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  • Landscape of the Douro river region
  • Landscape of the Douro river regionin Portugal - Vineyards

Douro Delights

9-day cruise & stay from £3,495 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

Cruise the Douro to discover the region’s finest vineyards, dotted with medieval villages and palatial mansions

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Highlights

  • Laze along the Douro River, enjoying all-inclusive indulgence, cheese-paired wine tastings and tours that get to the heart of each destination
  • Step back in time with the region’s castle towns, heritage vineyards and 18th-century aristocratic palaces
  • Start your cruise among Porto’s terracotta charm and end in Spain, with Salamanca’s golden architecture and Madrid’s icons

About

Recommended for:
River cruise

Swept along by its eponymous river, the Douro Valley’s bright green hills are terraced into pretty vineyards that cloak the region’s rich heritage. And there’s no better way to see it all than from the waters, pausing at pretty medieval villages and grand Baroque palaces alike. Along the way, not only will you enjoy the all-inclusive comforts of your luxurious river ship, but you’ll be treated to everything from expert guided tours to traditional meals and indulgent wine tastings. In turn, your cruise will be bookended by an appreciation of Porto’s riverside beauty and Spain’s vibrancy, found in its burnished university towns and historic capital. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK/Porto

Start your trip with an included home-to-airport transfer and flight to the terracotta charm of Portugal’s second-largest city. Once arrived, you’ll be transferred to the luxurious MS AmaVida. In private balconies, superb al fresco dining and the sun deck’s swimming pool, this custom-built rivership invites all the beauty of the Douro Valley in. It’s all taken with performances from local musicians and complimentary beverages. And, tonight, you’ll meet your fellow guests and flawlessly accommodating crew over a captain’s welcome reception.

Stay: MS AmaVida (Deluxe)

Meals: D

Day 2
Porto

Today, the first expert-led guided tour of your trip will showcase the highlights of Porto. Wander back alleys to admire 16th-century Gothic architecture, soaring bell towers and Baroque churches before walking over the city’s iconic Ponte Maria Pia. This great iron bridge was inspired by a certain French engineer, by name of Gustave Eiffel. You’ll also sample the city’s most famous export at a historic port merchant’s house in Gaia.

Stay: MS AmaVida (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 3
Guimarães/Entre-Os-Rios

Start the day with a morning excursion to UNESCO-listed Guimarães. This medieval settlement wraps its castles and palaces in labyrinthine lanes and pretty plazas. You’ll also dip into the Portuguese countryside to tour the region’s oldest mansion – the Casa de Vila Verde. Its medieval tower dates it back to the 12th century. You’ll also have the opportunity to taste its oenological present with a glass of its famous vinho verde before a traditional dinner. Back on board, you’ll start your cruise through the Douro Valley, en route to Entre-Os-Rios. 

Stay: MS AmaVida (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Caldas de Aregos/Régua

Docking at Caldas de Aregos, you’ll travel to Quinta da Aveleda – a family-owned vineyard that has, since the 1870s, produced some of the Douro Valley’s finest wine. After a tour of its sun-drenched gardens, a cheese-paired wine tasting will prefix your cruise onto Régua. Here, you’ll visit the Museu do Douro – a regional museum that showcases the valley’s rich heritage, from its mercantile past to its unique viticulture.

Stay: MS AmaVida (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Lamego/Pinhão

Cruise on to Lamego, a charming medieval town whose leafy boulevards lead towards a multi-tiered baroque stairway that zigzags up to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. This grand church is a tour de force of 18th-century architecture that hides a splendidly golden interior. You’ll then sample the region’s speciality – ham wrapped in soft dough bread, termed bolas de lamego. End the day by moving onto Pinhão to continue your oenological education, with a wine tasting and dinner. 

Stay: MS AmaVida (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Vila Real/Pinhão

Head inland to Vila Real and its delightful neighbour – Palacio de Mateus. Built in 1745, it’s a step back in time to the lives of Portuguese aristocracy, complete with opulent rooms, Baroque spires and acres upon acres of lake-dotted gardens. You’ll then have some time free, perhaps to soak up the sun or explore Pinhão. A small town, framed by terraced vineyards cut into rolling green hills, it’s a slice of the rural Portuguese ideal.

Stay: MS AmaVida (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Barca D’Alva

Docking at Barca D’Alva, you’ll journey on to the tiny fortified village of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. Your guided tour here will bring you along cobbled streets to the ruins of its imposing 13th-century castle. Enjoying a spectacular hilltop position, you’ll be treated to sweeping views over the Douro Valley – its eponymous river weaving lazily between vineyard after vineyard. Back on board, relax with a farewell dinner.

Stay: MS AmaVida (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Salamanca/Madrid

Disembarking for the final time, you’ll hop over the border into Spain and Salamanca. Resplendent in golden sandstone, this ancient city is a rare beauty where competing Renaissance vestiges vie for your attention. No better can this be seen than in its university and the House of Shells, whose burnished stone is decorated in, well, shells. Continue on to Madrid where you’ll have some free time to explore. 

Stay: The Westin Palace (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 9
Madrid/UK

This morning, transfer to the airport for your return flight home. If you’d rather some more time to explore the Spanish capital, contact our consultants about tailoring this trip.

 Stay: The Westin Palace (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

9-day cruise & stay from £3,495 incl. flights

Prices per person from: £3,495 (low season) £3,795 (high season)

Includes: home-to-airport transfer*, flights, overseas transfers, 7 nights all-inclusive APT river cruise with unique signature experiences, 1 night post-cruise stay in Madrid, selected touring & meals as per itinerary.

*APT terms & conditions apply

Departs: May to September 2018

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

 

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