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The Enchanting Black Forest

A Wonderful 8 Day, 7 Night Tour including 5 Nights at the Hotel Schloss Hornberg

Picos & Douro River Tour Itinerary

DAY 2 (D) - Arrive Bilbao & Drive to Cangas di Onis - Enjoy some free time in Bilbao where attractions include the Guggenheim Museum, designed by American architect Frank Gehry, before making your way to Cangas di Onis via the AP-68, however we recommend the scenic coastal drive via Santillana del Mer and Ribadsella. Arrival at the Parador Hotel should be late afternoon. After some free time to relax and freshen up dinner is included at the hotel. Mileage approx. 150 miles.

Meal Basis - CO = Cabin Only / BB = Bed & Breakfast / D = Dinner Only / HB = Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

DAY 1 (CO) - Overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao

DAY 4 (HB) - Cangas di Onis to Benavente via the Picos de Europa

Departing the hotel & Cangas di Onis after breakfast, today you'll enjoy a wonderful drive through the Picos de Europa via Sames, Casielles, Oseja de Sajambre. A highlight of the drive today is Riaño, the youngest town in the province with a tragic story of the forced relocation, some of the homes were moved brick by brick to the new town due to the flooding of the valley. Circled by Limestone Mountains, it truly is a stunning place to visit. In the sunlight the surrounding mountains reflect off the reservoir like a mirror; it is a beautiful place to hike, or to sit and take in the atmosphere. Your journey then takes you via Boca de Huérgano and Toral de los Guzmanes to Benavente and the excellent Parador Hotel. Dinner is included at the hotel. Mileage approx. 175 miles.

DAY 5 (HB) - Benavente to Longrovia, Portugal

Departing Benavente & the hotel travelling south via Zamora and Fermoselle before crossing the Douro river and the border from Spain in to Portugal. Your routing then heads south west via Freixo de Espada a Cintra following the spectacular Douro River Valley via Salto de Saucelle to Barca de Alva before heading on to Longrovia and the Rural Hotel & Thermal Spa where you should arrive late afternoon. After check-in and some free time to relax and freshen up dinner is included at the hotel.  Mileage approx. 185 miles.

riano panorama picos montage2

DAY 15 (BB) - Santillana del Mar to Bilbao

Departing Santillana del Mar and the Parador Hotel early morning for the drive back to Bilbao for a morning (10h30) Brittany Ferries sailing back to the UK. Mileage approx. 70 miles.


DAY 16 (CO) - Morning arrival (09h15) in Plymouth.

DAY 6 (HB) - Longrovia to Amarante

Departing the hotel after breakfast, today your routing takes you on the N331/N229 via Torre de Cerco and Castanheiro do Sul to Pinhão. From here you can take an optional drive on the N322-3 between Pinhão and Alijó before returning back to Pinhão for an amazing 27km drive from Pinhão to Peso de Regua on the famous N222. This road has been named the best drive in the world for its location, cutting through the heart of the stunning Douro Valley and the spectacular views it provides of the wine region below. The road includes 93 heart-stopping bends and jaw dropping scenery as it weaves its way along the River Douro and the picturesque regional wine towns of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Peso de Régua your scenic routing continues through Mesão Frio in the direction of Amarante where you should arrive late afternoon at the Monverde Wine Experience Hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the hotels facilities including a variety of treatments and massages (extra coast). Dinner is included at the hotel. Mileage Approx. 120 miles.


DAY 7 - At Leisure at the Monverde Wine Experience Resort - Monverde is in the countryside near the village of Amarante, about 30 miles east of the city of Porto and features eco-friendly vineyards with a state-of-the-art winery, a carbon-neutral hotel, expansive grounds, eco-lodging opening out onto the vineyards and a fine-dining restaurant? This isn’t Napa, it’s Portugal. Opened in August 2015, Monverde Hotel is the first hotel of its kind, not just in the idyllic Douro wine region (where Vinho Verde wines hail from), but in the whole country. Home to Quinta da Lixa winery, which produces a range of Vinho Verde wines. The expansive indoor/outdoor pool, which includes a Turkish bath and sauna, is divided by mirrored glass and lined with white chairs for lounging. You can choose from a range of massages including Ayurvedic and hot stone, with materials sourced from the nearby Tâmega River.

DAY 13 (HB) Cruise Day 6 - Morning Arrival - Porto to Amarante - Disembarkation from the ship will be after breakfast followed by the transfer back to Amarante and the Hotel to collect your car. Today your journey takes you north via Bragança. The town, stands proudly on a plateau only a matter of a few kilometres away from the Spanish border. Known in Celtic times as Brigantia and by the Romans as Juliobriga, its hilltop location has appealed to many a defending population and it was the royal seat of the Dukes of Bragança until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1910, indeed the royal consort of English King Charles II, Catherine of Bragança, hailed from here. The walls and castle which still stand date from the 12th century and boast a 33metre keep and various watchtowers. From Bragança you'll make your way back to Benavente and the Parador hotel for an overnight stay with dinner included. Mileage Approx. 190 miles.

Brittany ferries montage


Douro River & landscape LR Douro Road douro valley web panorama 2 Braganca 3 LR Braganca 1 LR Braganca 2 LR

DAY 14 (HB) - Benavante to Santillana del Mar via the Picos de Europa

Departing Benavente and the hotel after breakfast, today your journey takes back to the Pico de Europa where you'll enjoy the eastern section of the Picos including the spectacular San Glorio Pass and the beautiful town of Potes before making your way back to historic town of Santillana del Mar and the Parador hotel for an overnight stay with dinner included. Mileage Approx. 190 miles.

San Glorio 1 LR San Glorio 3 LR Potes LR

DAY 8 (BB) Cruise Day 1 - Amarante to Porto - Breakfast followed by your transfer to the CroisiEurope cruise terminal in Porto where you'll board your river cruise ship, MS Gil Eanes. After depositing your luggage on board ypou can enjoy the day in Porto, a fascinating and vibrant city that is rapidly becoming one of Western Europe’s most respected tourist destinations. The city boasts an extensive history, interesting tourist attractions and a buzzing nightlife. There is a lot to see and do in Porto and the city will appeal to a wide range of different visitors. The Ribeira district is the oldest district of the city and is filled with ancient houses, narrow cobbled streets and numerous family owned restaurants, cafes and bars. Port cellar and port tasting tours of the vast cellars provide an insight into the traditional brewing process and a chance to sample some of the finest Port vintages.

Returning to the ship late afternoon and settling into your cabins, you'll be introduced to the crew at a welcome cocktail followed and dinner. Secure car parking has been arranged at Monverde Wine Experience Resort for the duration of the cruise.

DAY 3 (HB) - The Day at Leisure in Cangas de Onis with the evening at leisure to explore the bars and restaurants in Cangas di Onis.

OR - Enjoy a scenic drive on the mountain road to Cavodonga to view the impressive basilica perched high up on the mountain side and then onto  the two glacial lakes  of Lago de Enol & Lago de la Ercina at a height of 1134 meters above sea level - Mileage Approx. 32 miles (round trip)

OR - Take a morning drive west via Infiesto and Pola de Siero to Oviedo - a treasure trove of Spanish religious architecture, dotted with monasteries, cathedrals and shrines that date back to the 9th century. After some free time in Oviedo your route takes you back via Langreo and San Martin del Rey Aurelio where you’ll join the AS-251, a great mountain road via San Emeterio and Priandi where you’ll rejoin the N-634 back to Cangas di Onis - Mileage approx. 100 miles (round trip).

Douro drive & porsche Douro Itinerary-2

Douro River Cruise Itinerary