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Portugal Travel Blog

The 5 Dams of the Douro River

The 5 Dams of the Douro River

February 04, 2015

Douro Region is trendy and a cruise on Douro River is a beautiful opportunity. And so, discover with us the 5 dams that you can find on this River.

The Douro Region is so trendy! Every year, thousands of tourists travel to Portugal and they surely don’t want to lose the opportunity to discover the Douro Region and its charming River. Moreover, a cruise on Douro River has been the most chosen option in recent times.

Today, we will tell you the history and all the curiosities of each dam that you can find along the River. There are five dams, each one with unique characteristics. Travel with us now!

Finding the Dams of the Douro River

The Douro River is an international river, which rises in the hills of Urbion, in Spain, and covers about 850 km until his mouth in the city of Porto.

Along its course, in an extension of about 210 km in Portugal, was constructed 5 dams (Crestuma-Lever, Carrapatelo, Bagaúste, Valeira and Pocinho) which thanks to their navigation locks, allow the realization of cruises between the mouth of the river and Barca D'Alva (Spanish border).

Now, we will tell you the history and curiosities of each Dam… Welcome to Douro River!

Crestuma - Lever Dam

This was the last dam to be built on the Douro River and it was built between 1978 and 1985. With the construction of this dam the boats can, finally, made voyages on this river, on the national side, between Porto and Barca D'Alva.

Crestuma-Lever Dam, built bewtween 1978 and 1985The lock of navigation of this dam is 12 meters wide and 90 meters long. The difference in the water level of this lock is about 14 meters. The downstream gate open and close on a book shape.

On the inside of this lock of navigation exist 4 pairs of mooring floats on both walls and they are use to help the boats as they go up or down.

Carrapatelo’s Dam

It was built between 1964 and 1971 being, like this, the first dam on the Douro River.

Carrapatoso Dam, built between 1964 and 1971The lock of navigation of this dam is about 85m long and 12m wide. The difference in the water level of this lock is about 35m and it makes it be one of the highest dam in the world!

The downstream gate of this dam is in a guillotine shape and its 12m wide and 22m high. It weighs about 150 tons. Inside the lock there are 8 mooring floats on both walls that follow the boats as they go up or down.

Bagaúste Dam

It was built between 1967 and 1973.

Bagaúste Dam, built between 1967 and 1973The lock of navigation of this dam is about 85m long, 12m wide and the difference in the water level is of 27m. The downstream gate open and close on a guillotine shape. Inside the lock there are 3 mooring floats on both walls of the lock that follow the boats as they go up or down.

Valeira Dam

It was the third dam to be built between 1971 and 1976.

Valeira Dam, built between 1971 and 1976The lock of navigation is 85m long, 23m wide and the difference in the water level is about 32. The downstream gate open and close on a guillotine shape. Inside the lock there are 8 mooring floats on both walls of the lock that follow the boats as they go up or down.

Pocinho Dam

It was the 4th dam to be built and it was constructed between 1978 and 1983. It’s placed at about 180km far from the mouth of the river, in the town of Porto.

Pocinho Dam, built between 1978 and 1983The lock of navigation is 85m long, 12m wide and the difference in the water level is about 20m. The downstream gate open and close on a book shape. Inside the lock there are three mooring floats on both walls of the lock that follow the boats as they go up or down.

Traveling through Douro Region...

Douro cruises are a fantastic opportunity to contemplate the beautiful landscape of the Douro Valley and enjoy the amazing experience of going up or down the dams of the Douro River!

In those moments, all the passengers feel a great excitement on board: everyone walks to the upper deck to take pictures and enjoy the grandness of the dams.

Experience this unforgettable spectacle! Take a cruise on the Douro and live exciting moments on board!