Discover the European vibe of Lisbon and the mystical atmosphere of Sintra’s Parks and Palaces. Take the Douro River’s hand and meander through the historical routes and the most astonishing natural scenery of Northern Portugal, lazily unravelling the history and stories of the country, its people, their culture and their lives. Beginning where the river ends: in the romantic city of Oporto, which has its heart pulsing to the beat of UNESCO World Heritage juxtaposing the old with the new – old quarters with new trendy coffee shops, museums with galleries, and so on…
(Per person for a group of 2 people on a twin sharing basis)
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Arrive in Lisbon
Arrive in Lisbon to be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax and explore the vibrant night-life of the city.
Discover this town the best way – by yourself… Wander through the marvellous city at your own pace… Get the strong languid, laidback, cultured, European vibe for yourself… Soak in the extremely rich local atmosphere and historical legacy strolling among the numerous museums and ancient monuments spread through the Old Quarters on the Tagus’ riverfront. (B).
Drive down to one of the highlight’s of Portugal – Sintra… Discover the exquisite palaces and astonishing parks that make this mystical ‘fairy-tale’ place unforgettable. Then head out to the heart of Northern Portugal – Oporto… (B).
Join us on a guided walk that uncovers the secrets of Oporto, its hidden alleys and ancient stairways across the old area; get an insider’s perspective of a historical city that is proud of its legacy. Continue exploring Oporto’s charms at your own pace – stroll through the historical downtown or follow the tram until the fancy coastline for an afternoon by the sea, admire the countless museums, churches and monuments… By evening, when you have fallen in love with this romantic city, come with us for a guided visit to the renowned Port Wine Cellars by Douro’s riverbank topped off with a Wine Tasting experience while gazing at this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B, D).
Drive on to the Douro Valley, the most ancient delimited wine region in the world. Get onto a boat to navigate between vineyards and the exquisite Quintas (Port & Douro Wine Producers) that for centuries paint the horizon with history. And then, a guided visit to one of the most refined Quintas, followed by an exquisite lunch on the property and a well-deserved tasting of its finest wines. Afterwards, you are free to discover the region by bike or hike, or choose to quietly relax with a glass of port or coffee by the river. Dinner will be at another renowned Quinta, which is also your home for the night. (B, L, D).
Move on in search of the quietness of the Upper Douro region by train, side by side with the river; witness the changing scenery outside your window – the vineyards giving way to wilderness, showing another face of beauty. Now is the time for a difficult choice – choose between a cultural itinerary (connecting ancient castles and the well-preserved remains of the Roman occupation on these lands), or a hike along the Douro Valley (adjustable to every level of fitness).
As the Sun goes down, follow the trace of history on a journey to an ancient era, by visiting the Prehistorical Rock Carving outdoor complex – an impressive example of the early human presence in the Iberian Peninsula and classified as UNESCO World Heritage.
Sample the regional flavour in a local restaurant and get a ringside view of the local way of life by staying with a local family as their guest. (B, L, D).
Douro International Nature Park
A day devoted to nature – enter the Douro International Nature Park to admire the unique scenery and wildlife along with a birdwatching cruise. Post lunch with a family in their house where wine is still made in the traditional winepress method, a choice comes up again – kayak/ paddle the Douro river between the impressive Arribas (cliffs) that embrace the river (available between July and October) or explore the area on foot in a hike along the Planalto Mirandês, or simply take the afternoon off and chill by the river with a glass of wine and a book.
There is still time to take part in a traditional music/dance/art workshop typical of this land where the Celts once lived… Stay in a local house in the Douro International Nature Park. (B, L, D).
Miranda do Douro
Head out to and follow our guide on a walk through the historical centre of Miranda do Douro. Soak in this medieval town with its majestic mountain-top views overlooking the river and the landscape before heading out to Guimarães – the birth-city of Portugal. Explore this charming UNESCO World Heritage Site by yourself – climb to the towers of the first Portuguese Castle for a great view over the city, visit the astonishing Ducal Palace and the landmarks that paint the historical centre, jaywalk along the narrow stone streets connecting the old houses or just relax and have a toast at the main square by the Cathedral. (B, L, D).
Drive down to Oporto Airport (OPO) for your flight back home after a few days in an earlier century sampling Europe as it was and experiencing Portuguese culture from within… (B).