If you’re looking for an exceptional European city break like no other, look no further than to Porto and the historic Douro Valley in Portugal.
Best time to visit: From May to June there are fewer tourists but experience fantastic sunshine through to September.
Day 1: Arrive in Porto
Upon arrival to Porto Airport you will be met by your driver who will transfer you to your hotel, The Yeatman.
As soon as you arrive in Porto, you’ll understand how diversified Portugal is although being a quite small country. Considered the second largest Portuguese city, Porto is completely different from Lisbon, in terms of size, colours, traditions and even in what concerns the local population. On the north bank of Douro River, the city of Porto is still one of the most impressive Portuguese cities, having still nowadays a certain feeling of rivalry towards Lisbon.
The riverside quarter of Ribeira is a delightful site, with its narrow streets, typical houses and picturesque life-style. It has been recently restored, now including some fashionable restaurants and bars. In the city centre you can have a look at some of the most significant monuments including the Stock Exchange Palace, St. Francis Church and Clergies Church and Bell Tower and go to the commercial and pedestrian street of St. Catherine.
On the other bank of Douro River, at Vila Nova de Gaia, we advise you to visit one of the Port Wine cellars, including some Port Wine tasting at the end. The historical centre of this city is a World Heritage site, it was classified in 1996.
Day 2: Walking tour through Porto's history and shopping
Today you will met by your private guide who will take you on a tour to visit some of the most authentic places of Porto while sampling some of the most well-known food and drink specialties of Portugal.
The first stop of the day will be to take a look at the Livraria Lello, considered by many as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Next, you will continue onto the traditional shop A Vida Portuguesa, where you can find some of the most representative items of the past century that remained in the memory of the Portuguese. You will then continue towards Avenida dos Aliados, making a stop at Padaria Ribeiro, a bakery where you can try the best veal pies in the city.
Afterwards you will discover a sweet tooth’s dream – Leitaria Quinta do Paco, a dairy producer – be sure to try the chocolate eclairs! Continuing downstairs, you will enjoy chocolate at the traditional Arcadia, a chocolatery, it has belong to the same family since 1933 and the same family traditions in the recipes and manufacturing processes haven’t changed.
If you like shopping, you can stop by the Santa Catarina Street. In here you will be in the most famous pedestrian street of Porto, where you can find the traditional small shops, as well as the shopping centre of Via Catarina, where you have the main retailer stores such as Zara and H&M.
Nearby is the famous Mercado do Bolhão, the most traditional market in the city. Besides the typical products that you can buy here, it is perfect to feel the spirit of the cheerful inhabitants of Porto. You will see the emotion of the sellers screaming just to have the attention of the possible clients and this way you will understand why it is said that the Porto citizens speak always with their heart.
Day 3: Vintage Port wine experience
Today you will have a private visit and wine tasting in Taylor’s Wine Cellar in the historic area of Vila Nova de Gaia. The cellars are long cool, dark warehouses with thick granite walls and high ceilings helping to keep out the heat and maintain an even temperature throughout the year, this is to ensure that the wines age slowly, gradually acquiring the sublime complex flavours and aromas of maturity.
Wines in the cellars age either in cask or in vat, below the cellars are the tunnels that house the Vintage Port cellars. The Vintage Ports age in bottle, lying horizontally to keep the corks moist.
In the afternoon you will have some free time to enjoy on your own – either relax and enjoy the amenities of your hotel, such as the spa or discover more of Porto!
Day 4: Cooking class in the Douro Valley
Today you will check out of your hotel and make your way to the Douro Valley via private transfer.
On route, you will stop off at Casa de Juste, a XIV century Manor House, for a cooking class. You will learn how to bake traditional cakes and jams with the help of masters before enjoying a special lunch made up of regional products.
Then it is back on the road for the final stop, the Douro Valley, one of the most spectacular in Europe when it comes to scenery. Over 2000 years ago, the Romans decided to plant thousands of hectares of vineyards creating terraces on each corner of the valley making it a paradise for wine lovers.
The rest of the day will be at your leisure.
Day 5: Discovering more of the Douro Valley
Today you will have a full day private of the Douro Valley, designed for those who wise to unveil the Douro Wine Region through its main product, the Port Wine!
Departing from the hotel in the morning, your first stop will be in Pinhao, an important centre of the Port wine production. This was the location where the traditional rabelo boats used to depart towards the city of Porto loaded with barrels of wine. In this area you will find the first estate with five generations of work and wine production, this is one of Douro Valley’s finest vineyards. After having a visit of this estate, you will have a wine tasting at Quinta do Bomfim.
After the late morning tasting, you will walk along the riverside before boarding a luxury eco yacht navigating downstream towards the restaurant DOC on a panoramic route. Docking at the pier, you will enjoy a lunch by the famous Portuguese chef Rui Paula whilst overlooking the Douro Valley.
The day follows to another beautiful estate that is full of stories and important characters, Quinta da Covela. Walking though the vineyards, enjoy a privileged view over the river and taste some of the best locally produced wines.
At the end of the day, return to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 6: Departure
Today your private driver will pick you up and transfer you to Porto Airport for your return journey home.
If you would like to find out more about this package and for prices, get in touch with a friendly Camel Collection rep today.
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