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Portugal and the Douro

18 days with Insight  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe.

Day 2 Welcome to Lisbon
On arrival at Lisbon Portela Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Settle in and relax. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine. (WD)

Day 3 Lisbon & the Age of the Great Discoveries
Your guided panoramic sightseeing takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and across the tree-shaded squares. Pass beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city, named after the palace which was destroyed in the terrible earthquake of 1755 (along with much of the rest of the city). Visit the Belem Quarter from where sailing ships set forth to discover unknown lands. See the traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for over 100 years and enjoy a tasting of the famous 'Pasteis de Belem'. See the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belem Tower, erected to protect Jeronimos Monastery, whose church we visit. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Perhaps take the funicular railway up into the steep alleyways of the old town or explore the terraces of the Alfama district? (BB)

Day 4 The Algarve
Cross the River Tagus and head for the sun-drenched southern coast. Lunchtime finds you on the coast at Lagos, a fishing port nestled at the back of a bay. After free time to explore, your gracious resort hotel is not too far away, set within a magnificent 360 acre estate. Simplicity is the soul of Algarve cuisine, along with seafood so fresh it still tastes of the sea. The small coastal towns and fishing ports house a rich variety of restaurants and your Tour Director knows the best! Enjoy a delightful evening of wine and classic seafood dishes rooted in the region. (BB / HD)

Day 5 Everlasting Evora
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, journey to the medieval walled city of Évora. Join a Local Expert to explore the highlights of this beautifully preserved town. See the Roman Temple and visit the Capela dos Ossos - an extraordinary 17th century chapel comprising the skulls and bones of 5,000 bodies. Visit the cathedral with its attractive mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. In the afternoon, perhaps hire some bicycles or take a stroll through Évora’s unique historical centre and follow the aqueduct inside the city walls? (BB)

Day 6 Monsaraz and Evora
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, you'll be transported to the striking white village of Monsaraz, situated on an imposing hilltop, surrounded by cork oaks and vineyards. From the castle ruins, admire the spectacular views across to the dry Spanish plains, contrasting with the blue of one of Europe's largest artificial lakes. Enjoy a leisurely cruise before a delicious and memorable lunch in a restaurant that was formerly an old olive oil mill. The choices offered are all typical of the local Alentejo region, with wine included. Later, return to Évora where cathedrals, churches, aqueducts and ancient castle walls all serve to create the feeling that this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city is a living, breathing museum to Portugal's rich past. (BB / HL)

Day 7 Scenic drive to Obidos, Fatima and Tomar
In the morning, pass fields of cork oak and expansive rice fields as you journey to the fortified town of Obidos. Walk inside walls to explore the craft shops, art galleries and flower-bedecked houses that line the narrow, medieval streets. Continue to Fátima, Portugal's most renowned place of pilgrimage. See the basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Now on to one of Portugal's historical jewels - the Templar Castle and Convent of Christ at Tomar. With a Local Expert, explore the octagonal Templar's Rotunda in the cloister and glimpse the day-to-day life of a warrior monk in the domestic areas. Outside on the battlements, the Manueline Window is perhaps the finest example in the country. Next, visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal, housing a small Jewish museum. (BB / DW)

Day 8 Coimbra, the Douro and Pinhao
(Relaxed Start) Drive to Conímbriga, Portugal's best-preserved Roman archaeological site. With a Local Expert, marvel at the mosaics, explore the ‘House of the Fountains' and visit the museum. Move on to Coimbra, where guided sightseeing shows you the highlights of the Old Town, including a visit to the impressive baroque University library. Continue through rolling hills to your hotel, nestled on the vine-laden banks of the Douro. (BB)

Day 9 Guimaraes and Porto
Journey to Guimarães, known as the Cradle of Portugal. From the ruined castle there are wonderful views. Down in the historic heart lies a web of washing-hung alleyways, cobbled streets and cosy squares with tiny bars and cafés. Head on to the bright lights of Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated as the Port wine capital of the world. The Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores house these famous port wines. Walk along corridors of casks and get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. (BB)

Day 10 Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro
(Relaxed Start) A free day to enjoy at your own pace. Why not admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in beautiful glazed tiles, as well as the iconic bridges or join a relaxing Douro River cruise for a different perspective and excellent views of the city? In the evening, bid 'adeus' to your Tour Director and friends with a palate-provoking Celebration Dinner, complete with wine at an authentic Porto restaurant. (BB / CD)

Day 11 Porto and Join Your Cruise.
(Relaxed Start) After breakfast, transfer to your Uniworld boutique cruise ship, the Queen Isabel to begin your captivating journey that pays tribute to the age of exploration. (BB)

Day 12 Porto, Entre-os-Rios
(Relaxed Start) Porto, is experiencing a booming cultural revival and you are offered a choice of how you wish to experience the city. The panoramic tour option will give you a feel for this vibrant town, which is simultaneously profoundly urban and moodily romantic. Take in the UNESCO-designated 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, seeing its famous Moorish Revival–style Arab Room, before visiting Porto's austere hilltop cathedral and the bustling pedestrian shopping street, Santa Catarina. Alternatively, you may wish to experience the city on foot and climb the 249 steps to the top of Clérigos Tower for the best view in Porto, before continuing on to marvel at the magnificent interior of the São Bento railway station. (BB)

Day 13 Régua, Pinhao
(Relaxed Start) Should you wish to learn more about the region's unique winemaking history, you are invited to a special lecture at the Douro Museum. Alternatively, you can visit the legendary Mateus Palace, which has one of the most beautiful gardens in the country. In the evening, enjoy a special dinner at a local quinta. (BB)

Day 14 Pinhao, Vega de Terron
Choose between an excursion to one of two quintas. Quinta do Seixo — a prestigious Port wine estate — offers an enlightening tour of its state-of-the-art facility. Sample some of their famous Sandeman Port, learn more about the production and admire breathtaking views from the estate's tasting room. Or perhaps you prefer to to enjoy a scenic drive through Pinhão before visiting Quinta da Avessada, complete with an interactive museum, the first of its kind in the country, celebrating the Douro's history and culture of wine. (BB)

Day 15 Vega de Terron, (Salamanca, Spain), Barca d’Alva
(Relaxed Start) In the morning there is the opportunity to join a full-day excursion to Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and known as the “Golden City” for its tawny sandstone buildings. Salamanca boasts a dozen beautiful and historic churches, including two cathedrals. Alternatively you may prefer to gain a better understanding of the flora and fauna of the land, on a half-day scenic cruise through the Douro International Natural Park. (BB)

Day 16 Barca d’Alva (Castelo Rodrigo), Pocinho, Régua
(Relaxed Start) Travel through wonderfully scenic countryside to the walled village of Castelo Rodrigo. On your tour of this fascinating site, dating back to the 12th century, you will sample delicious local treats, such as honey, olive oil and cheeses. In the afternoon, venture to the UNESCO-designated Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley, considered the world's most important Paleolithic open-air rock art site. (BB)

Day 17 Porto
Explore Portugal's second-largest city further with a 'Soul of Porto' walking tour through the UNESCO-designated Ribeira district. Stroll its narrow cobbled streets, that spread alongside the Douro river, past merchants' houses and cafes. In the evening, enjoy a Gala Dinner onboard your ship. (BB / L / CD)

Day 18 Depart Porto
Disembark your ship and enjoy a private transfer to Porto Airport for your flight home.( BB)

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
Signature Experiences
  • Lisbon: Visit Jeronimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal's trade over the centuries.
  • Evora: Visit the famous Roman Temple and Capela dos Ossos, plus the fascinating cathedral, a mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
  • Fatima: Join the faithful at one of the world's holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions.
  • Tomar: Dominating the town, visit the Convent of Christ, see the Manueline Window and follow the story of the mysterious Knights Templar.
  • Tomar: Visit one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal.
  • Conimbriga: Visit the museum with a local historian and witness the Roman ruins and mosaics.
  • Coimbra: With a Local Expert, visit the University and witness the triumphal arches, painted ceilings, golden flourishes and walls of ancient tomes.
  • Régua: Experience a wonderful introduction to the Douro River at the Douro Museum.
  • Régua: See Mateus Palace, and explore one of the most beautiful gardens in the country.
  • Castelo Rodrigo: Enjoy an expertly guided tour of this walled village.
  • Salamanca, Spain: Join a full-day exploration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Porto: Choose from a city tour or an exclusive 'Do as the Locals Do' walking tour.
  • Porto: Choose from a 'Soul of Porto' walking discovery tour to explore the Ribeira district.
Additional Included Highlights
  • Lisbon: Tour the spacious avenues and elegant squares. See the Monument to the Discoveries and ancient Belem Tower. Visit Jeronimo's Monastery, built during the city's Age of Discovery.
  • Portimão: Explore this Algarve resort.
  • Évora: With a Local Expert see the city walls, Roman Temple, Cathedral, Praça do Giraldo and Capela dos Ossos.
  • Obidos: Walk through the picturesque narrow streets up to the main square of this ancient walled town.
  • Coimbra: Enjoy an orientation tour of the Old town.
  • Mateus: Visit the gardens of the 18th century baroque palace.
  • Guimarães: Enjoy views from the ruined castle. Explore the maze of streets in the historic old quarter.
  • Porto: See the bridges and buildings decorated in tiles.  
Stay at the Best Addresses
  • Évora: Among the white-washed houses of Évora, next to the Roman aqueduct, your 5-star M`AR De AR Aqueduto hotel blends part of an old monastery with modern design.
  • Douro Valley: The Vintage House Hotel enjoys an idyllic and tranquil riverside location at Pinhão in the authentic heart of the Douro Valley.
  • Queen Isabel: Named after Portugal's beloved queen, this boutique 118-passenger vessel is the most unique and stately ship on the Douro.

All This Included
Portugal's great discoveries brought trade and wealth which left their mark throughout the Kingdom. Witness this legacy, from the sunny beaches of the Algarve to the vineyards of the Douro Valley.

Authentic Regional Flavors
  • Lisbon: Enjoy a tasting of the famous 'Pasteis de Belem'.
  • Algarve: Join your Tour Director at one of the excellent eateries found around the marinas of the Algarve, for a fun-filled evening of classic seafood dishes and wine.
  • Monsaraz: Enjoy a leisurely cruise followed by a delicious Alentejo lunch with wine in an old olive oil mill.
  • Porto: Enjoy an informative tour of a famous cellar at Vila Nova de Gaia, take in the views and taste the port.
  • Porto: Shared experiences and memories are often the foundation for special bonds and friendships. Celebrate with wine and good cheer at a restaurant in Porto, devoted to the enjoyment of regional cooking.
  • Quinta da Avessada: Visit a prestigious Port wine estate for a tasting.
  • Quinta do Seixo: Sample some famous Sandeman Port and learn more about the production of this famous fortified wine.
  • 9 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD), 1 Highlight Lunch (HL), 1 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
  • 15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 6 Lunches (L), 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD), 7 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW) and 2 Celebration Dinners (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. While Cruising: You can enjoy unlimited beverages on-board, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water.
Five-Star Services
  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierge’, expert guide, consummate organiser and a friend in a foreign land. Concierge services are also available on-board your cruise. Enjoy 24-hour room service while cruising.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It’s business class comfort.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels as well as port charges during your cruise.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi, also available on selected River Cruise ships.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers available in Lisbon at scheduled times. Complimentary transfer from your hotel to port to board your River Cruise in Porto. Included airport transfers available in Porto for flights departing between 06:00 & 18:00 on last day of cruise.  
 
Accommodations on this Tour
Lisbon: Altis
Algarve: Hotel Ria Park
Evora: M’Ar De Ar Aqueduto
Tomar: Dos Templarios
Pinhao: Vintage House
Porto: Crowne Plaza
Porto: NH Porto Batalha
Cruise Ship: Queen Isabel
Notes
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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