EUROPE
19D16N SPAIN & PORTUGAL DOURO CRUISE (S)
Tour Code: ECBCNS

Full Package
Land Tour
15 - 02 Nov
Turkish Airlines
Fr $16,828
FLIGHT DETAILS
15 Oct 2020 > TK55 SIN 23:25 IST 05:25
16 Oct 2020 > TK1853 IST 07:25 BCN 10:00
01 Nov 2020 > TK1420 OPO 12:15 IST 19:50
02 Nov 2020 > TK54 IST 01:55 SIN 17:30

PRICE DETAILS
ADULT >
SINGLE
$28,428
TWIN
$16,828
TRIPLE
N/A
CHILD >
WITH BED
N/A
w/o BED
N/A
Half Twin
$16,528
Confirmed
TURKISH AIRLINES
15 - 02 Nov
19 DAYS
Fr $16,828
Confirmed
TURKISH AIRLINES
15 - 02 Nov
19 DAYS
Fr $16,828
22 - 09 Nov
Turkish Airlines
Fr $16,828
FLIGHT DETAILS
22 Oct 2020 > TK55 SIN 23:25 IST 05:25
23 Oct 2020 > TK1853 IST 07:25 BCN 10:00
08 Nov 2020 > TK1420 OPO 12:15 IST 19:50
09 Nov 2020 > TK54 IST 01:55 SIN 17:30

PRICE DETAILS
ADULT >
SINGLE
$28,428
TWIN
$16,828
TRIPLE
N/A
CHILD >
WITH BED
N/A
w/o BED
N/A
Half Twin
$16,528
Confirmed
TURKISH AIRLINES
22 - 09 Nov
19 DAYS
Fr $16,828
Confirmed
TURKISH AIRLINES
22 - 09 Nov
19 DAYS
Fr $16,828


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Welcome to a unique experience! Assemble at Changi Airport for our flight to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, Spain.

 

Travel to the city where we meet our local guide.  Visit Le Sagrada Familia (entrance included), the most iconic landmark of Barcelona.  Other art nouveau icons of Gaudi include Casa Mila & Casa Balto.  Stroll down bustling La Rambla and arrived at the Columbus Monument.  Travel up to Monjuich Hill, the site of the 1992 Olympics for a spectacular view of the city.  View the Cathedral in the Barrio Gothic and admire the well-preserved city walls which have surrounded the old city for over 2000 years.  

Lunch

 

Enjoy the day at leisure. 

Breakfast

 

Drive to Valencia, once a royal capital and now a sunny garden city.  Start our tour with a panoramic drive around the City of Arts & Science, a futuristic ‘city within a city’.  View the Town Hall and the Bull Ring before proceeding on foot to La Seo Cathedral which is said to house the ‘Holy Grail’.  Admire the Miguelete (Little Michael Tower) before visiting the old town with the historic Silk Exchange and Central Market.  In the evening, learn how to cook the paella.

Breakfast
Dinner

 

Travel to Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one Spain’s most striking cities.  Admire medieval buildings stacked on a steep promontory at the meeting of two deep river gorges.  Narrow meandering streets separate tall houses with wooden balconies that jut out over the sheer cliffs.  Continue to the capital of Spain, Madrid

Breakfast
Dinner

 

Start the tour with a visit to the Royal Palace, (may close during official ceremonies without prior notice.  The visit will be replaced by Prado Museum).  See the Plaza Mayor where bullfights, royal coronations and even the Spanish Inquisition took place.  View the Cibeles Fountain, the Gran Via and Puerta del Sol, officially the exact centre of the city. Visit Plaza Espana where the statue of Cervantes takes centre stage. In the afternoon, enjoy shopping at a factory outlet mall.

Breakfast
Lunch

 

Set off to Toledo, an ancient city set on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain.  It is the capital of the region and is known for its medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments within its walled city. Stop at Alcantara Bridge which offers a great photo opportunity of Toledo.  Visit the Cathedral which is filled with sparkling gold relief, huge oil portraits and paintings of Toledo’s cardinals going back 500 years.  Visit a Damascene Workshop to see the ancient Moorish art of interlacing gold on iron or steel. After lunch, drive to the ancient city of Cordoba, A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a living legacy of cultures that settled here throughout its history.

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

 

Visit the Mezquita, a former mosque, the finest of its kind and now the Cathedral of Cordoba.  Admire the Moorish architecture said to be the jewel of Cordoba.  Admire the Roman Bridge with its 16 arches spanning the Guadalquivir River.  Whitewashed houses with flower-filled balconies line the narrow streets of the medieval Jewish quarters. Drive past orange groves and almond orchards as we make our way to Seville, site of the World Expo 1992. Visit the massive 15th century Gothic Cathedral where the tomb of Christopher Columbus can be found.  Walk up the ramps of the Giralda Tower (entrance included) where the panoramic views of Seville can be admired.  View the Alcazar and stroll into the charming Jewish district of Santa Cruz.   Drive through Maria Luisa Park and arrive at the most beautiful Plaza de Espana in Spain.

Breakfast
Dinner

 

Cross sun-baked landscapes of Estremadura, cradle of the Conquistadores into the greenery of the Portuguese border. The 25th April Bridge leads us into the capital of Portugal, Lisbon.

Breakfast
Dinner

 

Start with a drive down the broad avenues of the Lower Town and view the contrasting Alfama Quarter.  Compare the neat grids of the Baixa, the financial district of Lisbon to the narrow lanes in the Barrio Alto.  See Vasco da Gama’s tomb inside the Jeronimo’s Monastery and admire views of the Navigator’s Monument and the Belem Tower, starting point for Portugal’s intrepid explorers.  Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Breakfast
Lunch

 

Continue northwards to Fatima, one of the most important centers of pilgrimage in the catholic world.  Enjoy some time to explore the Sanctuary of Fatima, Chapel of Apparitions and Berlin Wall.  Drive to Porto, Portugal’s second largest city where we board our luxurious S.S Sao Gabriel, our home for the next 7 nights.

Breakfast
Lunch

 

There is much more to Porto than its eponymous fortified wine – historic architecture, fabulous food and wine and a hip, laid-back vibe.  Discover its many charms with your choice of distinctively different tours today.  The city is a fascinating combination of historic buildings and cutting-edge architecture, tradition and vivacious modernity.  The ship sets sail after our tour, cruising up the Douro towards Porto Antigo.

Choice of excursion

A.    Porto Panoramic City Tour

Of course it is the longtime hub of the Port wine trade, but Porto is also much more.  Take in the UNESCO-designated 19th century Stock Exchange Palace, see its famous Moorish Revival-style Arab Room during our panoramic tour.  Get a feel for this vibrant town, which is profoundly urban and moodily romantic.  Colourful multistory townhouses sheathe the hills that climb precipitously from the Douro estuary, medieval alleys snake though UNESCO-designated neighbourhoods enclosed by 14th-century walls which were erected on Roman foundations and baroque church towers crown the hilltops.  The Clerigos Tower is an unmistakable landmark, visible from almost anywhere in the Old Town.  In fact, sailors used it as a guide to navigate their way through the estuary.   Visit Porto’s austere hilltop cathedral before driving down to the Riberira. 

OR

B.    Exclusive ‘Do as the Locals Do’ Porto walking tour with local tastings and vintage tram ride

Depart by coach for Mosteiro do Serra do Pilar where our extensive walking tour will start.  Board the electric (Porto’s historical tram) to Clerigos quarters.  The tram is a splendid way to discover Porto as its cars are beautifully maintained and we will travel amongst the locals. See the world’s most beautiful Lello & Irmão Bookstore and the Azulejos Murals at the Sao Bento Station.  Walk up to the Cathedral Se for panoramic views of the city then wind our way down narrow alleys the old town.  Enjoy refreshment before heading back to the ship.  (Note: Not recommended for gentle walkers)

 

Take note of the little chapels we see along the banks.  Though the river is slow and calm now that it has been tamed by dams, it was once extremely hazardous.  These tiny chapels mark spots where entire rebelo boat crews perished attempting to get their cargo of Port wine to Porto.

AM Excursion:

Vila Real – Casa de Mateus

Built in the first half of the 18th century and betraying the finishing touches of Nicolau Nasoni, this palace set in beautiful gardens on a vast farm is considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque civil architecture in Portugal.  Its interior includes intricately carved wooden ceilings, furniture from several periods, paintings, silverwares and a library with an illustrated edition of the celebrated Lusiadas of Luis de Camoes published in 1816. Enjoy some time in the beautiful gardens or wine tasting in the cellar.

PM Excursion:

Lamego

Nestled among the terraced slopes of the Douro valley port wine-growing region is the elegant town Lamego.  The most striking building of Lamego is the sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies which stands gracefully above the town on Monte de Sao Estevao, flanked by twin bell towers. Its hundreds of zigzagging staris are decorated with tiled friezes and climb out of a tailored garden resplendent with a variety of trees.  Visit a local tavern to taste some local produce before we travel back to the ship.

 

Feel the centuries fall away as our ship winds its way through the pristine and dramatic landscapes of the Douro River Valley.  Head ashore to the hills for a visit to a quinta (wine estate).  See spectacular landscapes shaped by wine growers for two millennia.  The stone terraces curving around the steep slopes hold soil that is largely the creation of human intervention.  People have labouriously broken up the native silver schist stone over the centuries and turned it into usable sandy earth.  Learn about the tradition and modern process of making port wine.  Before returning to the ship, walk up to Casal de Loivos for the most spectacular sights of the Alto Douro Wine Region.

 

The ship docks near the Spanish border today where we may head across the country to the historic university town of Salamanca famous for its sand-coloured buildings and abundance of churches or remain in Portugal to discover Belmonte.

Choice of excursion

A.         Salamanca – The golden city and Spain’s oldest University

Called the ‘Golden City’ for its tawny sandstone buildings, Salamanca boasts a dozen beautiful and historic churches including two cathedrals: the new, built in the early 16th century and the old which dates to the 12th century.  Walk with our guide through Plaza Mayor, lined with wonderful baroque buildings to the university which was founded by Alfonso IX in 1218.  The ornate façade is stunning and the interior are equally beautiful.  Salamanca’s food hall is one of Spain’s best as you will discover it for yourselves.  (Lunch is not included in this excursion and the guide will recommend some great places to dine)

OR

B.            Belmonte – the Jewish nation

Discover Hebrew heritage on a visit to Belmonte.  Hebrew culture and tradition have lasted since the early 16th century until today.  The Jewry was located between the streets of Fonte da Rosa and Direita.  See engraved stones in the threshold of small granite houses, an evidence of Jews who were forced to live in hiding.  (Lunch is not included in this excursion and the guide will recommend some great places to dine)

 

A tiny village surrounded by mountains, Barca d’Alva is our base for today’s adventures.  Go medieval at Castelo Rodrigo, both the name of a hilltop castle as well as the village that surrounds it.  It has been singled out as one of Portugal’s 12 historic villages for its medieval beauty.  The view from the top is incredible and the village is a charming place to ramble, relax and replenish.  In the afternoon, lace up your hiking boots and unleash your inner Indiana Jones with an up-close gander at some prehistoric carvings with a visit to Portugal’s first archaeological park, Foz Coa.

AM Excursion

Castelo Rodrigo

Ride through wonderfully scenic countryside, the region is noted for its honey which derives its flavour from the fields of wild lavender and the almond groves, to Castelo Rodrigo.  The castle ruins stand high atop Marofa Mountain, telling the tale of border strife and Portugal’s struggle for independence in a single structure.  Construction on the citadel began in 1209 under the auspices of the king of Leon but it became part of Portugal within a century though its local lords sided with Spanish rulers from time to time over the next four centuries which explains why the palace adjoining the castle lies in ruins.  Outraged citizens destroyed it after its lord sided with Castile.  Take in the amazing view from the ancient stone walls then step down through tiny cobbled lands of the village, passing the old pillory, the Manueline church and the market square.  Sample local treats such as honey, almonds, olive oil and cheeses.  A newly restored tea-house invites you to relax over a cup of tea or a cool drink. 

PM Excursion

Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley

Ready for an expedition worthy of Indiana Jones?  In the 90s, scouting for a proposed dam project on the Côa River revealed an astonishing collection of prehistoric carvings.  The oldest images etched into the schist walls around the river dates to approximately 22,000 to 20, 000 BC with younger carvings ranging from the Epipaleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze ages to the 17th century.  These images represent human interaction with the natural world for more than 30,000 years.  Our visit starts at the Côa Museum where we can see both original and reproduction of the original rock art.  Follow the guide into the valley to see the sites.  Note: Sturdy hiking footwear and considerable physical fitness is required. You will hike into rocky and hard-to-access locations.

 

“Portugal was born here’.  So the sign on the city wall proclaims.  Guimaraes was home to Portugal’s first king, Afonso I, who manages to win his kingdom’s independence in the 12th century from neighbouring suzerains.  The wonderfully well-preserved Old Town with its unique architecture (houses combine granite with half-timbering) and charming little plazas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Overlooking it is the grand castle that appears on Portugal’s coat of arms.  Rove with our guide from the castle towards the beautiful main square, the Largo da Oliveira the splendid monastery & Church of Our Lady of Oliveira and the 14th-century Gothic Padrao do Salado. 

 

Bid farewell to Portugal as we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Singapore. 

 

We hope you have had an enjoyable vacation with Dynasty Travel and look forward to bring you to your next holiday destination!

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