This Portugal vacation begins in the port-wine capital at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto.
Visit quaint villages in Porto with white washed buildings and cobblestone streets before heading to Lisbon to explore its fado-filled taverns, atmospheric cafes and restaurants, and late-night street parties.
Day 1: Welcome to Porto, the second largest city in Portugal. Porto is an easy town to walk and a car is not necessary. From the airport, take the metro light rail for $3 and in 30 minutes, arrive in the center city. (Private driver available for hotel/airport pick-up)
Your guesthouse for the next few evenings is located near numerous art galleries, cafés and shops. Central Porto is just a 10-minute walk away.
Day 2: Relax at the hotel over a leisure breakfast. Porto is a very walkable town. Visit the oldest bookstore in the world (cost $7 but can be applied to a book for purchase). Visit the favorite Port cellars, located on the south bank of the Douro in Vila Nova de Gaia. In the evening, explore town for near by restaurants featuring a wide range of traditional Portuguese and international flavors.
Day 3: Today, prepare to embark on a full-day Douro River Cruise. Start your cruise on the enchanting northern city of Porto heading for the Douro’s heart. A delicious breakfast & lunch on board will be enjoyed with a panoramic view of the dramatic gorge scenery alongside centuries-old vineyards. See the city of Régua, its surrounding landscapes of enormous beauty and, of course, taste its typical sweets. The return journey back to Porto will be by train, full of stunning landscapes. End the tour at lovely São Bento Railway Station.
Day 4: After breakfast, say good bye to Porto and head to one of the oldest and sunniest cities in Western Europe, Lisbon. The pastel-colored houses, hilltop views, vintage trams, and windy cobblestone streets make Lisbon a charming place. There are multiple options for traveling the three hour drive whether it be a private driver, train or rental car.
The hotel offers themed rooms with unique views over Lisbon and Tejo River. Available at the hotel is a trendy sushi restaurant that also serves a variety of teas, beverages and wines all day. For a typical Portuguese food experience, there are several alternatives within 5 minutes walking distance.
Day 5: Today begins your introduction to Lisbon’s exquisite architecture and vibrant culture. If you’re the kind of traveler who enjoys puttering along cobblestone streets, sitting down at a cafe patio for some people-watching, or just getting lost on purpose, then you’ll feel right at home in Lisbon.
Day 6: Today visit Sintra, a delightful Portuguese town that is situated within the hills of the Serra de Sintra. Hidden in pine covered hills are extravagant palaces, opulent mansions and the ruins of an ancient castle. Take the convenient 40 minute train ride from Rossio station for $10 round trip or take bus 434 directly to Pena palace. To avoid frustration and lack of parking, it is best not to drive a car in Sintra.
Upon return to Lisbon in the evening, have a drink at Lisbon’s best rooftop bar, Park. Before retiring for the day, be sure to listen to the sounds of Fado music.
Day 7: On the last day in Portugal, walk the streets, shop the markets and ride the Lisbon tram 28. There is also an option of a day trip with a private guide, bus or by car to Obidos (inquire for pricing). Whitewashed houses with terracotta roofs, hanging baskets, azulejo tiles and twisting cobbled streets all squeezed in between ancient stone walls makes for a lovely outing.
Day 8: Savor breakfast before transferring to the airport, only 20 minutes away, for the return flight home.