Explore the port wine capital of Portugal, Porto as well as the fado filled city of Lisbon on this tour of Portugal. Stay in 18th century manor houses, former convents, monasteries, castles and palaces, known today as pousadas.
After exploring the cobblestone streets of Porto and a cruise on the Douro River, head to Lisbon and immerse yourself in the culture of its atmospheric cafes, restaurants, taverns and late-night street parties. Accommodations will be in two of Portugals finest pousadas, a Cairn Travels partner.
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. (Inquire for private driver hotel/airport pick-up)
With magnificent views over the famous Douro river, your evening pousada is in one of Portugal’s pousadas. Located in the heart of Porto’s historic Ribeira district on the banks of the Douro river, the hotel overlooks the famous Port Wine houses. It is ideally situated for visiting the many historic sights of the city where narrow cobbled streets wind past merchants’ houses and cafes.
Day 2: Relax at the hotel and enjoy scenic river views over breakfast. In the afternoon a private guide will escort you on a walking tour of Porto. 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, eat at the award winning hotel or explore the town for near by restaurants.
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. There are multiple options for traveling the three hour drive whether it be a private driver, train or rental car.
Arrive at the luxurious five star hotel pousada in Lisbon. With magnificent views over the Tagus river, its the ideal place to settle in for the evening with wine and fine Portugese cuisine.
Day 5: After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, a guide will introduce you to Lisbon’s exquisite architecture and vibrant culture. Go off the beaten path to see the real city and the authentic Portuguese culture. Included is a premium tasting of favorite artisanal products. All paired with 5 top Portuguese wines, including the famous vinho verde and the iconic Por wine. This Portuguese wine tasting will offer you wines from the North to the South of Portugal as also delicious cheeses and the very special Iberian pork charcuterie as well as the amazing Pata Negra, considered one of the best hams in the world. In addition, there will be an extra virgin olive oil tasting.
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, have a day to yourself in Lisbon. 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.