Portugal is one of my favorite European countries, the people are friendly and welcoming, the sights breathtaking, and the history is astonishing. It is a country that once visited you will want to return to repeatedly.
On this our 13-day highlights adventure, we get to discover the absolute best, there is time to explore and "smell the roses", enjoy a coffee and lots of outdoor dining, just like the locals do. No one is in a hurry in this country, and that’s part of the charm. Great food, fantastic wines, ports, and local beer, all to the sweet sound of Fado (traditional music).
We travel around on a variety of transportation on this trip, trams, trains, minivan transfers, and ferry, traveling like the locals do. There is a lot of exploring the historic cities on foot and you need to be comfortable on your feet for a few hours a day to really enjoy this trip.
I named this the Portugal "Vibe" trip to invoke the flavor of
our trip, think of the style as being a group of friends discovering a country together. This is not a history tour, or a traditional coach tour, you will have plenty of time to explore on your own if desired. I have created a daily plan but those that wish it can follow their own agenda or mix and match each day. We dine all together in the evenings. I select traditional restaurants to delight even the foodies amongst us with great ambience, sampling traditional cuisine, with a glass (or two) of local wine over great conversation.
Day 1 Arrival day in Lisbon
You can arrive any time and make your way to our central hotel, (Uber or taxi door to door approx $10) where I will be there to meet you, there will be time to rest up or head out for a walk and explore the local area around our centrally located hotel.
We will all get together for a welcome meal this evening, somewhere special and get to know each other.
Day 2 Lisbon
Leisurely start to the day as some will be jet lagged and then its off on foot to explore with Richard, riding the trams to some amazing sights. Exploring the cobbled back streets and stopping for coffee on the way. Built on 7 hills Lisbon is one of the most photogenic cities in the world, and your camera will get a full workout today. This evening we will dine in the Alfama area, the oldest area of the old city, listening to the sounds of Fado.
Day 3 Belem and Cacilhas
After breakfast we take the train to the “Torre de Belem” for a walk around the amazing historical sights from portugal's empire days, before heading over the river on the ferry to explore the historic town of Cacilhas, and the old warehouses of the Lisbon shipbuilding era. We stay on for a late seafood lunch with spectacular views looking back towards the city. late afternoon there will be some free time before we meet up again in the evening to explore the nightlife area of Barrio Alto, including visiting a local Gay bar.
Day 4 Cascais
Today we take a day trip by coastal train to the famous beach town of Cascais. Stay on the wonderful beach swimming, sunbathing, eating ice cream, drinking cocktails, (so bring your bathers), or mix this up with time exploring this lovely towns museums and gardens.
Day 5 Sintra
Day trip to Sintra, there is so much to do here, options to visit Sintra palace, Sintra fort, or explore the lush gardens and historic village, sampling chocolates, wine, and dining in the plazas. Sintra is quite something and the palace is the picture you see at the top of this page.
Day 6 Obidos and on to Nazare
Pack your bags, as we are leaving Lisbon and heading north, for a day in Obidos, arguably Portugal’s most beautiful medieval city. We wander the cobbled streets, sample the wares, and explore a town where most of the roads are too narrow for cars. Late afternoon we travel onwards for an 1 hr to the town of Nazare where we will spend our next 2 nights by the sea.
Day 7 Nazare
Nazare is a mecca for the world’s greatest surfers, boasting some of the highest waves in the world. It’s a spectacular place to explore on foot, hang out on the beach or watch the surfers.
Richard will take you to his favorite spots including a walk to watch the surfers from the cliffs, or opt to go exploring on your own, you can't get lost here.
Day 8 Tomar
Today we head to Tomar and the city of the “Knights templar” via the Monastery of Batalha, it’s a day of historic sights and legends from the middle ages. Overnight in this lovely town.
Day 9 Coimbra
We spend the morning in Tomar with time to explore the castle before the day trippers arrive, then after lunch we catch the train and continue north to the University town of Coimbra, home to the oldest university in Europe located in a magnificent setting on the banks of the Mondego river.
Day 10 Coimbra
As a university town, Coimbra has a great vibe and today I will take you on a familiarization walk before setting you free to explore.
We dine together somewhere special tonight.
Day 11 Porto
We take the fast train from Coimbra to Porto and settle into our central city hotel, with time this afternoon for a walk and familiarization of this our last great destination.
Day 12 Porto
We have a full morning exploring the city with Richard, ending up in the river area where the port wine merchants and cellars are located. We stop for lunch and port tasting together followed by an afternoon of free time. Self-directed options include exploring a port cellar, shopping, or head to one of the many museums.
Day 13 Porto
Its departure day, you can book your flights for any time today, the modern airport is easily accessible on the subway or stay on in this wonderful city for a few days.
Accommodation on this trip is 3-4 star and has been carefully selected for character and its central location providing easy walking access around the area of interest. All rooms will have a double bed and ensuite bathroom. Breakfasts in the hotel on some days are included, on other occasions we will go out and enjoy the amazing cafe culture.
Suggestions for those with extra time.
Porto is a hub city with direct flights to many onward destinations.
My pick for those that have the time:-
Contact us to register interest and find out further information, and we can arrange to have a chat on Skype to answer any questions.
September 5th - 17th. 2021
Starts in Lisbon (LIS) and finishes in Porto (OPO)
A last min escape for those vaccinated and raring to go! Portugal is planning to open and welcoming visitors from the USA soon. Lisbon is well connected to the US with direct flights, making this one of the most accessible destinations likely to open up for summer.
Apply NOW closing date 30th June, this trip can run with between 6 and 9 people, so I will make a call on the 30th as if there is enough interest go ahead.
Boys trip, and No single supplement a guaranteed room of your own! Small group Min 6 - Max 9
Portugal Vibes is a 13 day 12 night adventure.
This trip will be hosted by Richard
Plus of course, daily help and suggestions from Richard.
Guideline around 2950 Euro / $3600 USD
No single supplement! Yes a guaranteed room of your own.
Couples of course very welcome and will have a room upgrade where available.
There are direct flights to Lisbon from the US and Canada on Tap Portugal, United, American and Air Canada.
Due to the nature of adventure travel and the prices of the resources on which it depends, the published price of any trip is subject to change at any time, before or after booking confirmation, up to 60 days before the departure.