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Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley

Operated by: Uniworld River Cruises

11 Days from $2,599 per person
Ribiera, Porto

Countries Visited

Portugal, Spain

Locations Visited

Guimaraes, Entre-os-Rios, Regua, Pinhao, Barca d'Alva, Castelo, Pocinho, Ve… more Guimaraes, Entre-os-Rios, Regua, Pinhao, Barca d'Alva, Castelo, Pocinho, Vega de Terron, Salamanca
  1. Day 1 Lisbon

    Arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel.

    hotel Corinthia Hotel Lisbon
  2. Day 2 Lisbon Sightseeing

    Everything old is new again in the Portuguese capital, which is undergoing a remarkable rebirth of late. Get to know this hilly metropolis with a city tour that shows you all the top sights and treats you to an iconic, locally-made pastry with an intriguing tale all its own. Vibrant, colorful and picturesque, Lisbon will continually surprise you. Glorious historic architecture reflects the wealth brought in during the “Age of Discovery,” when the Portuguese owned the seas, but it is also a modern center of finance and international trade.

    Featured Excursion:
    Lisbon city tour

    Lisbon city tour
    When you gaze out at the Tagus River, tile-roofed houses climbing the hills behind you, you are looking at the port where Portugal’s empire began. Here the kings of the newly independent nation launched an age of exploration—and then poured the profits of their new trade routes and colonies into their capital. Do you see the square tower rising from the water? Belém (the name comes from Bethlehem) Tower, built in the 16th century to guard the port, has housed cannons, prisoners and royalty over the centuries; its ornamented façade might strike you as unusual for a fortress, but that is typical of Lisbon—even fortresses have beautiful ornamentation. Another landmark nearby, the 20th-century Monument to the Discoveries, commemorates these voyagers and their founding patron, Prince Henry the Navigator. Leave the riverfront to embark on your own voyage of discovery: Head inland a short distance to the Hieronymites Monastery, which will have you reaching for your camera. A masterpiece of Manueline architecture—the Portuguese late-Gothic style is named for King Manuel I—erected during the 16th century and decorated with sculptures and elaborate scrollwork, Hieronymites Monastery is another shining example of Portugal’s golden era. Note: Please note that we do not visit the cloisters at Hieronymites Monastery.

    Not all landmarks are architectural, however. Take a break and enjoy one of the city’s iconic pastries, the cream custard tart known as pasteis de nata, at Pasteis de Belém, which has been baking these yummy treats since 1837, before experiencing the rest of your panoramic motorcoach tour. It will include the Rossio—the busiest square in Lisbon—and the Alfama district, the Old Town neighborhood that survived the devastating 1755 earthquake.

    Your local guide will make suggestions for lunch. You can choose to remain downtown and explore on your own or return to the hotel. Shuttles are available to take you to and from the hotel this afternoon, which is yours to spend as you please.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Corinthia Hotel Lisbon
  3. Day 3 Lisbon Free Time

    Experience your own “Age of Discovery” with a full day to explore Lisbon however you wish. Lisbon is yours to explore today. Get out and see the city on your own. Ride the famous iron elevator from the Baixa district up to the Bairro Alto, the cultural and bohemian heart of Lisbon, and catch a fantastic view of the city from the vantage point of São Pedro de Alcantara Belvedere. Once you reach Bairro Alto, head for São Roque, whose plain façade hides a magnificent baroque interior. The city hosts remarkable museums and excellent shopping. Your options at Centro Comercial Colombo, the biggest mall in the Iberian Peninsula, are seemingly limitless. Or try a flea market, perhaps the Campo de Santa Clara, if you prefer to hunt for unique treasures. Natives of Lisbon boast that they have the best food in the world; the many cafés and taverns tempt you to verify that claim.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Corinthia Hotel Lisbon
  4. Day 4 Lisbon, Coimbra, Transfer to Porto (Embark)

    En route to Porto, you’ll stop in Coimbra, home to an ancient university and a lavish baroque library considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Admire the lingering traces of the town’s Moorish and Roman past after sitting down to a traditional Portuguese lunch. You’ll check out of your Lisbon hotel and board a motorcoach, heading north through Portugal’s picturesque countryside toward Porto—but you’ll stop in Coimbra, Portugal’s first capital, before you reach the port city at the mouth of the Douro.

    Featured Excursion:
    Coimbra tour with Joanina Library visit and family-style lunch

    Coimbra tour with Joanina Library visit and family-style lunch
    Drive through scenic cork forests and verdant fields en route to Coimbra, Portugal’s third-largest city and the birthplace of six of the country’s kings—and home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the University of Coimbra, whose historic buildings crowd the hill above the Mondego River. A one-time royal palace, the university enjoyed the kings’ patronage for centuries, and one king, João V, endowed it with a lavish baroque jewel of a library, the Joanina. Housing more than 300,000 books, including some from the 12th century, it is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. As a visitor, you and your small group will be admitted into rooms with exquisitely carved and lacquered shelving, splendid ceiling frescoes and ornately gilded coats of arms. These library rooms are simply astonishing.

    After seeing a little of the town itself, which boasts Moorish and Roman architectural remnants, you’ll stop at a local family-run restaurant for a traditional Portuguese lunch, starting with Portugal’s iconic soup, caldo verde. Then you’ll continue straight into the heart of Porto, where you will board your ship. Unpack, check out the ship’s amenities and prepare to take in some scenic delights as you cruise away from Porto. Five famous bridges link Porto to Vila Nova da Gaia, including the graceful iron arches of Dom Luis I, and you’ll sail under all of them as you enter the mouth of the Douro and drift past Porto on your way to some of the loveliest scenery Portugal has to offer.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  5. Day 5 Porto, cruising the Douro River, Entre-os-Rios

    There’s much more to Portugal’s second city than its eponymous fortified wine—historic architecture, cutting-edge design, fabulous food and wine, and a hip, laid-back vibe. Discover its many charms with your choice of distinctively different tours today. Portugal’s second city (after Lisbon), Porto gave its name to the nation’s most famous export, Port wine, and to the nation itself. The city is a fascinating combination of historic buildings and cutting-edge architecture, tradition and vivacious modernity. You must choose between two distinctive—and distinctively Portuguese—ways to explore Porto. Your ship sets sail after your tour, cruising up the Douro toward Porto Antigo.

    In the evening, a special Gala Dinner will be prepared for you.

    Choice of Porto city tour or “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tour

    Porto city tour
    Of course, it is the longtime hub of the Port wine trade, but Porto is also much more. Colorful multistory townhouses sheathe the hills that climb precipitously from the Douro estuary, medieval alleys snake through UNESCO-designated neighborhoods enclosed by 14th-century walls—which were erected on Roman foundations—and baroque church towers crown the hilltops. The Clérigos Tower is an unmistakable landmark, visible from almost anywhere in the Old Town—in fact, at one time sailors used it as a guide to navigate their way through the estuary. Get a feel for this vibrant town, which is simultaneously profoundly urban and moodily romantic, with a panoramic tour. Take in the UNESCO-designated, 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, seeing its famous Moorish Revival–style Arab Room, before visiting Porto’s austere hilltop cathedral and the bustling pedestrian shopping street, Santa Catarina.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Welcome Dinner
  6. Day 6 Cruising the Douro River, Régua, Pinhão

    As you cruise along the river today, take note of the little chapels you see along the banks. Though the river is slow and calm now that it has been tamed by dams, it was once extremely hazardous. These tiny chapels mark spots where entire rabelo boat crews perished attempting to get their cargo of Port wine to Porto. Today we learn about wine, which has been cultivated in the Douro River Valley since ancient Roman times. Get a crash course on the history of Port during your visit to the Douro Museum.

    Featured Excursions:
    Douro Museum
    Dinner at Quinta da Avessada wine estate

    Douro Museum
    The Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine-growing district in Europe. Why? What makes Port the wine it is? Learn about the region’s unique geology and winemaking history—Romans planted vines in this region 2,000 years ago—at the Douro Museum. Exhibits laid out in buildings that were once home to Port winemaker Real Companhia Velha let you see how the process of making Port evolved over the centuries: You’ll find the tools of the trade and even a rabelo (a boat that carried wine from the vineyards to Porto) on display. An interactive map shows where the quintas are and how the region developed; and by sniffing vials of concentrated fragrance, you can learn to identify the many aromas that a good Port exhibits. It’s fun and informative—plus you can sample some Port.

    Dinner at Quinta da Avessada wine estate
    Travel up winding roads with spectacular views—and breath-stealing drop-offs—to the hilltop winery Quinta da Avessada. Built a century ago, this quinta produces delicious Moscatels, a wine that is very popular in Portugal; in fact, it’s so popular that most of it is consumed within the country—only about 10 percent of it is exported. Luis Barros, who was determined to revive both his family vineyard and his village when he took over the management of Quinta de Avessada a few years ago, is eager to welcome visitors and help them learn how the sweet, floral Muscat grapes are grown in this region’s extreme climate.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  7. Day 7 Pinhão, Vega de Terrón

    Feel the centuries fall away as your ship winds its way through the pristine, dramatic, UNESCO-protected landscapes of the Douro River Valley. Head ashore for a choice of excursions, a tasting at a prestigious port wine estate or a vineyard hike with a wine tasting at a local quinta.

    Choice of Quinta do Seixo guided tour with tasting or Vineyard hike and wine tasting at a local quinta

    Quinta do Seixo guided tour with tasting
    As you journey through the hills to Quinta do Seixo, a prestigious Port wine estate, you will see a unique landscape that has been shaped by wine growers for two millennia. The stone terraces curving around the steep slopes hold soil that is largely the creation of human intervention: People have laboriously broken up the native silver schist stone over the centuries and turned it into usable sandy earth; it’s called “anthroposoil.” The process of producing Port wine is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity; the steepness of the slopes requires that grape vines be tended almost entirely by hand, but the wine itself is made using ultramodern techniques. You’ll tour the state-of-the-art facility and sample some exceptional Ports in a tasting room whose wall of windows looks out over spectacular views of the Douro Valley.

    Vineyard hike and wine tasting at a local quinta
    Although many Port wine estates are owned by international corporations nowadays, the tradition of the family-owned estate remains strong. Start this expedition in pretty Pinhão, heading up into the hills to a family-owned quinta, where you can get a firsthand look at how the vineyards are tended and grapes harvested. Although some 80 varieties of grapes are approved for the creation of Port, six grape varieties dominate. Discover which ones are grown here and learn why.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  8. Day 8 Vega de Terrón (Salamanca), Barca d’Alva

    What adventures await you in Spain today? The ship docks near the Spanish border today, where you may head across the country to the historic university town of Salamanca—the “Golden City”—famous for its sand-colored buildings and abundance of churches.

    Featured Excursion: Salamanca—the Golden City and Spain's oldest university

    Salamanca—the Golden City and Spain's oldest university
    Called the “Golden City” for its tawny sandstone buildings, Salamanca boasts a dozen beautiful and historic churches, including two cathedrals: the new one, built in the early 16th century, and the Old Cathedral, which dates to the 12th century and can only be entered from the New Cathedral. Walk with your guide through Plaza Mayor, lined with wonderful baroque buildings, to the university, which was founded by Alfonso IX in 1218. The ornate plateresque façade is stunning, and the interior rooms you see are equally beautiful. Salamanca’s food hall is one of Spain’s best, as you will discover when you sample chorizos, cheese, olive oil and ham with your guide’s assistance. You have time to browse through the shops on Rua Mayor and enjoy a tapas lunch on your own (your guide can recommend some great places to dine).

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  9. Day 9 Barca d’Alva, Régua

    A tiny village surrounded by mountains, Barca d’Alva is your base for today's adventures. Go medieval today at Castelo Rodrigo, both the name of a hilltop castle as well as the village that surrounds it. It has been singled out as one of Portugal’s 12 historic villages for its medieval beauty. The view from the top is incredible and the village is a charming place to ramble, relax and replenish. Or, if you wish, you can also lace up your hiking boots and unleash your inner Indiana Jones with an up-close gander at some prehistoric carvings during a visit to Portugal’s first archaeological park, Foz Côa.

    Choice of Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley or Castelo Rodrigo

    Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley
    Ready for an expedition worthy of Indiana Jones? Today’s your chance. In the 1990s, scouting for a proposed dam project on the Côa River revealed an astonishing collection of prehistoric carvings, among them horses, deer and aurochs that span eons. The oldest images etched into the schist walls around the river date to approximately 22,000 to 20,000 BC, with younger carvings ranging from the Epipaleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze ages to the 17th century—images that represent human interaction with the natural world for more than 30,000 years. Your visit starts at the Côa Museum, where you can see both reproduction and original rock art and learn about the amazing area. Then you can go out with your knowledgeable guide into the valley to see these sites for yourself. It will be an illuminating adventure. Note: Exploring these sites will require sturdy hiking footwear and considerable physical fitness: You’ll take a four-wheel drive down dirt roads and hike into rocky and hard-to-access locations.

    Castelo Rodrigo
    Ride through wonderfully scenic countryside—the area is noted for its honey, which derives its flavor from the fields of wild lavender and the almond groves you’ll pass—to Castelo Rodrigo, the name of both a castle and the village that surrounds it. The castle ruins loom high atop Marofa Mountain, telling the tale of border strife and Portugal’s struggle for independence in a single structure. Construction on the citadel began in 1209 under the auspices of the king of Leon, but it became part of Portugal within a century—though its local lords sided with Spanish rulers from time to time over the next four centuries. That’s why the palace adjoining the castle stands in ruins: Outraged citizens destroyed it after its lord sided with Castile. Take in the amazing view from the ancient stone walls, then step down through the tiny cobbled lanes of the village, passing the old pillory, the Manueline church and the town’s market square. It’s not all history, of course. You’ll also get to indulge in a wine tasting and sample delicious local treats—such as honey, almonds, olive oil and cheeses—and a restored teahouse invites you to relax over a cup of tea or a cool drink.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  10. Day 10 Cruising the Douro River, Porto (Guimarães)

    Guimarães or Porto? That’s the question of the day today (you really can’t go wrong either way). Guimarães is the town where Portugal was born and its well-preserved architecture and stylish young residents make it a pleasure to visit. Or opt to explore one of Porto’s oldest neighborhoods, picturesque Ribeira, considered the soul of the city. A tough choice awaits you today: Do you venture off to historic Guimarães, Portugal’s first capital, or do you stay in Porto and explore the Ribeira district on foot.

    A special Farewell Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

    Choice of Guimarães city tour or Porto surprise discovery tour

    Guimarães city tour
    “Portugal was born here.” So the sign on the city wall proclaims. Guimarães was home to the first king of Portugal, Afonso I, who managed to win his kingdom’s independence in the 12th century from neighboring suzerains. The wonderfully well-preserved Old Town, with its unique architecture (houses here combine granite with half-timbering) and charming little plazas, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; overlooking it is the grand castle that appears on Portugal’s coat of arms. Rove with your guide from the castle toward the beautiful main square, the Largo da Oliveira, and to the splendid Monastery and Church of Our Lady of Oliveira and the 14th-century Gothic Padrão do Salado. But remember that despite these historic beauties, Guimarães has the youngest population of any city in Europe, so the pedestrian area is full of lively and fun cafés and shops.

    Porto surprise discovery tour
    Prince Henry the Navigator was born in this historic waterfront neighborhood in 1394, and, more than 600 years later, the building is still standing: It became Porto’s first customs house, which seems appropriate, considering that Prince Henry began Portugal’s international trade. Stroll with your local guide through the oldest part of the city—check out some of the Roman ruins excavated here—simply breathing in the atmosphere. It may be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s no museum: People hang their laundry from upper floors of brightly painted houses, dogs mosey down the alleys, cafés nestle under 500-year-old arches, and traditional rabelos flat-keeled sailboats that once carried barrels of Port from the vineyards to the Port cellars) bob at the quay. As lively as it is picturesque, Ribeira is indeed the soul of Porto.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Farewell Dinner
  11. Day 11 Porto (Disembark)

    You’ve experienced the best of Portugal, Spain and the pristine Douro River, but now the journey comes to a close and it’s time to disembark the ship. If your cruise/ tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Porto Airport for your flight home. Your Uniworld adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come.

    meals Breakfast
  1. Day 1 Porto (Embark)

    Arrive in Porto, the port city at the mouth of the Douro.

    meals Dinner
  2. Day 2 Porto, Cruising the Douro River, Entre-os-Rios

    There’s much more to Portugal’s second city than its eponymous fortified wine—historic architecture, cutting-edge design, fabulous food and wine, and a hip, laid-back vibe. Discover its many charms with your choice of distinctively different tours today. Portugal’s second city (after Lisbon), Porto gave its name to the nation’s most famous export, Port wine, and to the nation itself. The city is a fascinating combination of historic buildings and cutting-edge architecture, tradition and vivacious modernity. You must choose between two distinctive—and distinctively Portuguese—ways to explore Porto. Your ship sets sail after your tour, cruising up the Douro toward Entre-os-Rios.

    In the evening, a special Gala Dinner will be prepared for you.

    Choice of Porto city tour or “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tour

    Porto city tour
    Of course it is the longtime hub of the Port wine trade, but Porto is also much more. Colorful multistory townhouses sheathe the hills that climb precipitously from the Douro estuary, medieval alleys snake through UNESCO-designated neighborhoods enclosed by 14th-century walls—which were erected on Roman foundations—and baroque church towers crown the hilltops. The Clérigos Tower is an unmistakable landmark, visible from almost anywhere in the Old Town—in fact, at one time sailors used it as a guide to navigate their way through the estuary. Get a feel for this vibrant town, which is simultaneously profoundly urban and moodily romantic, with a panoramic tour. Take in the UNESCO-designated, 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, seeing its famous Moorish Revival–style Arab Room, before visiting Porto’s austere hilltop cathedral and the bustling pedestrian shopping street, Santa Catarina.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Gala Dinner
  3. Day 3 Cruising the Douro River, Régua, Pinhão

    As you cruise along the river today, take note of the little chapels you see along the banks. Though the river is slow and calm now that it has been tamed by dams, it was once extremely hazardous. These tiny chapels mark spots where entire rabelo boat crews perished attempting to get their cargo of Port wine to Porto. Today we learn about wine, which has been cultivated in the Douro River Valley since ancient Roman times. Get a crash course on the history of Port during your visit to the Douro Museum.

    Featured Excursions:
    Douro Museum
    Dinner at Quinta da Avessada wine estate

    Douro Museum
    The Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine-growing district in Europe. Why? What makes Port the wine it is? Learn about the region’s unique geology and winemaking history—Romans planted vines in this region 2,000 years ago—at the Douro Museum. Exhibits laid out in buildings that were once home to Port winemaker Real Companhia Velha let you see how the process of making Port evolved over the centuries: You’ll find the tools of the trade and even a rabelo (a boat that carried wine from the vineyards to Porto) on display. An interactive map shows where the quintas are and how the region developed; and by sniffing vials of concentrated fragrance, you can learn to identify the many aromas that a good Port exhibits. It’s fun and informative—plus you can sample some Port.

    Dinner at Quinta da Avessada wine estate
    Travel up winding roads with spectacular views—and breath-stealing drop-offs—to the hilltop winery Quinta da Avessada. Built a century ago, this quinta produces delicious Moscatels, a wine that is very popular in Portugal; in fact, it’s so popular that most of it is consumed within the country—only about 10 percent of it is exported. Luis Barros, who was determined to revive both his family vineyard and his village when he took over the management of Quinta de Avessada a few years ago, is eager to welcome visitors and help them learn how the sweet, floral Muscat grapes are grown in this region’s extreme climate. Barros’s entire family is involved in this enterprise, as you will discover over a traditional country lunch on the premises. Several family members play in the band that will entertain you during your meal. It’s a fun, lively afternoon—plus you get to taste Moscatels in the beautifully restored winery cellar.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  4. Day 4 Pinhão, Vega de Terrón

    Feel the centuries fall away as your ship winds its way through the pristine, dramatic, UNESCO-protected landscapes of the Douro River Valley. Head ashore for a choice of excursions, a tasting at a prestigious port wine estate or a vineyard hike with a wine tasting at a local quinta.

    Choice of Quinta do Seixo guided tour with tasting or Vineyard hike and wine tasting at a local quinta

    Quinta do Seixo guided tour with tasting
    As you journey through the hills to Quinta do Seixo, a prestigious Port wine estate, you will see a unique landscape that has been shaped by wine growers for two millennia. The stone terraces curving around the steep slopes hold soil that is largely the creation of human intervention: People have laboriously broken up the native silver schist stone over the centuries and turned it into usable sandy earth; it’s called “anthroposoil.” The process of producing Port wine is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity; the steepness of the slopes requires that grape vines be tended almost entirely by hand, but the wine itself is made using ultramodern techniques. You’ll tour the state-of-the-art facility and sample some exceptional Ports in a tasting room whose wall of windows looks out over spectacular views of the Douro Valley.

    Vineyard hike and wine tasting at a local quinta
    Although many Port wine estates are owned by international corporations nowadays, the tradition of the family-owned estate remains strong. Start this expedition in pretty Pinhão, heading up into the hills to a family-owned quinta, where you can get a firsthand look at how the vineyards are tended and grapes harvested. Although some 80 varieties of grapes are approved for the creation of Port, six grape varieties dominate. Discover which ones are grown here and learn why.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  5. Day 5 Vega de Terrón (Salamanca), Barca d’Alva

    What adventures await you in Spain today? The ship docks near the Spanish border today, where you may head across the country to the historic university town of Salamanca—the “Golden City”—famous for its sand-colored buildings and abundance of churches.

    Featured Excursion: Salamanca - the Golden City and Spain's oldest university

    Salamanca - the Golden City and Spain's oldest university
    Called the “Golden City” for its tawny sandstone buildings, Salamanca boasts a dozen beautiful and historic churches, including two cathedrals: the new one, built in the early 16th century, and the Old Cathedral, which dates to the 12th century and can only be entered from the New Cathedral. Walk with your guide through Plaza Mayor, lined with wonderful baroque buildings, to the university, which was founded by Alfonso IX in 1218. The ornate plateresque façade is stunning, and the interior rooms you see are equally beautiful. Salamanca’s food hall is one of Spain’s best, as you will discover when you sample chorizos, cheese, olive oil and ham with your guide’s assistance. You have time to browse through the shops on Rua Mayor and enjoy a tapas lunch on your own (your guide can recommend some great places to dine).

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  6. Day 6 Barca d’Alva, Régua

    A tiny village surrounded by mountains, Barca d’Alva is your base for today's adventures. Go medieval today at Castelo Rodrigo, both the name of a hilltop castle as well as the village that surrounds it. It has been singled out as one of Portugal’s 12 historic villages for its medieval beauty. The view from the top is incredible and the village is a charming place to ramble, relax and replenish. Or, if you wish, you can also lace up your hiking boots and unleash your inner Indiana Jones with an up-close gander at some prehistoric carvings during a visit to Portugal’s first archaeological park, Foz Côa.

    Choice of Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley or Castelo Rodrigo

    Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley
    Ready for an expedition worthy of Indiana Jones? Today’s your chance. In the 1990s, scouting for a proposed dam project on the Côa River revealed an astonishing collection of prehistoric carvings, among them horses, deer and aurochs that span eons. The oldest images etched into the schist walls around the river date to approximately 22,000 to 20,000 BC, with younger carvings ranging from the Epipaleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze ages to the 17th century—images that represent human interaction with the natural world for more than 30,000 years. Your visit starts at the Côa Museum, where you can see both reproduction and original rock art and learn about the amazing area. Then you can go out with your knowledgeable guide into the valley to see these sites for yourself. It will be an illuminating adventure. Note: Exploring these sites will require sturdy hiking footwear and considerable physical fitness: You’ll take a four-wheel drive down dirt roads and hike into rocky and hard-to-access locations.

    Castelo Rodrigo
    Ride through wonderfully scenic countryside—the area is noted for its honey, which derives its flavor from the fields of wild lavender and the almond groves you’ll pass—to Castelo Rodrigo, the name of both a castle and the village that surrounds it. The castle ruins loom high atop Marofa Mountain, telling the tale of border strife and Portugal’s struggle for independence in a single structure. Construction on the citadel began in 1209 under the auspices of the king of Leon, but it became part of Portugal within a century—though its local lords sided with Spanish rulers from time to time over the next four centuries. That’s why the palace adjoining the castle stands in ruins: Outraged citizens destroyed it after its lord sided with Castile. Take in the amazing view from the ancient stone walls, then step down through the tiny cobbled lanes of the village, passing the old pillory, the Manueline church and the town’s market square. It’s not all history, of course. You’ll also get to indulge in a wine tasting and sample delicious local treats—such as honey, almonds, olive oil and cheeses—and a restored teahouse invites you to relax over a cup of tea or a cool drink.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  7. Day 7 Cruising the Douro River, Porto (Guimarães)

    Guimarães or Porto? That’s the question of the day today (you really can’t go wrong either way). Guimarães is the town where Portugal was born and its well-preserved architecture and stylish young residents make it a pleasure to visit. Or opt to explore one of Porto’s oldest neighborhoods, picturesque Ribeira, considered the soul of the city. A tough choice awaits you today: Do you venture off to historic Guimarães, Portugal’s first capital, or do you stay in Porto and explore the Ribeira district on foot?

    A special Farewell Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

    Choice of Guimarães city tour or Porto surprise discovery tour

    Guimarães city tour
    “Portugal was born here.” So the sign on the city wall proclaims. Guimarães was home to the first king of Portugal, Afonso I, who managed to win his kingdom’s independence in the 12th century from neighboring suzerains. The wonderfully well-preserved Old Town, with its unique architecture (houses here combine granite with half-timbering) and charming little plazas, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; overlooking it is the grand castle that appears on Portugal’s coat of arms. Rove with your guide from the castle toward the beautiful main square, the Largo da Oliveira, and to the splendid Monastery and Church of Our Lady of Oliveira and the 14th-century Gothic Padrão do Salado. But remember that despite these historic beauties, Guimarães has the youngest population of any city in Europe, so the pedestrian area is full of lively and fun cafés and shops.

    Porto surprise discovery tour
    Prince Henry the Navigator was born in this historic waterfront neighborhood in 1394, and, more than 600 years later, the building is still standing: It became Porto’s first customs house, which seems appropriate, considering that Prince Henry began Portugal’s international trade. Stroll with your local guide through the oldest part of the city—check out some of the Roman ruins excavated here—simply breathing in the atmosphere. It may be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s no museum: People hang their laundry from upper floors of brightly painted houses, dogs mosey down the alleys, cafés nestle under 500-year-old arches, and traditional rabelos flat-keeled sailboats that once carried barrels of Port from the vineyards to the Port cellars) bob at the quay. As lively as it is picturesque, Ribeira is indeed the soul of Porto.
    Your ship sets sail after your tour, cruising up the Douro toward Entre-os-Rios.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch & Farewell Dinner
  8. Day 8 Porto (Disembark)

    You’ve experienced the best of Portugal, Spain and the pristine Douro River, but now the journey comes to a close and it’s time to disembark the ship. If your cruise/ tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Porto Airport for your flight home. Your Uniworld adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come.

    meals Breakfast
DVLP-portugal-spain-and-the-douro-river-valley-map-uw-2019.jpg
Price Includes

Dining

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Gala Dinner
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water

Accommodations

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the chic Queen Isabel
  • 3 nights in Lisbon at the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon (or similar) with breakfast
  • Beautifully appointed riverview staterooms and suites have hotel-style beds draped in fine linens and a choice of pillows
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access

Excursions

  • 8 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Do as the Locals Do” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks

Experiences

  • 2 countries: Spain and Portugal
  • 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture

All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.

Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.

Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed.

Single Supplement applies for single accommodation.

Itineraries, hotels, and vessels may change, and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water level fluctuations and other uncontrollable factors.

The order of sightseeing and docking ports are subject to change according to port authority assignments.

Prices exclude additional port charges of $170 per person.

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
Classic Deluxe French Balcony Deluxe Balcony Suite Availability Price
Ship Information
PLEASANTLY PALATIAL AND ADORNED WITH CHARM

Named for Portugal’s beloved queen, this ship is as picturesque as the Douro River Valley she cruises through. Her marble-clad interior and contemporary flair make for the perfect launching pad to explore the region’s many treasures.

Click HERE to view a pdf of ship facts (and click HERE to download software to open a pdf file).

 

Inaugurated: 2013
Travels on: Douro River
Guests: 112
Staff: 33

Suites: 2 (323 sq ft)
Deluxe Balcony: 18 (215 sq ft)
French Balcony: 23 (161 sq ft)
Classic: 15 (161 sq ft)

Length: 258 ft
Width: 37.5 ft
Voltage: 110/220 volts

SUITE

Beautifully appointed riverview suites (323 sq ft - 30 sq m) have full balconies, hotel beds draped in fine linens with choice of pillows, built-in closets, slippers, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen television, radio, alarm clock, iPhone/iPod charger and player, Nespresso and tea station, bottled water, and fresh fruit daily.

Bathrooms with L'Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, a choice of bathrobes, and slippers.

DELUXE BALCONY

Beautifully appointed riverview Deluxe Balcony (215 sq ft - 20 sq m) have full balconies, hotel beds draped in fine linens with choice of pillows, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen television, radio, alarm clock, iPhone/iPod charger and player, bottled water daily.

Bathrooms with L'Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, a choice of bathrobes, and slippers.

FRENCH BALCONY

Stateroom (161 sq ft - 15 sq m) amenities include French Balcony, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flatscreen TV, radio, alarm clock, and bottled water.

Bathroom amenities include L'Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, comfy bathrobes and slippers.

CLASSIC

Stateroom (161 sq ft - 15 sq m) amenities include built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flatscreen TV, radio, alarm clock, and bottled water.

Bathroom amenities include L'Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, comfy bathrobes and slippers.

Our meticulously designed ships feature enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a lounge with full-service bar, well-equipped fitness center, restaurant, Serenity River Spa, and a Sun Deck where you can relax and take in the ever-changing views. 

Uniworld’s Queen Isabel  provides an up-close and unforgettable view of Portugal’s Douro River Valley—a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site—renowned for its dramatic, rugged scenery and pristine waters. Named after Portugal's beloved queen, this boutique 116-passenger vessel is the most unique and stately ship on the Douro, a wonderful place to admire the region’s steeply terraced hillside vineyards and charming wine estates.

Note: Cruising in Spain and Portugal is a wonderful experience, and while the Queen Isabel is a lovely and comfortable ship, its amenities may differ from those of a Uniworld company-owned ship.

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
George Mangarelli
Travel date: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Service
They were very helpful in the planning. However, there appeared to be a flights 'screw up' about which we were not notified in a timely manner. That may not have been your fault.
Response from Grand European Travel:
It does appear that there were a few airline flight time changes between the time you booked and your departure. Our records show that Uniworld emailed those to you but please accept our apologies if you did not receive them.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Vacation
One issue: It was reported on the itinerary that we would visit a cork factory. That never happened. The guides on the ship, Queen Isabel, indicated they were never told about it. That too may have been a Uniworld problem.
David Benson
Travel date: Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Service
Superb Customer Service and booking/handling of the selected trip(s) is seamless. Knowledgeable agents and variety of trips/cruises is endless. I have been dealing thru GET for my travels for 10-12 yrs, would not use anyone else. Definitely would, and have,recommended GET to others.
Vacation
Worked with me to secure the date of travel (River Cruise) and available accommodations that I wanted.
John Banu
Travel date: Sunday, April 22, 2018
Service
While we experienced significant rain, five excursions were canceled and the ship wasn't able to return to Porto so we were bused back. They should have anticipated this and have contingency plans prepared.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're very sorry that the weather did not cooperate with your visit.  Unfortunately, there is no way to anticipate the weather but we certainly understand your disappointment.  We did verify that the Travel Director did attempt to make concessions for the cancelled excursions. 
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Vacation
Hotel wasn't up to standards.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Monday, August 28, 2017
Service
Information and questions before trip answered in a timely manner well use get again in the future this is about our 7th or 8th trip with them we would also recommend to our friends and family
Vacation
We enjoyed this river cruise and especially enjoyed the pre-trip in Lisbon the temperatures were quite warm usually in the 90s the locals kept telling us it was exceptionally warm this year. The only real issue we had was on a Excursion to the archaeological Park of the COA Valley this tour is new for this year according to our guide this should just be eliminated it was neither interesting informative or enjoyable it was a absolute joke waste of time would have preferred going on the other offered tour .
Donald Gellhorn
Travel date: Monday, August 28, 2017
Service
Best river cruise line Iknow of. The all inclusive feature allows you to bett6er plan your expenditures. The ship was tops and the crew excellent. Scenic, mountainous countryside.
Vacation
This ship cruise was a little expensive, but worth it.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Friday, April 8, 2016
Service
The arrangements were good. I was only disappointed that the ship I traveled on did not have butler service and I felt my GE travel guy should have know this. When I paid for the suite room I thought it was included in my rate.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are very sorry for that miscommunication, but glad to see that it did not spoil your trip and you enjoyed the Spain and Portugal Cruise. Grand European Travel
Monday, April 11, 2016
Vacation
The staff on the cruise ship and at the intercontinental hotel were great.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Friday, October 23, 2015
Service
Good advisors
Vacation
Lisbon tours were very good and river cruise was spectacular
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Friday, October 23, 2015
Service
We had booked our Portugal river cruise travel months in advance. It was to follow another tour in Spain. We had to request the travel itinerary to be sent earlier than Grand European had scheduled because we would be traveling in Spain at that time. We got most of the details, but not all, so in some cases we had to try to figure it out on the road. That part could have been done better.
Vacation
The portion of the trip located in Lisbon was excellent. The hotel was very nice, and the tours and city guidance were thorough. The shuttle service to and from the downtown area was excellent. The river cruise portion: The staff were efficient. Some were friendly, others were aloof. The food was good. The maid staff were excellent. The tour director directed efficiently. The ship's dining room had separate areas where a couple of groups dined. Most of the rest of us didn't know what that was all about. The on board shop was open some times, but not others. There didn't appear to be a schedule. Sometimes it was only open to some guests, but not to others. All in all, the river cruise portion of the Uniworld experience didn't fit the standard we were used to.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Saturday, September 26, 2015
Service
Outstanding Service
Vacation
Outstanding tour
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Sunday, September 6, 2015
Service
This was our fist Uniworld tour and our 3rd trip with Grand European tours. We are again very pleased with the results. Pilar was wonderful on the land portion. I was surprised how well she corraled all of us. This is the biggest grop for ur so far. 30-50 was usual. Cuddoos for her.
Vacation
Acelia and her staff were fantastic on the river portion. This is our first river cruise and we will do it again. Just what we wanted, very relaxing. Albeit tooo much good food so we had to eat it all. HA!
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