Galicia and the Douro Valley
- Experience the stunning scenery of Galicia
- Spanish overnight stops in Santiago de Compostela, Vigo and Salamanca
- Stunning Portuguese capital Porto and lovely Pinhão, surrounded by Douro vineyards
- Take a rail journey down the beautiful Douro River valley
- Add extra nights & destinations
- Choose alternative hotels
- Upgrade your journey to First Class
- Let us suggest the most scenic routes
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 9 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Private transfer from Pinhão to Salamanca with stop at Ciudad Rodrigo
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Fly out to Madrid Barajas Airport from London Heathrow with British Airways. Madrid is also served by a number of other UK airports, so we can arrange your flight from the most convenient airport for you. Alternatively, we can arrange rail travel out to Madrid for you, contact one of the team for details.
On arrival in Madrid, check in at the Hotel TRYP Chamartin (or similar) for an overnight stay. Enjoy your first night soaking up the atmosphere of the Spanish capital. Why not try one or two traditional tapas bars, or a flamenco show?
Depart from Madrid Chamartin station in the northern part of the city centre this morning after breakfast. Your journey takes you out of Madrid in a northwesterly direction passing through the towns of Zamora and Ourense, before arriving at the pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela in the early afternoon. When you arrive, make your way to the Compostela Hotel (or similar) where you have a 2-night stay.
Santiago de Compostela, or just ‘Santiago’ to the locals, is a mixture of the old and the new. Cathedrals and narrow streets full of historical buildings are juxtaposed with a new side of town oozing with character. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, Santiago’s Old Town includes some of the city’s best-loved attractions such as the Pazo de Raxoi, Parco de Alameda, and the Galician Centre for Contemporary Art.
Take a local train through the countryside of Galicia at lunchtime today, arriving at the port city of Vigo. Here, check into the NH Collection Vigo (or similar) for an overnight stay.
You then have the afternoon to explore this beautiful city known as the Gateway to the Atlantic. Perhaps wander around the Casco Vello (Old Town area) or learn about the city’s maritime history at the Galician Museum of the Sea. If the weather is fine, you can also spend an afternoon relaxing on the beach.
After a full day in Vigo, take an evening train across the border into Portugal, putting your watches back an hour as you do so. The train winds its way through the rolling hills of northern Portugal before arriving at Porto’s Campanhã station. You’ll be staying right in the city centre for the next 3 nights at the Eurostars das Artes (or similar).
You have a full two days to spend in Porto. The district known as Ribeira is one of the oldest historic centres in Europe and UNESCO World Heritage listed. It’s also one of the most beautiful old town areas you’ll have ever set eyes on. With a hilly topography similar to that of Lisbon, there are many places from which you get a majestic view of the Douro River. There are also plenty of port wine tours to choose from, or you might like to enjoy your glass of port in the Livraria Lello, one of Europe’s most stunning bookshops.
Today you’ll board a regional train back at Porto Campanhã station which makes its way along the beautiful Douro River Valley. The railway line follows the river course for the majority of the journey and there are no shortages of panoramic views throughout the ride.
On arrival in Pinhão, check in at The Vintage House (or similar) which is around the corner from the station in a prime central location on the river.
The pretty village of Pinhão occupies a stunning setting on the River Douro, surrounded by vineyard terraces which produce the local port wine as well as some lovely table wines. Wine is the big draw here – even the pretty train station is decorated with hand-painted tiles illustrating the grape harvest and there’s a wide range of wineries competing for business. You can even pay a visit to the Museu do Vinho de Quinta Nova (Wine Museum) for an introduction to the wine-growing history of the region.
Owing to the lack of rail connections between Portugal and Spain, we have filled the gap with an excellent private car transfer. We will arrange for a car to collect you from the hotel in Pinhão at a time to suit you, and you will then travel east into Spain, stopping at the beautiful settlement of Ciudad Rodrigo, known for its Old Town and 12th-century city walls. You are then driven onwards to Salamanca, where you stay overnight at the Catalonia Plaza Mayor (or similar).
For the final instalment of your Iberian adventure, you take a fast Alvia train into Madrid and connect with an afternoon flight to London. You can choose to transfer from Chamartin station to Barajas airport in Madrid by metro, bus or taxi. Alternatively, we can arrange for you to continue your travels in Spain – there are direct rail connections to Barcelona, Avignon, San Sebastian and Valencia should you wish to extend your holiday or return back by rail.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
The TRYP Madrid Chamartín Hotel is a welcoming hotel, located close to Chamartin train station, making it a convenient choice for an overnight stay with onward rail travel. The hotel features comfortably furnished bedrooms with modern amenities including air-conditioning and Wi-Fi internet access. Take a dip in the outdoor pool or enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.
The Compostela Hotel occupies a great location, right in the centre of the city, within walking distance of the famous cathedral and pretty Alameda Park. The air-conditioned bedrooms are elegantly furnished with calm pastel shades and wooden floors. Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout the hotel, which also features a bar and restaurant.
The NH Collection Vigo occupies a historic building in the centre of the Vigo, close to the Modern Art Museum and the port. Modern, classically furnished bedrooms are all furnished with air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. For your comfort, a pillow menu is also available. Enjoy late night tapas in the hotel’s café-bar or Galician specialities in the on-site restaurant Irati.
The Eurostar das Artes occupies adjoining buildings, one modern, one an historic palace, in the centre of Porto. The bedrooms are designed in a contemporary style with hardwood floors and air-conditioning. Breakfast is served daily in the hotel’s restaurant, using seasonal ingredients and in the evening there is a bar and garden area where guests can enjoy a glass of port.
Located on a former 18th-century wine estate, this luxury hotel overlooks the Duoro River and surrounding
The Cataloniais ideally located next to the