Extraordinary Portugal: Lisbon, the Azores & Porto

11 days

This 11-day adventure combines the classic highlights of the mainland with the untamed landscapes and remote beauty of the Azores. Discover historic treasures in Lisbon and Porto, the flamboyant architecture of Sintra’s Pena Palace, and delve into the mainland’s wine regions and Michelin-starred restaurants. Contrast that with a trip over the Atlantic to explore the natural wonders and mesmerising nature of the Azores on this journey around some of Portugal’s most extraordinary places.

Trip Highlights

  • Discover two unique wine regions with vineyard tours and tastings in the tiny DOC of Colares and the UNESCO-listed Douro Valley

  • Tour historic Lisbon with a private guide and enjoy a self-guided adventure around picturesque Porto

  • Venture into the mid-Atlantic by boat in search of whales, dolphins and seabirds

  • Marvel at dramatic volcanic landscapes, lush forests, gushing waterfalls and pristine natural parks in São Miguel

  • Learn how to prepare a traditional Azorean meal with a market tour and cookery class

  • Dine in two of Portugal’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants, Epur in Lisbon and Casa de Chá da Boa Nova in Porto

from $4,927 per person

This is a guide price dependent on availability and seasonality based on 2 people travelling together and sharing a room.

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Trip details

Day 1

Upon arrival at Lisbon Airport, you’ll be met by your private driver and whisked to your city centre hotel. Refresh after your journey and, depending on your arrival time, take a stroll to familiarise yourself with this historic city. You might like to wander the quaint alleyways of Alfama or relax in a streetside café with a coffee and a pastel de nata, Lisbon’s famous flaky pastry and egg custard tart.

In the evening, we can offer restaurant suggestions or arrange a table at an authentic fado show.

Day 2

Discover Atlantic-influenced wines and fairy-tale castles on today’s full-day tour. Your private driver will take you to Colares, a tiny DOC squeezed between the Sintra Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Learn about the unique terroir and wines of Europe’s most westerly wine region with two winery tours and tastings, including Adega Viúva Gomes, a revered, family-run winery in Almoçageme.

Following lunch in one of our favourite spots, take a trip back in time as you explore magical Sintra, a former summer retreat for Portuguese nobility. Prepare to be awed as you wander around the Pena Palace, a flamboyant, hilltop palace wrapped in verdant forest.

Day 3

Get acquainted with the rich history and stunning beauty of Portugal’s capital city on a guided tour of Lisbon. Ascend some of Lisbon’s seven hills for mesmerising views from its famed miradouros, ride the Number 28 tram, explore the quirky neighbourhoods of Alfama and Bairro Alto, and visit the magnificent Praça do Comércio.

After lunch, extend your tour to Belém to discover two UNESCO sites, the Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower, and sample the original Pastel de Belém in the place where they were invented.

Round off your Lisbon stay with dinner at the Michelin-starred Epur in Chiado, famed for its simple European cuisine served with maximum sophistication.

Day 4

Time for a total change of scenery, as you travel to the far-flung archipelago of the Azores, a collection of wild islands over 900 miles from mainland Portugal. Your base for the next four nights is the lush island of São Miguel, the largest island, renowned as a nature lover’s paradise.

Check into your hotel in the charismatic city of Ponta Delgada and enjoy some leisure time to explore your surrounds. For a tasty introduction to Azorean cuisine, dine at Saca-Rolhas, a traditional taverna celebrating the island’s natural bounty.

Day 5

Today your private driver will collect you for a full-day guided tour of the eastern half of São Miguel. Journey along the scenic south coast to explore the dramatic volcanic landscapes of Furnas, one of the island’s oldest calderas. Take a dip in the hot springs and geothermal pools, before enjoying a lunch of Cozidos, a stew cooked in the heat of the volcanic soil.

Continue around the Nordeste, a wild, forested area with dramatic sea cliffs and stunning viewpoints, before stopping to witness gurgling streams, towering waterfalls and lush vegetation in the Ribeira dos Caldeirões Park. Finally, head to Gorreana, Europe’s oldest tea plantation, to observe the tea production process from harvesting to packaging.

Day 6

Your day begins with an unforgettable nature experience: a dolphin and whale watching boat trip. Thanks to its location in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are an oasis of marine life, with over 28 cetaceans including sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales and many dolphin species passing the islands throughout the year.

In the afternoon, your private driver will whisk you west to visit one of the most emblematic places on the island. Officially listed as one of the ‘seven wonders of Portugal’, Sete Cidades comprises twin blue and green lakes set in the caldera of an ancient volcano. The viewpoint, ‘Vista do Rei’ offers a picture-perfect view over this majestic landscape.

Day 7

Discover the secrets of Azorean cooking at this morning market visit and cookery class. The experience begins with a wander around the Mercado da Graça where you’ll learn about the island’s produce and shop for ingredients. Then return to the chef’s private home for a hands-on cookery lesson, plus a tour of her farm and garden. This market-to-table experience concludes with an authentic, home-cooked Azorean meal, while sharing stories with the chef and fellow cooks.

The rest of the day is yours to explore at leisure. We suggest a wander around the charming city of Ponta Delgada, where narrow cobbled lanes are lined with colourful houses and traditional churches overlook picturesque squares.

Day 8

It’s time to return to the Portuguese mainland and the delightful, laidback city of Porto, nestled at the mouth of the Douro River. You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your city hotel, where you can refresh after your journey and enjoy some leisure time to explore your surroundings.

Day 9

Today you’ll head out on your own to immerse yourself in the rich history and picturesque neighbourhoods of Portugal’s second city. Stroll through the cobblestone lanes of the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district and admire breathtaking views over the Douro. Witness soaring Gothic churches and tease your senses as you peruse the bustling stalls of the Mercado de Matosinhos, a local market renowned for its excellent seafood.

If you have time, squeeze in a visit to Livraria Lello, one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops. Then round off your day with dinner at the sublime two-Michelin-starred Casa de Chá da Boa Nova, savouring exquisite seafood with a sensational sea view.

Day 10

The final stop on your Portuguese adventure is a full-day tour through the UNESCO-listed landscapes, port lodges and boutique wineries of the Douro Valley. Admire steep, terraced vineyards clinging to the banks of the river as your wind your way inland, stopping at several viewpoints.

Along the way, you’ll visit a famous port lodge and two boutique wineries to tour the vineyards and cellars, and sample some of their famed vintages. The tour includes lunch at a traditional Portuguese restaurant in the characterful riverside town of Pinhão, before a relaxing river cruise offers a different perspective on this panoramic landscape.

Day 11

Your 11-day journey around Lisbon, Porto and the Azores concludes today. If you’re not ready to head home, why not ask about extending your journey? You could head south to the dreamy beaches of Comporta or follow the river east into Central Spain to discover the Ribera del Duero wine region.

All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you

This sample itinerary is intended to give you a flavour of what we can do.

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“Thanks for taking the time and trouble to call. You really have set the standard by which we compare all other companies!! Thank you so much for organising a fantastic itinerary with such an interesting and varied range of stop-overs. We are already starting to think about next year’s trip to France so would welcome any suggestions.”

Hilary Alder

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