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Lisbon, Porto & The Douro Valley

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You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
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8 days From £1,299 £1,199 per person
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Explore Portugal’s historic cities, travel by rail into the breathtaking Douro Valley and visit the coastal town of Cascais.

Operated by our sister company Rail Discoveries
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Save £100pp on Europe 2024 last-minute holidays, when you book by 27th August 2024.

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Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: 24OLF

About the tour

Soak up the rich history, laid-back culture and beautiful landscapes in Portugal. Discover the vibrant city of Lisbon, with its stunning viewpoints, old castle and fabulous squares. Be wowed by the fantastical palaces of Sintra, discover the colourful harbour city of Porto and travel by rail into the terraced vineyards of the breathtaking Douro Valley, following the meandering path of the river.

Unforgettable Experiences

Douro Valley
Douro Valley
Journey through the scenic Douro Valley by rail, following the meandering route of the river, among lush vegetation and terraced vineyards.
Sintra
Sintra
Visit the romantic town of Sintra, seeing its hill-top palaces and Moorish fortress, including the brightly coloured Pena Palace – once a retreat of Portuguese royalty
Sao Luiz
Sao Luiz
Explore the port wine estate of Quinta de São Luiz, on a guided tour and tasting, sampling some of its finest ports.
Lisbon
Lisbon
Discover Lisbon on a guided tour of the charming streets and sun-drenched squares of the Portuguese capital. With free time to explore at your own pace from our central location in the old town.
Cascais
Cascais
Visit the charming seaside town Cascais, with time to enjoy its golden, sandy beaches and sleepy cafés.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival into the heart of Lisbon’s Old Town

Your holiday starts at London Gatwick where you meet your Tour Manager and group to fly to Lisbon. On arrival we are transferred by coach to our hotel, with four nights to explore this exciting city. Our hotel is in the heart of Lisbon's Old Town, conveniently close to the public elevator, designed by Gustav Eiffel, which gives us easy access to the Bairro Alto, the higher part of the city.

Lisbon is bursting with history, grand colourful buildings and stunning churches. High above the city - the impressive Castle of St George is a great look-out point and gives an insight into the history of the city. Set on seven hills, Lisbon's old neighbourhoods have cobblestone pavements and narrow streets, while its more modern area - which opens up onto the seafront - has Art Nouveau cafés, restaurants and bakeries that are a pleasure to explore.

Tonight we have our first dinner together at a local restaurant. Lisbon comes alive after dark and you might enjoy a walk through the Old Quarter around our hotel after dinner, visiting a local coffee shop or wine bar.

It is possible to fly from your regional airport and meet your Tour Manager in Lisbon

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Guided tour of Lisbon and an afternoon to explore

This morning we explore the historic heart of Lisbon on a guided tour by coach and on foot. Lisbon is full of diverse architecture, superb food, and fascinating history, from its time as a Roman settlement to its rebirth as a major elegant European city. Our tour starts at Rossio Square, Lisbon's striking central plaza and social hub. There is a lovely fountain, and the statue of Dom Pedro IV looks across the wave-patterned mosaics, towards the impressive National Theatre of Lisbon.

Our tour takes us through the city's narrow streets to the district of Belém. This pretty area of Lisbon is known as the aristocratic quarter of the city, as its attractive fountains, extensive parkland, and grand old buildings suggest. Your afternoon and evening is free, either to continue sightseeing or simply to soak up Lisbon's great atmosphere, maybe stopping for lunch at a waterside café.

This evening you could take the elevator from our hotel to the Bairro Alto, wander through this interesting quarter, and maybe watch the sunset from one of the city's great viewing spots. There's the Miradouro (look out point) de São Pedro just above the Bairro Alto, or you could walk up to the fabulous Castelo de São Jorge (Castle of Saint George) on Lisbon's highest hill. It's well worth the climb for the stunning views across the city from the fortress walls. This evening you are free to dine independently and there are many enticing eating options in the Old Quarter or its surrounding neighbourhoods

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 – A visit to Sintra and its palaces

Today we are transferred to the station with our Tour Manager to take the train to Sintra, a historic city with a Moorish castle and fairytale palaces, nestled in the forested hills above the town. Sintra was the summer residence of Portugal's royal family for over 600 years. With its mixed history, the town has lots to explore, from its fantastical palaces and Romantic architecture to its Moorish fortress walls.

Your Day Pass includes travel on Sintra's shuttle bus which takes visitors from the centre to the different palaces. The palace exteriors alone are impressive, but if you'd like to look inside, please note that entrance fees are payable. The town itself has a lively centre, with a good choice of cafés and restaurants where you can find lunch. You're free to either travel back with your group to Lisbon, or return at your own pace with your Day Pass.

This evening you are at leisure to continue exploring and to find an interesting place to eat in Lisbon.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – An excursion to the charming coastal town of Cascais

Today you travel with your Tour Manager and group by rail to Cascais, a nearby coastal resort town known for its golden beaches and lively marina. The route follows the coast all the way and we pass the glitzy resort of Estoril.

You are free to explore this traditional Portuguese fishing town which, like Sintra, was used by the royal families of Portugal when they wanted to escape the city. You could stroll down the pretty cobbled streets of whitewashed buildings, walk along the seafront to the picturesque port, relax on the golden sands or take a dip in the sea. Another option is to visit the town's Museum Quarter where you can learn about the town's local history and its lighthouse, and see work of contemporary artists, including one of Portugal's greatest 20th century artists, Paula Rego.

We travel back to Lisbon by train in the afternoon and this evening is free to dine independently.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 – Arrival in the attractive city of Porto

This morning you, your group and Tour Manager are taken by coach to the station where you join the train to vibrant Porto. This scenic journey of around three hours, from Lisbon to Porto offers beautiful views of the Portuguese countryside and picturesque cities like Coimbra, and follows the Atlantic coast before we reach our destination. Our base for the next three nights is an elegant central 3-star hotel.

Portugal's second largest city was once regarded as the edge of the known world, as it was from here that explorers set off to discover the New World. Set on an estuary of the River Douro which flows into the Atlantic, the city's architecture is colourful and varied, ranging from Art Deco buildings to waterfront mansions, Baroque churches to 19th-century palaces.

After free time for lunch, rejoin your group on a guided city tour for the afternoon. On this tour we discover Porto's important landmarks and learn about its interesting heritage. The city is built on a set of hills, the peaks of Porto, which means plenty of stunning views. You are free to look around independently, before a buffet dinner at our hotel this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Exploring the picturesque Douro Valley by rail, Quinta de Tedo

Today is a highlight of our tour as we take a special rail trip, travelling all the way into the stunning Douro Valley, the best way to experience this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage region. Our route takes us through a beautiful landscape of terraced vineyards and lush vegetation, scattered with farmhouses and sleepy villages, as our train follows the meandering Douro River. The Douro flows from Spain, all the way across Portugal and out into the Atlantic Ocean through Porto.

Our destination is Pinhão, a pretty little town surrounded by gentle, rolling hills. The historic port wine estates, called quintas, and terraced vineyards around here produce some of the finest port wine across the world, and some of the world's most famous brands own estates which are hidden away in these hills. After free time to look around and find lunch independently we visit the traditional estate of Quinta de Tedo by coach. Here we enjoy a tour of the lovely vineyards and a tasting of the Quinta's excellent local port.

At the end of the afternoon we travel back to Porto by coach, with a free evening ahead.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 – Free day in wonderful Porto

Today you are free to discover charming Porto. You could continue sightseeing with a visit to the city's historic heart, medieval Ribeira or 'Riverside'. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this central part of the city is the heartbeat of Porto, with colourful riverfront houses, lively market squares overlooked by flower-filled balconies. There are many inviting cafés and wine bars in this lively district, where you can soak up the atmosphere and watch scenes of local life pass by.

You could also take a ride on one of Porto's fabulous historic trams (known as Eléctrico) up and down the city hills. Line 1 is a scenic route which runs along the river from the town centre to the Foz district. This is an affluent area of the city where you'll find some small beaches, tucked beneath granite cliffs and a strip of fashionable restaurants. There is also a promenade which takes you to a lovely public park.

Another great thing to do in Porto is to take a trip across the Douro to a district called Vila Nova de Gaia. This historic part of the city is where the very first port wine houses were established in the 17th century. To reach Vila Nova de Gaia, walk over the city's impressive Ponte Luis I Bridge, or take the Porto Metro from Aliados to Joao de Deus, a short journey of under 10 minutes.

This evening we have a farewell buffet dinner at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Homeward bound

This morning we bid a fond farewell, or 'tchau', to Portugal as we're transferred by coach to Porto's airport for the flight back to London Gatwick, or to your local airport. Your holiday may be over but memories of this warm, welcoming country, its colourful cities and beautiful scenery will no doubt remain.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Grande Hotel do Porto, Porto

Grande Hotel do Porto, Porto

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Turim Restauradores Hotel, Lisbon

Turim Restauradores Hotel, Lisbon

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