The essence of Portugal is not found in a single moment or place. It is a surreal sphere of proud history and vibrant modern life, encompassing marble cities, distinctive food, elegant architecture, stoic traditions, and an atmosphere that leads you away from the tourist crowd. This 12-day private tour covers authentic destinations and styles, a unique route that feels like the Europe of olden days, taking you through Lisbon, Evora, Obidos, Coimbra, Douro Valley, and Porto.
Lisbon – A Stroll Through the Capital City
A walk through the capital is a banquet for the senses. Sounds drift through the narrow, cobblestone streets where a church bell rings, conversations buzz outside an espresso bar, and footsteps echo from a family en route to market. Smells tantalize as the city packed with ephemeral scents. The colors are rich and vibrant, regardless of the neighborhood you are in. After being met at the airport, you are transferred to a boutique hotel in the upmarket Baixa district, where the grandeur of the country’s past is on full display. Have a welcome coffee with your guide, then wander through the neighborhood and its surroundings, enjoying an easy sense of the atmosphere and style that is making Portugal Europe’s most talked-about destination. The pace is leisurely, and there is an excellent food market for the evening. Your guide will show you which of the kitchens are run by Michelin-starred chefs.
Lisbon – Through the Neighborhoods, Discovering Lisbon’s Village Life
Lisbon – Portugal’s Golden Age and the Palaces of Sintra
Evora – The Dreamy Authenticity of Old-World Portugal
Obidos – Exploring the Landscapes and Tastes of Alentejo
Obidos – Old Cities of the Interior and the Coast
Coimbra – Gothic Glory and Maze-Like Lanes
Coimbra – An Ancient Roman History and a Unique Style of Fado
Douro Valley – Immersed in Portugal’s Oldest Wine Region
Day 10 - 11
Porto – An Exquisite City to Complete the Memories
Porto – Departure
- Take a stroll through the village life of capital city Lisbon, admiring how every neighborhood has a style to soak up and savor
- Taste your way through the delicacies of Portugal, every old city home to a distinctive specialty
- Explore Portugal from a forgotten past, the old cities of Alentejo packed with local authenticity and flavor
- Understand the beautiful contrasts in architectural styles found all across Portugal, including Gothic monasteries, Manueline icons, and ceramic mosaics
- Relax in the heart of Porto, where the blue city is a delightful final stop on this 12-day private tour
- Discover the dreamy landscapes of Portugal, the route taking you across dusty central plains, dazzling coastlines, and the rolling river valleys of the north
- Connect Portugal’s storyline by stepping into the past, with overnight stops that include walled Obidos, the university prestige of Coimbra, and seductive Old-World Evora
- Travel with an expert guide and explore in a typically languid Portuguese style, the slow pace a great insight into the country’s nuance
Traveling from Lisbon to Porto, this 12-day handcrafted tour explores Portugal’s essence. You will find fragments of the country’s definitive style everywhere, from a cafe terrace on a marble plaza to a crumbling village deep within wine country. With every turn, there is something else that seems definitively Portuguese. A meal, a monastery, a majestic castle on the cliffs, or a winding lane of cobbles and eateries, authenticity is everywhere. As this private tour takes you through the old and the new, you discover how the essence of Portugal has surreal qualities. It is difficult to pinpoint or define and is a jigsaw puzzle of influences and atmospheres. By going off the tourist trail, you will collect all the pieces that make the country so distinctive.
Lisbon’s laid-back yet sassy attitude is the perfect place to start the discovery. All across the capital, you will find a determination that is original and unique, especially when you make a journey through different neighborhoods. It may be a capital city, but you will quickly find out how the local style is to take things slowly. Adjusting to this rhythm creates access to the country’s nuance. There is so much for your senses to enjoy when you take the time to truly explore. Three nights in Lisbon is the starting point of this private tour, and you will have a nice balance between iconic sights and interesting neighborhoods, along with an early introduction to exceptional food and wine.
The heart of this itinerary takes you across the diversity of the county, where each of the destinations have their own poignant space and feel. Evora offers a seductive insight into Portugal over the centuries, a city standing upon open plains. Obidos is just one of the walled towns that roll to the beat of a bygone era. Continue north, past Gothic monasteries to the university city of Coimbra, a superb insight into the atmosphere of the hills. Along the way, you will be connecting the architecture, the collection stretching from a Roman temple to the Gothic, Manueline and Baroque. Over these days, you discover how the jigsaw puzzle is far more complex than it appears at first glance.
Complete your private tour in the north of Portugal, first with a day in the Douro Valley, one of Europe’s oldest wine regions. It is a leisurely journey from here to Porto, the city of ceramic mosaics and a charm that is proudly preserved into the modern day. As with most of the tour, you spend part of the day exploring with a guide, following a storyline that can be painted through architecture and ambience. Then part of the day is at your leisure, with the guide offering dining recommendations and advice on neighborhoods that are great to explore on your own. Twelve days provides ample time to mix guided and unguided exploration, helping you to connect with Portugal, from the people to the sunbaked olive towns, the tendered vineyards, and the river-fronts of intrigue. Porto has a busy international airport for your homebound departure.
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$2,395 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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