39605.jpg

Highlights of Portugal

from $2,049.00

Journey from Porto to Lisbon via the UNESCO Douro Valley and Portugal’s
best cultural highlights

  • Reviews 1 Review
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely
    1/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 16
All about the Highlights of Portugal.

Once a powerful kingdom that dominated the world sea routes, Portugal today is one of the friendliest and most peaceful countries in Europe, though the legacy of its former wealth can still be found in its historic cities. Starting from the colourful Porto, the country’s second city and a UNESCO site, our journey follows the verdant valleys and rolling hills of the Douro wine region, before heading to the lesser known interior, where we visit Coimbra, the UNESCO Batalha monastery, mediaeval Obidos and magnificent Sintra before reaching Lisbon, one of the world’s most enchanting capital cities.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 wine tastings included
* 7 nights accommodation in 3, 4 and 5 star hotels
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* All transport and listed activities
* Guide visits and sightseeing on foot

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • City taxes (approx 10 Euro)

Highlights

  • Visit Porto and the UNESCO Douro wine region
  • Explore magnificent heritage in Lisbon and Sintra
  • Stay in remote rural village hosted by friendly locals
  • 7 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels and guesthouses
  • Sightseeing on foot
  • Group normally 6 to 18, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus, train and boat
  1. Day 1 Start Porto.

    This trip starts in the exclusive residential district of Foz do Douro, approx, 5 km from Porto’s historic centre, and renowned for its superb views of the Douro River meeting the ocean. Time permitting, we will have a short orientation tour around the hotel before dinner.

  2. Day 2 Morning guided sightseeing in the UNESCO historic centre; Port wine tasting; free time for optional activities and transfer to Douro Valley.

    Today starts with a guided tour through the historic centre of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we amble leisurely along the ancient streets and mediaeval lanes we will visit some of the most important monuments such as the St. Bento Station, a neoclassic jewel. In the bustling and colourful squares and the traditional, highly unique cafes, we will discover the authentic heart of Porto. We conclude our guided visit by Ribeirinha, the picturesque riverside area, where we enjoy a tour of the historic Port wine cellars and wine tasting. The afternoon is free for further individual sightseeing of other iconic monuments and sites such as the Cathedral, Saint Francis Church, Lello´s bookshop and library and Clérigos Church and tower. Later, we will transfer by private bus to Mesao Frio in the Douro Valley (approx. 1.5 hrs journey), and spend the night in a beautiful hotel offering stunning views of the world-famous UNESCO vineyards.

  3. Day 3 Panoramic train ride in the Douro Valley; enjoy lunch at a winery with views over the river and its vineyards; optional river cruise.

    Today we explore the heart of the famous Douro Valley, the world’s first officially designated wine region renowned not only for the excellent Port wine but also for the postcard-pretty landscapes made of steep terraced vineyards carved into mountains along the river. We start with a short transfer from our hotel to Peso da Regua (20 mins), followed by a short but very scenic train tide to Pinhao. Later, we enjoy a delicious lunch with local wine in an eighteenth-century estate surrounded by terraced vineyards that climb high above the dramatic confluence of the Douro and Tedo rivers. In the afternoon, we have a couple of hours free to enjoy some of the best views of the Douro Valley – you can opt to relax or take a guided tour of the wine estate or enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the Douro River. We conclude the day with a transfer by private bus into the central region of Portugal (approx. 2hrs drive) to Coimbra.

  4. Day 4 Visit Coimbra and its UNESCO University; free afternoon.

    Widely known as ’the city of students’, Coimbra’s history is closely linked to its university, which was founded in 1290 and is the second oldest in Europe. The city of Coimbra is divided into two distinct areas, the baixa (downtown) by the river, where most of the city’s commercial activity is concentrated, and the ’alta’ (upper town), where the city’s oldest and most important buildings Sé Velha (Old Cathedral), Sé Nova (New Cathedral) and the UNESCO University of Coimbra are found. We visit the most important areas and sites this morning during a guided tour. The afternoon is free for further independent sightseeing. You may also choose to enjoy some shopping and drinks in the town’s historic streets or relax by the hotel’s pool.

  5. Day 5 Visit UNESCO Batalha monastery and famous Nazare' beach; transfer to Obidos.

    Today we transfer (approx. 1hr) to the Monastery of Batalha, a masterpiece of Portuguese Gothic that combines various influences from its lengthy period of construction, which lasted several reigns. We will have the opportunity to visit the outstanding interior including the Founders’ Chapel with its fine stained-glass windows, the cloisters, the Unfinished Chapels with their Manueline and Flemish Gothic features and the Chapter House. Our next stop is the charming seaside town of Nazare’, where waves are famed for being among the largest in the world. Next we move on to Obidos, a picturesque small fortified village which resembles a suggestive medieval film set. It has been carefully preserved by its inhabitants who have been taking careful pride in maintaining the architectural image of the village characterised by narrow winding streets and white-washed houses, a delight to stroll amongst after day-trippers have left. Overnight in Obidos.

  6. Day 6 Day trip to Sintra; free time to visit the historic town or the magnificent Pena Palace.

    Today we take a day trip to the elegant hilltop town of Sintra, once the old residence of kings, nobles, poets, painters and artists. Sintra’s beautiful surroundings of forested hills are the perfect frame to the town’s collection of elegant palaces, castles and museums. Our tour leader will provide a short orientation tour of the historic centre on arrival but the remainder of the day is free to visit the site and palaces that most suit your interests. You may opt to visit to the iconic National Pena Palace, the most complete and notable example of Portuguese architecture in the Romantic period. The palace lies in a picturesque setting, perched on one of the rocky peaks of the Serra de Sintra, and blends in a surprisingly fortunate manner with its natural background of greenery and crags, testifying to the aesthetic potentialities of the project. There will be also time to explore other splendid buildings such as the Sintra Palace or the Moorish Castle. Finally, enjoy a stroll and some shopping opportunities in the picturesque historic centre, before travelling back to Obidos later this afternoon.

  7. Day 7 Guided sightseeing in Lisbon.

    This morning we transfer to Lisbon (approx. 1hr journey), Europe’s second-oldest capital after Athens, and once home to the world’s greatest explorers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Lisbon today is one of the most sought-after destinations offering everything you would expect from a trendy capital: delicious food, ancient monuments, quirky cafés, charming neighbourhoods, and a stunning riverside view over the Tejo river. Lisbon is known as the city of seven hills, so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a few steep climbs and steps during today’s walking tour. We start by visiting the famous neighbourhood of Belem, with its UNESCO Monastery of Jeronimos and the iconic bakery serving the original Pateis de Belem (custard tarts). Next, we transfer to the elegant area of Graça, and descend on foot through Alfama, one of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods boasting a maze of colourful alleyways, old buildings and breath-taking viewpoints. We conclude our busy guided tour in the heart of the city, Rossio. The remainder of the afternoon is free for relaxation or further independent sightseeing. With so much to see and do in Lisbon, we recommend adding some extra days at the end of the tour in order to truly appreciate the many attractions this city offers. * *

  8. Day 8 The trip ends in the morning

    The trip ends in the morning

adp_2020_map_copy
Where you stay

Comfortable Hotels

All hotels on this trip have been specially selected for their location, character and comfort. We stay mostly in modern buildings located within or in proximity of the historic centres we visit. Some hotels have a pool.

List of hotels normally used:

3* Hotel Boavista or similar, Foz do Douro (Porto)

5* Hotel Douro Scala (Mesao Frio)

3* Hotel Dona Ines, Coimbra

4* Hotel Literary Man, Obidos

4* Czar Lisbon Hotel, Lisbon

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner and 1 wine tasting included

Portugal is known for its excellent wines and the delicious regional cuisine which makes use of a lot of natural resources and produce. All meals have strong links with the land and sea, often prepared following old traditional recipes. We will have the opportunity to try a variety of traditional specialities during the trip and the local leader will always be to hand to recommend some good local restaurants. Portugal also prides itself in having some of the best fish in the world. Salt cod is a staple in Portugal, eaten in all kinds of ways, from baked with cream and potatoes, to grilled with salad. The Douro and Alentejo regions are also well-known for an endless number of meat dishes, which include the famous roasted goat with rice and potatoes, porco preto (black pork cooked confit-style), posta mirandes (veal steak) and cozido à portuguesa (boiled meat, sausages and cabbages). Finally, we can’t leave Portugal without trying the world-famous Pastel de nata, the quintessential Portuguese custard tart originating from Lisbon. Please note that vegetarian meals are available on request although options may be very limited.

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely) This is a comprehensive and fast-paced itinerary which aims to showcase the highlights as well as the lesser visited sights of Portugal in eight days. All the transfers will be by private air conditioned vehicle or train (only on one small section along the Douro River) and none of the distances are particularly long. The itinerary is quite busy although some free time is built in the itinerary to allow some rest or sightseeing at leisure. Please note that Portugal can be very hot, reaching high 30’s in the summer. Although this itinerary is mostly based on sightseeing, please be prepared for a reasonable amount of walking between sites. The trip is suitable for all people who are in good health and fitness.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 07/10/2019
5/5

Highlights of Portugal

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    With all these tours, it is difficult to highlight just one moment that was inspirational, especially on a short tour like this. Lisbon was very inspiring especially as we stayed on for an extra 3 days as was our short stay in the village of Ferraria de Sao Joao.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Goncalo was an excellent guide who always made sure we were away early to avoid the worst of the crowds. This was particularly important in the case of the Pena Palace in Sintra. He explained the history of the various sites very concisely which kept our interest and he would always try to accommodate any of our requests.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Fado evening was very good indeed being in a small establishment in the Alfama district of Lisbon so was not only authentic but was a very pleasant farewell evening, Strongly recommended. Also, I would certainly recommend staying on in Lisbon for some extra days as there is so much to do and see and the atmosphere is very appealing.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We didn't have many local guides on this trip but mention should be made of the excellent young lady who guided us round the Douro Museum in Peso da Regua. Her command of English and the clarity of her voice as well as her interest in what she was conveying to us was a model of how a guide should be.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
May 30, 2020
Available
$2,179.00
N/A
July 11, 2020
Available
$2,179.00
N/A
August 8, 2020
Available
$2,179.00
N/A
September 19, 2020
Available
$2,179.00
N/A
October 10, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
April 17, 2021
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
May 8, 2021
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
August 7, 2021
Available
$2,179.00
N/A
September 4, 2021
Available
$2,179.00
N/A
September 18, 2021
Available
$2,179.00
N/A
October 9, 2021
Available
$2,099.00
N/A