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Portugal & the Douro

15 Days from£2,995
per person
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(Tour code: POG18)

A rail and cruise tour through the Douro Valley

Flowing from northern Spain to the ocean in Porto, the Douro River carves our route through a rolling landscape of vineyards towards historic Porto. Exploring not only the ever-changing scenery, but also the gastronomic delights along the way, we continue to vibrant Lisbon, with its Moorish influences and charming streets.

Highlights
  • Salamanca & San Sebastian
  • Full-day Douro River Cruise
  • Dinner on a Port wine estate
  • Porto city tour
  • Guimaraes and Bom Jesus do Monte
  • Dinner at Taylors Port Cellars
  • Historic tram tour of Lisbon
  • Pinhao & Sintra
  • Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
What’s Included
  • 1st & Standard Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
    1 night on sleeper
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Portugal & the Douro 2018Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1-2 Eurostar
Eurostar

To Biarritz and Salamanca

We depart St Pancras International by Eurostar to Paris, in Standard Premier Class. In Paris we join the TGV to Biarritz, where we stay overnight. On Day 2 we transfer to Irún, where we board the train to Vallodolid in First Class, before transferring to a regional train for the short journey onwards to Salamanca (Standard Class). Our hotel for the next two nights is the Catalonia Plaza Mayor. This evening we dine in a traditional restaurant on the Plaza Mayor.

Includes:
  • Day 1 - Eurostar Meal, Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Salamanca
Salamanca

Discovering Salamanca

This morning we take a guided tour of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage site, also known as the 'Golden City' because of the glow from its sandstone buildings. During the tour we see the 15th century cathedral, the Plaza Mayor and the unusual Casa de las Conchas.

Includes:
  • Day 3 - Breakfast
Day 4 Peso da Régua
Peso da Régua

Cruise to Peso da Régua

Today we travel by coach into Portugal to Barca d'Alva. Here we board a cruise boat for a journey through the magnificent Douro Valley, one of the highlights of the holiday. Our cruise on the 'Golden River' takes us through the heart of the Port-producing region of Portugal. Here, terraced hillsides surround the riverbanks, with vineyards plunging from the hilltops to the very edge of the Douro River.

We pass splendid, isolated Port 'quintas' - wine growing estates that produce the region's high-quality fortified wines. As we enjoy lunch on board we pass quietly through the undulating landscape of sleepy towns and villages which appear on the riverbank. We glide past delightful almond orchards and through dramatic gorges, eventually arriving in Peso da Régua, the official centre of Port production in Portugal. The town lies in a peaceful spot beneath the Serra do Maoro Mountains and was traditionally the place where barrels of Port were loaded onto wooden cargo ships to be transported along the Douro to Vila Nova de Gaia. On arrival in Peso da Régua we transfer to our hotel for two nights, the Hotel Régua Douro.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Douro Valley
Douro Valley

Exploring the Douro Valley by train

Today we travel by train to Pinhão, a small town located at the confluence of the Douro and Pinhão rivers which is the epicentre of the port-making region. We enjoy a port tasting in Pinhão, followed by some free time to explore the town at leisure. We return to Peso da Régua for an afternoon at leisure, during which you could visit the celebrated Douro Museum, located in the town, which includes exhibits relating to the history of Port production in the region. Tonight we dine in a beautiful local Port wine estate, a short distance from Peso da Régua. The excellent Quinta da Casa Amarela is set in beautiful surroundings with terrific views of the Douro.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 Porto
Porto

By Rail to Porto

Today we continue by train down the beautiful Douro river valley to Porto, the city which was once the very edge of the known world and a port from where daring explorers risked their lives to discover the New World. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour of the city, which has a wonderful unspoilt charm. We stay at the Hotel NH Collection Porto Baltha for the next three nights.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 Guimaraes
Guimaraes

Guimarães and Bom Jesus do Monte

This morning we head to Guimarães, the first capital of Portugal, whose attractive, narrow streets have UNESCO World Heritage status. After time to explore, we continue to the vast Bom Jesus do Monte, known for its grand staircase up to the church that climbs a staggering 381 feet (116 metres). We spend this evening at the famous Taylors Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. We enjoy a tasting of port and dinner at the cellars.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 Porto
Porto

At Leisure in Porto

Today you are free to explore the city of Porto. You could head to the ancient Ribeira (Riverbank) district to explore the narrow winding streets, or visit the Port Wine Caves at Vila Nova de Gaia.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
Day 9 Lisbon
Lisbon

To Lisbon

Today we take a high-speed train to Lisbon arriving in the afternoon. The rest of the day is free to explore Lisbon, Portugal's vibrant capital. You could perhaps stroll through the streets to Rossio Square or ride the unique public elevators of Santa Justa or Glória to the Barrio Alto. We spend three nights at the PortoBay Marquês Hotel.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 Lisbon
Lisbon

Discovering Lisbon

Today we take a guided tour of Lisbon, through historic, picturesque neighbourhoods, passing through the steep and narrow streets of Lisbon's traditional quarters. Our tour is held on a privately chartered historic tram complete with all of its furnishings, and offers a true nostalgic journey in to Lisbon's past. We pass beautiful squares and grand architecture as we travel in restored carriages dating from the 1930s and 1940s.

We end the tour in Belem, Lisbon's natural harbour that was regarded as "the historical heart and soul of Portugal". We visit the historic Pasteis de Belem café, where we enjoy coffee and the famous cakes which give the place its name. Continue exploring independently this afternoon - perhaps in Belem take in the Columbus monument and Jeronimo's Monastery.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
Day 11 Sintra
Sintra

Sintra

This morning we take the train to Sintra, the summer residence of many Kings of Portugal. Sintra is a beautiful village surrounded by wooded hills, home to the spectacular and brightly coloured Pena Palace. Your time in Sintra is free to explore at leisure.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 San Sebastian
San Sebastian

At Leisure and to San Sebastián

We enjoy the day at leisure, before we board an overnight sleeper train to Spain, which takes us from Lisbon to San Sebastián.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
Days 13-14 San Sebastian
San Sebastian

San Sebastián and the Guggenheim

On arrival into San Sebastián this morning we check into our hotel, the NH Collection Aranzazu. The rest of the day is free for you to explore. Perhaps stroll along the seafront, or explore the beautiful old quarter with its many wonderful tapas bars. On Day 14 we travel by coach to nearby Bilbao to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum with its impressive art collection. We return to San Sebastián in the afternoon and you have time at leisure.

Includes:
  • Day 13 - Breakfast
  • Day 14 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15 Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

We transfer across the French border to Hendaye today, where we join the high-speed TGV service to Paris. Here we board the Eurostar service back to London.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included

An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
  • First Class rail travel unless otherwise described (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys with a light meal and drinks)

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 13 nights' hotel accommodation including 1 outbound overnight stay in Biarritz, 2 nights at the 4-Star Hotel Catalonia Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, 2 nights at the 4-Star Hotel Régua Douro in Régua, 3 nights at the 4-Star Hotel NH Collection Baltha in Porto, 3 nights at the 4-Star Hotel PortoBay Marquês in Lisbon and 2 nights at the 4 star NH Collection Aranzazu in San Sebastián
  • 1 night on an overnight sleeper train

Delicious meals included

  • 24 meals including 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 9 dinners including a farewell meal in San Sebastián

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Guided tours of Salamanca, Porto and Lisbon
  • Cruise along the River Douro and 2 port tastings
  • Visits to Pinhão, Guimarães and Sintra
  • Guided excursion to Bom Jesus do Monte
  • Entrance to the Guggenheim in Bilbao

Enhancing your tour

  • Upgrade your overnight cabin (Lisbon to San Sebastian) for £75 per person (twin occupancy only)
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Portugal & the Douro

A rail and cruise tour through the Douro Valley

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