"Sample a taste of private luxury through Europe’s most scenic landscape on our Douro River Cruise. Say goodbye to crowded cruise ships and busy excursions, this luxury tour on a private boat allows you to explore parts of the region that others can’t reach.
The perfect combination of land and river tour, you will spend two days on the Douro River with local guides showcasing the charming river-side villages and historic landmarks. Soak up Europe’s most beautiful landscape and enjoy the tranquility of the river without the crowds.
You will be cruising through two beautiful countries. The only navigable part of the river begins at the Douro Valley, which luckily for us, happens to be Europe’s biggest wine region. As always, food and wine are at the heart of what we do and the Douro River Cruise will be no exception. Sample exquisite local cuisine á-la-carte and unravel the wonders of the world’s largest mountain vineyard, the Douro Valley.
The rest of your trip will be spent experiencing the best that Douro has to offer on land.
Sit back and relax as your chauffeur collects you each day in a Mercedes-Benz V-Class and join experiences only available to small, intimate groups. All our accommodation choices are authentic, stylish and unique. From Spanish monasteries dated back to the 12th century, to Quintas (Portuguese Wine Estates) found off the beaten track. Giving you a break from life on the water.
We can guarantee you an authentic, intimate experience in one of the most beautiful regions in the world, where you can travel at your own pace while enjoying first-class service and ultimate luxury. Enjoy our uncommonly exceptional Douro River Cruise"
- Scenic tour across the Spanish countryside through the Ribera del Duero
- Spend two nights at a 12th century monastery by the Douro River
Douro River Cruise: two countries in one unforgettable journey
Upon arrival at Madrid airport, you will be greeted by a private guide and escorted to a luxury vehicle so that you can relax after your flight. We can’t promise you won’t get distracted, however, as you will be travelling through the breathtaking Spanish countryside. The first part of your trip will see you driving through the world-famous Ribera del Duero wine region. Don’t worry, you will have plenty of time to sample the merchandise.
Your first accommodation will be a Cistercian monastery from the 12th century, featuring original stone walling, fine oak floors and Berber rugs throughout, which only add to the elegance of the building’s breathtaking architecture. This well-preserved, impressively large property, is warm and inviting, which we think will make you feel right at home during your first night in the region.
Enjoy some time at your own leisure as you settle in. Dinner will be served in the hotel’s exquisite à la carte restaurant. The sublime flavours of local dishes from some incredible culinary talent await.
- Take a 4x4 through the incredible Ribera del Duero vineyards and visit one of Spain's most acclaimed wineries
- Explore a traditional asador and revel in the intense flavors of open-fire slow-cooked roasted lamb
- Get ready for a scenic drive up to the superb Peñafiel castle and enjoy the breathtaking vistas
Begin your day with a delicious breakfast before embarking on the next part of your adventure.
Locally known as the Golden Mile, today you will get to explore vineyards that produce some of the finest wines in the world. Wine lovers in the region know all about the secluded wine estates you can find here and you will be visiting Abadía Retuerta, a hidden gem who have been perfecting their wine since 1996.
Abadía Retuerta is a highlight on every culinary tour we run and it won’t take you long to see why. The landscape has been painstakingly maintained, the wine-production facilities are top-class and there is history brimming from every corner. A guide will share his knowledge of the estate, vineyards and winery before presenting you with the most famous wines they produce. After all, it’s the taste that really matters.
After sampling the wine, you will drive up to Peñafiel’s castle to witness the beautiful views overlooking the vineyards.
The day will reach its climax when you sample the region’s signature dish. Lechazo, a slow-cooked lamb dish, uses an open flame roasting technique that has been around for over a century. Such a fine culinary experience would hardly be complete without a superb red wine selected from the best regional vintages.
After this luxurious luncheon, you can stretch your legs before heading back to the hotel and having some time at your own leisure. Relax at the hotel’s spa and indoor pool, or enjoy a number of other activities available in the area.
Your driver will collect you at dinner time to escort you to a local restaurant on the Golden Mile. This fine dining experience will be the cherry on the cake of your stay in this beautiful Spanish region.
- A private visit to an artisan cheesemaker followed by a guided tasting
- Two nights in a former monastery, located in Spain's countryside where one of the best Iberico Hams is produced
After a scrumptious breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to Ribera del Duero. Your guide will be there to assist with checking out and carrying your luggage and you will continue your Douro River Cruise by land across Spain.
Marvel through the window during a scenic drive through the Spanish countryside to a traditional cheesemaker. Here you will learn the art of crafting cheese the traditional Spanish way from artisans who have been perfecting the method for decades, followed by the most important part of all… a guided tasting session.
Our next stop is a traditional restaurant in a rural village, where you will sample a three-course a-la-carte menu filled with authentic slow-cooked food.
You will have time to relax and enjoy the scenery en route to your next accommodation (1h 15 min). Your home for the next two nights will be a blissful retreat surrounded by vineyards on the border of Portugal. The perfect setting to sit back and soak up all the excitement of the day.
A former monastery overlooking the River Tormes, this magnificent wine resort boasts an impressive history that dates back to the 14th century. Embrace true hacienda hospitality alongside a vinotherapy spa, wine tasting in the cellars and an ancient chapel with art from the 16th century. Not forgetting the gourmet restaurant, Zorita’s Kitchen, where you will enjoy dinner accompanied by more fine local wines.
- A full day of tastings and activities in one of Spain's most unique Organic Farms
- A private tasting of the best ‘Jamón Ibérico de Bellota’ hand carved by a professional
- Discover the majesty of some of the best kept secrets of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage city, by climbing the cathedral towers to see the illuminated monuments
Enjoy a full day at the estate with a variety of experiences focusing on home-made, organic food and wine.
Kick your day off with a hearty breakfast and some time to explore the grounds and facilities, before jumping in a 4x4 to the Hacienda’s Organic Farm. Encompassing over 300 hectares of oak fields, surrounded by meadows where cattle can roam freely, it’s also home to the extinct Verata Goat and downy Mangalica Pigs. They live alongside indigenous Churra Sheep, boars, hares, Milanese eagles, foxes and African Buffalo, making this Organic Farm a nature-lover’s paradise.
An experience for all the senses, Accetaia is an exclusive vinegar cellar taking care of our 12-year old balsamic vinegar (the only one of its kind in Spain) as well as the Slow Orchard and a Warehouse for you to enjoy a delicious country meal. The ideal introduction to the rural Spanish lifestyle.
You will be spoiled for choice with high quality raw milk ewe’s cheese, Iberico hams and charcuterie, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fruits, vegetables and fresh bread all on offer for you to indulge in.
Last but by no means least, a Jamón Ibérico private tasting, carved in front of you by a Master Ham Carver. A unique and incredibly personal experience, you will learn how to distinguish the different types of ham in the region and sample directly from the knife of a qualified professional. Let the flavours melt in your mouth as each slice has a unique taste.
After some free time back at the hotel for you to relax and freshen up, you will enjoy an early dinner before setting off for an unforgettable evening in one of the most charismatic cities in Spain, Salamanca.
Despite the rural location of your hotel, Salamanca is only a short drive and you will get to see the city from a different perspective with this exclusive Salamanca night experience. The deeply historical town shows off its bright side each evening, by dressing up with a show of lights. Enjoy an exclusive tour of the most intriguing corners of the city and witness the illuminated buildings from the top of the Cathedral towers.
Experience one of the best kept secrets in town as you enjoy this unrivaled visit to a city declared Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The light and shadow - past and present - will keep you guessing, long after you’ve left.
- A scenic drive across the border to reach Europe's biggest wine region, the Douro Valley
- Spend the night at an elegant boutique hotel, perfectly located between the vineyards and the river, with spectacular views
After a relaxed breakfast, it is time to check out of this idyllic retreat and hit the road in search of new territory. Today you will be starting a whole new adventure, in a brand new country. Crossing the border to Portugal, you will witness a dramatic changing landscape, which is the Douro Valley’s way of welcoming you to Europe’s largest wine region.
The hillside is coated in terraced vineyards, with clusters of quintas perched on top, overlooking the breathtaking Douro River. The stunning scenery is a beautiful by-product of over 2000 years of winemaking. A perfect example of a trip being worth the view.
Its charm has not gone unnoticed. In 2001, UNESCO appointed the entire Alto Douro Wine Region a World Heritage Site.
Nestled among the vineyards, by the riverbanks of the Douro River, sits Casa do Rio. Initially used exclusively by the owners and their family, this intimate hideaway only has eight rooms and showcases the peace and tranquility of the region.
Enjoy a welcome dinner with locally grown produce and breathtaking views, from the comfort of the hotel’s balcony.
- A private boat cruise along the Douro river with a stop for lunch at a waterfront restaurant, the ultimate Douro River Cruise
- Cross the Valeria dam on your private boat with 32 metres difference in water level
- Discover Pinhão, the heart of the Douro Valley Wine Region
- Enjoy two nights at the best property in Portugal, a haven for food, wine and slow-life lovers
Starting the day with a delicious breakfast, you will be saying goodbye to Casa do Rio and embarking on a drive across the vineyards of the Douro region.
After a short drive (45 min), you will arrive at the authentic Douro village, Ferradosa. Located in the parish of Vale de Figueira, in São João da Pesqueira, the small town is frozen in time. Part of the oldest municipality in the country, its history dates back to 1055 and it was once a very important crossing point for traditional rabelo boats transporting wine.
The town’s iconic train station, which was once one of the busiest on the Douro line, is now also home to a quintessential restaurant where you will enjoy a bite to eat by the river.
The magic begins after lunch, as you and your loved ones sail down the river on your private Douro River Cruise. Rising in the hills of Urbion, Spain, the Douro River is 850km long, flowing straight into the city of Porto. Relish in a three-hour boat ride along the river, with jaw-dropping views of dramatic hills, whitewashed quintas and sloping terraces, delicately embroidered with vines.
The river is separated by five dams (Crestuma-Lever, Carrapatelo, Bagaúste, Valeira and Pocinho), which, thanks to their locks, allows cruises to travel between Porto and Barca D’Alva (Spanish border). Today you will cross the Valeira Dam, built between 1971 and 1976. It’s 85m long, 23m wide and the difference in water level is 32m. In a private boat, it provides an unforgettably unique experience.
Arriving in Pinhão, the picturesque town with the perfect climatic conditions for growing grapes, you will have reached your destination. A private car will be waiting to drive you to the Six Senses Douro Valley, your home for the next two nights.
A destination in itself, Six Senses Douro Valley is the most exclusive property in Northern Portugal. The dreamy 19th century manor house has been beautifully renovated and is home to Portugal’s best hotel spa and experiences that welcome you into the world of Douro wines. Immerse yourself in valley life; take a garden tour through the woodlands, explore the hidden trails, or take a helicopter tour and see the valley from above.
The evening will be spent experiencing all the culinary delights the property has to offer, paired with local wines selected by the hotel’s sommelier.
- Descend the calm waters of the Douro river on a private boat
- Learn all the secrets of Porto wine-making during a private tour of one of the most influential wine estates in the Douro Valley
- Cross the Regua dam on your private boat with 27 metres difference in water level
Enjoy a relaxing morning by the pool with an organic breakfast and views overlooking the vineyards, before setting off to experience the Douro River at its best.
Your driver will take you to Pinhão pier, where a private boat and crew will be waiting to take you down the most beautiful section of the Douro River. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the views.
A lunch stop will be made at one of the oldest Quintas in the region, a charismatic vineyard with a history that spans more than 250 years and an original winery building.
Learn about the vinification process and the complexity of each harvest, combining traditional methods with sophisticated technology, during a tour through the original winery. Then let the wine tasting begin, this time paired with local tapas prepared by the house Chef, followed by time to explore and breathe in the beautiful setting.
After lunch you will continue your voyage down the river, crossing Regua’s lock. Slightly smaller than the Valeria dam, but still another unforgettable experience.
Arriving at Peso da Regua, the final stop for today’s adventure, a private car will be waiting to drive you back to Six Senses Douro Valley.
With some time at your own leisure in the afternoon, your driver will pick you up for a short drive to Peso da Regua where you will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant with a great selection of Portuguese wines.
- A private show cooking with a professional Chef where you will learn how to cook (and taste) Portuguese specialities
- Sleep like royalty in a 16th century palace, a 5-star hotel in the historic centre of the city of Porto
Make the most of your final day at this incredible property. Take an early morning walk along the river, sign up for a yoga class, relax by the pool, or treat yourself to a massage. Breakfast with a view will be served in the restaurant.
Your gastronomic extravaganza will begin at midday, when the in-house Chef will host a private show cooking. Take a journey through the different regions of the country by sampling the local dishes and learn all about the traditional approach to sustainable food preservation, including picking, salting, dehydrating and smoking. This experience can be as hands-on as you wish, so if you feel like making lunch with the help of a professional, you’re more than welcome to take part.
When you leave the restaurant, the time will come to say goodbye to the Douro Valley and travel by car (1h 30 min) for the last stage of your unique Douro River Cruise to the Douro's mouth, Porto. You will arrive to Porto the same way the wine Ports used to arrive, by boat. Relax and unwind while a glass of wine while you enjoy the best views over the old town of Porto from the river.
The PortoBay Flores, a 5-star luxury hotel located in the historic centre of Porto, will be your accommodation for the next two nights. Encompassing old and new, the hotel is made up of a 16th century palace and a newly built wing, fusing 500 years of history with contemporary architecture. Next door to Misericórdia Church, you can take a stroll from the hotel entrance and arrive at all the city’s iconic landmarks.
You will be escorted to a lively local restaurant at the heart of the city for a delicious dinner designed by one of the most acclaimed Chefs in Portugal.
- A guided tour of the caves where thousands of old wine Ports have been ageing for up to 100 years
- A guided walking tour of the Ribeira district crossing Dom Luis bridge over the Douro river
- A farewell dinner at one of Porto's best restaurants
A delicious breakfast will energise you for a morning walk around the medieval Ribeira district of Porto and along the banks of Gaia. Your guide will collect you from the hotel and take you on a historical tour of the two riversides. Cobbled streets, merchants’ houses and some of the most beautiful sites in Europe await.
The Douro River and its surrounding neighbourhoods offer a picturesque door into Portugal’s fascinating history. From the first expedition to the Atlantic, to the creation of the Portuguese Navy, the river here has many stories to tell.
Ironically coined the ‘undefeated city’, locals can retell the stories of battles against kings, bishops and emperors, many of which ended in defeat.
As you peer out from the Virtudes lookout point and down from the iconic Dom Luís I bridge, you will see Gaia. The home of explorers turned Port winemakers and the next stop on our tour.
W & J Graham, an incredible 1890 Lodge nestled on the ridge in Vila Nova de Gaia, will welcome you for a private tour of the oldest Porto cellars. Overlooking Porto’s historic city centre, the working cellar maintains the perfect temperature for the slow ageing of Port and is currently home to 2,000 pipes and 40 tonels and balseiros of ageing Port wine. Let’s not forget the cellars filled with Vintage Port, ageing in a bottle.
Sample a handpicked selection of Porto wines before making your way to the unique restaurant located on the grounds. A glass screen separates the working lodge from the restaurant, providing an authentic atmosphere perfect for enjoying delicious food and wines made from the very best natural ingredients sourced in northern Portugal. Fresh fish from the Matosinhos harbour is served daily.
The open-air terrace provides the perfect location to enjoy the city’s year-round sunshine with a glass of wine (or Port) in hand, before a short stroll to the Gaia cable car. Taking you from the riverside to the upper deck of Dom Luís I bridge, you will see the entire city from above, including the 12th National monument, Porto’s Cathedral.
The afternoon will provide you with time to rest and relax, maybe enjoying a drink at one of the terraces overlooking the river, before the farewell dinner this evening.
Enjoy a feast for your senses at the one of the best restaurants in Porto. Journey through a variety of classic Portuguese dishes with an innovative touch. This meal will be the perfect way to round up an unforgettable trip along the Douro River.
- A private guided tour of Porto's lively downtown
As the Douro River Cruise and Valley Tour comes to an end, you will have become an expert in the regional gastronomic offering and wine production of two of Europe’s most charming countries. All good things must come to an end, however, and today is the day you bid farewell to Portugal and your exceptional Douro River Cruise.
Depending on the departure time of your flight, we may arrange a guided walking tour of Porto’s downtown and upper district to occupy your last morning. A bustling area with friendly locals, quaint shops and interesting sights to see, you will have an incredible time exploring all the district has to offer.
Your driver will take you to Porto’s airport with plenty of time to catch your departing flight.
- ABOUT THE TOUR
- go bespoke
This is a private tour just for your group. Available all-year-round.
4 - 8 people - Private Tour: only you & your group travelling together
What’s included? Everything you need. Plus everything you'd
want. Plus a few things you never knew you wanted until you got them.
In a word: everything. In eighty words? A private chauffeur tour guided by an English-speaking local guide, an interesting, fun and like-minded travel companion; authentic and innovative local cuisine; world-class local wines; wine tastings; all victuals and libations; all the endorphins you can handle; new insight; a feeling of total freedom. In short: an extraordinary, hassle-free journey of discovery. Travel at your own pace: Our tailor-made holidays are very flexible, allowing you to start road journeys or sightseeing when you choose – within reason.
- All hotel accommodation
- 2 nights -- Monasterio VALBUENA Hotel RIBERA DEL DUERO 5*
- 2 nights -- HACIENDA ZORITA Wine Hotel & Organic Farm 5*
- 1 night -- Alto Douro Valley CASA DO RIO Foz da Coa Boutique Hotel
- 2 nights -- SIX SENSES DOURO VALLEY 5* GL
- 2 nights -- PORTOBAY FLORES 5*
- Daily breakfast at all the hotels.
- All meals at signature and traditional restaurants and all other meals as indicated à-la-carte (8 lunches & 9 dinners) with wines and drinks included à-la-carte (no fixed menus, you may choose from each restaurant's public menu what you want to taste).
- All transportation from airport pickup to drop-off in a chauffeured air-conditioned brand-new vehicle: Mercedes Class V or luxury minibus. Your safety and comfort are paramount. You will enjoy touring Northern Spain in safety, comfort and style.
- Private boat cruise along the Douro river on a boat with capacity of up o 12 people. All inclusive of fuel, insurance, crew and any sailing fees.
- English speaking guide during the whole trip. Translator services and assistance at restaurants, hotels & experiences. We will break the language barrier for you so you can get the most out of your experiences during your trip.
- All baggage transportation. We will carry your luggage during the whole trip from each hotel room to the next. You don't need to carry any weight during our services from airport pick-up until drop-off.
- All the experiences, visits and activities included in the itinerary.
- 24h concierge service during the whole trip.
- All gratuities/tips for baggage, porters and hotel/restaurant service.
- All currently applicable taxes.
What’s not included?
- International Flights
- Medical Travel Insurance
- Personal expenses
What to expect
- A laid-back pace with free time to relax
- Plenty of scrumptious local food and wine as well as time to really appreciate the dining experience