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The Duke of Wellington & The Peninsular War

Oporto 7 nights Price from £2,889 per person
Departs: 30 Oct 2023
Departs: 30 Oct 2023

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Military historian Hugh Macdonald-Buchanan leads our tour to Spain and Portugal, which combines fascinating history with spectacular scenery and delicious food and wine. The Peninsular War began in 1808, one year after Napoleon decided to stop Britain from trading with the rest of Europe. But Napoleon had neither considered that the Portuguese would prove to be a steadfast ally of Britain nor that the Spanish would be swept up in their own revolts. The Battle of Salamanca in 1812 saw the beginning of the end for Napoleon, which eventually led to his abdication and exile in Elba.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return flights
  • Seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Five dinners
  • All sightseeing
  • Entrance fees and gratuities
  • The services of a Kirker Tour Lecturer


  • Day 1 - Fly to Oporto

    We fly to Oporto and transfer to our centrally located hotel, the 4* Hotel Carris Ribeira for a two night stay.
  • Day 2 - The banks of the Douro

    Our first day begins in Oporto itself, spread out along the banks of the Douro. We will have a panoramic tour of the city and see the spot where Wellington made his daring assault across the river in 1809. Later we drive to the battlefields close to the city where The Iron Duke won his unexpected victory over Marshal Soult’s occupying force. We will enjoy a port tasting, followed by dinner, in the elegant Taylor’s Port Wine lodge.
  • Day 3 - Scenic railway and Pinhão

    Today we travel on the scenic railway which skirts the River Douro as far as the town of Pinhão, where we spend a night in the 4* Vintage House. This charming property is set on the river bank in the heart of the UNESCO protected Douro Valley wine region.
  • Day 4 - Ciudad Rodrigo

    Leaving Pinhão, we cross into Spain and drive to the small city of Ciudad Rodrigo, a key border fortress during the Peninsular Wars and the site of two major sieges. In 1810, MarshalLeaving Pinhão, we cross into Spain and drive to the small city of Ciudad Rodrigo, a key border fortress during the Peninsular Wars and the site of two major sieges. In 1810, Marshal Ney took the city for the French after a costly battle which delayed the French invasion of Portugal significantly, whilst in 1812 Wellington stormed the city, opening up the route into French-held northern Spain for his Allied force. We stay in the historic Parador of Ciudad Rodrigo for two nights.
  • Day 5 - The open countryside

    We will explore the countryside today, visiting all the important sites of key battlegrounds. The fortress of Almeida guarded one of the major roads between Spain and Portugal and was besieged by both sides, whilst the surrounding region became a strategic battleground; we will visit the Côa Valley, Fuentes de Oñoro and Barba del Puerco.
  • Day 6 - Salamanca

    Today we travel to the beautiful city of Salamanca, where we stay for the final two nights at the 4* Parador. The Battle of Salamanca was a decisive moment and cemented Wellington’s reputation as a master tactician, leading to the eventual capture of Madrid.
  • Day 7 - Discovering Salamanca

    As well as a crucial strategic landmark, Salamanca is also one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, and our visit today will explore the cityscape of tiled roofs, Gothic churches and elegant squares. We will see the the magnificent Plaza Mayor, Patio de las Escuelas, the university and both the new and old cathedrals.
  • Day 8 - Departure Day

    We drive to Madrid airport for our flight back to London.

Flight Details

Flights with TAP (outbound) & Easyjet (inbound):
Depart London Gatwick 12.00 arrive Oporto 14:20
Depart Madrid 16.35 arrive London Gatwick 18.00



Departure Dates and Prices

30 Oct 2023

Status Available

Price from£2889

Single Supp.£560

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Included Hotels


The Vintage House
Highly Recommended
The Douro Valley, Portugal, Europe

The small, unspoilt town of Pinhao is in the heart of the wine-growing countryside, a scenic two hour drive from Oporto. It can also be reached using the Douro railway line that runs alongside the river. Located in the town, The Vintage House is a charming hotel that sits in gardens surrounded by famous vineyards.

Hugh Macdonald-Buchanan

Hugh MacDonald-Buchanan

Tour Leader

More Info

Recent Testimonials

The Duke of Wellington & the Peninsular War

By Mr & Mrs W, Middlesex, 04 February 2019

Our holiday was superb! No wonder Hugh MacDonald-Buchanan is in such demand. He made sure we learned a lot, but also had free time. He was also patient, erudite and flexible beyone our wildest dreams. Thank you. 

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