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Portugal & the Douro

(Tour code: POG17)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.


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Tour Highlights
  • Salamanca
  • Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
  • 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
  • San Sebastian
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 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

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Days 1-2

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.

  • Day 1 - Eurostar meal, dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, dinner
Day 3

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.

  • Breakfast
  • Guided City Tour
Peso da Régua
Day 4

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, staying in river-view rooms.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Cruise on the Golden River
Douro Valley
Day 5

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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Port Tasting in Pinhão
Day 6

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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7

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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8

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.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Day 9

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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10

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.

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.

  • Breakfast
  • Guided City Tour
Day 11


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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
San Sebastian
Day 12

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.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
San Sebastian
Days 13-14

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.

  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 13 - Free Day
  • Day 14 - Breakfast
Homeward Bound
Day 15

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.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists

Helping you plan your holiday...

Kathryn Cambridge
Phil Conde
Lynne Broadley
Julie Longfield



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