Experience the North of Portugal
Ancient Towns, Historic Wines and the Waterways
Lisbon-Coimbra-Anadia-Porto-Braga-Guimaraes-Peso da Regua-Pinhao-Lamego-Viseu-Aveiro-Lisbon
8days/7nights, Lisbon/Lisbon (also available from Porto)
2016 depart: year round
day 01 Lisbon-Arrival
Arrival at Lisbon airport and welcomed by our local tourism driver and transfer to the hotel.
day 02 Lisbon-Coimbra-Anadia-Porto
Relax and enjoy the drive north, past fruit orchards and windmills. Our first stop will be at Coimbra and visit one of the oldest universities in the world with a magnificent Baroque library. We continue to the Church of Santa Clara and Coimbra's town centre, where shops display local ceramic works. In the afternoon we continue to Anadia, where we will visit Quinta do Encontro. Located in a serene landscape dominated by vines and Serra do Caramulo and Buçaco, the design winery, inspired in the shapes of oak barrels, allows the visitor direct contact with the various phases of production. Indulge in a glass of sparkling wine, in a minimalist and inspiring ambiance set amongst the vineyards. After we will continue to Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto, a beautiful city built on the hillsides of the Douro River mouth. B
day 03 Porto
Full day tour of Porto. Elected Best European Destination 2012 by the European citizens, Porto is history, architecture, culture, gastronomy, trade, encounters and discoveries. Start with a walking tour through the lively streets, and see landmarks like the Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa), with its beautiful Arab Room, St Francisco Church, the Clérigos Tower, designed by Nasoni, and the imposing Cathedral of Porto, one of the oldest buildings in the city, dating back to the 12th century.
We visit then one of the oldest and most typical places in town, Ribeira, a place of contrasts and the perfect meeting point with the Douro River. Afternoon tour of Vila Nova de Gaia, experience the “Port wine”. Visit one of the cellars and taste the port wine with all your senses. B W/T
day 04 Porto-Braga-Guimarães-Porto
After breakfast at your hotel, get ready for a day in the beautiful Minho region, where historic monuments, lush landscapes, delicious pastries and vinho verde (wine) blend harmoniously. Depart towards Braga, where you will visit the Cathedral of Braga and the Bom Jesus Sanctuary, known for its fascinating Baroque stairway. We will continue to Guimarães. Arriving at Guimarães you will have free time. After lunch we will visit the city from the most northern to the imposing 10th century castle and the majestic Dukes of Bragança Palace. Our visit will proceed with the historical Santa Maria road leading us to the charming square in the heart of the old town, Largo da Oliveira. Return to Porto. B
day 05 Porto-Peso da Régua
Morning transfer to the Gaia Quay for your full-day cruise on the Douro River. Be seduced by endless vineyards, picturesque villages and fellow communities that will make your day simply unforgettable! In this cruise we will make the ascent of the Douro River from Porto to Régua, located in the heart of the Alto Douro Wine Region, which will take us through two dams: Crestuma-Lever and Carrapatelo. Along the way you can see the terraced vineyards on the banks of the river, farms and beautiful landscapes as the River meanders through the increasingly steep slopes. Breakfast and lunch will be served on board. We will be met in Régua and transferred to our Hotel. BL
day 06 Peso da Régua-Pinhão-Lamego-Viseu
This morning we depart to Pinhão, a small village set in a beautiful landscape, classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Visit its famous railway station decorated with ceramic tile murals depicting the town and the surrounding wine region, we join an open roofed tour bus, getting. We will then follow to Quinta da Pacheca, one of the most reknowned vineyards of the Douro and the first to create their own label. You will be guided by the Quinta staff and you will get to know its history, as well as the wine-making processes of the wines of Pacheca. In the end of the tour you will be offered a wine tasting along with a small explanation about the aromas and flavors of the nectars that you are going to taste and a traditional lunch partenered by the appropriate wines. After lunch we will continue to Lamego, an attractive town with Renaissance and Baroque mansions overlooked by two hills. On one of the hills are the ruins of a 12th century castle, on the other is the monumental baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. A marvelous granite staircase decorated with ceramic tiles, allegorical fountains, small chapels and statues leads to a baroque church with views over the town. Today’s tour will end at Viseu, a bustling town with historical buildings, set high on a plateau near the famous Dão Vineyards, where we will be staying overnight. BL
day 07 Viseu-Aveiro-Lisbon
In the morning we will visit Viseu, an ancient city, built of grey stone but at the same time green, lively and welcoming. Our tour will start in the preserved historic centre. Several narrow streets with traditional shops spread out in a mediaeval layout. Discover the 16th century houses which retain gargoyles and Gothic windows. Visit the Cathedral and the Grão Vasco Museum. Afterwards we continue to Aveiro. Famous for the beauty of its natural water channels, which dissect the city and connect the river with the sea, Aveiro is now one of the most interesting cities on the Portuguese coast.
In the afternoon climb aboard a typical boat called a “Moliceiro” and enjoy a 1hr cruise along Aveiro channels, you will be served their traditional sweets and a glass of sparkling wine. The colorful boats display hand-decorated motifs which relate the local culture: agriculture, fishing, religion and nature. Return to Lisbon in the evening. B
day 08 Lisbon-Departure
Our tour comes to an end after breakfast with your transfer from the hotel to Lisbon Airport. B
Inclusions: twin share at quality 4* hotels (option to choose 3* or 5* properties), buffet breakfast daily, English speaking professional tourism driver/guide for the whole circuit, travel by private deluxe a/c mini-van during the entire program, fresh water, wi-fi inside the mini-van, visits and wine tasting at a Porto wine cellar, wine tasting and traditional lunch with drinks at a historical Vineyard in the Douro Valley , snacks will be served with the wine tasting, mini cruise on the Aveiro Channels, full day cruise on the Douro River, lift at the Bom Jesus, all applicable taxes according with Portuguese law.
Hotels: Lisbon-Fenix Urban, Porto-Pestana, Guimarães-Príncipe Perfeito, Viseu-Pousada Serra da Estrela or similar
Excluding: porterage, gratuities, other entrance fees, personal expenses, mini-bar, phone calls and everything else not mentioned in “inclusions”, additional entries to be paid locally.