Portugal sets a scene for romance to thrive with cobbled azulejo-clad streets, 9th-century hilltop palaces, quaint medieval towns, and terraced Douro vineyards. You cannot help but be caught up together, and while the backdrops will change, with each stop you will delve deeper into the local culture, luxuriating on Portugal’s fine cuisine, wine, art, and history. One week is plenty of time when you are just two, as Porto and Obidos are destinations from a dream, Lisbon rivals Paris for romantic...
Porto – Luxuriating With Port and Fine Dining
Porto is always quick to charm. Draped along both sides of the Douro River, dominated by steep cobbled lanes, this northern city proffers its pride with ease. Your hotel is tucked into the UNESCO World Heritage area and beside the chiming of cathedral bells and the clip-clop of life from the medieval age. Everyone falls in love with the city at first glance, so you can get lost in the mazy lanes, and the azulejo begins to dominate your memory. Get too lost and just descend, for all paths eventually lead to the river and a series of waterside cafes and restaurants.
After some free time to get your bearings, your guide will take you across the river in a paddleboat with an iconic bridge arching high above you. Welcoming you on the opposite bank is Vila Nova de Gaia, where enormous port cellars line up beside old boats. Traveling slowly now you will delve into one of these cellars, following the lines of barrels as peculiar smells flicker through the room. Up and out you go, back into the light and an expansive terrace with superb views over the river and city. This is one of Portugal’s best restaurants, and the dinnertime menu pairs fine food with port and Douro wine, a sumptuous introduction to the country’s gastronomy with a sunset view to boot.
Porto – Immersed in the World of Azulejo Tiles
Douro Valley – Douro Valley Scenic Drive for a Remote Vineyard Stay
Obidos – Portugal’s Finest Medieval Memoirs
Lisbon – Exploring Lisbon’s Neighborhoods on Tram 28
Lisbon – The Fairytale Palaces of Sintra and an Evening Fado Performance
Lisbon – Free Time in Lisbon and Departure
- Escape to the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley and a luxurious stay amid terraced vineyards
- Wander the cobblestone streets of Porto, surrounding yourself with blue azulejo tiles
- Explore the old palaces of Sintra, where the experience could come from a fairytale
- Enter through the old city gate in Obidos and immerse yourself in one of Europe’s finest and most complete medieval towns
- Toast to romance with a fine dining port pairing in one of the country’s most revered restaurants
- Cruise through Lisbon on Tram 28, the easiest way to explore the city in privacy
- Listen to the beauty of Fado, in the district where this distinctive art form originated
Dream of romance in Europe and first thoughts are often of Paris or Italy, places where there are a thousand ways to say I love you but nowhere quiet to enjoy the moment. Portugal may not be known as a romantic destination, but the country really sets the scene. Cruise through a landscape of terraced vineyards on a traditional wooden vessel used to deliver wine barrels, or wander through a 9th-century palace on a forested hilltop seemingly cut off from the world. While Portugal does not have the famous art galleries, its cobbled streets are living art collections clad in blue azulejo tiles.
In Portugal, there are destinations and settings for romance to thrive, and you will have the space to really enjoy it all. Portugal can be a private getaway where these fantastic settings are not overcrowded or overrun by other couples. There are countless reasons why Portugal is becoming Europe’s next big travel destination, but for now, it is retaining its cultural authenticity and intimacy. The ease of travel is another highlight. On a seven-day vacation, you really get seven days of experiences, as you will not lose a day or two with actual travel.
Handcrafted to celebrate Portugal’s most romantic places, this 7-day tour will take you to Porto, the Douro Valley, Obidos, and Lisbon. Your itinerary will include a mix of privately-guided tours and fully private experiences, along with some of the country’s most exclusive places to stay. All transfers are private, and a number of restaurant reservations have been made because Portugal is not Portugal without luxuriating on the cuisine, so your week will include a fine food and port pairing at a cellar on day one, plus an atmospheric Fado tavern for your final night.
Fly to Porto and find your feet as you take a stroll along the old-world streets, footsteps on cobbles as azulejo tiles set the scene. In a wooden rabelo boat, you will be paddled over the Douro River to Vila Nova de Gaia, where all of the port cellars are located. Explore one of the famous cellars before your evening of fine dining with port. On day two you explore Porto’s famous sights and local secrets, with a guide taking you around the UNESCO World Heritage center. It will be a relaxed four-hour tour that ensures you still have plenty of private time later in the day.
Travel onwards in your traditional wooden boat, the rabelo kind that was used to transport wine barrels up and down the Douro. Meandering into the heart of the wine-lands you will soon be surrounded by terraced slopes with a silence emanating from the landscape. Check into a vineyard retreat and indulge in the privacy with wine tasting provided on your private terrace, plus opportunity to walk amid the vines. The Douro Valley is another of Portugal’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and you can really escape the everyday here on a landscape that is barely accessible by road.
The next day you will travel south, stopping in Batalha and Alcobaca to admire their enormous medieval monasteries. This 7-day tour is not big on sights, but these two monasteries are breathtaking in both scale and detail, unmissable on the road to Obidos. By mid-afternoon, you will be in the ancient city. Enter through the medieval gate, wander the many alleyways, get lost in all the charm, and realize why this is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Lisbon is a 90-minute onward transfer south with an option to stop by a couple of Atlantic Ocean destinations on your route, and this is recommended if you are both fans of high-quality seafood.
Arrive in the picturesque capital and spend your afternoon and evening on Tram 28. Bending across this city of hills, the tram is a romantic way of exploring Lisbon at your own pace. There is still a full day to go so you can dive into the palaces of Sintra, surreal places with over a millennia of history. Then there is Fado, a magical performance in the district this art form originated, with food and fine wine accompanying the show. With a late flight out of Lisbon, you will have the full day to enjoy Portugal’s capital at leisure, perhaps out at a beach or down the elegant shopping boulevards of Baixa. Read more here about the other exceptional experiences our travelers have appreciated in their travel reviews of Portugal.
$1,815 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
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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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