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Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley

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Operator: Uniworld
Year: 2014
Region: Europe
Tour Type: River Cruise
Duration: 11 days
From: Lisbon to Porto
Tour dates: 27/03/2014, 03/04/2014, 10/04/2014, 17/04/2014, 24/04/2014, 01/05/2014, 08/05/2014, 15/05/2014, 22/05/2014, 29/05/2014, 05/06/2014, 12/06/2014, 19/06/2014, 26/06/2014, 03/07/2014, 10/07/2014, 17/07/2014, 24/07/2014, 31/07/2014, 07/08/2014, 14/08/2014, 21/08/2014, 28/08/2014, 04/09/2014, 11/09/2014, 18/09/2014, 25/09/2014, 02/10/2014, 09/10/2014, 16/10/2014, 23/10/2014, 30/10/2014, 06/11/2014, 13/11/2014,
Tour Description:

Indulge your passion for food, history, and music as you discover the warmth of Portugal and Spain. Experience the “sunny side” of Europe, starting in radiant seaside Lisbon, then follow the Douro River through Portugal and into Spain. Feel the warm sun on your skin as you cruise past terraced hills, quaint villages and acres of ripe vineyards. From taking in a traditional flamenco show to visiting a local café to, of course, memorable local food and wine tastings, this Uniworld cruise/tour gives you the very best of the region.

Breathe the sea air in Lisbon, the city that launched a host of renowned navigators, including Vasco da Gama. Climb the steep hills and hear the sound of fado music fill the streets as you sip a bica at a café. In Porto’s ancient Ribeira district, find picturesque rabelo boats, cutting-edge cuisine, and a thriving art scene.

Sail from Porto through the Douro Valley, where vines cling to precipitous hillsides. Visit charming quintas and meet the winemakers who run them. See the university in Salamanca, Spain, where Columbus planned his journey. Take in a flamenco show, and taste the local delicacy known as pata negra .

Revel in the captivating cities and striking scenery of the serene Douro River Valley on this perfectly paced cruise.

Who will enjoy this cruise
Those wanting to discover Europe’s best kept secret, the Douro River, with its spellbinding natural and cultural heritage. And wine connoisseurs will enjoy indulging in this region’s most celebrated beverage, Port.

Epicurean Adventurer Program™ includes: Salamanca market hall with tasting of famous pata negra ham and chorizo | Olive oil and cheese tastings | Traditional Port wine opening ceremony onboard | Special food-and-wine-pairing dinner

TRUE ALL-INCLUSIVE BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISING™ in 2014: All gratuities onboard and onshore; unlimited beverages onboard including an extensive selection of distinctive wines, craft and regional beers, spirits, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages; shore excursions with local experts as your guide; free Internet and Wi-Fi; and all arrival and departure day transfers.

View Cruise Guide for more information.

Information is subject to change.

Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley

day 1

Lisbon

Arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport, where you will be transferred to the hotel.

day 2

Lisbon

FEATURED EXCURSION: Lisbon city tour Stand on the banks of the Tejo River and take a deep breath. Now turn around and look at the city climbing the hills above you. This is where your adventure begins. Start with a guided tour to the iconic Belém Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monument to Portugal’s great explorers. Step inside the spectacular Manueline Baroque Jerónimos Monastery. Sample a traditional sweet, the pastéis de Belém, at a famous pasteleria (pastry shop), then see the hills of the Alfama district and Rossio plaza, with its wavy black-and-white paving and lively street life. (BB)

day 3

Lisbon

Spend the day at your leisure, enjoying this breathtaking cosmopolitan city. (BB)

day 4

Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto

FEATURED EXCURSION: Coimbra tour with Joanina Library visit and family-style lunch Travel through the countryside to Porto. En route, you’ll stop in Portugal’s third-largest city, Coimbra, the birthplace of six of Portugal’s kings and home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, Universidade de Coimbra. There you’ll see the university’s 18th-century library, the Biblioteca Joanina. It’s a magnificent place boasting frescoed ceilings, gilded archways, and elaborate carvings. From this hilltop center of learning you’ll head off to enjoy a typical Portuguese lunch at a local restaurant. (BB, L, D)

day 5

Porto, Bitetos

FEATURED EXCURSIONS:  Choice of Porto city tour or exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tour, and wine cellars of Cais de Gaia Birthplace of Henry the Navigator (who launched Portugal’s voyages of exploration) and longtime hub of the Port wine trade, Porto combines  well-preserved historic buildings with cutting-edge architecture and a booming cultural revival. Your tour will take you to the 19th-century Palácio da Bolsa and then on to the cathedral and the bustling shopping street, Santa Catarina. Or, if you prefer, see Porto from a different perspective, starting with a climb to the top of Clérigos Tower. Visit the world’s most opulent bookstore, Livraria Lello; then see the sweeping Avenida dos Aliados followed by a tasty stop at a pastelaria. A scenic cable-car ride returns you to the riverfront, where you can walk to spectacular São Francisco Church. After lunch, you’ll visit one of the city’s famed Port cellars. 

day 6

Régua, cruising the serene Douro River, Pinhão

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Douro Museum, Mateus Palace and Gardens, and exclusive dinner at Quinta da Avessada The Douro River winds through 100 miles of granite mountains, carving out a valley whose steep slopes hold terraces that were cut by hand into the rocky soil and planted with grapes centuries ago. Visit the Douro Museum to learn about the river and its wines. See, too, Mateus Palace, which has one of the most beautiful gardens in the country. In the evening, you’ll tour the family-owned Quinta da Avessada, which produces premium Moscatel. Stroll the vineyard and enjoy its views. Meet the owner and learn about the winemaking process.  Inside the winery’s old stone walls, partake in a rustic dinner featuring fine local wines and live traditional music. (BB, LD, D)

day 7

Pinhão, Vega de Terrón (Spain)

FEATURED EXCURSION:  Wine tasting at a local quinta Pinhão is the center of Port winemaking. Today, you’ll take a winding road up to a quinta perched high in the hills to learn about and sample the country’s most celebrated beverage. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy breathtaking scenery while sailing through the remote Douro Valley toward Spain. (BB, L, D)

day 8

Vega de Terrón (Salamanca, Spain)

FEATURED EXCURSION:  Full-day Salamanca tour with flamenco show From Vega de Terrón on the Spanish border you’ll travel overland to Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage city. The architectural purity of this charming town has endured through centuries, and the sandstone buildings have gained an exquisite golden glow, giving the city its nickname, the “Golden City.”  Salamanca boasts monumental churches, a historic university, and a broad plaza where bullfights were once held and where students now hang out. Walk under Plateresque (as Gothic architecture is known in Spain) arches and past ornately decorated masonry walls as you explore the university. Then enjoy a flamenco show. (BB, L, D)

day 9

Barca d'Alva (Castelo Rodrigo), Régua

FEATURED EXCURSION:  Castelo Rodrigo tour Visit the 12th-century walled village of Castelo Rodrigo, a captivating place with Medieval streets, stone-walled houses, and a remarkably distinctive fountain, Chafariz dos Pretos. In the evening, enjoy a Gala Dinner onboard your ship. (BB, L, GD)

day 10

Porto (Guimarães)

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Guimarães city tour or walking tour of the Ribeira district, the “Soul of Porto” Visit historic Guimarães. As Portugal’s first capital (back in the 12th century) and home to its first king, Don Afonso Henriques, Guimarães has been called the birthplace of the Portuguese nation. Dominated by Afonso Henriques’s grand castle, Guimarães was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a panoramic city tour, or, if you prefer, explore the UNESCO-designated Ribeira district on foot; here, the colorful heart of the old port city will enchant you with Medieval lanes and zigzagging stairways. (BB, L, D)

day 11

Depart Porto

Disembark the ship and transfer to Porto Airport for your flight home. (CB/BB)

Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley

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Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley

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