- Go on a Jeep safari through a cork forest
- Ride a hot air balloon over Évora
- Explore Porto in a vintage car
- Take a private Portuguese cuisine cooking class
|Day 1||Arrive in Lisbon & Food Tour||Lisbon|
|Day 2||Full-Day Private Guided Tour of Lisbon||Lisbon|
|Day 3||Day Trip to Azeitao & Palmela||Lisbon|
|Day 4||Free Day in Lisbon||Lisbon|
|Day 5||Drive to Évora & Culinary Experience||Évora|
|Day 6||Cork Forest Jeep Safari & Olive Oil Estate Visit||Évora|
|Day 7||Winery Tour & Hot Air Balloon Ride||Évora|
|Day 8||Drive from Évora to the Douro Valley||Douro Valley|
|Day 9||Douro Valley Winery & Riverboat Ride||Douro Valley|
|Day 10||Biking Through the Douro Valley||Douro Valley|
|Day 11||Drive from the Douro Valley to Porto||Porto|
|Day 12||Private Porto Market Visit & Cooking Class||Porto|
|Day 13||Adventure in Peneda-Gerês National Park||Porto|
|Day 14||Drive from Porto to Lisbon Via Óbidos||Lisbon|
|Day 15||Depart Lisbon|
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon & Food Tour
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arriving at Lisbon airport, a private driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring. Some things to do include walking in the Cais do Sodre, a district right on the banks of the Tagus River, or going to the Praça do Comércio, the city's main square.In the afternoon, take a walking tour through two traditional neighborhoods marked by tightly-packed houses painted in bright pastel colors. In this stroll off the beaten path, you'll stop at six local food joints and markets. Taste staples of the country's cuisine like pastéis de nata or Portuguese egg tart.
Day 2: Full-Day Private Guided Tour of Lisbon
Get your bearings around Lisbon on a guided tour of its most happening neighborhoods. Board the city's iconic tram and head into the Bairro Alto neighborhood. Continue onto Chiado, where the great 20th-century writers and philosophers used to gather. Next up is the picture-perfect neighborhood of Alfama. Here, walk along narrow cobblestoned streets, and see the stunning 12th-century Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral).After lunch, head to Belém, one of Lisbon's most historical and monumental areas. Visit the medieval Torre de Belém (Belém Tower), and tour the National Ajuda Palace, once home to the Portuguese royal family. Don't leave without stopping by Pastéis de Belém. This bakery claims to be the original home of the pastéis de nata and still follows the original 18th-century recipe used by monks.
Day 3: Day Trip to Azeitao & Palmela
Today, you'll experience the best of the Setúbal Peninsula wine region through the eyes of a native. Setúbal boasts many important Portuguese natural heritage sites, including the Tejo Estuary and the Serra da Arrábida Natural Park. It is also near the long beaches of the Troía Peninsula.
Savor regional pastries, explore quaint towns, and see lush farmlands and majestic mountains. Enjoy a delicious home-cooked Portuguese lunch at a family manor. As a highlight, you'll learn about the region's beloved moscatel de Setúbal, a deliciously sweet yet little-known fortified wine.
Day 4: Free Day in Lisbon
Lisbon has a number of special places that are worth visiting. LX Factory is one of the city's coolest destinations, with street art galore and a host of restaurants, bars, and shops. What used to be an old disused textile factory has been transformed into a buzzing commercial center in an eye-catching setting.
Or head to the National Azulejo Museum, set in a 16th-century convent. Learn about the city's history as it's painted in colorful azulejos, Portuguese-style tiles. Afterward, visit the Jeronimos Monastery in picture-perfect Belém. This monastery was one of the few buildings to survive Lisbon's devastating 1775 earthquake. Love art? Don't skip the fascinating Museu Calouste Gulbenkian.
Day 5: Drive to Évora & Culinary Experience
After breakfast, pick up your rental car and start a self-driven route to beautiful Évora in the region of Alentejo. A private guided tour will take you around the UNESCO-listed city's main monuments, like the 2,000-year-old Templo Romano. In the afternoon, visit Cartuxa Winery. Here, a sommelier will guide you on an exclusive culinary experience. Each dish will come with a wine pairing picked specifically for it.
You also can take a day trip to see the region's incredible array of megalithic monuments dating back to the late Stone Age. Don't miss the impressive Cromeleque dos Almendres, made up of around 100 monoliths, and Anta Grande do Zambujeiro, a huge dolmen (a monument built for burying the dead) constructed out of giant slabs of rock.
Day 6: Cork Forest Jeep Safari & Olive Oil Estate Visit
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Spend the day exploring the Alentejo region, where the pace of life slows amid the area's iconic golden plains. A highlight of the day will be driving a Jeep through a magical cork forest. Afterward, visit an olive oil farm to taste different oils infused with herbs and spices. Enjoy a delectable lunch at a traditional Alentejo cuisine restaurant before returning to Évora.
After the private tour, explore more of the Alentejo countryside yourself. The hill town of Monsaraz is within easy reach and boasts an impressive medieval castle and views all the way to the Spanish border. Or head north to Estremoz, one of three marble towns in the region. Admire the high-quality marble made here as you walk through pretty cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed buildings.
Day 7: Winery Tour & Hot Air Balloon Ride
Today's privately guided excursion takes you to the 19th-century Quinta de Dona Maria vineyard. The estate's old winery has been restored and equipped with modern technology. But one thing that hasn't changed is that grapes are still trodden by foot over marble lagares (fermenters).
Then, jump at the unique opportunity to see Évora and its dramatic surrounding plains on a hot air balloon. Fly with the wind on a peaceful but exciting adventure. See the historic city's ancient streets and sights, such as the 12th-century cathedral, from a bird's-eye perspective.
Day 8: Drive from Évora to the Douro Valley
Get ready for a road trip to the north of Portugal. Driving your rental car, leave Évora behind as you make your way to the Douro Valley. This valley, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, produces some of Portugal's most famous wines, including sweet ports.
On the way, stop for lunch and a bit of touring at Coimbra. Once the capital of Portugal, this preserved medieval town has some of the country's most important landmarks. Visit the University of Coimbra, built on a former palace, and its opulent Baroque library. The Sé Velha cathedral is another popular site.
Day 9: Douro Valley Winery & Riverboat Ride
Explore the Douro Valley's creased and folded mountain slopes, combed with verdant vines. A driver will pick you up in the morning for a scenic drive through vineyard-lined roads. Head to a family winery for a private tasting of port and still wines.
Lunch will be hosted inside a cozy little restaurant tucked away inside the narrow streets of Ervedosa. After eating to your heart's content, board a traditional rabelo boat and cruise along the Douro River for an hour. The boat will leave you at another vineyard, where you'll taste more wine as you take in views of the Tavora River, a tributary of the Douro.
Day 10: Biking Through the Douro Valley
Meet your guide early in the morning for a full-day bike tour in the Douro Valley. Depending on your preference, you'll be on a hybrid, road, or e-bike. The tour will be adapted to your pace and guided by locals. Ride on car-free roads or trails, passing through quaint villages and admiring the landscape.
Have lunch in a local wine estate, where you'll savor traditional Portuguese cuisine accompanied by local wines. Then, continue to the village of Pinhão, considered the heart of the Douro Valley. Walk around the town, stopping by the Pinhão Train Station to see its famous azulejos. After the tour, a driver will transfer you back to your hotel.
Day 11: Drive from the Douro Valley to Porto
Drive your rental car along a scenic route to Porto, one of Portugal's most beautiful destinations. Once you arrive in the city, prepare to switch your vehicle for something a bit more unique. A guide will pick you up in a vintage car for an afternoon tour. Discover the city's highlights and hidden corners in style.Decide between heading toward the fishing village of S. Pedro da Afurada or staying in Porto's Foz neighborhood. Away from the touristy (though picturesque) historic center, Foz has lovely beaches, a pretty lighthouse, and small crowds. End the excursion with a guided visit to a port cellar, where you'll taste the area's famous fortified wine.
Day 12: Private Porto Market Visit & Cooking Class
Head downtown for a private cooking class with a top Portuguese chef. The hands-on workshop includes a visit to the local market and introduces you to the flavors and secrets of the country's cuisine. Learn cooking techniques that you can bring back home to wow friends and family. Once the meal is ready, sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor, paired with local wines and spirits.
Time to walk off lunch! Start in the Ribeira neighborhood, which sits right along the Douro River. Famed for its narrow and colorfully-tiled dockside houses, as well as views of the iconic double-decked Dom Luís Bridge, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is simply a must-see landmark. For a true taste of Porto, be sure to also explore the warren of windy streets behind the riverside.
Day 13: Adventure in Peneda-Gerês National Park
Rise early for an active adventure in Peneda-Gerês National Park. Near the northern border with Spain, this is the only national park in Portugal. Hike majestic mountains, admire local flora and fauna, and swim in pristine waterfalls. Have a traditional picnic lunch in one of Gerês most iconic viewpoints as you rest with the mountain at your feet.
Possible activities include cliff jumping into crystal clear lagoons and riding a 4WD around bumpy trails. Take the opportunity to get to know the traditional villages that surround the park. Here, life seems somewhat frozen in time, so you can get a glimpse of what Portugal used to be before the fast pace of modernity.
Day 14: Drive from Porto to Lisbon Via Óbidos
Prepare to drive your rental car back to Lisbon. But rather than rushing straight to the capital, take a detour to the town of Óbidos. This charming historic village is known for its cobblestone streets and pretty white houses. It also has a 9th-century stone castle that you can explore for a couple of hours.
But the best thing to do in Óbidos is to try ginjinha d'Óbidos. The drink is typical of the city and is made with sour cherries infused in Portuguese brandy. Get it in a small chocolate cup. After you've had enough of the sweet liquor (sipped, not shot back), eat the glass and call it a night before continuing to Lisbon.
Day 15: Depart Lisbon
In the morning, drop off your rental car at a designated spot. Then, make your way to the airport to take a flight back home. Safe travels and boa viagem!