3 Portugal Rivers You Should Visit

3 Portugal Rivers You Should Visit

Usually, when visiting a country, people tend to focus on things like tourist attractions, the most popular sites, and widely acclaimed natural wonders. However, these do not often include rivers, which is disappointing! Generally, every country has at least a couple of great ones, and in the case of Portugal, there are at least three that are interesting and unique in their own way.

So, stop by the next time you visit! Here are 3 Portugal rivers worthy of making a stopover.

River Tagus

River Tagus

In mid-eastern Spain, the river Tagus rises at Montes Universales near Teruel and empties into the Atlantic Ocean in the capital city. If you are not there yet, you will have to catch any of the trains to Lisbon just to get to the impressive River Tagus. Now, let’s find out more about it! 

At 1,007 kilometers in flow, Tagus is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. A great thing about a length like this is that you will get to glimpse at it from many different points in the city. It might be when you are strolling around the main parts, trying to get the best of Lisbon’s scenery, and it might be when you are hiking or having a picnic on the wilder side of the city, and the river is right there between the hills and valleys! 

Speaking of length, the river crosses other cities as well, and while we encourage you to catch it in Lisbon, where the views are probably the best, you can still see Tagus in Abrantes, Santarem, and Almada in Portugal, or Aranjuez, Toledo, and Talavera de la Reina in Spain. 

The Tagus estuary, which has Lisbon at its mouth, is protected by the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve, which, in a way, ensures that the river remains clear and unspoiled. Well, it shows when you go anywhere near it. There are also two bridges crossing the river, Vasco da Gama Bridge, the second-longest one in Europe, and a more humble 25 de Abril Bridge! 

We believe it is time to let go of the stereotyped holiday attractions and explore something different! Visiting a river is quite unconventional, yet it can be a lot of fun, so go and have it all! 

River Mondego

Without hesitations, take a jump on the Lisbon to Coimbra train to see the lovely Mondego river! 

Starting at the highest mountain range in mainland Portugal, Serra de Estrela, the Mondego carries on for 234 kilometers from the Gouveia municipality, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean next to the city of Figueira da Foz. 

A very Spanish-sounding name is believed to have origins in pre-Roman, Hispano-Celtic voice, and while a more explicit etymology and the meaning are imprecise, it is still nice to have some knowledge of it! 

The river flows through the cities of Guarda and Viseu as well, though we highly suggest picking Coimbra as your number one. Not only are the visuals of Mondego clearer here, but it is also a great town to visit! Look up Coimbra University and make sure to explore the major urban area in Baixo Mondego. Now, let’s get back to the river.

Not only is the river praised for its location and being scenic, but it also plays a vital role in hydroelectric power. Not only that, but Mondego’s waters are rich in vitamins and clear enough to be used to cultivate several crops. Rice, grapes, and some other supplies are prepared in the river’s basin, so you can see why Mondego is so important to the Portuguese. 

Additionally, uranium has been mined in Urgeirica, the village near the town of Viseu and extremely close to the river. So, considering all of this, the Mondego river has proven to be extremely useful, not only pretty to look at! It is so loved in the country that many poets have written songs and passionate poetry about it. So, go for a visit, maybe you will be one of them? 

Mondego River, Coimbra

River Douro

A river of many names, Durius in Latin, Rio Duero in Spanish, and a River of Gold by meaning, river Douro is the third-longest one in the Iberian Peninsula, scattered across 80,000 square kilometers. Similar to rose Mondego, it rises in the Sierra de Urbion, Spain, and through northern Portugal, right into the Atlantic Ocean and the parish of Foz do Douro. 

Qualified for a competition with river Mondego, Douro has also been a significant source of hydroelectric power and irrigation since the 1930s. 

River Douro, Portugal

The Douro is important not only economically but historically as well! It has served as a road of import of wine, and the progress vastly impacted the area's historical development. Traditionally, the wine was taken across the Douro in authentic Rabelo boats! Wine and its connection to the river is one of the greatest long-standing traditions in Portugal! The sweet flavors have been produced in the Alto Douro district near Porto since Roman times. So, if you have a chance, have a taste - such national heritage must not be ignored! 

We suggest you visit some of the Quintas, churches, and lovely little villages surrounding  - get the best of both worlds! This is the most fun part of river Douro; its location is quite unusual for a big river, and you will get a chance to see some of the unique panoramas, rather than the same sights of big cities. 

If visiting up-close is not for you, though, you can try Linha do Douro, a scenic railway connecting two valley villages, offering the best sights through the window. 

Now here are the three perfect choices for you! All three majestic and stunning to look at, the rivers Tagus, Mondego, and the Douro are worth ending up on your itinerary. So make a plan and wait no more - it is time to get to know Portugal like nothing else. Good luck! 

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!

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