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The Douro Valley with Pousada Stay
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At a glance
Sail on board MS Gil Eanes
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
London Gatwick
End Destination
London Gatwick
  • A scenic drive through Peneda-Geres National Park
  • Excursion to Braga
  • A tour of beautiful Oporto
  • Sightseeing in Salamanca
  • Tour of Lamego
What's included
  • 3 nights' accommodation in a pousada on half-board basis
  • 7 nights on board ship on all-inclusive basis
  • Return flights from London Gatwick
  • VIP door-to-door travel service
  • Saga cruise escort
  • Excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Complimentary WiFi on board
  • Free bar open 12 hours a day†
  • Captain’s dinner and drinks reception
What's not included
  • Single supplement available on request
  • Personal expenses
Day 1
UK - Oporto

Fly to Oporto and transfer to Pousada Canicada-Geres (4Q). This picturesque hunting chalet on a mountainside in Portugal’s only National Park has been converted into a unique 36-room hotel where you’ll stay for three nights on half-board. In addition to a restaurant and bar/lounge with a stone fireplace and wooden beams, your hotel boasts an outdoor swimming pool and a rooftop terrace — the perfect place to drink in spectacular views over the park, the River Cavado and the Canicada dam. You can even see Spain in the distance! (D)

Day 2
Pousada Canicada-Geres

Enjoy a scenic drive through the surrounding Peneda-Gerês National Park — the only one in Portugal. The vast natural amphitheatre was crafted by geological formations, winds and water and extends from the plateau of Castro Laboreiro to the plateau of Mourela, covering the mountain ranges of Peneda, Soajo, Amarela and Gerês.

Marvel at the mountains and their picturesque waterfalls and keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including wild dogs and golden eagles — if you get the chance, indulge in some local cuisine too. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy more of your idyllic surroundings and their spectacular views. B, D.

Day 3
Pousada Canicada - Geres and Braga

Travel to the historic city of Braga where you will have time to explore at your own pace and find somewhere to have lunch. Built more than 2,000 years ago, Braga was once an important administrative centre in the Roman Empire while its cathedral is also the oldest in the country — built in the 12th century by the parents of Portugal’s first King, who are buried there. The city is also one of Portugal’s main religious centres, with visitors flocking to the Holy Week Celebrations and the São João Festival. In addition to the cathedral’s own museum of treasures, it is worth visiting the Biscainhos Museum, housed in a baroque palace, and seeing Roman remains at the D. Diogo de Sousa Archaeological Museum. The historic city centre is a great place for a stroll, with striking churches, houses and historical buildings to behold, including the Palácio do Raio, Theatro Circo and Arco da Porta Nova. Why not have a coffee at the Brasileira cafe and watch the world go by on the busy Avenida Central. B, D.

Day 4
Pousada Canicada-Geres to Oporto

After breakfast, depart your pousada and return to Oporto, with a stop on the way when you can enjoy lunch at your own expense. Embark your ship, MS Gil Eanes or MS Miguel Torga, at Vila Nova de Gaia on the south bank. You'll remain moored here overnight and you will enjoy a welcome cocktail reception and have the opportunity to enjoy an optional coach tour of the city after dark.

Day 5

Spend the morning exploring Portugal’s second-largest city on an included tour. Its historical centre was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. You’ll discover The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Building) which dates back to 1834, and after climbing a beautiful granite and marble stairway, you'll visit the former Tribunal Room, the Golden Room and the Arab Room, decorated in the exotic Moorish Revival style.

Afterwards continue to the Igreja de São Francisco, also known as the ‘Golden Church,’ originally a modest convent founded by Franciscan monks in the 12th century. It now has a Baroque style interior which mingles with the large, elaborate rose window in Gothic style on the main façade. This afternoon is at leisure to explore independently. Remain moored in Vila Nova de Gaia overnight and enjoy dinner and an evening of traditional Portuguese Fado music on board.

Day 6
Oporto to Regua

Perhaps opt to join a morning excursion to tour the historic city of Guimaraes, which has a UNESCO-listed centre with an 11th-century castle, gothic and Romanesque churches and the stunning Palace of the Dukes of Braganza. Sail to Regua this afternoon, arriving in time to head into town this evening, perhaps in search of live music or dancing.

Day 7
Regua to Vega de Térron

An optional excursion visits Mateus Palace gardens. Your guide will give you an introduction to the palace, one of the loveliest country houses in Portugal and which famously features on the Mateus rosé wine label. Explore these exceptional formal gardens as well as examining the exterior of the palace. Return to the water this afternoon and look forward to an evening of Flamenco entertainment on board.

Day 8
Barca d'Alva and Salamanca

Today join an included excursion across the border to the city of Salamanca in Spain. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is famed for its beautiful old university buildings of golden-coloured stone. One of the world’s oldest universities, it first opened in 1218. Also known as ‘Escuelas Mayores’, the University building has a sumptuous gate adorned with the city's most famous design: a frog atop a skull - symbolic of the sin of lust being punished after death. The university wonderful library brims with old manuscripts.

You’ll also visit the 12th century Catedral Vieja and 16th century Catedral Nueva, created using a mixture of styles going from late Gothic to Baroque, including Renaissance, before lunch and some free time in the city.

Later return to your ship, which will now be in Vega de Teron, for an evening of onboard entertainment and moor overnight.

Day 9
Barca d'Alva to Ferradosa to Pinhão

Depart Barca d’Alva and enjoy the wonderful views as you spend the morning sailing towards Pinhão. You might wish to disembark in Ferrados to join an optional excursion to a local winery where you will have the opportunity to taste their port wine and learn about the production of this famous drink. Later rejoin your ship which will moor in Pinhão overnight, allowing you to enjoy a gala dinner and entertainment onboard.

Day 10
Pinhão to Oporto

This morning travel by coach to Lamego, one of the most attractive cities in Portugal. On arrival, you’ll see the elaborate Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, which is set atop nine steep terraces overlooking the town. There’ll be free time to explore this impressive baroque church and walk down into the city from the Sanctuary using the ornate staircase – but be warned, there are almost 700 steps! Alternatively, take the coach down to the city and visit the lovely Gothic cathedral, which in parts dates back to the 12th century. Rejoin your ship before spending the afternoon at leisure as you sail back towards Oporto. Enjoy an evening of traditional folk entertainment as you remain moored in Vila Nova de Gaia overnight.

Day 11
Oporto to UK

Disembark after breakfast and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

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