Highlights of Portugal
Tour Itinerary || Terms & Conditions ||
Day 1. October 09, 2021 - Saturday - Toronto - Lisbon, Portugal - Meet & greet by your Tour Escort at Toronto Pearson Airport. Assistance with check-in. Fly aboard TAP Air Portugal overnight service to Lisbon. In-flight meals
Day 2. October 10, 2021 - Sunday - Arrive in Lisbon - Upon arrival at Lisbon International Airport, and following immigration and customs, we will be met and greeted in the arrival hall by our locally appointed English-speaking guide who will assist us with the awaiting motor-coach for our private bus transfer to the hotel. Check-in and the balance of the day at leisure.
Tonight, as our ‘Welcome to Portugal’ group dinner at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a 3-course menu together with ½ bottle of wine, mineral water and coffee.
Overnight stay at Hotel Marquês de Pombal, Standard Rooms (D)
Day 3. October 11, 2021 - Monday - Excursion to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril -
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a tour of Lisboa (Lisbon) - also referred to as “the Seven Hills City”. We begin with a panoramic tour of the Edward VII park, Liberty Avenue, Rossio Square, and the medieval quarter of Alfama crowned by the magnificent St. George`s Castle. We’ll learn about the lifestyle, history and culture of the city and enjoy visits to the most impressive World Heritage monuments of Jeronimos monastery and Tower of Belem.
Later, we depart for Sintra, a place of unique palaces with an optional visit to one of them if you so desire. Otherwise we enjoy free time to walk around the narrow streets of Sintra, full of small shops and sample the traditional queijadas, the delicious Portuguese tarts. On our return journey, we’ll stop briefly at Cape Roca, the western most point of Europe, to admire the view and have a sightseeing panoramic tour of the cosmopolitan Cascais and the Casino Estoril Gardens.
Overnight stay at Hotel Marquês de Pombal, Standard Rooms (B)
Day 4. October 12, 2021 - Tuesday - Lisbon - Óbidos - Nazaré - Coimbra - Following breakfast and check out, we head north travelling through the Costa de Prata region on the western coast of Portugal; a scenic route with plenty of natural features from mountains to lush valleys, small villages and pristine beaches. We visit Óbidos, a charming medieval walled village where we can admire the harmony of its architecture and the diversity of its handicrafts. This village, with narrow streets, paved with beautiful stones, has quaint white houses with colourful window displays of floral arrangements. The village speciality of ginginha liquour in a chocolate cup is definitely worth a try! We then proceed to Nazaré for a short lunch break.
A special wine tasting & light lunch will be in the Quinta do Sanguinhal, a traditional family-run winery on Portugal's Silver Coast, with a unique distillery and wine cellar. We’ll also enjoy a walking tour in the vineyards and to the ancient pressing-room with its six stone and wood manual winepresses. We’ll sample 6 wines, complemented with toasts and regional cheeses. Later, we continue to the typical Portuguese fishing village, that still preserves some of the old fishing traditions. We’ll end the day in the charming historical city of Coimbra, on the east bank of the Rio Mondego.
Overnight stay at Hotel Vila Galé Coimbra, Standard Rooms (B, Wine tastings, light lunch)
Day 5. October 13, 2021 - Wednesday - Coimbra - Aveiro - Porto - After breakfast at the hotel, we check out. Our morning sightseeing begins with visiting the highlights of Coimbra. We’ll drive past notable monuments, medieval churches and cathedrals. Then a stop at Joanina Library, which was built in the 18th century during the reign of the Portugese King John V. It is part of the University of Coimbra, one of Europe’s oldest, and a national monument with priceless historical value. We’ll also visit Sé Velha, the Old Cathedral of Coimbra dating back to 1139AD, built during the rule of Prince Afonso who declared himself King of Portugal and chose Coimbra as its capital.
After a brief lunch stop (own cost) we head north to the City of Porto, stopping en route at Aveiro. Once a great seaport, Aveiro is always introduced as the Venice of Portugal. A short walk will offer us views of elegant 19th century architecture and canal waterways which give Aveiro a unique character complete with gondola like ‘Moliceiros’ sailing on the canal. Here, the house fronts are decorated with beautiful azulejos and in the old quarter of the city we can admire the whitewashed houses of the fishermen. Late in the evening, continue to Porto for check-in at the hotel.
Tonight, our group dinner will be at the hotel. We’ll enjoy a 3-course menu together with ½ bottle of wine, mineral water and coffee.
Overnight stay at Hotel Vila Galé Porto, Standard Rooms (B,D)
Day 6. October 14, 2021 - Thursday - Porto - Guimarães - Porto - Following breakfast at the hotel, we depart on a guided tour of Porto, capital of the north and a UNESCO world heritage site. This historic city defies description. Wonderfully preserved architectural treasures include palaces and churches built in the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassic styles and now classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Our tour covers the highlights such as Avenue dos Aliados, surrounded by impressive Neoclassical buildings. Nearby is Torre dos Clérigos, the symbol of Porto dating back to the 18th century. Not far from Torre dos Clérigos is the famous Lello bookshop with a neo-gothic façade, and the Carmo church - a splendid architecture. We’ll visit the Estaçao de Sao Bento - Porto main train station to view the 20,000 azulejos.
A short walk along the river waterfront brings us to Ribeira Square, which still preserves old world charm from the times when the “Rabelo” boats transported Port wine down the river. The Dom Luis I Bridge dates back to the 19th century is on two levels; the lower part connects the Ribeira district with the area of the wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. We will visit a famous Port wine cellar with two Port wine tasting (included),in the historical heart of Vila Nova de Gaia, on opposite side of Porto city separated by the Douro river, in an atmosphere that will take you on a journey to the past.
During the afternoon, we will take a drive through the greenest region of the country to discover the historic city of Guimarães - the cradle of Portugal and the birthplace of her first King. This is where Portugal, in 1143, was born as an independent country. The Medieval Castle on the top of the highest hill of Guimarães will reveal the history of Afonso Henriques, his birth and his conquest to take the throne as the King. We’ll also visit the main historical site of Paço dos Duques de Bragança dating back to the 15th century and the square of Our Lady of Oliveira, where the impressive Collegiate Church of Guimarães stands. Exploring the medieval quarter will take us back in time. We return to Porto late in the evening.
Overnight stay at Hotel Vila Galé Porto, Standard Rooms (B)
Day 7. October 15, 2021- Friday -Porto/Douro Valley: Amarante - Peso da Régua
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and have time at leisure to explore Porto City at your own pace.
During the afternoon, we’ll travel in the northeasterly direction to explore the enchanting Douro valley region. En route, we’ll visit Amarante. Enjoy the breathtaking landscape of the great Serra do Marão rising above the city, the picturesque Tâmega River, the imposing bridge and S. Gonçalo’s church. We invite you to try the famous sweets of Amarante 'papos de anjo', 'brisas do Tâmega', 'toucinho do céu', 'bolos de São Gonçalo', and 'galhofas' (sweet tastings at own cost).
We will spend two nights at the Douro valley region, the first wine region in the world to be demarcated and the landscape classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Famous for its production of Port wine, the Douro valley is a scenic region with spectacular views of terraced slopes of vineyards that lead down to the Douro River.
Tonight, our group dinner will be at the hotel. We’ll enjoy a 3-course menu together with ½ bottle of wine, mineral water and coffee.
Overnight in Peso da Régua area at Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro, Standard Rooms (B,D)
Day 8. October 16, 2021 - Saturday - Excursion to Pinhão - After breakfast, we set out to explore the delightful Baroque town of Lamego. Shadowed by two hills, one of which has the ruins of a 12th-century castle and the other which has the monumental baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. A marvellous granite staircase decorated with tile panels, allegorical fountains, small chapels, and statues, leads to a baroque church with views over the town.
Here, we enjoy our visit to one of the most prestigious Douro wineries and learn about local winemaking. There will be some good wine tastings and a picnic in the vineyard with the best of regional delicacies included with wine. Later, driving on one of the most enchanting routes in Portugal, our next stop will be Pinhão. A stop at the Pinhão railway station is a must where we admire the stunning tile panels in walls depicting the Douro region and Port wine making activities. We’ll enjoy an hour-long Rabelo Douro river cruise (scheduled shared boat tour) in Pinhao, in one of the most beautiful stretches of the Douro river, a unique landscape considered a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Overnight in at Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro, Standard Rooms (B, Picnic Lunch & wine tastings)
Day 9. October 17, 2021 - Sunday - Peso da Régua - Viseu - Évora - Bidding a fond goodbye to this spectacular region, we head south towards the capital of Alentejo Region and the lovely charming town of Évora. En-route, we pass through the mountainous hinterland where we’ll visit Viseu, a city of warriors and artists and made famous as a wine centre of the Dão vineyards. Viseu is half way between the Ocean and the Spanish border, surrounded by the Estrela Mountains and is considered to be the highest point of the country at 6,500 feet above sea level. It is a charming hilltop city with fortifications and the remains of the ancient Gothic walls. The Romanesque - Gothic cathedral, built during the 13th century is the most important historic monument in the city. During the afternoon, we’ll continue our journey to Évora.
Overnight stay at Hotel Vila Galé Évora, Standard Rooms (B)
Day 10. October 18, 2021 - Monday - Évora - Évora is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Today, on our morning walking guided tour through this charming town we will discover several unique sites. Our first stop is the St Francis Church with its unique Bones Chapel, then we continue up the narrow streets of the old town , reaching Giraldo square where the Inquisition once had its headquarters. Here, we’ll admire the old Roman Temple and visit the Romanesque Gothic Cathedral with a brief stop in the courtyard of its university.
You also have free time to explore and shop as this is the place to find a great variety of items, such as the hand painted pottery, cork work, copper items and colourful furniture. Évora is also a perfect place to taste the delicious Alentejo cuisine so we recommend that you enjoy lunch at one of its many cafés.
During the afternoon, we will explore Reguengos de Monsaraz located in the heart of Alentejo and chosen as the 2015 European Wine City. With its enormous dam and its impressive natural beauty, the region also provides evidence of prehistoric occupation.
Tonight, our “Farewell to Portugal” special group dinner will be at a selected restaurant.
Overnight stay at Hotel Vila Galé Évora, Standard Rooms (B,D)
Day 11. October 19, 2021 - Sunday - Évora - Lisbon - Homebound - Following an early breakfast and check out, we depart the town of Évora and head out to Lisbon International Airport. We check-in for our TAP Air Portugal flight returning to Canada the same day. (B, Inflight Meals)
End of Services
Next Departure 2022, TBA
Join us on this escorted tour of Portugal, a country located on the Iberian Peninsula, hugging the Atlantic Ocean. It is blessed with an abundance of good weather, great history, stunning baroque art and architecture to discover and amazingly hospitable people.
Add to that the scenic Duoro Valley, the wine routes and mouth-watering cuisine, and you have a destination that’s worth visiting. We have included several UNESCO World Heritage sites for you to explore
Group size: Maximum 20 participants
Accompanied by a professional Tour Escort throughout
All transfers and sightseeing excursions by private 49-seater touring motor coach
Meet & greet service on arrival at Lisbon in Portugal
Private transportation in touring vehicle (49-seater motor-coach)
9 nights accommodation based on twin sharing basis at hotels mentioned (or similar) and inclusive of local taxes
Daily meals as specified by B L D (breakfast, lunch, dinner) in the above itinerary including 4 group dinners inclusive of ½ bottle of wine, mineral water, coffee per participant
Porto (Vila Nova Gaia): Special Wine tasting & light lunch in the Quinta do Sanguinhal on Day 6
1 hour Rabelo Douro river cruise (regular/shared boat tour) in Pinhao on Day 8
Douro Valley: visit a winery with wine tasting and picnic lunch with wine on Day 8
Services of a professional Guide/Tour Leader throughout the itinerary as described above
Applicable City taxes, road tax and road tolls
All health & safety protocols as per WHO and local Government directives
International flights and airfares (will be quoted separately)
Meals not specified in the itinerary
Entrance fees to sightseeing venues, unless mentioned in the itinerary
Gratuities for guides, drivers, restaurant staff, etc.
Personal expenses such as alcoholic and other beverages, telephone calls and laundry etc.
Travel & Medical Insurance - strongly recommended
Any other services not mentioned above