It’s time to head off over the sea for some late summer sunshine to Póvoa de Varzim, where the last grapes of summer still linger on the vine. Featuring one of the mildest European climates, the air will be dry and the sand warm beneath your toes. So whether you fancy idly watching the waves while sipping coffee at a nearby café, sampling the fine wines and ports of the region, or delving into the delights of this area’s fascinating culture, landscape and history – the choice is entirely yours.
Day 1 Anchors aweigh as we sail on the late afternoon luxury ferry to Spain.
The cruise features a variety of entertainment
to while away our time on the ocean waves.
Day 2 On arrival in Spain there is time to discover for yourself the port of Santander,
capital of the Cantabria region, before journeying via historic Burgos to Palencia.
Its here that we rest overnight in the modern Europa Centro Hotel ****
The hotel has a lift.
Day 3 We bid farewell to Spain, knowing that a warm welcome is awaiting in Portugal.
Well head for the coast and the friendly Axis Vermar Hotel ****
in Póvoa de Varzim, to dine, enjoy a glass and perhaps
take a peaceful stroll by the shoreline.
Day 4 With a day of leisure ahead, the only question is whether to stay close to home
near the beach or pool, or to explore a little further afield.
Will you take in the fishermans district to the south, or make a serious start
sampling those fresh local wines with that delightful, and often effervescent, difference?
Day 5 We independently explore whats often considered the birthplace
of the Portuguese nationality,
and one of the countrys most important historical cities.
Guimarães is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
which demonstrates how a medieval settlement
became transformed into a modern town with building techniques
that were exported to the Portuguese colonies.
Theres plenty to see and scope for quiet reflection,
perhaps from a table with a cool drink in the beautiful city square, steeped in history.
Day 6 For some proper messing about on one of the major waterways
of the Iberian Peninsular,
we travel by riverboat along the Douro to Vila Nova de Gaia.
Expect enchanting scenery, as we make our way past terraces
cultivated with vines following the curves of mountainsides.
The wine itself used to be transported down the river,
to be stored in the famous cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia,
where our coach awaits to take us back to the hotel.
Day 7 Across the Douro from Vila Nova de Gaia is the historic town of Porto,
one of the oldest European centres and World Heritage Site.
A guided tour on foot and by coach is part of todays itinerary
before visiting a wine estate to learn the interesting process of producing port wine.
Day 8 Adeus Portugal as we retrace our footsteps
back to Palencia and the Europa Centro Hotel **** for an overnight stay.
Day 9 Palencia fades in the distance as we travel to Santander for some leisure time
before our overnight cruise to the UK, enjoying excellent entertainment and facilities.
Day 10 We arrive back on the mainland before returning home.
Return ferry crossing with room only.*
Cruise on the Douro River.
Guided tour of Porto.
Visit to wine estate and sample port wine.
Excursions as detailed.
7 nights hotel stay on half board, see our full brochure for more details.
Welcome drink, house wine and mineral water with dinner plus 2 nights live entertainment at the Axis Vermar Hotel.
Door-to-door travel, see our full brochure for more details.
Fully escorted throughout by a SwanTours representative.
This hotel is in an excellent location right on the beach and boasts a large outdoor pool and tennis courts.
All SwanTours guest rooms will have a sea view, satellite television and air conditioning. The hotel has a lift.
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