PortugalPortugal

From world-renowned Port wine, to handmade tiles exclusive to Portugal, to the city of Fatima, a religious epicenter for pilgrims, it is an authentic European country–but with fewer crowds! Portugal’s temperate climate makes it an enjoyable place to visit year-round. Whether you are wandering through historic city squares admiring the ornate architecture, or experiencing traditional Fado music and Flamenco dancing as you cruise the Douro River, Portugal has something to satisfy the desires of any traveler!

Highlights

  1. Porto

    PortoThis beautiful coastal city boasts colorful, historic buildings and extravagant bridges. Its namesake Port wine is made here, housed in various cellars along the Douro River. After a day of tasting and touring, experience some of Porto’s diverse nightlife! Spend time relaxing on the serene beaches, or cruise along the Douro River and dive deeper into the wine region.

  2. Lisbon

    Belem Tower, LisbonPortugal’s seaside capital exhibits a perfect blend of old and new. The medieval architecture and vintage trams found in this City of the Sea will surely enchant any traveler! Climb the Torre de Belem, a fort built on the Tagus River during the reign of Manuel I. Constructed from limestone, the exterior includes intricate details and watchtowers. In 1983, the Torre de Belem received the title “Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. Experience the modern elements of Lisbon with a visit to the Parque das Nacoes (Park of Nations). The area was designed to establish Portugal as a modern, forward-thinking democracy. Here, you can find Lisbon's Oceanarium, the second largest aquarium in Europe, where ocean habitats from around the world coexist in one environment.

  3. Wine tasting

    Wine cellar, PortoNo trip to Portugal is complete without a tour and tasting of its famous wine! Fortunately, there are plenty of wineries scattered across multiple regions, so you will have ample opportunities to stop and sample the local wine. Our Best of Portugal tour includes a visit to a wine cellar and tasting, so you get a first-hand experience of the art of Portuguese wine-making. Or, venture on your own and discover amazing wine cellars where passionate wine-makers will tell you their unique stories. Visit Croft Port, a wine cellar with more than 400 years of history and producer of the first pink port wine in the world! Stroll through the Burmester Wine Cellars, located near the bottom deck of the Dom Luis I Bridge. After a tour and tasting, take a relaxing cable car ride for a birds-eye-view of your surroundings. Don’t forget your camera!

  4. Fado music

    Fado musician photo by Alain RouillerFado music originated in Lisbon, Portugal and dates back nearly 2 centuries. You can listen to this soulful music in cafes, pubs, and restaurants throughout the country. “Fado” (which literally translates to “fate”) beautifully expresses stories of daily hardship in a melancholic tune. There are two genres of Fado music, with Lisbon Fado being the most popular. Casa de Linhars and O Faia are two restaurants in Lisbon that are renowned for their Fado music.

  5. Sanctuary of Fatima

    The Sanctuary of FatimaThe Sanctuary of Fatima, located in the city of Fatima, is comprised of two chapels and a basilica. It is the fourth-largest Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and draws between 5 – 6 million visitors every year. The grounds mark the approximate location where three shepherd children, Lucia Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto, saw apparitions of an angel and the Virgin Mary. During the Marian apparitions of 1917, the Virgin Mary revealed 3 secrets to the children, the third of which was not revealed until 1960. On October 13, 1917 the sun “danced,” fulfilling Mary’s promise to the children that she would perform a miracle. More than 70,000 people witnessed the phenomenon. Today, the Sanctuary of Fatima serves as a reminder of the incredible events that took place there more than 100 years ago.

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Portugal? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Lisbon
Population:  10.35 million
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Languages: Portuguese
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: WET (UTC 0)

Entry requirements Please see our Entry Requirements page.
Staying Healthy

Immunizations are not currently required for travel to Portugal. However, you may wish to consult your personal physician regarding any concerns, or for health recommendations. 

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

The weather in Portugal is temperate, with a Mediterranean climate influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and northern Africa. In the northern part of the country, the weather is cool and rainy while in the south, it is warm and sunny. The average temperatures during summer, from June to mid-September are in the high 70’s during the day and in the high 50’s at night. From mid-September to November, the weather is mild with some rainy days. The average highs are in the low 60’s and the average lows are in the high 40’s. This tour does not operate from the end of November through the end of March, to avoid the rainy and cold winter season.  

What to wear

Portuguese clothing style is smart, casual and conservative, but jeans are very popular, especially when paired with nice (but comfortable) shoes. Bring a nice outfit to wear for special evenings, a wide brimmed hat to cover your face and back of your neck, sunglasses, a shawl or scarf, and a light sweater or jacket for cool and windy nights. And don’t forget a small umbrella in case of rain. At religious sites, it’s best to dress modestly. Shorts and sleeveless tops are considered inappropriate, and arms and legs should be covered. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, take both pairs. These will come handy when walking along cobbled streets. Packing to dress in layers is another way to prepare for a variety of weather conditions. Finally, remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel.

Money & Credit Cards

The local currency is the Euro. Hotels and many shops do accept credit cards. While Visa and Mastercard are most accepted, some establishments also accept AMEX. Discover is only accepted at establishments that take Diners Club.  Be sure to call your credit card providers to let them know you will be traveling abroad, the places you’ll be visiting and the dates of your trip. This is important for your own protection. Your hotels will generally exchange your cash for local currency, and you’ll find ATM machines where you can get additional cash as needed. Traveler’s checks are not accepted.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card while traveling.

Shopping

Shop for wine, olive oil, azulejos (colorful ceramic tiles), earthenware, faience (particularly from Coimbra), leather goods (including shoes), antiques, gold and silver filigree (particularly from Minho Province and Oporto), cataplanas (clamshell-shaped copper pans for cooking shellfish and stews), lace, Madeiran embroidery, cork items, Portuguese guitars, and Arraiolos rugs.

You will certainly have time for shopping, and Portugal offers a great variety of goods to satisfy different tastes and price ranges. 

A good rule of thumb when shopping abroad is to choose items that you love and that will remind you of the destination. If you want to shop for high value items, unless they are very specific to the destination, better do so from a trusted merchant at home unless the pleasure of the happy memory of your trip will keep you from regretting your purchase.

 

While we take great care in arranging the components of your tour, we have no relationship with the shopping venues you’ll encounter, and we cannot be liable for any purchases you make. Your guides may have some favorite shopping places, where the vendors are known, provide good quality merchandise and probably pay some a commission from sales to the guide. This should not surprise or offend you. This is how business is done throughout the world. Please keep in mind that many, if not most stores outside the U.S. will not allow exchanges or refunds for your purchased items. You, as the buyer, assume the full risk in the purchases you make.

Electricity & Power Adapters

230 volts. Plugs C & F. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Photography

Cameras and video recorders are allowed almost everywhere, and in fact, you will want to take plenty of pictures of the magnificent panoramas you’ll encounter as you travel. Photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will also be readily available, especially in major cities.

Did you know?
  • Famed Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was the first person to sail to India by way of the Atlantic Ocean in 1497 - 1499.
  • Wine tourism is a thing in Portugal! You can experience everything from a cellar tour and tasting to a vinotherapy treatment (consisting of wine products, like grapes) at a wine spa!
  • Portugal has 16 Cultural and 1 Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • 25th April Bridge, which draws striking resemblance to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, is a two-level suspension bridge over the Tagus River that transports cars on the top level and trains on the lower level.
  • Today, Coimbra is a beautiful riverside town with buildings rising majestically on its hills, complete with charming cobblestone streets. But during the High Middle Ages, it served as the country’s capital.
  • Portugal was established in 1143 AD, making it one of the oldest countries in Europe.

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Tours & Packages

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Small Group Tour Best of Portugal
Porto & its famous wine, the university town of Coimbra, Fatima & medieval Obidos, then enchanting Lisbon with a day trip to fairy-tale Sintra
from $3399 w/ Flights from $2899 Tour Only 10 days
per person, double occupancy*

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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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