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Country Roads of Portugal - Insight Vacations

Portugal

The small kingdom on the edge of the Iberian Peninsula blossomed in the 16th Century to become one of the world’s great seafaring nations. During the great Age of Discovery, Portugal was at the vanguard of world exploration, which brought vast wealth and riches. This is evidenced in the Manueline architecture – the palaces, monasteries and churches that were filled with gold from the new world. Nowadays, modern explorers will find colourful fishing villages and small, fortified towns, glorious sun-kissed beaches, sacred sites, heavily cultivated hills, neat terraced vineyards and vast flat plains.

View more trips to Portugal.


Featured Trips

  • Portugal's great discoveries brought trade and wealth which left their mark throughout the Kingdom. Witness this legacy, from the sunny beaches of the Algarve to the vineyards of the Douro Valley.

  • Delve beneath the surface of these two amazing countries. Sample their signature dishes, share in their culture and marvel the legacy of their rich sea-faring history. Combination Option: This tour combines with Northern Spain to form Grand Tour of Spain & Portugal

  • Follow the fortunes of the Spanish, Portuguese and Moorish Kingdoms as evidenced in their grand castles, stupendous religious buildings and incredible works of art.

Lisbon is strewn over seven hills and packed with historical attractions, Art Nouveau architecture, leafy parks and squares. Take in magnificent views from the castle of Sao Jorge before exploring the stairways and narrow streets of the old Alfama quarter. Like Portuguese royalty of yore, escape the summer heat for the lovely gardens and villas of hilltop Sintra, or visit the glamorous resort of Cascais. Outside of the capital, Fatima is renowned as a place of pilgrimage, where a vision of Mary is reputed to have taken place before three local children. Wine enthusiasts should make their way to Oporto, home of the sweet Port wine, but don’t miss the magnificent bridges, baroque Church of St. Francis and grand Stock Exchange. It’s so easy to get joyfully lost in the narrow medieval streets of some of Portugal’s most charming cities. Walk within the walls of Obidos, a 13th-century village, traditionally gifted to new Portuguese queens on their wedding day, or explore well-preserved Evora - an architectural jewel box dating back to Roman times. 

On the third Sunday of each month, gather to watch the Changing of the Guard and Charanga in front of the Presidential Palace. In a time-honoured ritual, 28 horsemen from the Cavalry Regiment perform ceremonial military marches. For great views, ascend Lisbon’s iconic elevadores (three funiculars and one Eiffel Tower-esque lift) which connect downtown areas with the hilly districts.

Travel Director recommendation

Food for thought

Try to learn a few phrases to use on your vacation. It's amazing how far a 'hello' or 'thank you' will go with the locals - your Travel Director will be around to help if you get stuck.
Tour Director - Gigi Smith

Gigi Smith-Bromage

Travel Director, Western Europe

Factfile

Know before you go
  • Spring

    Mar-May

    Cloudy

    Av temp: 17˚C63˚F

  • Summer

    Jun-Sep

    Sun

    Av temp: 23˚C73˚F

  • Autumn

    Oct-Nov

    Cloudy

    Av temp: 21˚C70˚F

  • Winter

    Dec-Feb

    Rain

    Av temp: 12˚C54˚F

  • Time difference

    London GMT + 0hr

  • Currency

    Euro (EUR, €)

When to go: Portugal's outstanding climates means good temperatures all year round.