We begin our journey in Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the center of Spain’s Castilla y León region. Salamanca, in northwestern Spain, is the capital of Salamanca province with a history dating back to the Celtic era, it’s known for its ornate sandstone architecture and for the Universidad de Salamanca. Founded in the 1100s and a key intellectual center in the 15th-16th centuries, the university continues to add to the city’s vibrancy with its international student population.
In our already discounted price We have included an overnight stay in a beautiful hotel right in the heart of the historic city in a restored building.
After breakfast your guided city tour includes the university buildings, Salamanca Cathedral and the uniquely adorned House of Shells. We will then be transferred to Vega De Terron to join our River cruise for the week.
The Douro River is my all time favourite river. Views like these are found around every bend. The river holds lots of interesting history- mostly involving their wine and Port production and is a world class wine growing region.
On day 2 we venture to Castelo Rodrigo, known as the “White Village” because of its almond trees. The site offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. Join a walking tour through its medieval streets and see the houses and establishments with 16th-century façade and Manueline-style windows. If you prefer a more active adventure there, you can hike up to the town. At the end of both tours, enjoy a tasting of local favorites, such as almonds, cheese, bread and wine. Later in the day, cruise along the scenic Douro to Pinhão, where a wine tasting will be waiting for you in a local quinta. (B,L,D)
On Day 3 - Embark on a leisurely walk to the charming Pinhão Railway Station, a stunning train station along the Douro Line, one of the most iconic rail journeys in Portugal. The station’s main building is revered for its 25 tile panels, all in shades of blue, that depict scenes from the Douro region. Afterward, enjoy an exclusive lunch at Quinta da Avessada, where you’ll enjoy an authentic and traditional dining experience complete with entertainment. The warm, spirited hospitality of this family-run quinta is quite special as you will discover. Several family members play in a band, and while dining, they will entertain you. Quinta de Avessada is also a fascinating interactive museum commemorating the history and culture of wine in the Alto Douro region, so you’ll have fun discovering all the various stages of wine production as well as doing plenty of tasting. Later in the day, indulge in some free time to explore the town on your own. (B,L,D)
Next on to Reggua. You have a choice of two excursions. Your first option is an excursion to ancient and picturesque Lamego, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). For active adventurers, you can hike up the famed Lamego Steps, also known as the Holy Staircase. Later in the day, visit Mateus Palace and Gardens, where you can admire the elegant 16th- to 18th- century furnishings and spend some time exploring the palace’s magnificent gardens, which feature perfectly manicured topiary work and an impressive cedar tunnel. (B,L,D)
The following day Enjoy a scenic cruise along the Douro from Régua to Entre-Os-Rios. We will also have a chance to take an included excursion where we visit a winery and this will be followed by a traditional “home-cooked” meal at a local quinta.
Next day enjoy a morning of scenic cruising on your way to Porto, then join a guided tour of Porto’s historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll see the Cathedral, one of the city’s oldest monuments; the main square, ringed with shops and cafés; and the São Bento Railway Station, known for its blue and white tile panels depicting scenes from Portuguese history. You’ll also enjoy a tasting of Port, Portugal’s most renowned contribution to the world of wine. For a more active adventure, join a hike in Porto and explore the old harbor quarter, passing through the medieval streets of Porto; afterwards, indulge in a Port wine tasting. (B,L,D)
After an overnight on board the boat in Porto we visit Guimarães, the “birthplace of the Portuguese nationality,” on a very special excursion. The city of Guimaraes was originally settled in the 9th century and is widely regarded as being “the cradle of the Portuguese nationality.” It served as center of government for the historic county of Portugal after the Moorish invaders were pushed out by the Kingdom of Galicia in the 10th century. It was also the site of the Battle of São Mamede in 1128, and may have been the birthplace of Afonso I of Portugal, the first Portuguese king.
Seasoned Travel Guru and Cityline TV Travel Expert Lorraine Simpson shares her passion for food and wine with her clients when she hosts specialty theme River Cruises. Her love of travel is infectious and of course award winning too with over 26 awards so far including the best of the best, The Magellan. As an industry speaker and regular guest expert Lorraine is able to use her connections not only to negotiate the best price but often is your personal host and traveling concierge... who wouldn't want their ravel agent to go with them in case your run into any issues?
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