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Best of Portugal 2019

Porto & its famous wine, the university town of Coimbra, Fatima & medieval Obidos, then enchanting Lisbon with a day trip to fairy-tale Sintra


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Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 24 travelers max
Themes History & Culture
Activity Level Moderate
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness
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Once a global superpower and now rejuvenated as one of the trendiest destinations in Europe, Portugal will impress with its eclectic repertoire of vibrant cities and historic towns, stunning beaches and old-world countryside, and some of the best cuisine on the continent. You’ll start your journey in Porto, along Portugal’s river of gold, sampling the region’s famous Port wine from the centuries old cellars in the city. As you travel south, you’ll discover Aveiro, Coimbra and Fatima, towns that color the country’s cultural offerings. Explore medieval Portugal within the walled city of Obidos amongst its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses before you glide smoothly into three nights in Lisbon. The country’s capital is bound to enchant, with its lovingly restored yellow trams that ply the hills and the sound of melancholic and introspective Fado music joining you over a meal of freshly baked bread, olives and cheese with chargrilled fish and smoked meat.

 Portugal is at the confluence of Europe and Africa, with a history of influence from the Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians. This is evident in the windswept medieval hillside castles and the superbly simple but surprisingly sophisticated cuisine, or in the ruins at Conimbriga and the five centuries old university at Coimbra, or in the well-worn and friendly people that hang at corner bakeries in Lisbon. Portugal is also one of the best values in Europe right now, where sights, food and accommodation are surprisingly affordable and English is widely spoken. The travel world has finally adjusted its focus on Portugal and Friendly Planet is excited to help you discover why.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round-trip airfare from Newark (EWR), including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees
  • All ground transportation and transfers
  • 9 nights in first class hotels with private bath
  • 12 Meals: 9 Buffet breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive guided touring program including all entrance fees to places visited
  • Experienced English-speaking tour director
  • Advanced audio headset guided tour system

Optional add-ons

  • Cooking class in Porto

Why you'll love it

  • Visit one of Porto's famous wine cellars and sip various renowned wines from the region.
  • Cruise along the Douro River and revel in the stunning views of Porto.
  • Taste delicious ovos moles, a traditional Portuguese pastry, during a hands-on workshop.
  • Navigate through the canals of Aveiro aboard a traditional Moliceiro.
  • Explore one of Europe's greatest archaeological discoveries, the Roman ruins of Conimbriga.
  • Peacefully reflect at the Shrine of Fatima, the religious epicenter of Portugal.
  • Stop by Fatima’s Olive Oil Museum to learn about olive oil production, followed by a tasting.
  • Enjoy a wine tasting overlooking the sprawling vineyards of Torres Vedras.
  • Try your hand at the ancient art of tile painting during a workshop at the Tile Museum in Lisbon.
  • Discover Portugal’s greatest expression of 19th century romanticism at Pena National Palace.
  • Stand atop the granite cliffs of Europe’s westernmost point, Cape Roca.



Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA/Overnight Flight

  • Your journey to Portugal begins this evening as you depart from the USA

Day 2 Porto

  • Upon arrival in Porto, following customs and immigration formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel
  • This afternoon, enjoy a panoramic tour
  • Get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner with wine

Dom Henrique Hotel or similar Dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Old Town, Porto

Upon arrival and after clearing customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon depart for a panoramic tour. See the Clerigos Tower, the University of Porto, the Lello Bookshop, and the Carmo Church. Later this evening, get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner with wine.

Day 3 Porto

  • Explore Porto
  • Visit the Port wine cellars and enjoy a tasting
  • Relax on a cruise along the Douro on a traditional Rabelo boat

Dom Henrique Hotel or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Misercordia Church, Porto

After breakfast, enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Porto. Visit the historical center starting with the Cathedral, built in the 13th century. Continue to the Sao Bento Train Station, the interior of which is covered by historic tile paintings. Proceed on foot towards the river through Flores Street, passing the Misericordia Church from the 16th century. Arrive in the Ribeira, the most typical neighborhood of Porto along the Douro River, where fishermen and merchants used to live. Choose from a great variety of restaurants for a quick, independent lunch.

This afternoon, cross the historic Dom Luis I Bridge, built in the 19th century. Visit one of the famous Port wine cellars and learn more about this amazing wine during a tasting. Afterward, enjoy the beautiful views of the city while you cruise along the Douro River. The balance of the evening is yours to explore the city.

Day 4 Porto

  • Full day at leisure or join an optional cooking class

Dom Henrique Hotel or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

After breakfast, enjoy a full day of leisure to explore all this city has to offer. Alternatively, you can join an optional cooking class.

Optional Excursion: Cooking Class, $75

This afternoon, join an optional cooking class! A fun and tasty experience in the center of Porto where you will learn how to prepare Portuguese delicacies. Afterward, enjoy your culinary creations with your fellow chefs. 

Day 5 Aveiro & Coimbra

  • Panoramic tour of Aveiro and Costa Nova Beach
  • Cruise the canals of Aveiro in traditional Moliceiros
  • Learn how to make Ovos Moles, a typical pastry, during a pastry workshop

Vila Gale or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Aveiro at night

This morning, depart Porto for the historic city of Coimbra. En route, stop in Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal due to its canals, for a panoramic tour. Begin on the outskirts of the city at Costa Nova Beach, famous for its colorful striped houses. Then, see the train station covered with tile paintings, the Cathedral, and the Jeronimo Pereira Campos factory, once a ceramic factory that is now a congress center. Arrive in the city center and board your Moliceiros (traditional boats) and cruise through the canals of the quaint, traditional town. Then, participate in a pastry workshop where you will learn about, and create Ovos Moles, a typical Portuguese pastry. Continue to Coimbra and check-in to your hotel.

Day 6 Conimbriga & Coimbra

  • Explore the ruins of Conimbriga
  • Tour Coimbra, including the University and historic center

Vila Gale or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Conimbriga ruins

After breakfast, visit Conimbriga, one of Europe's great Roman archaeological finds and among the best preserved Roman ruins in Portugal. Continue to Coimbra to visit the University. Here you will see the Academic Prison, the only existing medieval prison in Portugal; the beautiful Joanina Library, this Baroque library houses collections dating from the 16th century; San Miguel Chapel, the Armory, and the Great Hall of Acts, also known as the Hall of Capelos, the main room of the University of Coimbra, and the place where the most important ceremonies of academic life take place. Walk through the medieval old town of the city, enjoy lunch on your own or return by coach to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 7 Fatima, Nazare, & Caldas da Rainha

  • Visit the Shrine of Fatima
  • Stop at the Olive Oil Museum and enjoy a tasting
  • Explore the fishing village of Nazare

Hotel SANA Silver Coast or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Sanctuary of Fátima

This morning, depart Coimbra and head south to Fatima, one of the main Marian Shrines throughout the world, and the religious epicenter of Portugal. Here, you will have the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary and the Basilicas. Stop at the Olive Oil Museum, which tells the story of olive oil production in the region, and displays the equipment used in the past. At the end of the visit, enjoy a tasting.

After an independent lunch, visit the friendly fishing town of Nazare, whose inhabitants have retained their longstanding and colorful fishing traditions. You may have the opportunity to see the typical fishing boats - colorful and narrow, which resemble those used by the first fishermen of this region, the Phoenicians. Or perhaps you will witness the nazarenas (local women) wearing the traditional "seven skirts," using an ancient method to dry fish along the seawall. Continue to Caldas da Rainha and check-in to your hotel.

Day 8 Obidos, Torres Vedras, & Lisbon

  • Explore the medieval village of Obidos
  • Tour a local winery with a tasting

PortoBay Marques or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Fortified village of Obidos

After breakfast, board the coach and head for the walled town of Obidos, a medieval village suspended in time. See the castle, churches, and the traditionally painted houses as you walk along the picturesque, cobblestone streets. No visit to Obidos is complete without a taste of Ginjinha, a typical liquor made with sour cherries.

Continue along the coast to Torres Vedras and stop for a tour of an architecturally unique winery. You will visit the heart of the winery and see the white and red wine press, the storage and fermentation tanks, and learn how the aromas of the wine combine with the scent of the barrels. Finish the tour with a tasting while taking in the views of the vineyard.

Later today, arrive in Lisbon and check-in to your hotel.

Day 9 Lisbon

  • Enjoy a full day tour of Lisbon
  • Visit the Tile Museum and join a tile painting workshop
  • See Lisbon's iconic sites, including Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, and more

PortoBay Marques or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Belem Tower, Lisbon

Today, enjoy a full day tour of Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. Start with a visit to the Tile Museum to learn tile painting, an ancient art very popular throughout Portuguese history. Continue to the historical city center for a walking tour and see Rossio Square, Augusta Street, and Terreiro do Paco Square. After lunch on your own, proceed to the Belem district, which houses some of the main attractions of the city. Visit Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, and the Monument to the Discoveries. Along the way, stop for a taste of some traditional Belem pastries. Return to the hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.

Day 10 Sintra, Cascais, & Lisbon

  • Explore Pena National Palace in Sintra
  • Stand on the westernmost point of Europe at Roca Cape
  • Visit the coastal city of Cascais
  • See Casino Estoril and Hotel Palacio in Estoril
  • Enjoy a Fado show with your fellow travelers during a farewell dinner with wine

PortoBay Marques or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
National Palace, Sintra

This morning, travel north to Sintra, an amazing and romantic location where several kings of Portugal used to vacation. Visit Pena National Palace, located in the Sintra hills, it is the greatest expression of 19th century romanticism in Portugal. The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxurious gardens with over five hundred different species of trees.

Continue along the coast until reaching Roca Cape, the westernmost point of Europe. From here, proceed to Cascais, a beautiful coast city with 18th and 19th century buildings once belonging to Portuguese nobles and aristocracy. Enjoy a panoramic visit along the coast and the city, stopping in the center for free time. Continue to Estoril and drive by Casino Estoril, the biggest in Europe, and the Hotel Palacio, both locations rumored to be inspirations to Ian Fleming for his first novel, Casino Royal.

Return to Lisbon to freshen up before dinner. This evening, share one last experience with your fellow travelers while listening to a traditional Fado show during your farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 11 Lisbon/USA

  • Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA



Dom Henrique Hotel
Dom Henrique Hotel
First Class

The Dom Henrique-Downtown Hotel, located in the heart of the traditional center of Porto, is just a few minutes from the theaters, several monuments, the Ribeira area recognized by Unesco as World Heritage, the boarding docks of the Douro cruise, Port Wine Cellars, and 5 minutes from nightlife area of the Rue de la Galerie de Paris.

More information

Vila Gale
Vila Gale
First Class

Featuring an amazing view over the Mondego River, the Vila Gale Coimbra hotel is also close to the historic city center. Coimbra is also the home of the University of Coimbra, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Easily accessible from the hotel are cultural points of interest such as the long staircase, the Old Cathedral, the Church of Santa Cruz, the Botanical Garden, the Se Nova Cathedral, and the National Museum of Machado de Castro.

More information

Hotel SANA Silver Coast
Hotel SANA Silver Coast
First Class

Located in the heart of Caldas da Rainha, within walking distance from the village of Óbidos, the SANA Silver Coast Hotel offers a privileged location on the West Coast, right in the center of Portugal. The building’s original façade and characteristic design were maintained, transporting each guest to a universe of history and elegance, with neoclassical and 19th-century influences.

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PortoBay Marques
PortoBay Marques
First Class

The PortoBay Marquês hotel is located on the quiet Duque de Palmela Street, near Lisbon’s most important centers, around the corner from Marquês de Pombal Square and Avenida da Liberdade. The hotel is a pleasant walk to many of the city’s attractions, restaurants and bars.PortoBay Marquês offers a number of options for well-being and relaxation on the terrace of the hotel’s top floor. Don’t miss the charming outdoor pool with jets, fitness center, solarium and sauna.

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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Trip Details

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* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

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