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Viking River Cruises to Portugal and Spain

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Portugal and Spain River Cruises - Viking River Cruises

It's just a little bit ironic that Portugal, which is known for a strong history of discovery and exploration, is barely visited by Americans. Portugal, which sits on the edge of the Iberian Peninsula, is a popular vacation spot for Europeans, with its beautiful beaches, romantic architecture and delicious seafood. Viking River Cruises is seeking to bring more Americans to this fascinating country with cruises along the Douro River.

Viking River Cruises along the Douro River transport guests to the region’s most fascinating and important cities, including Lisbon, Porto, Pinhao, Regua and more. Along the way, you’ll be able to juxtapose the bustling cultural cities of Lisbon and Porto with the serene and picturesque Barca d’Alva, located amongst some of the area’s most beautiful orchards and vineyards.

The water surrounding and flowing through Portugal has really shaped this nation. Thanks to its tremendous coastline, a lot of Portugal's food comes from the ocean. Portugal has the highest fish consumption per capita of any other European nation. Cod is king in Portugal – not only is it the most popular dish, it's also a major export. The Portuguese claim to have a cod recipe for every day of the year. The water has also helped Portugal sail the world in search of new trade routes and territories, like the Azores and Madeira archipelagos, along with Brazil, the largest nation in South America.

The fertile lands surrounding the Douro River Valley are also vital to the Portuguese. After all, it’s here where you’ll find the award-winning vineyards and wineries that make Portugal’s famous wine and Port. So not only will you enjoy the scenic views of the Douro Valley, you'll also get to taste its bounty! Continue below for a few more ideas of the experiences available on a Douro River cruise with Viking River Cruises:

View Viking Rivers Portugal Cruises

Lisbon's Tower of Belem

  • Tour downtown Lisbon and see the city’s famous late Gothic architecture – featured prominently throughout the Jeronimos Monastery and Tower of Belem.  
  • Visit one of Porto’s traditional port wine makers as you tour downtown Porto and its UNESCO World Heritage-certified historic city center. Especially popular is the old fishing village of Foz do Douro, where the town’s elite maintain their summer homes.  

Douro Valley Vineyard

  • Take a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies in the small town of Lamego. This lovely 14th century baroque-style shrine is ornately decorated, inside and out.  
  • Sip local wines onboard your Viking river cruise ship while enjoying panoramic views of the terraced vineyards and rolling hills and mountains of the Douro River Valley.  

Salamanca Cathedral in Spain

  • Enjoy a guided tour of the marvelous Mateus Palace in Vila Real. Walk through the painstakingly landscaped gardens and wander throughout the mansion to admire the artwork and architecture.  
  • Embark on a full-day tour to Salamanca, Spain where you’ll take in a tremendous flamenco show during lunch. Your tour continues to the “New” Cathedral (finished in 1733) and the House of Shells with its library and open-air courtyard.  

Douro River cruises with Viking River Cruises are filling up fast. To ensure a beautiful cruise into the heart of Portugal, be sure to book your cruise today with the expert consultants at The Cruise Web.

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Portugal’s River of Gold

  • From $2,999
  • 8 Guided Tours
  • 2 Countries
  • Dates & Pricing
  • 2023 2024 2025
  • Lisbon to Porto

Portugal’s River of Gold Map

Map of Portugal's River of Gold itinerary

Enjoy the Douro’s beauty & history

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Experience the renaissance of Lisbon, newly invigorated with trending galleries and restaurants. Explore two of Iberia’s oldest university towns: Coimbra, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain. Roam the port warehouses of Porto. Enjoy traditional cuisine, wine and fado singing. Cruise the Douro River Valley, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region and a UNESCO Site. Our 10-day cruisetour includes a hotel stay in Lisbon and the added bonus of a visit to Spain.

EXPLORERS’ SALE

Special fares & reduced airfare $25 deposit*, expires november 30, 2023.

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Viking Inclusive Value

All you need included, with no surprises or hidden fees

Map of Portugal's River of Gold itinerary

To learn more about each port of call and our included as well as optional excursions, click on the individual days below.

Itinerary and shore excursions are subject to change and may vary by departure.

More features, services and excursions included

One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call

Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)

Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner

24-hour specialty coffees, teas  & bottled water

Port taxes & fees

Ground transfers with Viking Air purchase

Visits to UNESCO Sites

Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances

Your Stateroom Includes:

River-view stateroom

Bottled water replenished daily

110/220 volt outlets

Queen-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows

Private bathroom with shower, heated floor & anti-fog mirror

Premium Freyja® toiletries

Plush robes & slippers (upon request)

40" or 42" flat-screen Sony® TV with infotainment system featuring Movies On Demand, plus CNBC, CNN, FOX & more

Telephone, safe, refrigerator

Individual climate control

*All amenities on board Viking Longships; amenities vary on other ships.

Pre & Post Cruise Extensions

More days means more to discover, with extension packages you can add before or after your Viking cruise or cruisetour. Enjoy additional days to explore your embarkation or disembarkation city, or see a new destination altogether with a choice of exciting cities. Pre & Post Cruise Extensions vary by itinerary and are subject to change.

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Pre: Lisbon

From $549 | 2 Nights

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Pre: Madrid

From $999 | 3 Nights

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Post: Road to Santiago

From $649 | 2 Nights

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With a legacy shaped by Romans, Moors, and other civilizations, Spain has left a lasting impact on art, cuisine and architecture. Immerse yourself in unique architecture, the scenic Basque Country and an endless trove of historical and gastronomic delights in Spain.

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Portugal and spain river cruises.

Find a River Cruise that explores Portugal And Spain. There are 143 cruises to choose from, that range in length from 6 days up to 24 days. The most popular month for these cruises is August, which has the most tour departures. Considering other destinations? Check out all river cruise tours .

143 river cruises through Portugal And Spain with 75 reviews

PREMIUM Douro Experience Tour

PREMIUM Douro Experience

From Portugal to Spain: Porto, the Douro Valley (Portugal) and Salamanca (Spain) (port-to-port cruise) Tour

From Portugal to Spain: Porto, the Douro Valley (Portugal) and Salamanca (Spain) (port-to-port cruise)

Porto, the Douro valley (Portugal) and Salamanca (Spain)  (port-to-port cruise) Tour

Porto, the Douro valley (Portugal) and Salamanca (Spain) (port-to-port cruise)

Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley (2024) (Porto to Lisbon, 2024) Tour

Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley (2024) (Porto to Lisbon, 2024)

Lisbon & Secrets of the Douro Tour

Lisbon & Secrets of the Douro

Vida Portugal: Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro with 3 Nights in Lisbon 2024 Tour

Vida Portugal: Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro with 3 Nights in Lisbon 2024

Secrets of the Douro & Lisbon Tour

Secrets of the Douro & Lisbon

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Delightful Douro with Lisbon & Madrid - Regua Tour

Delightful Douro with Lisbon & Madrid - Regua

Vida Portugal:  Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro Tour

Vida Portugal: Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro

Unforgettable Douro with Lisbon Tour

Unforgettable Douro with Lisbon

Gems of the Douro (port to port cruise) Tour

Gems of the Douro (port to port cruise)

Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley (2023) (Porto to Lisbon, 2023) Tour

Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley (2023) (Porto to Lisbon, 2023)

"Ship was beautiful. Excellent service and food. Cruise director was always available..."

Enticing Douro 2023 Tour

Enticing Douro 2023

Enticing Douro 2024 Tour

Enticing Douro 2024

PREMIUM Douro Culinary Highlights 2024 Tour

PREMIUM Douro Culinary Highlights 2024

River cruises in portugal and spain reviews, travel styles.

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Portugal's River of Gold

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Itinerary Expand All

1 lisbon, portugal, 2 lisbon, portugal, 3 porto, portugal.

Have breakfast, then check out of your hotel and take a scenic ride to Porto . Stop for lunch in Coimbra, birthplace of six Portuguese kings and home to one of Europe's oldest universities.

Upon arrival in Porto, proceed to the dock at Vila Nova de Gaia to board your ship. Then, after boarding, you can relax and get settled in your stateroom.

This evening, you can join an optional tour to experience culinary delights at Porto's famed Graham's 1890 Lodge and sample a selection of their award-winning ports. (B/L/D)

4 Régua & Pinhão, Portugal

This morning we sail along the Douro, arriving at Régua in early afternoon. Disembark for an excursion to Vila Real, site of the extraordinary Mateus Palace (the building depicted on the Mateus Rosé wine labels). This stunning baroque palace was the home of the last count of Vila Real; its pinnacled facade, grand stairway, richly appointed interiors and priceless objects on display will astonish you, as will the palace's enchanting formal gardens featuring cedar-lined walkways, exquisite sculpted hedges and statuary and serene bodies of water.

Visit one of the area's iconic port wine–making institutions. See its vineyard and tour the facility to learn how these unique Portuguese products are crafted, then sample the libation in their tasting room. Rejoin your ship in Pinhão for dinner. (B/L/D)

5 Scenic Sailing: Douro River & Barca d'Alva, Portugal

This morning, we sail east along the Douro. See dramatic, sheer rock formations, picturesque terraced vineyards and graceful bridges and trestles along the way; you also pass through two of the river's locks at the Valeira and Pocinho Dams. We arrive at Barca d'Alva, not far from the Spanish border, in mid-afternoon.

This afternoon, enjoy a tour to Castelo Rodrigo. Located approximately 2,200 feet above sea level and surrounded by almond trees, Castelo Rodrigo is one of Portugal's 12 historic parishes; its streets are narrow and steep, and its houses still present 16th-century facades. Here you see Sinagoga Street, a remembrance of the Jewish community established by refugees from the Spanish Inquisition; you can visit the local church as well. As we ride back to our ship, we will stop along the way to admire panoramic views. (B/L/D)

6 Salamanca, Spain

Today you have a full-day excursion to Salamanca , Spain. This ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living museum that takes visitors back to the Middle Ages; yet it is also a cosmopolitan and multicultural city with a large population of international students. Take a ride through the Iberian countryside to Salamanca, then spend some time exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) on your own. At the local market, enjoy sampling regional cuisine. Your guided city tour takes you to the Gothic House of Shells, 13th-century Salamanca University and the New Cathedral, built from 1513 through 1733. The Old Cathedral still exists and can be visited during free time. Rejoin your ship in Vega de Terrón. (B/D)

7 Pinhão, Portugal

This morning, we sail west along the Douro passing some of the area's quintas (vineyards), where you may catch glimpses of vintners tending their vines. After breakfast, disembark for a scenic drive up to the little village of Favaios, and make your way to one of the last traditional bakeries in the Douro River Valley.

Discover how bread was made in the old days and how it tasted with a sample fresh from the oven. Explore a typical Portuguese village not yet discovered by the masses, then continue for lunch at Quinta da Avessada, a rustic centuries-old winery in the heart of the Douro Wine District (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and sample local fortified wine such as muscatel. Rejoin your ship in Pinhão and set sail to Régua , where you remain docked overnight. (B/L/D)

8 Régua, Portugal

After breakfast, disembark for a visit to Lamego , a small town known for its baroque Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, dating back to the 14th century and still used by pilgrims today. Visit the shrine, decorated with exquisite tilework in the Moorish manner, and descend the grand baroque staircase. You also see the town's Gothic cathedral and the ruins of 12th-century Lamego Castle, with its unusual vaulted cistern. Return to your ship for lunch and scenic afternoon sailing along the Douro as you head back toward Porto . (B/L/D)

9 Porto, Portugal

After breakfast, take a city tour of Porto , a charming riverside community whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire its graceful bridges, grand cathedral and romantic 16th- through 19th-century buildings nestled together on narrow cobblestone streets.

This afternoon you have time to explore Porto on your own, or take an optional excursion to Guimarães and its medieval quarter. Sample wines that have been in the making for generations at the historic Quinta da Aveleda estate, or soar over the historic 'City of Bridges' on a thrilling helicopter sightseeing tour.

This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner. (B/L/D)

10 Porto, Portugal

Life onboard viking helgrim.

Viking's Douro Fleet

Viking's intimate ships were custom built to sail Portugal's Douro River. Read more

The Thinking Person's Cruise

Every aspect of your Viking cruise is designed for the curious traveler seeking rich cultural immersion. Read more

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From relaxed, multi-course fine-dining to casual meals on the Aquavit Terrace. Read more

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Viking proudly includes all that you need and nothing you do not and your river cruise fare. Read more

The Viking Way

Viking offer behind-the-scenes insights and opportunities that set them apart from other travel companies. Read more

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Portugal's River of Gold

  • Get inspired by the possibilities.
  • Build your ideal trip.

Lisbon, Portugal

  • Tour the Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit Vila Real, site of the extraordinary Mateus Palace.
  • Explore Castelo Rodrigo, one of Portugal’s 12 historic parishes.
  • Enjoy Salamanca University and the New Cathedral in Salamaca, Spain
  • Wine Tasting
  • River Cruises
  • Small Ship Cruises
  • Archaeological Site Visits
  • Douro River

Full Itinerary

Day 1: lisbon, portugal, day 2: lisbon, portugal.

  • 1 Breakfast

Day 3: Porto, Portugal

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 4: Régua & Pinhão, Portugal

Day 5: douro river & barca d'alva, portugal, day 6: salamanca, spain.

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner

Day 7: Pinhão, Portugal

Day 8: régua, portugal, day 9: porto, portugal, day 10: porto, portugal, viking cruises.

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Initial deposit is $700, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card.

Final payment is due 190 days prior to departure by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and checks

See our general terms and conditions:

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We are an agent for one or more providers on this trip with specific cancellation policies and terms:

  • Viking Cruises - Terms & Conditions - Viking Cruises

For full cancellation policy details, please contact us for a quote.

  • 9 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
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  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • Bottled water and non-alcoholic house beverages
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  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
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  • Drinks, beverages and meals not included in the package

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viking tours spain and portugal

Experience the renaissance of Lisbon, newly invigorated with trending galleries and restaurants. Explore two of Iberia’s oldest university towns: Coimbra, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain. Roam the port warehouses of Porto. Enjoy traditional cuisine, wine and fado singing. Cruise the Douro River Valley, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region and a UNESCO Site. Your 10-day river cruise includes a hotel stay in Lisbon and the added bonus of a visit to Spain.

VIKING RIVER CRUISES - PORTUGAL'S RIVER OF GOLD

An Inside Look at a Viking Cruise Through Portugal

Travel Advisor Juli Hall sitting outdoors on stairs in denim shirt.

https://www.foratravel.com/trip-reports/QSRS8X/an-inside-look-at-a-viking-cruise-through-portugal-juli-hall

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Portugal Viking cruise

Curator’s statement

After booking many Viking cruises for others and becoming a certified Viking agent, I finally had the opportunity to take a cruise myself this July. While I went for personal reasons, this trip was a great opportunity to learn about everything Viking has to offer and experience first hand.

We sailed down the Douro River of Portugal and spoiler alert: it did not disappoint. It was truly a five star experience from start to finish.

In this trip report, I will highlight the many features and experiences of the trip as well as a few tips I learned along the way.

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Learn more about what to expect when working with an advisor.

The Douro River Cruise from Viking is a little different than most they offer, first, it is an out and back cruise and second, there is a land portion before you board your ship and third, it is the only cruise that only sails exclusively during the day.

This itinerary has you sailing the down the Douro River as it is lined with green hills, vineyards and beautiful rolling mountains.

The experiences provided thought the trip help you connect to the spirit, beauty and culture of this charming country, all while learning the history, traditions of wine making and the connection to food from this area of Portugal.

If you've been to Portugal before, as I have, you will no doubt see and learn new things and if this is your first time, you will walk away with a deep appreciation for this country. Either way, you will leave a piece of your heart in Portugal.

Viking offers extensions on both the front and back end of their cruises but this trip report will focus on the main itinerary.

The first two days are spent exploring Lisbon through guided tours and free time. From there, you board a Viking Charter bus to ride to Porto where you will meet your ship. Along the way, you will stop in Coimbra to discover Portugal's oldest university and have a little time to shop.

Once on board in Porto, you spend the first night docked in the city before you begin sailing the next day. For the first half of the trip, you sail in the morning and partake in excursions in the afternoons. On the return, you do excursions in the morning and sail in the afternoon.

Every day there is an included excursion offered in the price of your cruise, as well as others that are available for an additional charge. The excursions offer a wide variety of experiences from museums and castles, wineries and tastings, as well as special meals and exclusive entrance into unique locations.

Stops along the way included Regua, Pochino, Barca d'Alva and a day in Salamanca, Spain. From Spain, the ship turns back and begins to sail back to Porto with stops in Folgosa, Lamego with two nights spent in Porto.

The villages along the way are filled with so much charm and truly take you off the beaten path of the larger cities. In each village, you meet locals, hear their stories, learn about their crafts and get to immerse yourself in the deep traditions of this magical country. You also get to taste a lot of wine!

Everywhere we stopped, we were greeted with open arms and never faced a crowd of tourists. Even in the height of summer travel, we felt as if we had Portugal to ourselves.

When onboard there is still so much to do and learn. From fun activities such as games and dancing to demonstrations on how to cook the famous Pastel De Nata to opening a vintage bottle of Port, there are endless ways to connect to the culture of Portugal.

A few of the highlights for me were the Tuna Folk Show, a live musical performance and the games that offered a chance for all the guests to come together to get to know each other, let loose and laugh.

If you are at all familiar with the Viking brand, you may know that it synonymous with five star service. Every staff member on board was exceptional at their job. They were passionate about ensuring every guest had a personalized and memorable experience. Everything they do encourages their guests to relax, enjoy and connect with one another.

Since this is my first Viking cruise, I cannot speak in comparison but I would be remiss not to mention the Program Director of the Viking Osfrid. His attention to detail was beyond imagination. He quickly connected to the guests, understood their interests and needs and helped make adjustments if needed. He was available for any need that came up and often anticipated it before it was even noticed.

For example, I traveled with my 78 year old mother who has significant mobility issues. The Program Director offered reduced walking excursions so she, and others like her, could still enjoy the trip without having to miss out or stay behind. His passion for his job and his love of people was evident in everything he did.

Not to mention, through his connection to the guests, he created an environment that encouraged all of us to get to know each other and I can honestly say I've never been on a cruise before where I have walked away with so many new friendships.

A few other things that must be noted. The food on board was exceptional. Each dinner had three menus, a regional menu so you can taste all Portugal has to offer as well as second, more varied menu and a classic one, filled with basic options like steak or salmon for those that weren't as adventurous.

Each dinner included wine and soft drinks, as well as chef suggestions for bottles to pair with dinner and multiple dessert options.

Lunches offered a variety of options from healthy to decadent and breakfast was a buffet as well as cook-to-order menu. I can promise you will not go hungry on a Viking Cruise.

As for ambience, Viking leaves no detail untouched. The ship is immaculate, the seating is comfortable and there is plenty of it. Each room is tastefully decorated, with plenty of storage. Your room is made up each morning and you will receive turn down service each night. There is even a pool on the sun deck!

Viking offers a variety of room styles, from your traditional smaller room on the lower decks to suite-style rooms that come with a separate seating area, balcony, daily laundry service and bottles of wine delivered to your room each day.

We stayed in a Veranda Room which offered plenty of room for my mom and I and we enjoyed having the balcony to sit on to enjoy a cup of coffee as the scenery rolled by.

With the combination of staff and location, my first Viking cruise raised the bar high but after learning about the commitment to its guests, I am confident other Viking cruises would not disappoint. There is a reason that most guests on board had sailed with Viking at least 3 times before this trip.

Once you experience a Viking cruise, you understand the value behind the experience and can quickly recognize that every dollar spent goes back to you on board to offer you an exceptional experience from start to finish.

Coimbra Viking cruise

Viking cruises are definitely designed for those that want an elevated experience. River cruises are unique because you dock in local, small cities and they are smaller in guest count. On our cruise, we only had 97 guests total.

Viking cruises are best for adults traveling together, whether that is family members, couples, multi-generational trips, friends or even solo travelers. We had a mix of all of these on our trip and it made for a fun group.

If you are considering sailing with Viking Cruises, it's best to plan ahead. Ships fill up fast and booking early will help you get the best rooms.

In addition to a large array of river cruises, Viking also offers both ocean and expedition itineraries all around the world from the Mississippi River to Antartica and everywhere in between. Viking just released a cruise down the Nile River and have more new routes being offered soon.

As a certified Viking agent, I can help answer any questions about traveling with Viking and would love to help you book your next cruise. Don't hesitate to reach out, I can promise that sailing with Viking is truly a remarkable experience.

Need to Know

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portugal . In need of further inspiration? Check out Gail Collins’ guide, Things to Do on a Day Trip From Porto to Guimarães.

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COMMENTS

  1. What Are the Main Rivers in Portugal?

    The three largest rivers in Portugal are the Tagus River, the Douro River and the Guadiana River. All three rivers also flow through Spain. The largest river in Portugal is the Tagus River; it is 645 miles long.

  2. How Many Countries Border Spain?

    There are a total of five countries that border Spain. Morocco, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Andorra and France all share a border with the Kingdom of Spain.

  3. What Is the Longest River in Spain?

    The longest river in Spain is the Tagus, also called the Tajo. About 445 miles of its 645 miles run through Spain, with the rest running through Portugal and into the Atlantic Ocean in Lisbon.

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    Portugal's River of Gold. Lisbon to Porto. $25 Deposit*. 10 days. 8 tours. 2 countries. $2,999 from. Learn More · PRICE & BUILD. Spain River Cruises

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