The Best of Portugal – Walking Holiday in The Soul of Inland Portugal

Small Group Sightseeing

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

This imaginatively designed tour is a living travelogue through the best of Portugal.

We journey through the cultural history of this fascinating country from the capital of the Algarve, through ancient villages and high mountains of the interior to the far north where Portugal was born.

On the way, we’ll visit iconic cities and monuments, World Heritage sites, appreciate the fantastic scenery, and enjoy great food and wine.

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

This imaginatively designed tour is a living travelogue through the best of Portugal.

We journey through the cultural history of this fascinating country from the capital of the Algarve, through ancient villages and high mountains of the interior to the far north where Portugal was born.

On the way, we’ll visit iconic cities and monuments, World Heritage sites, appreciate the fantastic scenery, and enjoy great food and wine.

Our multi-centre holiday will give you the opportunity to visit many of Portugal’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and explore its huge cultural diversity while relaxing in a well-planned itinerary covering a vast array of points of interest.

Évora is one of the best tourist destinations of central Portugal

Évora is one of the best tourist destinations in central Portugal

You’ll experience an exceptional range of different landscapes just a short distance away, lots of interesting sites, and unique cultural heritage, where tradition and modernity blend together in perfect harmony. Not to mention a superb cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people that will make this tour the best holiday you ever had.

Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and Christians all left their mark in Portugal. On this tour, you can watch the sunset over mysterious megaliths outside Évora or lose yourself in the elaborate corridors of the Templar’s Knights monuments, today Unesco World.

Our tour begins in Faro and we travel through the hidden and lesser-known Algarve to the great plains of the Alentejo home to great gastronomy and superlative wines.

We stay in Évora, a delightful city that exudes Portuguese charm and boasts a vast array of fascinating historical monuments.

Portalegre, our next center will be the gateway to visit Marvão and Castelo de Vide where we stand on the battlements of ancient castles looking across into Spain.

As we travel north visits to Castelo Branco, Belmonte and Lamego enrich our journey with their deep cultural heritage.

Rio Douro at the heart of the demarcated port-wine region.

Rio Douro is at the heart of the demarcated port-wine region.

Then, opening dramatically out before us is the magnificent Douro Valley of Port wine fame where terraced vineyards seem to defy gravity as they perch high above the river.

The Douro valley is our gateway to the north where Portugal was born.

We visit Vila Real and Guimarães, where centuries ago Portugal was declared an independent kingdom and home to the first king.

We then travel through a patchwork of fields and Vinho Verde vineyards to Viana do Castelo, the pearl of the north.

Our first week finishes in Porto, the invincible city. Here we will be able to relax and enjoy this iconic city of the north.

All of this and much more await you on this wonderful, in-depth Portugal tour!

 

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Faro

Arrival at Faro Airport and transfer to Hotel. Possible orientation walks downtown Faro if time allows.

 

Faro old town

Faro old town is really old and you see remnants all over the place. Remnants of the old times and of Faro rich history.

Day 2 – Beja & Évora

Beja, the Baixo Alentejo’s principal town, is our mid-morning stop. It is an easy-going, welcoming, and unspoiled town with a walled center around the castle and wide vistas.
The Romans, the Moors, and the Christians all left their imprint on the narrow cobbled streets and stunning architecture for us to enjoy.
Évora is one of the best tourist destinations in central Portugal and a World Heritage Site. It is a delightful city that exudes Portuguese charm and boasts a vast array of fascinating historical monuments. Évora was historically a major trading and religious center, former importance that is reflected in the sheer variety of interesting sites, all of which are conveniently contained within the city’s ancient walls. It is a city full of life and cultural interest.

Evora Cathedral, the biggest Medieval cathedral in Portugal

Basílica Sé de Nossa Senhora da Assunção Evora, one of the oldest and most important local monuments, lying on the highest spot of the city.

Day 3 – Castelo de Vide, Marvão & Portalegre

Castelo de Vide is often described as the best-preserved medieval town of Portugal. The picturesque town is located on the slope of one of the northern foothills of the Serra de São Mamede. Its fine hilltop vantage point, dazzlingly white houses, flower-lined lanes, and proud locals are reason alone to visit.
Marvão, “the Eagles Nest” is perched on the top of a steep granite hill, the fortress has been impregnable for centuries. A spectacular medieval walled village, 900 meters up on a rocky crag called the Serra de Marvão. The narrow cobbled streets lined with whitewashed houses, many with decorative doors and windows from the 15th century, wind their way up to one of the best-preserved castles in Portugal, dating from the 13th century.
Portalegre lies on the slopes of Serra de São Mamede, a mountainous range with a variety of fauna and flora, part of which has now been designated a natural park. Portalegre itself is of Roman origin though it is filled with fine Renaissance and Baroque mansions.

Marvão is a small medieval town on the top of the hill

Marvão is a small medieval town on the top of the hill. It was included in the #1 New York Times bestselling book, ‘1000 Places to see Before you Die’

Day 4 – Castelo Branco, Belmonte & Régua

Our mid-morning break in Castelo Branco brings us to a city with an attractive center with generous parks, wide boulevards, and bustling squares. The most famous handicraft item is the colchas, silk-embroidered linen bedspreads, and coverlets, inspired by similar items brought back from India and China by early Portuguese explorers.
The town of Belmonte, with a strong Jewish history, commands a broad view of the eastern slopes of the Serra da Estrela Mountains. A charming place of sun-dappled squares and stone houses dripping with flower-filled window boxes. There are curiosities at every turn, such as the unusual pillory in the shape of an olive press.
The sun-bleached town of Régua lies along the Rio Douro at the heart of the demarcated port-wine region. The entire valley is so unique that it was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Our two days here will enable us to thoroughly enjoy this stunning area.

Peso da Regua and the landscape of the Douro Valley

Peso da Regua and the landscape of the Douro Valley

Day 5 – Lamego

Nestled among the terraced slopes of the Douro valley port wine-growing region, Lamego is overlooked by an ornate shrine and magnificent stairway. This charming town is elegant and infused with Baroque style. The town center streets are lined with scores of noble manor houses, a magnificent cathedral, and a series of extraordinary churches, monasteries, and fortified buildings. Truly an architectural gem.

Lamego The sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios dominates the town.

In Lamego, the Shrine of Nossa Senhora das Remédios dominates the city perched at the top of a flight of monumental steps.

Day 6 – Vila Real & Guimarães

Perched on top of a headland over the Rio Corgo, Vila Real preserves stately houses adorned with coats of arms, Manueline windows, and traditional wrought-iron balconies. An inland city, it boasts shady avenues and spectacular views over a deep ravine through which the River Corgo flows.
Guimarães is a charming and historic city and is regarded as the birthplace of Portugal. Its extensive history is reflected in the variety of national monuments and historic buildings found within the city.
It is a World Heritage Site, the proud birthplace of Afonso Henriques, the first independent king of Portugal. It is associated with the emergence of the Portuguese national identity in the 12th century.

Day 7 – Viana do Castelo

The jewel of the Costa Verde, the pearl of the north, Viana do Castelo is one of the most beautiful cities in the north of Portugal. Situated on the estuary of the Lima River, between the ocean and the mountains, this charming city is steeped in tradition.

Day 8 – Departure

At a convenient time, transfer to the airport.

 

 

What's included

Accommodation

  • 7 nights in a twin standard room for two pax
  • Shared ensuite room with a travelling 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 by bus
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport on last day – group transfer by bus
  • 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

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 group tours in Portugal and Self-Guided holidays in Portugal. 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.