Tour description

THE JEWELS OF PORTUGAL & DOURO VALLEY

Experience the Portuguese lifestyle with a small group of 12/14 travelers only! Secret Tours is thrilled to introduce a trip of a lifetime, the unspoilt Portugal.Cloaked in an air of mystery that has lasted for more than 800 years, Portugal is genuinely diverse, and it is here that all of the most intriguing dualities become inextricably intertwined: past and present, a long cultural heritage and the simple joy of living! Secret Portugal tour takes you to discover the unspoilt beauty of this magical land, with its stunning diversity of enchanting landscapes, long white beaches and pretty coves and fascinating history of proud independence from, and distrust neighbouring Spain. Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians all left their mark on the Iberian nation.

Travel to Portugal with its idyllic climate, dramatic vistas, rolling hills and mountains, lively markets, hearty cuisine, glorious art and architecture, that embodies all things Portuguese. From the warm hospitality of its people to the gorgeous beaches and balmy waters of the Algarve to the intellectual buzz of medieval Coimbra, the pleasures of the Alentejo Wine route and Lisbon’s sights, tastes and sounds.

Portugal is a country of rugged landscapes, sophisticated cities, rural backwaters and sharply contrasting traditions. An Extravagant scenic beauty, a multicultural crossroads with a rich history , an exuberant and richly layered culture and a tradition of food and wine that is celebrated the world over…all converge here in sunny and colourful Portugal!

Portugal is a land of surprises and we are excited to discover it together!

We have a real passion for Portugal and look forward to sharing it with you !

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 11 DAYS/10 NIGHTS
  • Guaranteed departures group travel: small,friendly group of 12/14 participants only!
  • More than 15 included sightseeing tours and cultural experiences
  • Guided tour of LISBON with its historical treasures & popular markets
  • Visit the ALFAMA quarter, the BAIXA, the BELEM districts in Lisbon and more Lisbon beauty
  • An included visit to the JERONIMOS MONASTERY  in Lisbon
  • Try delicious “PASTEIS DE BELEM”
  • Visit fairy tale UNESCO site of SINTRA and its 19th century “PENA PALACE”, summer residence of the Portuguese monarchy
  • Visit remote fortified towns and monasteries
  • Traditional, magical FADO NIGHT with dinner included
  • Experience the famous AZULEJOS – the art of Portuguese ceramic tiles
  • Elegant, ancient city of EVORA with visits to the BONES CHAPEL & ST FRANCISCO CHURCH
  • ALENTEJO WINE COUNTRY and ESTREMOZ
  • Discover magical OBIDOS
  • RABELO DOURO RIVER CRUISE
  • Visit outstanding town of BELMONTE with an included visit to its 13th century CASTLE and the JEWISH MUSEUM
  • Portuguese TAPAS lunch in PORTO
  • Experience a home-hosted lunch in a 14th century MANOR HOUSE
  • Visit charming UNESCO GUIMARAES with its DUKES PALACE and CASTLE
  • Included visit to a family owned PORT WINE ESTATE
  • Scenic DOURO VALLEY vineyards
  • Included visit to the stunning MATEUS PALACE
  • Fairy-tale MONSANTO, the Most Portuguese village in Portugal in 1938
  • Guided tour of historic OPORTO with its historical treasures and markets and many other experiences to enjoy
  • Visit popular UNESCO World heritage sites
  • Experienced Tour director to accompany you throughout your journey
  • All tour city guides included in Lisbon, Sintra, Obidos, Evora,Guimaraes and Porto
  • Included gratuity for city guides
  • All entrances to main Portuguese historical sites are included as per itinerary
  • All transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned luxury 16 seats motorcoach
  • Included hotel city tax
  • No hidden extras
  • Early arrival/Late stay options: We strongly recommend arriving a day or more prior to tour start.We’ll be happy to make these arrangements for you.
  • All transfers while overseas , baggage transfers and porters are included
  • Included meals: All breakfasts, 2 foodie experiences, 4 dinners, 4 lunches (main meals include regional wine, mineral water, local coffee/ tea only)
  • Arrival in Portugal: The tour will begin with transfers from Lisbon airport at scheduled times to our hotel on Day 1 and transfers from our hotel in Oporto on Day 10
  • 2018 itinerary: 3 nights in Lisbon, 1 night in Evora, 2 nights in the Douro Valley,3 nights in Porto
  • New 2019 itinerary: 3 nights in Lisbon, 2 nights in Evora, 2 nights in the Douro Valley,3 nights in Porto
  • Activity level: Moderate
  • Terms & conditions/Single supplement: (View Here) and FAQ ( View Here)
  • Trip Interruption & Cancellation insurance is not included. We highly recommend Travelex-Insurance.com to protect your vacation.
  • Purchase of European Travel & Health insurance is strongly recommended
OUR UNIQUE HOTELS
TOUR ITINERARY

THE JEWELS OF PORTUGAL TRAVEL ITINERARY

TOUR LIMITED TO 12/14 PARTICIPANTS ONLY FROM LISBON TO OPORTO

DAY 1: WELCOME TO PORTUGAL & LISBON

Arrive at Lisbon International Airport and travel to the city centre for a three nights stay at the charming “ALTIS AVENIDA HOTEL“or similar, a charming boutique hotel which enjoys an excellent location close to the city’s architecturally treasures. At 6.30 pm meet your tour manager at the hotel lobby for a welcome drink followed by a meal in local restaurant. Overnight in LISBON

DAY 2: DISCOVER LISBON’S HIGHLIGHTS, AZULEJOS & FADO EVENING

Portugal’s capital offers an irresistible combination of ancient and modern sights. After breakfast,this morning’s drive takes you to discover BELEM with its exuberant 16th century Manueline architecture including the XVI century JERONIMOS MONASTERY,where Vasco Da Gama prayed and is buried. Following this, we’ll treat you for “Pasteis de Belem”(custard tart), one of the great culinary wonders of Portugala specialty made with a secret centuries-old recipe.Before lunch on your own, we’ll visit the TILE MUSEUM where you will be introduced to five cunturies of decorative ceramic tiles AZULEJOS.Continue to ALFAMA, one of the oldest quarters in Lisbon. Since it largely survived the earthquake of 1755, the area still retains much of its original layout. Adjacent to the Alfama are the likewise old quarters of Castelo and Mouraria, on the western and northern slopes of the hill that is crowned by ST.GEORGE’S CASTLE, formerly a Moorish citadel. Cap off your introduction to Portugal’s crowning jewel with a traditional dinner and a FADO PERFORMANCE . The dark, soulful music is representative of the nation’s complex,but beautiful,roots. Overnight in LISBON

DAY 3: FAIRY-TALE SINTRA & HISTORICAL OBIDOS

After breakfast in hotel, we head to the quaint and aristocratic UNESCO town of SINTRA, where Lord Byron lived and considered it to be “Paradise on Earth”.You’ll see castles, fortresses, forests, and beautiful scenery. Sintra and its mystical hills dotted with fairy tale palaces and extravagant villas have bewitched visitors for centuries.In the morning visit one of Europe’s most emblematic palaces, the 19thcentury PENA PALACE, which includes a drawbridge, a conglomeration of turrets, ramparts, domes, and a gargoyle above a Neo-Manueline arch, all washed in an array of pastel shades.The extravagant interior is decorated in late Victorian and Edwardian furnishings, rich ornaments, paintings, and priceless porcelain preserved just as the royal family left them.After lunch on your own, you’ll visit the ancient walled town of OBIDOS,with its gorgeous historic center of a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets and flower bedecked, whitewashed houses livened up with dashes of vivid yellow and blue paint. Rest of the evening is on your own to soak up Lisbon’s beauty. Overnight stay in LISBON

DAY 4: THE ALENTEJO REGION: ESTREMOZ & MAGICAL EVORA

Today’s visit takes you to travel into the countryside of the unspoilt wine-growing region of the ALENTEJO, through sparsely inhabited plains and gently rolling terrain, which is dotted with vineyards, cork trees, olive groves and several prehistoric monuments.We’ll be visiting first the charming little market town of ESTREMOZ, in the heart of the Alentejo wine district where a family-owned QUINTA will welcome us for a wine tasting accompanied by an elegant home-hosted lunch. Following this, we’ll visit a well known local factory where we learn about the CORK production in Portugal. Spend the next two nights at the hotel “CONVENTO DO ESPINHEIRO“or similar. Dinner is on your own this evening.Overnight stay in EVORA

DAY 5: THE ALENTEJO REGION: MAGICAL EVORA

One of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns, Evora is an enchanting place to delve into the past. Inside the 14th century walls, Evora’s winding lanes lead to striking architectural works: a medieval cathedral and cloisters, the cinematic columns of the Templo Romano and a picturesque town square,once the site of some rather gruesome episodes courtesy of the Inquisition. The town rose to prominence under the Romans and flourished throughout the Middle Ages as a center of learning and the arts. It was a popular residence of Portuguese kings, but fell out of favour after Spain’s annexation of Portugal in 1580. In the morning meet our local tour guide for a discovery of  the UNESCO 2000 year old city of EVORA ,for a guided tour of its medieval walls, the whitewashed houses adorned with wrought-iron balconies, the ruins of the TEMPLE OF DIANA and the intriguing CHAPEL OF BONES. Rest of the day is on your own followed by dinner in a local tavern.Overnight stay in EVORA

DAY 6: THE ANCIENT TOWN OF MONSANTO, SPIRITUAL BELMONTE & DOURO VALLEY

After breakfast,drive to MONSANTO, perched on a hilltop that oversees all the surrounding horizons, with its unique charm that has earned it two titles as the Most Portuguese Village in Portugal in 1938 and Historical Village in 1995. It was granted charters by King Afonso Henriques, King Sancho I, King Sancho II and King Manuel. The oldest part is also the highest point, where the Knights Templar built a wall with the donjon. Continue to BELMONTE, considered the spiritual centre of Crypto-Jewry, a place where an entire community of Conversos kept large parts of their faith intact and, after 500 years, returned to it en mass. In recent years, Jewish culture has been revived in Belmonte. A new synagogue, a striking building of white stone with a red-tiled roof, stands at the edge of the old Jewish quarter. Belmonte is home to the last remaining community of ‎Jews who officially returned to Judaism in the 1970s, and opened a synagogue in 1996. After a lunch in a typical Portuguese Pousada near Belmonte, continue to the DOURO VALLEY, land of Port wine for your next two nights at the charming “VINTAGE HOUSE HOTEL” or similar. This former 18th century wine estate enjoys a fantastic riverfront location, surrounded by famous Port wine production farms and their extensive vineyards.Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight stay in PINHAO

DAY 7: MATEUS PALACE, LUNCH IN A PORTUGUESE QUINTA & RABELO RIVER CRUISE 

Today’s venture takes you to an epicurean experience through the unspoilt and enchanting Port wine region. The Region of Douro covers approximately 250,000 hectares, of which 40,000 are vines. The Port vineyards are planted along the steep, spectacular hills overlooking the River Douro. We’ll visit the stunning MATEUS PALACE, built in the middle of the 18th century by the architect Nicolau Nazoni, one of the few noble palaces that has remained with their original owners to our days.The Palace is surrounded by gardens,tree covered walks, and allegorical statues.  After an included lunch in a Portuguese QUINTA, we’ll board a typical RABELO boat for a river cruise while sipping Port wine and discovering Douro’s lush vineyards of enchanting natural beauty. Marvel at the stunning terraced slopes of the Douro valley, heavily planted with vines, offering unique views over one of the world’s most impressive man-made, rural landscapes. Evening is on your own.Overnight in PINHAO

DAY 8: DISCOVER AMARANTE, UNESCO GUIMARÃES & BOM JESUS SANCTUARY IN BRAGA

Our days starts with a visit to the picturesque town of AMARANTE, a town that proudly displays its 17th-century mansions, with colorful balconies of painted wood brightly decorating the narrow streets, its restaurants with terraces overlooking the river or the beautiful bridge of São Gonçalo, which leads to the great monastery of the 16th century that bears the name of the same saint.The day continues to the fascinating Celtic site of GUIMARAES, a medieval World Heritage Site. As the first capital of Portugal and birthplace of the nation’s first king, Guimarães is one of the country’s most historic cities, and its World Heritage medieval streets make it one of the most attractive places to visit in Portugal.After lunch on your own,we’ll enjoy a walking tour of the historical centre with an included visit to the imposing MEDIEVAL CASTLE boasting eight crenellated towers 92 ft high, built in the 10th century to protect the population from the attacks by the Moors and the Normans.We then drive to BRAGA, the country’s religious capital since the 11th century and one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal, with a number of impressive Baroque monuments, including one of the country’s best known sights, the BOM JESUS SANCTUARY, with its splendid baroque staircase, the target  of penitent pilgrims who come to make offerings at altars on the way to the mountaintop throughout the year. Spend the last three nights in PORTO staying at the five-star hotel “INFANTE SAGRES” or similar. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight stay in PORTO

DAY 9: COLORFUL PORTO AND FAREWELL DINNER

Breakfast in hotel.The morning starts with a guided tour of fascinating UNESCO PORTO, Portugal’s second largest city, named for port wine.We will visit the 14th century Gothic and Baroque São Francisco Church,the stock exchange Palace. You’ll peek into the Lello bookshop, an exquisite landmark dating to the early 1900’s. Throughout three generations, many masters and craftsmen worked towards the building of this 19th century architectural jewel in neoclassical style.We will end the day with a Portuguese TAPAS lunch in the best tapas restaurant. Spend the rest of the day on your own.In the evening we’ll celebrate you with a “Good-bye dinner” sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Overnight stay in PORTO

DAY 10: DAY AT LEISURE IN PORTO

Enjoy a day at leisure to make your own explorations of this fascinating city. Overnight stay in PORTO

DAY 11: GOODBYE BEAUTIFUL PORTUGAL

Morning transfers to Porto airport or train station. Maybe considering our 6 days post-trip to the amazing Island of MADEIRA or discovering the stunning ALGARVE

2019 TOUR DATES & PRICING

2019 TOUR PRICE: € 3,650       SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: € 950       Currency Converter 

Price is per person based on double room occupancy for 11 days/10 nights

May 17-27     LAST 6 SPACES LEFT

Sept 8-18   FULLY BOOKED

Sept 18-28

Sept 28-Oct 8

Oct 13-23

Available departures

2019 Tour Price: 3,650 €|11 days/10 nights |up to 12/ 14 participants only! To book a tour with us, simply fill in the online booking form with all your details May 28-June 6 Sept 28-Oct 7 Oct 20-29

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