The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel



All aboard Douro Valley

Journey into Portugal’s vineyardth­readed valleys on the Linha do Douro, the country’s most scenic railway line. Embark at Porto’s Sao Bento station, lavished with intricate azulejo tiles, for the 124-mile train ride. You will snake alongside the Douro River, surrounded by hills scored with vines and olive groves, with family-run quintas (wine estates) tucked among them. The final stretch between Pinhao and Pocinho provides staggering scenery and is inaccessib­le by riverboat.

Purchase tickets through CP Comboios de Portugal (00 351 808 109110; passageiro­s/en) from £11. For a more luxurious adventure, Wexas (020 8125 4231; offers a four-day experience on the Presidenti­al Train, from £3,930pp, including tailor-made tours of Porto, wine tastings and gourmet dining

A wild west road trip Vicentine Coast

Enjoy a road trip along Portugal’s unblemishe­d south-west coast. Start at Cabo Sao Vicente, where a lighthouse marks Europe’s most south-westerly point, travelling north to Lisbon. You’ll be blessed with spectacula­r scenery in the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, which is blessed with dune-backed beaches and seaside villages, such as Carrapatei­ra and Zambujeira. In spring, fields of rainbow wildflower­s come to life and autumn brings a host of migrating birds. Fly to Lagos, where a week’s car rental from Lagos to Lisbon with Discover

Cars (discoverca­ starts at £155. Make your base at the effortless­ly chic Hortas do Rio (00 351 912 059452; hortasdori­, just outside Carrapatei­ra and a short walk from the beach, which has doubles from £163

Sail away to sea Madeira and the Azores

Portugal’s far-flung volcanic archipelag­os, Madeira and the Azores, are best

i explored on a lavish cruise. You’ll pass lighthouse­s and isolated islets, hopping off to visit the Azores’ shimmering crater lakes, followed by Madeira’s lush trails. As you sail, join experts for whale-watching and stargazing sessions, as well as geology talks and Portuguese cooking demonstrat­ions on board the luxurious Bolette.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines (0800 690 6316; fredolsenc­ offers the 12-night Wonders and Wildlife of the Azores and Madeira cruise, departing Southampto­n on Aug 13, from £1,599pp

 ?? ?? Experience gourmet dining on board the Presidenti­al Train, travelling from Porto and along the Douro Valley
Experience gourmet dining on board the Presidenti­al Train, travelling from Porto and along the Douro Valley

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