- The Douro Valley
- Lamego and the stairway from heaven
- The riverfront city of Coimbra
The Douro Valley and Lisbon
- Return UK travel service
- Cruise & stay
Combine countryside and city on this scenic holiday
This holiday combines a 7 night all-inclusive river cruise through the Douro Valley, taking in the best the region has to offer – from the wine cellars of Oporto, to the exquisite gardens of Mateus Palace – with a three-night hotel stay in Lisbon, the lively capital city of Portugal.
Fly to Oporto and board your ship, the Spirit of the Douro, which will be moored in Vila Nova de Gaia on the south bank of the Douro.
Spend the morning cruising, arriving in Régua this afternoon for an included visit to Mateus Palace gardens. Your guide will give you an introduction to the palace which features on the Mateus rosé wine label.
Admire the exterior and explore the formal gardens. Rejoin your ship, and continue your cruise to Pinhão, arriving later this evening.
Look forward to a traditional Portuguese folk music show after dinner.
Depart Pinhão early this morning and take in the scenery as you sail towards Vega de Térron.
This afternoon, join an included excursion to Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small medieval village with a scenic hilltop location. See the 18th-century baroque church and stroll around the village in your own time.
Look forward to a traditional Portuguese dinner back on board your ship.
Today join an included excursion across the border into Spain to the city of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its beautiful old university buildings of golden-coloured stone. The journey here usually takes about two hours, during which your guide will give a talk on Spanish history.
After half an hour of free time join a walking tour with a local guide to the Plaza Mayor, one of the finest town squares in Spain. You also see the famous cathedral, built in two parts. The original Catedral Vieja, which dates from the 12th century, is now incorporated into the much larger 16th-century Catedral Nueva.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a flamenco show to give you a taste of traditional Spanish culture.
Return to the Douro Spirit which will now be in Barca d’Alva and moor overnight.
Depart Barca d’Alva and enjoy the panoramic view as you spend the morning sailing towards Cais de Espinho, arriving after lunch. This afternoon, visit Quinta do Seixo for an included tour followed by an opportunity to taste their port wines.
The ship continues sailing to Pinhão late this afternoon and this evening you’ll visit a local quinta for dinner, with wine and entertainment included.
The ship remains moored in Pinhão overnight.
Cruise to Régua and travel by coach to the attractive city of Lamego. See the elaborate Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, set atop nine steep terraces overlooking the town. There’ll be free time to explore this baroque church and walk down into the city using the ornate staircase – but be warned, there are almost 700 steps.
Alternatively, take the coach down to the city and visit the Gothic cathedral, which in parts dates back to the 12th century.
Rejoin your ship in Régua and cruise to Bitetos for an overnight mooring.
Spend the morning at leisure as you sail back towards Oporto.
Learn the history of Portugal’s second-largest city on an included tour. This famous centre of port wine production has a scenic setting on the Douro estuary. The coach tour includes a visit to Sé Cathedral, which dates from the 12th century, and is where Phillipa of Lancaster married King Joao I of Portugal in 1387 becoming the first and only English queen of Portugal.
Your tour also includes a visit to a port wine cellar where you’ll learn about the production of this famous drink and enjoy a tasting. Remain moored in Vila Nova de Gaia overnight.
Disembark after breakfast and travel to Lisbon, stopping at the historic city of Coimbra for an included tour and lunch. The city was once the capital of Portugal and the university here is one of the oldest in Europe.
Continue your journey to Lisbon where you'll stay at the 4-star Mundial Hotel for a three nights. Dinner is included tonight and the rest of your stay is on a bed-and-breakfast basis. The hotel is set right in the heart of Lisbon in the elegant Baixa Pombalina district, overlooked by medieval St George's Castle.
Discover this historic city on an included morning tour.
See the Belém Tower, a Moorish fortification on the banks of the Tagus river that once protected the city from pirates, and the nearby Monument to the Discoveries featuring 33 figures from the Portuguese Age of Exploration on the prow of a ship.
This evening you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy an optional Fado dinner and show.
Perhaps visit the intricate Jerónimos Monastery, or stroll through the quirky sloping streets of the Bairro Alto district.
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
7 nights All Inclusive† on board the ship
1 night Half Board and 2 nights Bed and Breakfast in a hotel
- Return flights and transfers
- Captain’s dinner and drinks reception
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
- Gratuities on board
- Entertainment and activities on the ship
- Casa de Mateus Palace
- Visit Figueira Castelo de Rodrigo
- Salamanca tour
- Tour of Quinta do Seixo winery
- Tour of Lamego
- Oporto tour and wine cellar visit
- Coimbra tour with lunch
- Tour of Lisbon
†The included drinks are available from 9am to midnight and include alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
The medieval town of Óbidos is one of the most picturesque and well-preserved towns in Portugal. Its walls encircle a castle and a maze of streets lined with whitewashed houses, which you can stroll past. During your coach transfer, your guide will tell you more about the town’s history, and on arrival you can explore independently.
There are many examples of religious architecture from the town’s hey day, such as the Santa Maria Main Church, the Misericórdia Church, the Church of São Pedro, and the Pillory, and beyond the walls, the Aqueduct and the Senhor Jesus da Pedra Sanctuary.
The tour concludes with a sour cherry brandy tasting – known traditionally as Ginjinha de Óbidos – which is drunk from a small chocolate cup.
Walking Grade 3
Please note: Walking from the coach park to the town walls is approximately 500 yards over uneven ground and cobblestones. Once inside the city, exploration is independent at your own pace and therefore walking is at your discretion. However, we would like to suggest that, to get the most from your visit, you should expect to walk approximately one-and-a-half miles during your free time.
- Optional on 10 nights itinerary
Fado Dinner and Show
Since the early 20th century, Fado music has played an integral part in the everyday life of Lisbon’s working-class community. With the traditional music being known as an expressive genre representing deep and thoughtful moods, locals enjoy the music as a meaningful and soulful way to communicate and enjoy themselves.
After a panoramic drive taking in the sights of Lisbon at night, you’ll be dropped off for an evening to remember in Lisbon’s Old Quarter. Upon arrival at Páteo de Alfama, you’ll sit down to a traditional Portuguese dinner, where you can sway to the smooth sounds of Fado music.
Walking Grade 3
Please note: The Fado restaurants are located within Lisbon Old Quarter and to access them requires a short walk of approximately 550 yards over cobbled ground with occasional steps. If you have any specific dietary requirements, please advise your Cruise Director. The restaurant normally visited is “Páteo de Alfama”, however, smaller groups may visit “Fado em Si” instead.
- Optional on 10 nights itinerary