Set sail in Porto, the beautiful “City of Bridges” and gateway to the Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with rambling vineyards and charming quintas, which cling to the steep sides of the river. Taste wines from these vineyards and discover the timeless traditions of Portuguese winemaking throughout your journey before visiting some of Spain’s glorious cities.
EMBARKATION – PORTO, PORTUGAL. Embark your luxurious ship in Porto. This evening, meet your fellow passengers.
PORTO. Join a guided tour of Porto’s historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll see the Cathedral, one of the city’s oldest monuments; the main square, ringed with shops and cafes; and the São Bento Railway Station, known for its blue and white tile panels depicting scenes from Portuguese history. You’ll also enjoy a tasting of port, Portugal’s most renowned contribution to the world of wine. For the more active adventure, join a hike in Porto and explore the old harbor quarter, passing through the medieval streets of Porto.
PORTO – ENTRE-OS-RIOS. Visit Guimarães, the “birthplace of the Portuguese nationality,” on a very special excursion. Later in the day, enjoy a traditional “home-cooked” meal at a local quinta.
RÉGUA. Venture to the town of Lamego, where you’ll see the “Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies” on a city tour or climb the 686-step “Holy Staircase,” beautifully decorated with white and blue tiles, to the top on a guided hike. Whichever excursion you choose will conclude with a tasting of local specialties such as Bôlas de Lamego, bread filled with smoked ham; Presunto, a type of dry-cured ham; and Espumante, a Portuguese sparkling wine.
RÉGUA – PINHÃO. Visit Mateus Palace and Gardens, where you can admire the elegant 16th- to 18th- century furnishings and spend some time exploring the palace’s magnificent gardens, which feature perfectly manicured topiary work and an impressive cedar tunnel. Later in the day, cruise along the scenic Douro to Pinhão, where a wine tasting will be waiting for you in a local quinta.
PINHÃO. Embark on a leisurely walk to the charming Pinhão Railway Station, a stunning train station along the Douro Line, one of the most iconic rail journeys in Portugal. The station’s main building is revered for its 25 tile panels, all in shades of blue, that depict scenes from the Douro region. Afterward, enjoy an exclusive lunch at Quinta da Avessada, where you’ll enjoy an authentic and traditional dining experience complete with entertainment. The warm, spirited hospitality of this family-run quinta is quite special as you will discover. Several family members play in a band, and while dining, they will entertain you. Quinta de Avessada is also a fascinating interactive museum commemorating the history and culture of wine in the Alto Douro region, so you’ll have fun discovering all the various stages of wine production as well as doing plenty of tasting. Later in the day, indulge in some free time to explore the town on your own.
VEGA DE TERRÓN, SPAIN. Venture to Castelo Rodrigo, known as the “White Village” because of its almond trees. The site offers spectacular views of the surrounding area and as far away as Spain. Join a walking tour through its medieval streets and see the houses and establishments with 16th-century facades and Manueline style windows. Prefer a more active adventure there, you can hike to the town. At the end of both tours, enjoy a tasting of local favorites, such as almonds, cheese, bread and wine.
VEGA TERRÓN –DISEMBARKATION – SALAMANCA – MADRID. Disembark the ship in Vega Terrón and board a motorcoach to Madrid. En route to Madrid, you’ll first stop in Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the center of Spain’s Castilla y León region. You will have free time to explore on your own, followed by an escorted city tour that includes the New Cathedral and the uniquely adorned House of Shells. Afterwards be treated to a delicious lunch and Flamenco show. Later in the day, you’ll check into your hotel in Madrid.