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Flavors of Portugal and Spain

Journey through the Douro River Valley Aboard a Premier River Vessel


From Porto to Madrid, cruise through one of Europe’s loveliest landscapes of vineyards, dramatic gorges, and steeply terraced hillsides. In Porto, stroll the streets of this beautiful “city of bridges”—the gateway to the Douro River Valley and a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its rambling vineyards and charming quintas clinging to the steep sides of the river. Taste wines from these vineyards and discover Portuguese winemaking traditions before visiting the incredible Mateus Palace and Gardens, the stunning Pinhão Railway Station, and Spain’s “white village,” the Castelo Rodrigo. Optional pre- and post-cruise Land Programs to Lisbon and Madrid are available at an additional charge.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.


Porto to Vega de Terró Itinerary

Day 1
Porto, Portugal / Embarkation

Embark your ship in Porto today. This evening, meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner. The ship moors overnight in Porto.

Day 2

Your sightseeing tour of Porto reveals 16th-century arcaded buildings, Baroque churches, and Porto’s historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll see the cathedral, one of the city’s oldest monuments, the main square, ringed with shops and cafes, 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 wine, Portugal’s most renowned contribution to the world of wine. For a more vigorous activity, you can take a city hike, and then explore the old harbor quarter, passing through the medieval streets of Porto.

Day 3
Porto / Entre-Os-Rios

After some free time on your own in the colorful “City of Bridges,” the ship will sail to Entre-Os-Rios, where you’ll enjoy dinner at a local quinta to taste a traditional home-cooked meal.

Day 4

Venture to the town of Lamego, where you’ll see the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies on a city tour or climb the 686-step Holy Staircase, beautifully decorated with white and blue tiles, to the top on a guided hike. Whichever excursion you choose, you’ll finish with a tasting of local specialties such as bôlas de lamego, bread filled with smoked ham, presunto, a type of dry-cured ham, and espumante, a Portuguese sparkling wine.

Day 5
Régua / Pinhão

Today you'll visit Mateus Palace and Gardens, where you can admire the elegant 16th- to 18th- century furnishings and spend some time exploring the palace’s magnificent gardens, which feature perfectly manicured topiary work and an impressive cedar tunnel. Later in the day, cruise along the scenic Douro to Pinhão, where a wine tasting will be waiting for you in a local quinta.

Day 6

Embark on a leisurely walk to the charming Pinhão Railway Station, a stunning train station along the Douro Line, one of the most iconic rail journeys in Portugal. The station’s main building is revered for its 25 tile panels, all in shades of blue, which depict scenes from the Douro region. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional meal with wine tasting and local entertainment at Quinta da Avessada. There is a fascinating interactive museum here commemorating the history and culture of wine in the Alto Douro region where you can learn about the various stages of wine production. Later, you’ll have some free time on your own to enjoy the town.

Day 7
Vega de Terró, Spain

Take in the beautiful scenery as you venture to Castelo Rodrigo, known as the “White Village” because of its almond trees. From here, you’ll have expansive views of the surrounding area, even as far away as Spain. You can join a walking tour through the medieval streets past houses and buildings with their beautiful 16th-century facades and Manueline style windows or, if you prefer something more active, you can hike to the town. No matter which tour you choose, you’ll end the day by tasting local specialties such as almonds, cheese, bread and wine.

Day 8
Vega de Terró / Disembarkation

Disembark your cruise in Vega de Terrón.

Vega de Terró to Porto Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Vega de Terrón, Spain / Embarkation
Day 2 Vega de Terrón
Day 3 Pinhão
Day 4 Régua
Day 5 Régua
Day 6 Entre-os-Rios / Porto
Day 7 Porto
Day 8 Porto / Disembarkation


Additional 3-night Lisbon pre-cruise, 3-night Madrid post-cruise from $1800

Day 1
Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal

Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day and evening is free to explore on your own.

Day 2

One of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Lisbon sprawls across several hills along the Tagus River. See Belem Tower, a fortified 4-story tower made of limestone, and visit the Late Gothic Jerónimos Monastery, the burial place of many Portuguese kings and heroes. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the city’s other top sights, such as the Castle of São Jorge or the Santa Justa Elevator that overlooks the castle, river and Rossio Square...B

Day 3

Enjoy an excursion to Serra de Sintra, former home of the Portuguese royal family, one of the most picturesque mountain villages in Portugal and a source of inspiration for generations of poets. You will have a guided tour of the Pena National Palace, a fairy tale castle from Portugal’s Romantic period, situated high up on a rocky peak...B

Day 4
Lisbon / Porto / Embarkation

Check out of your hotel and take a motorcoach ride through the Portuguese countryside. Stop in Tomar and visit the castle of the Knights Templar, the walls of which envelop the elaborate Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site from the 12th century boasting spectacular frescoes and azulejos (iconic blue painted tiles). Afterwards, continue to Porto where you'll board your ship...BD

Days 4-11
Cruise-Only Program

The Cruise-Only Program begins with embarkation on Day 4 in Porto and disembarks in Vega Terron, Spain on Day 11.

Day 11
Vega Terron / Disembarkation / Madrid

You will disembark your ship and head off for a full-day tour of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the center of Spain’s Castilla y León region. Your guided city tour includes the university buildings, the 12th-century Romanesque church of San Martin, the House of Shells, and also some free time to explore the city on your own. Later, you will be transferred to Madrid and check in to your hotel...B

Day 12

Today you will have a guided tour of Madrid, the capital and largest city in Spain. Known for its many historic districts as well as its modern infrastructure, the city’s top landmarks include the elaborate Royal Palace, Buen Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor, and world-renowned art galleries such as the Prado Museum and Centro de Arte Reina Sofia...B

Day 13

Enjoy an unforgettable excursion to the walled city of Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient capital of Spain. Populated since pre-Roman times, the city’s landmarks include the Alcázar, Cathedral of Toledo and the El Greco Museum...B

Day 14
Depart Madrid

Bid farewell to Madrid as you prepare for your homeward flight...B

Please call for details on the pre- and post-cruise Land Program for the reverse itinerary




Explore Porto, tasting port wines and savoring rich local specialties
Cruise the Douro River, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Optional pre- and post-cruise options available
Visit Spain's spectacular Castelo Rodrigo with its 16th-century facades


Length: 8 days
Cost From: $3399  
Arrive: Porto, Portugal (or reverse)
Depart: Vega Terron, Spain (or reverse)
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a premium river vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship
Activity: River Cruising, Cultural Adventures, Walking, Photography
Trip Level:

8-day cruise, cultural exploration and walking tours