Legends of Douro River & Castles of Portugal
Classic tour for the beginners around Portugal
A “Pousada” is not just a 5 star hotel characterized by its hospitality and personal approach. It´s a type of accommodation that allows you to travel through time (castles, palaces, and monasteries – historic pousadas), to appreciate different forms of architecture and stunning interior designs (charming pousada), to be in complete harmony with nature and surrendering to the charm and magic of Portugal´s landscape (nature pousadas) and to enjoy a variety of gastronomic works of art of Portugal´s cuisine.
Saturday – Arrival in Lisbon and transfer to the Pousada de Lisboa 5* or 4*
Our English Speaking Guide will meet and greet you at the hotel lobby and guide you on a beautiful walking tour.
Experience the Best Viewing platforms in Lisbon Tour – half day – 4-hour tour.
You will visit the following platforms: Castelo Sao Jorge, Principe Real, and Cristo Rei.
Our first stop is at a food-court for a quick but yet typical lunch at the Mercado da Ribeira Time Out – www.
Enjoying Lisbon and its views from its viewing platforms is a real pleasure and we´ll offer you a selection of the best panoramas of the city!
Enjoying beautiful views, we will plunge into the history of the city of the Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs, and history will come to life for us, as well as we will get acquainted with the modern city and its inhabitants. Feel the energy of Lisbon and its rhythm.
From the observation deck of the Statue of Jesus Christ, we will see the best panorama of the entire city, its historical and modern parts, the Gulf of the Tagus River, and the vast expanses of the Atlantic on the horizon.
The observation deck of Edward VII will show us the three main historical areas of the city, and from the observation deck of St. Peter we will see the cradle of Lisbon – the ancient district of Alfama. The Castelo de São Jorge, the city´s fortress, is located on the highest hill of the city in the heart of Lisbon. We will get acquainted with its history and enjoy the incredible 360-degree panorama (degrees) from the high fortress walls. Finally the “Gates of the Sun” viewpoint will give us an unforgettable experience, revealing a view of the main pantheon of Portugal, the old port area and the pearl of Lisbon – the monastery of St. Vincent.
A small trip in a historical tram nr 28 will be incorporated in the program while you are in Alfama.
This city of hills will not leave you indifferent with its unforgettable panoramas.
Recommended dinner at a local restaurant accompanied by Fado (a Portuguese music genre inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists)
Sunday – Full-day tour – Thematic Tour – in the footsteps of the Templars – guided day tour – 9 hours.
Breakfast at the hotel
The tour starts with you travelling along the Ocean, past the country’s oldest aristocratic resorts, Cascais and Estoril, to the fabulous city of Sintra, the medieval royal residence, which became the favorite vacation spot of the aristocracy in the XVIII century. Here you will get acquainted with the mysterious, “esoteric” palace and park of Quinta da Regaleira (beginning of the 20th century) and it´s secret symbols of which many have tried in vain to decipher to this day. Built in the 17th century, the estate rightfully earned its fame as the country’s most sacred place. The wonderful palace house and the mysterious garden are the focus of esotericism, ancient mythology and Eastern philosophy, occultism, Freemasonry, and many other things that are still shrouded in the mystery of the unknown … “Quinta da Regaleira” is a special place for anyone who visits.
Following the Quinta da Regaleira you will head to the ancient residence of the Templars. In Tomar you will visit the Templar castle (XII) and the monastery of the Order of Christ, which was built and rebuilt for several centuries. Appreciate the elegance of the Manuelino style, as it is here that its ex-libris is located, an amazingly beautiful window of the Capitol Hall of the Monastery and much more:
– The ancient chapel of Charola, the 12th century, built in the image of the temple of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
– One of the best examples of medieval castle and fortification architecture.
– A unique “manuelino” (this is where its ex-libris-amazingly beautiful window of the Capitol Hall of the Monastery is located).
– The special history of the Knights Templar in Portugal.
All the above makes the Convento de Cristo Monastery a truly unique place!
Overnight in Coimbra
Monday – Full day Coimbra – Lamego, overnight in Douro Valley.
Breakfast at the hotel
Coimbra is a very charming city, with its unique atmosphere of student life. Above the city stands the oldest university in the country (the former Royal Palace), where a famous Baroque library is located. Narrow streets will take you to the Old Cathedral and through the arch the Arab city of Almedina you will find yourself downtown, where part of the city’s commerce is located as well as the Church of Santa Cruz, where lays remains of the first Portuguese King, D. Afonso Henriques.
Our suggestion for a fantastic lunch is in Mealhada – the “capital of the suckling pig”, a dish that is among the 7 gastronomic wonders of Portugal accompanied by sparkling wine from the Bayrad region. We will then drive through Busaco (an amazing park / forest where in the late 19th century a royal was built on the site of the Carmelite monastery palace) until we reach the city of Viseu, located in the province of Beira, actively developed in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, one of the favorite cities of the Portuguese king D. Duarte and the city where the most famous Portuguese artist Vasco Fernandes created many masterpieces.
Moving along to Lamego, a city in the province of Douro with an ancient and rich history. You will walk through the historical center of the city; see the cathedral with its unique granite staircase, trimmed with tiles, leading to the temple of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios. Moving on to Regua – the “capital of port”. It is here, in the picturesque region of the Douro River Valley, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, that grapes are grown from which port is produced. Here you will learn all about the port wine production process.
Overnight in Douro Valley
Tuesday – Northern Portugal – The world of Baroque.
Breakfast at the hotel
During this excursion you will have a great opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful estates in northern Portugal, see the two winemaking capitals Amarante and Regua and drive along one of the most beautiful roads in Europe.
Baroque, the symbol of Portugal of the 18th century is distinguished by its original exoticism from what we see in other countries.
Built in the first half of the 18th century with the participation of Nicolo Nazoni, the Palacio de Mateus Palace is immersed in the greenery of magnificent gardens and is considered one of the brightest examples of civilian Baroque architecture in Portugal.
Inside the palace you will see magnificent ceilings made of wood, pieces of furniture from different eras, paintings of the 17th-18th centuries, silver and ceramic items and the palace library, which houses the wonderful edition of the “Lusiadas”.
The journey continues along the Douro River to the area that the Marques of Pombal in the middle of the XVIII century was allotted for, for the production of port. The cultural landscape of Upper Douro with terraces, Quintas, villages, and chapels is an excellent example of a traditional European wine-growing region – due to its integrity and preservation; it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is no coincidence that the Portuguese themselves say that the history of Upper Douro is a live story of port. Among the terraces here and there, red-tiled roofs are dotted with wineries, where in the fall they prepare wine, which in the spring goes to the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. On the slopes you will see huge letters with the names of all the wine companies and their brand names.
In the city of Amarante, the so-called city of lovers, you will find a compact historical center with its famous throughout the country church of St. Goncalos – the patron saint of grooms and brides.
Wine tasting in Quinta Bomfim and dinner by the river in DOC – a fantastic restaurant by the famous chef Rui Paula
Overnight in Douro Valley
Wednesday Boat trip along the Douro River – 1 day cruise from Regua to Porto (lunch on board) – https://www.douroacima.pt/pt/cruzeiros-no-douro/#douro-acima-long-cruises
11.30 – 18.30
Transfer to the boat and then from the boat to hotel in Porto
Overnight in Porto
Thursday – Full-day – Oporto, the “northern capital” of the country – become amazed with its heritage.
Breakfast at the Hotel
Porto is a romantic city. A mixture of architectural styles that attracts the attention of thousands and thousands of curious tourists characterizes this Granite City. In Porto, every stone is a guardian of its history. On the longest street of the city – Boavista, we will cross a square of the same name with a monument commemorating the victory of the Portuguese over Napoleon’s army and the modern building of Casa da Musica. We will then head to the neighboring town Matosinhos, a town with beautiful views of the ocean. On the way we will pass by the Fort of São Francisco do Queijo, the beachfront promenade to the old quarter of Miragaia, past the customs building to the historic center of Porto.
In the historical part of the city, we will see many sights such as the ancient Sé Cathedral (XII century) with a massive altar of hammered silver and the Episcopal Palace with a long 60-meter facade – a masterpiece of Portuguese 18th-century baroque architecture. The oldest streets will lead to the famous Ribeira embankment. It was from these banks that the first caravels departed to discover new lands. Your next tour will leave (if you wish!) by boat for a one-hour cruise along the Douro River, crossing six bridges that connect the city of Porto and its neighbor Vila Nova de Gaia.
On the bridge of Don Luis I, built according to the famous Eiffel project of, we cross over to the other side of the Douro River to the famous cellars in which port is stored and aged. We will visit one of them and, of course, conduct a tasting of port wine – a masterpiece of Portuguese winemaking art.
Next, we will go to the Infante Henriques Square (Henriques the Navigator), where the pompous Palace of the Exchange (Palacio da Bolsa), the monument to Henriques the Navigator and the Church of St. Francis are located. The Church of St. Francis is the only religious building in the city built in a Gothic style and one of the most beautiful on the Iberian Peninsula. We will visit this unique architectural monument and continue on to Rua das Flores, where masters of gold and silver lived in the 16th century, and where we can pay special attention to the beautiful Church of Virtue (igreja da Misericordia).
The next stop along our route is the São Bento Station, famous for its magnificent tiled mosaics and huge wall panels. We will walk along Freedom Square (Praça da Liberdade), where a monument to King Don Pedro IV is erected, and stop at a magnificent church with the famous “Baroque candle” – a 76-meter bell tower. This is the tower of Clerigos – a symbol of the city of Porto.
Nearby is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world – Lello and Brother. It is worth seeing and wondering. We will then go across the University building through Four Lions Square (Praça dos Leões) and admire the charming Carmo and Carmelitos churches. You will always remember the Carmo Church and its stunning huge panel of tiles. On the central shopping street of the city, Rua de Santa Catarina, all of the most fashionable shops of the Northern capital of Portugal are concentrated. Here we will offer you a glimpse into the famous Majestic cafe and enjoy both the contemplation of the interior of this ancient establishment and a cup of invigorating coffee.
Overnight in Porto
Friday – Full-day tour of the “Green Minho” – The birthplace of Green Wine
Breakfast at the Hotel.
Today, you will go on a full day tour in the picturesque Portuguese province of the “Green Minho ” in the northern part of the country. First stop is in Guimarães, the first capital of the Portuguese kingdom, the city where” Portugal was born” and also recognized by UNESCO as a medieval World Heritage Site.
We then continue on to the city of Braga. This city was designed by the many nations that have passed by in Iberia: Celts, Romans, Suevi, Visigoths, and more, and from all of them, you can find traces. You will find virtually all architectural styles, but in particular Portuguese Baroque. One of the most striking buildings of this style is the Bom Jesus complex (Merciful Jesus). A temple with a majestic granite staircase that leads to the hill flanked by fountains and sculptures with Gospel themed stories. These stairs are considered one of the 10 most beautiful staircases in the world. Next stop, Viana do Castelo. On the way, you will have the opportunity to taste the famous vinho verde “green wine “made only in the “Princess of the River Lima” region. Wine tasting at the Quinta do Merufe. The bank of the Lima River was associated with the construction of the famous Portuguese caravels. Be sure not to miss out on the Sanctuary of Santa Luzia, which offers a breathtaking panorama of endless sandy beaches.
Dinner and overnight at the amazing Pousada de Viana 5*
Saturday – Departure in direction to Lisbon via Batalha, Alcobaca, Nazare and Obidos.
Breakfast at the Hotel.
Say goodbye and depart from beautiful Viana do Castelo. Your first visit is to the Monastery of Alcobaça – the oldest Cistercian Abbey in the territory where the tombs of the most famous lovers of Portugal-Pedro and Ines are located, a masterpiece of tombstone monuments.
The Batalha monastery, built in honor of the victory of the war with Castile, in the 14th century, will amaze you with its grandeur on the outside and the airy lightness of stone lace from the inside.
Moving to Nazaré, once a small fishing village, and nowadays a city famous not only for fishing, but also for its wonderful beach, amazing cuisine and unique local folk costumes. We recommend lunch at a typical oceanfront fish restaurant in Nazaré with a uniquely cooked octopus.
Photo-shoot at the viewpoints of Nazaré, where USA surfer MacNamara achieved A Guinness World record in 2011 on a 23,77 m high wave.
Visit to the medieval city of Obidos – one of the most “fabulous” cities in Portugal. Inside the city wall, from the main gate to the castle, several shopping streets stretch with traditional low houses, twined with roses and wisteria. Knights’ tournaments and a chocolate festival are organized outside the castle gates. One particular popular festival is right before and during Christmas time where the city becomes a true Santa Claus village. If you wish, you could taste the local Ginja, a cherry liqueur, typical from her homeland in Obidos
Drop off at Lisbon Airport to return flight home.