true adventure. Travel east along the windy river and stop over at ancient ports that have barely changed over the past centuries. Enjoy the terraced vineyards in between the different ports and look forward to the gorgeous wines you will be sampling. Each of the villages in which you stop has something fascinating to show, be that a gorgeous castle, ancient mansion or monastery. You will stop at the border with Spain, but you will take a trip to Salamanca before you sail back to Porto. Make sure you are not on a diet during this trip, however, as the food and drinks you will get to sample are out of this world.
The River of Gold
The Douro River, or River of Gold, was once a truly wild river. It is some 600 miles long and was mapped in 1848 by Baron Forrester, from the United Kingdom. Nowadays, the banks of the river are dotted with vineyards and almond and olive groves. It is known for its hospitality and friendly, relaxed atmosphere. During the time of the Baron, however, things were quite different indeed.
In those days, the river was nothing short of a raging torrent. It cascaded down the country and drowned numerous sailors brave enough to try and navigate her, knowing the shortcut she would be able to offer. In those days, men would sail “rabelo boats”, which were square rigged and flat keeled. These would be used to transport port, the fortified wine that is still enjoyed so much today. They would need to throw themselves through the rapids, but have rows aboard for the quieter parts of the river, where there were treacherous rocks and narrow gorges. Indeed, they even had to factor in oxen to pull them along some of the slowest areas. Interestingly, today, these rabelo boats still operate, but the lives of the sailors are now much easier.
Clearly, your trip will be one to never forget. You will be able to enjoy a true piece of history, only without the dangers of those days.