Portugal's Douro River Cruise Bike Tour
Splendid Salamanca to Historic Porto
The Douro River Valley—an idyllic place to venture off the beaten track. From Spain to Portugal, discover old-world Europe along this enchanting river. Jumbled hillside villages and sun-soaked vineyards. Churches clad in gleaming azulejos. Port wine in Porto. Experience one of Europe's best-kept secrets with us.
THIS ITINERARY: 8 days, 7 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Small Luxury Ship
Spain & Portugal
Start Salamanca, Spain / End Porto or Lisbon, Portugal
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
- Behold Porto's colorful history, with its splendid plazas, churches and houses adorned with brilliantly tiled façades
- Bike amid terraced vineyards across the undulating river valley, famous for its full-bodied reds and crisp whites
- Savor luscious aromatic Port and learn about its provenance in its birthplace, the world-renowned Douro wine region
- Connect with the rich history of Portuguese music and its fascinating Fado roots
8 Days Small Luxury Ship
DAYS 1-2 From Salamanca, a World Heritage site, venture to the sleepy village of Lumbrales | Savor sweeping views as you bike into the Douro Valley and arrive at our ship | Pedal amid a patchwork of pastures, almond orchards and olive groves | Cycle to a fortified hilltop village for epic vistas into Portugal and Spain.
DAYS 3-4 View the dazzling tiles in Pinhão, a mecca for wine lovers | Ride through lush forests and the World Heritage Alto Douro region, with showstopping views | A scenic ride brings you to hilltop villages before descending back to the river | Enjoy lunch at a family-run quinta (winery) accompanied by beautiful views of the riverscape | Visit Lamego, home of one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal.
DAY 5 Ride along the Douro with a lovely backdrop of wine estates, perhaps catching a glimpse of the ship from high above | Relish stunning views of the countryside from the vantage point of our ship.
DAY 6 Bike or cruise the final stretch of the Douro into Porto, where a private guided walking tour awaits | This alluring World Heritage city will charm you with its splendid architecture, winding alleyways and ever-changing views.
DAYS 7-8 Breathe in fresh ocean air along a bike path that traces the Atlantic coast | Get a feel for local life in the Vila Nova da Gaia neighborhood | Arrive back at our ship and take in superb vistas of Porto from the deck.
A luxurious custom-designed ship featuring stylish private staterooms, panoramic windows, French balconies, an onboard team of classically trained chefs and inviting areas to socialize with fellow passengers. (pool)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Please note: Due to the multiple stateroom options available on this trip, reservations can only be made by contacting one of our Trip Consultants on 800-462-2848 or via email.
Click on dates for specific ships, pricing, and itinerary variations. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Activity Level: 2-4
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Available Bike Options
The key to a stellar day's ride is a bike that's perfectly in tune with your cycling style… Backroads has you covered with the best bike fleet in the world! Read on for your available bike options for this trip.
- All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners
- Expert Backroads Trip Leaders, on ship and on shore
- Off-the-beaten path exploration
- Access to all ship amenities
- Impeccable and personalized service from ship staff and Backroads Leaders
- Exclusive activities that amplify your appreciation and understanding of the local culture
- Exclusive biking routes with multiple options at varied paces
- Custom Titanium bike
- Gratuities on ship and on shore handled by your Backroads Leaders
- Exploring lesser known routes away from busy ports
- Dedicated support vans
- Easy-to-use route directions so you're free to explore independently
- Private walking tours with expert guides
- Access to all ship activities and excursions
- Wine included with all onboard meals
- Private cocktail/wine receptions
- Off-ship lunches in genuine settings
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
The ships we sail on are like a floating luxury hotel, so you can visit a new destination each day without touching your suitcase once you've settled in. Our ships are custom‐designed with a variety of inviting spaces that offer plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing. These ships are vastly smaller than most cruise ships, with up to just 150 passengers on our river trips and up to only 250 on our ocean trips.
We sail with up to 30 Backroads guests per group. Occasionally there may be more than one Backroads group onboard and you may cross paths with the other group on routes or at restaurants. When this occurs, each group will have their own dedicated onboard Backroads leaders.
If you're new to Backroads active cruise trips, there are a few things you need to know. Our cruises are smaller, and much more intimate than a typical cruise. They are also quite lively, social experiences, shaped by both our Backroads group and the larger ship community. Additionally, even with an itinerary subject to fixed nautical schedules that may occasionally limit our time on shore, we get out and explore far beyond the cruise norm. If you love meeting new people, enjoy the ease of unpacking once, and don't mind a set schedule of port departure times, you'll love our approach to active river and ocean cruising. Nobody does it like we do.
On our active cruises, we seek out diversity by including regionally authentic and inventive meals for onshore lunches, picnics and the occasional onshore dinner. On-ship meals, though delightful, are meant to appeal to a wide cross section of passengers and may at times feel more conventional for some, and less reflective of the region than on Backroads hotel trips.
Our daily itinerary is based on scheduled sailing and port arrival times and as a result some days have more opportunities for exploring on land while other days have more sailing time. Every river has its own unique temperament and for centuries water levels have shifted due to rain, temperature and agriculture. High water levels may mean the ship cannot pass under a bridge, low water levels result in slower sailing, and a disabled lock can also lead to some extra cruising time. Should any unforeseen change happen during your river cruise, we will work closely with AmaWaterways' captain and staff, who are very experienced in going with the flow.
In contrast to our usual land-based trips, which have similar room categories, the AmaWaterways ships offer a wide range of stateroom categories. The top-tier staterooms often fill fast so book as early as possible if this is important to you.
Most port conditions require that ships tie up alongside each other, in which case you may need to walk through another ship to access our ship. This is a part of river cruising due to its popularity. You may experience obstructed views from your stateroom when the ship is double-docked, but rest assured that as soon as we set sail again your beautiful views will be restored.