Highlights of Portugal

8 days
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Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Group size:
Min age:

Journey from Porto to Lisbon via the UNESCO Douro Valley and heritage sites

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. Here we spend two nights in an authentic rural village for a full immersion in the local traditions and way of living. We continue with a visit to other must-see places including Coimbra, the UNESCO Batalha and Alcobaça monasteries, mediaeval Obidos and magnificent Sintra before reaching Lisbon, one of the world’s most enchanting capital cities.



  • Visit Porto and the UNESCO Douro wine region
  • Explore magnificent heritage in Lisbon and Sintra
  • Stay in remote rural village hosted by friendly locals

Key information

  • 7 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels and guesthouses
  • 8 days flight inclusive / land only
  • Sightseeing on foot
  • Group normally 6 to 18, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus, train and boat
  • Countries visited: Portugal

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner and 2 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
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade 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… 


  • Day 1

    Start Porto.

    Start in Porto, the second largest city of Portugal and one of Europe's oldest and most beautiful towns. Time permitting, the tour leader will arrange a short orientation tour after the group's arrival to familiarise with the city and take in the vibrant atmosphere of the ancient Ribeira district.

  • Day 2

    Morning guided sightseeing in the UNESCO historic centre; Port wine tasting; free time for optional activities.

    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, and the cathedral. 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. Overnight in Porto.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Scenic train ride to the Douro Valley; visit Douro museum; enjoy wine tasting and river cruise; transfer to rural village of Penela.

    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 train tide to Peso da Régua (approx. 2hrs) where we visit the interesting Douro Museum, an ideal place to learn about the history, culture and identity of the UNESCO World Heritage Douro wine region. We enjoy a delicious lunch and wine tasting 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 take in some of the best views of the Douro Valley during a leisurely boat cruise. We conclude the busy day with a transfer by private bus into the central region of Portugal (approx. 2,30 hrs drive) to the rural village of Penela, our base for the next two nights.

  • Day 4

    Visit Coimbra and its UNESCO University; afternoon hands-on cookery experience in rural community

    During our stay in the remote rural village of Penela we have the special opportunity to spend some time with a group of friendly locals whose goal is to revive this small communitarian village in the so-called Schist Mountains. This morning we get the first opportunity to learn of their traditions as we enjoy a fun cheese-making demonstration. Afterwards, we transfer to Coimbra (approx. 30 mins) where we spend the day sightseeing. 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 return to Penela for the night and enjoy a convivial dinner based on the typical dishes and produce of this mountainous region of Portugal.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Visit UNESCO Batalha and Alcobaça monasteries; overnight in mediaeval 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 little town of Alcobaça, boasting another magnificent UNESCO site namely the 12th-century Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça, founded by the Order of Cistercians in 1153. Our last destination and base for the night is Óbidos, a charming 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. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Drive to Sintra; visit the majestic Pena Palace and picturesque old town; afternoon transfer to Lisbon.

    Today we finally travel to the final point in the itinerary, Lisbon which was recently awarded Europe's Leading City Destination for 2018. Before reaching the city, we stop in the 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 guided tour will include a 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. Fanciful to an extreme, the architectural fabric of Pena finds much of its inspiration in the Moorish, Gothic and Manueline motifs of Portuguese art. There will be also time to enjoy a stroll and some shopping opportunities in the picturesque historic centre, before travelling to Lisbon. This evening we will enjoy a short orientation tour as a first introduction to this enchanting capital-city.


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Guided sightseeing in Lisbon.

    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.  In the morning we will cover the area of Belém, ,Graça and Praça do Comércio whilst late afternoon we will take a tour of the famous district of Alfama, one of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods boasting a maze of colourful alleyways, old buildings and breath-taking viewpoints. This evening we have the option to join the tour leader for a memorable farewell dinner in one of the traditional Fado restaurants. Fado is a melancholic musical style of storytelling that was born in Lisbon’s streets, particularly those of Alfama and it is at the heart and soul of Portuguese culture.


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    The trip ends in the morning

    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




There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner and 2 wine tastings 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.


Considering its proximity to northern Africa, Portugal is one of the warmest European countries with an average temperature of 15°C (55°F) in the north and 18°C (64°F) in the south. It can become rainy and windy during autumn and winter, but spring and summer see temperatures soar to as high as 38°C (104°F) around the interior and 35°C (95°F) in the north. The departures in March, April and October will see a higher chance of rain and cool temperatures, especially at night, so it is important to pack some warm clothing and rainproof gear. Between May and September chances of rain are slimmer and days will be long and hot.

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. 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 tailormade 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.


3 and 4-star hotels and rural guesthouse

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. For two nights we stay in a charming rural guesthouse located in the village of Penela, which maintains its original rustic style but was renovated to suit modern comforts. Here the group may be split between two different buildings of similar standards.

List of hotels normally used:

Moov Hotel Porto Centro or similar, Porto
Casa do Zé Sapateiro, Penela
Hotel Literary Man, Obidos
Marquês de Pombal Hotel or similar, Lisbon

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade 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

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

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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