Top Tips for Your Pre-or-Post River Cruise Stay for Portugal’s Douro River

Portugal, a southern European country, boasts natural and architectural beauty that makes it a desirable travel destination. With an endless list of activities and sights to explore, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. For your first visit, here are some top recommendations to make the most out of your experience.

1. What places should I check out?

➔   Lisbon

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a city brimming with lively culture, fascinating historical landmarks, and hospitable locals. It’s the perfect destination in the country for indulging in authentic Portuguese cuisine and experiencing live entertainment. Lisbon is especially renowned for its traditional Fado performances, so make sure not to miss out on the chance to listen to some of the finest Portuguese folk music.


This Gothic church is one of Europe’s most remarkable structures. It holds great cultural importance and is recognized as a World Heritage Monument. Upon entering the grand doors, visitors are immediately captivated by the intricate architectural details and stunning 16th Century stained glass windows.

The Abbey of Santa Maria

Explore Europe’s largest Cistercian building and take your time wandering through this rich historical site. With a monastery, seven dormitories, a library, a kitchen, and a church, there is plenty to see and experience for hours on end.

The Beaches

Portugal’s coastline boasts breathtaking beaches that are definitely worth visiting. Take a break from your explorations and unwind on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream. The Algarve region, Sagres, Aveiro, and Praia da Adraga are some of the most sought-after beaches in the country.

2. What are some of the most popular dishes and foods?

➔   Arroz de Cabidela

Although the origin of this dish may sound intimidating, chicken blood rice is a beloved traditional dish in Portugal. Additionally, it can also be prepared with rabbit and rabbit blood.

➔   Alheira

This delightful lunch includes sausage, typically prepared with french fries and fried eggs.

➔   Bacalhau A Bras

Cod is shredded, sauteed to perfection, and served with onion, straw-fried potatoes, eggs, parsley, and garlic.

➔   Arroz Doce

If you have a sweet tooth, you must try this authentic Portuguese dessert. It’s a creamy rice pudding topped with cinnamon and caramel custard that will burst with flavor.

➔   Caldo Verde

Indulge in a delicious soup on a cold night. This amazing dish consists of potatoes, onions, and shredded kale cooked in garlic and olive oil. Despite its simplicity, it is packed with flavor!

➔   Pastel de nata

Originating in Lisbon, this custard tart is an indigenous staple, and you can’t leave the country without trying it. 

Now that you have some of our top tips for your first trip to Portugal let’s start planning your stay! You’ll be amazed by the nation’s delicious food options and breathtaking sights!

Are you interested in planning a cruise vacation to Portugal or any other destination on your bucket list? We would be delighted to assist you. You can quickly contact us by visiting our website Moreover, we invite you to join our Facebook community named River Cruising with Treasured Stories Travel.

Hi, We're Donna Shirley
& Laura Bain

We're a mother and daughter who established a travel agency during a pandemic. So, we're up to challenges and adventures!

We enjoy having coffee (always better with cheesecake), discussing new cruise ships, which resorts we'd like to try with the kids, what experiences we want to add to our bucket-list, and the latest theme park news.

We enjoy working together to design personalized travel itineraries and experiences. So, our goal is to understand your family’s travel needs and become your travel experts.

Whether it is a cruise, a tour, a resort, or theme park fun your family is seeking, we’ll work to make your travel dreams a reality!

Just a little bit about us!