Portugal: The Douro, A Regal Experience

With Marie-Thérèse Hill
Portugal: The Douro, A Regal Experience Portugal: The Douro, A Regal Experience
£2725

Marie-Thérèse Hill takes you to the unique unspoiled landscapes of Northern Portugal’s Douro River Valley which extends from the country’s second largest city, Porto on the Atlantic Ocean, eastward to the Spanish boarder.

  • Explore the Douro Valley, home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites and also known as a port wine region.
  • Enjoy a three night cruise on the Queen of England's former Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell passing terraced vineyards and medieval villages. 
  • Discover the Minho region as a guest of the Count of Calheiro, staying three nights at the 600 years old Regal Manor in Paço de Calheiros, situated near Ponte de Lima.

View detailed itinerary here >>

Days Location Detail
day 1

London / Porto / Régua

Depart London Gatwick …

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London / Porto / Régua

Depart London Gatwick on a Tap Airlines morning flight to Porto. On arrival transfer to Régua, centre of the Port wine growing region. Board Spirit of Chartwell.
The Spirit of Chartwell was restored, redecorated and used by Her Majesty The Queen for her Diamond Jubilee. The 15-cabin (14 double cabins, 1 suite) vessel provides the finest imported interior furnishings and delivers classic elegance and fine cuisine in an all-inclusive, comfortable and stately ambiance. Facilities include a lounge, restaurant, piano bar and sun deck.
Sunset Cruise with welcome cocktail party. Dinner on board. Evening Fado show.

Overnight at Régua.

day 2

Régua / Pinhão / Barca d’Alva

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Régua / Pinhão / Barca d’Alva

Tour of the 18th-century baroque Mateus Palace designed by architect Nicolau Nasoni and holiday residence of the Portuguese royal family. Its façade features on the famous Mateus Rosé wine bottle and it is surrounded by fine sculpted gardens. Also visit the nearby sleepy university town of Vila Real with its 15th-century Gothic cathedral and Baroque churches. Meanwhile the ship relocates to the small 19th-century city of Pinhão.
Lunch on board. The ship sails to Barca d’Alva (Spanish border). Afternoon cooking demonstration on board. Portuguese-style barbecue on the sundeck while sailing through the port wine region.

Overnight at Barca d’Alva.

day 3

Barca d’Alva / Pinhão

Morning tour …

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Barca d’Alva / Pinhão

Morning tour to the hilltop medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo with a tasting of local natural snacks and delicacies.
Lunch on board. The ship sails to Pinhão. Dinner on board.

Overnight in Pinhão.

days 4 - 6

Régua / Ponte de Lima

Day 4:

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Régua / Ponte de Lima

Day 4:
Sail to Régua with a sparkling wine breakfast on the sundeck. Disembark from Spirit of Chartwell in Régua. Tour of Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal where after the 12th-century Battle of São Mamende, the flag of Portugal was raised. It is a UNESCO heritage city and is known for its 10th-century castle.
Lunch at a local restaurant in Guimarães. Continue to Ponte de Lima. Arrive at Paço de Calheiros Manor and check-in.
Paço de Calheiros, located in Ponte de Lima in North Portugal’s Minho’s region, has been the home of the Calheiros family since the 14th century. Considered a premier example of 17th-century Portuguese manor house design, it now serves as the residence of the current Lord of the Manor, Count Francisco Calheiros e Menezes and his family. At Paço de Calheiros guests can enjoy breath-taking views of the Lima Valley while they experience an array of attractions including a swimming pool, tennis court and beautiful gardens.
Welcome cocktail hosted by Count Francisco de Calheiros e Menezes, 20th Lord of the Manor, followed by dinner.

Day 5:
Tour to Ponte de Lima, Portugal’s oldest town, with its fortress walls and fine cathedral, which sits beside the country’s finest medieval bridge. Its historic centre is dotted with cafes, painted tiled (azulejo) panels depicting elements of the town’s long, rich history, small ornate chapels built by former wealthy residents and delightful riverside gardens.
Lunch at a typical restaurant on the bank of the Minho River. Free time in Ponte de Lima or return for free time at Paço de Calheiros Manor. Sunset cocktails in the estate’s garden. Dinner at Paço de Calheiros followed by Fado show.

Day 6:
A full day to enjoy the estate’s activities, such as: garden and orchard visits, horse riding, vineyard visit, spa treatment (some activities subject to a surcharge).
Lunch on the Estate. Vinho Verde wine tasting. Sunset cocktail and farewell dinner.

Overnight at Paço de Calheiros.

day 7

Ponte de Lima / Porto / London

Check-out of …

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Ponte de Lima / Porto / London

Check-out of the hotel and transfer to Porto for a city tour of the capital of the North of Portugal with its narrow streets, 16th-century arcaded buildings and baroque churches and chapels. The city is also known for its 19th-century iron bridge, built by the school of Gustav Eiffel. Visit the city’s cathedral, located on the top of the Penaventosa hill with an amazing view over the river. Inside you can find beautiful examples of golden carved altarpieces and paintings from the Nasoni period.
Buffet lunch at Grande Hotel do Porto. The tour ends with a visit to one of the port wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia to see the old port casks and sample this delicious, world famous Portuguese wine.

Transfer to Porto Airport for a Tap Airline late afternoon flight to London Gatwick.

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  • Alison was more than helpful and practical. Nice people travelled in Royal style.

    -
    MC, Seychelles, 2014