A Taste of France and Spain
|Resort:||Spirit of Adventure|
Contrast the cultures of France, Spain and Portugal
France is a nation of food lovers and its food culture is world famous. Set sail on this 12-night cruise and contrast the dishes and great variety of wine which define France with those of Spain and Portugal. Beginning at Montoir, from where you can visit the beautiful Loire Valley and medieval Angers, perhaps youll opt for a wine tasting session and traditional lunch in the wine-producing estate of Brissac-Quinc Castle. An overnight stop in Bordeaux provides the perfect opportunity to sample the famous Bordeaux appellations of the Mdoc wine route, treat yourself to delicious cuisine at a world-renowned restaurant and take a stroll along what is arguably one of Europes finest waterfronts. In Spain take the opportunity to tuck into tapas, walk along the magnificent Roman walls of Lugo and drink wine from a bowl in Pontevedra. When in Portugal, taste the delicious port wine of Oporto or volunteer for gardening duties at the fragrant fields and nurseries of Cantinho das Aromaticas. Your cruise, which will be enhanced by our on-board VIP guest chef and wine expert, also includes a visit to the island of Guernsey with its beguiling fusion of French and English culture.
Montoir provides a gateway to St Nazaire and the western Loire. St Nazaires setting at the mouth of the Loire estuary has seen it play two important roles throughout history: first as a shipbuilding centre, then as a German U-boat base during World War II. Youll also have the chance to join an exclusive optional excursion that includes a walk through the medieval German district of Angers, followed by a wine tasting session and a delicious lunch in the wine-producing estate of Brissac-Quinc Castle. A tour of the impressive castle concludes your trip.
Cruise into the stunning port city of Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in one of France’s richest wine regions. Explore the 11th-century cathedral, wander through one of the many museums, or leave history behind with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Alternatively head off along the Mdoc wine route, the source of eight of the most famous Bordeaux appellations. Admire the Chateaux and vineyards and visit the cellars of a renowned wine estate to learn more about wine-making-techniques and to sample some of the precious produce.
La Corua, Spain
With the sea running its length, Galicias second largest city of La Corua has a history with a strong maritime influence. The seafaring Celts, Phoenicians and Romans have all been ashore here, and this is from where the Spanish Armada set sail in 1588. Stay and explore here or you may wish to take a tour of Lugo whose incredible Roman Walls are included on UNESCOs World Heritage list. Take a walk along the top of the walls, then descend to enjoy a light tapas lunch.
Pontevedra , Spain
Situated in the lower bays of Galicia, Pontevedra has an exciting food scene with world-class restaurants selling a variety of Galician specialities including prawn tempura and Pulpo Feira, a dish comprising octopus and paprika. Sample some local Rias Baixas wines in one of the wine bars, where wine is traditionally drunk from bowls. The well-preserved old town boasts some fascinating architecture including the Gothic Santa Maria la Mayor Basilica and unusual Capela da Peregrina.
Leixoes (for Oporto), Portugal
Known by some as the Granite City, Oporto is famous for two things the imposing yet beautiful buildings created with stone quarried from the nearby Douro Valley, and the delicious port wine which bears its name. However, there is another olfactory speciality thats making a name for itself in nearby Vila Nova de Gaia at the fragrant fields and nurseries of Cantinho das Aromaticas. Here you can sample award-winning infusions made from the aromatic flowers grown on site. You can even volunteer your services tending the medicinal plants and culinary herbs.
Set in the beautifully untamed region of Brittany, Brest has one of the finest natural harbours in Europe and was an important naval port during World War II. From here you can discover more of the dramatic coastline, see the fine gardens of Daoulas Abbey or visit the historic city of Quimper.
St Peter Port , Guernsey
The second largest of the Channel Islands is a beguiling fusion of French and English culture. Experience its continental charms on a stroll around picturesque St Peter Port with its marina, historic gardens and quaint cobbled streets. Alternatively, you can explore relics left over from World War II when the island was under Nazi control. There are various reminders of the invasion, including several German gun emplacements, an underground hospital and a network of tunnels once used for refuelling German U-boats.