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HomeGardens & Art of Morocco, Madeira & Portugal with Douro River Cruise

Gardens & Art of Morocco, Madeira & Portugal with Douro River Cruise

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Botanical explorations of Morocco, Madeira & Portugal

Immerse yourself in art, culture and sights in Morocco with Botanica World Discoveries.

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20 Days on a botanical journey, including a 7-night cruise on the Douro River. Explore the heart of Morocco, The ‘Garden Isle’ Madeira and the grand gardens of Portugal before cruising through magnificent grape growing regions aboard a luxurious river ship with a Botanical Guide. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTPSMM20
Duration: 20 days
Accommodation: Luxury River Ship & Comfortable Hotels
Journey: Marrakesh to Madrid
Meals included: 48

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Marrakesh

Be met at the airport and transfer to your beautiful riad hotel. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at 6.30pm.
Stay: Five Nights, Marrakesh, Hotel La Maison Arabe
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Marrakesh Sightseeing

Enjoy a guided tour of Marrakesh including a visit to the Majorelle Gardens. Enjoy lunch at La Mamounia, where Winston Churchill set up his easel in the gardens. This afternoon visit the artisan quarter, the colourful souks and Dar Si Said museum. Take a stroll around Jamaa El Fna, the main square, and watch the entertainers.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 3. Ourika Valley

Take a scenic drive across the plains towards Ourika Valley, in the Atlas Mountain region. Visit a herb garden where essential oils and perfumes are made. Return to Marrakesh for dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Marrakesh Gardens

Visit the 800- year-old royal pleasure gardens, sometimes referred to as the Islamic Versaille. Also see a couple of gardens featured on Monty Don’s new series ‘Paradise Gardens’.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Marrakesh

See traditional art and artefacts as well as new works at the Bert Flint Museum and the Lawrence-Arnott Art Gallery. After lunch continue to the Museum of Palmeraie.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 6. Ouirgane, Imlil & Atlas Mountains

After breakfast, drive south through My Brahim gorges to the valley of Asni, where we have lunch at Sir Richard Branson’s property, Kasbah Tamadot, before driving to Imlil in the pretty Mizane Valley.
Stay: Two Nights, Imlil, Kasbah du Toubkal
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Imlil & Atlas Mountains

Enjoy a walk or mule ride to the village of Armed at the foot of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. Stop for lunch in a Berber house before continuing downhill on a different path to Kasbah Toubkal.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Marrakesh to Lisbon

This morning drive back to Marrakesh and board a flight to Lisbon. Transfer to the hotel and enjoy a welcome dinner at 6.30pm.
Stay: Two Nights, Lisbon, Four Seasons Hotel Ritz or similar.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 9. Fronteira Palace, Sintra & Pena National Palace

Visit beautiful and historic palace gardens in and around Lisbon.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 10. Lisbon to Madeira

Fly to the beautiful island of Madeira. Tour the hotel's gardens or enjoy time to relax.
Stay: Three Nights, Madeira, Belmond Reid’s Palace or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Mont Palace Botanical Gardens

This morning enjoy a cable car ride to Mont Palace Botanical Gardens. Later visit a privately owned orchid farm.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 12. Funchal Botanical gardens, Quinta do Palheiro

Visit the Funchal Botanical Gardens and Quinta do Palheiro with its sunken and topiary gardens.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 13. Madeira to Porto, embark ship

This morning fly to Porto. Visit Quinta do Alao Garden. This afternoon transfer to your river ship and enjoy a Welcome Dinner.
Stay: Seven Nights, aboard the luxurious river ship, MS AmaVida
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 14. Gardens of Porto, Freedom of Choice

This morning choose to explore Porto’s Old Town and delight in its 16th century building and Baroque churches. See the iron bridge built by Gustave Eiffel then enjoy a tasting at a local port house in Gaia. Alternatively visit the garden of Parque de Serralves, said to be the most important private garden created in Portugal during the first half of the 20th century. This afternoon visit the estate, Quinta da Aveleda. Famous for producing wine this estate is also known for its parks and gardens where rare species of trees can be found as well as an interesting display of artistic follies.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 15. Guimarães

Enjoy a morning excursion to the World Heritage-listed Guimarães, one of the most historic towns in Portugal often referred to as the ‘birthplace of the Portuguese nationality’. This afternoon enjoy some scenic cruising through the Douro Valley en route to Entre-Os-Rios.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 16. Biscainhos Palace & Gardens and Régua

Spend this morning at Biscainhos Palace Museum that is a delight for any lover of baroque architecture. Experience what life must have been like for Portugese nobility at the time with a tour inside the palace and its tiered gardens that come with plenty of flowerbeds and fountains. Arrive this afternoon to the sun-drenched town of Régua.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 17. Régua, Lamego, Pinhão, Freedom of Choice

Today you have the option to visit Lamego, a picturesque town that is rich in history. On a tour, visit the castle and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, one of the most significant places of pilgrimage in Portugal. Alternatively visit the palace and gardens of Anadia that dates back to the 17th century. The Palace is one of the most important examples of the 17th century manorial architecture in Portugal. The Palace has an adjacent farmhouse with gardens and a forest park planted in the 18th century.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 18. Pinhão, Vila Real & Palacio de Mateus

Enjoy a trip to the Palacio de Mateus, just outside the city of Vila Real. Discover the fascinating story behind Mateus Rose wine, which the palace has long been associated. Explore the gardens with their lovely topiary work and impressive cedar tunnel before returning to your ship.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 19. Barca d’Alva

Travel to Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small fortified 16th century village that offers lovely 360° views. Wander down narrow medieval streets and visit the Chafariz dos Pretos, a strikingly unique fountain.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 20. Salamanca & Depart Madrid

After disembarking the ship we will make our way to Madrid, travelling through the Spanish countryside. Tour Salamanca, a World Heritage-listed site. See the University of Salamanca and the House of Shells. Transfer to Madrid for a drop off at the airport and hotel at around 5.30pm.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Trip Highlights

  • Explore souks and bazaars in Marrakesh
  • Dine at Morocco’s La Mamounia Hotel
  • Visit Morocco's Majorelle gardens
  • Explore Parque De Serralves, Quinta da Aveleda AND Biscainhos Palace AND Gardens
  • Visit Sintra and Pena National Palace
  • Fronteira Palace and Gardens in Lisbon
  • Visit World Heritage-listed Guimarães,
  • Tour Palacio de Mateus' gardens

Map

Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned
  • Services of a Cruise Director and Botanical Guide
  • Transfers on first and last day, tipping, port taxes and porterage
  • Economy flights Marrakesh to Lisbon and Madeira to Porto
  • Stay in a 5 star hotel in Lisbon
  • Seven nights on the privately chartered MS AmaVida
  • Beer, wine and soft drink included on the cruise
  • 48 Meals - 19 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches and 16 Dinners

Ship Floor and Deck Plan

MS AmaLyra

Cruise the Seine River from Paris to Normandy in comfort, style and luxury on this APT Aria Class river ship.

 

See the deck plans for MS AmaLyra here

Botanical Guide

Botanical Guide - Julie Prent

  • Julie Prent has a Diploma of Horticultural Science from Burnley in Melbourne and has been involved in horticultural education for the last decade. She runs a garden design business on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Julie has a very caring nature and great enthusiasm for plants, which makes her wonderful to travel with.

Additional Information

Fitness Level

  • Medium – Involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour, multiple two-night stays in one location with potential for unexpected changes to itineraries. A good degree of mobility is required.

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Disruptions to the cruise itinerary may occur due to high and low water
  • Room types in  Marrakesh will be varied
  • This cruise is in partnership with our sister company
  • Group Size - 20 to 28 guests on tour
  • River cruise - up to 100 guests
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. Flights not included unless specified

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