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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Take in the different sides of Portugal and its sun-kissed splendour on a 14-day exploration of the highlights and some lesser-known outposts. Taste port in its birthplace, explore riverfront Coimbra and its historic university, and weave through the verdant countryside all the way to the capital, Lisbon. Venture far into the Atlantic to see the rolling blue hydrangeas of Faial, the steep cliffs of Sao Jorge and the black volcanic soil under the vineyards of Pico in the Azores, offering a delightful insight into both island and Portuguese living. Discover some new sides to ancient Portugal on this diverse adventure.

Countries Visited

Portugal

  1. Day 1
    Porto
    Welcome to Portugal! Stretching along the banks of the River Douro, Porto is one of Portugal's most romantic cities. Known for majestic bridges, medieval riverside district with its cobbled streets, merchants’ houses and cafes, Porto is also well known for one more thing; surprise surprise – Porto is the birthplace of the fortified wine, port. Today, there’s an important welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your group leader and fellow travellers. After your meeting, why not get the crew together and head out to an optional dinner – your group leader will know of some great spots to go.
  2. Day 2
    Porto
    Take a leader-led orientation walk with your group this morning to get your bearings. Otherwise, the day is free to do as you please. The city's World Heritage-listed Ribeira district is packed with twisting alleys, staircases, and baroque churches, and is great to explore on foot. Sao Francisco church is known for its lavish interior with ornate gilded carvings. The palatial 19th-century Palacio de Bolsa, formerly a stock market, was built to impress potential European investors. Make sure you also visit Mercado do Bolhao, Porto's market, one of the city's institutions since 1914. For a sensational view of the whole town head to the Torre dos Clerigos (Clerigos Tower), or head down Allies Avenue to see the French-inspired buildings. Late afternoon, meet your leader and the rest of the group again to test out Portugal’s famed wine on an included port tasting. Oh, and in the evening, why not book yourself on a Rio Duoro cruise on one of the historic 'rabelo' boats to see the city from the water.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Porto / Coimbra
    The morning is free for you to explore Porto at your own pace. As you’ll be traveling over to Coimbra after lunch, there will be a place to store your luggage for the day. With early evening arrival at your hotel, you can either relax or embark on a stroll to begin exploring Coimbra.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Coimbra
    Enjoy an easy day in Coimbra at your leisure. Sitting dignified on the banks of the River Mondego, Coimbra was once the capital of the country, and its royal heritage can be felt in its historic streets and buildings. Join your group leader on a wander through the lanes and squares of the Old Quarter and be sure to pass by the University of Coimbra – the oldest in Portugal. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy as you please before meeting with your group again for an evening Fado show. Coimbra's version of the fado is linked to the academic traditions of its university and musicians wear the traditional academic outfit: dark robes and capes. The music is characterized by sombre tunes and lyrics, often about the life of the poor, and inspired by mourning and melancholia.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Schist Villages/Aldeia das Dez
    Travel to Piódão, an enchanting historical Schist Village celebrated for its distinctive architecture and breathtaking natural setting. Tucked away in the Serra do Açor mountains, Piódão resembles a scene from a fairytale, showcasing charming schist and slate houses nestled into the verdant mountainside. Take a leisurely stroll through the village's narrow, winding streets before heading towards Aldeia das Dez, a typical mountain village located on the slopes of Serra da Estrela. Also known as Aldeia das Flores, its inhabitants have it as a tradition to decorate their streets with beautiful and colourful flowers. Experience the allure of rustic beauty, picturesque landscapes, and a slower pace of life, and immerse yourself in the rich local culture, creating lasting memories in a quaint setting that seamlessly blends tradition with modern comfort.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Lisbon
    Travel back to Coimbra in a private vehicle and from there transfer to Lisbon by train. After a brief orientation walk, you are free for the afternoon. Much of Lisbon’s character and charm lies in its beautiful renovated buildings, grand boulevards, impressive castles and churches. Maybe visit one of the most symbolic buildings in the city, Lisbon Cathedral, which was built on the site of an old mosque in 1150 by Lisbon’s first bishop, Gilbert of Hastings. Inside are nine chapels, each with their own story to tell, and the wonderful Gothic cloister. Another option is to visit the medieval citadel of Sao Jorge Castle. The citadel dates back to Moorish times and sits on the highest point of the Old Town. Although much of the original castle has been destroyed throughout history, some sections of walls and 18 different towers remain today. Look down on a city swarming with endless angular white houses and buildings with distinct red terracotta rooftops.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Lisbon
    Make some further discoveries of Lisbon in the morning at your own pace. Roam through the charming narrow streets of local neighbourhoods do a spot of people watching, visit Belem Tower (a wonderful building originally designed as a lighthouse) and the vast, spectacular Monastery of the Jeronimos. Otherwise, head out for a day trip to Sintra – a royal sanctuary full of pastel coloured Romanticist buildings. In the evening, regroup and experience more of Portugal’s way of life by enjoying a glass of wine and some local bites while watching the sunset with your group.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Sao Miguel Island / Ponta Delgada
    At some stage today you’ll board a flight from Lisbon Portela Airport to the Azores, arriving in Ponta Delgada on San Miguel Island (flight time approximately 2.5 hours). Sao Miguel Island is treasured as the vibrant garden of the Atlantic thanks to its lush surrounds – hopefully you get a glimpse of this through the plane windows on the way in! Please note that today will be without a leader, and you will be on this flight by yourself or with other travellers who have booked the combination trip. Once arrived, you will be transferred to your accommodation and meet your group for the next stage of your Portuguese adventure at a group meeting tonight at 6pm.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Sao Miguel Island / Ponta Delgada
    Sao Miguel is home to some stunning scenery and by the end of the day, this should be more than obvious. Take a visit to Arruda’s Pineapple Plantation located at Faja de Baixo. These glass greenhouses often take two years to grow the delicious fruit within, and there might be an opportunity to snack on some during the visit. You’ll then skim along the south coast of the island towards Furnas. Marvel at the volcanic activity of the Furnas volcano and visit the great lagoon, then sit down to a truly unforgettable experience. Your lunch today is ‘Cozido das Furnas’ – a delicious stew cooked underground by the steam from the volcano – you’ll lava it! After lunch you’ll have the option to take a relaxing dip in a geothermal hot pool, then it’s time to hit the road again and travel to the fabulous Pico do Ferro viewpoint. Stop in at a local tea plantation for a tour and to sample some of the only tea grown in Europe – the only tea plantations on the continent are found in Sao Miguel! Finally, pay a visit to Miradouro de Santa Iria where you’ll soak in sweeping views of the north coast of the island.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Sao Jorge Island / Velas
    The morning is yours to discover more of the magic of Sao Miguel. You may like to pay a visit to Lagoa das Sete Cidades, an emerald green lake in a volcanic caldera that would look right at home on another planet. If you’d like to learn about Azorean natural history then the Museu Carlos Machado is the place for you, and the building it sits in, a 16th-century convent, is as much of an attraction as the museum itself. This afternoon, board a flight bound for Sao Jorge Island (approximately 1 hour), one of the most scenic islands in the Azores thanks to its steep cliffs and narrow landmass. In the evening you may like to get to know Velas, the island’s capital, by visiting one of the many local bars or sampling some of the region’s famous (and strong) cheddar.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Sao Jorge Island / Velas
    Start the day with a visit at local groceries to pick up a tasty snack, or if the days line up, you may instead go to the local market. Then it’s time to discover the island’s beauty on foot during a hike to the spectacular Caldeira do Santo Cristo. Begin your walk at Serra do Topo and climb a wide trail upwards. You’ll have the option to detour to a beautiful waterfall, then continue along a cobbled path towards Fajã da Caldeira do Santo Cristo. The views you’ll come upon on this walk are simply unforgettable – each one more breathtaking than the last. Follow the trail to the natural debris field of Fajã dos Cubres and explore the lagoon while your leader fills you in on the flora and fauna of the region. Stop off at a scenic spot along the trail to appreciate the views and enjoy a picnic lunch. Return to Velas after your hike for an evening at leisure.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  12. Day 12
    Faial Island / Horta
    Today you'll travel to Faial Island by ferry (approximately 2.5 hours), sometimes referred to as Ilha Azul (Blue Island). Raul Brandao, the Portugese poet, famously made note of the iconic blue hydrangeas that bloom on Faial during the summer months, quipping 'the man that had the idea to border the road with these plants should have a statute on the island.' Visit the island's resident volcano, Capelinhos, or rather the volcano centre as the climb up is not considered safe. Capelinhos last erupted in 1957 and changed the island permanently, adding an extra kilometre of land mass and blanketing the surrounding area in five metres of volcanic ash. The rest of the day is free to explore the local port town, Horta, and discover its long maritime history.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  13. Day 13
    Pico Island / Faial Island / Horta
    Leave Faial for the day to visit Ilha do Pico (Pico Island). Known as Ilha Preta (Black Island) for its black volcanic earth, Pico is the proud home of UNESCO-designated vineyards that have played a major part in the community’s development. Today you will set out on a marvellous tour on the island. Firstly learn about the island's volcanic past by visiting Arcos do Cachorro (lava tunnels) - the fascinating rock formations reveal this special force of nature. Then the hidden gem of a family-owned distillery awaits. Enjoy a tour through the distillery and learn about their special techniques and chat about the life on Pico Island over a tasting of their wonderful products. Next up is a stop at Criacao Velha for the stunning view of the UNESCO-listed landscape of Pico's vineyards. Free time afterwards and you may like to take part in an optional whale watching tour. Up until 1980, the island supported a substantial whaling industry due to the deep waters of the surrounding Atlantic. Fortunately, the end of the industry means whale watching has become a popular activity for sea-faring visitors. You'll be back on Faial Island for the evening and that means there's time for a cheeky G&T at Cafe Sport (aka Peter's Bar), perhaps the most famous sailor's bar in the world. This watering hole was once a crucial post office and gossip stop for travelling sailors in a pre-internet era. For some, it still is.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  14. Day 14
    Faial Island / Horta
    Say goodbye Azores! Your trip comes to an end today after check-out.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • Porto - Port Wine Tasting
  • Coimbra - Evening Fado Performance
  • Schist Villages - Village Walk
  • Lisbon - Drink and Local Bites
  • Sao Miguel - Island Day Tour
  • Sao Miguel - Arruda’s Pineapple Plantation at Faja de Baixo
  • Sao Miguel - Cozido das Furnas Lunch
  • Sao Miguel - Tea Plantation Visit & Tasting
  • Sao Miguel - Miradouro do Pico do Ferro & Miradouro de Santa Iria
  • Sao Jorge - Hike to Caldeira do Santo Cristo with Picnic Lunch
  • Sao Jorge - Visit to Bakery or Local Market
  • Faial - Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre
  • Pico Island - Day Trip
  • Pico Island - Liqueur Tasting
  • Pico Island - Criacao Velha Vineyards UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Pico Island - Arcos do Cachorro (Lava tunnels)

Meals
13 Breakfast(s) Included
2 Lunch(es) Included

Style: Original

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Accommodations

Hotel (10 nights), Guesthouse (3 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.7

Ratings based off 212 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

Intrepid is awesome. Our guide was superb. Everything went smoothly!

Our tour guide was wonderful. She was knowledgeable, fun, energetic, and made our week run very smoothly. The trip itself was fantastic! We saw a lot and the islands are absolutely beautiful. Great food, great new friends made on the tour, and would absolutely book with Intrepid again.

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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