- Kick off the trip with an evening culinary excursion in historic Porto
- Visit wine and olive oil producers in Douro Valley (and boat down a river)
- Have lunch in medieval Coimbre and check out its beautiful university
- Tour Lisbon's best neighborhoods and surrounding villages with a local
|Day 1||Arrive in Porto - Culinary Excursion||Porto|
|Day 2||Explore Porto with a Local||Porto|
|Day 3||Day-Trip to the Douro Valley||Porto|
|Day 4||Transfer to Lisbon, via Coimbra||Lisbon|
|Day 5||Explore Lisbon with a Local||Lisbon|
|Day 6||Day-Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril||Lisbon|
|Day 7||Depart Lisbon|
Day 1: Arrive in Porto - Culinary Excursion
Welcome to Porto! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by a driver who will transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring.
In the late afternoon, you will learn about Porto and its cuisine with a 3.5-hour walking tour of the city's historic downtown. Guided by a Porto native, this excursion offers a first-hand look at the culinary renaissance that the city is experiencing including the rebirth of specialty food shops and new restaurants that are adopting old methods.
You'll take part in several distinct tasting locations that harken back to an era of simple, quality products and recipes created by people who love what they do. Learn about these family-owned businesses and why they are an integral part of what makes gastronomy in Porto so unique. Furthermore, you'll witness the revival of Portuguese cuisine while you explore local restaurants, cafes, and stores offering the best of Porto.
The evening, of course, would not be complete without an introduction to the famous drink of Porto: Port wine. As you taste three different versions, including one vintage, you will learn about the history of this drink and why it is a timeless favorite.
Day 2: Explore Porto with a Local
This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, get ready for a half-day tour around Porto. This guided excursion will lead you through the most important landmarks of Portugal’s second most populous city as you travel from place to place in a comfortable private vehicle.
Your guide will explain the rich history of this city, also called Invicta (the Unbeaten City), with stories of heroes and battles, as you make your way to the trendiest and most cultural area of the city. Here you'll explore Boavista Avenue, one of the city's most important streets, and Foz, the place where the river meets the sea and home to some of the most important museums and modern local treasures.
Next, you'll head to the city center—also a UNESCO World Heritage Site—to admire the most renowned Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical monuments and sites, including the São Bento Railway Station, Clerigos Tower, Church of St. Francis, Lello Bookshop, Sta. Catarina Street, Majestic Café, Bolhão Market, to name a few.
And after a visit to the imposing Porto Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, you will finish the tour along the banks of the immense Douro River with views of Ribeira Plaza and the D. Luís Bridge.
From here, you'll have the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy the city on your own.
Day 3: Day-Trip to Douro Valley
After breakfast in Porto, you will be picked up at your hotel for a full-day excursion in the Douro Valley, one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world!
To kick it off, you can learn about the production process of Port wine at one of the best vineyards in the Douro Valley, while you partake in several Port wine tastings. If you are not particularly fond of Port wine, you can alternatively visit some notable table wine vineyards and producers during this portion of the tour. You will also visit a local olive oil producer since olive oil is one of the most beloved products of the region.
In the mid-day, you'll have lunch at a traditional Portuguese restaurant where there will be more time to ask your guide questions about the area.
Later in the afternoon, it's time for a scenic boat trip along the valley where there will be time to relax and take photos at several magnificent viewpoints along the Douro River. Following the boat trip, you'll return to Porto for your last night in the city before heading south to the capital.
Day 4: Transfer to Lisbon, via Coimbra
Today, after breakfast and check-out, you will be picked up at your hotel in Porto for the 3-hour drive to Lisbon. About halfway through the trip, you will make a stop in Coimbra where there will be free time to walk around and have lunch.
Coimbra is the medieval capital of Portugal and the site of the country’s greatest university: the University of Coimbra, established in 1290. Coimbra wears its weighty importance in Portuguese history with dignity and pride, witnessed by its multicolored collage of buildings that span nearly a millennium. In fact, the city's historic core cascades down a hillside creating a lovely setting along the east bank of the Rio Mondego. Explore the streets your own with a self-guided tour before you finish the road trip to Lisbon.
Upon arrival in Portugal's capital and largest city, check in to your hotel and take the remainder of the day to either rest or explore your neighborhood surroundings.
Day 5: Explore Lisbon with a Local
This morning, you will discover Lisbon, a city built on seven hills, situated where the Tagus River meets the Atlantic Ocean, with a local guide. For some perspective, this is the only European capital with sunsets facing the Atlantic, close proximity to golden beaches, and a captivating mild climate—even during winter months when most other European cities turn to gray skies and frigid temperatures. If that's not enough, Lisbon is friendly and cosmopolitan with World Heritage monuments, impressive museums, and neighborhoods oozing with history, culture, and art.
After breakfast, your driver/guide will pick you up at your hotel for the city excursion. You will first discover the beautiful area of Belem, an ode to the superb age of the Portuguese Discoveries—the numerous territories and maritime routes discovered by the Portuguese during the 15th and 16th centuries. Here you will visit the Belem Tower and you will admire the Monument to the Discoveries, followed by the magnificent Jeronimos Monastery, considered one of the most stunning monuments of Portugal.
Next, you will proceed to the charismatic Alfama district, home of traditional Fado music, with twisting streets that wind up to an imposing castle on one of the city’s highest hills. With whitewashed houses, flower-laden balconies, and red-tiles roofs, Alfama is a perfect mix of historical landmarks and charming residences. You will also discover one of the most important squares in the city and the famous Liberdade Avenue. Make sure to taste the delicious and sweet Pastel de Belem, a traditional pastry, found here.
You'll have the rest of the evening to explore Lisbon on your own. For dinner, consider choosing between some of the city's best Fado restaurants for a memorable evening of traditional cuisine and music.
Day 6: Day-Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
The area surrounding Lisbon offers an incredible variety of architecture and scenery, from fairytale palaces to romantic towns and breathtaking viewpoints. Today's guided excursion is the ideal way to experience some of the most stunning attractions around the capital of Portugal.
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will transfer you to the first stop on the tour: Sintra. This village is a harmonic combination of history and fantasy, described as a “glorious Eden” by the British poet Lord Byron in the 18th century. You will have free time to explore this marvelous village, and your guide can recommend some imposing monuments and wonderful palaces that are worth a visit. There will also be free time to have lunch.
Your next stop will be the Roca Cape, the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal, where the mainland ends and the sea begins. Enjoy this gorgeous view over the immense Atlantic Ocean as the waves crash onto the shore. On the return trip to Lisbon, you will have time to appreciate the fishing harbor and tourist center of Cascais, the former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, and nowadays an excellent spot for surfing. You'll also be able to visit the famous Estoril, known for its casino (the largest in Europe) and attractive gardens.
After the excursion, you'll have the remainder of the evening to enjoy your last night in Lisbon any way you'd like.
Day 7: Depart Lisbon
It's time to say goodbye to Portugal! Depending on the time of your flight, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your departure onwards. Safe travels!