September 2014 - October 2015
Unearth the treasures of Portugal
Enjoy a Portugal far removed from the resorts and golf courses of the Algarve. Away from that package-holiday haven, you'll find a country of rugged coastline and mountains, of vineyards and hilltop villages, historic cities and reserved locals, that remains largely untouched by the more extreme excesses of modern tourism.
Tour Highlights And Inclusions
- Discover Portugal's vibrant second city, Oporto, in its splendid setting above the River Douro
- Visit a Port wine lodge
- Journey along the scenic Costa Verde
- Explore the Vinho Verde vineyards and discover historic Ponte de Lima's ancient Roman bridge
- Journey through Peneda Geres, a wildlife refuge and Portugal's only national park
- Guided visits to Viana do Castelo and Valenca do Minho are highlights of a day in the northern Minho region
- Seven nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at the four-star Estalagem Santo Andre,
- Povoa de Varzim (upgrades available)
- Return flights to Oporto
- Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
- Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
Single rooms are available for a supplement
The historic fishing town of Povoa de Varzim, situated north of Oporto on the Costa Verde, is blessed with beautiful beaches and clean sea air. A selection of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as the well-known Monumental Casino and a golf course, ensure Povoa's good reputation as a holiday resort.
Fly to Oporto and transfer to your hotel.
Today's included, full-day tour takes us to Oporto. The ancient, time-weathered city clings haphazardly to the hillsides above the beautiful River Douro. During the day there will also be a visit to one of the famous wine lodges, and an optional boat trip will also be available.
Come with us along the Douro River Valley on today's optional excursion through the romantic Amarante, and scenic Mesao Frio, to the port of Regua, the home of Port wine. We'll visit a working quinta, and have the opportunity to stroll through the estate's vineyards.
Join our full-day, optional tour to Barcelos, home to Europe's largest open-air market: a colourful hive of activity offering a huge range of local goods. From there we continue to historic Braga, former Catholic capital of Portugal, to see the fabled Bom Jesus shrine and its marvellous views.
Today's included tour heads through the Vinho Verde vineyards to the market town of Ponte de Lima, famous for its 18th-century fountain and Roman bridge. From here we continue to Portugal's only National Park, Peneda Geres, the spectacular refuge of the country's rare wolves and royal eagles.
Our included tour of the Minho region takes us to Viana do Castelo, on the River Lima, to see the Basilica de Santa Lucia. Caminha, a delightful town boasting a picturesque square and quaint old quarter, is our next stop before we finally visit the ancient border town of Valenca do Minho.
Our third optional excursion crosses into Spain to visit historic and beautiful Santiago de Compostela. At the city's heart is the marvellously preserved Romanesque cathedral - perhaps the first-ever tourist destination for the millions of medieval pilgrims who visited the shrine.
Transfer back to the airport for check-in and your flight home.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair or electric scooter, please let us know as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
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