If you’ve thought about taking a European river cruise, you may know that the Danube and the Rhine are two of the most popular rivers to cruise not only in Europe but in the world. Both flow through or along the borders of multiple countries, with opportunities to visit castles, vineyards, historic cities, and charming villages. But there are several more European rivers where you can cruise in style while enjoying the beautiful scenery and cultural treasures, as well as terrific local food and wine. Here’s a quick look at just a few.
The Rhone and Saone rivers meet at Lyon, France, the starting point for river cruises that wind through the Provence region to Avignon, Arles, or Marseille. The scenery includes olive groves, orange groves, and fields of lavender dotted with wineries, Roman bridges, monasteries, and palaces. It’s easy to see how Provence provided inspiration to artists like Cezanne and Van Gogh.
Portugal’s Douro River flows through a green valley lined with hillside vineyards. This region is famous for producing sweet Port wines, but dry reds and whites are made here, too. While the Douro Valley is tranquil, at each end you can spend time in a fascinating city that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Spain’s Salamanca and Portugal’s Porto.
The Elbe is a major river that rises in the Czech Republic and flows through Germany to the North Sea. Cruises of the Elbe often begin in Prague, the lovely capital of the Czech Republic, and call on historic ports like Dresden, Meissen, and Wittenberg, as well as the spa town of Bad Schandau. Sights along the way include castles and gardens, cathedrals, medieval city centers, pottery works, and more. Note that the Elbe sometimes has low water levels, especially at the height of summer.
The legendary river Po flows across Northern Italy, joining the Adriatic Sea just south of Venice. But beautiful Venice, built on more than 100 islands linked by canals and bridges, isn’t the only star of a Po river cruise. Popular stops include the historic walled city of Padua, as well as Bologna, where you can visit medieval monuments and enjoy the city’s rich culinary tradition. The Po is another river that can be affected by low water, so spring and fall may be better times to cruise.
For more information on these and other European rivers, you might like to cruise, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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