Major Rivers Of Portugal

The Mondego is the longest river wholly within Portugal, with several of its other major rivers being shared with Spain.

Portugal is a country located in the Southwestern part of Europe bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The country has a diverse topography ranging from mountains that encompass a vast coastal plain to a good number of lakes and rivers that flow through the country. Portugal has at least ten major rivers 5 of which originate from Spain. There are other numerous small rivers that provide water throughout Portugal. The Mondego is the longest river wholly within Portugal.

Major Rivers Of Portugal


The Tagus River is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula originating from Spain that flows into Portugal where it empties its water near Lisbon in the Atlantic Ocean. The source of River Tagus is the Fuente de Garcia whose main tributaries enter the Tagus. The Tagus River has several dams constructed along its course and diversions to help supply drinking water to a large part of central Spain and Portugal. There are also a dozen of hydroelectric power stations that help provide power in parts of the region. The Tagus River covers a distance of 645 miles long.


The Douro is one of the most important rivers in the Iberian Peninsula flowing from its source in Soria Province and emptying its water at Porto. The Duoro is the third longest river in the Iberian Peninsula which also forms a border between Portugal and Spain. There are 15 dams in total that have been built on the Duoro to regulate the flow of water and allow navigation besides generating hydroelectric power. Five of the first dams are operated by the Spanish while the other three on the Spanish-Portuguese border are managed by the Portuguese and the two on the boundary of Spain. The last three dams are located in Portugal. The Duoro river valley in Porto is a designated World Heritage site by UNESCO. The Duoro River covers a distance of 557 miles from the source to length to mouth


The Guadiana River is the fourth longest river in the Iberian Peninsula defining a long stretch on the border of Portugal and Spain. The Guadiana River flows through Spain from east to west and south through Portugal then it forms the stretch on the Portugal and Spain border. Most of the Guadiana River is navigable however areas around North Mértola are not as it marks the highest waterfall in the southern region of Portugal. The Guadiana River empties its waters in the Gulf of Cadiz and has about 30 dams in the river basin. The Guadiana River is about 508 miles in length.


The Minho River is the longest river in the Galicia region of Spain. The Minho has water vineyards, farms and is used for the production of hydro-electricity, it also marks a small part of the Spanish-Portugal border. Pedegral of Irimia is the source of River Minho flowing through Spain and Portugal emptying its waters into the Atlantic Ocean. The Minho River is about 217 miles in length.


The Mondego is the longest river to wholly pass through Portugal whose source is Serra da Estrela emptying its waters into the Atlantic Ocean near the city of Figueira da Foz. The Mondego has two dams and the river stretches for 161 miles in length.

The Other Major Rivers In Portugal

There are other rivers in the country which include the Zezere river which is 133 miles long, the Sado which is 109 miles long, the Volga which is 92 miles long, the Tâmega which is 90 miles long and shared with Spain and lastly the Mira river which is also 90 miles long. There are some dams, hydroelectric power plants built on these rivers which play a significant role in the economic and cultural growth of Portugal.

What are the major rivers in Portugal?

Major rivers in Portugal include Tagus, Douro, Guadiana, Minho, and Mondego.

RankMajor Rivers of PortugalTotal Length
645 miles (shared with Spain)
557 miles (shared with Spain)
508 miles (shared with Spain)
217 miles (shared with Spain)
161 miles
133 miles
109 miles
92 miles
90 miles (shared with Spain)
90 miles

About the Author

Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor. 


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