Lisbon, Coimbra, Pinhao, Porto
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
On this 7-day best of Portugal tour, you will experience both style and delight on the antique streets along with the spirited ambiance of the Iberian culture. Red-tiled roofs contrast with the whitewashed walls of homes nearly five centuries old. The rich ruby hues of traditional port wine will glow against the limestone walls of a seasoned cellar as dramatic towers and radiant churches represent the golden days of exploration when Portugal ruled the maritime trading routes. From castle grounds...
Lisbon – Arrive in the Capital of Portugal for a Half-Day Introductory Tour
Lisbon is a city of water and knolls that spread along the banks of the River Tagus, and perch on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean along a set of seven hills. The sunlight casts a golden shadow over the 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery, which was erected in honor of the country’s Age of Discovery. The structure represents wealth and exploration, and remains a symbol of Vasco de Gama’s voyage to India in 1498, as the spices brought back by da Gama funded the construction.
Whitewashed homes with red-tiled roofs ascend the hills beneath the dramatic crenulated towers and battlements of St. George’s Castle. Moors erected the castle over the foundations of an Iron Age stronghold in the 12th century, and the edifice continues to offer an unparalleled panorama of the city. Your private transfer will greet you at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport upon your arrival and escort you to your luxurious hotel in the heart of the Old Quarter. The narrow lanes of cobblestone create a welcoming maze of shops, homes, cafes, and restaurants.
As you wander, the aroma of simmering, slow-cooked meat will blend with the enticing scent of prawns cooked over an open grill and dressed with citrus. The chalk-white dome of the Church of Santa Engrácia soars above the rooftops of the Alfama neighborhood filling your view. Construction began on the edifice in the 17th century but was not completed until nearly 285 years later. The church gallery contains monuments to the heroes of the country, such as Henry the Navigator and Pedro Álvares Cabral. Tombs of contemporary political and cultural heroes stand beneath the marvelous cupola.
Lisbon – Relish the History, Beauty, and Prestige of Lisbon at your Leisure
In the morning, the aroma of Brazilian coffee emanates from an unassuming café set inside a pale yellow structure that overlooks the cobblestone sidewalk. The tradition of coffee in Portugal dates back to the 18th century after Arabica seeds returned to the country from an exploratory mission led by Francisco de Melo Palheta. You can sip on a freshly brewed coffee at breakfast, and you will enjoy the robust and earthy flavor amidst the caramel notes. The day will be yours to experience Lisbon at your preferred pace, whether it be popping in and out of shops or opting to discover the extent of Portugal’s former travel routes. Spend time exploring in the Museu do Oriente, which displays artifacts correlated with the country’s presence in Asia and the Far East over the course of five centuries.
The Museu Nacional do Azulejo highlights the unique art of tile work found throughout the ages of Portugal and offers exhibits on the evolution of tile-making from the Moors to the Spanish until Portugal’s personalized style emerged. The sunlight will wash over the unique Monument to the Discoveries with gigantic monolith rising above the River Tagus, looking outward to the world. The monument was erected in the 1960s to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Henry the Navigator’s death and pays tribute to the past that has helped shape Portugal’s contemporary culture.
Stroll along the old cobblestone streets to reach the skeletal frame of Carmo Church, one of the oldest structures in the city that dates back to the 14th century. The frame remains to showcase the Moorish arches, and the open windows cast a border around the open sky. The chancel contains a museum that offers views of a remaining Visigoth pillar and a discovered Roman tomb. In the afternoon, locals make their way to the wine bars in the Bairro Alto district to enjoy the pleasurable combination of ruby wine and delicious artisanal cheeses produced on farms outside of Lisbon.
Coimbra – Enjoy the Scenery at Cascais and Sintra before Reaching Coimbra
In the morning, the sunlight will glisten off of the rushing waters of the River Targus. The scent of freshly baked bread and orange preserves will emanate from the cafes as the pearlescent South Portal of the Jerónimos Monastery glints at the height of nearly 105 feet tall. Adorned with more than 40 statues etched into the flanking pillars, you will spend some time to admire it. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel eager to lead you west of Lisbon to the coastal town of Cascais. Golden sand wraps around the edges of the shallow bay as fishing boats wade in the marina with their masts swaying like a portable skyline.
The aroma of grilled octopus and garlic drifts along the cobblestone streets until meeting the sea breeze. The waterfront fortress of Palácio da Cidadela was erected in the 1870s and features rich Portuguese tapestries that drape the walls beneath the hardwood ceilings. A gilded wooden dragon dangles from the ceiling adorned with cherubs, contrasting with the mixture of Asian and European artifacts. The water splashes against the shoreline and the refreshing gardens shimmer with the green manicured grasses and blossoming roses. Boutique shops pepper the pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets of Old Town beside the smattering of seafood restaurants.
Surfers take to the waves along the Praia do Guincho as the whitewater fizzes against the wet sand. Continue to Cabo da Roca, outside of the town of Sintra, to visit the western edge of the European continent. The outcropping reaches into the Atlantic Ocean along a dramatic cliff, and wind sweeps over the grass and walkways to accompany the 18th-century lighthouse. A vista provides a remarkable view across the cobalt waters from a height of nearly 460 feet above sea level as the granite boulders rise out of the water. The surroundings feel surreal, and bring a spectacular image that you will always remember as you stand on the edge of the continent.
Pinhao – Explore Coimbra at Leisure and Drive to Pinhao in Douro Valley
The city of Coimbra nestles into the banks of the River Mondego. The nearby university was established in the 13th century and retains a reputation for integrity and elegance. Arcades cascade down the hills along the river’s east banks, and the connected buildings are nearly 1,000 years old and shimmer with various bright colors, which adds charm to the historical area. Cafes fill the city with the aroma of strong coffee and freshly baked pastries, and performers play Portuguese guitar along the antique stone walls of the city center. A contemporary pedestrian bridge leads to the modern terrace restaurants and shopping complexes to the west.
You will set out on a half-day tour of the city’s past, beginning at the Old Cathedral. The architecture resembles a fortress due to the crenelated walls and narrow slits for windows. The church was consecrated in the 12th century and retains elements of grandeur, including the Renaissance portal on the north. You can visit the University grounds, which are full of examples of 17th and 18th century Baroque and neoclassical architectural styles. Exotic wood decorates the 18th-century library amongst trompe-l’oeil décor.
The bookcases hold a collection of nearly 300,000 books and manuscripts from Portugal’s Middle Ages. After exploring it all and before leaving Coimbra, you will pass beneath the city’s original gateway known as the Almedina Arch. The foundations date back to the 9th century with alterations made in the 12th century. The stone is cool against your fingertips as stone pathway leads up the hill into the heart of the old city. You will make your way out of Coimbra and then venture to the terraced hills that encircle the quiet town of Pinhao, located on a beautiful bend of the Douro River.
Pinhao – Discover the Port Wine of Douro Valley with a Full Day Wine Tour
Since arriving in Portugal, you will have experienced a plethora of styles, including art from Western Europe and Far East Asia, and architecture that spans Moorish history, Gothic trends, and neoclassical luster. In the town of Pinhao, the aroma of fragrant soil fills the breeze, and the countryside glows emerald from the expanse of wineries, giving you an entirely new perspective. The local train station is filled with colorful hand-painted tiles that showcase the grapevines and the landscape during harvest. You will make your way into the countryside as you follow the country roads to discover a family owned vineyard that produces high-quality Port.
The whitewashed walls of the country house overlook the banks of the passing river beneath the flourishing vines. The red-tile roof contrasts with the surrounding greenery, which includes the turquoise hues of the water. Your guide will lead you along the vines to feel the smooth texture of the grapes and the smooth, silky surface of the leaves. The cellar holds aged barrels hidden from the valley’s heat, and the cool subterranean position protects the wine in controlled, cool temperatures. You will see the barrels stacked side by side before visiting the stainless steel tanks that help process and hold the juice while fermenting.
The granite walls of the tiered hills show streaks of silver and white around the verdant vines. You can sit on the elegant terrace beneath the blossoming jasmine while sampling the famous Port produced on the property. Your guide will lead you through the tasting by first checking the coloration through the brightness and clarity of the wines. The fluidity highlights the amount of sugar and alcohol content. You will find aromas of licorice and raisins, walnuts and dark cherries as you sip the wine and enjoy the lingering flavor of coffee, figs, and walnuts.
Porto – Transfer to Porto for an Encompassing Tour of the Historic City
In the morning, the sunlight will spread across the Art Nouveau façade of a favorite cafe. The vintage ambiance offers bohemian flavor with original carved wood chairs and marble-topped tables as the scent of freshly baked pastries blends with decadent dried fruits and fragrant coffee. The 18th-century Carmo Church has white tiles colored with blue images that enhance the decorative carvings found along the façade. Woodwork brushed with gold offer examples of the Portuguese Rococo movement amidst the gilt carvings and the lingering scent of myrrh. You will set out for a day in the old city with your private guide to search for images of the city’s rich history amongst the snapshots of contemporary life.
Your view will soon be filled as the Torre de Clérigos soars more than 250 feet above the red-tiled roofs of the city. Palacio da Bolsa was the city’s former stock exchange and was founded in the mid 19th century inside the remnants of a Franciscan monastery. Venture through the series of rooms and salons beneath the glass dome in the Hall of Nations and reach the Portrait Room. The gallery depicts rows of monarchs presented in uniformed regalia to view before you continue into the Golden Room and cast your eyes towards the ceiling. The stucco adornments glow with gilded opulence as Moorish, stucco designs decorate the ballroom known as the Arabian Hall.
Like the ceiling in the Golden Room, the walls of the hall are gilded, and they glow and flicker in the light, reminiscent of a dance hall in a grand palace. Gain insight into the daily life of locals at the Mercado do Bolhão as the 19th-century wrought-iron facility houses the fast-paced trade of fresh produce, wines, olives, cheese, and meats. Vendors call out to passersby and offer fresh samples of traditional products, and you can taste the creamy texture of a goat’s cheese made on a farm in the hills outside of Porto.
Porto – Depart for Home
Settle in at a café that sets tables in front of their doorway for patrons to enjoy the artistic atmosphere beneath the high relief of a Native Brazilian as sculpted by a Portuguese artist. Gondolas glide over the riverfront above the Ponte de Dom Luís I bridge, and the landscaped quayside contains rows of chic bars, restaurants, and cafes that edge the cobblestone streets that lead up the terraced hill to the Torre dos Clérigos.
The Museu da Misericórdia do Porto highlights the stunning art and portraiture crafted between the 15th and 17th centuries, amidst the remarkable architecture of Italian Baroque design. The interior will captivate you with blue and white hand painted tiles known as azulejos. The daily marvels of the city continue to enchant visitors and locals alike, from the hillsides to the riverbanks. After one last leisurely morning, your private transfer will meet you in your hotel lobby and escort you to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport for your flight home.
- Enjoy the flavors of Portugal during a private wine tasting tour of the celebrated varietals cultivated in the Douro Valley, including the renowned Port
- Visit the meandering trails and stunning lookout of Cabo da Roca on the edge of the European continent
- Indulge in the charming seaside resort ambiance and historical streets of Cascais, situated on tranquil bay that connects to the Atlantic Ocean
- Discover the splendor of Lisbon during a private tour that will uncover the vibrant ceramic tile art and grandeur remaining from the “Golden Age of Discovery”
- Stroll through Portugal’s oldest university and traverse the antique neighborhoods filled with narrow cobbled lanes in the town of Coimbra
- Embrace the grandeur as you tour the rooms and salons of the Palacio da Bolsa in Porto
- Relax in style at a historical estate that overlooks the Douro Valley
- Relish the wondrous mixture of antique charm and contemporary luxury in your handpicked accommodations across Portugal
Portugal has sent explorers to the far reaches of the globe for more than half a millennium, and their sailors have returned to their shores with treasures from far away lands that have in turn shaped local style and culture. Your 7-day tour of Portugal will offer you insight into the past and present lives of Lisboetas in Lisbon to Tripeiros in Porto. Your journey will begin with your arrival at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado International Airport, and your private transfer will escort you to your fabulous hotel at the heart of Old Town. Settle in a bit, and then meet your guide to explore the various neighborhoods of Lisbon to catch the unique flavor of the city set beneath the soaring walls of the Castle of St. Jorge.
Wake the next morning to venture out into the city to explore the splendors of the past and the wonders of contemporary lifestyle at your leisure. Traverse the Jerónimos Monastery to view the 15th-century design and the tomb of Vasco de Gama. Wander the galleries of the Museu Nacional de Arte Antia to view the national collection of artifacts returned from the former colonies in Africa and Asia. Depart from Lisbon the next day and set out for Coimbra. En route, you will stop at the seaside town of Cascais to enjoy the breeze, the view, and the remarkable history. Continue to the viewpoint at Cabo da Roca to reach the edge of the European continent before arriving at the beautiful estate connected to Coimbra. Travel next to discover the splendors of Coimbra’s cobbled streets and the allure of the riverside. Visit the old university and the 12th-century Monastery of Santa Cruz as you take it all in.
Move on from Coimbra to the enchanting hillsides over the Douro River Valley and the town of Pinhao. Enjoy the remainder of the day as you relax at a chateau surrounded by vineyards. Take to the valley the next day with a private wine tour to sample the stunning Port and selected varietals cultivated around the banks of the Douro River, including a visit to one of the oldest vineyards in the region. The following morning, transfer to Porto for a full day tour of the narrow cobbled streets and bridges that traverse the banks of the Douro River. The city has a unique pride that complements the grand architecture that decorates the hills. Conclude the next day as you travel to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport for your flight home.
$1,395 per person (excluding international flights)
- 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.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.93 stars based on 642 reviews
"We didn't need to think about ground transportation or...
Reviewed By Tim Z.
"His warmth and sense of humor shined through in our email...
Reviewed By Terry W.
"We fit a lot in this trip thanks to the good planning."
Reviewed By Candi L.
"[Our travel planner] customized our itinerary to fit our...
Reviewed By Srinivas G.
"The agency was focused on making sure we were safe and...
Reviewed By Suzanne C.
"My wife and I were able to relax for 12 days and take in...
Reviewed By Chris G.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era