Portugal: Porto, Lisbon & the Algarve 9 days
About This Experience
Tap into Portugal’s sunny, seafaring spirit as you make your way through the cities and coastal villages that once served as home to some of the greatest explorers the world has ever known. Soak up the historic neighborhoods flanked along the Douro River and sip port wine in the city it’s named for. Make your way through the sun-splashed Algarve, where you’ll coast from world-class beaches to tranquil fishing towns. And wrap up your stay with a few days in Portugal’s colorful capital city spent mingling with local lisboetas and taking in its Old-World charms.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
7 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 3 three-course or buffet dinners
Multilingual Tour Director
Private deluxe motor coach
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Évora’s whitewashed homes & Roman roots
Sampling port wine in the city its named for
Discovering the home base of world explorers
The Algarve’s old fishing villages & golden-sand beaches
Roaming through Coimbra, Europe’s oldest university town
The Old-World neighborhoods of Alfama & Ribeira
Overnight Flight1 night
Porto2 nights - hotel info
It’s never too early to pour yourself a glass of port
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Olá e bem-vindo! Touch down in Porto, where a Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel in the heart of this 2,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage-listed city. After taking some time to relax and explore, greet your fellow travelers at your welcome dinner.
Uncover Old-World neighborhoods in a whole new light
Optional Excursion - Port Wine Cellars and Douro River Cruise
Stock Exchange Palace
Get to know Porto like a true tripeiro (Porto resident) as you follow a local through the meandering medieval lanes of the Old-World Ribeira District and along the boat-lined Douro riverfront. Together, you’ll pass citywide icons, such as the Baroque-style Clérigos Tower, a lofty landmark that can be spotted from nearly anywhere in Porto, the Gothic São Francisco Church and the wrought-iron Dona Maria Pia Bridge. You’ll also step inside the city’s famed neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace. Afterward, you’ll be free to continue exploring as you like, perhaps delving into Porto’s burgeoning art scene or gaining an inside look at the region’s most popular export: port wine. Choose to join our optional afternoon cruise down the Douro River, followed by visits to three of the region’s most prestigious wine cellars: Offley, Sandeman and Ferreira. At each cellar, you’ll have the opportunity to sample world-famous labels and learn about the history and production of port wine.
Port Wine Cellars and Douro River Cruise $49* pp
Float along the Douro, the Iberian Peninsula’s third-longest river, and take in scenes of Porto’s vibrant waterfront and historic Villa Nova de Gaia, home to the region’s centuries-old port wine warehouses. As you cruise, you’ll drift under five of the river’s most iconic Old-World bridges, passing colorful hillside villas and traditional rabelos (flat-bottomed boats) along the way. Back on shore, pay visits to three of Porto’s most prestigious port wine cellars: Offley, Sandeman and Ferreira. During guided tours, learn the long-standing history of port wine, as well as the ins and outs of port production and warehousing before being treated to a tasting of each cellar’s world-famous labels.
Évora1 night - hotel info
Study up on Gothic architecture near the “Oxford” of Portugal
Coimbra University, Old Cathedral of Coimbra
Drive south toward Évora, and stop en route to explore Coimbra. Home to the country’s first university, the Universidade de Coimbra, this vibrant college town is known as the “Oxford” of Portugal. Follow a local guide on a tour of the university and uncover Coimbra’s striking Gothic architecture on a walk through its medieval old town and riverfront. After free time for lunch, continue on to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Évora, where you’ll settle in for the night
Algarve Region2 nights - hotel info
Explore the ancient city that lured Romans and royalty
St. Francis Church and Gardens
Begin your day with a walk through the streets of Évora, one of Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. This ancient city has deep Roman roots, and was once home to Portuguese royalty. As you stroll, take in the region’s distinctive whitewashed homes decorated with intricate tilework, pass the remains of the Roman temple and enter into the eerie “Chapel of Bones.” This afternoon, continue to the sun-soaked Algarve region, southern Portugal’s resort hot spot and home to some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. After arriving, sample authentic local fare at your group dinner.
Look out to open ocean from the end of the earth
Optional Excursion - Traditional Portuguese Dinner
Discover the Algarve’s stunning white-sand beaches and breathtaking coastline during visits to the seafaring towns of Portimão and Lagos, as well as Cape St. Vincent. Explore Portimão’s waterfront district and roam the mostly walled-in town of Lagos, with its sandy shoreline, picturesque churches and quaint medieval fairs. Later, take in views of the sea from Sagres Fortress on Cape St. Vincent, which was considered to be the westernmost point in the world before the Age of Discovery. Later, get a taste for the distinctive flavors of the Algarve at our optional Traditional Portuguese Dinner.
Traditional Portuguese Dinner $85* pp
Get a taste for authentic Portuguese wine and food, with a special emphasis on Portugal’s culinary traditions and connection to the sea. Sit down to dine at a restaurant nestled near the Algarve Coast, and choose from a menu centered around the area's specialties. Come see what Portuguese chefs can do with the bounty just off their shores.
Lisbon2 nights - hotel info
Behold Belém and centuries of Portuguese pride
Optional Excursion - Fado Dinner & Show
Make your way back north to Lisbon, Portugal’s colorful capital city. Set against the Atlantic, Lisbon boasts an incredible maritime history and served as home to legendary world explorer Vasco da Gama during the Age of Exploration. With a local guide, take in the city’s tribute to these explorers at the Maritime Monument and iconic Belém Tower, followed by visits to the Jerónimos Monastery and the culturally rich Alfama District. Tonight, join our optional excursion and sway to the melancholic melodies of Portugal’s traditional fado music while enjoying dinner.
Fado Dinner & Show $75* pp
Spend your evening at Lisbon tavern listening to fado. Derived from the Latin word fatum—meaning "prophecy" or "fate"—fado is Portugal’s national musical treasure. Fado's traditional theme is “saudade,” a word that doesn't quite translate to English but conveys an overwhelming sense of longing for something lost. Dinner is included during this memorable musical evening.
Caldeirada to bacalhau—get a taste for Lisbon’s local flavors
Optional Excursion - Sintra & the Portuguese Riviera
Stroll through Lisbon’s charming backstreets; roam along the treelined lanes of its old quarters; taste fresh pastry from a small cafe; or order up a cup of caldeirada or a plateful of salty bacalhau—Portugal’s unofficial national dish. You may also opt to spend your free day venturing outside of the city to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Sintra and the traditional fishing village of Cascais. Later in the evening, come together with your fellow travelers for your farewell dinner.
Sintra & the Portuguese Riviera $45* pp
Journey to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Sintra and learn why the Poet Lord Byron once called it a “glorious Eden.” Having served as the stomping grounds for Portugal’s kings and queens, Sintra is home to the only surviving royal palace from the Middle Ages, which you’ll explore on a guided tour. Afterward, you’ll have free time to stroll through Sintra, viewing its colorful villas, small shops and impeccably manicured gardens before finding a quiet eatery for lunch. On your way back to Lisbon, take in the coastal scenery of the Portuguese Riviera. Stop en route in the old fishing village of Cascais to discover the town’s winding, narrow streets, pastel-colored buildings and bustling fish market before continuing back to Lisbon.
Extend Your Stay
Add Lisbon City Stay $259*
Whitewashed buildings, red-clay roofs and winding yellow trams are all part of the colorful cityscape of Portugal’s capital. Take two nights in Lisbon to explore this historic city’s monuments, cafes and winding streets. Walk through the Alfama District, seek out the best bachalau and caldo verde, or pack a picnic lunch and watch the world go by on the banks of the Tagus.
Lisbon2 nights - hotel info
Neighborhood hop through historic Alfama
Optional Excursion - Old World Portugal: Medieval Obidos and Nazare
Spend the day delving into Lisbon’s eclectic neighborhoods, sipping sweet wines or simply relaxing on the banks of the Tagus. For a glimpse into some of Portugal’s Old-World villages, join our excursion to the medieval town of Óbidos, picturesque coastal village of Nazaré and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Batalha Monastery.
Old World Portugal: Medieval Obidos and Nazare $99* pp
Escape Lisbon’s bustle and spend the day relaxing by the sea in the medieval villages of Óbidos and Nazaré. Picturesque cobblestone streets and color-trimmed buildings make up the romantic village of Óbidos, where you’ll pay a visit to Santa Maria Church to admire the colorful ceiling paintings and 17th-century tiles. You’ll also have the chance to view the medieval Óbidos castle, known as one of the seven wonders of Portugal. Next, journey to the fishing village of Nazaré for lunch and spectacular coastline views. Spend some time looking out on Nazaré’s brightly colored fishing vessels before continuing to Batalha, where you’ll enter the UNESCO World Heritage-listed monastery before making your way back to Lisbon.
Blink twice and you might think you’re in Rio
Optional Excursion - Cristo-Rei
Continue absorbing Lisbon’s local culture on your own, or set off to discover one of the city’s most prominent sights: the towering Cristo-Rei Monument, modeled after the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Cristo-Rei $80* pp
Leaving Lisbon, take a scenic drive across the striking Bridge of 25th of April, which bears resemblance to San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Arriving on the south side of the Rio Tejo, you’ll visit Cristo-Rei, a 300-foot-tall monument reminiscent of Rio de Janeiro’s famed Christ the Redeemer statue. Built in 1959, the Cristo-Rei symbolizes Portugal’s appreciation for being spared the effects of World War II. Following your visit, savor lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the Tagus River and Lisbon skyline. Finish your daytrip with a leisurely ferry ride from Cacilhas to Cais do Sodré, where a bus will bring you back to the hotel.
Passport & Visa
In order to enter Portugal, U.S. & Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, please contact the Portuguese consulate for your specific entry requirements.
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Portugal. However, be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates.
Portuguese food is fresh, hearty and delicious, especially seafood. Try sardinhas asadas (grilled sardines), cataplana (a shellfish stew cooked in a sealed, shell-shaped copper pan) or the national dish, bacalhau (salted codfish). Other dishes worth sampling are feijoada, a fava bean and sausage stew, and caldo verde, a cabbage-based soup. Also note, a couvert, a simple plate of bread, butter and olives, is often served the minute you sit down. While it is free in many restaurants, some places will add a charge to your bill for it.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Flights arrive in Porto and depart from Lisbon. Included transportation is by private motor coach. All of the cities and towns on this itinerary are accessible on foot, but you may want to break up periods of walking by using public transportation. Lisbon is a very walkable city, but you may want to break up periods of walking with rides on the city’s trams, metro and buses. All-inclusive travel passes are available.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct a advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
Clothing and Packing Tips
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
The euro is the currency you’ll use on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards, as needed. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
Portugal was a surprise. I didn't remember how big a role they played in world exploration and discovery. Leonor our tour Director and the walk on guides provided fascinating details about all we were seeing. The landscape really surprised me - one moment forests of pine trees then around the corner the beach with the largest surfing waves anywhere and large sand dunes.
No free time on our first day in Porto. Port wine tastings should be limited to no more than two distilleries. In Lisbon, hotel was located in the banking and medical district, downtown area was at least a 45 minute walk from the hotel, no restaurants located close to the hotel, if you ate you ate at the hotel or not at all., which means you paid hotel prices!!!!
A wonderful country!
Everyone should travel to Portugal! Only the tour should be longer, Because there is so much to see and experience. I plan to return to see more of this beautiful country.