Visit Porto, the beautiful “City of Bridges,”; and Salamanca, the “Golden City,” on this 8-day Douro River cruise on MS Amadouro. Taste wines from historic wineries and soak up the genuine beauty of one of Europe’s most unadulterated landscapes. Rambling vineyards and charming native farms cling to the steep sides of the Douro River Valley, creating an incomparable backdrop to one of Europe’s most unspoiled regions and Port country — the world’s oldest demarcated wine region.
Tour the São Bento Railway Station, depicting scenes from Portuguese history
Sample local traditional specialties, such as Bôlas de Lamego
Soak up the beauty of the Douro River as you cruise to Barca d’Alva
Visit the Baroque-style Palacio de Mateus and its gardens
Entre-os-Rios translates to “between the rivers,” and this small village is, quite appropriately, located at the confluence of the Tâmega and Douro rivers. This tranquil village offers an authentic slice of Douro River life. In the afternoon, indulge in a traditional Portuguese lunch with your fellow travelers in Entre-os-Rios at a local Quinta – a country estate – for a truly authentic culinary experience.
Visit the Baroque-style Palacio de Mateus and its gardens. Inside the house, you’ll see interesting furnishings, paintings, and a ceiling of intricately carved wood. The gardens here are considered some of the most beautiful in Portugal. Later in the day, savor the flavors of Portugal’s renowned fortified wine, Vinho do Porto, made exclusively in the Douro Valley. Head to a local Quinta for your authentic Port-wine tasting experience and enjoy the sweet nectar of this fascinating region.
Drive to Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built of golden sandstone, Salamanca is known as a “living museum,” and you will have an opportunity to step back in time to the Middle Ages during your escorted tour, which includes the city’s elegant university buildings, the New Cathedral, the intriguingly decorated House of Shells and Plaza Mayor.
Spend time soaking up the beauty of the Douro River as you cruise to Barca d’Alva, where you will visit Castelo Rodrigo, a small fortified village perched high on a hilltop with centuries-old walls, steep narrow streets, and fantastic views. You can also opt to hike up to the village should you wish for more active exploration. While here, taste some delicious locally grown produce. Be treated to an exclusive dinner at Quinta da Avessada, where you’ll enjoy an authentic and traditional dining experience complete with entertainment. Quinta da Avessada is also a fascinating interactive museum commemorating the history and culture of wine in the Alto Douro region, so you’ll have fun discovering all the various stages of wine production as well as doing plenty of tasting.
Travel to picturesque Lamego, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in all of Portugal, where you’ll go to the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). The shrine features a Holy Staircase of nearly 700 steps, beautifully decorated with white and blue tiles, which the more active adventurer will want to hike. Concluding both tours, you will have the opportunity to sample local traditional specialties, such as Bôlas de Lamego, bread filled with smoked ham; Presunto, a type of dry-cured ham; and Espumante, a Portuguese sparkling wine. Later in the day, venture to Quinta do Seixo, producers of some of the most traditionally made wine in the Douro region. An expert from the Sandeman Winery will take you on a tasting and private tour of the wine cellars, teaching you about the centuries-old winemaking methods.
The colorful city of Porto blends the best of old and new, which you can discover on an escorted tour of the historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the Cathedral, one of the city’s oldest monuments; and the São Bento Railway Station, known for its blue and white tile panels depicting scenes from Portuguese history. You’ll also enjoy a tasting of Port, Portugal’s most renowned contribution to the world of wine. If you prefer to get more active, you can go on a guided hike and then enjoy a Port wine tasting. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore all of Porto’s charms on your own.
Day 8: Porto | Disembark
Disembark the ship and you prepare for your flight home.
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.