Day 1: Zurich-Porto.
Scheduled flight from Zurich to Porto. Embarkation
Day 2: Porto.
In the morning, city tour of Porto, which was designated European Capital of Culture in 2001. The old town has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Your city guide will take you from the colorful Cais da Ribeira, where a small market is held daily, to the old Alfândega, a former customs office. You will visit the richly decorated Bolsa stock exchange building. Finally, you will drive to Vila Nova de Gaia, the center of port wine. After visiting a famous winery, you will of course have the opportunity to taste the delicious wine.
Day 3: Porto-Guimarães-Régua.
After breakfast, there will be an excursion to the "birthplace of Portugal". Here, at the foot of the Serra da Penha, the state of Portugal took its beginning about 1000 years ago: "Aqui nasceu Portugal" is emblazoned in white letters on the city wall. "Here Portugal was born." The typically northern Portuguese city is more than the little sister of Porto, 45 kilometers away. With its own university, its UNESCO-protected old town, its own municipal charter, its numerous sights and the 70 or so villages that belong to its "Municipal," Guimarães is considered a cultural and tourist center of the region. In 2012, it was the European Capital of Culture. Back on board, the ship continues towards Régua. Enjoy the ride through the magnificent, sun-drenched Douro Valley with its granite rocks, vineyards, pine and olive groves. Your riverboat passes the lock of Carrapatelo, which is the highest of its kind in Europe with a drop of 36 meters.
Day 4: Régua-Barca d'Alva.
Morning excursion to Mateus Palace, which still adorns the labels of the Bocksbeutel bottles of Mateus Rosé, the best-selling wine in the world. A visit to this magnificently appointed mansion and its manicured gardens is well worth the trip. In the afternoon, continue to Barca d'Alva. Take a seat on the sun deck or in the panoramic salon and take in the ever-changing images of the fascinating landscape. On the hilltops and among the vineyards there is always something new to discover: hidden chapels or monasteries, winding roads and dreamy tiny towns.
5. Day 5: Vega de Terrón-(Salamanca).
Full day excursion to the old famous Spanish university city of Salamanca. The city center is the arcade-lined Plaza Mayor, where you can relax with a coffee or a glass of Vinho Verde. Places of interest include the old and new cathedrals, the 15th century Casa de las Conchas, named after the pilgrim shells that adorn its facades, various baroque churches and convents, and the Casa Lis, a magnificent Art Nouveau house with a museum. A Roman bridge, the Puente Romano, spans the Rio Tormes. Lunch will be in the center of Salamanca. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to roam the city on your own - we took advantage of this and visited the monastery of San Esteban. Your ship will stay in Vega de Terrón during this time.
Day 6: Vega de Terrón-Ferradosa-Pinhão.
Cruise downriver through the sun-drenched "Região do Vinho de Porto" - the Port Wine Region. Today's excursion takes you to the idyllic São Salvador do Mundo, which is located in the middle of the terraced wine-growing areas of the Rio Torto. Of course, a tasting of the delicious port wine is not to be missed here. This takes place in a Quinta in the middle of the vineyards. Enjoy the view of the beautiful landscape. Re-embarkation in Pinhão, one of the centers of Portuguese wine culture and also known for its "azulejos", the painted ceramic tiles.
Day 7: Pinhão-Porto.
After breakfast, excursion to the old episcopal town of Lamego. A baroque church crowns the town: the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. 700 steps lead up to the blue-tiled, double-towered church - a pilgrimage that hundreds of thousands take on each year. You will have the opportunity to stroll through the ancient streets of the city, which was praised in writings as early as the 2nd century as one of the most beautiful cities in Iberia. In the afternoon, on the descent to Porto, enjoy for the last time the extraordinary landscape of the Douro Valley and the impressive locks.
Day 8: Porto-Zurich.
After breakfast, disembark and return flight to Switzerland.