With this tailor-made itinerary you will discover the most iconic places of Portugal, from Lisbon to Porto. You will get to know the gastronomy, culture and history of the Iberian Peninsula's best-kept secret. Portugal is a land characterized by old world charm and welcoming people. Journey from modern Lisbon, through the countryside from one picturesque village to another, learning about Portugal's culture and rich history. Explore medieval castles, old universities, quaint seaside villages, and the famous port wine capital, Porto. Feel the soul of Portugal as expert local guides and unique experiences bring the past and present to life.
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival in Lisbon airport you will be greeted by our local driver at the designated spot. Right after the luggage claim you'll exit through a corridor. At the end of that corridor, you'll see the arrivals lounge. Right in front of you, there's a small square area reserved for "drivers/travel agents". This is where our driver will be waiting for you with your name on a board. Relax and let our professional driver take you to your hotel, in a comfortable vehicle. Enjoy your first day in Lisbon!
Straddling seven hills that overlook the Tagus River, Portugal’s capital is laid across a series of steep slopes, interlinked by funiculars and trams to help you navigate. A vital trading hub for centuries, Lisbon’s history is still apparent everywhere. You’ll find Moorish influences in the medina-like streets of the Alfama, Baroque architecture in Baixa and echoes of the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 throughout. Lisbon isn’t mired in its past, though. During the day, the chic boulevards of Chiado bustle with shoppers and Baixa boasts a robust café culture. At night, revelers flock to the bars and restaurants of Bairro Alto or relax over a drink in many of the open squares, enjoying the view.
You'll be picked up today by your private driver and taken to a local morning farmer's market to meet your private chef. Chef Artur will take you on a tour of the market and to shop for ingredients. This one-on-one time with the chef at the market will allow you to meet some of the local vendors and pick out some fresh ingredients to take back to his home for cooking. Chef Artur has some interesting ways of cooking some of the most basic ingredients and transforming them into fresh and delicious treats. This is a very complete, fun, and tasty experience that you will not forget. The cooking class can be as hands-on as you want it to be or comfortable with and lunch will be served al fresco on the patio (weather permitting). The class includes 4-5 "petiscos" or snacks in Portuguese, plus wine and lasts for about 4 hours. You'll be driven back to your hotel after the class at 3PM. We recommend keeping the rest of the afternoon free as you may want to take a stroll or even a nap after your culinary adventure!
Your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel this afternoon and take you on a 4 hour tour of this fascinating city. Share your interests with your guide and they can tailor-make this tour for you to maximize your experience in Lisbon.
Start the tour by visiting the quarter of Belem, where the UNESCO listed sites are located. The Monastery of Jeronimos is a real book of stone from the golden period in Portuguese History. After admiring the south portal in detail, it is worth visiting the cloisters and the church where the tombs of Luís de Camões and Vasco da Gama can be found. On the western edge of Praça do Império, an imposing modern building will attract your attention. This is the Belém Cultural Centre, a powerful fixture in the city’s cultural scene, with an interesting program of cultural events. This is where the Berardo Museum is housed, with its collection of contemporary art. Visit the Tower of Belem, a fortress erected in the 16th century with the aim of defending Lisbon from its enemies, although its elaborate decoration makes it look more like a textbook on Manueline style than a military structure. The imposing Monument to the Discoveries stamps its mark on the riverside at Belém. It was designed in 1940 to commemorate the "Exposition of the Portuguese World", promoted by the Salazar government to celebrate the eighth and third centenaries of the founding and restoration of the Portuguese nation (1140 and 1640 respectively). However, it was only built in 1960 for commemorations marking 500 years since the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. The greatest Portuguese heroes are all represented here.
Take a delicious stop at the traditional Pastry Factory of “Pasteis de Belem”, where you will have the opportunity to taste the famous egg tarts.
Return to the city center and visit the historic center. Admire the views from the viewpoint of Parque Eduardo VII. Drive through the Avenue Liberdade, famous for its boutique and high-end stores. The great Squares of Rossio and Restauradores should also be visited as they represent important periods of the history of Lisbon and Portugal, most of what of you see was rebuilt after the great earthquake of 1755, even though there are many interesting stories to be learned. Take the opportunity to taste the famous drink "Ginjinha" a traditional Portuguese sour-cherry liquor. At the riverfront, you will find the great square of Praça do Comércio, where the political power of the Portuguese government is located. Learn the history of this square, from its very foundation to the golden era of the discoveries, through the assassination of our last king, the great revolution of April 25 until you reach our modern times and stage of national events! Finally, you've reached Lisbon's oldest quarter - Alfama. Discover this quaint neighborhood from its Roman times, Moorish period, stories of fishermen and navigators, and nowadays one of the most important areas to listen to the Portuguese song - Fado.
Your half day tour includes a private guide and a driver for the afternoon to reach parts of the city inaccessible on foot or tram. Skip-the-line tickets to the Monastery of Jeronimos and a stop for the traditional sweets known as "Pasteis de Nata" which are custard-style tarts, plus one drink per person. Tickets to other monuments are not included (giving you more flexibility about which you'd like to visit).
Located in the basement of the 18th century Condes de Linhares palace, Casa de Linhares’ seven-meter-high vaulted ceiling, stone columns and red brick interior take the atmospheric enjoyment of fado to new heights. ?Chef Emília Costa prepares tasty Portuguese dishes alongside wines from the cellar that date back to the 80s, while the likes of Maria da Nazaré, Celeste Rodrigues, Ana Moura, Raquel Tavares and Manuel Bastos fill the cavernous, candlelit space with their extraordinary voices. Mystery and romance linger on every inch of this storied fado restaurant, located in a Renaissance-era mansion in Alfama that nearly fell to dust in the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755. But thanks to the enduring tradition of Fado, this house continues to be an elegant and refined expression of Portuguese culture. The best of the best perform regularly here, including some of the art's most glamorous singers (Fábia Rebordão, Vânia Duarte, Silvana Peres) as well as charming young guitarists (Bruno Chaveiro, André Dias). This is probably the most elegant and refined place to see fado in town—and it's definitely worth dressing up for.
After breakfast, your driver and private guide will pick you up at the hotel for a full day journey exploring the best of Sintra and the Cascais coast.
Start the day with the World Heritage Site of Sintra. A town of palaces, landscapes, culture, art and also of great romantics who passed through here. Learn about the ancient myths of Celtic bards, the Moorish legends, the passions of the Christian Reconquest and a masonry that makes this site so unique in the world and yet so magical! There were several romantic figures that have passed in Sintra. From literature to music, the town of Sintra has inspired various figures and dazzled others with its mystical and charming environment. We visit the Historical Centre of Sintra, with a visit to the traditional narrow streets full of flowers and local craft shops, viewpoints, with time to taste the local traditional sweets.
We also visit Pena Palace, in the top 10 of the most beautiful palaces in the world! A real enchanted palace. One of the most beautiful examples of the romantic revival of the 19th century. Built on the site of a former convent of friars from the Order of St. Jerome. A fantasy from King Fernando of Saxe Coburg-Gotha. A palace with a complexity of styles: neo-Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic and neo-Renaissance.
After browsing through hundreds of years of history, it will be time to relax by driving to the town of Cascais along the nature park of Sintra-Cascais. Once a small fishing village, the town of Cascais managed to maintain its seafaring traditions combined with the aristocratic and royal presences of the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Walking by its animated town center you'll find the cosmopolitan life side by side with the Atlantic. Stop for lunch overlooking the sea at Furnas do Guincho (reservations only).
The return to Lisbon will follow a very special road named "Marginal" by the Portuguese running always parallel to the white sandy beaches and amazing 17th-century fortresses starting at the town of Estoril with its famous casino.
Included: Driver and Certified Private Guide, tickets to Pena Palace, and some special treats
Not included: Tickets to other monuments, meals, and personal expenses
Lunch reservations: Furnas do Guincho:
Today you will leave Lisbon behind and travel to your next destination. You'll have a private driver (no guide) and make various stops along the way to explore more of Portugal on your own. Stops today include Obidos, Alcobaca, Batalha, and Fatima. Meet your driver after breakfast and hotel check-out.
Your first stop is in Óbidos, one of the most beautiful and unspoiled villages of Portugal. It is strongly linked to the nobility since the thirteenth century, when King Dinis married Isabel of Aragon. Among many gifts, the monarch gave to his wife the village of Óbidos. Walk through typical streets of the romantic medieval town, climb the wall that surrounds the village and enjoy the view over the houses. The old buildings are home to everything a traveler needs for a pleasurable visit: there are good restaurants, a collection of craft shops and art galleries full of charm, plus many cellars - among local specialties and wines, you will find ginjinha, a kind of liquor made from a type of wild cherry, tiny and very tasty, abundant in the region. You cannot leave without trying something exceptionally typical: the cherry liquor in chocolate cup which you can and should eat after drinking the liquor!
Next up is the World Heritage Site of Alcobaca and its famous monastery. Alcobaça owes its fame and development to the Monastery or Royal Abbey of Santa Maria, founded by the Order of Cistercians in 1153. We suggest you enjoy lunch at Restaurant Antonio Padeiro (at your own expense). This simple tavern features traditional and homemade Portuguese dishes and decor from the 50s and 60s. Chicken and partridge in púcara (clay pot) are two of the most emblematic dishes of the house and also of the region, but the baked octopus with sweet potatoes, codfish and shrimp and oven-baked kid lamb are alternatives to consider.
After lunch, move on to explore Batalha, one of the most fascinating places on the Iberian Peninsula. The Monastery of Batalha, or Santa Maria de Vitória's, is a masterpiece of Portuguese Gothic, a magnificent piece of architecture that combines various influences from its lengthy period of construction, which lasted several reigns. It was constructed in 1386 to keep a vow by Portuguese King Dom João I to the Virgin Mary that he would build it if Portugal defeated Castile at the Battle of Aljubarrota on 14th August 1385. Extravagant celebrations commemorating this victory are held next to the monastery in August of every year. Outstanding in the interior are 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.
From here, continue on to the Catholic Pilgrimage site of Fatima. If time permits, you can explore the famous sites of Fatima, including the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, the Basilica, the square of prayers, the chapel of the apparitions, the Church of the Holy Trinity, and the pyre where people burn candles asking for blessings. Then be dropped off at your charming guesthouse in the countryside for the night.
Included: Driver Only (English-speaking), Water, WiFi
Not included: Tickets to monuments, meals, and personal expenses
Lunch reservations: Restaurant Antonio Padeiro
Today you will venture further north to Porto. You'll have a private driver (no guide) and make various stops along the way to explore more of Portugal on your own (with a local guide in Coimbra). Stops today include Coimbra (see guided tour below), Aveiro, and Costa Nova. Meet your driver after breakfast and check-out from your hotel.
After your private walking tour in Coimbra with a local guide (as described below), you can have lunch in Costa Nova (at your own expense), a photogenic beach town on the coast. Costa Nova is known for the colorful beach houses or "palheiros" - originally used by local fisherman but now rented out to summer guests and painted in bright hues and stripes.
Then visit the town of Aveiro – The Venice of Portugal, next to the sea and the ria (estuary), and crossed by a network of channels through which moliceiros (local boats) meander. These slim, colorful vessels were used to collect algae and seaweed, and today are for sightseeing tours. Aveiro has several buildings in Art Nouveau style that are worth observing. Many are situated along the main channel, but there are some off the beaten track and in other locations. Emblematic of the city is the sweet made with eggs and sugar - the “ovos moles" (soft eggs) that are sold in wooden barrels or wrapped in a crusty wafer in different shapes. In Aveiro, you will enjoy a 45 min shared boat tour on a traditional "Moliceiro" boat. This is the best way to avoid the crowds and enjoy the canals and Art Nouveau facades of the city.
From here, continue on to your charming hotel in Porto.
Included: Driver Only (English-speaking), Water, WiFi, and Shared Boat Tour of Aveiro
Not included: Tickets to monuments, meals, and personal expenses
Lunch reservations: Restaurante Clube De Vela da Costa Nova
Enjoy a 2 hour private walking tour in Coimbra with a licensed local guide (plus an hour of free time to explore on your own and taste local snacks) from 10:00AM to 1:00PM. Coimbra is an academic town full of culture, history and beauty. Its history dates to Roman times. It was the scene of a dramatic love story: the forbidden love between the future king, Dom Pedro I, and a Galician lady, Inês de Castro, who was executed by order of King Afonso IV, who saw the danger in this love of a subjugation to Castile. Inspiring poets and writers, this historical occurrence remains part of the city's heritage. Today it is best known for its wide boulevards, beautiful architecture and wonderful regional cuisine, as well as its famous university. This city of students is known for its centuries-old university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe, founded in 1290 in Lisbon and then transferred to Coimbra in 1537. Overlooking the city, the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha is considered the most important monument for the study of the Gothic style, in Portugal. Visit the most prominent monuments of the city, including the Joanina Library, and the Old Cathedral. The Museum Machado Castro, next to the University, is also very much worth a visit.
Included: Licensed guide, tickets to the University of Coimbra
Porto is Portugal’s compact and energetic second city, built on the steep banks of the mouth of the Douro River. It avoided the ravages of the 1755 earthquake that destroyed Lisbon, thus preserving its character and you’ll find brightly tiled, tight-knit houses crowding the slopes above the historic waterfront Ribeira district as well as a charmingly tumbled-down medieval core. The Douro River — crossed by six bridges — was historically the region’s main artery. It runs from the inland wine country to the Vila Nova de Gaia parish, across the water from the main city. There, Porto’s eponymous fortified wine still ages silently in oak casks hidden in wine cellars, just as it has for hundreds of years.
Meet your private driver at your hotel and begin your drive to the Vinho Verde (Green Wine) region of Portugal. First stop will be one of the most beautiful cities in northern Portugal -- Viana do Castelo. The geographical location of the city, situated next to the sea and the mouth of the river Lima, can be seen from the Santa Luzia hill. This stunning view is a good starting point for visiting this city of traditions and medieval charm. Viana is rich in palaces emblazoned with coats of arms, churches and monasteries, monumental fountains and water features that constitute a wealth of heritage worth visiting. At the Tourist Office, you can ask for a brochure and choose a route inspired by Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Deco or tile architecture. Whichever streets you stroll through in the historic center, you will always come back to the Praça da República, the heart of the city. This is where you will find the 16th century Misericórdia building and fountain, as well as the old Paços do Concelho (Town Hall). Close by is the Romanesque Cathedral or Igreja Matriz (Parish Church). Facing the sea that was responsible for Viana’s history, a baroque church guards the image of Nossa Senhora da Agonia, the patron saint of fishermen. She is taken out every year on 20 August to bless the sea in one of the most colorful festivals in Portugal, where the beauty and richness of the costumes that are paraded during the festivities are notable.
After exploring Viana do Castelo on foot, meet up with your driver again and continue on to your wine estate visit.
You'll enjoy lunch and wine tasting at Solar das Boucas today. This property dates back to the beginning of the 17th century and remained in the Pinheiro de Almeida family until about 50 years ago. The estate included several corn fields, orchards, vegetable gardens and pine forests, but the manor house was practically in ruins until it was bought by Albano Castro Sousa, who transformed it into one of the most respected producers of vinho verde and one of the first to invest in the potential of farm wines. When the Sousa family decided to sell the property in 1989 to Quinta do Noval (a large wine company owned by the Van Zeller family), Fernando Van Zeller took possession of the estate and began to restore the old manor house and planted new vines and grape varieties on the property. Of the estate's total area of about 34 hectares, 24 are filled with vines and the Loureiro variety has the largest share at 20 hectares. The remaining 4 are shared by the Alvarinho grape variety and the Arinto grape variety. Produced and bottled on the estate, Vinho Verde "Solar das Boucas" exclusively uses grapes produced on the property itself. You'll enjoy a privately guided tour, lunch paired with estate wines, and the wine tasting of 4 wines.
Afterwards, you'll begin the drive back to Porto with your driver.
This morning, meet your driver at your hotel to begin the 1.5 hour drive into the Douro Valley. Your first stop will be in Lamego to experience a private traditional cooking workshop with a real Portuguese Countess!
The beautiful estate of the Viscounts of Varzea is located in the middle of the Douro, near Lamego, inserted in an artistic and varied landscape where nature blends with Romanesque and Gothic-Manueline styles. Traversing the emblazoned gates of Quinta da Várzea, we immediately feel the magic of a place that promises unforgettable moments. This family estate has more than 180 hectares, divided by vineyards, olive and fruit trees, and the manor house was turned into a Charm Hotel recently. Meet the Viscountess and learn about the history of the estate and her family’s interesting and rich life story. In the old kitchens and using the wood-burning stove and old pots, you will learn how to cook an authentic local menu under the guidance of the Viscountess. After the cooking lesson, lunch will be served in one of the elegant dining rooms of the estate, or al fresco on the patio, and you will enjoy the dishes you have helped prepare. The workshop and lunch takes about 3 hours.
After lunch, your driver will escort you to the pier to begin your river cruise.
This afternoon, you will board a 2 hour private sailboat cruise on the Douro River. Sailing on the Douro River is one of the most beautiful experiences when visiting northern Portugal. Embark on a relaxed experience, passing through the main Quintas of the Douro Wine region, listening to stories shared by the experienced skipper of the boat. Navigate upstream towards the mouth of the Tua River, one hour to navigate upstream and one hour to navigate downstream, in one of the most beautiful sections of the Douro Valley. You’ll see plenty of vineyards, terraces, villages and towns, and 18th and 19th century wine estates. The Libertus was the first sailboat to sail on the Douro and holds up to 12 guests. After returning to the pier, your driver will bring you back to Porto.
Enjoy a 4 hour private walking tour in Porto with a licensed local guide from your hotel. Your tour will start with Porto's Baixa (Downtown) which is laid out around the Avenida dos Aliados(Avenue of the Allies), the city's focal point. At the top of this thoroughfare, there is the imposing Municipal Council building. At the other end, it opens onto the Praça da Liberdade (Liberty Square) where there is a statue of a mounted Pedro IV (19th c.), emperor of Brazil and, like much of Oporto, a supporter of the Liberalism movement. In a show of recognition, the king literally gave his heart to the city, now watched over in the Church of Lapa. Heading up Rua de São Filipe Néry, there is the Church and Tower dos Clérigos (Ecclesiastics), the centerpiece of the city and the most original design by Nicolau Nasoni. From 75 meters up in the tower, there is a wonderful panoramic view over the city of Porto and beyond. On the way, nip into the Lello bookshop and admire the lavish decoration bestowed on this temple to culture. Known the world over, among other reasons, for its staircases that inspired the author of Harry Potter, Lello is considered one of the best and most beautiful bookshops in the world.
Surrounding this center, there is a dense network of streets packed with stores and cafes. Of the latter, the magnificent Majestic and the cheerfully bustling Mercado do Bolhão are well worth a visit. On the streets 31 de Janeiro Galeria de Paris and Cândido dos Reis, check out the facades with their Art Nouveau design. To the side of the square, take a look at the São Bento (Saint Benedict) railway station to see the pictured tiles in the entrance hall. Then head down the Rua das Flores (Street of Flowers), with its goldsmiths and the exuberant baroque façade of the Church of Misericórdia (Compassion), a masterpiece by architect Nicolau Nasoni. Just a little bit uphill, you'll find the Cathedral. Besides the church, which was begun in the 12th century, it is worth visiting the tile-covered cloisters. The precinct, with its pillory and other monuments, has a superb view over the river and the houses on both sides.
Continue downhill towards the riverfront - Ribeira - This is one of the most attractive districts of Porto, in which you get a feel for the ancient vernacular ambience. In this area, you will see two of the most important monuments. First, the Church of Sao Francisco, the most important Gothic church in the city, whose Baroque interior is completely covered in gilt carvings. And just attached to it, you'll find the Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange). A beautiful 19th century building, whose highlights include the famous Salão Árabe (Arab Hall), the Hall of Nations and a remarkable grand staircase.
Included: Licensed guide, tickets to Lello Bookstore, Church Sao Francisco, and Stock Exchange Palace
Not included: Tickets to other monuments, meals and personal expenses
After the city tour, you'll have some free time for lunch on your own before needing to meet your driver back at the hotel. He will then transfer you to the Porto Campanha train station (about 15 mins away) for your departing train to Lisbon. Experience unparalleled comfort, enjoying a ride onboard a modern Alfa Pendular train from Porto to Lisbon! Without a doubt, a high-speed train is the fastest (as well as the most spectacular) way to travel picturesque Portugal from north to south. The comfortable journey takes just 3 hours, including cushy seats, plenty of legroom, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
On arrival in Lisbon, another driver will meet you at the Lisbon Santa Apolonia train station and escort you to your final hotel. Enjoy your last night in Portugal!
Although your adventure must come to an end today, you will be leaving with new friends, amazing experiences and memories to cherish for the rest of your life. Once you have checked out of your hotel, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the Lisbon airport in good time to board your international departure flight.
We wish you safe and happy travels home!
Located in downtown Lisbon facing the square Praça da Figueira, this 18th-century building, with a view of São Jorge’s castle, was recently restored and has become a hotel. The name is that of the square, Figueira, which in Portuguese means Fig Tree. This square once housed a market (many years ago) and was surrounded by fig trees. The outside of the building is leafy green; the furniture in the elegant interior is primarily stained wood; and fig plants are projected on the walls. The hotel's 50 rooms take an urbane approach to the eco-friendly theme, with big cushy beds and muted, earth-tone decor, plus modern perks such as smart TVs set into the walls. It embodies the fig tree and the perfume of its ripe fruit: the fig tree personified in the interior: Signed by Nini de Andrade e Silva, award-winning Portuguese interior designer. The hotel’s restaurant, Honra (Honor), is dedicated to Portuguese cuisine.
Set in lush gardens, this chic hotel inspired by traditional local architecture offers a village vibe. It's 2 km from the Wax Museum of Fátima, and 3 km from the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. Featuring private stone entrances, the airy, stylish rooms offer complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars, as well as safes, and tea and coffeemaking equipment. Some have terraces, fireplaces and in-room free-standing tubs. Suites add living areas and/or kitchenettes. Breakfast and parking are free. Other amenities consist of an outdoor pool and a grocery store, plus meeting space, a terrace, and a lounge with a fireplace. Yoga classes and massage services are available in a cave.
This is a 4-star hotel in Porto belonging to the PortoBay Group. After being fully refurbished in the first half of 2021, it is now reopening its doors with a fresher, brighter and fully rejuvenated image. It is located in the theatre district, right in the historical center of the city, in Rua Sá da Bandeira. Next to the entrance, but with its own access, the Il Basilico restaurant offers Italian comfort food flavors in the bruschettas, tortelloni, pizzas and risottos that find their way to the tables. Despite being just a three-minute walk from Porto’s main avenue, Avenida dos Aliados, and 200 metres from the São Bento train station, the hotel feels slightly off the tourist trail, with plenty of local cafés and restaurants found in the surrounding area. The hotel is built on the site of Porto’s old Baquet Theatre and carries a strong theatre theme throughout. Check-in takes place at the 'box office' where room tickets are handed out, elaborate costumes hang in glass cabinets and on racks in the corridors, room numbers illuminate like seat numbers at the base of doors, black-and-white films loop on a big screen in the bar area.
Set in a historic building in the city center, the H10 Duque de Loulé is a four-star superior Boutique Hotel that fuses traditional Portuguese décor with a modern and elegant touch. It offers comfortable rooms, the Azul e Branco Restaurant, two meeting rooms and the Limão Rooftop Bar with spectacular views of Lisbon and the Tagus Estuary. Just off the capital’s main artery, the wide, tree-lined, Avenida da Liberdade, flanked with designer shops and chic hotels. You're well placed to get around the often congested city and within walking distance of many sights. The airport is less than five miles away. The bright rooms at the H10 Duque de Loulé are decorated with a very elegant, contemporary interior design where blue and white tones predominate. The traditional Portuguese tiles – exclusively hand painted for the hotel – create a captivating atmosphere.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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