Arrive in Madrid, the Capital of Spain home to elegant boulevards, manicured parks, cultural museums and fantastic markets. For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Madrid at any time. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (Mad) which is around 20 minutes' drive from the hotel. Should you miss the meeting, your leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to explore the city, wandering the back streets in search of tucked away tapas bars. There vast 19th century El Retiro Park is good place for a leisurely walk, past rose gardens and statues to the boating lake. Stay: Hotel Porcel Ganivet (Comfortable)
This morning we head out for a walking tour (approx. 5 kilometres/3.10 miles) of Spain's busy capital city and the third largest city in the European Union after London and Berlin. Located on the tiny Manzanares River, Madrid has its share of historic sights, great architecture, nightlife, fine dining, culture and shopping.
We begin our walk in the centre taking in some of the iconic landmarks. We walk through Madrid's lively Latina neighbourhood, making a stop for coffee near the impressive Palacio Real. Passing through the Plaza Mayor, one of Spain's finest squares framed by slate roofed red-brick buildings, we reach Mercado de San Miguel where the tour ends. For lunch, you can wander through the market's stalls, sampling a variety of tapas, seafood, meats, and desserts the market has to offer.
The afternoon is left free, you could discover Madrid's art neighbourhoods and visit the vast 19th century El Retiro Park or Circulo de Bellas Artes for views over the city from the 7th floor terrace. Stay: Hotel Porcel Ganivet (Comfortable) (B)
This morning we leave Madrid behind as we head north to Segovia. After an hour and and a quarter we arrive at the village of Manzanares el Real, and the start of our walk into the Guaderrama National Park. This area of natural beauty is best known for the unusual granite rock formations of La Pedriza. Vegetation is sparse, however for rock-climbers it is a haven, as well as being a breeding colony for Griffon Vultures, which with a bit of luck we will spot on our walk. We continue by road for another hour to reach the city of Segovia.
Today's 8 kilometre/5.0 miles walk is expected to take around 3 hours with 250 metres/820 feet of ascent and descent. Stay: El Corregidor (Comfortable) (B)
Today we explore the stunning UNESCO world heritage historic city of Segovia, with its huge 1st century Roman Aqueduct and Disney-like Alcazar Fortress. We'll have an orientation walk with our tour leader followed by free time.
The upper old town enriched by ancient walls is centred around the Plaza Major and 16th century Gothic cathedral, from where streets lead to the famed monuments. The magnificent Aqueduct is the defining feature of the city, spanning 17 kilometres/10.60 miles and made up of 166 arches. Walking up to the hilltop Alcazar is worth if for the views over the city and rivers and to admire the slate turrets, the beautiful keep and square with four towers. Stay: El Corregidor (Comfortable) (B)
This morning we drive to the spectacular limestone canyon lands of Duraton River Natural Park, and take a walk along the river to medieval l town of Sepulveda. After a coffee break we continue on to Penafiel, right it in the heart of the Ribera del Duero wine region. The Ribera del Duero is one of several recognized wine producing regions along the Douro River. The region produces red wine from the Tempranillo grape. In the afternoon we enjoy a wine tasting at the Protos Bodega, one of Spain's most innovative wineries.
Today's 6 kilometre/3.70 miles walk is expected to take around 2 hours with 150 metres/492 feet of ascent and descent . Stay: AZZ Penafiel Las Claras (Comfortable) (B)
This morning we drive around an hour and a half hour to El Toro in the province of Zamora, another top notch wine producing region on the Douro River. We will stop for wine tasting in the village, before continuing on to the city of Zamora for lunchtime. This delightful city is a real architectural gem and home to the most Romanesque churches in Europe.
In the afternoon we will continue on the Portuguese border, to our home for the next 3 nights - the medieval hilltop village of Fermoselle, right in the heart of the Arribes del Duero Natural Park. Fermoselle dates back to pre-Roman times and with its own micro-climate, a landscape similar to that of Tuscany in Italy, its narrow cobbled streets, rustic stone houses and, most importantly, delicious wines - it is a very pleasant place to stay! Stay: Posada Dona Urraca (Comfortable) (B)
This morning we head into the Arribes del Duero Natural Park for a walk through its spectacular countryside. This afternoon we have a wine tasting in a local bodega, dug into the rock - one of around 900 granite bodega caves dating back to ancient times when wine production was large scale business in the area.
Today's 11 kilometre/6.80 miles walk is expected to take around 4 hours with 250 metres/820 feet of ascent and descent. Stay: Posada Dona Urraca (Comfortable) (B)
After breakfast we walk from the village through woodland and oak forest to the small village of Fornillos, where we visit a small cheese factory and taste some of their local farmhouse cheese. We then return to Fermoselle and meet our local guide to learn about the unique history of the wine production in the area and discover the underground bodegas.
Today's 8 kilometre/5.0 miles walk is expected to take around 3 hours with 150 metres/492 feet of ascent and 250 metres/820 feet descent. Stay: Posada Dona Urraca (Comfortable) (B)
Today we drive 2 hours and cross the border into Portugal, to the village of Pocinhos, from where we board the local train for the hour and a half hour journey along the Douro Valley to Peso da Regua. A short taxi ride uphill then brings us to the beautiful Renaissance and Baroque village of Lamego. We have time to walk around the historic centre and the option to see the famous Nossa Senhora de Remdios church, before taking a short walk in the surrounding area before dinnertime. Tonight we stay in a beautiful hotel with it's own orchard and vineyard. Facilities include a heated outdoor swimming pool, small spa, and terrace restaurant with modern, spacious and light rooms.
Today's urban walk is expected to take around one-and-a-half hours with 150 metres/492 feet of ascent and descent. Stay: Hotel Lamego (Premium) (B)
This morning we travel to Regua to visit a family Port and Douro winemaking estate (Quinta) where we'll enjoy a guided winery visit and learn how these famous wines are made. A tasting is included, after which we drive to Porto via Vila Real, a hilltop town above the confluence of the Corgo and Cabril rivers with a pleasant historical centre. Here, we visit the Mateus Palace; a stunning 18th century Baroque Palace with elegant manicured gardens.
Arriving into Porto this afternoon, a local guide will take us around Porto to wander around the cobbled streets and taste some of Porto's delicacies. After the tour, there is an option to visit a local bodega for a wine tasting. Stay: Moov Hotel Porto Centro (Comfortable) (B)
Today has been left free to enjoy this lovely riverside city and its sights. Porto is Portugal's second largest city after Lisbon, and offers visitors a range of architectural and cultural attractions, such as the Palacio da Bolsa, with its spectacular Alhambra-like interior, a charismatic medieval quarter and the monumental central avenue, Avenida do Aliados. There is the option to take a 6-bridges-boat tour on the River Douro, providing a different perspective of the city. Stay: Moov Hotel Porto Centro (Comfortable) (B)
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Porto.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Porto at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) a 20 minutes' drive from the hotel. (B)