Overview

Explore northern Portugal at your own pace on our Douro Valley Fly Drive holiday.

Your week begins in Porto – the capital of the north, famous for its mix of modern and medieval architecture. Porto is keeper of Portugal’s most-famous tipple, port wine – our guide will help you to get orientated with a tour of the city, crossing the landmark Ponte de Dom Luis I Bridge into twin-city Gaia do Nova where you’ll sample the latest vintages in its south bank port houses.

Leaving the city by hire car, you’ll pass through the medieval city of Guimaraes, birthplace of Portugal, before overnighting in the old spa town of Vidago – once the19th century playground of the Braganza royal dynasty. Urban Portugal fades as your route takes you into the beautiful wine valleys of the Alto Douro, where the whole port production process begins.

The region produces one-third less than the country’s other wine regions: quality not quantity are the watchwords in the Douro Valley, and the wines that are produced are coveted for their robust, full-bodied flavour. After a relaxing stay in the riverfront hamlet of Pinhao, you’ll pick-up the N222 – famously one of the country’s prettiest drives, meandering through the vineyards and valleys of Peso da Regua and Lamego.

You’ll end your stay in old town Amarante on the banks of the Tamega river. Amarante is popular for its confectionaries and its vinho verde – a delicious, young wine which is a speciality of the Entre-Douro-e-Minho region. Amarante also holds a certain notoriety across Portugal for its Sao Goncalo matchmaking festival, where the young ladies of the town are offered phallic-shaped pastries from potential suitors. Rest assured, that’s an optional part of your holiday.

Itinerary

You’ll begin your holiday with a direct flight to Porto. Our driver will collect you on arrival for your transfer to your accommodation at Casa Camelia on the northern banks of the River Douro.
You’ll take a half-day walking tour of Porto, with visits to the Sao Bento train station, the Praca da Liberdade, the Ponte de Dom Luis I Bridge and the port houses of Gaia.
You’ll collect a hire car before heading east to your new accommodation at the Vidago Palace. Enroute, you’ll visit the 10th century medieval city of Guimaraes, considered the birthplace of the Kingdom of Portugal, home to the Paco dos Duques de Braganca and the Castelo de Guimaraes.
You’ll leave Vidago, heading south into the heart of the Douro valley wine region. Your drive takes you via Vila Real – capital of the Tras-os-Montes region – Mateus and Sabrosa, before arriving in the pretty riverfront town of Pinaho for a two-night stay at the Vintage House Hotel.
You’ll explore Pinhao on foot – you might like to include a vineyard walk and tasting session, a short cruise on the river, or a return journey on the famous Douro Valley railway.
You’ll drive the N222 from Pinhao, via Peso da Regua to Lamego – consistently voted Portugal’s most-beautiful road – before heading west into the Entre-Douro-e-Minho region for a two-night stay at Casa das Lerias in Amarante.
You’ll explore old town Amarante, famous for its charming riverfront houses, its sweet treats and its vinho verde wines.
You’ll return your hire car to Porto Airport before flying home.

From £2100 per person

We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.

Direct flights from the UK, accommodation in twin/double en-suite rooms on a B&B basis, an airport transfer, a half-day walking tour of Porto and a hire car.

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