Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.
This Tour will give the best of the two major cities of Portugal, both steeped in history, yet vibrant and modern at the same time.
Lisbon is so many special things; it’s the sound of vintage trams rambling up and down cobblestone streets, a medley of heartfelt Fado songs, an open-air gallery of historic heritage, a haven for free spirits, a surprise for fashionable shoppers and Portugal’s ‘coolest’ city.
Steeped in history and culture, this enchanting ‘city of light’ boasts a natural luminosity and effortless charm unlike any other in the country and has become a popular European destination for its exciting diversity, beautiful sites and enviable, sunny climate.
Marking every spot in the city with a touch of tradition, Lisbon is all about preserving the beauty of ‘old’, whether embodied by friendly flower sellers and chestnut vendors on the streets, its majestic azulejo adorned architecture and typical pastry shops or charming, tavern-inspired restaurants.
Porto dramatically perched at the mouth of the Rio Douro has a wonderful atmosphere. It is packed with ancient and great monuments rubbing shoulders with everyday Portuguese life.
The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of historic buildings and outstanding monuments as well as quaint medieval streets.
Highlights of this wonderful city include the formidable Porto cathedral, the Torre dos Clérigos and the famed Port wine lodges that dominate the hillside of Vila Nova de Gaia.
Porto offers a compelling synthesis of ancient and contemporary attractions and it is a delight to stroll gently through its diverse landscape.
Day 1 – Arrival in Lisbon
Private coach transfer to our hotel. Depending on our arrival time, we’ll have a stroll alongside the fabulous coastal line of Cascais, before dinner.
Day 2 – Bairro Alto, Rossio & Praça do Comércio
This morning we discover the Bairro Alto district on foot, with our guide, walking through this ancient quarter, enjoying the sights down to Rossio & the famous Praça do Comércio.
Bairro Alto is one of Lisbon’s most picturesque, bohemian and alternative neighborhoods. It was designed in the 15th century to host merchants and sailors from the overseas expansion. Eternally associated as the city’s bohemian haunt of artists, its grid of streets is quiet during the day but transformed at night into one of the city’s most vibrant nightlife quarters.
Rossio is the centre for culture and local meetings. Its home to fabulous architecture from its famous train station, with its impressive 19th century façade or Café Nicola, an art deco café founded in 1787.
Praça do Comércio is Lisbon’s largest square. Located near the Tagus River it’s also known as “Terreiro do Paço” due to the Royal Ribeira Palace former location, destroyed during the 1755 earthquake. Historically the plaza and the port were the main entrance of wealth in the city, serving both east and west sides of the city.
From here, we’ll catch the famous 28 tram, on a private tram tour around Lisbon!
Day 3 – Castelo S. Jorge, Mouraria & Alfama
Our walk descends one of the 7 hills of Lisbon from S. Jorge’s Castle through the Mouraria and Alfama neighborhoods, the oldest in the city, past the Cathedral and then on to downtown.
São Jorge Castle is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic landmarks. Dated from the medieval period, it stands out in a commanding position in one of the seven hills of Lisbon, the highest one in the city.
Between the castle and the old neibourhoods, we find the National Pantheon or church of Santa Engrácia –a grand Baroque building housing the tombs of the country’s most distinguished figures. Built in the 16th century as the church of Santa Engrácia by Princess Dona Maria, daughter of King Manuel I, the church never fulfilled its purpose.
Alfama is the oldest quarter in Lisbon. Hardly affected by the 1755 earthquake due to its solid rock foundations, it was home for the Visigoths, the Romans and the Moors that left the cobbled streets, the small squares and the whitewashed houses as their unmistakable heritage. Being part of history where most of the Fado songs where written and sung, it’s today an old cosmopolitan neighborhood.
Day 4 – Sintra
Today, we take the train to Sintra. The line between Lisbon and Sintra opened in 1887 and nowadays, this suburban train crosses the outskirts of Lisbon to this enchanting town. Sintra is all about scenic splendour, a realm of romance where majestic fairy tale-like palaces, a grandiose castle, regal estates and charming red-tiled houses stand amidst a landscape of luxuriant, semi tropical forests and hilltops.
Day 5 – Coimbra
Today, as we transfer from Lisbon to Porto, we’ll have the chance to visit Coimbra. We’ll meander through it’s the narrow streets and enjoy the local life and traditions. Later on, we’ll have the opportunity to have a guided visit of the town’s Ex – LIBRIS, the University
Day 6 – Discover Porto & Gaia, River Cruise & Port wine Tasting
Today we’ll dedicate our day to Porto. Our stroll will bring us from the top of the Ponte Luis I – where we get some of the most beautiful views in town – to S Bento Station, to view the beautiful tiled panels.
We’ll have time to enjoy some superb buildings, like the Carmo Church, the Clérigos Tower – and its singular architectural style of Nicolau Nasoni, the frontage of Lello bookshop – a 200 year old bookshop, famous to have served as an inspiration to J. K.
Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books and, the cathedral of Porto.
The Ribeira do Porto area on the beautiful Douro river margins will welcome us for lunch.
In the afternoon, there will be free time to explore this truly amazing town.
The Douro River is one of the major rivers in the Iberian Peninsula, with its 897kms.
Born on the hills of Urbion in Spain, it stretches from eastern Spanish hills to the Porto’s estuary in the west. Along its margins, its importance is still visible. In the past, the renowned Port wine was taken downriver in flat-bottom boats called rabelos, to be stored
in barrels in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. Nowadays, this an area of the Douro Valley is a UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
On our boat trip, we’ll be gifted with a different perspective of the river and its two different but similar margins.
In the afternoon, we’ll learn more about the trade, the production and the different kinds of this famous wine in a unique Port lodge guided visit and wine tasting experience!
Day 7 – Stock Exchange Palace & S. Francis Church
Today we explore some of Porto’s iconic sites: the Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa) and the S. Francis Church (Igreja de S. Francisco).
On our guided visit of Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace), we’ll learn how this part of the former St. Francis Convent was converted into a Neoclassical Palace to house the Commercial Association on Porto in the 19th century. Classified as a National Monument since 1982, this fabulous building provides a fabulous architecture discovery experience!
In the afternoon and to continue in greatness, we’ll visit the S. Francis Church (Igreja de S. Francisco). The origins of the Franciscan Order in Porto date from the 13th century. The built of this impressive worship site crossed centuries, kings and architectural styles. In our guided visit, we’ll be able to understand and admire this impressive building dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi.
Day 8 – Departure
We say our goodbyes and head to Porto airport.
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