starting at €2210, total, not per person
• 3-days, 2-nights private driving & walking tour
• skip ticket lines
• our guides take you inside the monuments
• reservations required
castelo de S. 0
explore the culture and history between lisbon and porto in 3-days
Portugal is the oldest country in the world, with borders relatively unchanged since 1297. This tour travels back in history to reach Porto where the kingdom began its great expansion. Join us for a rendezvous through quaint white-washed villages, major monuments, and diverse landscapes to discover our rich heritage. Along the way, there are cultural diversions, food and wine tastings, and time to meet with locals.
Departing from Lisbon we arrive at the whitewashed village of Tomar to explore the Castelo dos Templários and Convento de Cristo. These UNESCO sights are important for their Portuguese-Gothic Manueline architecture, as well as administrative headquarters for the Military Order of Christ, heirs to the Templar fortunes. We continue on to the riverside village of Coimbra. Home to one of the world's oldest universities. We walk through the medieval historic center to discover the resting place of Portugal's first king, and the Biblioteca Joanina, a Baroque masterpiece and one of the top 3 important libraries of the world.
We head for the hills of the Douro Valley. Through the winding roads and terraced plateaus of the oldest demarcated wine country in the world. The route we take has been awarded one of "The Most Scenic Drives in the World". Our destination is a wine estate where a wine tasting awaits, (not just Port wine). There are rich red and white wines, and a Lunch break. Along the way, there are stops for photos and taking in the serenity of this magical landscape.
We focus the day on the diverse sights of Porto's historic center walking the city's most coveted gardens, riverfront, and miradoruos, (scenic overlooks). Between the sights, we use the vehicle to climbs hills to discover Porto's hidden treasures in the ornate Palacio da Bolsa, and Sao Bento Station, plated with thousands of hand-painted blue tiles. Before heading back to Lisbon, we have a refreshing lunch in Afurada, a wonderful fishermen's village still undiscovered by mass tourism. The views of Porto's pastel speckled houses in the distance offer a beautiful farewell.
why do we use a dedicated driver and a separate guide?
We provide a luxury modern vehicle with heat and air conditioning, a driver, and an official guide who can take guests inside sights. Unlike budget tour operators, our guides won’t leave you to wander the interior of sights on your own with no explanations of what you are seeing. Many budget tours have the guide double duty as the driver. This is something we would never do, and you will have a dedicated driver for 3 reasons.
1. We don't want our guests to wait for a guide to find a parking place before they lead guests inside the sights. Parking can be hectic and there are often waits during the high season.
2. We don’t want our licensed and insured drivers to be distracted by conversations with guests. Because Portugal has the highest accident fatality ratio per capita in the EU, it is very important that we keep our guests safe on the narrow roads, while our guides explain the sights, culture and landscape.
3. The weather conditions in the Atlantic micro-climate are very unpredictable, we encourage guests to bring windbreakers and umbrellas, because the temps can vary dramatically from Lisbon, bringing rain, winds, fog, or even hail. We like our guests to have the convenience of leaving their unused personal items, like packs, coats, or umbrellas inside of the vehicle with the driver monitoring it all times. Vehicle burglaries are common in the parking lots of monuments in Portugal.
We are happy to make time for guests to attend masses, or to shop for religious souvenirs if requested.
• Skip the ticket lines.
• Round-trip transfer in a luxury vehicle with a dedicated driver.
• Food and wine at tasings.
• Authorization to enter sights.
• VAT tax.
85% level ground with few upstairs and inclines. 30% of time in vehicle. No elevators. Some cobblestones on tour route. Must be able to walk at casual pace for at least 30 minutes without resting.
An additional wine tasting can be arranged in advance for an additional fee, and take place outside of regular tour hours.
Hotel, apartment, or ship dock.
Meetings at hotels or apartments located outside of Lisbon can effect tour price because of fuel and time expenses.
Tuesday to Sunday, year round.
Morning: 9:00am, 9:30am, or 10:00am
No additional start times available.
Entry fees vary by season and age, but average a total of €45 per person for all the sights that we visit.
Entry ticket fees are additional.
Meals and hotels are additional.
Guests must make their own hotel reservations in advance. A timetable provided upon confirmation of reservation.
Templar Castle of Tomar: Discover the mystique of the Templars, Order of Christ and the
Crown in Portugal.
Convent of the Order of Christ: Monumental support for Portugal's maritime discoveries of
the 15th century.
Coimbra Historic Center: Igreja de Santa Cruz, the resting place of Portugal's first king.
Coimbra University: One of the worlds oldest in the world, with the world renowned
Douro Valley: For a winery tour, tasting and a lunch. Also, awarded "The most Scenic Drive
in the World".
Clérigos Tower: An ornate, 75-metre bell tower, and Porto's most iconic structure.
Lello's Bookstore: An architectural mesh-mash of Neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau and Art Deco
elements carved from wood, stone and plaster.
Jardim da Cordoaria and Centro de Fotografia: Once a 16th century prison, this museum
holds an impressive collection of historic and contemporary photographs from Portuguese
and international photojournalists.
Vila Nova de Gaia: The south bank of Porto for a Port wine celler tour and tasting.
São Bento Train Station: A beautiful Train Station. The Belle Epoque, and Parisian-esque
exterior hides 20,000 decorative painted tiles on teh walls inside.
Ribeira: UNESCO’s World Heritage quarter with winding medieval streets and small
cobblestone alleyways that lead to a scenic riverfront with shops and cafes.
Dom Luís I Bridge: Porto's industrial symbol, a twin-level metal arched bridge from 1886
that inspired Gustav Eiffel.
Porto Sé Cathedral: A 12th Century national monument with a gothic cloister, and chapel
Church of São Francisco: The last Gothic monument in Porto completed in 1425.
Palácio da Bolsa: Porto’s old stock exchange, rich decorative carvings, plasterwork, frescos,
chandeliers and tiles highlighted in the exuberant Moorish Revival Salão Árabe.
Praça da Liberdade: Posh streets lead to this square with beautiful Neoclassical and Belle
Muralha Fernandina: Porto's medieval walls and sentry towers.
Beware of budget tours
We use authorized guides, and you will skip ticket lines. Many budget tour operators do not take their guests inside the monuments, because they do not have authorization as guides, and they cannot skip the ticket lines. They will simply park outside and wait while guests wonder the inside the sights on their own.
October 13, December 24 and 25
hotels and restaurants
Make your hotel reservations in advance.
Upon completion of your reservation, we will be happy to provide suggestions for accommodations in Porto that will meet your budget.
For lunches and dinners, and your guide will suggest authentic, local places depending on your tastes, and budget. For upscale dining, we are also happy to suggest restaurants via email in case you want to make advance dinner reservations.