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Port & The Douro Valley with The Spectator

Oporto, The Douro Valley 7 nights Price from £4,898 per person
Departs: 21 Sep 2022
Departs: 21 Sep 2022

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Join The Spectator's drinks editor Jonathan Ray, business editor and occasional poet Martin Vander Weyer, and restaurant critic Tanya Gold for a tour of the Douro Valley.

Having arrived in Porto by air, we will have a tour of the city and a visit to the World of Wine followed by dinner. We will then board the A-ROSA ALVA river cruiser – our home for the week – and sail up-river to Regua, then to Pinhao and finally as far as the Spanish border at Vega de Terron. During our voyage we will be entertained en route with tastings, lunch and dinner by two leading port producers: Quinta de la Rosa and Quinta do Noval. On our return to Porto we will visit Taylor’s Port Cellars and end the trip with a memorable, port-soaked gala dinner.

 

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return flights to Oporto
  • Seven nights accommodation on A-ROSA Alva
  • Breakfast and lunch buffet on board ship
  • All entrances fees and gratuities as described
  • The services of a Kirker Tour Lecturer
  • Two wine tastings

Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Fly to Oporto

    We fly to Oporto at lunchtime, where we will be transferred to the banks of the Douro to board our vessel for the week, the A-ROSA Alva, a comfortable river cruiser which has 63 cabins, all with views from floor-to-ceiling windows, and a spacious sun deck with a heated outdoor pool. This afternoon we will set the scene with a visit to the spectacular new World of Wine museum in the Vila Nova de Gaia district, home to a great number of important port cellars. We will have a welcome dinner with local wines in town this evening. 
  • Day 2 - Sailing up the Douro Valley

    Setting sail early this morning, we will travel upstream from Porto to Regua, travelling through the increasingly dramatic scenery into the heart of wine country. We will disembark in Regua, one of the most important ports in the wine trade, from where we will drive along the banks of the river to the nearby Quinta de la Rosa, where we will have lunch and a tasting with the winemakers. We will continue to Pinhao for dinner, where our vessel is moored for the night. 
  • Day 3 - The Upper Douro

    The morning we visit the Quinta da Roeda, which has a wonderful view over Pinhão and the surrounding vineyards. We have a tour and tasting to include their speciality, Pink Port. In the afternoon we shall continue cruising upriver, reaching the Spanish border town of Vega de Terron in the early evening, in time for a tapas dinner. 
  • Day 4 - Salamanca

    Today we will travel across the border to Spain, visiting the fascinating historic city of Salamanca, home to one of the world's oldest universities, and site of a famous battle in Wellington's Peninsular Campaign. We will visit the Haceinda Zorita wine estate in the region known here as Ribera del Duero, for lunch accompanied by their excellent wines. 
  • Day 5 - Return to Pinhao

    This morning we will visit Castelo Rodrigo, one of Portugal's twelve historically significant villages. Known as the "white city", it is a mediaeval village surrounded by almond groves, with much 16th century architecture and traditional Manueline window ornaments. We visit the ruined castle, and discover the history of the local Jewish community before sailing downstream, calling first at Pocinho, the terminus of the Douro Valley railway, and then arriving in Pinhao in the late afternoon. This evening we will visit the Quinta do Noval in the hills above Pinhao, where we meet the owners for a tasting and a delicious dinner on the estate.
  • Day 6 - Regua to Bitetos

    We spend the morning today in Régua, the largest city in this wine-growing valley of the Alto Douro region, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. The town played a fundamental role in the production and marketing of port wine – which has been transported downriver to Oporto from here since the 18th century. In the afternoon we visit the Mateus Palace, still owned by the Count of Vila Real. This Baroque mansion is furnished in splendid style with antiques and exceptional chestnut ceilings. We also see the formal gardens with sculptures, ponds and rare trees.
  • Day 7 - Bitetos to Porto

    We glide back into the heart of Porto this morning, and we will visit the famous cellars of Taylor's Port for a tour and tasting follwoed by a light lunch. In the evening we will enjoy a unique dinner, accompanied of course by vintage ports, in an exclusive venue in the old town.
  • Day 8 - Disembark in Porto

    Disembarking after breakfast this morning we will be returned to Oporto airport for the flight back to London. For those who prefer to extend the holiday, speak to a Kirker expert about staying in Lisbon, Cascais or Coimbra for a few days before returning home. 

Departure Dates and Prices

21 Sep 2022

Status Available

Price from£4898

Single Supp.£950

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Jonathan Ray

Tour Leader

More Info

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