The Douro or Duero (Latin: Durius; Spanish: Duero, pronounced [ˈdweɾo]; Portuguese: Douro, [ˈdou̯ɾu] or [ˈdoɾu]) is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto. Its total length is 897 km, of which only sections of the Portuguese reaches of the river are navigable, by light rivercraft.
It is the third largest river in the Iberian Peninsula after the Tejo and Ebro
The name may have come from the Celtic tribes that inhabited the area before Roman times: the Celtic root is *dubro- and in modern Welsh dwr is 'water' with cognate "dobhar" in Irish.
In its Spanish section, the Duero crosses the great Castilian meseta and meanders through five significant provinces of the autonomous community of Castile and Leon: Soria, Burgos, Valladolid, Zamora, and Salamanca, passing through the towns of Soria, Almazán, Aranda de Duero, Tordesillas, and Zamora.
In this region, there are few large tributaries of the Duero. The most important are the Pisuerga, passing through Valladolid, and the Esla, which passes through Zamora. This region, for the most part, is one of semi-arid plains planted with wheat and in some places, especially near Aranda de Duero, in wine grapes, in the Ribera del Duero wine region. Sheep rearing is also still important.
Then, for 112 km, the river forms part of the national border line between Spain and Portugal, in a region of narrow canyons, making it an historical barrier for invasions and a linguistic dividing line. This isolated area, in which the Aldeadávila Dam impounds the river, has now a protected status: the International Douro Natural Park on the Portuguese side, los Arribes del Duero Natural Park on the Zamoran bank. The Douro fully enters Portuguese territory just after the confluence with the Águeda River.
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