PORTUGAL SMALL GROUP TOUR
Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe,having kept the same borders for more than 800 years. Its history is mirrored in the countless prehistoric,Roman,Celtic and Middle Age remains. Portugal is also one of the countries with the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as being one of the rare countries which receive more visitors.This unique tour takes you to discover the unspoilt beauty of a magical land, with its stunning diversity of enchanting landscapes, long white beaches and pretty coves and fascinating history of proud independence from, and distrust neighboring Spain.
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 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.Experience the Portuguese lifestyle with a small group of 12/14 participants only!
A land of surprises and we are excited to discover it together!
Read what our friends say about this fantastic small group tour
- Guaranteed departures group travel: small,friendly group of 12/14 participants only!
- Guided tour of LISBON with its historical treasures & popular markets
- 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
- Remote fortified towns and monasteries
- Experience the famous AZULEJOS – the art of Portuguese ceramic tiles
- Elegant, ancient city of EVORA with visits to the BONES CHAPEL & ST FRANCISCO CHURCH
- RABELO DOURO river cruise
- Discover the idyllic town of OBIDOS
- Home-hosted lunch in a 14th century MANOR HOUSE
- UNESCO GUIMARAES with its DUCAL PALACE
- Scenic DOURO VALLEY vineyards
- HOME-HOSTED LUNCH in a family owned Quinta
- Guided tour of historic PORTO with its historical treasures and markets and many other experiences to enjoy
- Unique University city of COIMBRA
- Popular UNESCO World heritage sites
- Experienced Tour guide to accompany you throughout your journey
- Included entrances to Portugal sites
- Transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned luxury 20 seats motorcoach
- Included hotel city tax
- No hidden extras
- Our included regional meals: All breakfasts, 3 dinners, 4 lunches (main meals include regional wine, mineral water, local coffee/ tea only)
- Tour package includes transfers from Lisbon airport to your hotel and ends with transfers to your airport in Porto.We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour
- 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
DAY 1: WELCOME TO PORTUGAL
Welcome to Portugal! Arrive at Lisbon International Airport and travel to the city center for a three nights stay at the charming “MADALENA BOUTIQUE HOTEL” or similar, which enjoys an excellent location close to the city’s architecturally treasures. At night a welcome drink followed by a dinner is planned at a local restaurant offering typical regional cuisine and wine. Overnight in LISBON
DAY 2: LISBON’S HIGHLIGHTS
Portugal’s capital offers an irresistible combination of ancient and modern sights. We’ll begin our day with a drive to BELEM district, with its grandiose monuments and churches that mirrored the spirit of the time. We will visit two of the finest examples of exuberant and exotic Manueline style of architecture, the XVI century JERONIMOS MONASTERY and the TORRE DE BELEM. The ambitious building reflects the confidence Portugal enjoyed when its explorers roamed the seas. One of the greatest navigators, Vasco de Gama is buried in the monastery’s church. Standing prominently on the Belem waterfront is the huge angular structure, the MONUMENT TO THE DISCOVERIES, built in 1960 to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. After an included lunch on the riverside, we drive to the labyrinthine ALFAMA, one of the oldest and most atmospheric quarters in Lisbon. You’ll find yourself wandering through colorful XVIII century squares and getting lost in the medieval maze of the Alfama district overlooked by an ancient castle. Compact houses line steep streets and stairways, their facades strung with washing and daily life still revolves around local grocery stores and saltcellars-like taverns. We end the day with a visit to the MERCADO DA RIBEIRA and the TILE MUSEUM where you’ll be introduced to five centuries of decorative ceramic tiles AZULEJOS. Return to your hotel on time for the free evening. Overnight in LISBON
DAY 3: FAIRY-TALE SINTRA & ROMANTIC CASCAIS
In the morning head to the quaint and aristocratic UNESCO town of SINTRA for a visit to one of Europe’s most emblematic palaces, the 19th century 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. Indulge on a panoramic tour throughout Sintra remarkable monuments. Drive towards Lisbon following the coastline with an included visit of the lovely fishing village of CASCAIS, for a relaxing walking tour and lunch on your own, enjoying the fresh sea breeze. The remainder of the day is on your own. Overnight stay in LISBON
DAY 4: ESTREMOZ, HOME-HOSTED LUNCH IN A FAMILY QUINTA & CORK FACTORY
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 start the day with a visit to a stunning family-owned QUINTA for a cozy home-hosted lunch accompanied by their local wines. Continue to ESTREMOZ, a charming Portuguese hilltop village where we’ll take some time to explore its narrow streets and learning of the local CORK. Drive to the whitewashed UNESCO 2000-year-old city of EVORA, your base for the next two nights at a central boujtique “MOURA SUITES HOTEL” or similar.Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight stay in EVORA
DAY 5: UNESCO MUSEUM CITY OF EVORA & HANDS-ON-COOKING
Today we discover the whitewashed UNESCO 2000 year old city of EVORA, an enchanting place to delve into the past. The town rose to prominence under the Romans and flourished throughout the Middle Ages as a center of learning and the arts. The elegant town is considered a museum city, shaped as it is by more than 20 centuries of history. It was once the residence of Portuguese kings in the 15th century, the beginning of the town’s golden age. Begin your exploration of the town at the ROMAN TEMPLE, before heading to the 12th century CATHEDRA. Later, walk in the cobbled alleys to the bustling Praca do Giraldo with whitewashed houses adorned with wrought-iron balconies, where to view the ruins of the TEMPLE OF DIANA and the intriguing CHAPEL OF BONES. Lunch is included in a the house of the charming Sofia where you also learn how to prepare some Portuguese dishes. Overnight stay in EVORA
DAY 6: PICTURESQUE OBIDOS,UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA & MAGICAL DOURO VALLEY
Today we enjoy a long drive north from Evora to Pinhao with very interesting stops along the way. Early morning departure to the picturesque medieval walled town of OBIDOS, with its gorgeous historical center of a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets and flower-bedecked, whitewashed houses lined up with dashes of vivid yellow and blue paint. The main gate is beautifully decorated with glazed blue and white Azulejo tiles. Then continue to historic COIMBRA, one of the oldest university cities in the world, where we take a walking tour of the 13th century university- a UNESCO site. The University campus is an architectural delight. We’ll discover the University library, which houses over 35,000 books, many dating back a century or more. This epic library is reminiscent of a scene right out of a Harry Potter movie.Drive to the DOURO VALLEY, land of Port wine for your next two nights at charming “VINTAGE HOUSE HOTEL” or similar, with breakfast included.Dinner is included this evening in a local restaurant. Overnight stay in PINHAO
DAY 7: MATEUS PALACE ,PORTUGUESE QUINTA & RABELO CRUISE
Today’s venture takes you to an epicurean experience through the unspoiled and enchanting Porto wine region. The Region of Douro covers approximately 250,000 hectares, of which 40,000 are vines. Marvel with the beautiful terraced slopes of the Douro valley, heavily planted with vines, offering stunning views over one of the world’s most impressive man-made, rural landscapes’ start our visit with the splendid manor house MATEUS PALACE, built in the early 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. Continue to a Portuguese QUINTA for an included lunch accompanied by a wine tasting followed by a RABELO cruise discovering Douro’s lush vineyards of enchanting natural beauty.Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight stay in PINHAO
DAY 8: ENCHANTING UNESCO GUIMARÃES & BOM JESUS SANCTUARY
Our days starts with a visit to the fascinating Celtic site of GUIMARAES, the first capital of Portugal and birthplace of the nation’s first king. It is one of the country’s most historic cities and its World Heritage medieval streets make it one of the most attractive places in Portugal. Visit the imposing Medieval Castle with eight crenelated towers 28m (92ft) high, built in the 10th century to protect the population from attacks by the Moors and the Normans. It was then extended to its present size in the 12th century by Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, who was baptized in the small Romanesque chapel next to the castle. After lunch on your own, continue to 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, a notable example of pilgrimage sanctuary with a monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116 meters (381 feet). Spend the last three nights of your Portuguese adventure in PORTO staying at the central “PESTANA PORTO A BRASILEIRA” or similar.Overnight stay in PORTO
DAY 9: THE COLORS OF AVEIRO, PRAIA DE COSTA NOVA & FADO EVENING
Enjoy a day at leisure to make your own explorations of the stunning city of OPORTO or join us on an included discovery of the colorful seaside town of AVEIRO, known as the Venice of Portugal, due to its canal-lined streets and pastel-coloured buildings.Included Moliceiro boat trip and a visit to PRAIA DE COSTA NOVA, a picturesque urban landscape of old wooden barns, converted into holiday homes, painted with brightly coloured stripes alternating with white.Return to Porto on time for your afternoon free.Tonight,join us for a performance of FADO a melancholic music which is unique to Portugal, expression of longing and sorrow.It is sung by women as men and is always accompanied by a Portuguese guitar and an acoustic Spanish guitar.Dinner is on your own this evening.Overnight stay in PORTO
DAY 10: HIGHLIGHTS OF PORTO
This morning’s walking tour of UNESCO OPORTO, Portugal’s second largest city, named for port wine introduces us to the riverfront Ribeira district, including the lavish rooms of its Stock Exchange Palace, the exquisitely gilded Church of São Francisco, and the Mural Artwork inside São Bento train station.Throughout three generations, many masters and craftsmen worked towards the building of this 19th century architectural jewel in neoclassical style.We complete the morning with a visit to a popular PORTO WINERY located in the Vila Nova de Gaia district.Then you’ll have time to wander on your own through Porto’s lively city center.Tonight we’ll celebrate your Portuguese adventure with a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.Overnight in PORTO
DAY 11: ADEUS BEAUTIFUL PORTUGAL
Morning transfers to Porto airport and train station. You might also consider our SICILY SMALL GROUP TOUR
My wife and I participated in the 11-day group Tour “Wonders of Portugal and Douro Valley,” Sep 12-22, 2022. The tour organized by Secret Tours was superb. I cannot imagine a better itinerary. It was very well thought up to the smallest detail, smartly alternating between a variety of activities – visiting historical places, wine and food tasting, listening to fado, and many more. Our minibus was very comfortable and spotlessly clean with WiFi and water bottles. Our wonderful guide, Diana Oliveira, is highly educated, competent, flexible, accommodating, and fun to be with. She generously shared her knowledge with us, was always ready to help, and made the tour really enjoyable.This was our second tour with Secret Italia – last year we went to Puglia, which was also fantastic. We are looking forward to more tours with this company.
I wanted to let you know that our experience with Secret tours in Portugal was AMAZING! It exceeded all our expectations. You could not have picked a better tour guide; Diana has a real passion for her profession.She was warm and friendly, and painted beautiful tapestries of the history and culture of places we visited. She was also very efficient and ensured the trip ran smoothly at all times, allowing us to just sit back and enjoy ourselves.
The hotels we stayed at were also wonderful.The one on the Douro River was a fantastic experience, with unmatched views and a beautiful outdoor restaurant. We especially enjoyed sitting on our patio at night looking over the pool and river while we enjoyed a bottle of wine. We also can’t say enough about the staff and service at the hotel in Lisbon.Although I have traveled extensively around the world for work, this was our first tour experience together in a foreign country, and we could not have asked for a better experience.Thank you, we are already looking forward to our next Secret tour!