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HomeGardens of Portugal & Spain, Douro River Cruise & Cordoba Patio Festival

Gardens of Portugal & Spain with Douro River Cruise & Córdoba Patio Festival

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Botanical journey of Spain and Portugal

Visit Cordoba Patio Festival in Spain.

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A botanical journey, including a 7-night cruise on the Douro River. Explore the grand gardens of Portugal as well as the colourful spectacle that is Córdoba Patio Festival. Cruise through magnificent grape View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTPSC20
Duration: 20 days
Accommodation: Luxury River Ship & Comfortable Hotels
Journey: Madrid Return
Meals included: 39

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Madrid

On arrival in the Spanish capital of Madrid, be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at 6.30 this evening.
Stay: Two Nights, Westin Palace Madrid or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Madrid Gardens

Travel outside the city today to visit two historically significant gardens. El Escorial was commissioned by Phillip II of Spain in 1557 and features an impressive formal garden planted with flowers to resemble Turkish carpets. La Granja de San Ildefonso was to be the Spanish Versailles. The gardens extend over 1,500 acres and are one of the best examples of 18th century European garden design.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 3. Madrid, Toledo and Córdoba

Travel through the Spanish countryside to the historic city of Toledo, known to be Spain's medieval capital before arriving in Córdoba where we will visit some of the patios that make up Córdoba’s annual Patio Festival. See private homes open up their proudly designed patio's in a bid to take out the coveted winning patio of the year.
Stay: Three Nights, Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailio Córdoba or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Córdoba Patio Festival

Spend a full day exploring more of what Córdoba Patio Festival has to offer.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 5. Córdoba

Enjoy a guided tour of Córdoba with a visit to the great mosque and the historic Jewish quarter.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 6. Córdoba to Granada

Today travel to the town of Granada. Located at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, it is renowned for its Moorish architecture and influences. Tour the Albaicin region, where the king resided in the 11th century, and enjoy fantastic views over the Alhambra.
Stay: Two Nights, Hotel Alhambra Palace Granada or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens

Visit the most impressive site in Granada, the Alhambra Palace. The pinnacle of Moorish art perched high above the city was not only a palace but also a fortress and home of the Nasrid Sultans. Continue to the Generalife Palace and its gardens, built as the summer paradise for the Sultans of Granada. Its beautiful terraces, grottoes, flowerbeds and fabulous fountains create an air of glamour.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 8. Granada, Seville

Two Nights, Grand Melia Colon Sevilla or similar
Stay: Two Nights, Grand Melia Colon Sevilla or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 9. Seville, Alcazar Royal Palace

Today you will visit the Royal Palace Alcazar, one of the most magnificent royal residences in Spain. Dating back to 913 AD if features a diversity of architectural styles. Admire the beautiful examples of Mudéjar art where Arab artists put their precious skills to work for the Christians after the Reconquista of the mid-13th century.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 10. Seville, Algarve

Enter Portugal and head to the chic Algarve coast in the country's southernmost region. Here, enjoy the evening at your fabulous resort.
Stay: Conrad Algarve or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Algarve, Lisbon

Arrive into Lisbon today, the capital of Portugal. This city is every bit as picturesque as it is historic. Enjoy the opportunity to meet new guests over dinner this evening.
Stay: Two Nights, Four Seasons Hotel Ritz or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 12. Fronteira Palace, Sintra and Pena National Palace

Visit the palace and gardens of the Fronteira Palace, known for its formal box parterre and great tank with ceramic blue and white tile wall. Travel to the beautiful town of Sintra. Visit Parque de Pena, built by King Consort Fernando II in a Gothic style. In the park are follies such as a Gothic monk's grotto and duck house. We will then visit the house and garden at Quinta de Regaleira -- a garden which exudes extravagance.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 13. Lisbon to Porto, Embark Ship

This morning depart Lisbon and arrive in the city of Porto. Enjoy some free time to explore the old town. Visit Quinta do Alao Garden that dates from 1684 and provides a lush oasis getaway from the city. This afternoon transfer to your luxurious river ship. This evening settle into your suite 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 and 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 and 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 and 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

  • Córdoba Patio Festival
  • Discover Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens
  • Alacazar Royal Palace and Gardens
  • Learn about Portugal’s history from your Tour Manager
  • Explore the grand gardens of Portugal including Parque De Serralves, Quinta da Aveleda and Biscainhos Palace and Gardens
  • Visit Sintra Gardens and the World Heritage-listed Pena National Palace
  • Fronteira Palace and Gardens in Lisbon
  • Visit Guimarães, the World Heritage-listed town
  • Cruise along the picturesque Douro River
  • Enjoy gastronomic experiences and local wine tastings
  • Tour the magnificent Palacio de Mateus with delightful 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
  • Stay in 4-5 star hotels
  • Seven nights on the privately chartered MS AmaVida
  • Beer, wine and soft drink included with lunch and dinner on the cruise
  • 39 Meals - 19 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches and 13 Dinners

Ship Floor and Deck Plan

MS AmaVida

Designed specifically for the Douro River, the MS AmaVida provides guests an elegant and relaxed way to cruise through sunny Portugal.

 

See the deck plans for MS AmaVida here

Botanical Guide

Botanical Guide - Talei Kenyon ( Madrid to Porto only)

  • Talei Kenyon has lived in many parts of Asia and the Pacific, enjoying an early introduction to exotic landscapes and food plants. Through Talei’s work with The Diggers Club, she has enjoyed leading a number of international tours with Botanica, sharing her knowledge about plants, garden history and the culinary world.

Additional Information

Córdoba Patio Festival

  • The long-running Córdoba Patio Festival is an annual gardening celebration that involves the town's residents decorating their patios, balconies and ornate iron grills with plants and flowers. For a brief period each May, the residents open up their private creations to the public.growing regions aboard a luxurious privately-chartered river ship with a Botanical Guide.

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
  • This cruise is in partnership with our sister company
  • This tour can be combined with Chelsea Flower Show, Cotswolds and Welsh Gardens in Spring (BTCW9). Savings apply. Enquire for details
  • Group Size – 20 to 28 guests on tour
  • River Cruise – up to 100 guests
  • Prices are for land / cruise only. Flights not included

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