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, in their free time.
We dine all together most 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 today and make your way to our centrally located historical hotel, (Airport Uber or taxi door to door around Euro15-20) where I will be to meet you.
If you arrive early there will be time to rest up, or head out for a walk and explore.
We will all get together for a bite to eat this evening, and get to know each other.
Day 2 Lisbon
Leisurely start to the day as some will still be jet lagged and then its off to exploring. We start with a fun electric Tuk Tuk tour up and down the steep hills, showing you some amazing sights, before heading over the river on the ferry, to explore the historic town of Cacilhas, and the old warehouses of the Lisbon shipbuilding era. Here we will have our welcome meal a seafood lunch with spectacular views looking back towards the city.
This evening is free time.
Day 3 Torre de Belem
We 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.
After our morning walk we jump on the tram to the “Torre de Belem” for a walk around the amazing historical sights from Portugal's empire days. Belem has some truly iconic Lisbon sights, a beautiful monastery, and some world class museums. After lunch by the river there is time to explore at leisure, before we meet up again for our "Fado" evening.
Day 4 Lisbon
Today is a "Follow your passions day" there is just so much to see so, here it is about choosing what your most interested in seing. Art galleries, churches, museums. Or choose a spot for a long lunch, and some people watching with a glass of wine.
This evening we dine together close to our hotel at a typical Portuguese restaurant and share the discoveries of the day.
Day 5 Lisbon - Sintra - Obidos - Tomar
Pack our bags, as we are leaving Lisbon this morning and heading to Sintra to see 1-2 of the most interesting palaces, and walk the gardens of this beautiful town.
After the morning in Sintra we drive on to the walled medieval town of Obidos for lunch, and a afternoon exploring the cobbled streets within the walled town.
Late afternoon we drive on (1.5hr) to the templar town of Tomar and our lovely hotel where we will base ourselves for the next 2 nights.
Our dinner tonight has a medieval theme fitting the town 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 explore the town on foot, heading up to the Convent of Christ through the Cera do Convento.
Afternoon is free time and this evening there is a chance to choose your own restaurant from the many delightful places to eat 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 drive to Nazare from Tomar via the amazing Batalha Monastery. Lunch by the beach and on to Coimbra late afternoon.
Tonight we dine by the river Mondego a spectacular setting.
Day 8 Coimbra
The University town of Coimbra, is another UNESCO site, and home to one of the oldest universities in Europe. Today we will head together to buy the tickets and then you free to explore the university buildings, famed library and botanical gardens at your own pace.
Located in a magnificent setting on the banks of the Mondego river, we also have time to visit the Monastery of Santa Clara in our free time..
Coimbra is home to one of my favourite restaurants, and we will dine here this evening.
Day 9 Coimbra - Porto
The morning is free to head off on your own and explore before catching the fast train on to Porto (first class) in the early afternoon.
In Porto we stay right in the heart of the city in a historic grand hotel, after check-in, we head off for a evening walk to get a sense of the city with before dinner.
Day 10 Porto
We have a full morning walking and exploring the city, ending up in the river area of Gaia, where the port wine merchants and cellars are located. We stop here for lunch before our port wine tour and tasting.
Evening is free time, and this is a good evening to meet up with any friends you have living here, or to try one of the speciality restaurants in this real foodie city.
Day 11 Porto
Today we head to the train station and one of the most scenic train rides in Portugal as we journey to Pinhao to board our 4hr cruise up the river Douro, (lunch included). We head up the river past villages and the beautiful terraced wine growing region.
We catch the train back to Porto and another chance to take in the views from the opposite direction.
Back around 8.30 its a long but wonderful day.
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", from the many choices of things to see. You will have time to explore, photograph the old city, shop till you drop, or take in a palace or two. The hardest thing will be making a choice.
Farewell dinner hosted by Richard
Day 13 Porto
Its departure day, you can book your flights for any time today, the modern airport is easily accessible from our hotel on the subway (3 Euro) or stay on in this wonderful city for a few days.
Those flying out from Lisbon can take the fast train (3hr) or a 50 min flight as long as your flight is afternoon or evening.
Accommodation on this trip is 3-4 star and has been carefully selected for character and a central location. For me to choose a hotel you need to be able to walk out of the hotel and be straight into the action, with easy walking access to areas of interest. (All our hotels on this trip will deliver that) All rooms will have aircon, double bed and en-suite 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.
19th May - 31st May 2024.
A 13-day 12-night adventure.
Starting in Lisbon (LIS) and finishes in Porto (OPO)
Small group Min 6 Max 12
2 rooms still available (Single or couple)
This trip will be hosted by Richard
Highlights include :-
Not Included :-
Plus of course, daily help and suggestions from Richard.
Cost for 2024 trip
Twin share = 3300 Euro pp.
Private room = 3890 Euro.
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.