EUROPE
16D13N NORTHERN SPAIN & PORTUGAL CRUISE
Tour Code: ECBIOG

Full Package
Land Tour
19 - 02 Nov
Lufthansa
Fr $18,068
FLIGHT DETAILS
19 Oct 2020 > LH791 SIN 23:25 MUC 05:50
20 Oct 2020 > LH1824 MUC 08:40 BIO 10:50
02 Nov 2020 > LH1169 LIS 16:10 FRA 20:15
02 Nov 2020 > LH778 FRA 21:55 SIN 17:10

PRICE DETAILS
ADULT >
SINGLE
$31,868
TWIN
$18,068
TRIPLE
N/A
CHILD >
WITH BED
N/A
w/o BED
N/A
Half Twin
$17,768
Confirmed
LUFTHANSA
19 - 02 Nov
16 DAYS
Fr $18,068
Confirmed
LUFTHANSA
19 - 02 Nov
16 DAYS
Fr $18,068
19 - 02 Nov
Lufthansa
Fr $23,968
FLIGHT DETAILS
19 Oct 2020 > LH791 SIN 23:25 MUC 05:50
20 Oct 2020 > LH1824 MUC 08:40 BIO 10:50
02 Nov 2020 > LH1169 LIS 16:10 FRA 20:15
02 Nov 2020 > LH778 FRA 21:55 SIN 17:10

PRICE DETAILS
ADULT >
SINGLE
$37,768
TWIN
$23,968
TRIPLE
N/A
CHILD >
WITH BED
N/A
w/o BED
N/A
Half Twin
$23,668
Confirmed
LUFTHANSA
19 - 02 Nov
16 DAYS
Fr $23,968
Confirmed
LUFTHANSA
19 - 02 Nov
16 DAYS
Fr $23,968


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Welcome to a unique experience! Assemble at Changi Airport for our flight to Bilbao, the de facto capital of Basque Country.

 

Depart from the airport and drive to the city.  Get acquainted old and new Bilbao with our local guide.  Stroll around the landmarks of the cobbled old town.   Admire the striking architecture of the Guggenheim Museum designed by American architect Frank Gehry.  The Museum represents an architectural landmark of audacious configuration perfectly integrated within Bilbao’s urban pattern and its surroundings.

Lunch

 

Travel along the beautiful coastline to San Sebastian, often considered the most beautiful city in Basque Country.  Explore the narrow alleys of the historical quarter, stroll along Europe’s best beach, the La Concha and make a photo stop at the pretty Miramar Royal Palace built for Queen Maria Cristina who put San Sebastian on the map.  Venture closer to the French border to visit historical Hondarribia, a colourfull fishing village with a well-preserved old town surrounded by a fortified wall.  The old town boasts beautiful Basque house with wooden balconies painted in a myriad of colours. 

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

 

Visit the historic Santillana del Mar filled with beautiful medieval architecture.  With its bright cobbled streets, a tanned sandstone and brick building in perfect state of preservation, Santillana del Mar is a medieval jewel.  The highlight of the town is the Colegiata de Santa Juliana, a lovely church with a walled cloister in the heart of the town.  A short drive brings us to Comillas where we will tour a treasure of Modernist Art, Gaudi’s El Capricho.  Drive to the charming capital of Asturias, Oviedo. 

Visit the historic Santillana del Mar filled with beautiful medieval architecture.  With its bright cobbled streets, a tanned sandstone and brick building in perfect state of preservation, Santillana del Mar is a medieval jewel.  The highlight of the town is the Colegiata de Santa Juliana, a lovely church with a walled cloister in the heart of the town.  A short drive brings us to Comillas where we will tour a treasure of Modernist Art, Gaudi’s El Capricho.  Drive to the charming capital of Asturias, Oviedo. 

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

 

 

Visit the Oviedo Cathedral, historic old town and the restored marketplace.  Learn about Asturian cuisine and the tradition of cider making.  Discover why Oviedo has been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage of Mankind.  Head towards Santiago de Compostela, the final destination of the thousand-year-old pilgrimage route: the Way of St James. 

Breakfast
Dinner

 

Tour the city’s massive Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral, the historic destination of the renowned St James’ Way.  Discover this UNESCO World Heritage Site and its charming surroundings in the company of our local guide.  Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Breakfast
Lunch

 

Drive to Rias Baixas for soul-stirring views of the Galician coast.  The region has long waterways stretching inland and are said to be the marks left by God’s hand after he cleansed himself after creating the world.  If weather permits, enjoy a boat trip to the mussel and oyster farms for some tasting.  After lunch, make our way 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

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)

Breakfast
Lunch

 

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

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. 

 

Disembark this morning and make our way to Coimbra, Portugal’s medieval capital for more than a century and home to the country’s oldest and most prestigious university.  Tour the steeply stacked historic center which dates back to Moorish times with its dark cobbled streets and monumental cathedral. 

Enjoy a short walk in the walled city of Obidos with its white-washed houses and cobblestone roads before we drive to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.

Lunch
Dinner

 

Embark on a walking tour of Lisbon with our local guide.  Take in the sights, sounds and smell as we venture through small squares and narrow streets.  Check out the Rossio Central Station to learn about the details of the 19th-century engineering marvel that is the tunnel to Sintra.  Enjoy a ride on a vintage tram to the Moorish quarter of Alfama.  In the afternoon, bid farewell to Portugal as we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Singapore. 

Breakfast

 

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

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