|Cruise on International Douro between the Fluvial Beach of Congida and Aldeadávila Dam.
On this route. we start out our cruise from the fluvial beach of Congida, about 2kms from Freixo de Espada à Cinta, and went up the Douro river navigating the reservoir of Saucelle dam. We pass La Barca, a spanish village, and continued until the dam Aldeadávila. We then ride back.
We observe the Douro wild fauna and flora, a place where only the sound of the boat engine interrupts a nature virtually untouched by man. It's a very beautiful region where the cliffs and the birds of prey dot the landscape. A tour that we highly recommend.
See the cruise details...
Fluvial Bridge Congida
Cruise on International Douro
We start this route in the Fluvial Beach of Congida. Its a 2 and a half hours cruise in the reservoir of Saucelle dam, that will take us upstream until the Aldeadávila dam.
The Fluvial Beach of Congida is located near Freixo de Espada à Cinta. Beyond the river beach we can find a picnic area, playground, swimming pools, a bar with terrace by the river and several gray areas.
The fluvial operator is Society Congida - La Barca, a Portuguese-Spanish partnership.
The boat awaits passengers docked at the Pier. It is a medium-sized boat, with a capacity for about 40 people, it has air conditioning, bathrooms and a small bar. At 10:30 sharp arrives the crew and start loading passengers.
The journey begins upstream. Near the pilot we have two doors giving access to the exterior of the vessel, a small deck that is ideal for taking pictures and observe the beautiful natural landscape.
In conversation with the pilot and observing instruments, something gets our attention, the Douro river here, although relatively narrow has a huge depth, about 70 meters!
The boat goes upstream. The margins are filled with vegetation and we can observe a significant difference on both sides. The Portuguese side we find vineyards, on the Spanish side just wild terrain.
As we approach La Barca the river seems to have no continuation. We can see the pier in the Spanish border, and our left side we find a rocl called Embarcadouro do Douro, a place where once was a clandestine passage between Portugal and Spain
Arrived at La Barca we stopped to take some passengers.
We continued up the river and the riverside become steeper. It is no coincidence that the dams in the International Douro were the first to be built since the Douro River between Miranda do Douro and Barca D'Alva has a difference of about 3 meters per kilometer, the highest elevation in the entire course of the Douro .
On our right side (Spain) we find Monte Godim, and we begin to see the wildlife. The first is an herons, which is resting on a rock right next to the river.
We continue and pass near the Portuguese town of Mazouco, where it was discovered a famous Paleolithic engraving, the horse of Mazouco.
In the spanish riverside we find a wide forest of lódãos. It is difficult to describe in words this landscape, a wild nature and very beautiful.
We then enter a part of the river where the cliffs become steeper, and the river gets narrower. We went through a pine tree, the only one on this route, resting on the riverbank. Then to our left, on the Portuguese border, the tour guide calls us to see a waterfall. The water does not run, the whether has been very hot and very few rain, but we see the traces of water on the rocks.
Shortly after we began to see birds of prey. Eagles and vultures flying over the river and the boat and landing on the shores.
For birdwatchers this place is great! Can be found here-Royal Eagles, Griffins, Egyptian Vultures, Black Storks, Herons, Pilgrim Hawks among other species.
Suddenly the small deck outside the boat becomes small, since all passengers want to take pictures and watch with binoculars the birds flying over the boat.
Sometime after the boat stops, the silence surrounds us ... it's time to go back. We near Aldeadávila dam but the boat is not allowed to approach the dam.
The way back is done smoothly and allows us to observe details of the landscape, flora and fauna of this region.
We reached Congida at 1pm. The sun reflects in the river forming a silvery surface. It's a great end to a beautiful trip on the International Douro.
Roteiro do Douro
Fluvial Beach of Congida
La Barca Quay
Horse of Mazouco
Is 62 cm and is one of the most beautiful images of rock art outdoor worldwide.
Due to the dry weather the water does not run but we can see the water marks on the rocks.