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This unique two country tour provides a fascinating journey from Madrid to Porto through the Ribera del Duero region of Spain and the Douro wine lands of Portugal. You will sample regional vintages at local bodegas and enjoy the countryside, exploring national parks and river gorges. Along the way, you will find beautiful historic cities full of culture, along with picturesque villages. This journey is ideal for those who enjoy wine, culture, and easy countryside walks.
During your tour, you will be staying in standard and comfortable hotels, in Madrid, Segovia, Penafiel, Fermoselle, Lamego, and Porto. Expect simple homestays to very comfortable hotels. Explore prefers to stay at smaller, locally owned hotels, where possible. Facilities vary, but Explore will always choose clean and comfortable accommodations.
All of the group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travelers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.
Join tour at hotel in Madrid. The rest of the day is free to relax or see some of the city.
After breakfast, you will head out for an orientation walk of Spain's busy capital city and the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin. The afternoon is left free to enjoy this lively capital.
In the morning, you will leave Madrid behind, as you head north to Segovia. After an hour and and a quarter, you will arrive at the village of Manzanares el Real, and the start of your walk into the Guaderrama National Park. This area of natural beauty is best known for the unusual granite rock formations of La Pedriza. Vegetation is sparse, however, for rock-climbers, it is a haven, as well as being a breeding colony for Griffon Vultures, which, with a bit of luck, you will spot on your walk. You will continue by road for another hour until you reach the stunning UNESCO world heritage historic city of Segovia, with its huge 1st century Roman Aqueduct and Disney-like Alcazar Fortress. There will be free time to explore on arrival.
Late morning, you will drive around forty-five minutes to the spectacular limestone canyon lands of Duraton River Natural Park, and take a walk along the gorge to the charming medieval town of Sepulveda. You will continue on to Penafiel, right in the heart of the Ribera de Duoro wine region. The Ribera de Duoro is one of several recognized wine producing regions along the Duero River. The region produces red wine from the Tempranillo grape.
The morning has been left free in Penafiel for time to stroll through the medieval town center, with its square once used for bullfights, or walk up to the Penafiel Castle. The land under the town is full of excavated caves traditionally used to store wine. You will be able to spot the chimney vents that dot the landscape. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a wine tasting at the Protos Bodega, one of Spain's most innovative wineries.
This morning, you will drive out to El Toro, in the province of Zamora, another top notch wine producing region on the Duero River. You will stop for wine tasting in the village, before continuing on to the city of Zamora for lunchtime. This delightful city is a real architectural gem and home to the most Romanesque churches in Europe. In the afternoon, you will continue on the Portuguese border, to your home for the next three nights - the medieval hilltop village of Fermoselle, right in the heart of the Arribes del Duero Natural Park.
This morning, you will head into the Arribes del Duero Natural Park for a walk through its spectacular countryside. In the afternoon, there will be a wine tasting in a local bodega, dug into the rock - one of around 900 granite bodega caves dating back to ancient times, when wine production was large scale business in the area.
After breakfast, you walk from the village through the woodland and oak forest to the small village of Fornillos, where you will have the opportunity to try local farmhouse cheese. You will then drive to Miranda do Douro in Portugal for a walk around the historic center, followed by a boat trip into the spectacular gorge of the Duero River. Afterwards, you will drive back to Fermoselle.
Today, you will drive two hours into Portugal, to the village of Pocinhos, from where you will board the local train for a two and a half hour journey along the Duero Valley to Peso de Regua. A short taxi ride uphill then brings you to the beautiful Renaissance and Baroque village of Lamego. There will be time to walk around the historic center and see the famous Nossa Senhora de Remdios church, before taking a short walk in the surrounding area, before dinnertime.
Today, you will drive to Vila Real and stop to visit the famous Mateus Palace; a stunning 18th century Baroque Palace with elegant manicured gardens. From there, you will drive to Serra do Alvao National Park and take a short stroll to Casactas do Rio Olo (Portugal's highest waterfall at 200 meters), before continuing on to Porto. This afternoon, you will take an orientation walk in the town center and enjoy a wine tasting at the Sandeman Bodega.
Today has been left free to enjoy the lovely riverside city and its sights. Porto is Portugal's second largest city after Lisbon, and offers visitors a range of architectural and cultural attractions, such as the Palacio da Bolsa, with its spectacular Alhambra-like interior, a charismatic medieval quarter and the monumental central avenue, Avenida do Allados.
Tour ends after breakfast. If you are staying on, there is plenty to see and do, as well as plenty of wine to taste!
This fascinating journey will take you from Madrid to Porto through the Ribera del Duero region of Spain and the Douro wine lands of Portugal, providing you with a chance to see many amazing villages and sites along the way.
Located on the Manzanares River, Madrid has its share of historic sights, great architecture, nightlife, fine dining, culture, and shopping.
The Ribera is one of several recognized wine producing regions along the Duero River. The region produces red wine from the Tempranillo grape.
Fermoselle dates back to pre-Roman times and, with its own micro-climate, it has a landscape similar to that of Tuscany, in Italy. Its narrow cobbled streets, rustic stone houses, and, most importantly, delicious wines make it a very pleasant place to stay.
Porto is Portugal's second largest city, after Lisbon, and offers visitors a range of architectural and cultural attractions, such as the Palacio da Bolsa, with its spectacular Alhambra-like interior, a charismatic medieval quarter, and the monumental central avenue, Avenida do Allados.
Explore prefers local restaurants that serve authentic and freshly made food. The tour leaders know all the best places and can usually find one with menu options to suit everyone. Vegetarian options are usually available. During this holiday, you will have the chance to sample authentic and traditional Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, including some of the best regional wines.
The nearest airport is Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD).