Legends of the Douro Valley -
Portugal & Northern Spain»
Exclusive Tour by Vanguartour – Summer 2019
Premium class tour, groups of up to 06 -15 people accompanied by a qualified English guide.
21/06 + 20/09 + 04/10
Friday. Departure to Lisbon. Arrival transfer and accommodation at the centrally located HOTEL REAL PALACIO 5* - Free day in Lisbon for shopping and exploring by foot.
Saturday. Breakfast at the Hotel. Afternoon 4 hour excursion in Lisbon: The best viewpoints in Lisbon – Сastelo Sao Jeorge, Principe Real, Cristo Rei.
We will offer you a selection of the best prospects and panoramas of the city where you can enjoy with great pleasure our beautiful Lisbon through its mesmerizing viewpoints.
Immerse yourselves in history. Lisbon, city of the Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs will come to life for you. We will get you acquainted with the modern city and its inhabitants as well as feeling Lisbon´s energy and rhythm. From the viewing platform of the statue of Jesus Christ at the Sanctuary of Christ the King is the best where the best panorama of the entire city is: Historical & Modern Lisbon, The Tagus River bay and the horizon of the endless Atlantic Ocean.
The Eduardo VII viewpoint showcases three main historical districts of the city and from Principe Real you will get to see the cradle of Lisbon, the old district of Alfama. The Castelo de São Jorge is located on the highest hill of the city, right in the heart of Lisbon, allowing an incredible 360º (degree) panorama high up from the high fortress walls. The Portas do Sol (Gateway to the sun) viewpoint offers an unforgettable picture-perfect panoramic view revealing the main pantheon of Portugal, the ancient port district and the pearl of Lisbon – The Monastery of St. Vincent.
Lisbon, the city of hills and unforgettable panoramas!
Sunday. Breakfast at the Hotel. A day of sightseeing dedicated to the history of the Order of the Templars.
Travel along the Ocean, past the country's oldest aristocratic resorts, Cascais and Estoril, to the fabulous city of Sintra where this tour starts. Sintra, a magical city, which became a favourite resort area of the aristocracy in the eighteenth century. Here you'll discover the "esoteric" world of Quinta da Regaleira, an estate from the early XX century classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the "Cultural Landscape of Sintra” known for its palace and park. The secret symbols found on property will intrigue you throughout the day.
The tour commences in Tomar, the city of Knights, we arrive at the Convent of the Order of Christ (Convento de Cristo), built and rebuilt over several centuries. Here you can enjoy the elegance of the "Manueline" style with its striking ex-libris, its famous chapterhouse window. The Convent of the Order of Christ in Tomar is one of Portugal's most important historical and artistic monuments and has been in the World Heritage list of UNESCO since 1983.
- The Old Charola Chapel, XII century, built in the image of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
- One of the best examples of medieval castle-fortification architecture.
-Major "Manueline" achievment (this is where the ex-libris is located - an amazingly large and beautiful window with fantastic sculptured organic and twisted rope forms, in the hall of the Chapter of the Monastery).
- The special history of the Order of the Templars in Portugal.
The Convent of the Order of Christ (Convento de Cristo) is truly a unique place.
Dinner: Suckling Pig accompanied by wines of the Bairrada region. Accomodation at the Luso Thermal resort: HOTEL CURIA PALACE & SPA 4* -
Monday. Breakfast. The next three days will be entirely devoted to northern Portugal with its amazing landscapes and wines of the Douro Valley (including Port).
Route: Curia – Viseu – Lamego – Regua. The road, famous for its enchanting landscapes which leads us from the endless Atlantic to the highest mountain range of Portugal – Serra da Estrela. This is where the “real” Portugal is, with another lifestyle, rhythm and a unique relationship between people.
First, a lively city with small streets, old cathedral, old mansions, and gates with emblems of granite , will surely take you back in time.
Viseu is also the centre of an important wine-growing region, the Dão wine region, where the Dão wines are produced, the pride of Portugal. Grão Vasco, the famous and greatest Portuguese artist of the 16th century was born here. A hotel, restaurant, street, museum and even regional wines were named after him. At the museum, you can get acquainted with this his artwork.
Next, Lamego, a city in the Douro province with an ancient and rich history. Pass through the historic centre of the city where you will see the the cathedral with its unique granite staircase decorated with a panel of tiles, leading right up to the temple of Nosso Senhor dos Remédios. Moving along is Régua, the “capital of port”. It is here, in the most picturesque region of the Douro River Valley, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, grapes are grown from which port wine is produced. Here you will definitely get to know it´s production process.
Lamego is also known for its smoked meats and ham. You can taste some of these in one of their typical shops accompanied by red wine from this region.
Accomodation for 2 nights at the HOTEL REGUA DOURO 4*
Tuesday. Breakfast at the hotel. Douro Valley
Vila Real - The name translates as "royal city". The city has maintained many houses with their original coats of arms. Balconies with wrought-iron bars and windows framed in granite form a beautiful gallery, which is a model of native Portuguese civil architecture. Brave men left to discover new lands from here. The production of the popular rose wine "Mateus Rose" takes place here. Vila Real is also famous for its handicrafts: the famous “black ceramics” and flax products throughout the country, as well as the amazing lace ornaments “Filigree” made of silver and gold wire.
At the beautiful Quinta do Bomfim you will taste the dry wines of the Douro Valley. Right after, with a glass of port in your hand, take a pleasant cruise along the river along the vineyards protected by UNESCO.
Wednesday - Breakfast at the hotel. Departure along the great route - Mesao frio, Amarante, Quinta da Aveleda, Porto.
Mesão Frio - A vast amphitheater facing the Douro River. There is a feeling that you are in a historical and medieval setting with complete silence. Far from the pollution and excitement of big cities, experience the most authentic and calm reunion with nature.Between the mountains and valleys of infinite vegetation, in the most amazing and almost unexplored paths, you will find an atmosphere of relaxation and unique beauty.
Amarante is a city of lovers. It´s story is covered in mystery. The city is inspired by its natural beauty and genuine character. Compact historical center and many unique landscapes. People come here to ask a Saint to help find a good bride or groom. Experience the majestic bridge over the river Tamega, old streets and delicious sweets in local cafes.
Quinta Aveleda - one of the most famous manufacturers of "green wine" dating back to the 16th century. The date of foundation of the winery is 1671. Since that time, she is the pride of the Guedes family. The master's house, a romantic park with gazebos, ponds and shady avenues, exotic plants and peacocks strolling along the park's ornate paths fascinate visitors. Strolling through the park, you will certainly enjoy the "green wine" and taste the most delicate cheeses.
Accommodation for 2 nights at the BESSA PORTO 4*-
Thursday - Breakfast at the Hotel. Departure to Spain following the footsteps of the Piligrims of Santiago de Compostela.
Day trip to Galicia, one of the most picturesque regions of Spain, to the city of Santiago de Compostela. An amazing city, with covered granite medieval streets, which formed around the cathedral, erected after the miraculous discovery of the remains of the Apostle James, where pilgrims from all over the World still go. Excursion and free time. Lunch in a typical restaurant - “Pilgrim menu”.
This city is one of the most important holy places of the Christian world. Here every street, square and nooks and crannies harbors the atmosphere of legend and magic.
The main attraction of the city is the Cathedral. The cherished goal of pilgrims, the discovery of art lovers, an undeniable religious symbol - for many the most magnificent cathedral in the world. Santiago de Compostela is worth a visit only because of this Cathedral.
The first pilgrims reached out to bow to the tomb of the Apostle James in the 10th century. In those days, Christians, more than ever sincerely, sought to get rid of the sins that burdened their conscience, so that they could boldly appear at the Last Judgment. It is believed that the one who puts his hands on the shoulders of St. James, the patron of all pilgrims, knows true grace. We will worship the relics of St. Jacob and lay our hands on his shoulders, make a wish. In this place dreams come true!
The numerous squares, monasteries and churches, one of the oldest universities in Spain, colorful houses and parks create a unique look to this city.
Seafood Galicia - another one of the reasons why to plan a trip to this city. In the seafood kingdom, the most unsurpassed local cuisine is the Galician-style octopus, cooked with red pepper and olive oil - Pulpo a la Gallega. Fine cheeses, Rioja wine and the famous dessert - Santiago cake. All this can be tasted at numerous local restaurants. Take a look at one of them and enjoy the pilgrim’s lunch.
The famous jewels of silver and black agate - the sacred stone of Galicia - are the pride of Santiago de Compostela.
Return to Portugal. Overnight in Porto.
Friday - Breakfast at the Hotel. Departure in the direction of Lisbon on the route "Wonders of Portugal"
Amazing ensembles of the monasteries of Alcobaca and Batalha will undoubtedly impress your imagination: the ascetic Alcobaca XIIc. and openwork Batalha XIV-XVvv. were declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Monuments. Obidos, a tiny fairy-tale town inside a city wall, is often a “living” backdrop for theater performances, concerts and festivals.
Obidos is one of the most "fabulous" cities in Portugal. Inside the city wall, from the main gate to the castle, stretch several shopping streets with traditional low-rise houses, entwined with roses and wisteria. Outside the gates of the castle, knightly tournaments, a chocolate festival and right before Christmas a Santa Claus village is arranged. Tasting of “Ginga” a cherry homeland liqueur in Obidos.
Transfer to the airport of Lisbon and departure.
During the tour, the guide will offer typical local restaurants with regional cuisine for lunch or dinner (the price of the tour includes only what is stated in the description)
Check in on Friday (7 Nights)
Visits to the castles are not included in the price – approx. 60 euros per person
ATTENTION! Porto and Lisbon have a tourist city tax of 2 euros per day per person to be paid locally at the hotel upon arrival.