Douro River

Q and A Unforgettable Douro with Melissa Wheeler

Scenic Journey Coordinator, Melissa Wheeler has recently returned from a luxury Douro river cruise. We asked her a few questions about her unforgettable experience.

What was your favourite part of your journey?

The Scenic Azure. This Scenic Space-Ship really is all-inclusive luxury.

From the amazing all Portuguese crew to the comfort of my Scenic Slumber bed, I felt completely spoilt.

The intimacy of the ship was also definitely a highlight, as fellow guests who were strangers on day one become long-time friends by day two.

Scenic Azure

What kind of landscapes can Scenic guests expect to see along the Douro Valley?

Some of the most spectacular views in Europe!

The scenery is full of green vineyards perched upon endless hills, matched with clear blue skies, and scattered throughout the valleys you can spot ruins from historic structures that once stood.
Douro Valley breathtaking scenery

Did you have a favourite Scenic Freechoice or Scenic Enrich experience?

It’s hard to narrow it down to one favourite experience, so here are my top three:
I loved the Scenic Freechoice activity of canoeing on the Sabor River. This was surprisingly relaxing, floating down the river surrounded by stunning views.
An equal favourite was a visit to the village Provesende. From the quirky houses, to the friendly locals, the whole village is breathtaking.
As Scenic guests, we had many exclusive opportunities from a private piano recital in the local church to a visit to a local Manor house - Morgadio da Calcada for a guided tour and tasting of port and Bola (Portuguese dish of meat stuffed bread).
Last but not least, our Scenic Enrich experience was a spectacular Fado Performance in Sao Francisco Church.
The venue itself is beautiful and to top it off it’s booked out entirely for Scenic guests. The performance showcased traditional music and was just mesmerising.
Scenic Freechoice canoeing on Sabor River
Scenic Freechoice canoeing Portugal

What should Scenic guests pack for a trip to Portugal?

As the locals say, Portugal experiences all four seasons daily, so my advice is to pack a bit of everything.

Whilst the majority of our days were sunny and warm, the weather was quick to surprise with a light shower or a cool breeze. I also suggest you take a camera to capture the stunning scenery.
Porto, Portugal

What was your overall food and wine experience?

The variety of food and wine was perfect. Some on my favourite meals were the local Portuguese dishes, such as the Francesinha (a traditional sandwich from Porto), local sardines during a BBQ on the Sun Deck and an on board cooking demonstration of Portuguese tarts which were delicious.

The wine served on board was exceptional. The crew selected wines each day depending on our location, so we always had the opportunity to sample what was local.
Local sardines BBQ

Describe your time in Salamanca?

Salamanca was the perfect taste of Spain. After a morning guided tour of the city including the local markets, cathedrals and the university, we had free time to explore the charming city.
Following this, we took a short coach ride to our lunch venue, the charming Hacienda Zorita.
Our lunch was accompanied by a Spanish folk music show, which gave an insight and connection to the local Spanish traditions.

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