Though it no longer holds the same power over the world sea routes, Portugal is a country that invites peace and tranquility. Its former wealth persists in its historic cities beginning with colorful Porto – a Unesco site. From here, travelers embark on a journey through verdant valleys and rolling hills of the Douro wine region to discover lesser-known places such as Coimbra, Batalha Monastery (a Unesco heritage), medieval Óbidos, stunning Sintra and finally arriving in Lisbon; one of captivating capitals of the world. Did you know you can take an incredible train ride to experience this trip? Find out more here.
Porto, Porto, Portugal
Lisbon, Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Day 1 Start Porto
At the start of our journey, we will be staying at a hotel in the Ribeirinha district of Porto. Situated close to the old town and with an amazing view overlooking the Douro river, it is truly a beautiful location. We will have some time available to get familiarised with our accommodation and there will be a welcome briefing during evening hours.
Day 2 Morning guided sightseeing in the Unesco-listed historic centre; port tasting; free time for optional activities and transfer to Douro Valley (breakfast)
We begin our journey through historic Porto with a guided tour of the Unesco World Heritage site. Our pace is leisurely, taking in iconic sights such as São Bento Station’s neoclassical façade and vibrant squares alive with traditional cafés. Our walk culminates at Ribeirinha, an idyllic area on the riverfront where we explore authentic port wine cellars and sample some of the region’s finest wines. The remainder of the day is free to roam this charming city. Visitors can marvel at grand monuments including Porto Cathedral; Saint Francis Church; Livraria Lello (one of the most beautiful bookstores in earth) and Clérigos Church and Tower. Concluding our time in town, we transfer via private bus to Douro Valley, a scenic 90 minute ride away!
Day 3 Optional Douro River cruise; enjoy lunch at a winery with river and vineyard views; transfer to Coimbra (breakfast,lunch)
This morning we make our way to the world-famous Douro Valley, a spectacular landscape of rolling vineyards along the riverbanks. You have the choice to start your day with a pleasant boat cruise along the winding Douro River or jump straight into lunch in an 18th-century estate. Here you will feast on traditional Portuguese cuisine paired with wine from its own vineyards, and can even join a guided tour of wine cellars in the area. As afternoon comes, we transfer by private bus to Coimbra (approximately two hours) located in Portugal’s central region.
Day 4 Visit Coimbra and its university; then to Batalha and its Unesco monastery. (breakfast)
Coimbra, referred to as the City of Students, has a remarkable history intertwined with its Unesco-listed University. Established back 1290, it is the second oldest higher education institute across Europe. This city is split into two sections – ‘baixa’ (downtown) which contains mainly commercial activity along the riverfront and ‘alta’ (upper town) having the oldest and most significant sites such as Sé Velha (Old Cathedral), Sé Nova (New Cathedral), etc. A guided tour taking place this morning will provide an exploration of each area while allowing free time during the afternoon for independent sightseeing before transferring to Batalha; a peaceful little town where a major battle known as Batalha de Aljubarrota occurred (1385). In recognition of the Portuguese victory in securing independence from Castile, King João I created a remarkable structure to commemorate the event. The Mosteiro da Batalha stands as an example of Portuguese gothic artistry that consists of various influences due to its lengthy building process, taking place over several reigns. On our tour, we will have the chance to explore the stunning interior, consisting of the Founders’ Chapel with its gorgeous stained-glass windows, cloisters, the Unfinished Chapels with their beautiful Manueline and Flemish gothic elements, and lastly we’ll visit the Chapter House.
Day 5 Head to Nazaré beach; transfer to Óbidos (breakfast)
Today we will make a stop in the seaside town of Nazaré, renowned for its enormous surfing waves. After a stroll along the beach, lunch and some free time to enjoy the coastal village’s atmosphere, we shall carry on to Óbidos, where we plan to stay overnight. This tiny fortified town is like something taken straight from a medieval movie set; it has been kept immaculate by its proud inhabitants, who have devoted themselves to upholding the ancient architecture of the village with whitewashed houses and towering fort walls – an ideal spot to relish once day-trippers have dispersed.
Day 6 Day trip to Sintra; free time to visit the historic town and the magnificent National Palace of Pena (breakfast)
On this day trip, we will take you to the magnificent hilltop town of Sintra. Once a place for kings, nobles, poets, painters and artists to live, it now stands with its beautiful surroundings of forested hills ready for us to explore. Our tour leader will go over the key sites such as National Palace of Pena before we depart. This piece is regarded as one of Portugal’s most remarkable examples of Romantic architecture due to its location perched on one of Serra de Sintra’s peaks alongside lush greenery and rocky cliffs. We can additionally pay a visit to other striking structures like Sintra Palace or the Moorish Castle. After our exploration is complete, you can enjoy an evening in downtown Sintra full of shopping opportunities before being transferred back to Lisbon (approximately one hour).
Day 7 Guided sightseeing in Lisbon (breakfast)
Nestled in Portugal is Lisbon, an ancient capital that is second oldest in Europe, preceded only by Athens. It was here that explorers such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator once called home. Nowadays, this beloved destination has become one of the most sought-after locales due to its delightful cuisine, historic monuments, interesting cafes and various neighborhoods providing incredible views over the Tejo river. Known as the City of Seven Hills, it offers an unmatched walking tour experience – comfy shoes are a must though! We start our adventure with an optional ride on the famous Lisbon tram that will take us to Graça’s grandeur. Splashing down the historic streets of Alfama, one of Lisbon’s oldest and liveliest neighborhoods, you’ll be treated to a feast for the eyes. From vibrant alleyways to stunning architecture, you won’t be short on sights. After wrapping up our tour with a visit to Rossio – the beating heart of the city – you can take some time off or make use of your free afternoon exploring more independently. To get an authentic taste of Lisbon culture, pay a visit to Belém’s Unesco-listed Monastery and bakery that makes original pasteis de Belém custard tarts!
Day 8 The trip ends in the morning (breakfast)
As we finish up the Highlights of Portugal trip with breakfast, adding a few extra days to explore Lisbon can be a great way to make the most of your itinerary. There are numerous attractions in this city that you should not miss seeing, so speak with your sales representative to make sure you get the chance!
All hotels on this trip have been specially selected for their location, character and comfort. We stay mostly in modern buildings within or near the historic centres we visit. Some hotels have a pool. List of hotels normally used: Porto: Hotel Vila Galé Porto Ribeira Douro Valley: Hotel Régua Douro or Hotel Douro Scala Coimbra: Hotel Dona Inês Batalha: Hotel Lis Batalha Óbidos: The Literary Man Lisbon: Hotel Marquês de Pombal Bookings within 30 days are subject to availability and may incur a supplement of approximately €168 per person (based on a twin share).
All breakfasts, one lunch and one wine tasting included. Portugal is known for excellent wines and delicious regional cuisine that uses a lot of natural resources and produce. All meals have strong links to the land and sea, often prepared following old recipes. We can try a variety of traditional specialities during the trip and the local leader can always recommend good restaurants. Portugal has some of the best fish in the world. Salt cod is a staple here, eaten 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 roasted goat with rice and potatoes, porco preto (black pork cooked confit-style), posta mirandesa (veal steak) and cozido à portuguesa (boiled meat, sausages and cabbage). Finally, we can’t leave Portugal without trying pastel de nata, the quintessential Portuguese custard tart originating in Lisbon. Please note, vegetarian meals are available on request although options may be limited.
All listed activities
Transport from and to the airport is by minibus or comfortable 9-seater vans. We use a private air-conditioned vehicle for all transfers and excursions allowing us to enjoy comfortable, flexible and stress-free journeys.
What’s not included
International flights are not included
Insurance is not included
Other activities and services not included
— Travel insurance — Visas and vaccinations — Single supplement — City taxes (approx. €10)