Iberia from East to West
1—13 September 2023
The River Duero (Douro in Portugal) is one of Spain and Portugal’s great rivers and home to many important wine making regions—so we’re going to fol- low it in September for a leisurely trip staying at great hotels and experienc- ing some stunning driving.
We start with an evening departure on the ferry service from Portsmouth to Santander and a drive to Soria where we have a night in a hilltop hotel.
There are views over the upper reaches of the river and a typically Spanish town to explore—they filmed Dr Zhivago in Soria. Next we head west to stay in Aranda del Duero at Bodega Torremilanos—a grand old Spanish Estate. A night here puts the Rioja in striking distance, or just relax in this lovely spot.
There will be a wine tasting!
Next we go to Salamanca for two nights at the stunning Hacienda Zorita, a converted water mill which was once frequented by Christopher Columbus. Hacienda Zorita is also a wine hotel and the food is excellent. Another tast- ing here and a chance to connect with a spot steeped in history
Portugal calls so we spend two nights at the Pousada at Alijo where Douro river boat trips are possible before reaching the sea at captivating Porto, a stunning location with a great hotel. We’ll get a Port House visit organised. We head back via Benavente and then, after some great driving over mountain passes take the Saturday ferry to Portsmouth
|Fri 1 Sept||Evening departure from Portsmouth on Brittany Ferries Santona|
|Sun 3 Sept||Arrive in Santander then drive 200 miles to Soria for a night at the Parador which is perched on a hilltop with spectacular views and close to the source of the Duero|
|Mon 4 Sept||Drive 75 miles to Aranda de Duero for night at Hotel Bodega Torremilanos which is a wine estate dating from 1903. There will be a wine tasting—Torremilanos produc- es a range of excellent red wines|
|Tues 5 Sept||Drive 140 miles to Valverdon, close to Salamanca, and stay at Hacienda Zorita for two nights. Salamanca is a joy with so much to see and explore—a day is never enough. Hacienda Zorita do an excellent wine tasting|
|Thurs 7 Sept||Drive 180 miles to Alijo in Portugal to stay at the Pousada, originally the home of Mr Forrester, an English Port Merchant. It’s a fantastic drive on quiet roads with a comfortable hotel at the end. We have two nights here for boating or a winery visit|
|Sat 9 Sept||It’s only 85 miles to Porto so there is time to dawdle before heading to the exquis- ite Pousada at Freixo in Porto for two nights. We will get a Port House visit organ- ised and a city tour is a must, if numbers are good we may also be able to organ- ise a sunset cruise on the Douro|
|Mon 11 Sept||We have to head home—but no reason to be downcast! Just over 200 miles gets us to Benavente in Castille and Leon. This C12th Castle was home to Fernando II of Leon and it’s lovely little spot with great views over the river Esla which flows into the Duero|
|Tues 12 Sept||Drive 220 miles to Bilbao for the early afternoon departure of the Salamanca|
|Wed 13 Sept||Arrive Portsmouth early evening|
Tour Booking & Information
£3800 per car with two occupants
- Return ferry with outside twin cabin
- Dinner bed and breakfast at all hotels. Wine tastings at Zorita and Torremilanos
- Services of Jasper Gilder as Tour Leader.
To book contact Jasper
Tel:+44 (0) 1442 842542
Mob: 07831 327727