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Travelmarvel

Bordeaux and Basque Country with Douro Discovery

London to Porto

Trip Code: EUTCOSJJ20
0 Days
41 Meals
5 Countries
  • Travel & Accommodation
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Similar Trips

Trip Inclusions

  • 12 nights in premium accommodation
  • Seven nights on a premium river ship, the MS Douro Serenity
  • Services of a Great Rail Journeys Tour Escort, expert local guides and a Travelmarvel Cruise Director
  • 41 meals – 19 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 14 dinners
  • Daily bottled water, tea and coffee, as well as soft drink, beer and local wine during lunch and dinner on your cruise
  • Flight from Madrid to Porto
  • Airport transfers, port charges and tipping
  • EUTCOSJJ20 - 2029 season starts in London and runs for 20 days

Travel & Accommodation

Douro Serenity journeying on the river through the valley

Portugal River Cruising

Wind your way through the Douro Valley's heavenly scenery on as seven-night river cruise aboard the MS Douro Serenity.

View Ship Details
Multi coloured building at sunset, Spain

Dine at Marques de Riscal

Be treated to lunch at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Marqués de Riscal in northern Spain, designed by Frank Gehry.

Rows of trees in a vineyard with mountains in the background, France

Visit a Bordeaux Wine Estate

Learn about local wine-producing techniques and enjoy a lunch of local specialties at a wine estate in Bordeaux.

Map & Itinerary

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions subject to change
  • Porterage is not included
  • Itinerary operated by Travelmarvel’s partner Great Rail Journeys
  • Low or high water levels may cause disruption to cruising
  • Please note the 2019 season (EUTCOSJJ20) runs for 20 days and starts in London
  • Prices are for land/rail/cruise and flights as specified only
Europe Map EUTCOSJJ20 2019
London to Porto

Designed exclusively for our guests

Insider Experience

Enjoy an included special or unique excursion or event

On arrival in London, be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of today is yours at leisure before dinner this evening.

Stay: London, Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel

Daily :
  • Dinner

Meet your Tour Escort and fellow guests this morning at London’s St Pancras railway station. Board the Eurostar and travel in Standard Premier class to the Paris-Nord terminus in the French capital. From here, a coach will whisk you to Paris-Montparnasse station, where you’ll board another train for a journey south to the city of Bordeaux, gateway to the famous wine region of the same name.

Stay: Two Nights, Bordeaux, Mercure Bordeaux Château Chartrons

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Venture into the countryside for a visit to one of Bordeaux’ esteemed wine estates. Learn about local wine-producing techniques during a tour, then indulge in a delicious lunch with the owners.


After a city tour, venture into the countryside for your Insider Experience. This afternoon, travel to Saint-Émilion and enjoy a guided walk through this medieval village before free time.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Departing Bordeaux, travel by train to Hendaye. From here, a coach will take you across the border into Spain and on to the resort town of San Sebastián, set on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s Basque Country. During time at leisure, perhaps go for a stroll along the waterfront or head to a pintxo bar to sample the Basque Country version of tapas. Then continue to Bilbao and settle in to your hotel before dinner.

Stay: Three Nights, Bilbao, selected premium four-star hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Today commences with a visit to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Housing a range of contemporary and modern art, this is not only an incredible museum, it’s also an architectural wonder in its own right, designed as it was by famous North American architect Frank Gehry. After ample time to explore, ride the city tram to the Ribera Market, set next to Casco Viejo – the city’s atmospheric old quarter. Enjoy a guided walk around this beautiful riverside district before the afternoon is yours to further explore at leisure.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Experience a Frank Gehry creation – the Marqués de Riscal. This unique Michelin-starred restaurant overlooks its own vineyard and is a perfect setting for lunch.


You’ll spend most of today exploring the Basque countryside and visiting vineyards in La Rioja wine region. Enjoy free time to wander the streets of Laguardia, a typical Rioja wine village. After lunch, continue on to the town of Haro, home to many of the great bodegas in La Rioja. Enjoy time at leisure to explore the intriguing alleyways of the compact old quarter, before returning to Bilbao.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

A wonderful rail journey takes you today from Bilbao to León, a city set along the famous pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago - The Way of St James. During a tour, you’ll see the brass scallop shells that mark the route of the Camino through the city, as well as a number of historic sites including the Gothic 13th-century Catedral de Léon. After, check in to your hotel before dinner.

Stay: León, selected premium four-star hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Following a free morning, you’ll depart León by train, passing through Ponferrada and Ourense, among other cities, on the way to Santiago de Compostela. On arrival, settle in to your hotel and enjoy dinner.

Stay: Three Nights, NH Collection Santiago de Compostela

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

During a guided tour today, you’ll start to become familiar with Santiago de Compostela, the walled medieval cathedral town that marks the end of the Camino de Santiago. Afterwards, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to further explore the city’s grand plazas and back alleys.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

In O Grove, board a catamaran for a cruise on the Ria de Arousa, a salt-water estuary and one of the richest mussel-producing waterways in the world. Naturally, you’ll stop to visit a mussel farm, before returning to land.


Explore the towns and villages of the Galician coast during a full day excursion today. Call in at Pontevedra, with its well-preserved old town, and visit the fishing village of Combarro. Then it’s on to the peninsula town of O Grove for your Insider Experience. After enjoying free time in Cambados, indulge in a special dinner at one of the restaurants at Parador de Santiago de Compostela.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Rise early this morning and set off on your last rail journey, this time taking you to the bustling Spanish capital of Madrid. Heading south-east, farewell the lush green landscapes of the north and pass through the dry rocky landscapes of central Spain. On arrival in Madrid, check in to your hotel freshen up before an afternoon at leisure.

Stay: Two Nights, Hotel NH Madrid Príncipe de Vergara

Daily :
  • Breakfast

This morning brings with it a guided sightseeing tour of Madrid, taking in the city’s elegant boulevards and vast parks by coach and on foot, visiting a selection of the city’s most intriguing attractions. Look out for the Palacio Real and Retiro Park as well as two of the city’s most famous squares – Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Cibeles. This evening, farewell your travelling companions during a Farewell Dinner at a local Spanish restaurant.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

This morning after breakfast, be transferred to the airport for your included flight to Porto, a perfect introduction to sunny Portugal. Spain’s smaller, but no less magnificent, neighbour, Portugal is one of Europe’s warmest countries and boasts a mix of vibrant art, music, wine and food, as well as endless sunny days. Be met at the airport and transferred to your river ship, the MS Douro Serenity. Tonight meet your fellow travellers and Travelmarvel Cruise Director at a Welcome Reception as you take in the sights along the Douro River on a sunset cruise.

Stay: Seven Nights, aboard your river ship, the MS Douro Serenity

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Travel by coach to Pinhão. Here, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous dinner of traditional dishes and dessert at a picturesque local quinta, a Portuguese winery.


Today you begin your cruise along the spectacular Douro River. Flowing from the northern reaches of Spain, through Portugal and into the Atlantic, this river is bordered by countless vineyards. As you cruise this morning, you’ll take part in a Portuguese language lesson, during which you’ll learn some essential phrases of this beautiful language. Disembark your ship in Régua and join an excursion by coach to the splendid Gardens and Palace of Mateus. Tour this living museum which is still owned by the Count of Vila Real. Discover for yourself the connection between this beautiful 18th-century palace and the famous Mateus Rose wine.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Today, cruise across the border into Vega de Terrón in Spain. Enjoy some time at leisure before joining an excursion to Castelo Rodrigo. This tiny village sits atop a hill overlooking both Spain and Portugal, and features a number of well-preserved ruins, an impressive castle and a magnificent stone statue of Santiago Matamoros. After exploring this charming little town, you’ll board a coach and return to your ship.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Discover the golden sandstone beauty of Salamanca on a tour, and take in a Flamenco performance.


Today you’ll disembark and board a coach to set off for the glorious Spanish city of Salamanca. This gorgeous city is arguably one of the most beautiful in Spain, and boasts sunlit sandstone buildings along with a majestic city square and an ancient university. Here you’ll enjoy a Flamenco show and lunch. Be entranced by captivating Flamenco dancers as they astound you with their stomping feet in a fiery performance. Afterwards, return by coach back over the border to Barca d’Alva, the last Portuguese village along the Douro, where your ship awaits. Back on board, this evening enjoy a traditional Portuguese barbecue dinner.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

In Régua, visit a local quinta which boasts outstanding views over the Douro Valley. Here, you’ll enjoy a tasting of local port wine, Portugal’s most famous tipple.


This morning after breakfast, enjoy a Portuguese cooking demonstration on board as your ship cruises past Pinhão to Régua. After visiting a local quinta, board a coach and take a scenic drive past swathes of expansive vineyards visiting the picturesque village of Lamego and the elaborately decorated baroque cathedral, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, an important Portuguese place of pilgrimage. While in Lamego, visit one of Portugal’s best museums. Once an episcopal palace, this beautiful building is home to a vast collection of paintings, tapestries and jewellery. You may also like to sample one of the town’s famous specialties Bola de Lamego, a sumptuous smoked ham roll.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning, enjoy free time to explore Régua - you may like to wander along the riverfront, or venture into the lovely Old Town. Afterwards, continue on to the riverside town of Entre-os-Rios. On arrival, enjoy free time to explore this gorgeous, vibrant town as you please. Tonight be treated to an energetic performance of traditional Portuguese folk music back on board at a special Captain’s Dinner.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

After breakfast, cruise back to the enchanting city of Vila Nova de Gaia. On arrival, join a fascinating tour of nearby Porto, which sits just across the river. Here, you’ll be led past a collection of the city’s most famous attractions, and visit a local port winery for a tour and tasting. This afternoon, there’s ample time for you to step back out to explore Porto at leisure. You may like to visit a Portuguese boutique to buy authentic, local souvenirs. Or perhaps take a stroll through the city’s old-fashioned Bolhao food market. Alternatively, you might choose to take an optional excursion to the World Heritage-listed city of Guimarães. This evening back on board your ship, enjoy a final Farewell Dinner with your new-found friends.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

After enjoying a final breakfast on board, transfer to the airport in Porto for your onward flight.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

I could not have asked for more regarding a tour guide. Helpful in all ways, terrific personality.