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Portugal and the Douro

(21 reviews)
Small Group

A rail and cruise tour through the Douro Valley

14 days From £2,995 per person
Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 18th December and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2021 Tour code: POG21

About the tour

Flowing from northern Spain to the ocean in Porto, the Douro River carves our route through a rolling landscape of vineyards. Discover its ever-changing scenery and gastronomic delights before we continue to vibrant Lisbon, with its Moorish influences and charming streets.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - London, 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 Conchas.

  • 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 Régua Douro.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Peso da Régua
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
Douro Valley
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 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 make our way to Bom Jesus do Monte, known for its grand staircase. Our evening is spent at the famous Taylors Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, where we enjoy a tasting followed by dinner.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - At Leisure in Porto

Today you are free in Porto. You could head to the ancient Ribeira district or immerse yourself in the local flavour further by sampling Bacalhau, traditional Portuguese codfish.

  • Breakfast
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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
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.

  • Dinner
Day 11 - Discovering Lisbon

Today we take a tour of Lisbon by historic tram and coach, seeing the neighbourhood of Alfama, one of the oldest parts of Lisbon, and the Barrio Alto, a quirky maze of cobbled streets, bohemian boutiques, and hip bars. We pause at a cafe for a local specialty - Portuguese custard tart. This evening, we board the sleeper train* to San Sebastián.

*Please note: your luggage will travel on the sleeper train with you, as opposed to via our luggage service.

  • Breakfast
Days 12-14 - San Sebastián, Bilbao and London

On arrival into San Sebastián, we check into our hotel before the rest of the day is free. Take a walk along the seafront or explore the beautiful old quarter with its tapas bars. On Day 13, we travel by coach to Bilbao to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum, admiring its impressive art collection. On Day 14, we take the train to Paris and board the Eurostar to London St Pancras.

  • Day 12 - Breakfast
  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 14 - Breakfast, Eurostar Meal
San Sebastian

Additional information

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.

Mobility information

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.


Hotel PortoBay Marquês

Hotel PortoBay Marquês, Lisbon

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Hotel Régua Douro, Peso da Régua

Hotel Régua Douro, Peso da Régua

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Hotel PortoBay Teatro

Hotel PortoBay Teatro, Porto

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Hotel Catalonia Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

Hotel Catalonia Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

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NH Collection Aranzazu

NH Collection Aranzazu, San Sebastian

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100% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 21 verified reviews

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Mr P Cooke

Submitted 21/10/2019

Excellent variety of stopovers and interesting places


Submitted 14/10/2019

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

Submitted 17/12/2018

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.


Submitted 17/11/2018

Excellent planning and wonderful manager

Mrs M Cameron

Submitted 29/10/2018

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

Submitted 22/10/2018

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.

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Portugal and the Douro

A rail and cruise tour through the Douro Valley


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