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
1 night on an overnight sleeper train from Lisbon to San Sebastián
All rail and coach transfers
4* Hotel Accommodation
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 PortoBay Teatro in Porto, 2 nights at the 4-Star Hotel PortoBay Marquês in Lisbon and 2 nights at the 4 star NH Collection Aranzazu in San Sebastián
NEW Inclusive Luggage Transfer
Inclusive luggage transfers except where highlighted in itinerary 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room (size and weight may vary)
To arrange for a second suitcase up to 25kg (size and weight may vary) - prices start from £65 per bag. Just let us know at time of booking.
Excursions & Entertainment
UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Food & Drinks
22 meals including 12 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 9 dinners including a farewell meal in San Sebastián
Dinner at a Port wine estate
Dinner at Taylors Port Cellars
What’s not included
Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
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 by coach
to San Sebastian, 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
Day 3 - Breakfast
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
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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
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 4-Star Hotel PortoBay Teatro for the next three
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.
Day 8 - At Leisure in Porto
Today you are free to further explore the city of Porto. You
could head to the ancient Ribeira (Riverbank) district to explore
the narrow winding streets, or visit the charming little Harry
Potter bookshop with its beautiful staircase.
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 two nights at
the PortoBay Marquês Hotel.
Day 10 - 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.
Day 11 - Discovering Lisbon
Today we take a guided tour of Lisbon by historic tram, before
free time. In the evening, we board an overnight sleeper train* to
San Sebastián in Spain.
*Please note: your luggage will travel on the sleeper train
with you, as opposed to via our luggage service.
Days 12-14 - 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 13 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 before a farewell dinner later
tonight. On Day 14 we travel to Paris, and
board the Eurostar to London as our holiday concludes.
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.
Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.
Excellent variety of stopovers and interesting places
We thought the tour was excellent with the only downside being the location of the hotels in San Sebastián and Lisbon which were both too far away from the centre of the towns.
Miss S O'Leary
A lovely holiday with many highlights to a beautiful country and led by a very well organised and friendly Tour Leader. Unfortunately once again I feel that these tours are designed with couples in mind which makes life difficult for myself as a single traveller. The first part of the tour was fine in terms of my being on my own as most events were attended as a group but toward the end of the holiday there was a lot of free time. As I was the only single person on the tour with 10 couples I found myself wandering around on my own thinking "I've paid a lot of money to wander about alone" and looking for take away services for meals or having a picnic in my hotel room for dinner.
Excellent planning and wonderful manager
Mrs M Cameron
Great tour with one caveat (see below). Would also have liked a longer time in Bilbao -felt our time in the Guggenheim was far too short given it’s quite a long coach journey to get there.
Mr P Brainch
It proved to be a super 'holiday' (tour!) with excellent weather, a good group of fellow travellers, a well-thought out itinerary, good hotels and a brilliant tour manager.