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Setting sail from Porto
Blessed with a dramatic setting on the steep banks of the river Douro, Portugal's second city is currently enjoying something of a renaissance. Porto is best known as the home of the country's most famous export, port wine, but there's a lot more to this characterful city than getting sloshed; the crumbling historic centre, Ribeira, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it's a fascinating district to wander around. Porto also serves as the gateway to the spectacular Douro valley, a landscape of verdant vineyards where the city's famous wine is produced.
There are a number of port producers that offer tours and tastings, and we can highly recommend Graham’s.
Peso da Régua (Régua for short) is the main river port for the vineyards of the Upper Douro Valley, and is the perfect base for exploring the port-wine region. Nearby attractions include the Baroque-style Palacio de Mateus, with its intricate furnishings and beautiful gardens, and the important pilgrimage site of Lamego.
The pretty little town of Pinhão, situated on a bend in the Douro, is all about one thing: wine. The surrounding hills are covered in vineyards, and you’ll have ample opportunity to sample a variety of tipples, including the region’s most famous product, port.
Spain: Vega de Terrón (Salamanca)
Vega de Terrón is the drop-off point for excursions to Salamanca, a beautiful UNESCO-listed city built from golden sandstone. The baroque-style Plaza Mayor is one of the most magnificent squares in Spain, while other highlights include the twin-towered cathedral and the unusual House of Shells.
Portugal: Barca d’Alva
Blessed with a dramatic setting on the steep banks of the river Douro, Portugal’s second city is currently enjoying something of a renaissance, and is best known as the home of the country’s most famous export, port wine.
Arriving in Lisbon
The roots of historic Lisbon's fame lie in its strategic position on the edge of the Atlantic and the fact it offers one of the world's greatest natural harbours. No surprise therefore that it became the home of the world's most famous explorers such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Built on seven hills, we always find Lisbon to be soulful, captivating and picturesque, with architecture which reflects its status as a great port.
Belem Tower, dating from the 1500s, was both a fortress and the explorers’ departure point. On the façade you will find a stone rhinoceros sculpted into the tower – Europe’s first sight of this extraordinary beast!
Your home from home
Launching in 2020, S.S. São Gabriel will bring a new level of luxury to the Douro river, featuring stylish Portuguese-inspired decor and lavish suites with butler service.
What we love
The designs for the S.S. São Gabriel are still being kept under wraps, but you can expect the same high standards as Uniworld's existing European 'Super Ships', with features including open seating dining, an outdoor pool and a small spa.
|Style||Relaxed and informal during the day, giving way to an elegant evening atmosphere.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Porto
In the heart of the city the excellent InterContinental Porto - Palacio das Cardosas overlooks the Avenida dos Aliados and is a short walk from Bolhão Market, Ribeira District and the Clérigos Church.
See more of Portugal
For a taste of wild Portugal, set forth to Peneda Geres National Park.
Our recommended hotel
The Pousada de Lisboa, newly opened in May 2015, has a great location in the heart of the city and an interior to wow you.
Take a day trip from Lisbon
Visit Sintra – Roman and Moorish influences make this magical city with its fairytale palaces and extravagant villas a must.