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Country Roads of Portugal

Duration 10 days

Destinations visited :
  • Portugal
    ,

Tantalize your senses during this 11-day guided tour through Portugal. In Lisbon, a Local Expert will show you the historic downtown and the finest square in the city, Terreiro do Paço. From the hilltop perch of Monsaraz, see across the Spanish plains to Alqueva Lake — and meet a local boat captain, who will regale you with tales of water adventures during a cruise on its calm waters. In Tomar, see the Templar Castle, and explore its awe-inspiring rotunda with a Local Expert. Indulge in a farm-to-table dinner in Douro Valley’s renowned winery Quinta da Roêda that will feature locally sourced ingredients, and taste a port produced onsite. Stroll Portugal’s second city, Porto, a World Heritage town, and relax in your five-star hotel in the city’s picturesque historic district.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Welcome to Lisbon.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. On arrival at Lisbon International Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Settle in and relax before joining your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Enjoy the the opportunity to mingle with your fellow travellers during a pleasant evening of good food and wine.
Hotel: Altis Grand Hotel (Superior Rooms), Lisbon.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries.
Your guided sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and across the tree-shaded squares. Pass beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paço, the finest square in the city, named after the palace that was destroyed in the terrible earthquake of 1755, along with much of the rest of the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same, secret recipe for almost 200 years. See the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower, erected to protect Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which you visit.
Hotel: Altis Grand Hotel (Superior Rooms), Lisbon.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

The Algarve.
Cross the River Tagus and head for the sun-drenched southern coast to reach Lagos, a fishing port nestled on the bay of Meia Praia. After free time to explore, continue to your resort hotel set within a magnificent 360-acre estate. Simplicity is in the soul of Algarve cuisine, along with seafood so fresh it still tastes of the sea.
Hotel: Ria Park Hotel & Spa, Almancil, Algarve.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 4

Everlasting Évora.
Journey to the medieval walled city of Évora where cathedrals, churches, aqueducts and ancient castle walls all serve to create the feeling that this beautiful city is a living, breathing museum to Portugal’s rich past. Join your Local Expert to explore the highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Roman Temple and visit the Capela dos Ossos, an extraordinary 17th century chapel comprising the skulls and bones of 5,000 bodies. Visit the cathedral with its attractive mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
Hotel: M’Ar de Ar Aqueduto, Évora.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 5

Monsaraz and Évora.
Travel to the striking white village of Monsaraz, situated on an imposing hilltop, surrounded by cork oaks and vineyards. From the castle ruins, admire the spectacular views across to the dry Spanish plains, contrasting with the blue of one of Europe’s largest artificial lakes. Meet a local boat captain and hear tales of life upon the water during your leisurely cruise. Sit down to a delicious Highlight Lunch in a local restaurant that was formerly an olive oil mill. Savour the local cuisine as your menu is typical of the local Alentejo region and accompanied with wine. Return to Évora where the evening is at your leisure to explore this beautifully preserved regional capital.
Hotel: M’Ar de Ar Aqueduto, Évora.
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch with Wine

DAY 6

Scenic drive to Óbidos, Fátima and Tomar.
Pass cork oak forests and expansive rice fields as you journey to the fortified town of Óbidos. Walk inside its walls to explore the craft shops, art galleries and flower-laden houses that line the narrow, medieval streets. Continue to Fátima, Portugal’s most renowned place of pilgrimage. See the basilica or perhaps visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Proceed to Tomar and visit one of Portugal’s historical jewels, the Templar Castle and Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With your Local Expert, explore the octagonal Templars’ Rotunda in the cloister and glimpse the day-to-day life of a warrior monk in the domestic areas. Outside on the battlements, the Manueline Window is a national masterpiece. You also visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal, housing a small Jewish museum.
Hotel: Hotel dos Templários, Tomar.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 7

Coimbra, the Douro and Pinhão.
In Coimbra, your Local Expert will show you the highlights of the Old Town, including a visit to the impressive baroque university library. Journey through the rolling vine-laden hills and along the left bank of the Douro to arrive at Quinta de Marrocos, the home of the Sequeira family for the past 4 generations. Learn about the family’s passion for wine-making as you join them for a wonderful Farm-to-Table Dinner, freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients and of course accompanied by wine from the estate.
Hotel: Vintage House Hotel, Pinhão, Douro Valley.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 8

Guimarães and Porto.
Journey to Guimarães, known as the Cradle of Portugal. From the ruined castle there are wonderful views and down in the historic heart lies a web of washing-hung alleyways, cobbled streets and cosy squares with tiny bars and cafes. Continue towards the bright lights of Porto, situated on the Douro and celebrated as the Port wine capital of the world. These famous Port wines are housed in the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores. Walk along corridors of casks and get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. In the evening you are at leisure to enjoy your boutique, five-star hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in the heart of Porto’s historic district. The decor is a mix of classic and contemporary and each room is individually decorated with original artwork.
Hotel: Infante Sagres, Porto.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 9

Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro.
With a full day free to enjoy at your own pace, why not take a stroll to admire the multi-coloured houses, churches covered in beautiful glazed tiles and the iconic bridges? For a different perspective and excellent views of the city, perhaps embark on a relaxing Douro cruise? In the evening, bid adeus to your Travel Director and fellow travellers with a mouth-watering Celebration Dinner with wine, at an authentic Porto restaurant.
Hotel: Infante Sagres, Porto.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 10

Depart Porto.
After breakfast your transfer will arrive at Porto airport at 09:30 or 12:00. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém, made to the same secret recipe for over 200 years.
  • Monsaraz: Meet a local boat captain and join him for a leisurely cruise, followed by a delicious Alentejo Highlight Lunch in a local restaurant that was once an olive oil mill.
  • Douro River: Meet the Sequeira family who have been living on the left bank of the Douro for four generations. Join them for a freshly prepared Farm-to-Table Dinner, hear about their passion for wine-making and sample their wines.
  • Porto: An informative tour of a famous cellar at Vila Nova de Gaia shows you the views and gives you an opportunity to taste the Port.
  • Porto: Shared experiences and memories are often the foundation for special bonds and friendships. Toast your travels with wine and good cheer during your Celebration Dinner at a restaurant in Porto, devoted to the enjoyment of regional cooking.
  • Dining Summary: 9 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Stay in Style

  • Évora: Among the white-washed houses of Évora, next to the Roman aqueduct, your 5-star M’Ar de Ar Aqueduto hotel blends part of an old monastery with modern design.
  • Douro Valley: The Vintage House Hotel enjoys an idyllic and tranquil riverside location at Pinhão in the authentic heart of the Douro Valley.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Lisbon: There is no better way to explore a city, than with your Local Expert. Wander from the Lower Town, beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco. In the Belém Quarter see the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Belém Tower.
  • Lisbon: Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries.
  • Lagos: Explore this coastal town nestled on Meia Praia, with your Travel Director.
  • Evora: Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site guided by your Local Expert and see the famous Roman Temple. While sightseeing, witness the fascinating cathedral one of the oldest in Evora and be charmed by its mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
  • Evora: Witness one of the most visited sites in Evora, the fascinating Capela dos Ossos, meaning the Chapel of Bones, a chapel decorated with human remains.
  • Monsaraz: Surrounded by cork oaks and vineyards, wander through the castle ruins to admire the incredible view over the Spanish plains that contrast with the blue of one of Europe’s largest artificial lakes.
  • Obidos: Lead by your Travel Director, walk through the picturesque narrow streets up to the main square of this ancient walled town.
  • Tomar: Dominating the town is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Templar Castle and the Convent of Christ. During your visit with a Local Expert, see the Manueline Window and follow the story of the mysterious Knights Templar.
  • Fátima: Join the faithful at one of the world’s holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions or see the basilica.
  • Tomar: Guided by your Local Expert, visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal.
  • Tomar: Learn about the history of the town through its architectural influences as you take a tour guided by a Local Expert.
  • Coimbra: With a Local Expert, visit the University and witness the triumphal arches, painted ceilings, golden flourishes and walls of ancient tomes.
  • Coimbra: Guided by your Local Expert, head through Old Town and pass by the Old Cathedral and the Almedina neighbourhood.
  • Guimarães: Enjoy views from the ruined castle and explore the maze of streets in the historic Old Quarter.
  • Porto: See the iconic bridges and buildings decorated in tiles.
  • Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the view as you travel through the Alentejo region and along the Tagus and Douro rivers.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
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Country Roads of Portugal

Tantalize your senses during this 11-day guided tour through Portugal. In Lisbon, a Local Expert will show you the historic downtown and the finest square in the city, Terreiro do Paço. From the hilltop perch of Monsaraz, see across the Spanish plains to Alqueva Lake — and meet a local boat captain, who will regale you with tales of water adventures during a cruise on its calm waters. In Tomar, see the Templar Castle, and explore its awe-inspiring rotunda with a Local Expert. Indulge in a farm-to-table dinner in Douro Valley’s renowned winery Quinta da Roêda that will feature locally sourced ingredients, and taste a port produced onsite. Stroll Portugal’s second city, Porto, a World Heritage town, and relax in your five-star hotel in the city’s picturesque historic district.