Day 1 | Highlights:
Welcome to Madrid, Spain’s central capital is a city of expansive boulevards and large manicured gardens. Many works of great Spanish artists are housed in its museums and galleries such as the Prado, and being the home of Salsa, its lively nightlife and dancing culture is centred around the beautiful designed Plaza Mayor. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers for a welcome drink and dinner at your hotel.
Three Night Stay: Madrid
Day 2 | Madrid Highlights:
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Madrid including the 17th century Austrian quarter, the Sabatini Gardens and the Royal Palace. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Day 3 | Madrid Highlights:
Today is a full day at leisure to enjoy the city's beautiful gardens or perhaps visit the Bernabau, home of Real Madrid, or the Bullring.
Day 4 | Madrid - Porto Embarkation Highlights:
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Porto where you will board your Douro river cruise ship and be welcomed by your Captain and crew. Tonight enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board while cruising past the illuminations of Porto.
Day 5 | Porto – Pinhao Highlights:
Today enjoy a full day sailing the windy turns and twists of the Douro Valley. A UNESCO world heritage site this area is sparsely populated by small quaint villages and typical communities working vineyards and small farms. Your Cruise Director will host a lecture on board showcasing the history and wine culture of the region. Perhaps join a painting class of local mosaic tiles which typically depict traditional motives. Later this afternoon arrive in the village of Pinhao which is situated on a river bend surrounded by terraced hillsides producing some of the world’s best Port. Tonight your captain will be delighted to host the welcome dinner and cocktail reception.
Day 6 | Pinhao - Vega de Teron Highlights:
Today visit the marvelous baroque village of Lamego, where history stands still. Visit the remains of a Roman sanctuary and battlements. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon sailing to Vega de Teron, your gateway into Spain. EmeraldPLUS: Join your barman for a lesson on how to make cocktails using port wine on board.
Day 7 | Salamanca Highlights:
Founded in Roman times, the city of Salamanca is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the seat of the Spanish language, and still a lively student town. With its grand squares and medieval structures, a walking tour here is more like stepping back in time. Tapas bars feature on every street and traditional Spanish music trickles out of buzzing bars and restaurants. Board your coach this morning in Vega de Terron and travel to this beautiful golden city with plenty of free time to explore independently before returning to the ship later this afternoon.
Day 8 | Pocinho Highlights:
This morning arrive in the picturesque village of Pocinho and embark on an excursion to the Coa Valley Museum. This impressive concrete structure details pre-historic stone carvings made by the early inhabitants of the Douro, which were uncovered during the construction of the nearby dam. Later return to your ship for lunch and enjoy your idyllic surroundings as you sail towards Regua. EmeraldPLUS: This evening dinner will be hosted at a local winery estate.
Day 9 | Regua Highlights:
Wake up this morning in the former roman settlement of Regua. Visit the Douro Museum for a look at wine making in the region.
Discover More: Guided excursion to the Mateus Palace (extra expense) guests on this option will not be able to attend the included tour of Regua
Day 10 | Porto Highlights:
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Its most famous export is of course fortified wine, and the hillside across from the city centre features numerous wine caves and tasting boutiques in the area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Sample the local fair in one of these specially adapted wine cellars and learn about the long adapted craft of creating port.
Discover More: Excursion to Guimaraes (extra expense)
Day 11 | Porto - Disembarkation Highlights:
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship and transfer to Porto airport for your onward or homebound flight.