Book a 2018 holiday before 31 July and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 14 dinners
Marvel at the lush green vistas and striking Atlantic coastline of Galicia, as they unfurl before you on this leisurely scenic tour before relaxing on board a river cruise through the breathtakingly beautiful Douro Valley.
Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an extension
Fly to Oporto where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for one night.
After breakfast, start the day with a walking tour of Oporto’s city centre. This is the second largest city in Portugal, located along the Douro River estuary in northern Portugal, registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The ''Cidade Invicta'' or the city from where the country originally expanded, is nowadays famed not only for the Port wine cellars, one of which you will visit today, but also for several monuments, museums, churches, bridges, markets, fairs, green spaces and popular dynamics. Continue to the Rias Bajas (lower bays) area, stop to enjoy the fantastic natural setting of the city of Vigo, before arriving at your accommodation for the next five nights.
After breakfast depart to visit Santiago de Compostela, the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain. The old city quarters have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and they are home to St James’ Cathedral, the destination of the Camino de Santiago (the pilgrimage route of St James’). Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Discover the Rias Bajas region heading north to the charming fishing village of O Grove for a delightful included boat trip to taste some of the local delicacies such as oysters and mussels. Cross the O Grove bridge to the island of La Toja and admire the tranquil, pretty gardens and spectacular coastal scenery. From here, head back to Combarro enjoying the unique ambience of this traditional fishing village, before continuing to Poio for a visit to the Monastery, which in 1548 became a college of theology and now houses the largest library in Galicia. The day ends in Pontevedra, a city rich in historical and religious heritage, where the included sightseeing tour will introduce you to the city's fascinating monuments before returning to your hotel.
Today journey to La Coruña, the 'Balcony over the Atlantic'. The city has its origins in sea trade and its icon is the Tower of Hercules, a roman lighthouse still guiding seamen to this day. La Coruña is full of contrasts, with elements of the shipping trade that have remained unchanged for years set side by side with a modern, vibrant city laden with shops, galleries, cafés and restaurants. The included city tour with a local guide will acquaint you with the highlights.
Enjoy an excursion along the Atlantic Coast to Finisterre, often called 'the end of the earth' because of its position as one of the westernmost points on the European mainland. This route offers up some truly stunning coastal scenery; a blend of cliffs and rocks, white sandy beaches and lush marshlands.
Check out from the hotel in Rias Bajas today and head first to Ourense, a tranquil city made up of narrow streets, pretty squares and pleasant gardens. A local guide will show you many interesting religious buildings of varying styles with the pinnacle being the 12th century Cathedral and the thermal springs dating back to Roman times.. Continue to Cañon de Sil, an impressive canyon which is hundreds of metres deep affording incredible views. Explore the villages and monasteries that lie on its ridges before continuing to Oporto for the night.
Transfer to Oporto and your ship for embarkation. This evening, an optional excursion to see Oporto by night is available.
After breakfast, there will be an optional guided tour of medieval Oporto, Portugal's second largest city. Venture the steep, winding lanes of the town, edged by grand archways and magnificent churches, before travelling to Vila Nova de Gaia. Visit one of the producers of the port wine that the region is famous for, followed by wine tasting. Enjoy a free afternoon to discover Oporto at leisure. After dinner, there will be a folk evening on board.
The morning is yours to discover Oporto at leisure or for you to take an optional excursion to Guimarães. The birthplace of Afonso Henriques, the first independent king of Portugal. Guimarães is renowned for its historical treasures including many museums. Return on board and cruise to Régua and pass through the gigantic lock at Carrapatello. Perhaps enjoy a stroll through Régua by night.
This morning, enjoy an optional excursion to Vila Real for a visit to the beautiful manor and gardens of Solar de Mateus. In the afternoon, rejoin your ship in Pinhão, the geographical centre of the demarcated port wine making region. Later, your ship continues cruising amidst the steep, terraced vineyards that line the banks of the river, en route to Vega de Teron. Enjoy a flamenco evening on board.
After breakfast, there is a full day optional excursion to the Spanish city of Salamanca, home to one of the oldest universities in the world. The city has been well-preserved and has beautiful stone-built noblemen's houses, convents and palaces scattered among the faculty buildings. The architecture reflects its Roman, Arabic and Christian past, and it is also said to have the most impressive town square in the whole of Spain
Continue your journey through the stunning countryside of the Douro Valley, arriving in Ferradosa after lunch. There is an optional excursion in the afternoon that takes you through vineyards where grapes are grown for the production of local wines before heading to a Quinta to taste Port wine. Rejoin the ship in Pinhão before your Gala evening tonight.
This morning, there is an optional excursion to the ancient town of Lamego, 12km from the banks of the Douro. This includes a visit to the Nossa Senhora dos Remedios sanctuary, 600m above the town, the medieval castle, the church of Almacave with its azulejo lined walls and gilded woodwork on the altars, and the Cathedral. After lunch on board, the ship continues its journey to Oporto. Tonight, there is a fado evening on board, where you can hear the traditional songs of Lisbon.
After breakfast, disembark your ship and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your stay in Porto with 2 nights at the Hotel Teatro or 7 nights at the Axis Ofir situated against a long sandy beach near the Northern Littoral Natural Park.
Tour hotels will be as specified or a similar standard.
The following cruise optional excursion package can be purchased at the time of booking from £248 per person and includes:
Day 1: 'Oporto by night' excursion
Day 2: Guided city tour including Palacio da Bolsa and San Francisco Church
Day 3: City visit
Day 4: City tour and visit to Solar de Mateus manor and gardens with a 'cristas de galo' tasting
Day 15: City visit including cathedral and university
Sao Salvador da Mundo
Day 6: 'Wines of Porto' vineyards route and wine tasting
Day 7: Guided tour
Note: All optional excursions are subject to change and a minimum number of participants are required for them to operate.
Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an optional excursion package.
The MS Fernao de Magalhaes sails passengers along the Douro valley in Portugal and is known well as one of the finest canyons in Europe with it's breathtaking scenery. The 3 deck ship was built in 2003 and is 75m long and 11.4m wide. She can accommodate up to 142 passengers comfortably in the 72 cabins onboard.
All cabins are located above water level and offer panoramic views of the scenery. Spacious and comfortable, they offer guests twin or a double bed, with a bathroom including a shower, WC and washbasin, and with towels provided onboard. They are also equipped with satellite television, radio, hairdryer and safe. The cabins located on the upper deck have large picture windows.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for- like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating holiday adventures since 1961. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.