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Guimaraes River Cruises

About Guimaraes 

Settled in the ninth century, Guimaraes played a key role in Portugal’s formation and as such is naturally one of the country’s most historic cities. It’s located in northern Portugal and though it doesn’t lie on the banks of the Douro River, which crosses the entire country, it is a popular choice when it comes to excursions from Porto, where most Douro river voyages begin. Though of course Lisbon is today Portugal’s capital, Guimaraes was at one time the centre of the country’s administration and indeed, if you look carefully on an area of the old town walls, you can still see the words 'Portugal was born here'. It’s no surprise then, that Guimaraes is a popular destination for visitors to the country as well as a place of pilgrimage for nationals. 

Exploring Guimaraes 

Not surprisingly considering its huge historical significance, Guimaraes’ centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations. This whole area is the city’s most popular attraction, with charming and ancient architecture to enjoy at every turn and it’s certainly a rewarding experience to spend a little time soaking up the sights while sipping on a coffee or enjoying a snack at a local café or restaurant. 

Though it’s pleasurable enough to take a leisurely stroll and drink in the atmosphere, there are a number of architectural attractions which bear particular exploration. The Palace of the Dukes of Braganza was built by the first Duke of Braganza, the illegitimate son of King John of England and is today a national monument. After lying in ruin for centuries, it was restored in the 1930s and today, is one of the Portuguese President’s official residences. There are a wealth of treasures to enjoy within its walls, such as tapestries, ceramics, armour and furniture. 

Beautiful faith-based architecture is also a key feature of the city, with one particular favourite being Igreja de Sao Francisco. Its stunning interior makes it one of the country’s most beautiful places of worship, thanks to a gold-covered chapel as well as its side altars and stunning sacristy. Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira is another religious landmark, dating back to around 950AD and enjoying  a position right at the heart of the city’s historic centre. Wherever you decide to explore in the city however, you won’t have to go far to experience its beautiful churches. 

Showcasing the city’s ancient history, the Citania de Briteiros ruins are a popular attraction with the more adventurous visitor, and are the preserved remains of an ancient Celtic settlement which lies just a short ride out of the city itself. 

Guimaraes tips 

The city is a great place to sample traditional Portuguese fare if you have time to eat during your visit, with a number of reasonably priced restaurants conveniently located in the historic centre.

Guimaraes Itineraries

Salamanca

14 Days Douro Delights with Lisbon and Madrid

4 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2021
13 Nights From Lisbon, Portugal, Portugal to Spain , Madrid
APT Cruising logo FROM £6299pp
Peso Da Régua

Cruising the Douro River Valley

8 sailing dates April 2021 to October 2021
7 Nights From Porto, Portugal to Porto
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Madrid

Exploring Douro, plus Lisbon & Madrid - Eastbound

12 sailing dates April 2021 to November 2021
11 Nights From Lisbon, Portugal, Portugal to Spain , Madrid
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Peso Da Régua

Douro River Valley

66 sailing dates March 2021 to November 2022
7 Nights From Porto, Portugal to Porto
Uniworld River Cruises logo CALL
Peso Da Régua

Spain And Portugal Delights

1 sailing date April 2021
22 Nights From Barcelona, to Spain , Madrid
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Peso Da Régua

Lisbon to Porto

1 sailing date October 2021
7 Nights From Lisbon, Portugal, Portugal to Porto
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Salamanca

Douro Delights - Porto to Madrid

4 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2021
8 Nights From Porto, Portugal to Spain , Madrid
APT Cruising logo FROM £3869pp
Lisbon

Exploring the Douro, Madrid, Lisbon

10 sailing dates April 2021 to October 2021
11 Nights From Madrid, Spain to Portugal , Lisbon, Portugal
Tauck logo CALL

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