The Douro Valley & Wine Tour 10 days
Iberia’s third largest river rises in Spain and exits into the Atlantic at Porto and during its course travels through some outstanding wine growing regions. Our Autumn tour will enable you to sample some of its best product in Portugal.
We set sail from Plymouth at 1545 on Sunday and this evening we have dinner together. Enjoy the crossing, it’s part of the holiday!
Monday We reach Santander at noon and after disembarkation we drive southwards through Green Spain and into the Spanish Meseta thence past Burgos, Benavente and Verin and into Portugal. We expect to reach the 4* Hotel Regua Douro in the mid evening and we’ll check in for the next five nights and have dinner. The hotel sits on the bank of the River Douro and has an outdoor swimming pool for your pleasure.
Tuesday After a leisurely breakfast we drive to the nearby historic town of Lamego, where we will visit the Caves da Raposeira for tastings of Portugal´s most famous sparkling wines. Afterwards we make a visit to the shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios where the view over the town and the River Douro can be enjoyed. Free time for Lunch and further exploration before we continue to the Quinta da Pacheca, dating from the 18th century, to taste table wines and ports. Dinner at the Hotel.
Wednesday This morning we set off for the day, first to visit Guimarães, known as the Birthplace of Portugal, and European City of Culture in 2012, for sightseeing etc., at leisure. In late morning we travel to the Casa do Valle, a family- owned and run quinta which produces top range award winning Vinho Verdes. After tasting the various types produced, we are hosted by the family to an excellent 3 course Lunch with wines and coffee. If the weather permits, this may be outside. Eventually we rejoin the coach for our return journey to Régua. Evening free.
Thursday After breakfast we board our coach to travel to the beautiful baroque Casa de Mateus for a guided visit, in English, of the house and gardens. In the garden is the famous tunnel formed by cedar trees some 115 feet long. (Mateus wine is not produced here!) After the visit we will travel to the Quinta de Panascal where we shall taste ports and afterwards enjoy a light but substantial lunch. An audio-visual tour is also available for anyone who wishes to take it. Dinner at the Hotel
Friday Today we travel to one of the highest points of the Douro to Favaios and the Quinta da Avessada. The winding ascent to Favaios is full of changing vistas, particularly beautiful in the colours of Autumn. At Avessada, we are hosted by a 6th generation member of the Barros family for Interactive Tastings and Lunch, usually in the presence of a Winemaker. This Quinta produces only Moscatel wines, but other (Douro) wines are served during lunch. After Lunch there may even be an opportunity to experience the traditional ritual of foot treading (pisa a pé) of the grapes in a lagar ! Evening free
Saturday This morning we drive to the Quinta do Vallado passing over one of the dams over the River Douro, for tastings of wines and tawny port. The Manor House of this estate dates from 1733 and together with a separate new addition, provides hotel accommodation. Free time for Lunch in Régua. In the afternoon we drive a short distance to Quinta do Seixo, one of Sandeman´s largest estates. A zig-zag road climbs up and up until we reach the top where we have a breathtaking view over the Douro and the picturesque village of Pinhão. We shall taste a selection of Sandeman´s famous products together with a guided tour of the Winery, Wine Cellar and Lagares. Dinner at the Hotel
We leave the hotel on Sunday and begin our journey northwards. We be on the move all day and will stop overnight in the charming city of Burgos.
On Monday we’ll we resume the ride over the Cantabrican Cordillera to Santander where we catch the 1500 sailing to England. After acquiring the cabins we’ll have our final dinner together. On Tuesday enjoy the sea airs as we sail into the Channel and thus to Portsmouth where the ship docks at 1415.
Cost includes: all travel by executive coach; ferry crossing with 2-berth cabin; breakfast and dinner on ship; wine tasting on board; seven nights 4* hotel accommodation with breakfast; lunch or dinner each day; wine visits as described; excursions as described; TOUR ESCORT throughout; Local Guide in Portugal.
Single supplement £195
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Pick up points: Portsmouth-Bridport-Exeter-Newton Abbot-Plymouth