Explore Northern Portugal Self Drive
- 8 Days
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 824
On this self-drive, discover the diversity of northern and central Portugal. From cities, mountains, and green vineyards producing vinho verde and port wine, to the wild sea, historic monasteries, and storied universities. This program has it all, staying in first class accommodations, plus 7-day car rental with insurance.
This 8-day self-driven trip through Portugal takes you on a round trip from Lisbon, through the country's most historic and culture-rich cities, as well as the countryside that gives Portugal much of its charm.
Pick up your car in Lisbon (you'll return later for a 2-night stay, but by all means arrive early if you want more time to explore), and set out for postcard-perfect Obidos. This tiny walled city is one of Portugal's most charismatic. Hop between local handicraftcraft shops, sampling delicious treats including the signature ginja cherry liqueur, or take a walk along the city walls for a bird's eye view. Then drive on to Porto, the gritty yet beautiful port city that is your base for the next three nights. Along the way, you might want to stop at the monasteries of Alcobaca, home to Portugal's most macabre love story, or awe-inspiring Batalha monastery. Also within easy reach are the giant waves of Nazare, or the Catholic pilgrimage city, Fatima.
Porto itself will enchant you with - of course - its port wine, but also its magnificent architecture and the natural beauty of the Duoro Valley. Take a day trip to see Guimaraes, birthplace of Portugal's first king, and Braga, the former seat of Roman power in ancient Portugal. Of course, no visit to Porto is complete without visiting a port wine cellar! Skip your way through famous names like Taylors, or for a more laid pack port experience, take some time to enjoy the sun and music on the rooftop at Cruz - sipping a delicious port-based cocktail of course! A cruise on the Duoro completes the ultimate Porto day out.
Your journey back to Lisbon begins with Coimbra, home to arguably the most prestigious university in the Portuguese-speaking world. Here, students wear their black robes with pride. That reverence for the past coupled with youthful energy makes Coimbra one of Portugal's most alluring towns, offering a memorable overnight stay for all kinds of travellers. You can also break up your final drive back to Lisbon with a visit to Cascais, 'the Portuguese Riviera' and a delightful place for a seaside lunch.
Lisbon itself is one of Europe's most appealing capital cities, where perfectly preserved slices of the past, like the Alfama neighbourhood, thrive within a city focused on the future. A couple of Lisbon's famous pasteis de nata (egg tarts) with an espresso will fortify you for each day sightseeing in the city of seven hills. There's lots to see in Lisbon proper, but you'll want to devote at least half a day to Belem, home to the beautiful Jerominos Monastery and the Tower of Belem, along with the impressive Monument to the Discoveries. You can even order up some egg tarts from the monastery that claims to have invented the recipe!
Alternatively (or perhaps book an extra day for it), take a day trip to the spectacular Sintra region. Each fabled palace in the hills of Sintra adds its own unique story to your Portugal vacation.
- 8 Days
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 824
Itinerary View Trip Map
Lisbon to Obidos
Upon arrival in Lisbon, pick up your car and drive north to Obidos, the medieval walled town, known for its typical white houses, flowered windows and narrow streets. Spend 1 night in first class accommodations. During your stay in Obidos, walk along the fortified wall to get the best views or browse through the endless bookshops or shop in the biological market for a taste of this charming city. Distance Lisbon - Obidos: 90km.
Obidos - Porto
On the way to Porto, perhaps take some time to stop at the national monuments of Batalha and Alcobaca or if the sea is calling you, catch the big waves in Nazare, a wonderful spot to stop for lunch. Arrive in Porto, located on the right bank of the Douro River that crosses the Porto wine region. Stay for 3 nights in Porto, visiting its historic centre and monuments, wine cellars or take a Douro River cruise where you have the opportunity to admire the old city of Porto. Distance Obidos to Porto: 245km.
Discover the Minho and Viana do Castelo region
Continue your discovery of Porto or head outside to the historic Minho region and its two most beautiful cities, Guimaraes and Braga. Guimaraes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known as the cradle of Portugal, the birthplace of the first king of Portugal, where, walking along the historic centre, takes you back to the medieval times. Braga, known as the Portuguese Rome due its concentration of religious architecture, is a city founded by the Romans, being one of the oldest Portuguese cities and one of the oldest Christian cities in the world with over 2000 years of history. In the Viana do Castelo region, discover Ponte de Lima, a beautiful small town and centre for adventure and sports activities.
Porto wine cellars or Douro cruise
Today, take the opportunity to visit a Porto wine cellar, located just on the other side of the river bank in Vila Nova de Gaia and discover the real Port wine town. Visit the various wine producers along the waterfront with their aging tanks and tasting rooms. Or perhaps, take a break from driving and board a Douro River Cruise for a different view.
Porto - Coimbra
Depart Porto and head south towards Coimbra. On the way, don't miss the chance to stop in Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal.
Spend 1 night in Coimbra where you will have the chance to see this unique and special university town, one of the Europe's oldest universities, where it has retained its secular academic traditions as seen in the black caped students and captivating Fado music. You can also discover the tragic love story of Pedro and Ines of the 14th century, a visit to the Alcobaca Monastery is sure to follow. Distance Porto - Coimbra: 130km.
Coimbra to Lisbon
On the way back to Lisbon pass by Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe and the seaside coast, Estoril and Cascais (the Portuguese Riviera). In Lisbon, spend the next 2 days discovering its World Heritage monuments and medieval quarters of Alfama and Mouraria or walk along the typical streets of Bairro Alto and Madragoa and enjoy one night this live area and have a chance to dinner in a local Fado Restaurant and listen this typical song. Distance Coimbra - Lisbon: 205km.
On your last day, visit the most historic sites as the quarter of Belém, with the Tower of Belem, Jerónimos Monastery and the Portuguese famous culinary delight, nata! Or, spend the day in the nearby nearby romantic Sintra area with its unique Palaces.
Check out of your hotel and make your way to the airport to return your car or extend your holidays to another destination.
- 1 night first class accommodations in Obidos
- 3 nights first class accommodations in Porto
- 1 night first class accommodations in Coimbra
- 2 nights first class accommodations in Lisbon
- 7 day car rental in Group B category (Mitsubishi Colt or similar)
- Super Colission Damage Waiver insurance
- Breakfast daily
- Entrances fees to sites and museums
- Road tolls
- Lisbon hotel tourist tax
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Visa fees if applicable
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Items of a personal nature
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.
22 Mar 2019