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At a glance
Discover Portugal | 2017 | 10 Days: Cruise the Douro River in a traditional styled, but electric powered, rabelo boat Be moved by the folk music of traditional Fado singers Visit the magnificent UNESCO-listed Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon and the Shrine of our Lady of Fatima in Batalha
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
End Destination
What's included
  • Return flights from the UK
  • Private overseas transfers to and from the airport
  • 9 nights’ accommodation in boutique hotels
  • Experienced Back-Roads tour leader
  • Luxury mini-coach transportation
  • Local guides in Sintra, Cascais, Lisbon & Porto
  • European breakfast daily
  • 5 x evening meals
  • Fado performance
  • Pasteis de Belemwine and port tasting
  • Douro River cruise
  • Included Entrances: Jeronimo’s Monastery, Belem Tower, Pena Palace, Batalha Monastery, Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Conimbriga ruins, Vista Alegre Museum, Porto Cathedral, Guimaraes Castle and Bom Jesus do Monte
What's not included
  • Unless otherwise specified in the listed inclusions, airfares are not included in the tour price.
  • Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
  • Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights,&rsquo items of a personal nature and entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions.
  • Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions.
  • Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation.
  • Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour.
  • Pre and post tour accommodation.
  • Unless otherwise listed in the inclusions, transfers are not included in the tour price.
Day 1
UK - Lisbon

Depart the UK on your flight to Lisbon. Upon arrival enjoy a private transfer to your pre-tour accommodation where the rest of your day is at leisure.

Day 2
UK - Lisbon

Only a full day spent exploring Lisbon on foot does this beautiful city justice. As we wander through cobbled back streets, a treasure trove of delights reveal themselves. Looking up, we’ll spy fairytale beasts on the upper balustrade of the Jeronimos Monastery. This is Manueline-style architecture at its most stunning and which, along with the nearby Tower of Belem, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Later on, we’ll pop into a tiny, tiled bakery to taste Pastéisde Belem, Lisbon’s famous egg custard tart – fresh from the oven. If we still have room after these sweet cinnamon spiced treats, there’s an evening welcome dinner waiting in a local restaurant, accompanied by the mournful laments of Fadosingers. (D)

Overnight: Heritage Av Liberdade Hotel (or similar)

Day 3
Lisbon - Sintra - Cascais - Lisbon

This morning we drive up the pine covered hills to picturesque Sintra – dotted with turreted palaces, grand villas and plenty of wow factor. We’ll visit the famous 19th century 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 breezy views of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged coastline on the way. In the Old Town, winding streets lead to period mansions and the smart new marina. The evening is then ours, back in Lisbon. (B)

Overnight: Heritage Av Liberdade Hotel (or similar)

Day 4
Lisbon - Nazare - Batalha

Our first stop today is the romantic village of Obidos. Perched on a hill, surrounded by medieval walls, it gazes out onto a tapestry of vineyards, windmills and terracotta-roofed home steads. After walking around the charming fishing town of Nazare by ourselves, were group to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Batalha Monastery. It’s easy to sense this building’s importance, being the monastery that commemorated Portugal’s independence from Spain in 1385. A delicious dinner awaits us this evening in Batalha.(B, D)

Overnight: Hotel Mestre Afonso Domingues (or similar)

Day 5
Batalha - Fatima - Conimbriga - Coimbra

Do you believe in miracles? Either way, you’ll be intrigued by the world-famous Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. It’s claimed that in 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared “more brilliant than the sun” before three young shepherd children. After seeing the spot for ourselves, we travel even further back in time to Conimbriga – home to one of the largest Roman settlements in Portugal. There’s also fascinating archaeological evidence that this area was inhabited during the Iron Age. Dinner will be at a local restaurant in Coimbra.(B, D)

Overnight: Quintas Lagrimas (or similar)

Day 6
Coimbra - Aveiro - Coimbra

What better way to begin today than with a stroll around Coimbra’s river front, leafy parks and gardens. This buzzing university town is an intriguing maze of medieval streets, Romanesque and Gothic buildings. Later, we’ll navigate another unique city, Aveiro, ‘the Venice of Portugal’. Here, colourful ‘barcos moliceiros’ drift by in the old fishermen’s quarter, north of the central canal. An excursion to Vista Alegre presents exquisite wares produced by this renowned Portuguese porcelain factory. Once back in Coimbra, we have the evening to enjoy at our leisure. (B)

Overnight: Quintas Lagrimas (or similar)

Day 7
Coimbra - Douro Valley - Porto

Remote. Majestic. Wild. It must mean we’re in Douro Valley – the region devoted to port wine. As the hills fall steeply away to the river’s edge, further inland we’re greeted with impressive views of vines and olive groves. We take a scenic boat trip along the Douro River on an electric rabelo boat, followed by a winetasting at a luxury 19th century house. It’s a fitting place to raise a toast to this wonderful valley, enjoy dinner and rest overnight. (B, D)

Overnight: Quinta Nova (or similar)

Day 8
Douro Valley - Porto

We drive up to hilly Porto today, Portugal’s second largest city with a Ribeira district that’s one of Europe’s oldest centres. 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. The cool depths of one of the many wine cellars here beckons us in to taste some port, before spending the rest of the day aswe wish. (B)

Overnight: Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira (or similar)

Day 9
Porto - Guimaraes - 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. It’s known for its intricate, zigzag, Baroque-style staircase leading several hundred feet up to the main basilica. We then return to Porto for a farewell dinner together. (B, D)

Overnight: Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira (or similar)

Day 10
Porto - UK

After breakfast return to the airport for your flight to the UK.

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