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Portugal Discovery: North to South Expedition

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Duration

15 days

Tour Type

private

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Category

Getaway

Languages

English & More

Overview

Experience the diverse beauty of Portugal on a comprehensive 15-day journey that stretches from the vibrant northern cities to the serene southern shores. Begin your adventure in Porto, where the scent of Porto wine lingers in the air and the historic Ribeira district beckons with its colorful houses and narrow... More

Experience the diverse beauty of Portugal on a comprehensive 15-day journey that stretches from the vibrant northern cities to the serene southern shores. Begin your adventure in Porto, where the scent of Porto wine lingers in the air and the historic Ribeira district beckons with its colorful houses and narrow cobbled streets. Travel through the lush Douro Valley, famed for its terraced vineyards and scenic river cruises, before heading to the university city of Coimbra, where ancient academic traditions still thrive.

 

Continuing southward, your next destination is the bustling capital of Lisbon. Here, tramways wind through historic neighborhoods like Alfama and Bairro Alto, offering stunning views of the city’s Gothic cathedrals and the sun-kissed Tagus River. Take a day to explore the UNESCO-listed sites of Sintra, including the whimsical Pena Palace and the mysterious Quinta da Regaleira.

 

As you move further south, stop in the coastal town of Setubal, where the Alentejo meets the Atlantic. Explore the rich multicultural heritage of Évora. Venture inland to explore the rolling plains of Alentejo, dotted with medieval castles and olive groves, before indulging in the region’s rich gastronomy and wine.

 

Conclude your tour in the Algarve, where dramatic cliffs frame golden beaches and crystal waters. Spend your days soaking in the sun and historic beauty of this southern region. This 15-day program offers a complete exploration of Portugal’s rich heritage, varied landscapes, and the warm hospitality of its people, ensuring a memorable adventure from north to south.

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Itinerary

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DAY 1 – WELCOME TO PORTO
DAY 1 – WELCOME TO PORTO

Your adventure begins in Porto, a city that effortlessly weaves together the tapestry of its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture along the serene banks of the Douro River. As you step into Porto, you'll feel an immediate sense of warmth and welcome, embraced by the city's unique charm.

Allow yourself to be captivated by the intricacies of its heritage, from the age-old port wine cellars to the ornate Baroque churches that grace the skyline. Whether you're strolling along the riverfront promenade or exploring the narrow alleys of the historic Ribeira district, every corner of Porto holds a story waiting to be discovered.

DAY 2 - FULL-EXPLORATION OF PORTO
DAY 2 - FULL-EXPLORATION OF PORTO

Dive deeper into the heart of Porto as you embark on a full day of exploration, uncovering the hidden gems and iconic landmarks that define this enchanting city. Wander through its labyrinthine streets, where colorful houses adorned with azulejo tiles transport you to a bygone era.

Pause to admire the breathtaking views from the Clerigos Tower before immersing yourself in the literary wonders of the Lello Bookstore, a haven for book lovers and architecture enthusiasts alike. And no visit to Porto would be complete without indulging in its culinary delights, from mouthwatering seafood dishes to the rich, velvety flavors of its renowned port wine, each bite a testament to the city's gastronomic prowess.

DAY 3 - ALLURING LANDSCAPES AND WINES OF DOURO VALLEY
DAY 3 - ALLURING LANDSCAPES AND WINES OF DOURO VALLEY

Venture beyond Porto's city limits to explore the picturesque splendor of the Douro Valley, a region famed for its terraced vineyards, meandering river, and world-class wines. As you wind your way through the verdant hillsides, you'll be treated to sweeping vistas of breathtaking beauty, each panorama more captivating than the last.

Take a leisurely river cruise along the Douro, where the tranquil waters mirror the azure sky above, or venture into the quaint villages that dot the landscape, their rustic charm offering a glimpse into traditional Portuguese life. And of course, no visit to the Douro Valley would be complete without sampling its exquisite wines, whose rich flavors are as nuanced and complex as the landscape that nurtures them.

DAY 4 – CHARMING CANALS OF AVEIRO AND FADO IN COIMBRA
DAY 4 – CHARMING CANALS OF AVEIRO AND FADO IN COIMBRA

Today, your journey leads you to Aveiro, affectionately known as the "Venice of Portugal" for its network of picturesque canals, vibrant moliceiro boats, and colorful Art Nouveau architecture. Lose yourself in the enchanting beauty of this coastal gem as you glide along its tranquil waterways, admiring the intricate façades that line the shores. From there, venture onwards to Coimbra, where an evening of Fado music awaits, beckoning you to immerse yourself in the soul-stirring melodies and poignant lyrics that have long been synonymous with Portuguese culture.

As the haunting strains of the music fill the air, you'll find yourself transported to a world where emotion knows no bounds, a world where the past and present intertwine in perfect harmony.

DAY 5 – COIMBRA: KNOWLEDGE AND GASTRONOMY
DAY 5 – COIMBRA: KNOWLEDGE AND GASTRONOMY

Delve into the rich tapestry of Coimbra's history and heritage as you explore the venerable halls of its ancient university, a bastion of learning that has stood for centuries. Wander through its hallowed corridors, where the echoes of generations past still linger, and lose yourself amidst the treasures of its storied libraries and botanical gardens.

And when hunger strikes, satisfy your cravings with the tantalizing flavors of Coimbra's culinary scene, where traditional dishes mingle with contemporary creations to create a symphony of taste and texture that is uniquely Portuguese. From hearty stews and savory meats to delicate pastries and decadent desserts, every bite is a celebration of the region's rich gastronomic heritage.

DAY 6 – MEDIEVAL TOMAR AND OBIDOS
DAY 6 – MEDIEVAL TOMAR AND OBIDOS

Embark on a journey through time as you make your way from Coimbra to Lisbon, pausing along the way to explore the medieval wonders of Tomar and Óbidos. In Tomar, discover the legacy of the Knights Templar as you wander through the ancient streets of the historic center, where towering castles and majestic convents stand as silent sentinels to a bygone era.

Then, continue onwards to Óbidos, a charming walled city whose cobbled streets and whitewashed houses exude an air of timeless beauty. As you arrive in Lisbon, you'll find yourself on the threshold of a vibrant capital city, where the past meets the present in a dazzling display of culture, history, and innovation.

DAY 7 – FULL ESSENCE OF LISBON
DAY 7 – FULL ESSENCE OF LISBON

Lisbon, Portugal's radiant capital, unfolds before you like a storybook of cultural riches and historical wonders. Begin your day by meandering through its historic neighborhoods, where every cobblestone street whispers tales of bygone eras. From the majestic grandeur of Belém, where iconic landmarks such as the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery stand as testaments to Portugal's Age of Discovery, to the bohemian allure of Bairro Alto, alive with the rhythm of Fado music and the aroma of traditional cuisine, Lisbon offers a captivating blend of old-world charm and contemporary vibrancy.

Lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys of Alfama, the city's oldest district, where the echoes of Moorish influence mingle with the scent of freshly baked pastries. Explore the vibrant Mercado da Ribeira, where local vendors peddle an array of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delectable street food. Whether you're marveling at the panoramic views from São Jorge Castle or sipping espresso at a sidewalk café, Lisbon invites you to immerse yourself in its rich tapestry of culture, history, and tradition.

DAY 8 – EXCURSION TO SINTRA, CASCAIS & ESTORIL
DAY 8 – EXCURSION TO SINTRA, CASCAIS & ESTORIL

Escape the bustling streets of Lisbon and embark on a journey to the enchanting towns of Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril, where fairytales come to life amidst lush landscapes and azure seas. Sintra, with its romantic palaces, verdant forests, and mystical allure, has long been a source of inspiration for poets and artists alike.

Explore the whimsical wonders of Pena Palace, a riot of colors perched atop a hill, and wander through the enchanting gardens of Quinta da Regaleira, where secret tunnels and hidden grottoes await discovery. Continue your journey along the stunning Estoril coastline, where golden sands and crystalline waters beckon sun-seekers and surfers alike. In Cascais, a picturesque fishing village turned cosmopolitan resort town, stroll along the palm-lined promenade, explore the charming old town, or simply bask in the Mediterranean sun. From the glamorous casinos of Estoril to the rugged beauty of Cabo da Roca, Europe's westernmost point, this excursion promises a day of enchantment and adventure along Portugal's stunning coastline.

DAY 9 – SETUBAL AND ARRABIDA NATURE PARK
DAY 9 – SETUBAL AND ARRABIDA NATURE PARK

Set out on a scenic journey from Lisbon to Évora, pausing along the way to explore the coastal town of Setúbal and the breathtaking landscapes of Arrábida Natural Park. Setúbal, cradled between the Sado River estuary and the rolling hills of the Arrábida mountains, is celebrated for its maritime legacy and bustling fish market.

Immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of the waterfront, where vibrant fishing vessels sway gently in the harbor and fishermen ply their trade with expertise. Treat your senses to a wine tasting experience at a local vineyard, where you'll savor the region's renowned Moscatel and other varietals against a backdrop of vineyard-draped slopes and azure seas stretching to the horizon. Then, venture into Arrábida Natural Park, a pristine sanctuary of rugged cliffs, hidden beaches, and verdant Mediterranean foliage. Follow scenic trails that meander through ancient cork oak forests and fragrant scrubland, pausing to behold panoramic vistas of the Atlantic coastline unfurling below. As the sun dips beneath the horizon, resume your journey to Évora, where a heartfelt welcome and a plethora of wonders await your arrival.

Day 10 – BLEND OF CULTURES IN EVORA
Day 10 – BLEND OF CULTURES IN EVORA

Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a treasure trove of history and culture, invites you to step back in time and immerse yourself in its timeless charm. As you wander through its cobblestone streets and picturesque squares, you'll encounter a seamless blend of architectural styles spanning centuries, from the imposing Roman Temple of Évora to the intricate Gothic details of the Cathedral of Évora. Marvel at the city's well-preserved medieval walls, which encircle a labyrinth of whitewashed houses adorned with colorful azulejo tiles, each façade a testament to the city's rich heritage.

Walk around the maze-like alleys of the old town, where hidden courtyards and charming boutiques await discovery. And be sure to sample the local cuisine, a delicious fusion of flavors influenced by centuries of Moorish, Roman, and Portuguese culinary traditions, showcasing the best of Alentejo's farm-to-table dining.

DAY 11 - ALENTEJO HEARTLAND
DAY 11 - ALENTEJO HEARTLAND

Embark on a journey through the heartland of Alentejo, where time seems to stand still amidst rolling plains, vineyard-covered hillsides, and quaint towns steeped in tradition. Explore the historic treasures of Evoramonte, where a medieval castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, and Estremoz, known for its imposing marble quarries and bustling weekly market.

Visit Vila Viçosa, the birthplace of Portuguese royalty, where a majestic palace and ornate marble fountain testify to the region's regal heritage. And don't miss Monsaraz, a fortified hilltop village overlooking the serene waters of the Alqueva reservoir, where narrow streets and whitewashed houses exude an air of timeless beauty. Along the way, savor the flavors of Alentejo's renowned cuisine, from hearty soups and succulent meats to artisanal cheeses and sweet pastries, each dish a celebration of the region's rich agricultural bounty and warm hospitality.

DAY 12 – STUNNING NATURAL BEAUTY OF ALGARVE
DAY 12 – STUNNING NATURAL BEAUTY OF ALGARVE

The Algarve, with its stunning natural beauty and sun-drenched shores, beckons travelers to unwind amidst a paradise of pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque coastal towns. From the vibrant energy of Lagos to the tranquil charm of Tavira, the Algarve offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler.

Check into your beach resort and feel the stresses of everyday life melt away as you soak up the warm Mediterranean sun and dip your toes into the azure waters of the Atlantic. Take a leisurely stroll along the golden sands of Meia Praia or explore the hidden coves and sea caves that dot the rugged coastline. Indulge in fresh seafood delicacies at a seaside restaurant or sip cocktails at a beachfront bar as the sun sets over the horizon, painting the sky in hues of pink and orange. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, the Algarve promises a vacation to remember amidst its unparalleled natural beauty.

DAY 13 – ALGARVE HISTORIC GEMS
DAY 13 – ALGARVE HISTORIC GEMS

Discover the rich history and cultural heritage of the Algarve on a private full-day tour, where you'll journey through time to uncover the secrets of its historic gems. Explore the coastal town of Portimão, once a bustling fishing port and now home to a charming old town and picturesque waterfront. Visit Silves, the former capital of the Moorish kingdom of Al-Andalus, where a majestic castle and ancient cathedral stand as reminders of its storied past.

Wander through the narrow streets of Olhão, known for its Moorish-style architecture and bustling fish market, where fishermen unload their daily catch amidst a cacophony of sights and sounds. And in Faro, the region's vibrant capital, explore the medieval Old Town and discover its hidden treasures, from ancient city walls and historic churches to lively squares and bustling markets. Led by an expert guide, this immersive tour offers a fascinating glimpse into the Algarve's rich tapestry of history, culture, and tradition.

DAY 14 – SAILING ALONG THE STUNNING ALGARVE COASTLINE
DAY 14 – SAILING ALONG THE STUNNING ALGARVE COASTLINE

Discover the wonders of the breathtaking Algarve coastline, where nature's grandeur unfolds in a symphony of towering cliffs, hidden coves, and pristine beaches. As you set sail from one of the region's charming coastal towns, you'll be greeted by the sight of rugged cliffs rising majestically from the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cruise past dramatic rock formations sculpted by the relentless forces of wind and waves, their jagged edges a testament to the raw power of nature. Explore hidden sea caves carved into the cliffsides, where shafts of sunlight illuminate the crystal-clear waters below, revealing a kaleidoscope of colors and marine life. And as you navigate your way through protected marine reserves, you'll have the opportunity to encounter dolphins playing in the surf or seabirds soaring overhead. Whether you're seeking adventure or simply looking to bask in the serenity of nature, sailing along the Algarve coastline promises an unforgettable experience of unparalleled beauty and tranquility.

DAY 15 – GOODBYE PORTUGAL
DAY 15 – GOODBYE PORTUGAL

As your journey through Portugal draws to a close, bid farewell to this enchanting country with a mixture of nostalgia and gratitude for the memories created and experiences shared. From the majestic mountains of the north to the sun-kissed beaches of the south, Portugal has captivated your heart with its diverse landscapes, rich heritage, and warm hospitality.

Reflect on the moments of wonder and discovery, from exploring historic cities steeped in tradition to savoring the flavors of Portuguese cuisine and wine. As you transfer to Faro airport for your departure, carry with you cherished memories of the sights, sounds, and sensations that have touched your soul during your time in Portugal. And though you may be leaving this captivating land behind, know that its spirit will forever linger in your heart, beckoning you to return and continue your journey of exploration and discovery. Until we meet again, Portugal, adeus and obrigado for the memories.

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