Highlights of Lisbon & Porto – Group Sightseeing Holidays in Portugal

Small Group Sightseeing

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Grade: Easy (2/8)

This Tour will give the best of the two major cities of Portugal, both steeped in history, yet vibrant and modern at the same time.

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax
  • Typical neighbourhoods of Bairro Alto, Alfama, and Graça in Lisbon
  • Historic monuments in Lisbon
  • The River Tejo
  • The Ribeira neighbourhood in Porto, a world heritage site
  • The River Douro
  • Port lodges
  • Historic monuments in Porto
  • A fantastic itinerary of walks and sightseeing
  • The amazing Portuguese gastronomy and wines
  • Dedicated driver and tour leader to make sure everything runs smoothly

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

This Tour will give the best of the two major cities of Portugal, both steeped in history, yet vibrant and modern at the same time.

 

Lisbon

Lisbon is so many special things; it’s the sound of vintage trams rambling up and down cobblestone streets, a medley of heartfelt Fado songs, an open-air gallery of historic heritage, a haven for free spirits, a surprise for fashionable shoppers, and Portugal’s ‘coolest city.

Comercio Square, Lisbon Steeped in history and culture

Comercio Square, Lisbon Steeped in history and culture

Steeped in history and culture, this enchanting ‘city of light’ boasts a natural luminosity and effortless charm unlike any other in the country and has become a popular European destination for its exciting diversity, beautiful sites, and enviable, sunny climate.

Marking every spot in the city with a touch of tradition, Lisbon is all about preserving the beauty of ‘old’, whether embodied by friendly flower sellers and chestnut vendors on the streets, its majestic azulejo adorned architecture and typical pastry shops, or charming, tavern-inspired restaurants.

 

Porto

Porto dramatically perched at the mouth of the Rio Douro has a wonderful atmosphere. It is packed with ancient and great monuments rubbing shoulders with everyday Portuguese life.

The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of historic buildings and outstanding monuments as well as quaint medieval streets.

Rabelo boat Porto dramatically perched at the mouth of the Rio Douro

Rabelo boat Porto dramatically perched at the mouth of the Rio Douro

Highlights of this wonderful city include the formidable Porto cathedral, the Torre dos Clérigos and the famed Port wine lodges that dominate the hillside of Vila Nova de Gaia.

Porto offers a compelling synthesis of ancient and contemporary attractions and it is a delight to stroll gently through its diverse landscape.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Lisbon

Private coach transfer to our hotel. Depending on our arrival time, we’ll have a stroll alongside the fabulous coastal line of Cascais, before dinner.

View from Miradouro da Graça

View from Miradouro da Graça Lisboa. The castle is seen to the left, overlooking the city below — a view that’s always been a favourite of artists.

Day 2 – Bairro Alto, Rossio & Praça do Comércio
This morning we discover the Bairro Alto district on foot, with our guide, walking through this ancient quarter, enjoying the sights down to Rossio & the famous Praça do Comércio.
Bairro Alto is one of Lisbon’s most picturesque, bohemian, and alternative neighbourhoods. It was designed in the 15th century to host merchants and sailors from overseas expansion. Eternally associated as the city’s bohemian haunt of artists, its grid of streets is quiet during the day but transformed at night into one of the city’s most vibrant nightlife quarters.
Rossio is the center for culture and local meetings. It’s home to fabulous architecture from its famous train station, with its impressive 19th-century façade or Café Nicola, an art deco café founded in 1787.
Praça do Comércio is Lisbon’s largest square. Located near the Tagus River it’s also known as “Terreiro do Paço” due to the Royal Ribeira Palace former location, destroyed during the 1755 earthquake. Historically the plaza and the port were the main entrance of wealth in the city, serving both the east and west sides of the city.
From here, we’ll catch the famous 28 tram, on a private tram tour around Lisbon!

Comercio Square, Lisbon Steeped in history and culture

Comercio Square, Lisbon Steeped in history and culture. Praça do Comércio, Commerce Square in English, is Lisbon’s main square. It was built on the site where the old Royal Palace used to exist before.

Day 3 – Castelo S. Jorge, Mouraria & Alfama
Our walk descends one of the 7 hills of Lisbon from S. Jorge’s Castle through the Mouraria and Alfama neighbourhoods, the oldest in the city, past the Cathedral, and then on to downtown.
São Jorge Castle is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic landmarks. Dated from the medieval period, it stands out in a commanding position in one of the seven hills of Lisbon, the highest one in the city.
Between the castle and the old neighbourhoods, we find the National Pantheon or church of Santa Engrácia –a grand Baroque building housing the tombs of the country’s most distinguished figures. Built in the 16th century as the church of Santa Engrácia by Princess Dona Maria, daughter of King Manuel I, the church never fulfilled its purpose.
Alfama is the oldest quarter in Lisbon. Hardly affected by the 1755 earthquake due to its solid rock foundations, it was home for the Visigoths, the Romans, and the Moors that left the cobbled streets, the small squares, and the whitewashed houses as their unmistakable heritage. Being part of history where most of the Fado songs were written and sung, it’s today an old cosmopolitan neighbourhood.

Lisbon’s seven hills

Tram in Lisboa. The Lisbon trams are one of the best ways to move around Lisbon, as well as being one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

Day 4 – Sintra
Today, we take the train to Sintra. The line between Lisbon and Sintra opened in 1887 and nowadays, this suburban train crosses the outskirts of Lisbon to this enchanting town. Sintra is all about scenic splendour, a realm of romance where majestic fairytale-like palaces, a grandiose castle, regal estates, and charming red-tiled houses stand amidst a landscape of luxuriant, semi-tropical forests and hilltops.

Lisboa Typical tram and Cathedral

Lisboa Typical tram and Cathedral. This wooden tram will transport you to another era. Its horn rings constantly to warn absent-minded pedestrians to move out of the way when it runs past the city’s long and narrow streets.

Day 5 – Coimbra

Today, as we transfer from Lisbon to Porto, we’ll have the chance to visit Coimbra. We’ll meander through its narrow streets and enjoy the local life and traditions. Later on, we’ll have the opportunity to have a guided visit of the town’s Ex – LIBRIS, the University
of Coimbra.

Street in Alfama, Walking Holidays in Lisboa

Street in Alfama, Walking Holidays in Lisboa. Alfama is a delightful maze of narrow cobbled streets and ancient houses, which lead up the steep hill from the Tejo Estuary.

 

Day 6 – Discover Porto & Gaia, River Cruise & Port wine Tasting
Today we’ll dedicate our day to Porto. Our stroll will bring us from the top of the Ponte Luis I – where we get some of the most beautiful views in town – to S Bento Station, to view the beautifully tiled panels.
We’ll have time to enjoy some superb buildings, like the Carmo Church, the Clérigos Tower – and its singular architectural style of Nicolau Nasoni, the frontage of Lello bookshop – a 200-year-old bookshop, famous to have served as an inspiration to J. K.
Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books and, the cathedral of Porto.
The Ribeira do Porto area on the beautiful Douro river margins will welcome us for lunch.
In the afternoon, there will be free time to explore this truly amazing town.
The Douro River is one of the major rivers in the Iberian Peninsula, with its 897kms.
Born on the hills of Urbino in Spain, it stretches from eastern Spanish hills to Porto’s estuary in the west. Along its margins, its importance is still visible. In the past, the renowned Port wine was taken downriver in flat-bottom boats called rebels, to be stored
in barrels in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. Nowadays, this area of the Douro Valley is a UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
On our boat trip, we’ll be gifted with a different perspective of the river and its two different but similar margins.
In the afternoon, we’ll learn more about the trade, the production, and the different kinds of this famous wine in a unique Port lodge guided visit and wine tasting experience!

Art deco facade Porto

Art deco facade Porto

Day 7 – Stock Exchange Palace & S. Francis Church

Rabelo boats in Douro River

Rabelo boats in Douro River. The relief and the Douro River create a unique look of Porto, which is so memorable to tourists. The river in Porto has a different appearance.

Today we explore some of Porto’s iconic sites: the Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa) and the S. Francis Church (Igreja de S. Francisco).
On our guided visit of Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace), we’ll learn how this part of the former St. Francis Convent was converted into a Neoclassical Palace to house the Commercial Association on Porto in the 19th century. Classified as a National Monument since 1982, this fabulous building provides a fabulous architecture discovery experience!
In the afternoon and to continue in greatness, we’ll visit the S. Francis Church (Igreja de S. Francisco). The origins of the Franciscan Order in Porto date from the 13th century. The building of this impressive worship site crossed centuries, kings, and architectural styles. In our guided visit, we’ll be able to understand and admire this impressive building dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi.

Palacio Cristal Porto

Palacio Cristal Porto. Crystal Palace Gardens is a green rest place in Porto. The garden was designed by the German landscaper Emil David.

Day 8 – Departure

We say our goodbyes and head to Porto airport.

 

What's included

Accommodation

  • 7 nights in a twin standard room for two pax

4 nights in Lisbon
3 nights in Porto

  • Shared ensuite room with a traveling companion of the same sex
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • 7 Dinners with drinks included

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first day – group transfer
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport on last day – group transfer
  • All transports to walks and activities (as outlined) with dedicated driver and vehicle
  • Additional transfers are available on request at an extra cost

Tour Leaders

  • Dedicated English speaking local tour leader
    The tour leader will assist and guide the group throughout the holidays, handle all the arrangements and other needs that might arise, making sure that you don’t have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday
    Each evening, your tour leader will discuss the details and program for the following day

Walks and Activities

  • Activities according to program
  • Visits to: Castle São Jorge, National Pantheon, University of Coimbra, Port Lodge visit, Cruise trip in Douro River, Stock Market, and S. Francisco Church.

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage, or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided holidays and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.