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Flavours of the Douro

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To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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A SHOWCASE OF CULINARY & CULTURAL DELIGHTS

Foodies and wine enthusiasts are front of mind on this journey infused with flavours at every turn that captures the culinary expertise and viniculture heritage of this European hotspot. 

The meandering Douro River is at the heart of this celebratory crusade of all things culinary and cultural. Porto serves as the first stop, with an excursion to seek out its architectural splendours, sip port in a centuries-old wine cellar and cruise across the river under the shadows of six soaring bridges. 

Travelling around the medieval hilltop villages and vineyards of the Douro Valley, the tour encompasses authentic wine estates, an old-fashioned bakery, and traditional eateries, with plenty of tastings and occasions to interact with the local people of the places. Additional itinerary inclusions feature visits to ancient castles, baroque palaces, and finally, some time to unwind by the sea.  



What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' carefully chosen four-star dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in Porto (2 nights), Longroiva (2), Tabuaço (2) and Povoa de Varzim (1)
  • Seven breakfasts, seven dinners and one lunch
  • Five wine tastings
  • A city tour of Porto
  • A ‘Six bridges’ cruise along the Douro River
  • A port wine tasting in a local cellar
  • A visit to Aveiro and a canal cruise
  • A guided tour of Viseu
  • A full-day excursion of the historical villages of the Douro Superior Region
  • A visit to a traditional adega with a wine tasting
  • A lunch in a local quinta with a tasting and a talk by the owner
  • A visit to a traditional bakery, including a demonstration and tasting
  • A visit to a Lamego region sparkling wine cellar
  • A visit to Lamego with a ham and cheese tasting
  • A visit to Regua
  • A full-day excursion to Vila Real, with a visit to Casa de Mateus and Guimaraes
  • Return flights to Porto
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • You’ll arrive in Porto and be met by your friendly tour manager before being transferred to your hotel in a quiet area of the city.  

    Get settled in, perhaps explore the surrounding area or have a dip in the indoor swimming pool.  

    In the evening, you’ll join your fellow travellers for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.  

  • Rise and tuck into breakfast before you take to the cobbled streets of Porto on an all-encompassing sightseeing tour. You’ll start by exploring the town centre, overlooked by the Neoclassic city hall with its clocktower and make your way to the São Bento Railway Station, with its enchanting design and tiled interior. 

    Taking a turn down to the riverside, the tour will then travel by boat along the Douro under the city’s six bridges, marvelling at the architectural magnificence of each. The Dom Luís I Bridge, or Luís I Bridge, is particularly impressive with its double-deck metal arch design, as is the oldest bridge in Porto, Maria Pia Bridge, also known as Dona Maria.  

    Back on land, you’ll visit the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, a hub of the port industry known for its collection of port wine cellars. You’ll call at one of these ancient establishments to sample the fortified drink for which the city is famed.  

    This evening enjoy dinner in the hotel.

  • After breakfast, you’ll check out of the hotel and travel along the west coast to Aveiro, which is set on a coastal lagoon system, Ria de Aveiro. Known as the Venice of Portugal due to its small network of canals that are traversed by colourful boats, moliceiros, this city is also home to several art nouveau buildings. You’ll get the chance to glide across the lagoon in one of these boats on a cruise, learning about how they were traditionally used for seaweed harvesting.  

    The next stop is pretty Viseu, where you’ll be guided around its old town built across a hilltop, ringed by walls and overlooked by a 13th-century cathedral, a blend of architectural styles.  

    Lastly, you’ll arrive at your resort hotel Longroiva, looking out over the wine country. You can unwind, perhaps enjoy a soak in one of the thermal hot springs that the hotel takes advantage of before having dinner at the on-site restaurant.  

  • Once you’ve had breakfast, you’ll set off on a tour of some of the area’s traditional villages speckled around the Douro Valley. You’ll begin by exploring the Marialva, a sleepy medieval village, with cobbled streets, towering Gothic walls, and a remarkable 12th-century castle.  

    The tour will continue to Trancoso, a walled town containing a castle, and a clutch of red-roofed buildings, and only accessible by two gates. Your guide will lead you to the centre of the old town, where you’ll learn about cooking traditions and sample some local produce.  

    Your final stop of the day is the fortified, star-shaped village of Almedia, beholding the Côa River. Here, you can admire the medieval Castelo Bom before enjoying a cheese tasting at a cheese factory.  

    Later in the day, you’ll return to your hotel to relax and have dinner.  

  • Following breakfast, you’ll check out of the hotel and travel into the heart of the Douro Valley. The tour will first make its way to the city of Vila Nova de Foz Côa, located in the UNESCO-listed Foz Côa Valley. This open-air Palaeolithic rock art site features over 1,000 rocks with engravings illustrating animals and armed hunters.  

    Next, you’ll travel to Favaios, an authentic wine village, backed by rugged mountains and one of two places in the country where the sweet dessert wine, Moscatel is produced. You’ll be able to taste a few glasses and experience a tour of a local adega while taking in the surrounding vista. You’ll then enter a local bakery that creates a distinctive four-cornered loaf from locally grown wheat, which is baked in a wood-fired oven. While sampling this bread, a baker will tell you about how the recipe was passed down through generations and you’ll get to see the original wooden ovens. The Bread and Wine Museum will follow, and it’s housed in an 18th-century building lined with exhibits detailing the area’s culinary history.  

    A delicious lunch, made with fresh ingredients, will then be served at the winery, Quinta Avessada, as you listen to the owner talk about the production process before tasting a few labels. Afterwards, the tour will travel along the river Douro on the EN222 – considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world. Upon arriving at the hotel, enclosed by the Natural Park of Ria Formosa, you’ll check in and have dinner.  

  • Have breakfast, and then another day of tasting awaits, as you head the Lamego region to the learn about sparkling wine, visiting the cellars of a local producer.  

    The tour will then venture further into Lamego, encased by vineyards and known as the birthplace of port wine. You’ll get to walk along its striking baroque staircase, which winds up to the shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, as well as the old quarters. A tasting of the locally produced ham and cheese will follow before you continue to Regua. 

    Afterwards, you’ll set off on a leisurely saunter back to the hotel in time for dinner and to relax.

  • Enjoy breakfast, check out of the hotel and journey to the beautiful city of Vila Real, built on a headland, with its ornate Palacio do Mateus, 15th-century Gothic cathedral, and stately houses.   

    You’ll be directed across the cobbled streets to enter Palacio do Mateus, which is located just outside the centre of Vila Real, and is made up of a manor, a winery and a chapel, as well as fringed by pretty gardens. The buildings are some of the finest examples of baroque civil architecture in Portugal, and the interior is adorned with intricately carved wooden ceilings and antique furnishings.  

    Guimarães is the last visit of the day, and its well-preserved medieval buildings spread out across a hilltop, make for a prominent sight. Following a short tour, there’ll be time to visit the 10th-century Guimarães Castle, the restored Dukes of Bragança Palace, built in the style of a French chateau, and the Romanesque São Miguel do Castelo church (entrance payable locally). 

    Dinner will be served at the hotel, with views over the ocean.  

  • Savour your final breakfast and, depending on your flight time, some free time exploring Povoa de Varzim at your own pace. Perhaps amble around the historic centre, pick up a few souvenirs, take a dip in the sea, or sip on a cocktail at one of the beach bars. A transfer will then drive you to the airport for your flight back to the UK.  

     

Dates & Prices

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Hotels

Flavours of the Douro Valley Touring Hotels

You'll be staying in a series of comfortable hotels that are conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

View Hotels

Further Information

  • Some hotel have introduced a room tax of between 1 € and 3 € per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager at your destination if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.

  • Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel.

    Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

    Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date").

    Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at www.etias.com.

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