Over 10 days, enjoy plenty of time to be guided through all that Portugal has to offer. Beginning with a 2 day exploration of the beautiful city of Lisbon, embark on your cruise ship at the mouth of the Douro River in Porto. Taking you through the very heart of Portugal’s port and wine producing regions, the ‘River of Gold’ will bring you to beautifully rustic vineyards, stopping at the charming towns where the colourful castles, baroque mansions and historic monasteries remain largely unchanged for centuries.
At the Spanish border, the medieval city of Salamanca awaits and with a scenic ride you can indulge in a taste of Spain, before the voyage back to Porto.
Fly to Lisbon to be met at the airport and taken to the first class Tivoli Lisboa Hotel (or similar) and spend the afternoon and evening exploring the city and settling in. Day 2: When breakfast is finished, you will commence a half day tour of Lisbon, taking in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Jeronimos Monastery and the Tower of Belém, both amongst the cities most beautiful buildings. You will then enjoy a walking tour of the Bairro Alto old town, where you can explore the maze-like, winding streets of the Alfama as you make your way back down to the water’s edge. Occupy this evening with ‘Lisbon By Night’ where you can visit a fado club for dinner and a show or simply spend your time discovering one of Lisbon’s many, delightful restaurants.
After checking out of your hotel you will take a scenic ride up the Portuguese coast to Porto, stopping for lunch on the way at Coimbra, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and the birthplace of six Portuguese kings. Upon arrival in Porto, proceed to the dock at Vila Nova de Gaia to board your ship. Settle in to your stateroom, before enjoying a refreshing cocktail on board and a welcome dinner. Day 4: After breakfast, this morning will give you the opportunity to take a city tour of Porto to uncover the charming riverside communities, whose historic centre is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour will take you through the cobbled streets, housing century old buildings to the striking fishing village of Foz, where wealthy Porto families keep their summer homes. This afternoon, visit a traditional port wine-making facility before embarking for an afternoon sail to Bitetos. Alternatively, after the tour of Porto, take an optional excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Guimaraes, where you can explore its narrow streets and 10th century monasteries, the 12th century home to both the first king Don Afonso and Portugal’s very first capital city. Before re-joining your ship in Bitetos, we stop at a famous Porto wine lodge to enjoy samples from the traditional wooden casks. For dinner, you will again disembark at the 11th century Alpendurada Monastery (now an inn and museum), with sweeping views of the river.
Peso da Régua After a late morning sail along the Douro, we will stop in Lamego to visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. Famous for its baroque grandeur, you can admire the exquisite Moorish tile work and grand staircase. Here you can also take in the sites of the Gothic Cathedral and 12th century castle. Re-join your ship in Pinhao for dinner and an on-board Portuguese folk dancing show.
Pinhao After a morning where you are free to explore Pinhao at your leisure, sail to Barca d’Alva during lunch and disembark at the Quinta do Seixo. At this iconic port wine-making institution, learn how the vineyard and facilities produce the famous product, at the same time as indulging in some samples in the tasting room. Dinner and dancing will then be held on-board your ship with the Captain.
Salamanca After breakfast, you will arrive for a day tour of the Spanish city of Salamanca, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its setting that is both cosmopolitan and transports you back to the Middle Ages. After exploring by yourself, lunch will include an unforgettable flamenco show at a local restaurant. Following a guided tour of the city, taking in the beautiful sights of the 13th century Salamanca University, the House of Shells, in the Gothic style and the new Cathedral, you will re-join your ship at Vega de Terron for dinner.
Vega de Terron In the morning you will enjoy a half day tour of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, one of Portugal’s 12 historic parishes, that is located 2,200 feet above sea level. You can take in the breath-taking views of the surrounding countryside as well as the 16th Century building facades that give way to Sinagoga Street. Here, you will uncover a memento of a Jewish community that was founded by the refugees of the Spanish Inquisition. Dinner will be taken at Quinta de Avessada, a beautiful winery in the heart of the Douro Wine District (a UNESCO site), where you will sample some local ports such as Moscatel from the nearby Favaios.
Porto After breakfast, you will disembark and return to the airport for your return flight.