7 DAYS IN PORTUGUAL LISBON / COIMBRA / DOURO VALLEY / PORTO
DAY 1 LISBON
Meet with the group before we delve into a full day tour of Lisbon. With an included visit to local tile making experience (ceramic tiles), watch and learn as local artisans showcase the authentic colours of Portugal plus get the opportunity to paint your own tile. Tonight, there’s an evening welcome dinner waiting in a local restaurant, accompanied by the mournful laments of Fado singers. (D)
Accommodation: (Heritage Avenida da Liberdade)
DAY 2 LISBON – SINTRA – CASCAIS – LISBON
This morning we drive to the picturesque Sintra – dotted with turreted palaces, grand villas and plenty of ‘wow’ factor. We’ll visit the famous Pena Palace, extravagantly furnished in late Victorian style, complete with oil paintings and priceless porcelain. We then continue to the busy fishing port of Cascais, enjoying the scenic views and rugged coastline on the way. (B)
Accommodation: (Heritage Avenida da Liberdade)
DAY 3 LISBON – NAZARÉ – ALVADOS
Our first stop today is the romantic village of Obidos. After walking around the charming fishing town of Nazaré by ourselves, we regroup to enjoy an included cooking class and sumptuous dinner. (B,D)
Accommodation: (Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel)
DAY 4 ALVADOS – FÁTIMA – COIMBRA
Do you believe in miracles? Either way, you’ll be intrigued by the world-famous Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima. It’s claimed that in 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared “more brilliant than the sun” before three young shepherd children. After visiting Fatima we go to a local olive oil co-op to learn the secrets of oil production. After seeing the spot for ourselves, we travel even further back in time to Coimbra – home to a historic university and included entrance to St. Michael Chapel. (B,D)
Accommodation: (Quinta das Lagrimas)
DAY 5 COIMBRA – LAMEGO – DOURO VALLEY
Remote. Majestic. Wild. It must mean we’re in Douro Valley – the region devoted to port wine. On the way to the Douro Valley we make time to visit Lamego, a small town located on the shores of the Balsemão River that is famous for its architecture and hilltop views. After lunch, we will visit a local winery to experience the regional tipples, while still finding time in the afternoon to take a scenic boat trip along the Douro River on an electric rabelo boat (if you wish). Raise a toast to this wonderful valley and rest overnight. (B)
Accommodation: (Vintage House Hotel)
DAY 6 DOURO VALLEY - GUIMARAES - PORTO
This morning, we visit a local vineyard for a morning of wine tasting. The day continues with a drive to Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. After getting our fill of medieval lanes, churches and small squares, we’ll tick off some important landmarks along the riverside promenade, including the Bolsa Palace, San Francisco Church and Porto Cathedral in all its Romanesque splendour. Tonight, we will enjoy a farewell dinner and reminisce on our fabulous tour. (B, D)
Accommodation: (Carris Porto Ribiera)
DAY 7 PORTO
All hail to the birthplace of Portugal’s first king. Historic Guimaraes is often referred to as ‘the cradle city’ – boasting an imposing medieval castle, churches and the lovely cobbled street, Rua de Santa Maria. After stopping by the Old Town, we drive to the imposing Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, an important pilgrimage site since 1811, before our tour ends on return to Porto. (B)
At Back-Roads we pride ourselves on securing charming, intimate boutique accommodation for our guests.
On rare occasions, we may be required to substitute a property previously listed in our itineraries. Please note that any hotel changes will be consistent with our high standards.
You will see the following on your experience
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today's Europe. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that faces the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city. Lisbon enchants travellers with its white-bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy-going charm that makes it a popular year-round destination.
Porto (also known as Oporto in English), is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.4 million (2011) in an area of 389 km2 (150 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. One of Portugal's internationally famous exports, port wine, is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the caves of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine. In 2014, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency.