Luxuriate along the water as you escape to Northern Portugal and Madeira. Imagine azulejo tiles and port cellars in Porto, cruising along the Douro River, enveloped by vineyards, and then an oceanfront retreat in Funchal, used as a relaxed base for discovering Madeira. In this corner of the world, you can take things slowly while being completely surrounded by local culture and beauty. With one week in Portugal, some might think you would need to hurry, but this is one corner of the world where...
Porto – The Evocative Heart of Northern Portugal
Back-dropped by granite cliffs and perched over the Douro River, Porto is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities. Port cellars cascade along one bank, their famous names illuminated the evening sky while lanes of charming cobblestone fill the other bank, winding up the hill towards Sao Bento Station. Neither side of this UNESCO World Heritage center is wide enough for vehicle traffic, so the soundtrack is generated by your own footsteps and by the harmonious ringing of church bells. The riverside promenades are flat and easy to walk on, and the good news is that you will not need to walk far, nor will you want to walk fast when azulejo tiles line the lanes everybody likes to take it slowly.
Land at Porto’s airport and you will be greeted at the arrivals gate by your guide. Transfer into old Porto and your hotel porter will meet your vehicle where the road ends. The final few minutes are on foot as you will be staying at a boutique hotel inside the city’s medieval core, and you will be escorted right to your hotel room door. Your guide will introduce you to Porto over a coffee, wine, or beer, offering some historical context to where you are staying. Nothing specific is planned, and there are a number of beautiful little places within easy walking distance of your hotel so you can easily stretch your legs and relax away the evening in a wine bar or on a restaurant terrace.
Douro Valley – Exploring the Lanes of Azulejo Tiles: Boarding the Boat
Day 3 - 4
Douro Valley – Leisurely Cruise Through the Douro Valley
Funchal – Relaxing on the Coast in Madeira
Funchal – Discovering the Western Half of Madeira