Highlights of Portugal

8 days
from
£1,499
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
ADP
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–16
Min age:
16

Journey from Porto to Lisbon via the UNESCO Douro Valley and Portugal's best cultural highlights 

Once a powerful kingdom that dominated the world sea routes, Portugal today is one of the friendliest and most peaceful countries in Europe, though the legacy of its former wealth can still be found in its historic cities. Starting from the colourful Porto, the country's second city and a UNESCO site, our journey follows the verdant valleys and rolling hills of the Douro wine region, before heading to the lesser known interior, where we visit Coimbra, the UNESCO Batalha monastery, mediaeval Obidos and magnificent Sintra before reaching Lisbon, one of the world's most enchanting capital cities.

Highlights

  • Visit Porto and the UNESCO Douro wine region
  • Explore magnificent heritage in Lisbon and Sintra
  • Mediaeval Obidos, elegant Coimbra and Nazare beach

Key information

  • 7 nights in 3, 4 and 5-star hotels 
  • 8 days flight inclusive / land only
  • Guide visits and sightseeing on foot
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus or van and train
  • Countries visited: Portugal

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 wine tastings included
  • All accommodation 
  • Transfer for group flights
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement 
  • City taxes (approx. €10)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
Lisbon
  • Day 1

    Fly to Porto.

    Fly to Porto; those arriving on the group flight will be collected by the leader on arrival and transferred to our hotel by private minibus. The start hotel is located in the exclusive residential district of Foz do Douro, approx. 5 km from Porto's historic centre, and renowned for its superb views of the Douro River meeting the ocean. Time permitting, we will have a short orientation tour around the hotel before dinner.

     

  • Day 2

    Morning guided sightseeing in the UNESCO historic centre; Port wine tasting; free time for optional activities and transfer to Douro Valley.

    Today starts with a guided tour through the historic centre of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we amble leisurely along the ancient streets and mediaeval lanes we will visit some of the most important monuments such as the St. Bento Station, a neoclassic jewel. In the bustling and colourful squares and the traditional, highly unique cafes, we will discover the authentic heart of Porto. We conclude our guided visit by Ribeirinha, the picturesque riverside area, where we enjoy a tour of the historic Port wine cellars and wine tasting. The afternoon is free for further individual sightseeing of other iconic monuments and sites such as the Cathedral, Saint Francis Church, Lello´s bookshop and library and Clérigos Church and tower. Later, we will transfer by private bus to Mesao Frio in the Douro Valley (approx. 1.5 hrs journey), and spend the night in a beautiful hotel offering stunning views of the world-famous UNESCO vineyards.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Panoramic train ride in the Douro Valley; enjoy lunch at a winery with views over the river and its vineyards; optional river cruise.

    Today we explore the heart of the famous Douro Valley, the world’s first officially designated wine region renowned not only for the excellent Port wine but also for the postcard-pretty landscapes made of steep terraced vineyards carved into mountains along the river. We start with a short transfer from our hotel to Peso da Regua (20 mins), followed by a short but very scenic train tide to Pinhao. Later, we enjoy a delicious lunch with local wine in an eighteenth-century estate surrounded by terraced vineyards that climb high above the dramatic confluence of the Douro and Tedo rivers. In the afternoon, we have a couple of hours free to enjoy some of the best views of the Douro Valley - you can opt to relax or take a guided tour of the wine estate or enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the Douro River. We conclude the day with a transfer by private bus into the central region of Portugal (approx. 2hrs drive) to Coimbra.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Visit Coimbra and its UNESCO University; free afternoon.

    Widely known as 'the city of students', Coimbra’s history is closely linked to its university, which was founded in 1290 and is the second oldest in Europe. The city of Coimbra is divided into two distinct areas, the baixa (downtown) by the river, where most of the city’s commercial activity is concentrated, and the 'alta' (upper town), where the city’s oldest and most important buildings Sé Velha (Old Cathedral), Sé Nova (New Cathedral) and the UNESCO University of Coimbra are found. We visit the most important areas and sites this morning during a guided tour. The afternoon is free for further independent sightseeing. You may also choose to enjoy some shopping and drinks in the town's historic streets or relax by the hotel's pool. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Visit UNESCO Batalha monastery and famous Nazare' beach; transfer to Obidos.

    Today we transfer (approx. 1hr) to the Monastery of Batalha, a masterpiece of Portuguese Gothic that combines various influences from its lengthy period of construction, which lasted several reigns. We will have the opportunity to visit the outstanding interior including the Founders’ Chapel with its fine stained-glass windows, the cloisters, the Unfinished Chapels with their Manueline and Flemish Gothic features and the Chapter House. Our next stop is the charming seaside town of Nazare', where waves are famed for being among the largest in the world. Next we move on to Obidos, a picturesque small fortified village which resembles a suggestive medieval film set. It has been carefully preserved by its inhabitants who have been taking careful pride in maintaining the architectural image of the village characterised by narrow winding streets and white-washed houses, a delight to stroll amongst after day-trippers have left. Overnight in Obidos.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Day trip to Sintra; free time to visit the historic town or the magnificent Pena Palace.

    Today we take a day trip to the elegant hilltop town of Sintra, once the old residence of kings, nobles, poets, painters and artists. Sintra's beautiful surroundings of forested hills are the perfect frame to the town's collection of elegant palaces, castles and museums. Our tour leader will provide a short orientation tour of the historic centre on arrival but the remainder of the day is free to visit the site and palaces that most suit your interests. You may opt to visit to the iconic National Pena Palace, the most complete and notable example of Portuguese architecture in the Romantic period. The palace lies in a picturesque setting, perched on one of the rocky peaks of the Serra de Sintra, and blends in a surprisingly fortunate manner with its natural background of greenery and crags, testifying to the aesthetic potentialities of the project. There will be also time to explore other splendid buildings such as the Sintra Palace or the Moorish Castle. Finally, enjoy a stroll and some shopping opportunities in the picturesque historic centre, before travelling back to Obidos later this afternoon.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Guided sightseeing in Lisbon.

    This morning we transfer to Lisbon (approx. 1hr journey), Europe's second-oldest capital after Athens, and once home to the world's greatest explorers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Lisbon today is one of the most sought-after destinations offering everything you would expect from a trendy capital: delicious food, ancient monuments, quirky cafés, charming neighbourhoods, and a stunning riverside view over the Tejo river. Lisbon is known as the city of seven hills, so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a few steep climbs and steps during today’s walking tour. We start by visiting the famous neighbourhood of Belem, with its UNESCO Monastery of Jeronimos and the iconic bakery serving the original Pateis de Belem (custard tarts). Next, we transfer to the elegant area of Graça, and descend on foot through Alfama, one of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods boasting a maze of colourful alleyways, old buildings and breath-taking viewpoints. We conclude our busy guided tour in the heart of the city, Rossio. The remainder of the afternoon is free for relaxation or further independent sightseeing. With so much to see and do in Lisbon, we recommend adding some extra days at the end of the tour in order to truly appreciate the many attractions this city offers. 

     

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    The trip ends in the morning. Those travelling on the group flight will be transferred to the airport for their inbound flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Combine this trip with

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 wine tasting included

Portugal is known for its excellent wines and the delicious regional cuisine which makes use of a lot of natural resources and produce. All meals have strong links with the land and sea, often prepared following old traditional recipes. We will have the opportunity to try a variety of traditional specialities during the trip and the local leader will always be to hand to recommend some good local restaurants. Portugal also prides itself in having some of the best fish in the world. Salt cod is a staple in Portugal, eaten in all kinds of ways, from baked with cream and potatoes, to grilled with salad. The Douro and Alentejo regions are also well-known for an endless number of meat dishes, which include the famous roasted goat with rice and potatoes, porco preto (black pork cooked confit-style), posta mirandes (veal steak) and cozido à portuguesa (boiled meat, sausages and cabbages). Finally, we can't leave Portugal without trying the world-famous Pastel de nata, the quintessential Portuguese custard tart originating from Lisbon. Please note that vegetarian meals are available on request although options may be very limited.

Weather

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely) This is a comprehensive and fast-paced itinerary which aims to showcase the highlights as well as the lesser visited sights of Portugal in eight days, passing by vibrant cities and ancient villages. All the transfers will be by private air conditioned vehicle or train (only on one small section along the Douro River) and none of the distances are particularly long. The itinerary is quite busy although some free time is built in the itinerary to allow some rest or sightseeing at leisure. Please note that Portugal can be very hot, reaching high 30's in the summer. Although this itinerary is mostly based on sightseeing, please be prepared for a reasonable amount of walking between sites. The trip is suitable for all people who are in good health and fitness.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Comfortable hotels

All hotels on this trip have been specially selected for their location, character and comfort. We stay mostly in modern buildings located within or in proximity of the historic centres we visit. Some hotels have a pool.

List of hotels normally used:

3* Hotel Boavista or similar, Foz do Douro (Porto)

5* Hotel Douro Scala (Mesao Frio)

3* Hotel Dona Ines, Coimbra

4* Hotel Literary Man, Obidos

4* Czar Lisbon Hotel, Lisbon

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2019
    Dennis Jenkins

    Highlights of Portugal

    Although described as a fast paced tour(which it was), it was a good introduction to visiting Portugal with many highlights as well as vising some lesser known parts. As someone who had not been to Portugal before and as it is so easy to get to from the UK, it was a taster for maybe visiting the country again and exploring other regions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    With all these tours, it is difficult to highlight just one moment that was inspirational, especially on a short tour like this. Lisbon was very inspiring especially as we stayed on for an extra 3 days as was our short stay in the village of Ferraria de Sao Joao.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Goncalo was an excellent guide who always made sure we were away early to avoid the worst of the crowds. This was particularly important in the case of the Pena Palace in Sintra. He explained the history of the various sites very concisely which kept our interest and he would always try to accommodate any of our requests.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Fado evening was very good indeed being in a small establishment in the Alfama district of Lisbon so was not only authentic but was a very pleasant farewell evening, Strongly recommended. Also, I would certainly recommend staying on in Lisbon for some extra days as there is so much to do and see and the atmosphere is very appealing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We didn't have many local guides on this trip but mention should be made of the excellent young lady who guided us round the Douro Museum in Peso da Regua. Her command of English and the clarity of her voice as well as her interest in what she was conveying to us was a model of how a guide should be.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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