Welcome to Madrid! Our guides will meet you at the airport to assist with your transfer to the Intercontinental Hotel or similar, conveniently located in the heart of Madrid. After settling in to the hotel make the most of the remainder of your day by exploring the city on your own and taking in the many festivities of Madrid Gay Pride.
Your panoramic tour of this lively metropolis will take you to some of Madrid’s most famous sights. Then explore the massive Prado Museum, which features one of the world’s finest collections of European art. With nearly 7,600 paintings among its holdings, the Prado’s assemblage is truly stunning in both its depth and breadth. (B)
Madrid / Salamanca / Barca d'Alva, Portugal (Embarkation)
From Madrid travel overland to Salamanca, a UNESCO world Heritage city. The architectural purity of this charming town has endured through the centuries, during which time its sandstone buildings have acquired the exquisite glow that gives Salamanca its nickname, “The Golden City.” Walk under plateresque arches and past ornately decorated masonry walls as you explore the university. Then visit Salamanca’s extraordinary Old and New Cathedrals. Continue on to Barca d’Alvaon the Spanish/Portugal border and board the Miguel Torga. (B,D)
Barca d'Alva, Portugal
Lamego, a small, picturesque town that is rich in history, invites you to explore its streets today. Lamego houses one of the most important pilgrimage sites in all of Portugal: the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. Sitting atop a hill, the sanctuary overlooks the town and can be reached by climbing its 686 steps. You’ll get to see it up close on today’s tour and have a chance to admire its gorgeous panels of blue and white tiles before enjoying another treat—a delicious wine tasting. In the evening, enjoy a Gala Dinner onboard your ship.
The Douro River winds through one hundred miles of granite mountains, carving out a valley whose steep slopes hold terraces that were cut by hand into the rocky soil and planted with grapes centuries ago. Visit the Douro Museum to learn about the river and its wines. See, too, Mateus Palace, which has one of the most beautiful gardens in the country. In the evening, you’ll tour the family-owned Quinta da Avessada, which produces premium Moscatel. After strolling the grounds and meeting the owner, you’ll partake in a rustic dinner featuring fine local wines and traditional live music.
Today you’ll venture to the charming, old-world town of Amarante, which is situated between the bends in the Tâmega River and the cliffs of the surrounding mountains. Many of its remaining historic structures are Romanesque in style, several of which you’ll see on your guided walking tour through this lovely riverside town.
Birthplace of Henry the Navigator (who launched Portugal’s voyages of exploration) and longtime hub of the Port wine trade, Porto combines well- preserved historic buildings with cutting-edge architecture and a booming cultural revival. Your tour will take you to the 19th-century Palácio da Bolsa and then on to the cathedral and the bustling shopping street, Santa Catarina. After lunch, you’ll visit one of the city’s famed Port cellars.
Morning disembarkation. Transfer to Porto airport(OPO) or join the 2-night post cruise extension in Lisbon