Experience Portugal’s traditional side
From medieval mountain towns to vineyard-clad valleys, journey into the heart of Portugal’s historic wine-growing region to witness scenes of everyday pastoral life that have hardly changed over the centuries. Look forward to a two-night stay in vibrant Oporto, a railway journey through the Douro Valley and a leisurely cruise along the scenic Douro River.
Excursions and Visits
Oporto city tour
Visit a port wine cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia
Railway ride through the Douro Valley
Highland experience in Castro Daire
Lamego town tour and visit to the baroque sanctuary Nossa Senhora dos Rémedios
Short river cruise from Régua
Fine wine tasting at Quinta da Padrela
Taste of the Douro Valley Itinerary
Day 1 - UK to Oporto to Termas de Sao Vicente
Fly to Oporto and stay for two nights at the locally rated 4-star Palace Hotel and Spa, Sao Vicente, with dinner included.
Day 2 - Oporto
With its stately architecture and narrow streets, Oporto has lent its name to both the country and to port wine. Today’s full-day excursion allows time for lunch (not included) in the old fishermen’s quarter of Ribeira, the liveliest part of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has some quaint old areas, which you can discover during your included morning sightseeing tour. Look out for the fortified 12th-century cathedral. In the afternoon cross the river to Vila Nova de Gaia, where most of the wine lodges are located, to learn about the production of this famous drink, which has been exported to Britain for over 250 years, and enjoy a tasting! Dinner is at the hotel.
Day 3 - Oporto to Amarante to Lamego to Tabuaco
Depart for Tabuaco stopping at the town of Amarante in the Minho region en route. This charming medieval town which was founded in 360BC, sits above the River Tâmega, backed by the scenic Serra do Marão mountain. It features an historic bridge, built in 1790, that was the scene of heroic resistance against the French during the Napoleonic Wars in 1809. You'll have the chance to shop for souvenirs such as embroidery and table linen in the main street. Continue to Lamego, the medieval capital of the High Douro, where an included excursion reveals its historic highlights. This includes a visit to the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Rémedios, a beautiful baroque church approached by a long flight of steps, and decorated with azulejos (painted Portuguese tiles) and pinnacles. There is an excellent view of Lamego and the Douro Valley from the church. Also included is a visit to Lamego’s museum. Housed in the old bishop’s palace, it has a large collection of religious paintings and sculptures. Continue to Tabuaco to spend the next two nights at the locally rated 4-star Plácido Hotel Douro, which has spectacular views of the surrounding vineyards. Dinner is included at the hotel tonight.
Day 4 - Douro river cruise
Travel to the quayside in Régua and board your Douro riverboat. Enjoy a short cruise, enjoying a glass of port and the changing scenery as you pass pine-clad mountainous slopes, forests and vineyards before returning to Régua. You’ll have some free time to explore Régua and buy some lunch. A scenic drive back to your hotel passes the villages of Ucanha and Salzedas. En route you’ll visit Quinta da Padrela, renowned for its fine wines, some of which you will taste, including their sparkling wine.
Day 5 - Tabuaco to Regua to Pocinho to Carvalhal
This morning travel to Régua for a memorable ride along the renowned railway following the Douro valley, a journey which is sure to be a highlight of your trip.. You’ll journey through hillsides cloaked in close-packed vineyards, the grapes of which are used for port wine and are still hand-picked. Admire the magical views of the world’s first officially designated wine region, now a UNESCO-listed landscape, as you travel through beautiful scenery. Afterwards, continue to the spa resort of Carvalhal for a three-night stay at the locally rated 4-star Palace Hotel Asturias which features modern decor and has a restaurant and a spa which offers a range of treatments (extra charge).
Day 6 - Highlands experience
This morning enjoy the opportunity to travel to hill-top Viseu on an optional excursion. Set on a plateau it’s in a respected wine-growing region. Later this afternoon, enjoy a guided visit to Castro Daire in the mountainous agricultural highlands region. Here you can embrace the relaxed highlands lifestyle with home-made pastries and tea that is grown locally in highland plantations.
Day 7 - Carvalhal
At leisure. Perhaps join an optional excursion through the beautiful landscapes of the Douro Valley to the small city of Vila Real and the Mateus Palace. Tonight, a farewell dinner is served at your hotel.
Day 8 - Oporto - UK
Travel to Oporto airport for your return flight to the UK.
Mateus and Vila Real
Enjoy a visit to the city of Vila Real, a city with many aristocratic palaces, including the magnificent Mateus Palace. Here you can explore the beautifully landscaped gardens and admire the mansion, built in the Portuguese baroque style and featured on the Mateus Rosé wine label. You'll also be treated to a special wine and olive oil tasting session on a visit to Quinta da Padrela.
Experience the town’s medieval ambience as you stroll along the narrow cobbled streets – you'll see many old houses emblazoned with the coats of arms of their former owners. In the 16th century, a famous school of painting flourished here, and works by local artists Gaspar Vaz and Vasco Fernandez can be seen in many Portuguese churches. Your walking tour will take in Cathedral Square, which is dominated by the cathedral and Misericord Church.
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