Porto and the Douro River
1st Day

Arrival at Porto airport, meet with the guide and transfer in private coach to the hotel. Accommodation, dinner and overnight.

2nd Day

Breakfast at the hotel.
Full day dedicated to the visit of Porto, a city of an unusual charm, sophisticated shops and historic sights, of facades with bright tiles and hanging clothes to dry, belonging to neighbors that fill the air with the sound of their chatting between balconies. The modern part of the town lives in perfect harmony with the historic centre, World Heritage Site under the aegis of UNESCO since 1996. Beginning at Ribeira (neighborhood of the people who dedicates to river commerce), the starting point to get to St. Francis Church which was part of the of St. Francis Convent, the only Gothic church and one of the few medieval buildings that the city preserves, which most outstanding feature is the XVIII century inside (in the altar, columns, pillars, cherubs, garlands, decorative animals, and the Jesse de São tree located on the north side, have been used more than 200kg of gold). Where once stood the Franciscan monastery, the merchants built the Stock Exchange, currently the Stock Exchange Palace, with the Court of Commerce (where the mercantile law of Porto was drafted) and the Arab Hall (a large room with blue and gold arabesques inspired from the Allambra in Granade). Continuation through the Soares dos Reis Museum in the elegant Carrancas Palace (former hebrew textile workshop, a royal residence and also a military base during the Peninsular War), the museum is named after António Soares dos Reis, the most important Portuguese sculptor of the XIX century. Proceed to the Gardens of the Christal Palace, the privileged stage for social and cultural events, with magnificent miradouros (viewpoints) over city and the river. Worthy of note the Romantic Museum of Quinta da Macieirinha, once briefly the home of Charles Albert of Sardinia (1798-1849) who, having abdicated, lived there his last days. The tour continues to Casa de Serralves, a museum of contemporary art emerged in a magnificent garden where the exhibits regularly follow the trends of Portuguese modern sculpture and architecture. End of the day visit at the House of Music, an impressive polyhedrical building of contemporary architecture (projected by the renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas) and a multi-disciplinary and multi-purpose space, equipped with infrastructure, as well as technical and acustic means to welcome and to produce the most demanding musical performances. Lunch in restaurant in the course of visits (free dinner). Overnight at the hotel.

3rd Day

Breakfast at the hotel.
Day dedicated to the completion of the visit of Porto. Morning promenade in Rua de Santa Catarina (pedestrian street where traditional shops concentrate) with a stop at the legendary Majestic Café. Free visit to the bustling Mercado do Bolhão, market known mainly for fresh food (fish, meat and vegetables) and floral products. Nearby, there are still fine drugstores such as the Chinese House, Transmontana House and Bolhão Pearl. Arrival at Avenida dos Aliados, a wide XVIII century boulevard enriched by the many traditional coffee shops, old stationers, bookstores and shops. Stop then at the S. Bento train station with its atrium covered with twenty thousand azulejos (tiles) by the Portuguese painter Jorge Colaço (1864-1942). Continuation for to Clérigos Tower (symbol of the city), a 75,60m high stone tower work by the Italian architect Niccolò Nasoni. Optional climb of the spiral 240 steps staircase to enjoy a magnificent view over the city and the river. Continue to the (Cathedral) and admire the magnificent rose window of the XIII century on the western front. On to the English Factory House, project in Neo-palladian style by the Consul John Whitehead. Crossing of the beautiful Luís I Bridge, that connects the city to Vila Nova de Gaia: visit of a caracteristic wine cellar to taste the prestigious Porto Wine. Lunch in restaurant in the course of visits (free dinner). Overnight at the hotel.

4th Day

Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning at disposal for individual activities and shopping (free lunch). At 02:30PM, transfer to the Campanhã train station to get on the 03:20PM train that departs along the typical mountain landscape, sometimes aside the Douro River, in the direction of Pinhão. Accommodation at the hotel, dinner and overnight.

5th Day

Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure in the morning through the Douro Valley to Lamego, a charming historic town which, although located in the region of the famous Porto Wine, is known for Raposeira, one the best sparkling wines of Portugal. Panoramic visit of the old town that preserves intact the enchantment of the old Baroque palaces and proceed to Peso da Régua. Once the center of the demarcated region of Porto Wine production, from here use to leave the Rabelos (traditional wooden sailing boats for the transportation of the barrels of wine across the dangerous bends of the Douro River until Vila Nova de Gaia). Visit of the Douro House, one of the entities that controls the production of the famous nectar. Magnificent the stained-glass windows in lead frames and the 50 square meters triptych that tells the history, origin, cultivation and work in different stages of the wine production. Transfer to the pier to board at 12:00AM on a cruise. Departure at 00:50PM to surpass the Bagaúste Floodgate (27m high). Aperitif and lunch on board. Arrival at 03:00PM in the pier at Pinhão and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

6th Day

Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning departure to Vila Real, town located in the Northeastern mountainous regions, rich in churches as the XV century Romanesque Cathedral. Nearby, visit of the remarkable Casa de Mateus, beautiful manor house drawn on the label of Mateus Rosé wines. Built (perhaps by Niccolò Nasoni) for the third Morgado de Mateus, it is a splendid example of Portuguese Baroque architecture of the XVIII century. Visit of the house, the library (houses a copy dated 1817 of the epic Portuguese masterpiece Os Lusíadas), the beautiful gardens (with the famous cedars that form a 35m high and 7,5m large tunnel) and the wine cellar. Time at disposal at the city centre (free lunch) and return to the hotel to begin the course "To Serve Wine", a 3 hour introduction to the sensorial analysis of the wine and how to serve it right: the temperature, the decantation, wine  and gastronomy, the choice of glass and what, when and where to buy. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

7th Day

Breakfast at the hotel.
Full day dedicated to the countryside. Departure at 10:00AM to Quinta da Avessada, an ancestral estate that produces for long time one of the best wines of the region. A true interactive museum of the history and culture of the vine and the Alto Douro wines, from planting to the final tasting of this precious liquid. Reception at 10:30AM and visit of the gardens of the Enoteca where a Moscatel will be tasted. Stroll then along the vineyards at the sound of traditional Durienses chants. Aperitif of fresh wine assisted by winemakers and traditional lunch (in iron pots, typical of the area) in the warehouses of the estate. Free time for a short walk or a rest and, around 04:00PM, a documented taste of liqueur wines at the Enoteca, followed by a brunch with traditional Douro wines. Proceed to Porto and accommodation at the hotel (free dinner). Overnight.

8th Day

Breakfast at the hotel.
In due time transfer to Porto airport, assistance in the check-in procedures and departure.