Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Spain, Portugal & Morocco

Country Roads

Country Roads of Portugal (Summer 2018)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Portugal

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

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

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Lisbon.

    On arrival at Lisbon Portela Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Settle in and relax before joining your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Enjoy the the opportunity to mingle with your fellow travellers during a pleasant evening of good food and wine.

  3. Day 3

    Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries.

    Your guided sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and across the tree-shaded squares. Pass beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city, named after the palace that was destroyed in the terrible earthquake of 1755, along with much of the rest of the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. See the traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years and enjoy a tasting of the famous Pastéis de Belém. See the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower, erected to protect Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which you visit. With free time in the afternoon, perhaps take the funicular railway up into the steep alleyways of the old town or explore the terraces of the Alfama district?

  4. Day 4

    The Algarve.

    Cross the River Tagus and head for the sun-drenched southern coast to reach Lagos, a fishing port nestled on the bay of Meia Praia. After free time to explore, your resort hotel is a short drive and set within a magnificent 360-acre estate. Simplicity is in the soul of Algarve cuisine, along with seafood so fresh it still tastes of the sea. The small coastal towns and fishing ports house a rich variety of restaurants and your Travel Director knows the best! Why not join an Optional Experience and enjoy a delightful evening of wine and classic seafood dishes rooted in the region?

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Everlasting Évora.

    Journey to the medieval walled city of Evora where cathedrals, churches, aqueducts and ancient castle walls all serve to create the feeling that this beautiful city is a living, breathing museum to Portugal's rich past. Join your Local Expert to explore the highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Roman Temple and visit the Capela dos Ossos, an extraordinary 17th century chapel comprising the skulls and bones of 5,000 bodies. Visit the cathedral with its attractive mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. With the afternoon at leisure, perhaps hire a bicycle or take a stroll through Evora's unique historical centre and follow the aqueduct inside the city walls?

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Monsaraz and Évora.

    Travel to the striking white village of Monsaraz, situated on an imposing hilltop, surrounded by cork oaks and vineyards. From the castle ruins, admire the spectacular views across to the dry Spanish plains, contrasting with the blue of one of Europe's largest artificial lakes. Meet a local boat captain and hear tales of life upon the water during your leisurely cruise. Sit down to a delicious Highlight Lunch in a local restaurant that was formerly an olive oil mill. Savour the local cuisine as your menu is typical of the local Alentejo region and accompanied with wine. Return to Evora where the afternoon is at your leisure to explore this beautifully preserved regional capital.

  7. Day 7

    Scenic drive to Óbidos, Fátima and Tomar.

    Pass cork oak forests and expansive rice fields as you journey to the fortified town of Obidos. Walk inside its walls to explore the craft shops, art galleries and flower-laden houses that line the narrow, medieval streets. Continue to Fatima, Portugal's most renowned place of pilgrimage. See the basilica or perhaps visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Proceed to Tomar and visit one of Portugal's historical jewels, the Templar Castle and Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With your Local Expert, explore the octagonal Templars' Rotunda in the cloister and glimpse the day-to-day life of a warrior monk in the domestic areas. Outside on the battlements, the Manueline Window is perhaps the finest example in the country. You also visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal, housing a small Jewish museum.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Coimbra, the Douro and Pinhão.

    In Coimbra, your Local Expert will show you the highlights of the Old Town, including a visit to the impressive Baroque university library. Journey through the rolling vine-laden hills and along the left bank of the Duoro to arrive at Quinta de Marrocos, the home of the Sequeira family for the past 4 generations. Learn about the family's passion for wine making as you join them for a wonderful Farm-to-Table Dinner, freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients and of course accompanied by wine from the estate.

  9. Day 9

    Guimarães and Porto.

    Journey to Guimaraes, known as the Cradle of Portugal. From the ruined castle there are wonderful views and down in the historic heart lies a web of washing-hung alleyways, cobbled streets and cosy squares with tiny bars and cafes. Continue towards the bright lights of Porto, situated on the Douro and celebrated as the Port wine capital of the world. These famous Port wines are housed in the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores. Walk along corridors of casks and get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. In the evening you are at leisure to enjoy your boutique, five-star hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in the heart of Porto's historical district. The decor is a mix of classic and contemporary and each room is individually decorated with original artwork.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro.

    With a full day free to enjoy at your own pace, why not take a stroll to admire the multi-coloured houses, churches covered in beautiful glazed tiles and the iconic bridges? For a different perspective and excellent views of the city, perhaps embark on a relaxing Douro cruise? In the evening, bid adeus to your Travel Director and fellow travellers with a mouth-watering Celebration Dinner with wine, at an authentic Porto restaurant.

  11. Day 11

    Return to Lisbon.

    Enjoy a relaxed start in Porto before travelling to Lisbon, arriving at your hotel in the early evening.

  12. Day 12

    Depart Lisbon.

    After breakfast, your departure transfer arrives at Lisbon Portela Airport at 07:00 or 09:30.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Évora: Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site with your Local Expert. See the famous Roman Temple, and visit the fascinating cathedral, with its mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, as well as Capela dos Ossos, the Chapel of Bones.
  • Tomar: Dominating the town is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Templar Castle and the Convent of Christ. During your visit with a Local Expert, see the Manueline Window and follow the story of the mysterious Knights Templar.
  • Tomar: Guided by your Local Expert, visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal.
  • Coimbra: With a Local Expert, visit the University and witness the triumphal arches, painted ceilings, golden flourishes and walls of ancient tomes.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Lisbon: There is no better way to explore a city, than with your Local Expert. Wander from the Lower Town, beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco. In the Belém Quarter see the Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Belém Tower.
  • Lisbon: Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries.
  • Fátima: Join the faithful at one of the world’s holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions or see the basilica.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Lisbon: Delight in a tasting of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém, made to the same secret recipe for over 200 years.
  • Monsaraz: Meet a local boat captain and join him for a leisurely cruise, followed by a delicious Alentejo Highlight Lunch in a local restaurant that was once an olive oil mill.
  • Douro River: Meet the Sequeira family who have been living on the left bank of the Douro for four generations. Join them for a freshly-prepared Farm-to-Table Dinner, hear about their passion for wine making and sample their wines.
  • Porto: An informative tour of a famous cellar at Vila Nova de Gaia shows you the views and gives you an opportunity to taste the Port.
  • Porto: Shared experiences and memories are often the foundation for special bonds and friendships. Toast your travels with wine and good cheer during your Celebration Dinner at a restaurant in Porto, devoted to the enjoyment of regional cooking.
  • Dining Summary: 10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Altis Grand Hotel Lisbon

Lisbon (Traditional) - Portugal

This recently-renovated hotel occupies an enviable position in Lisbon.

Ria Park Hotel Spa Almancil Algarve

Almancil, Algarve (Traditional) - Portugal

This hotel is enshrined in luxury and is located in the exclusive Vale de Lobo valley, surrounded by stunning scenery.

MAr De Ar Aqueduto Evora

Evora (Contemporary) - Portugal

Among the white-washed houses of Évora, next to the Roman aqueduct, your 5-star M'Ar de Ar Aqueduto hotel blends part of an old monastery with modern design.

Hotel Dos Tempalrios Tomar

Tomar (Traditional) - Portugal

This hotel enjoys a privileged location in the middle of the city of Tomar, close to the historical centre surrounded by majestic gardens and the Nabão River.

Vintage House Pinhao Douro Valley

Pinhão, Douro Valley (Traditional) - Portugal

The Vintage House Hotel enjoys an idyllic and tranquil riverside location at Pinhão in the authentic heart of the Douro Valley.

Hotel Infante Sagres Porto

Porto (Traditional) - Portugal

Dom Pedro Lisboa

Lisbon (Traditional) - Portugal

This is a luxury 5 star hotel in the centre of Lisbon, which enjoys stunning views over the River Tagus and the Castle of São Jorge.

  • Loved it

    5 out of 5

    Unit 406, United States

    I loved the Country Roads of Portugal tour. My only thing is it was too short. I would have liked to spend a couple of days in Obidios and in Pinhao.

    11 out of 11 people found this comment useful

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  • Portugal country roads tour

    5 out of 5

    Stouffville, Canada

    First time travelling with Insight and have no regrets. We felt safe and every detail was looked after. The hotels were wonderful and our tour guide and driver were over the top professional. Didn't feel rushed but also not bored as they knew how much time was needed at each stop. Our tour guide made great suggestions for free time and even planned extra events for us as the group was interested is staying together. Well done.

    12 out of 14 people found this comment useful

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  • It was a fantastic trip like all the trips we have taken with your company

    1 out of 5

    Bay Harbor Islands, United States

    EXCELLENT

    9 out of 32 people found this comment useful

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  • Awesome Portugal

    5 out of 5

    Concord, United States

    We saw wonderful sights and met nice people from all over the world. The hotels were wonderful and wished on some days we arrived earlier in the day 3:00 pm and would have been able to take advantage of the pool or spa. Our guide George was a true saint with a good sense of humor.nc

    39 out of 40 people found this comment useful

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  • Highlights of Portugal Tour

    5 out of 5

    Phoenixville, United States

    Awesome tour, beautiful country and people. Javier is the best tour manager by far! Local guides were very informative. I would book another Insight tour.

    116 out of 133 people found this comment useful

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