Europe 2018 - Insight Vacations

Spain, Portugal & Morocco

Country Roads

Country Roads of Portugal (Summer 2018)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Portugal

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • 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 International 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 Paço, 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. Enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same, secret recipe for almost 200 years. 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, continue to your resort hotel 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 to experience the natural beauty of the region, with a boat cruise and visit to one of the nearby coastal towns?

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Everlasting Évora.

    Journey to the medieval walled city of Évora 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, you may wish to continue to stroll through Évora’s unique historical centre, or the serene city park, following 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 Évora where the evening 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 Óbidos. Walk inside its walls to explore the craft shops, art galleries and flower-laden houses that line the narrow, medieval streets. Continue to Fátima, 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 Douro 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.
  • Lagos: Explore this coastal town nestled on Meia Praia, with your Travel Director.
  • Monsaraz: Surrounded by cork oaks and vineyards, wander through the castle ruins to admire the incredible view over the Spanish plains that contrast with the blue of one of Europe's largest artificial lakes.
  • 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.
  • Obidos: Lead by your Travel Director, walk through the picturesque narrow streets up to the main square of this ancient walled town.
  • Guimarães: Enjoy views from the ruined castle and explore the maze of streets in the historic Old Quarter.
  • Porto: See the iconic bridges and buildings decorated in tiles.
  • Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the view as you travel through the Alentejo region and along the Tagus and Douro rivers.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Lisbon: Delight in a taste 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.

Fado Evening

Known as ''the soul of the Portuguese identity'', Fado is the emotive folk music for which Lisbon is famous. Take in an unmissable performance of this UNESCO-recognised art form in one of the country's most prestigious Fado houses. To complete the experience, savour a typical Portuguese dinner, with wine included.

Adult Price: EUR 66.00

Code: LIS0002

Seafood Dinner by the Tagus River

Across the mighty Tagus River await Lisbon's famous seafood restaurants and wonderful views of the city. Board your ferry to cross the wide blue waters for a delightful evening of Portuguese seafood and fish specialities. After dinner, encounter more sweeping views over the Portuguese capital, as you return to your hotel via the impressive suspension bridge.

Adult Price: EUR 53.00

Code: LIS0004

Cascais, Estoril & Queluz Excursion

Like the Kings of Portugal before you, travel along the Portuguese Riviera and join your local expert at the glamorous resort of Cascais and the Queluz Palace – veritable jewels in the crown of Portugal. Then, we'll return to Lisbon via the wealthy playground of Estoril with its famous Casino and learn of the inspiring people who frequented Portugal's Golden Triangle.

Adult Price: EUR 46.00

Code: LIS0005

Algarve Coast Boat Cruise & Harbourside Evening

Admire Portugal's Atlantic shores and the expansive ocean horizon during a cruise on the 18-metre Yacht Moena. Afterwards, enjoy free time in Vilamoura's renowned harbour for dinner and an evening stroll. Please note: There is a minimum number of participants required to run this optional experience.

Adult Price: EUR 35.00

Code: ALG0002

Dinner by the Douro and River Cruise

Aboard a traditional Rabelo boat, marvel at the sites along Porto's Douro River and its delta. As the setting sun highlights Porto's historic skyline, enjoy a range of Portuguese specialities with wine from the comfort of your riverside restaurant.

Adult Price: EUR 59.00

Code: OPO0003

Braga & Bom Jesus

Spend your morning with a local guide travelling through the lush green Minho, Portugal's most northerly province, stopping at its capital, Braga. See Europe's largest and most magnificent sculpted Baroque staircase ascending the forested hillside to the 'Bom Jesus' sanctuary. We arrive using a 19th-Century water-powered funicular. Finally, a walk through Braga's historic centre brings to life this ancient and innovative city.

Adult Price: EUR 36.00

Code: OPO0002

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.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10664 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 17 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great value for money, got to see what we wanted in a well organized way.

    Service: There attention to detail is what makes Insight tours so enjoyable, no hassle, everyone knows what is happening and when. Have recommended them many times in the past and we have our next trip already planned

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I will travel with insight again.

    Service: Liked the hotels. The tour director, the sites, the coach, the tours not the farm to table experience in Pinhíon

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Covered most of Portugal and travelled through the countryside we wanted to see. As always there were so many wonderful places to see, we wanted to stay longer in some.

    Service: I was very impressed with our travel guide who was called in at the last moment due to a n emergency. Nothing was too much trouble, and he wanted the best experience for us that he could arrange, even though we had to alter some bookings due to the feast of St John in Porta. We enjoyed all the arrangements Our driver was very careful and we had the utmost trust in his driving ability a all times. The bus and the itinerary were excellent.

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We loved where we visited and the hotels were excellent.

    Service: We loved the itinerary, the group and the Tour Director.

  • 10 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great exposure to the country!

    Service: Every Tour Guide and Driver has been been wonderful, but our Tour Guide and Driver on this trip made us feel especially pampered. The hotels were the most gorgeous ever!

  • 09 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: occasionally it was very tiresome. waking up early is too much

    Service: Sara, the tour director was an excellent guide. Very friendly and knowledgeable.. very helpful and kind.

  • 09 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great assortment of small towns and big cities (Lisbon and Porto). Duro valley was beautiful.

    Service: Sara the tour director was fabulous, always in control, responsive to issues, always coming up with upside surprises, great recommendations for activities and restaurants, good lectures on history and language - worth 6 stars. Hotels were very nice, the optional river cruise and dinner by the Duro river was great. Bus driver Joao was very skilled and smooth.

  • 07 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: All the sights were excellent and the tour guide made things special.

    Service: The tours were excellent so was the tour guide and driver. For the first time i will rate the meals provided by Insight as very good; that has not always been the case in the past. Hotels were exceptionally good. my only problem was that the company in London that coordinates transportation from the airport to hotel when I arrived a day earlier for the tour could not find my booking, I had to make several phone calls and was very tired and frustrated. A driver finally showed up an hour after with no apologies or explanation and I never received a call back from the London office that someone would be coming to pick me up. Very disappointing.

  • 05 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The hotels and the general planning was very good.. In the Moroccan trip at the begining we were all together in the hotel and each person had to identify themselves and where they were from, this was not done on the Portugal trip thus it took longer to get to know people

    Service: Well run very good hotels

  • 03 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great hotel and lots of variety on the tour.

    Service: The tour was not rushed, yet we saw quite a lot of Portugal. I loved the hotels, they were all very good.

  • 02 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I feel the tour could have gone to a more interesting place than Lagos maybe a stop where the spectacular coastline could have been viewed. Apart from the Algarve the rest of the tour was fabulous.

    Service: An excellent experience. The tour director Rafael was very helpful, informative and new his subject very well. The local experts we also excellent giving us an insight into local history, customs and cultural differences of the region to the rest of Portugal. We had a great bunch of people on tour from all parts of the world and various cultures. We made some wonderful contacts who we will keep in contact with. Well done Insight, we will definitely tour with your company again.

  • 02 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Was good as we get to see the country in 11 days. All the hotels were excellent except the last one on our final day (Dom Pedro) where we thought the front desk staff (a man whom I cannot remember the name) was rather rude. I simply ask if the bottled water were chargeable or complimentary given that all the hotels we had stayed at since day 1 of this trip had provided one or two bottles of complimentary water. Maybe he was busy or had a lousy day and he just replied curtly...everything is chargeable, nothing is free. Aside from this annoying staff of the hotel, we find the trip very enjoyable and well planned. So I still give rate this trip as 5 star as I understand sometimes you just meet strange people on trips.... Our Tour Director (Raphael) and Coach Driver (Mr. Manuel) were excellent and wonderful throughout. It was a shame that they could not be present during the farewell dinner which had to be changed from the original location to the hotel as we were expecting bad traffic conditions due to a local festivity and the roads were largely closed. I would definitely recommend Insight Vacations to family and friends who are visiting Europe and want to do it as a package tour.

    Service: We purchased the vacation through a local agent of Insight Vacation. No direct interaction with customer service of Insight Vacation. Service of local agent was excellent.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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