Unforgettable Douro with Madrid
Guimarães was the seat of the first King of Portugal and is dominated by the impressive Ducal Palace, which dates back to medieval times. It’s a great tour to kickstart your interest in this fascinating region. Alternatively, you could choose a tasting at the fairytale property of Quinta Aveleda. Located in the famous Vino Verde region and a renowned regional sparkling wine producer, the incredible gardens alone make the excursion worthwhileThis afternoon, enjoy a blissful cruise to Regua where you have the chance to explore the Douro Museum at your leisure. Learn about the culture, history and identity of the people living in this wine growing region of the Douro Valley.
Tour the elegant town of Lamego, with its many fine Baroque structures, or enjoy a guided visit of Mateus Palace, the historic icon depicted on the labels of Portugal’s famous Mateus rosé wine.This afternoon, you’ll discover the captivating Varosa Valley and visit the charming village of Tarouca where you’ll get to explore the restored Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca. En route walk the fortified bridge of Ucanha, Portugal’s first toll bridge, spanning the crystal clear waters of the Varosa River.
Today, enjoy a full day cruising the Douro Valley’s Vinhateiro wine growing region. Classified a World Heritage-listed Site, Vinhateiro has a history of wine production that stretches back for 2000 years. In fact, its impeccable port wines have been world-famous since at least the 18th century.
Take your time absorbing the sheer architectural splendour of Salamanca, a city as visually striking as it is historically intriguing. Explore the city on a guided tour before some time at leisure followed by a fabulous ‘Tastes of Spain’ experience. Your lunch today will be accompanied by an energetic Flamenco dance performance.
Over breakfast, you’ll enjoy a leisurely cruise to nearby Pocinho for our Côa Valley discovery.Visit the award-winning Côa Valley Museum and enjoy a pre-historic workshop. If you’re more adventurous at heart, take a canoeing excursion on the Sabor River. Alternatively, you could join the ‘Tastes of the Côa Valley’ excursion and visit Casa Painova for a sweet almond workshop and a tasting of their almond, olive and fruit products.This afternoon, enjoy your picturesque cruise to Pinhão and tonight by entertained by a traditional Portuguese musical performance on board.
Today you’ll visit the remarkable village of Provesende, showcasing the Portugal of yesteryear. Wander the atmospheric streets of this quaint village with the locals as they proudly introduce you to their way of life – including their local bakery. This is a specially choreographed experience only open to Scenic guests. You’ll also visit the church for a special recital, and enjoy wine tasting at the restored manor house of Morgadio da Calçada. What better way to immerse yourself in the local culture.Top off a truly unforgettable day with a visit to the estate of Quinta Roeda for a tasting of their famous export. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, you could choose a walk through the hillside vineyard for a unique tasting among the vines.
Having spent the previous eight days discovering the treasures of the Douro, Varosa and Côa Valleys, enjoy an exclusive Douro Valley Wine Review, as well as on board activities, including a cork jewellery workshop. Otherwise, simply enjoy the beauty of the region as you cruise back into Porto.The sheer beauty of São Francisco Church is sure to impress. From the outside the facade is a mixture of Gothic and Baroque architecture and inside the interior glows with its intricate wood carvings swathed in gold. Immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Portuguese music as you witness a spectacular private concert in this wondrous surrounding.
Acquaint yourself with the local fishing industry by meeting the fishermen of Afurada village as they return to port with the day’s catch. Hear their tales of the sea in a local taberna where they’ll prepare their catch over an open fire which you’ll enjoy with a chilled glass of wine. How hospitable.Visit the oldest remaining Canning Factory in Porto for an insight into their 100-year-old family business alternatively visit a local corking factory. Or visit Vila Nova de Gaia, the historic district set on the banks of the Douro River, for a tasting of the regions famed drop in one of the most famous cellars of Porto.
This morning, enjoy a tour of Madrid, including the 17th century Austrian Quarter, the Sabatini Gardens and the famous Cibeles and Neptuno Fountains.This afternoon, you can choose between the exceptional Prado Museum, or the equally delightful 18th century Royal Palace of Madrid.This evening, enjoy fine Spanish cuisine in a superb local restaurant.