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Portugal Tours May 2023

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Portugal Travel Guide

Welcome to Portugal, a top touring destination that promises an unforgettable experience. Nestled at Europe's southwestern tip, this country is a treasure trove of cultural richness and natural beauty. It's the perfect destination for those seeking a blend of historic charm and modern vibrancy. Portugal offers a variety of destination tours, from the sun-kissed beaches of the Algarve to the vineyard-clad hills of the Douro Valley. For history buffs, guided tours through ancient cities like Lisbon and Porto reveal centuries-old stories. Food enthusiasts can indulge in culinary tours, tasting the famed Portuguese cuisine. The country's compact size makes it an ideal touring destination, where a short drive leads to dramatically different landscapes and experiences. Whether you're after leisurely beachside strolls or vibrant cultural exploration, tours to Portugal cater to every taste and interest, making it a must-visit destination for travelers. With tour operator volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 40% versus assembling the same itinerary on your own! Book your Portugal tour today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted tour headquarters. View Portugal Tour Deals and Discounts

Portugal Travel Guide
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Portugal Travel Guide

Portugal Tours Highlights

  • Tower of Belém: Standing majestically at the Lisbon waterfront, the Tower of Belém is a symbol of Portugal's Age of Discovery. Originally built in the 16th century as a fortress, it now serves as a monument to Portugal's maritime explorations. Guided tours offer insights into its historical significance, making it a top destination for history enthusiasts.
  • Jerónimos Monastery: Near the Tower of Belém lies the Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This architectural marvel, exemplifying the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style, is where explorer Vasco da Gama spent his last night before he voyaged to India. Tours here are a journey through Portugal's golden age of discovery.
  • Douro Valley: The Douro Valley, another UNESCO site, is a must-visit for wine lovers. Guided tours through its terraced vineyards offer a taste of the famed Port wine. The breathtaking scenery of the valley is a highlight of many destination tours in Portugal.
  • Pena Palace: In Sintra, the Pena Palace stands as a colorful example of 19th-century Romanticism. This fairy-tale castle, set amidst lush forests, offers panoramic views and is a popular stop on many guided tours.
  • Algarve Coast: No tour to Portugal is complete without visiting the Algarve Coast. Known for its stunning beaches, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque fishing towns, the Algarve is perfect for both relaxation and adventure.

Portugal Tours Travel Tips

  • Food and drinks in Portugal are excellent quality and very good value for money, so ditch the international brands and eat and drink like the locals. Fresh seafood is everywhere and local house wines are almost certain to be delicious.
  • Some of the roads can be in poor condition and inter-city rail routes are cheap but slow. The best way to explore Portugal is by luxury coach. Join a Portugal tour if you don't want to bother with booking transportation and accommodation in every town.
  • Many museums are free on one day of the week or the first Sunday of the month. Check the websites and try to time your visit to save some money.
  • The Lisbon Card and Porto Card offer tourists unlimited access to public transport, free admission to top attractions, and tons of other discounts and benefits.
  • It's always good to have some local currency on you (Euros) when you land in Portugal. However, there are ATMs at all international airports and in major tourist areas. Some smaller establishments do not accept cards, only cash.
  • Bring comfortable shoes or sandals with thick soles. After walking on cobblestone streets for a few hours, you'll understand why.
  • Most people in Portugal speak at least a bit of English, but it can't hurt to know a few greetings and phrases in Portuguese, such as Ola (hello), por favor (please), obrigado (thank you), sim (yes), and nao (no).

Portugal Tours Things To Do

  • Explore Lively Lisbon
    Explore Lively Lisbon

    Ancient cathedrals, cobbled alleyways, and historic monuments give Lisbon a unique character. But this vibrant city, set over a series of hills near the River Tagus, has a captivating contemporary vibe as well. Visit world-class museums, stroll on the riverside promenade, or discover hidden treasures in the narrow streets of the old quarter. With its strategic location at Europe's doorstep, fresh seafood is aplenty in Lisbon. And boy, does this city know how to party. Come nightfall and the narrow, cobbled streets transform into a merry drinking scene with everything from classy nightclubs to rowdy bars.

    You Should Know

    The VivaViagem card is a quick and easy way to use Lisbon's public transport system. It's good for travel on the metro, tram, bus, ferry, and funicular. The embedded chip makes it easy to pay for journeys, and it's cheaper than buying single fare tickets. Each person using public transport needs their own card.  

  • Take a Day Trip to Sintra
    Take a Day Trip to Sintra

    Located just a short drive from the capital Lisbon, Sintra is a magical place of incredible natural beauty and historical significance. A scenic drive along the Atlantic coast will bring you to a spectacular mountainous landscape carpeted with ferns and lichen, sloping gently toward the Atlantic. The highlight of the region is the amazing palaces, including the beautifully preserved medieval palace, the Palacio Nacional de Sintra. Also unmissable is the vivid Palacio da Pena, perched atop a rocky peak with its turrets piercing the clouds.

    You Should Know

    Pack a picnic and enjoy it in the forested grounds and shaded woodlands of the 200-hectare Parque da Pena (Pena Park), which has a maze of romantic paths, lush fern gardens, and wonderful views of the palace. You can buy a combined ticket to the palace and gardens.

  • Catch Some Sun on The Algarve
    Catch Some Sun on The Algarve

    It's a magnet for visitors, 4 million of whom come to the Algarve each year. This surfers' paradise on Portugal's southern coast is a tourist hotspot, jam-packed with resorts and vacation homes. Splashy water parks and a sizzling nightlife make the Algarve popular with families and couples alike. But if a crowded beach is not your thing, the protected islands and lagoons of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa are a treasure-trove of natural beauty waiting to be explored. Venture into the hilly hinterland of the Algarve and you'll discover tranquil whitewashed villages, historic castles, and charming farmhouse restaurants amidst citrus orchards.  

    Best Time To Visit

    The summer season in the Algarve is very busy. You're virtually guaranteed long, sunny days, but be prepared to spend some time looking for a spot on the beach. Winters in the Algarve are mild, so if you want to avoid the crowds and catch some winter sun, this could be a good time to visit. Average winter temperatures are in the 50s and 60s, and while it's not exactly beach weather, it's a great time for an active vacation (kayaking, hiking, golfing) which can be punishing in the summer heat.

  • Indulge in Delicious Portuguese Cuisine
    Indulge in Delicious Portuguese Cuisine

    Bacalhau, a dried, salted cod, is a staple of Portuguese cuisine and omnipresent on restaurant menus. You can eat it fried, baked, boiled, or grilled – you'll love the smoky, earthy flavors with a delicate zing of citrus. Other dishes worth trying include cataplana, a robust seafood stew made with whatever's fresh at the fish market that day. And if you have a sweet tooth, try the rich, eggy, custard tarts called pastel de nata, preferably at the shop in Belém that uses a centuries-old recipe to make them.  

    You Should Know

    As soon as you sit down, your server will likely place a bread basket or some sort of "entradas" like a small plate of marinated olives on your table. Don't assume the appetizers are free. In Portugal, you will pay for everything. However, this should not add more than a couple of Euros to your bill. Otherwise, you can ask your server to take away anything you didn't order.  

  • Go Wine Tasting in the Douro Valley
    Go Wine Tasting in the Douro Valley

    The wine industry in Portugal has undergone a quiet revolution and emerged from the shadows of its more famous neighbors, Spain, France, and Italy. Portugal today produces a wide variety of wines with distinctive personalities, grown in the two main wine-producing regions, the Douro Valley and Pico Island. A winery tour in Portugal is a treat for the senses, with magnificent views of vineyard-covered hillsides and a chance to taste some of the best Portuguese wines paired with artisanal cheese and chocolates.   

    You Should Know

    Don't be intimidated if you're not a wine connoisseur. Everyone can enjoy the experience in Portugal's world-renowned wine country. The farm owners and guides are more than happy to answer your questions. Pro Tip: Don't try to cram too many wineries into your day. Wine tasting is fun when it's not rushed.  

  • Marvel at the Castle of Tomar
    Marvel at the Castle of Tomar

    Built by the Knights Templar, an organization of devout Christians, in the 12th-century, the Castle of Tomar is an imposing edifice that stands on top of a hill. Enclosed within its walls is the Convento de Cristo (Convent of Christ), a magnificent monument built over 500 years in diverging styles. Particularly arresting is the central rotunda, designed by the grandmaster Gualdim Pais and decorated with frescos depicting biblical scenes. Continue from Tomar to Fatima, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world where three shepherd children saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1917.  

    You Should Know

    Tomar is a pretty little town with a typically Portuguese laidback vibe. Walking around the narrow, cobbled walkways will make you feel like you've stepped back in time. Strike up a conversation with the friendly locals to learn more about their culture.  

  • Visit the Magnificent Biblioteca Joanina in Coimbra
    Visit the Magnificent Biblioteca Joanina in Coimbra

    Named after King João V, the 18th-century baroque library, Biblioteca Joanina in Coimbra has an awe-inspiring central hall with elaborate ceiling frescos, decorated arches, massive rosewood and ebony tables, and two-storied gilded shelves that hold some 200,000 volumes on theology, philosophy, law, medicine, and geography, a collection dating back to the 16th-century. This grand national monument of priceless historical value is a sumptuous space that's well worth a visit.  

    You Should Know

    The library is home to a colony of bats that protects the books from insects by eating them during the night.  

  • Venture into the Idyllic Portuguese Countryside
    Venture into the Idyllic Portuguese Countryside

    Big cities like Lisbon and Porto have pulsating energy but venture away from the main tourist attractions and Portugal will reward you with charming coastal villages and enchanting hilltop towns brimming with history and culture. Get off the beaten path and head to the idyllic Portuguese countryside, where you'll discover whitewashed walled cities with ancient castles and historic lighthouses with sweeping views of the Atlantic.   

    You Should Know

    You can do day trips to the countryside from larger cities. For example, visit Aveiro, just 75 km from Porto; or Tavira, 30 km from Faro; or Nazare, which is a two-hour bus ride from Lisbon.  

Portugal Tour Packages

  • Choosing the best time to tour Portugal largely depends on what you want from your trip. The country enjoys a Mediterranean climate, meaning warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. For beach lovers and sun-seekers, the best time for a tour to Portugal is between June and August, when the weather is sunny and warm, perfect for enjoying the Algarve's beaches.
  • However, if you prefer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, consider touring in spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). These seasons offer pleasant weather, ideal for exploring cities, vineyards, and the countryside. Guided tours during these months often provide a more relaxed and in-depth experience.
  • Winter, from December to February, is cooler and rainier, but it's a great time for a destination tour if you're interested in experiencing Portugal's Christmas markets or avoiding the tourist rush. Additionally, this season offers the best value for accommodation and tours.
  • The best time to tour Portugal depends on your personal preferences. Whether it's basking in the summer sun, enjoying the spring blooms, or exploring cultural festivals in the fall, Portugal has something special to offer in every season. For those who love water sports, the summer months are ideal for enjoying activities like surfing and sailing along the Algarve coast. Spring, with its cooler temperatures and fewer tourists, is perfect for leisurely exploring cities and countryside. Autumn brings a palette of colors and wine harvest festivals, particularly in the Douro Valley. Even in winter, Portugal charms visitors with its mild climate, which is ideal for city tours and experiencing unique Christmas traditions.

Portugal Tours Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I join a Portugal tour from the US?

    There are direct flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). Most Portugal tours start and end in Lisbon, making it easy for you to join the group.

  • What’s included on a Portugal tour?

    The price of your Portugal tour includes accommodation in comfortable hotels, all transportation, many meals, and guided sightseeing and activities. Your tour director will be on hand to answer questions and ensure your safety and comfort. You'll also enjoy the company of like-minded travelers.

  • How much time do I need to see Portugal in-depth?

    If you're headed only to Portugal, we suggest 10-12 days to experience the country's amazing diversity. If you're joining a combined Spain, Morocco, and Portugal tour, then we recommend a 15-17 days' vacation.

  • How much do Portugal tours cost?

    Portugal tours start at around $175 per person per day. We offer personalized services to help you find the Portugal vacation of your dreams at an unbeatable price. Call us today to save money with our biggest discounts on Portugal tours.

Learn More About Portugal Tours

  • Top 5 Destinations For Adult Solo Travelers

    Adult travelers know how they prefer to see the world. They want to spend a little longer in intriguing destinations, focus on the history, culture and locals of the city, and require an emphasis on comfort and stress free planning.

Reviews for Portugal Tours and Vacations

Great trip well planned out

Amy B

One thing that annoyed me about this trip was the abundance of optional excursions. For the price listed, I wish there were more walking and exploratory activities included. Instead, there were many optional excursions that we hadn’t budgeted for. Just going in the tour wouldn’t have given us a good understanding of the city. In the future, y’all should work on included some of those optional excursions into the actual (included for) portion of the tour, or at the very least, have more than just a bus tour of the city (like Barcelona).

Deepika M

I felt we needed more time on our own. No shoppong time

Cynthia R

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