Day 1 UK - Porto
After flying to Porto we will transfer you to your hotel. Get to know your fellow travellers over a welcome dinner this evening.
Day 2 Porto
Porto, known for its production of port wine, is a lively city set on a great gorge of the River Douro. We’ll explore on today’s tour, taking in the Baroque Clérigos Church, whose soaring bell tower can be glimpsed throughout the city, before stepping inside the famous Lello Bookstore (at additional cost), one of the country’s oldest bookshops and amongst the best in the world. Perhaps join some of your fellow travellers for lunch before we visit the town’s old quarters, Ribeira, and the neo-classical Stock Exchange Palace.
Enjoy a scenic cruise along the Douro – a chance to enjoy fantastic views of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, which line the banks of the river. Admire the six bridges that unite these two delightful towns before stepping ashore in Gaia, also famed for its production of port wine, which is made exclusively in the Douro Valley. What better way to end the day than with a visit to one of the town’s numerous port wine cellars for a tasting of this sweet red wine, before heading back to the hotel.
Day 3 Porto - Douro Valley
With a UNESCO-listed historic centre, Guimarães is the proud birthplace of Afonso Henriques, Portugal's first independent king. We'll head here today where there will be the opportunity to discover castle ruins, charming narrow streets and the beautiful square of Largo da Oliveira. After time to explore and enjoy lunch, we'll head to Vila Real to discover the 18th century Mateus Palace. We'll also take in Pinhão's pretty train station, decorated with tiled panels depicting traditional scenes of the Douro region, before finally reaching our hotel in the Douro Valley.
Day 4 Viseu & Aveiro
A delightful city with a well-preserved historical centre and a maze of cobbled streets, Viseu is our destination this morning as we leave the Douro Valley behind us. We'll then continue to Aveiro, known as the 'Venice of Portugal' and one of the world's most beautiful destinations. Admire the traditional seaweed-harvesting 'moliceiro' boats, stunning natural lagoons and elegant 19th century architecture, before we finally reach Coimbra for an overnight stay.
Day 5 Douro Valley - Coimbra - Lisbon
Today we’ll explore Coimbra, the medieval capital of Portugal for over 100 years. Discover one of the oldest universities in Europe, with its magnificent baroque-style library and the New Cathedral – the current bishopric seat of the city. Next we’ll visit Óbidos, surrounded by an old wall flanked by round towers and square bastions. The town was given by King Denis to his young wife,
a gesture that was repeated by future monarchs until 1833. We’ll explore the town, which is also known for its unique cherry liqueur. Our final destination today is Lisbon.
Day 6 Lisbon
The beautiful Alto do Parque Belvedere offers brilliant views over Lisbon, and we'll head here to gaze over the city this morning. Admire the bronze statue of the Marques of Pombal, who rebuilt Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake, and explore the historic Rossio Square. A walking tour of the historic centre will introduce us to the magnificent St George Castle, which watches over the city from a towering hill, and Lisbon Cathedral – the city's oldest church and a National Monument. Next we'll explore the cobbled alleys and steep stairways of the ancient Alfama district, the Belém Tower, the imposing St Jerome Monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries, before savouring the opportunity to sample the 'pastéis de Belém' – a deliciously sweet pastry served at Belém's famous pastry shop.
Day 7 Sintra & CascaisSintra is an enchanting town with a fascinating UNESCO-listed centre, and it’s the first stop on today’s tour. See the spectacular Sintra National Palace, which for an extra cost you can enter, or enjoy a spot of lunch before we begin our journey back to Lisbon. En route, we’ll stop at Cape Roca – the most westerly point of Continental Europe – and Cascais, an ancient fishing village which has been transformed into a cosmopolitan hotspot thanks to its gorgeous beaches, picturesque gardens and pedestrianised Old Town. Just before we reach Lisbon, we’ll take a panoramic tour of Estoril, once a summer retreat for royal families and now known for its sandy beaches and popular casino. This evening, we'll gather together for dinner, the perfect finalé to your Portuguese holiday.
Meals included: B,D
Day 8 Lisbon - UK
You'll fly back to the UK today.
Discover more - We have combined this tour with 'Splendours of Spain' to make one epic adventure, 'The Best of Spain & Portugal'. Call for details