Day 1 UK - Porto
Travelsphere’s Private Chauffeur service collects you from home for your flight to Porto today, after which we will transfer you to your hotel. D
Day 2 Porto
After a good night's sleep you'll be ready to explore, so let's head out on a sightseeing tour of Porto, Portugal's second-largest city. We'll begin outside the Baroque Clérigos Church and admire its striking 75-metre-tall bell tower, one of the city's most iconic sights. Next we'll visit the beautiful Lello bookstore, which is said to have inspired JK Rowling when she penned the Harry Potter story, and then there's free time for lunch. Afterwards we'll head to Ribeira, the city's UNESCO-listed Old Town, where pretty pastel-coloured buildings line the waterfront. Here we'll visit the famous Stock Exchange Palace – a magnificent Neoclassical building, with a spectacularly lavish ballroom.
A memorable cruise along the Douro River provides wonderful views of the city's bridges, the Old Town and Vila Nova de Gaia. This city on the left bank of the river is famous for its port wine cellars. To complete our tour we head for an olive oil tasting session in the city centre where you can sample olive leaf tea, green and black olives in canapé format, and olives preserved in olive oil and seasoned with lemon, bay leaves and herbs. Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening. (B, D)
Day 3 Esposende - at Leisure
The choice is yours today, you can head out and make your own discoveries, or join an optional excursion and explore a little further afield. First of all you'll head to the beautiful city of Viana do Castelo. The streets of its historic centre are lined with fine examples of Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Deco architecture, and the city is known for its production of traditional gold filigree. Next you'll visit elegant Braga, the capital of the Minho province and a famous pilgrimage centre. The cathedral here is one of the oldest in Portugal, and you'll have time to step inside before visiting the famous Bom Jesus Shrine. At this popular pilgrimage site, a Baroque stairway leads up to a magnificent church, and fabulous views await those who climb to the top.
After free time for lunch, you'll visit the charming city of Guimarães whose historic town centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. Guimarães is regarded as the birth place of Portugal and its extensive history is reflected in the variety of national monuments and historic buildings found within the city. Here you can wander around the narrow streets of the medieval quarter, see houses adorned with ornate balconies and admire the façade of a 1,000-year-old castle. (B, D)
Day 4 Douro Valley - Viseu
After breakfast, we're going to visit Quinta da Aveleda, famous for its production of the Portuguese wine, Vinho Verde. The estate has been owned by the same family for nearly 150 years. We'll learn more on a guided tour, before a tasting rounds off our visit. The day continues as we drive towards the Douro Valley, stopping in Régua to visit a port wine producer for a tour and tasting. After free time for lunch, we'll make our way to Lamego, where the 18th century Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios sits on a hilltop overlooking the city. A wonderful stairway decorated with colourful tiles, fountains and statues zigzags its way up to the church, and is a truly remarkable work of art.
Leaving the Douro Valley behind, our final destination today is the historic town of Viseu, where we'll stay overnight. Its well-preserved centre is filled with winding alleys and cobblestone streets, and there are lots of lovely restaurants if you fancy heading out for dinner. (B)
Day 5 Coimbra - Batalha - Óbidos
Today we'll explore Coimbra, the medieval capital of Portugal for over 100 years. Highlights include the university, one of the oldest in Europe, and the New Cathedral with its ornate golden interior. Our next stop is the impressive UNESCO-listed Batalha Monastery, which contains the tomb of Prince Henry the Navigator – one of the early pioneers of the Age of Discovery. By now you will have worked up an appetite for lunch, so we'll head to the fishing village of Nazaré, where you'll find plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from.
Finally we'll arrive in the town of Óbidos, which is surrounded by an old wall flanked by round towers and square bastions. The town was given by King Denis to his young wife, a gesture that was repeated by future monarchs until 1833. (B)
Day 6 Lisbon - Estoril
You're heading to Lisbon this morning, where a tour by tuk-tuk will introduce you to the narrow streets and best-kept secrets of the city centre. You'll pass Saint George Castle, the imposing Lisbon Cathedral and see a more traditional side of the city in Alfama, with its maze of steep and twisting narrow streets. After free time for lunch, your tour continues by coach. You'll head to Belém, the site from where Portugal's famous navigators set sail during the Age of Discovery. Nowadays it is a leafy suburb, and you'll see the St Jerome Monastery, the Monument to the Discoveries and the iconic Belém Tower, with its intricate balconies and turrets.
Later, we will transfer you to the fashionable resort of Estoril for an overnight stay. (B)
Day 7 Estoril - at Leisure
You may want to spend the final day of your holiday relaxing at the hotel or on the beach. Alternatively, if you want to carry on exploring, we offer an optional excursion to Sintra and Cascais.
Attracted by Sintra's slightly cooler climate, Portugal's noble and well-to-do citizens once built exquisite palaces and mansions in the town, including the spectacular Sintra National Palace, which we will see.
As we head back towards Lisbon, you'll stop at Cabo da Roca – the westernmost point of Continental Europe – and at Cascais, an ancient fishing village with gorgeous beaches, pretty gardens and a delightful Old Town. A tour of Estoril rounds off your excursion and this evening we'll get together for a farewell dinner. (B, D)
Day 8 Lisbon - UK
Travelsphere’s Private Chauffeur service collects you from home for your flight to Porto today, after which we will transfer you to your hotel. (B)
Meals included B = Breakfast. D = Dinner