- This beautiful itinerary through the north and centre of the country takes you through art cities and nature parks
- Take a break in local nature and taste the sweetness of life in the Douro Valley; stay at charming hotels
- That's the privilege of touring Porto and Lisbon with local experts
- You'll have a car to get around easily, access to our local Concierge service, recommended places to visit: that's the beauty of travelling with us
Contact one of our Portugal specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
YOUR TRIP TO PORTUGAL
At each of your destinations, we have selected charming hotels which provide a mix of lifestyle and decor, located in the city centre so you can get around easily, or surrounded by nature in the Douro region. To help you explore, we have already put visits to Porto and Lisbon in your itinerary, where you'll follow the footsteps of locals, so you can experience each city from an insider's perspective. Well-planned logistics (private transfers and rental car), our local Concierge service and a recommended list of places to visit round it all out. Everyone is then free to further individualise their trip, embellishing it with a la carte pleasures and discoveries: a visit to a wine estate with tastings in the Douro, a river cruise, private guides in each city, a one-day bike excursion along the Tagus...
Your itinerary includes...
PortoThe second largest city in the country, Porto has gradually emerged from the shadow of Lisbon while retaining its singular soul, an asset for visitors who love authenticity and sincerity. The city's imperfections make it all the more attractive: an Art Nouveau building stands next to a Baroque building, which in turn is next to a dilapidated house... Porto is proud; proud of its merchant and liberal past. Its tea shops are always brimming with political debates and vehement students and intellectuals. And Porto has preserved its soul; the working classes have remained in the city centre and happily coexist with the commercial middle classes. Listen to music – fado of course, but not just that; dine on charming terraces; go dancing with friends. In short, if you love life, this is a great way to experience it.
LisbonThe ease of its lifestyle, its arty nonchalance, and its iconic old trams lend the Portuguese capital a special charm. Like Rome, the city is comprised of seven hills. Newbies quickly get used to hopping hill to hill, juggling the various tram routes. Stroll through the lively alleyways, never tiring of photographing the tall houses, their outsides lined with azulejo tiles; visit trendy galleries and designer shops in Bairro Alto; watch the river from the shaded plots, and listen to the fado escaping from the windows; get lost in the delightful and less frequented Bairro dos Actores, and descend to Belem to breathe in all the maritime adventure of Portugal from the docks. Then take a leap back in time in the district of Alcantara with its red brick factories transformed into a high-tech complex. In short, you'll soon succumb to the charms of the city.
Flight to Porto
Private transfer upon arrival. Two-night stay in the heart of one of Ribeira's oldest and most characteristic pedestrian streets. Your hotel is in a great location, a short walk from the river, numerous sights of interest in Porto, and many cafes and small local restaurants. The interior design is inspired by the discoveries of Portuguese explorers, skilfully blending old and new, yet never neglecting comfort.
Must-haves - Upper town - Docks - Torre dos Clerigos Church - the Stock Exchange - Church of Sao Francisco - Cathedral, Sao Bento Station.
Experience Porto - Take the historic tram - go for a walk in the Ribeira district (UNESCO World Heritage Site) - browse at Lello e Irmao (the oldest bookstore in town) - breathe in the greenery of the Parque da Cidade (124 acres) - have a snack under the stucco and rococo chandeliers of Cafe Majestic...
Included in the itinerary - A meeting with a resident of Porto, who knows the city like the back of their hand and will help you discover modern, everyday Porto during an informal, no-fuss stroll. We don't plan ahead but adapt the route to suit your particular tastes on the spot. It's a fun and enjoyable way to spend a few hours living like a Porto native.
Optional - Discovery of Porto on foot, with a local guide who speaks good English.
Porto - Douro Valley
Pick up your rental car and depart for Pinhao, through stunning hillside roads and along the Douro River.
Along the way - A short detour through the Solar de Mateus, an elegant mansion furnished with a chapel and beautiful English gardens planted with cypresses and camellias - magical in spring.
Two-night stay in a beautiful property in the heart of a 37-acre vineyard, north of Pinhao. It's a true insight into the Douro way of life. The winery is home to Casa das Pipas and Casa do Lagar, an ancient oil mill. Inside, the mix of styles blends regional materials, such as stone and wood, resulting in a cosy and charming feel.
Douro River Valley
You'll have a day to rest by the pool, or use the time to get lost on the lanes of the Douro.
See and do - Quinta's wine tour - Pinhao town and train station - Sabrosa's period mansions - a trendy (and quirky) aperitif at Douro In's 'wine-bar' in Peso sa Regua.
We love - A walk in Amarante (climb the Sao Gonçalo bridge for the best view).
Optional - A visit to the Quinta Nova wine estate (with tasting and lunch) - a sailboat ride on the Douro.
Douro River Valley - Coimbra
Drive southwest to Coimbra.
See along the way - Viseu, a pretty village renowned for the quality of its food (and wines), with a beautiful medieval centre: an ideal stop for a lunch break before taking a constitutional nearby, in Bucaco Forest.
Overnight accommodation in the heart of Coimbra. This young hotel has been completely renovated - and the result is very nice. The pubic spaces are well designed and all very nice, from the spacious rooms (with the exception of some of the bathrooms) to the roof terrace with panoramic views of the city, to the lovely patio where you can enjoy breakfast or sip a drink on sunny days.
Things to see and do in Coimbra - Listen to a fado show in the evening (at the Diligencia Bar or 'A Capella', an authentic 14th century chapel) - see the imposing Baroque style library - explore the fruit and vegetable market in the historic centre - walk along the left bank at night...
Coimbra - Obidos
Continue along the road south, moving closer to the Atlantic coast.
Along the way - Batalha Monastery, the madcap dream of Jao I - the Alcobaca Monastery (a jewel of Cistercian art).
Behind its imposing walls, Obidos is perhaps the most harmonious city in the country, with its whitewashed houses, fountains, and flower-filled alleyways. Staying overnight will allow you to sample all its charms once day-trippers have left for the night. It's a stone's throw from the historic village and lagoon of Obidos. Your hotel boasts a quiet and peaceful location on the coast. The wellness-oriented design has a spa with sauna, Turkish bath and flotation room, as well as two swimming pools. This feeling of relaxation continues during the aqua yoga sessions offered by the hotel. The spacious and elegant suites are bright and contemporary. For avid foodies: a bakery, organic grocery store and pizzeria are sure to appeal.
Obidos - Sintra - Lisbon
A day along the rugged coastline culminating with the elegant Sintra hilltop: the National Palace, the Pena and Monserrate Palaces... If you don't want to visit the interiors, take the time to stroll through their landscaped parks in the 'Serra'.
Also worth a stop along the way - Mafra National Palace, Cabo da Roca ('Cape of the Rock' where the waves of the Atlantic crash against the lighthouse and reefs).
Two-night stay in the heart of Lisbon, in a charming hotel featuring designer furnishings. Each room or apartment has a unique decor with vintage touches, subtly mixed materials (leather, marble in the bathroom, wood), framed black and white photographs, and high-tech devices (tablets, television, MP3 connection...). It's a trendy atmosphere that still lets you feel at home.
Included in the itinerary - In order not to miss anything essential and to truly experience the city from the inside, you'll spend half a day with a Lisbon native with expert knowledge of their city. They'll share little-known spots and favourite hauntswith you. You'll walk through the cobblestone streets as they regale you with amazing stories, and explore some mansions and small churches that are usually closed to the public, along with art galleries and flea markets.
Lisbon Must-Sees - Maritime Museum - Museum of Decorative Arts - Calouste Gulbenkian Modern Art Foundation - Church of Sao Roque - Hieronymites Monastery - Belem Tower.
To see and do - Walk under the plane trees of Avenida da Liberdade - have a trendy dinner on the docks - a picnic in the Eduardo VII park - a wine tasting at Espírito do Vinho - take the Da Bica funicular to the Santa Cruz viewpoint - watch the sunset from the heights of the Santa Justa Lift...
Optional - Bike hire for the day - discover the historic centre or the Belem district, accompanied by private guides.
Lisbon - Return flight
Private transfer to the airport and return flight.
A la carte
In Porto - The old town and cellars
What's the best way to discover and experience old Porto? On foot. Your local guide will help you decipher Porto as you visit its major sites and the port wine cellars that make Nova de Gaia (the southern bank of the river Douro in the city) internationally renowned. A port and fine wine tasting will confirm it. You'll explore the charming narrow streets of the old town, take the lift to enjoy a panoramic view, and spend time understanding the great architectural styles of the city through its churches and cathedrals.
Optional - Half day
In the Douro Valley - Visit the Quinta Nova Winery
Quinta Nova wines are born of a family passion. They are a result of the region's grape varieties and production methods, which combine the best of tradition with modern wine-making processes. Alongside the production of Port and Douro wines, the property has also developed the production of olive oil and other traditional gourmet products. The itinerary includes a visit to the estate, a wine tasting, and lunch.
Optional - Half day
THE DOURO TO THE VOILE
Further down the river, the landscapes are wide and feature impressive terraced vineyards. A cruise takes you back to the days of the rabelos - wide hulled boats that brought wine barrels downstream to Porto from the vineyards. You'll experience all the charm of sailing and of the old agricultural regions, learning about the region's history, and seeing the grandiose landscapes of stepped vineyards interspersed with wine-growing properties and hilltop villages.
Optional - Half-day excursion with a skipper.
Lisbon - Cycling along the Tagus
The dock area, also known as Santo Amaro, is a neighbourhood in flux. Bicycle paths have been set up along the Tagus, allowing you to head along a pleasant, approximately five-mile path, which now connects Cais do Sodre to the historic centre of Belem. This route provides a chance to take in the fresh air and discover some of Lisbon's must-sees, such as Christ the King (a replica of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro), the 25 de Abril Bridge (a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco), and the Belem district, which provides a fitting testament to a Portuguese maritime history that included the greatest voyages of discovery. Certain 'docas', old warehouses, some of which have been transformed into cafes and restaurants, line the route.
Optional -Day trip
In Lisbon - Private exploration of the Belem district
Belem is a unique neighbourhood in Lisbon which looks out to the sea and beyond. Located at the mouth of the Tagus to the west of the city, Belem was the home port of caravels (highly manoeuvrable sailing ships) departing for the New World. This visit first and foremost provides a chance to recall Portugal's place among the great European powers of the 16th century. You will reach Belem by the traditional tram before walking to the Monument to the Discoveries, built in honor of Henry the Navigator. Also included in the itinerary: the art galleries of the Belem Cultural Centre and the Jeronimos Monastery (an audioguide will be provided), not forgetting another must-doin Belem: a break for 'pasteis de nata' custard tarts in the famous Belem pastry shop!
Optional - Half-day
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