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Douro Discovery: A Family River Cruise in Portugal 2021

Operator
Tauck
Days
10
From
USD $5,490

Dates & Prices

Start Date End Date OffersBrochure
Land Price
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From
Thursday,
Jul 01, 2021
To
Saturday,
Jul 10, 2021
Call Us$5,490Get Our PriceGet Quote
From
Thursday,
Jul 15, 2021
To
Saturday,
Jul 24, 2021
Call Us$5,490Get Our PriceGet Quote

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Itinerary

Book With Flexibility

  • Peace of Mind
    Complimentary "Peace of Mind" Travel Plan. Change your travel plans until 45 days before your trip
  • Change Destination / Vacation
    Change to a different destination or vacation.
  • Change Dates
    Choose new departure dates if your plans change.
  • Great Service
    Award-winning service, low prices, client satisfaction

Tour Itinerary

Visit an opulent royal palace, cycle through Madrid's historic Casa de Campo, and immerse in art at the Prado. Ride a 4x4 to an archaeological site; breathe romance and heroic legends in Salamanca and Guimaraes; navigate mazes of colorful streets on a bicycle in Porto; kayak on the Douro River; learn the origins of azujelos and  Fado music; wind along scenic bicycle trails in Vinho Verde country; and sail to postcard villages, castles, winetowns, and vineyards in the Douro Valley, a winemaking region unlike any other in the world. This ten-day tour of Portugal and Spain includes Madrid, Salamanca, Porto, and a riverboat cruise deep into the Douro River Valley for an authentic taste of life in a seldom-visited region steeped in a wine-making culture thousands of years old. Along the way, sightseeing choices offer an array of excursions and possibilities. Begin in Madrid, where you can get a taste of Spain at an historic food market, take a bicycle tour of the city's largest park, and peruse art masterpieces at the Prado. Explore the medieval university-town of Salamanca, where the gorgeous architecture seems to glow. Board a luxury riverboat and wind along Portugal's Douro River Valley, the world's oldest demarcated wine region, where you'll find miles of mountains and hills carved into vineyard terraces. Explore prehistoric rock-art on a 4x4 safari in Foz Coa. Visit medieval towns, castle ruins, and palaces, and immerse yourself in local history and culture, kayaking on the Douro River, and bicycling through Vinho Verde country. Ride a cable car and a three-wheel taxi on a sightseeing tour of Porto, an enticing labyrinth of winding streets and stairways, baroque churches and palaces, street art, and colorful bohemian enclaves, and cycle from the waterfront Ribeira district, one of the city's oldest, liveliest, and most picturesque neighborhoods.

  1. Day 1
    Arrive Madrid
    Tour begins: 5:30 PM, The Westin Palace, Madrid. Welcome to Madrid! A transfer is included from Madrid Airport to the Westin Palace, a Parisian-style grand hotel in the heart of the city, only steps from the Parliament and the Prado; commissioned by King Alfonso XIII in 1912, the hotel has hosted royalty, heads of state, film stars and celebrities. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner.
    Meals: Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Madrid as you please

    You have a choice of sightseeing. Explore a neighborhood market where you can get a taste of tapas, artisan foods, and delicacies from all over Spain; your visit ends sweetly with churros and hot chocolate! Or go on a bicycle excursion through the city's largest park, Casa de Campo; once a royal hunting estate, the 4,000-acre park is still inhabited by deer and rabbits; it also features an amusement park and the Madrid Zoo. Take a guided tour of the Royal Palace, a stunning baroque complex with 3,400 rooms and a wealth of artwork, antiques, porcelain, silver, and historical artifacts; or peruse the masterpieces at the Museo del Prado – one of the most famous art museums on Earth – on a guided visit with a local expert. The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to spend as you wish in Spain's storied capital city.


    Meals: Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Salamanca & Barca d'Alva

    Drive to beautiful Salamanca, a center of learning since medieval times, where a walking tour through the Old City reveals opulent Baroque, Moorish, and Gothic architecture, Romanesque cathedrals steeped in glorious frescoes, and the enchanting courtyards of the University of Salamanca, chartered in 1218, where Cervantes went to school; the area is nicknamed La Dorada (Golden City) for the warm glow that seems to emanate from its sandstone buildings.  Then head to the riverside village of Barca d'Alva – a quiet town on the Portuguese border surrounded by placid, reflecting waters, close to the unspoiled wilderness of Arribes del Douro Natural Park – where your riverboat awaits; the hills are rich with olive groves, vineyards, and almond orchards that bloom with white flowers in spring. Embark, settle in, and join us tonight for a welcome reception and dinner.


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Castel Rodrigo & a rock safari

    Visit Castelo Rodrigo, a medieval hilltop village with a turbulent history, where battles were once fought against Moors and Spanish rule; the empty ruins of its 13th century palace still stand guard over the walled town with its churches, Manueline pillory, cistern, and panoramic vistas. Return to the ship for lunch and sail to Pocinho; from there you'll set off on a rock-art safari in Vale do Côa Archaelogical Park, to see stunning examples of rock-art from the valley's Paleolithic era, 20,000 years ago. Unlike cave art found in other parts of Europe, the thousands of petroglyphs in the Coa region were created in the open air by the valley's earliest inhabitants; the site is accessible only in 4x4 vehicles.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Valeria Gorge & Charming Pinhão

    Spend the morning cruising the Douro River Valley where rugged conical mountains and shale hills carved by concentric vineyard terraces tell of a winemaking history thousands of years old. Since the 18th century, when Britain discovered that Portugal's fortified wine could travel long sea journeys without spoiling, the Douro Valley has been the premier port supplier to the world, and the oldest demarcated wine region. Sail the dramatic Valeira Gorge, where the river ran wild and treacherous before it was tamed by dams; in earlier centuries, small wooden boats called rabelos, heaped with barrels of wine, would negotiate rocks here and shoot the rapids on their way downriver. Arrive in the idyllic, tranquil village of Pinhão, nestled at a riverbend in the valley's premier Cima Corgo region, home to prestigious port-wine estates; a walking tour of Pinhão includes the enchanting railroad station, built in the 1930s and covered in azulejos, pictorial blue tiles that illustrate the region's winemaking heritage.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Pinhão to Régua

    Explore the picturesque area around Pinhao by kayaking along the slow, easy river, or drive to a nearby hilltop village for spectacular views over the valley, and hike back down; on the way, you'll be able to appreciate up close the workmanship of the steep terraced vineyards. Lunch aboard ship and sail to historic Peso da Régua in the Baixo Corgo region of the valley, where you'll dock overnight and dine aboard ship.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Day 7
    The Douro Museum and More

    Before there was a railroad, Peso da Régua was an important shipping hub where rabelos took on cargoes of port from the local wine estates. Roads from here reach in many directions, offering you a choice of sightseeing possibilities. Take a bicycle tour through Vinho Verde country. Light and effervescent Vinho Verde is not actually green wine; depending on whom you ask, the name refers to its youth or the region it's from: a fertile, temperate land of vineyard-clad mountains and lush green valleys rich with scenic bicycle trails. Or drive to the medieval town of Guimaraes for a walking tour; known as the Cradle City, the kingdom of Portugal was born here after a momentous battle in 1128. The city center is a panorama of architectural treasures, including the ruined Castle of Guimaraes, with its tempestuous history and sweeping views, the opulent Dukes of Braganza Palace, and the 13th-century Sao Miguel do Castelo Church. Return to the ship for lunch, then visit the Museu do Douro in Régua. Housed in a renovated 18th-century building, the museum features multimedia exhibits that tell the history of viniculture in the Douro River Valley; also on exhibit is a restored rabelo, one of the slender wooden vessels that used to ply the river in great numbers, carrying wine to Porto and the sea.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Cruising to Porto

    Wind through the Baixo Corgo region of the Douro Valley, where quintas and terraced vineyards rise on both sides of the river, showing their age; the oldest terraces are buttressed by stone walls, others have dirt walls; the valley's heritage is written in the stone walls, centuries old, but as they crumble they are too expensive to replace. Arrive in Porto by the sea in late afternoon, and dine aboard ship; after dinner, enjoy a performance by a local "Tuna" ensemble – a youthful academic string band that plays festive traditional music.  


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Porto Sights
    Rising on staggered hills along the river, colorful Porto beckons you to its labyrinthine streets and stairways, medieval alleys, baroque churches, fountains, and bell-towers, beaux-arts buildings, and bohemian neighborhoods. It's hard to take a bad picture in Porto, where houses are clad in painted tiles, street art is everywhere, and beguiling, eclectic architecture is around every corner. Ride a three-wheeled taxi on a tour of iconic sights, including the Clerigos Belltower, a soaring baroque landmark, and 12th-century Porto Cathedral standing fortress-like on a hilltop overlooking the city; walk across the scenic Dom Luis I Bridge that spans the river and soak up the fabulous views; the bridge links Porto to the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, and you'll ride a cable car down to the Gaia waterfront. Or take a cycling tour along Porto's colorful riverfront, starting in the picturesque and lively Ribeira neighborhood, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and ending where the river meets the Atlantic. Lunch on the riverboat, then enjoy free time to explore on your own. Join us this evening back aboard ship for a farewell dinner.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Journey home
    Tour ends: Porto. Fly home anytime. Transfers are included from the riverboat to Porto Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport or Porto train station.  Allow at least three hours for flight checkin.
    Meals: Breakfast
Countries Visited

Portugal , Spain

Cities Visited

Madrid, Pinhao, Porto, Regua, Salamanca

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Inclusions

Visit an opulent royal palace, cycle through Madrid's historic Casa de Campo, and immerse in art at the Prado. Ride a 4x4 to an archaeological site; breathe romance and heroic legends in Salamanca and Guimaraes; navigate mazes of colorful streets on a bicycle in Porto; kayak on the Douro River; learn the origins of azujelos and Fado music; wind along scenic bicycle trails in Vinho Verde country; and sail to postcard villages, castles, winetowns, and vineyards in the Douro Valley, a winemaking region unlike any other in the world. This ten-day tour of Portugal and Spain includes Madrid, Salamanca, Porto, and a riverboat cruise deep into the Douro River Valley for an authentic taste of life in a seldom-visited region steeped in a wine-making culture thousands of years old. Along the way, sightseeing choices offer an array of excursions and possibilities. Begin in Madrid, where you can get a taste of Spain at an historic food market, take a bicycle tour of the city's largest park, and peruse art masterpieces at the Prado. Explore the medieval university-town of Salamanca, where the gorgeous architecture seems to glow. Board a luxury riverboat and wind along Portugal's Douro River Valley, the world's oldest demarcated wine region, where you'll find miles of mountains and hills carved into vineyard terraces. Explore prehistoric rock-art on a 4x4 safari in Foz Coa. Visit medieval towns, castle ruins, and palaces, and immerse yourself in local history and culture, kayaking on the Douro River, and bicycling through Vinho Verde country. Ride a cable car and a three-wheel taxi on a sightseeing tour of Porto, an enticing labyrinth of winding streets and stairways, baroque churches and palaces, street art, and colorful bohemian enclaves, and cycle from the waterfront Ribeira district, one of the city's oldest, liveliest, and most picturesque neighborhoods.

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Three-wheel taxi tour of Porto's historic center
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Choice of a vineyard hike or kayaking on the Douro River
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Bicycle tour through Vinho Verde wine country
  • Seven nights on the Douro aboard a new riverboat designed for Tauck
  • A bicycle tour of Porto's colorful Ribeira district
  • Ride a 4x4 in search of prehistoric art at an archaeological site in Foz Coa

Health and Safety Protocols for Tauck Tours

Traveling with Peace of Mind
Our commitment never wavers – to earn your trust by always doing the right thing. As we explore the world together again, this will be more important than ever as we adapt to living and traveling in the presence of COVID-19.

Tauck is 95-years young this year, and our ability to weather many storms over the decades is a result of our values and beliefs – as a family and as a family-owned and led company. In addition to the guiding light of these values, our extensive experience, local knowledge and global support network help to ensure your safety on every Tauck journey. Building upon our bedrock of award-winning guest care, we have worked tirelessly to prepare for your return following the COVID-19 hiatus in travel. With guidance from leading experts, including the CDC and WHO, together with our internal Global Response Team and, most importantly, with feedback from thousands of our guests, we have redefined how we will conduct our experiences as we resume travel.

Tauck is Prepared for the Unexpected
For decades, Tauck has operated in over 70 countries in all 7 continents. Over this time, our staff and network of supplier partners have always been there to support our guests and team on the road. Our guests travel with a comprehensive, built-in support system that starts with the care and local knowledge of our Tauck Directors and extends to our network of partners around the world, including hoteliers and transportation companies.

At the core of our ability to quickly and effectively respond to the unexpected is our Global Response Team - a group of over 50 employees across all departments who stand ready to spring into action around the world. This team has plenty of experience, from weather events, high and low water on rivers, earthquakes, volcanic ash, civil unrest and work stoppages. They have also dealt with past virus outbreaks including the SARS and Zika viruses.

The Tauck Travel Well Pledge
Before we operate tours and cruises, all Tauck employees, our supplier partners and our guests will take Tauck’s Travel Well Pledge.

As a company, we will follow our enhanced protocols with diligence and rigor; review them frequently as the landscape changes and always make common-sense decisions grounded in purpose and pride. We embrace these new and necessary measures to combat COVID-19 and will do our very best to provide the Tauck care we have been honored to deliver for 95 years.

OUR NEW HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Consistent with our commitment to the well-being of our guests, we are implementing enhanced health and safety protocols. These protocols may vary by geographic regions and will certainly evolve over time, as science and society respond to new realities:

Tauck Staff
Prior to interacting with guests, each member of Tauck’s field staff is trained in enhanced protocols and participates in a personal health screening.

Once on tour, our Tauck Directors and supporting staff are responsible for maintaining these protocols with a special focus on cleanliness and physical distancing. They will relay critical information regarding requirements, advise when protocols are mandatory – such as wearing a face covering in group settings – and help facilitate guest care through communication with appropriate parties should a guest become ill on tour. All Tauck staff will adhere to the same requirements.

Guest Responsibility
When joining a Tauck journey, every guest is responsible for their own health and, in turn, the protection of their fellow travelers, the Tauck staff, our suppliers and the places we visit. Guests will pledge to follow the direction of the Tauck staff and adhere to health and safety protocols.

Guests are expected to wear face coverings in all group settings, to wash their hands frequently and to adhere to supplier and government regulations. While supplies of face coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be available, guests are asked to bring such personal items for their own comfort.

Small is BIG
For many years, Tauck has emphasized and invested in more choices of activities, resulting in smaller groups for activities like sightseeing and events. This is consistent with our mantra that “Small is Big” – small groups and smaller ships with fewer guests.

We initially focused on these elements to improve the guest experience. Yet today they take on an additional dimension; small group experiences and more personal space are critical in providing the peace of mind our guests expect. Accordingly, we are offering even more small group experiences and limiting guest numbers across all of our journeys.

We have been working diligently with our partners to be prepared to welcome you back when the time is right.
Tauck has worked meticulously with our global supplier partners to plan for every itinerary following the hiatus in travel. All partners, whether they be a hotel, museum, small ship/riverboat, restaurant or other partner, have been thoughtful about how to provide a Tauck experience in this environment.

And while it's impossible to list all of the enhanced health and safety protocols for the hundreds of Tauck partners across the globe, we would like to share a representative sample of what you can expect:

Hotels
Our hotel partners all have world-class health and safety protocols. However, these guidelines may vary depending on local situations and regulations. Here are some typical examples:

  • Upon-arrival, health questionnaires and temperature checks may be required. Some hotels may even require daily temperature scans.
  • Social distancing may be required in public areas, bars and restaurants.
  • High-touch areas such as railings, door handles and elevators will undergo enhanced cleaning.
  • In-room measures may include removal of tent cards and magazines. Common use items, such as coffee makers and minibar amenities may be on demand.
  • High-touch areas, such as light switches, thermostats, remote controls and door handles will be subject to enhanced and frequent cleaning.
  • Guests will have the option to determine housekeeping frequency.
  • All hotel staff will undergo daily health screenings.

Ships and Riverboats
We have worked closely with our cruise partners to ensure the best possible health and safety protocols and to ensure the care and service you expect from Tauck:

  • Guests on cruises and river journeys will be required to complete a health questionnaire and will undergo a temperature check prior to boarding. In some instances, our ship partners will conduct daily temperature checks.
  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required in most public spaces for guests and crew alike.
  • Meals may be offered at staggered times and self-serve buffets will be eliminated.
  • In-cabin measures include removing common use items. Coffee makers, minibar amenities and housekeeping will be on demand at guest discretion.
  • Ship staff will undergo daily health screenings.
  • All vessels will have medical staff onboard.

Sightseeing and Local Activities
Many of our experiences are exclusive and/or private and that’s important in taking care of you. Whether it be a guided tour, a visit to an iconic museum or private home, a musical performance, or any other special Tauck activities, we are applying the same rigor to health and safety protocols:

  • Tauck listening devices will be sanitized thoroughly and frequently.
  • Sightseeing is being adjusted to ensure proper physical distancing.
  • Admission times at venues may be altered to ensure no crowding.
  • Paper tickets, handouts and the like may be eliminated.

Dining
Tauck has always been known for a la carte dining; having more freedom to decide when and with whom to dine now has more value than ever. Additionally, our partners whether they be hotels, ships, special venues or restaurants, are raising their already rigorous hygienic standards. Here are some examples:

  • Waitstaff will likely be wearing face coverings and gloves.
  • Seating will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing.
  • Self-serve buffets will be eliminated. Common use menus will no longer be used unless sanitized.

On-Tour Transportation
Keeping on-tour transportation safe is a major focus of our team who has worked with hundreds of partners to ensure continuity in health and safety protocols:

  • On motorcoaches and other on-tour ground transportation, such as airport transfers, guest should expect physical distancing and will be required to wear face coverings.
  • Prior to each trip, our motorcoaches, vans, airport transfer vehicles and on-tour aircraft will undergo a deep sanitizing process.
  • Luggage may also be sanitized at each movement.
  • Drivers will wear gloves and face coverings during all guest-facing interactions.
  • Drivers will frequently clean handrails, door handles, arm rests, tables, seats, air conditioning/HVAC units, restrooms and overhead storage areas.

Our Supplier Partners are ready for you
Tauck is proud to have worked closely with our partners around the world, many of them for decades, to deliver the quality, comfort and safety you expect. Whether it be hotels and resorts, riverboats and small ships, restaurants, event venues or transportation companies, their meticulous health and safety protocols reflect their leadership and well-earned respect in the travel industry. The following are some select health and safety protocols. We will update these on a regular basis.

In addition to our supplier partners, we have also been actively engaged with global travel organizations to standardize health and safety protocols throughout the travel industry. TourCare is one example:

TourCare are health and sanitation guidelines developed by the tour industry's major global associations: the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA). Tauck, and our supplier partners, meet and exceed these guidelines that require members to adhere to the highest standards in the industry.

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Accommodations


The Westin Palace, Madrid
ms Andorinha

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Tauck Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.5
Accommodations
4.4
Itinerary
4.6
Professional Staff
4.7
Repeat with Operator
4.5
Value for Money
4.3

Ratings based off 811 reviews about Tauck Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

Our goals were met and exceeded by Affordable Tours.

Wonderful Tauck Tours..we will travel with them again..thank you for the suggestion..

This is our 7th Tauck tour/river cruise and they have never disappointed.

Our trip was amazing and we had to he most amazing guide Leah she went above and beyond

Ms Lawren Farias was our agent. She went out of her way to make sure that everything went smoothly and it did I would defiitely use her again. She was outstanding.

Maya was absolutely wonderful! I only want to book with her for any future travel.

The Tauck tour exceeded our expectations.Our tour director was exceedingly well informed and organized.She was the best.

The tour was one of our best. Tauck's attention to detail and covering nearly 100% of our costs or fees and booking 5* hotels is why we liked the trip.

Fantastic vacation! Exceeded all our expectations! Trip of a Lifetime!!!

Tauck delivered as promised and more. The tour director was very helpful and knowledgeable. We wouldn't hesitate to book with them again.

Tauck provides great tours. This is our 4th with Tauck. They provided transport for us even when our itinerary was different than usual. The Tauck tour director was wonderful.

The Tour director (Mark) is excellent, the accommodation were first class and convenient and most included meals were very good. We also were blessed with a wonderful group of fellow travelers which I believe is due to Tauck's reputation.

Tauck does a wonderful job in providing a variety of great travel experiences in a worry free environment where every small detail is taken care of.

Both AffordableTours.com and Tauck are very professional organizations who ensure your traveling experiences are exceptional. Highly recommend both and we keep coming back to book with both.

Very professional and well done!

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