This romantic journey takes you effortlessly by train to the three main cities of Portugal to uncover the truth behind the age old Portuguese saying that “Lisbon shows off, whilst Porto works and Coimbra studies”.
From the fashionable streets of Lisbon where the great explorers set sail to discover new lands; travel to medieval Coimbra, the oldest seat of learning in the country with its 18th Century Baroque library, Romanesque and Manueline churches. Finally you arrive to Porto to see the colourful patchwork houses and cruise along the river Douro to the majestic wine estates.
This holiday can start on any date you request with arrival to Lisbon or Porto .
Day One - Arrive Lisbon and transfer to your hotel for 3 nights
Lisbon is one of the least visited of the ancient European capitals. A fascinating city which lays itself out like a map, tracing the indelible marks left by its colourful and diverse history and cultural influences. Much remains of this Golden Age with castles, monasteries, towers and palaces defining the skyline but the real joy of Lisbon is in soaking up its laid back feel, losing yourself in the cobbled village-like streets, taking a ride on yellow trams and dining in a pretty shaded square.
Day Two - A full day private guided tour of Lisbon
Spend a full day with a local expert guide exploring Lisbon on foot and also with a minivan to reach the more out of the way parts of the city. Wander the winding streets of one of Lisbon’s liveliest areas, before going to Lisbon Cathedral, the oldest church in the city. Visit the Alfama district, an ancient barrio, walking down twisting cobblestone streets and stairs lined with quaint cafés en route to Belém; learn how the city expanded during the period of the “Age of Discoveries.” Marvel at the dazzling facade of Jerónimos Monastery, one of Portugal’s architectural jewels plus visit the defensive Belém Tower at the mouth of the River Tagus and taste a traditional Pastel de Belém custard tart after lunch.
In the afternoon you will head back to the city centre, following the 18th-century aqueduct to one of Lisbon’s hidden gems; the Mãe d'Água Reservoir in the Amoreiras district. Finish in the Baixa area, and learn how Lisbon was rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1755. Baixa is also one of the best places to enjoy Lisbon by night!
Day Three - Day trip on the train to Sintra and the Estoril coast
Take a day trip on the train to the summer residence of the Portuguese Kings and Moorish sultans of Lisbon. Once popular with 18th Century British travellers; Byron wrote “to see the world and leave out Sintra is to go blind about”. One of the most romantic & mystical places in the world, the town loops around green wooded ravines, where fairy tale turreted palaces rise out of misty forests and the locals say that magical powers lurk in the hills and valleys.
Day Four - Transfer by train to Coimbra for 2 nights
Coimbra was the setting of the forbidden love of King Dom Pedro I, the first King of Brazil, and Dona Ines a lady of his court. Once the capital of Portugal in the Middle Ages, it was the Renaissance that transformed the city into a place of knowledge and the university library is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. The city is a great place to lose yourself within the labyrinth of streets filled with flower filled balconies and hidden courtyards.
Day Five - A free day in Coimbra with an early evening Fado show
At the top of the old town stands the university and heading towards the iron entrance gate should be your first port of call today. The central courtyard dominated by the Baroque clock tower has sweeping views of the city and the river below. However, it is the library that pales all else before with its fantasy of marbled wood, gold leaf, frescoed ceilings, wooden shelves and ancient books.
For this evening you will have seats booked at a traditional Coimbra Fado show where the voices are accompanied by the Portuguese Viola. This intimate venue showcases the cities best talent who explain the significance and meaning of each piece to help your understanding of the traditional music. After the show each guest is treated to a glass of port.
Day Six - Transfer by train to Porto for 2 nights
A colourful and rambling, dramatically situated city, Porto is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance with art galleries, fine restaurants and the refurbishment of much of the cities priceless architecture all breathing new life in to the “invincible city” of the north. The perfect place to wander with lines of brightly coloured, patchwork houses clinging to the riverbank.
Day Seven - Day trip through the Douro valley with lunch, wine tasting and a river cruise
Today you will explore the UNESCO listed Douro port producing region on a full day tour travelling through swathes of vineyards, clinging to the river banks. You will have lunch in Pinhao before visiting one of the award winning Port estates for a guided tour and tasting session and finish off the day with a river cruise aboard one of the traditional rabelo boats that were once used to transport the port from the growers to the bodegas and warehouses in Porto.
Day Eight - Depart Porto or transfer back to Lisbon and say farewell to Portugal!
Your first hotel in Portugal is a small boutique converted 18th century palace located in the historic centre next to the National Ancient Art Museum…
In Coimbra you will stay in a retreat of comfort and charm that was enjoyed by Kings and Emperors in past centuries.. .
from 1395.00 Euros per person *
* Price per person, based on two people sharing a standard double or twin room:
Please note these prices do not take in to consideration local and national holidays which may increase hotel rates for certain dates throughout the year.
Please enquire for an exact quote for your required dates and particular room requirements.
I want you to know that we love Lemon Valley! Every boutique hotel was a delight; well centered, brightly colored and with courteous staff. The city guides were informative and caring, willing to help in any way requested. ALL arrangements for trains and hotels were 100% perfect. We have NEVER had such a wonderful tour.
The customized trip to Lisbon, Porto, Seville, & Granada that you planned for us was outstanding!
We loved all of the boutique hotels and our modern apartment in Porto. The breakfasts were all so good (maybe too good) & the locations we’re perfect. Very easy access to sights and restaurants.
We enjoyed all of the private and small group tours you booked. All of the guides did a great job and had such good personalities. Our lunch on the Douro Valley wine tour was one of the best meals we had.
Wouldn’t change a thing.
Thank you so much for planning such a memorable trip.
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