Portugal is one of my favourite European countries, the people are friendly and welcoming, the sights breath-taking, and the history is astonishing. It is a country that once visited you will want to return to repeatedly.
On this our 13-day 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, sweet ports, and local beer, all to the sound of Fado (traditional music).
We travel around on a variety of transportation on this trip, trams, trains, minivan, 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. (this is no coach tour)
I named this the Portugal "Vibe" trip to invoke the flavour 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 tour, you will have time to explore on your own if desired. I have created a daily plan for us, but those that wish to can follow their own specific interests every now and then. We dine all together in the evenings. I find 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, (Airport uber or taxi door to door around e15) 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, and get to know each other.
Day 2 Lisbon
Leisurely start to the day as some will be jet lagged and then its off to explore with Richard, we start with a fun electric tuk tuk tour up and down the steep hills, showing you some amazing sights. We also do some walking today 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 tram 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.
Day 4 Sintra
Day trip to Sintra on the train about 40 min, there is so much to do here, options to visit Sintra palace gardens, 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 5 Lisbon - Tomar
Pack our bags, as we are leaving Lisbon this evening.
Today we have free time and some choices, choose a museum or palace to explore, or head the beach, before catching our late afternoon train for the 1.45 min journey north into the heart of central Portugal and our next stop, the templar city of Tomar.
Day 6 Tomar
The city of the fabled “Knights templar” history and mythology abound and there is so much to take in today, we walk up to the Convent of Christ through the Cera do Convento. Afternoon is free time and this evening we meet up for a walk along the river and dinner in the old town.
Day 7 Tomar - Nazare - Coimbra
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.
Today we visit on day trip, from Tomar and then onward to Coimbra in the evening, stopping on the way to visit the Alcobaca Monastery.
Day 8 Coimbra
The University town of Coimbra, another UNESCO site, and home to the oldest university in Europe. Located in a magnificent setting on the banks of the Mondego river, we also visit the Monastery of Santa Clara and walk around the old town today, leaving the university to explore tomorrow morning.
Day 9 Coimbra - Porto
As a university town, Coimbra has a great vibe and today we will explore the university buildings and famed library and have lunch in the old city before catching the AP fast train on to Porto (first class) in the late afternoon. Here we stay right in the heart of the city in an old convent converted into a delightful hotel.
Day 10 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 11 Porto / Douro valley
Douro valley, we will take a tour today to the most scenic part of the valley to explore the wineries and this delightful region with a cruise on the river and lunch.
Day 12 Porto
Porto is packed with museums and church's, historic bookshops and cafe's, and the shopping is amazing. Today its about picking your passion, and having the time to explore. Photograph the old city, visit the photographic gallery, located in the old prison, shop till you drop, or take tram out to the beach area and entrance from the sea to the Douro river. The hardest thing will be making a choice as to what to do. This evening we will all meet up somewhere special for our goodbye dinner.
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 aircon, double bed and ensuite bathroom.
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.
May 2024 exact dates being finalized.
A 13-day 12-night adventure.
Starting in Lisbon (LIS) and finishes in Porto (OPO)
Small group Min 6 Max 12
This trip will be hosted by Richard
Highlights include :-
Not Included :-
Plus of course, daily help and suggestions from Richard.
Costs for 2024 to be finalised closer to the time
There are direct flights to Lisbon from the US and Canada on Tap Portugal, United, American and Air Canada. Lots of choices from UK and Europe.
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.
Options and methods of payment.