DAY 1: Madrid
Arrive at Madrid-Barajas Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel. Join a guided “Madrid at Your Doorstep” vicinity walk to begin getting acquainted with the city.
DAY 2: Madrid
Madrid may very well be Europe’s liveliest capital city, a place where people eat late and stay up even later. Get your bearings with a panoramic overview or a more intimate walking tour, both of which include a visit to the extraordinary Prado Museum. Tonight, enjoy dinner and a colorful, passionate, foot-stomping show at the city’s finest flamenco venue. The capital of Spain, Madrid boasts incomparable artwork, an amazing range of architectural styles— from Moorish to postmodern—and exceptional food. Your Iberian adventure begins here as you sample some of its highlights.
Prado Museum visit
Dinner with flamenco show
Choice of Madrid city tour or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Madrid walking tour
DAY 3: Madrid (Toledo)
Toledo is said to be Spain’s spiritual heart, a timeless, UNESCO-listed city where Muslims, Jews and Christians have peacefully co-existed for three centuries. After your city tour you’ll have time to explore—and eat—on your own; the food here is so exceptional that Toledo was named Spain’s gastronomic capital in 2016. A one-time ancient Roman colony, medieval Moorish capital and center for religious tolerance (that allowed Muslims, Jews and Christians to thrive), Toledo has been called Spain’s spiritual heart.
Toledo city tour
DAY 4: Madrid, Salamanca, Transfer to Vega de Terrón (Embark)
What adventures await you in Spain? Today, you’ll visit the historic university town of Salamanca—the “Golden City”—famous for its sand-colored buildings and abundance of churches. Walk with a local expert through the Plaza Mayor, considered one of the most beautiful squares in Spain, and visit the university and the city’s astounding Food Hall. You’ll check out of your hotel this morning, heading from Madrid toward Portugal and your ship, which is waiting in Vega de Terrón, near the Portuguese border. Along the way you’ll visit beautiful Salamanca, the university town where Columbus sought advice before sailing west in search of a new route to the Indies.
Full-day Salamanca tour
DAY 5: Barca d’Alva (Castelo Rodrigo), Pinhão
Go medieval today at Castelo Rodrigo, both the name of a hilltop castle as well as the village that surrounds it. The view from the top is incredible and the village is a charming place to ramble, relax and replenish. Or opt to take a small boat excursion into a national park to explore the Spanish side of the Douro. A tiny village surrounded by mountains, Barca d’Alva is your base as you explore Castelo Rodrigo, which has been singled out as one of Portugal’s 12 historic villages for its medieval beauty, or opt instead to cruise through a nature preserve along the Douro.
Choice of Castelo Rodrigo or International Douro Natural Park scenic cruise
DAY 6: Pinhão, Régua
Today is all about wine, which has been cultivated in the Douro River Valley since ancient Roman times. You’ll get a crash course in the history of making Port during your visit to the Douro Museum, then head to the hills to a prestigious wine estate, where you can sip Port while savoring marvelous views. Or, take a scenic drive to a family-owned quinta, where you’ll have a firsthand look at grape harvesting. Start the morning off by choosing a way to experience life in the Douro Valley: You can venture overland to Amarante, an ancient town on the banks of the Tâmega River, or visit a lovely quinta.
Choice of Quinta do Seixo guided tour with tasting or Famous Pinhão wine estate with visit to a family-owned quinta
DAY 7: Régua (Lamego), Caldas de Aregos
One of Portugal’s top pilgrimage sites is our destination today, Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego. The church sits high above the town, accessible via hundreds of zigzagging steps adorned with beautiful blue and white tiles. After seeing the sights with a local expert, enjoy a tasting of locally made wines at a picturesque quinta. Today’s highlights include a visit to a picturesque hill town and a scenic cruise along the Douro river.
Lamego city tour with a tasting at a local quinta
DAY 8: Entre-os-Rios (Amarante)
The family-owned Quinta Aveleda looks like something out of a fairytale, with its lush flower gardens, peacocks and swans, shady terraces and whimsical follies—the perfect place to relax over a glass of vindo verde, the preferred drink of the region. Or visit an ancient town known for an iconic pastry and a shrine dedicated to the patron saint of marriage. You have a tough choice to make today: Would you prefer to venture overland to Amarante, an ancient town on the banks of the Tâmega River, or visit a lovely quinta?
Choice of Quinta Aveleda visit with gardens or Amarante walking discovery tour
DAY 9: Porto (Guimarães)
Guimarães or Porto? That’s the question of the day today (you really can’t go wrong either way). Guimarães is the town where Portugal was born and its well-preserved architecture and stylish young residents make it a pleasure to visit. Or opt to explore one of Porto’s oldest neighborhoods, picturesque Ribeira, considered the soul of the city. Today’s options include a visit to the historic town of Guimarães, where you can expand your acquaintance with Portugal’s various wine styles and traditions, and a chance to see Porto as the locals do with an adventurous walking tour.
Choice of Guimaraes city tour or “Soul of Porto” Ribeira district walking discovery tour
DAY 10: Porto
There’s much more to Portugal’s second city than its eponymous fortified wine—historic architecture, cutting-edge design, fabulous food and wine, and a hip, laid-back vibe. Discover its many charms with your choice of distinctively different tours today. Today you cruise to the mouth of the Douro and Portugal’s second city (after Lisbon), Porto, which gave its name to the nation’s most famous export, Port wine, and to the nation itself. The city is a fascinating combination of historic buildings and cutting-edge architecture, tradition and vivacious modernity.
Choice of Porto city tour or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tour
DAY 11: Porto (Disembark), Óbidos, Transfer to Lisbon
The tiny whitewashed village of Óbidos is so charming that Portuguese kings traditionally gave it to their brides as a wedding gift. Need we say more? Climb up to the imposing hilltop castle for spectacular, Instagram-worthy photos of the countryside and the sea beyond. You’ll disembark this morning and board a motorcoach, heading south through Portugal’s picturesque countryside toward Lisbon—but you’ll stop in fascinating Óbidos before you reach the colorful capital city.
Guided stroll through Óbidos
DAY 12: Lisbon
Everything old is new again in the Portuguese capital, which is undergoing a remarkable rebirth of late. Get to know this hilly metropolis with a city tour that shows you all the top sights and treats you to a unique pastry with an intriguing (and delicious) history. Dynamic, colorful and picturesque, Lisbon will continually surprise you. Glorious historic architecture reflects the wealth brought in during the “Age of Discovery,” when the Portuguese owned the seas, but it is also a modern center of finance and international trade.
Lisbon city tour
DAY 13: Depart Lisbon
You’ve experienced the best of Spain, Portugal and the pristine Douro River, but now the journey comes to a close. If your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Lisbon Portela Airport for your flight home. Your Uniworld adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come.
Two intriguing countries and one dramatic river equal a grand adventure
Before setting sail on the Douro River, experience three legendary Spanish cities: Salamanca, the lovely “Golden City”; Madrid, renowned for its museums, stately royal palace and vibrant nightlife; and Toledo, the city of El Greco and a magnificent tribute to the three great cultures that forged Spain.
Cruise through the UNESCO-designated Douro Valley, where grapes have been grown for 2,000 years, visiting picturesque quintas and meeting the winemakers who operate them, as well as tasting the wine. Get even closer to natural treasures at the Douro International Natural Park, where you can get a better understanding of the flora and fauna of the land with an intimate boat cruise, and at the Quinta Aveleda’s gardens, offering an enchanting landscape that boasts a cascading waterfall, graceful swans swimming, peacocks flaunting their colors and so much more. Visit the walled village of Castelo Rodrigo, a site that dates back to the 12th century, and the pilgrimage town of Lamego to see the monumental baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Travel through the verdant countryside to Óbidos, a charming hilltop town that has entranced visitors since the 13th century en route to Portugal’s colorful capital of Lisbon.
Reward your inner explorer with the “Jewels of Spain, Portugal & the Douro River,” blending captivating cities, picturesque villages and unparalleled scenic cruising through this less-traveled corner of Europe.
Who will enjoy this cruise/tour
Those who seek to experience the best of Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, culture, art and history, all while traversing the dramatic landscapes made famous by Don Quixote.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients: 12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
11 days of excursions fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided "Go Active" and "Do as the Locals Do" programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the chic Queen Isabel
2 nights in Lisbon at the InterContinental Hotel (or similar) with breakfast
3 nights in Madrid at The Westin Palace (or similar) with breakfast
Beautifully appointed riverview staterooms and suites with hotel-style beds, draped in fine linens with a choice of pillows
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
2 countries: Spain and Portugal
6 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “Portuguese Seafarers and Spanish Explorers”
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.