Espíritu Travel’s Immersive Portugal 15-day trip will take you to explore all of Portugal’s hidden gems. The perfect mix of culture, gastronomy, nature and history, this trip will take you beyond Lisbon and Porto for a truly authentic experience.
Day 1 Welcome to PortugalLisbon
Upon arrival, you are met by the driver who will take you to the hotel.
This afternoon, you enjoy a gourmet food tour in Lisbon’s authentic winding alleys and taste the incredible flavors of Portuguese gastronomy. Campo de Ourique is a city within the city! Wake up your taste buds for the flavors and your senses for the history and culture of this pioneer neighborhood that sets the food culture and gastronomic trends of Lisbon. You will visit seven spots that brilliantly link tradition with modernity. They have reinvented restaurant concepts – from the market to the hotel-school – and have created culinary recipes that have become world famous.
Today you’ll get to discover Lisbon on a full-day tour visiting key sites and some well-kept secrets, exposing the city’s unique atmosphere and authenticity. This will be a fun adventure as you travel around the city utilizing the yellow tram system broken up with relaxed strolls. Make sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes.
The tour includes the following:
- Praça do Comércio: the largest of Lisbon’s plazas
- Baixa: the ‘new city’, built after the devastating 1755 earthquake
- Praça da Figueira: Lisbon’s traditional market square
- Rossio: the heart of downtown Lisbon
- Iron Lift Viewpoint: a stellar 360º view over the downtown district
- Largo do Carmo: the setting for the democratic revolution of 1974
- Carmo ruins: the only Gothic monument of the city
- St. Roque Church: a Baroque extravaganza
- Bairro Alto: the lively bohemian district
- Chiado: the city’s most elegant shopping area
- Portas do Sol: a breathtaking view over Alfama (the Old Town)
- In the evening, you’ll wine and dine at one of the best Fado restaurants in Lisbon for traditional Portuguese cuisine with interludes of authentic Fado singing and music.
Day 3Day trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
The area surrounding Lisbon offers an incredible variety of architecture and scenery, from fairytale palaces to romantic towns and breathtaking viewpoints. Today’s guided excursion is the ideal way to experience some of these attractions.
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will deliver you to the first stop on the tour: Sintra. This village—about 30 minutes by car from the capital—is a harmonic combination of history and fantasy, described as a “glorious Eden” by the British poet Lord Byron in the 18th century. You will have free time to explore on your own and have lunch, and your guide can recommend some imposing monuments and wonderful palaces that are worth a visit.
Your next stop will be the Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Portugal and mainland Europe. Enjoy the gorgeous views across the Atlantic Ocean as waves crash onto the shore. On the return trip to Lisbon, you will have time to appreciate the fishing harbor and tourist center of Cascais, the former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, and nowadays an excellent spot for surfing. You’ll also be able to visit the luxury entertainment town of Estoril, known for its casino (the largest in Europe) and attractive gardens.
After the excursion, you’ll have the remainder of the day to enjoy Lisbon any way you’d like.
Today, you’ll have a free day in Lisbon to enjoy the city any way you’d like! If you’ve seen enough of the city and are anxious to explore other areas, here are some excellent day-trip ideas:
Fátima & Nazaré: Religiously significant, Fatimá is the site of an important Catholic shrine, Our Lady of Fatima. From there you’ll continue to the coastal town of Nazaré for a completely different type of sightseeing: the site of the biggest wave ever surfed.
Jeronimos Monastery: This glorious example of ancient architecture was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Located near the Tagu River, the monastery was commissioned in the late 15th century by King Manuel I, to honor Our Lady and Saint Jerome.
Sesimbra: This is a great village to stroll along the beach and just watch the world go by. You can also pay a visit to Sesimbra’s beautifully-restored central church, or head uphill to Sesimbra Castle. If you have time on the way back, you can also make a stop in Almada for spectacular views over Lisbon.
Óbidos: The historical medieval village of Óbidos definitely merits its own day trip. Surely one of the best-preserved old towns in Portugal, visitors will be delighted by its cobbled streets and sunnily painted houses.
Arrábida Natural Park: For something more active, take a kayaking trip in Arrábida Natural Park and admire the gorgeous views from the water as you paddle through its tranquil river systems. You’ll have the chance to discover numerous hidden caves and secluded beaches; pack a picnic lunch.
Day 5Visit to Fatima Sanctuary / Nazare Fisherman Village / Obidos Medieval Village
A perfect excursion for those who love to travel through the singular and traditional Portuguese heritage, this excursion will lead you through four of the most important and picturesque towns and villages of Portugal. Your first stop will be the beautiful town of Óbidos. Filled with cobbled streets and typical painted houses, the entire town is encircled by solid walls. Then you will proceed to Batalha, where the Monastery impresses, is a great masterpiece of late Gothic architecture.
Afterward, continue to Coimbra, Portugal’s medieval capital for more than a century and it’s home to the country’s oldest and most prestigious university. Its steeply-stacked historic center dates to Moorish times and is wonderfully atmospheric with its dark cobbled lanes and monumental cathedral.
Day 6Coimbra – Porto
This morning you meet with a local guide for a two hour visit to this city. During this walking tour through the Historical Center of Coimbra you discover the different reasons that allowed for such classification, going from the Downtown to the Uppertown while it is unveiled its importance in the History of Portugal and the material and immaterial values within the classified perimeter. This visit, conducted by residents of Coimbra and former students of the oldest institution in the Country – the University – will make you fall in love for this city and feel yourself as part of the academic traditions as someone who had already lived them intensely!
After lunch, travel to Aveiro. Situated on the edge of an extensive coastal lagoon system, Aveiro (uh-vey-roo) is a prosperous town with a good-looking center and a youthful, energetic buzz. It’s occasionally dubbed the Venice of Portugal thanks to its small network of picturesque canals. But where the Italian city has gondolas, Aveiro has moliceiros – colorful boats traditionally used for seaweed-harvesting but now used for canal cruises. Self-guided visit.
Finishing the day in Porto.
This morning, you will head out to start a private half-day excursion in Porto. This excursion will lead you through the most important landmarks of Portugal’s second most populous city. Settled by Romans, this is an emblematic city known for its delicious Port Wine, medieval townhouses stack up beside the beautiful Douro River and churches wearing their blue-and-white “azulejo” tiles. Afterward, the rest of the day is on your own.
Day 8Day trip Douro Valley
Learn the production process of Port wine at one of the best vineyards in the Douro Valley.
Be delighted with some perfect Port wine tastings. Visit a local olive oil producer, as olive oil is also one of the most regarded products of Douro Valley. Have a boat trip in the Douro Valley. Take photos at some magnificent viewpoints over the Douro river: you will understand why the Douro Valley is considered one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world!
Day 9Day Trip to Peneda- Gerês National Park
Immerse yourself in Portugal’s wild landscape on this full-day small-group tour of Peneda- Gerês National Park from Porto. Explore the only Portuguese National Park, hike incredible mountains, admiring local fauna and flora, amazing viewpoints and mesmerizing waterfalls. Enjoy a traditional picnic lunch in one of Gerês most iconic viewpoints while you rest with the mountain at your feet and admire the gorgeous surrounding scenery.
Highlights of the trip
Beautiful natural landscapes of Peneda-Gerês National Park
Discover the magnificent natural running waters of the park
Mellow trek to see the beautiful lagoons and Waterfalls (Tahiti Waterfall)
Swim in the therapeutic cold waters
Lovely pastoral mountain views along the drive
Hike into the wild and enjoy the beautiful surroundings
Be amazed at the viewpoint of Pedra Bela
World Biosphere Reserve
Day 10Porto – Tomar – Évora
Today, you have a car delivered to the hotel.
In route, you can make a stop in Tomar to visit the Convento de Cristo, which forms a beautiful backdrop from almost any vantage point. Eight-and-a-half centuries after its founding, this venerable headquarters of the legendary Knights Templar is a rambling concoction of Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architecture that bears extravagant witness to its integral role in centuries of Portuguese history, from the founding of Portugal as a nation-state to the Age of Discoveries. You will need 1,5 to 2 hours to visit the monastery. Self-guided visit.
After visiting Tomar, you can also make another stop at Almourol Castle. Located on the top of a small rocky island in the middle of the Tagus river, this sandstone castle has been described as one of the most picturesque fortresses in the country. The history of the castle dates back almost 2,000 years, and despite its respectable age, the Castle of Almourol has been very well kept. The rocky island has long been a strategically important point, controlling the waterway along the Tagus. It is widely accepted that the name comes from the Arabic word almorolan, which means ‘high rock’. Indeed, this definition perfectly describes the wonderful location of the castle. Self-guided visit.
After visiting these two places, continue to Évora.
Day 11Explore the Alentejo region
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll have the entire day to explore more of Évora at your own pace—a small city blessed with a large number of national monuments inside its ancient Moorish walls.
Alternatively, you could get in a car and drive around the surrounding Alentejo region, Portugal’s biggest, which covers about 30% of the country. The sparsely populated yet vast swath of land between the Algarve region and Lisbon offers scenic rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards, and charming fortified towns with a number of walking trails, Neolithic monuments, rustic wineries, and cork production facilities.
No matter how you spend your day, enjoy the slow pace of life; residents in the Alentejo region are more traditional than other parts of Portugal, reflected in their home-cooked cuisine and local handicrafts.
Day 12Évora – Algarve
Travel to the Algarve. Travel to Lagos: 3 hours
Today, you’ll have the entire day to explore the incredibly scenic area in and around Lagos, its nearby beaches, and the larger Algarve Region any way you’d like.
If you haven’t spent much time in the port city of Lagos yet, it’s definitely worth some time to wander through its 16th-century inner walls for cobblestoned streets and inviting squares. You’ll also find a great range of restaurants and nightlife options both inside and outside the walls (not surprisingly, outside is more modern).
If beaches are high on the list, you’ll find a number of dreamy options to choose from offering a variety of services, watersports, and boat excursions. For example, there’s Pinhao Beach, a peaceful cove known for its secluded, picturesque setting. Another option is the Ponta da Piedade, which offers more dramatic sandstone cliffs and bright turquoise water (a range of boat tours depart from here). Meanwhile, Praia do Camilo enjoys a memorable view from the top while 200 wooden steps lead to a sheltered sandy cove.
The scenery doesn’t stop there: If you have a car, the surrounding Algarve region offers plenty to see and do within its pristine natural parks, bustling resort towns, and authentic white-washed villages.
Enjoy your time in the Algarve
Day 15Algarve – Lisbon Depart
It’s time to say goodbye to Portugal! At the designated time you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport. Tchau Portugal!
MAP IMMERSIVE PORTUGAL
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