The region of Portugal’s Douro River Valley is one of Top 10 Travel Agent's Trending Destinations of 2013 according to Travel Agent magazine

"The Douro region of Portugal, overwhelmingly the top vote-getter in our poll, is gaining new or renewed interest among agents and their clients.

The wine region of Portugal’s Douro River Valley has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and it’s not hard to see why: The River Valley has lots of castles and monasteries and other historical sites to explore along the waterway.

For those not interested in history, the valley also has plenty of vineyards with some of the world’s most popular wines. (Winemaking in this region dates back 2,000 years—in fact, both Port wine and Portugal were named after the city of Porto on the Douro.) 

It goes without saying that a cruise is a great way to experience the valley…Highlights include winery visits and tastings, a chance to visit the Portuguese pilgrimage site Nossa Senhora dos Remedios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies) and the centuries-old Alpendurada Monastery.

In Porto, art and architecture fans will want to explore the city’s Baroque churches and an iron bridge built by Gustave Eiffel. The Serralves Museum specializes in international contemporary art in an edgy minimalist building. Porto also has an excellent Museum of Modern Art.

After sightseeing, relax at a Cais de Gaia riverfront café or grab a snack at the Confeitaria Tavi, a local hangout with a seaside terrace. Since this is Porto, a glass of Port wine is absolutely in order: Visit any of the wine shops behind the riverfront for an authentic experience. Sandeman Cellars is a good pick for a tour and tasting, or go up the hill to Taylor’s Port Cellars.

Be sure to stop at a local restaurant for some traditional dishes such as bacalhau, a fresh unsalted cod."

Source: Travel Agent Magazine

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