- A private visit to the Palace in Sintra
- Authentic Fado as it should be performed
- The spectacular views from Monte de Santa Luzia
- Touring the Minho wine region
Day 1 Depart USA
This evening you board your overnight flight to Lisbon to begin your exploration of northern Portugal.
Day 2 Arrival in Lisbon
You arrive in Lisbon and, after completing customs, you are met by your guide who will take you on an orientation tour of the city, including the monumental quarter of Belem and the Jeronimos Monastery, the Belem tower and the monument of the Discoveries. You drive along the river Tagus towards the center of town and are dropped off near the Alfama, the most ancient quarter of Lisbon where you have lunch. After lunch, your guidet takes you on a walking tour of the Alfama before driving you to our hotel which was a Palace built in 1904 for the Marquis de Valle. We have left this evening open to give you the choice of retiring early or, if you have gotten your second wind, not far away is the fashionable area known as "Docas" which has many fine restaurants with open air dining on the banks of the River Tagus.
Day 3 Castles, Casinos and Cascais
After breakfast, your guide will be waiting to take you on a discovery of Lisbon's surrounding areas. You start with a visit to Sintra where high atop a hill stands the fairytale National Palace with its huge painted rooms, each individually named and a huge pair of conical chimneys. You will take time to explore the interior of the palace including the Swans' Room, the Room of the Sirens and the Magpie Room. After leaving the castle you take some time to walk the quaint streets of Sintra with theri antique and handicraft shops before stopping for lunch. After lunch you may want to pick up a delicious tart called "queijadas" to tide you over in the afternoon. You then head to the Colares wine region noted for its "sand wines" because of the sandy soil. Due to development, much of the land has been converted to other uses so this wine is becoming rare and expensive. You drive to Cabo da Roca to stand at the westernmost point in Continental Europe before heading to the charming fishing village turned resort of Cascais. You take time to walk the streets down to the harbor before heading back to Lisbon and passing through the resort town of Estoril famous for its casino. This evening you enjoy dinner and Fado, the music of Portugal.
Day 4 Riding the Rails to Porto
Your driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the station where 1st Class seats have been reserved for the trip to Porto. The journey will take a little less than three hours but gives you a chance to see the Portuguese countryside passing by. Upon arrival in Porto you will first have some lunch then take an orientation tour of the city including the Stock Exchange, Palace, the Cathedral, a panoramic drive through the Praca de Batalha, Avenida dos Aliados and Clerigos Tower. Your hotel is located in the waterfront area with its quant streets, bars and restaurants. You will dine in one of the restaurants before returning to your hotel.
Day 5 The Traditions and Tasting of Port
After breakfast you will proceed on foot to the Ribeira section of town by the river Douro where you spend some time on a tour of the Taylor-Fladgate Company which has been selling Port Wine for over four hundred years. Like the majority of the shippers and growers, they are originally English with names like Warre's, Dow's, Croft's, and Sandeman's. The English are, in fact the largest consumers of Port and there is a club in Porto called The Feitoria Inglesa which is, even up until today, a club open only the English shippers of Port. You will see how the Port is created and taste both a light, white port and a dark red Port before having lunch at the Bareo de Fladgate, a restaurant run by Taylor's and offering excellent views of Porto. The rest of the afternoon is free to allow you to visit other parts of town or visiting other houses of port.
Day 6 Barcelos, Vigo and Viana do Castelo
Today you head north, up close to the border with Spain. Your first stop will be in the town of Barcelos where you stop to view the making of the pottery. You then drive to Valenca an ancient walled town on the border of Spain and Portugal. Crossing the border you visit the Spanish towns of Vigo and Bayona where you have the opportunity to get lunch. We then head back down to Viano do Castelo an old sailing port. You have a chance to spend some time in the town before heading up the hill to your hotel which has views over the port and the river estuary and the long sweep of the sandy beaches of Cabedelo. In the foreground is the dome of the temple of Santa Luzia which caused National Geographic magazine to write that the view is "one of the world's finest panoramas perhaps only bettered by Rio de Janeiro".
Day 7 The Wines of Minho and the Old University
After breakfast you take a leisurely drive through portions of the Minho Wine Region famous for their "Vinhos Verdes". The name means "green wine" and refers, not to the color of the wine, but the youthful freshness of the wines. This is caused by very little or no ageing process and by the use of Albarino Grapes. While not a sparkling wine its effervescence combined with its lightness make it ideal with seafood. You will stop in the fishing village of Sesimbra where you have your choice of many excellent seafood restaurants. After lunch you drive to Coimbra. You will take a walk though the University area including the 18th Century library. The university was founded in 1290 AD and is one of the oldest in Europe. The city was the capital of Portugal from 1139 to 1256 and, in total, six kings reigned from here. You arrive at your hotel which once served as accommodations for the Duke of Wellington in his campaign to drive Napoleon from both Portugal and Spain.
Day 8 Return to USA
After breakfast your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for your return flight to the US.
Available Year Round
Private Sightseeing Tours - Lisbon, Porto and Douro Valley ULIB16 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Lisbon, Porto, Viana do Castelo, Coimbra
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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