Map of Portugal & the Azores including Portugal

Eat, dance and travel your way through Portugal’s highlights.

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.


Start
Porto, Portugal
Finish
Faial Island, Portugal
Destination
Portugal
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
ZMSPC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Take a walk through the idyllic coastal city of Porto and understand why the birthplace of fortified wine is renowned for its narrow lanes, charming buildings and delicious cuisine.

  • Explore the country’s oldest university when discovering the historic riverfront city of Coimbra – once the capital of Portugal.

  • Walk through the secluded Schist Villages, hidden between the mountain slopes, and consider the option of an authentic cooking class run by local residents.

  • Uncover the wonders of Sao Miguel on a day tour of the island, from plantations of tea and pineapples to an active volcano and some truly memorable viewpoints.

  • Hike through the UNESCO-designated vineyards and over black volcanic earth on the island of Pico, then be rewarded for your efforts with a tasting session at a fantastic local winery.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be extreme in Portugal (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. Please note that only some of our hotels and public trains in this region have air-conditioning.

  • In mainland Portugal the primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Trains are a fast way to cross long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. They are comfortable and all have toilets, however, can sometimes be quite busy. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential Trip Information’ section. On the Azores Islands this trip includes some ferry rides between the islands. With temperamental weather, some of these ferry trips may be a little rocky.

  • There are two internal flights included on this trip. In order for our local operator to be able to buy tickets we need your passport details preferably at the time of booking, but at least 6 weeks prior to the trip's departure. Please note that the internal flights have a luggage limit of 20kg. Please pack accordingly as exceeding this limit may incur additional charges at the airport.

  • This trip does not require any physical preparation, however, a good level of fitness will be an advantage. The Azores are a natural wonderland and the best way to discover them is on foot. There are few included walks and lots of opportunities to discover the islands further in your free time.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

Itinerary

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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Porto - Port Wine Tasting
Optional Activities
  • Porto - Clerigos Tower - EUR5
  • Porto - Bolhao Market - Free
  • Porto - Lello Library - EUR3
  • Porto - Serralves Foundation - EUR5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that Porto is quite hilly, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes for today's orientation walk.
The morning is free for you to explore Porto at your own pace. As you’ll be traveling over to Coimbra in the late afternoon or early evening, there will be a place to store your luggage for the day. If you’d like, you could head out of the city into the Duoro Valley, where the river weaves around hilly landscapes and past vineyards and small villages. There are a number of ways to discover the valley, including by boat or train, but make sure to check in with your leader to organise a trip that gets you back in time for the train to Coimbra. With a late arrival at your hotel, have a relaxing night in Coimbra.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Douro Valley - Guided Day Trip with Wine Tasting - EUR650
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that you’ll travel from Porto to Coimbra in the early evening today. This means that, once arrived, dinner may be quite late.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Coimbra - Evening Fado Performance
Optional Activities
  • Coimbra - Mondego River Boat Trip - EUR7
  • Coimbra - Cathedrals - EUR3
  • Coimbra - University of Coimbra - EUR12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to the so-called Schist Villages, an amazing part of Portugal, yet a well kept secret, with friendly locals eager to welcome you to their villages. The area consist of 26 villages nestled between the hills and riverbanks, seamlessly merging into the surroundings due to the stone used to build them, schist, a metamorphic rock. The villages experienced abandonment during the 20th century, as people left to look for better life opportunities in the cities. Thanks to a government project aimed at boosting the local economy through sustainable tourism they are experiencing a renaissance. Once arrived, enjoy a beautiful walk in the hills surrounding the village you will be staying at. In the afternoon, consider joining a traditional cooking class and dinner. It will take place in one of the villages and is a perfect way to discover the local cuisine. Prepare a full meal using products grown locally, and you’ll get shown the ropes by local people. After the class, take a seat, have a glass of wine and enjoy the fruits of your own labour.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Schist Villages - Nature & Village Walk
Optional Activities
  • Schist Villages - Traditional Cooking Class (minimum 4 people) - EUR60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Tonight the group may stay in two separate houses (one next to the other). For today's walk through the hill it is recommended you bring sturdy walking shoes. A moderate level of fitness is needed to fully enjoy the walk as it has some steep and rocky sections. If you don't like to participate you can opt out and enjoy the picturesque village instead.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 sunset walk with your group and a wine and cheese picnic.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lisbon - Sunset Picnic
Optional Activities
  • Lisbon - Oceanarium - EUR17
  • Lisbon - Naval Museum - EUR5
  • Lisbon - Experience Lisbon Walk Urban Adventure - EUR45
  • Lisbon - Puppet Museum - EUR5
  • Lisbon - Folk Art Museum - EUR3
  • Lisbon - Citadel - EUR9
  • Lisbon - National Art Museum - EUR6
  • Lisbon - Gulbenkian Museum - EUR10
  • Lisbon - Sunset Fado & Tapas Urban Adventure - EUR70
  • Lisbon - Belem Tower and Monastery - EUR13
  • Lisbon - Ginginha Tasting - EUR2
  • Sintra - Day Trip - EUR10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that you will be unaccompanied on your flight today to the Azores. As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are going to change today. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary so please attend as this is also a great chance to meet the new group. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 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
Optional Activities
  • Sao Miguel – Caldeiras da Lagoa das Furnas Geothermal Pool - EUR3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Sao Miguel - Lagoa das Sete Cidades - Free
  • Sao Miguel - Museu Carlos Machado - EUR2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
While your flight is expected to depart Sao Miguel in the afternoon, please note that the flight schedule is subject to change. Please also note that Sao Jorge is quite remote even for Azores standards and accommodation options are limited. We stay in a locally owned guesthouse, and while it is clean and conveniently located in Velas, please be aware that rooms are basic and do not have air-conditioning.
Start the day with a visit to a local bakery 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sao Jorge - Hike to Caldeira do Santo Cristo with Picnic Lunch
  • Sao Jorge - Visit to Bakery or Local Market
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today's hike is about 10 km and will take you across loose rock and uneven surfaces. Your leader will be able to fill you in on the details of the walk, but if you have concerns it's no problem for you to opt out and enjoy Velas and its surroundings instead.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Faial - Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 hike through these historic vineyards and the surrounding villages, passing by wine cellars, shelter houses, tide wells and “relheiras” – tracks left by ox carts. Stop in at a winery for a well-deserved tasting of the celebrated local vino and learn a little more about its history on the island. Later in the day, 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pico Island - Day Trip
  • Pico Island - Wine Tasting
  • Pico Island - Criacao Velha Vineyards UNESCO World Heritage Site
Optional Activities
  • Pico Island - Whale Watching Excursion - EUR62
  • Pico Island - Gruta das Torres Lava Tubes - EUR8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say goodbye Azores! Your trip comes to an end today after check-out.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 2 lunches

Transport

Train, Private vehicle, Plane, Ferry, On foot, Taxi

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights), Guesthouse (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Porto - Port Wine Tasting
  • Coimbra - Evening Fado Performance
  • Schist Villages - Nature & Village Walk
  • Lisbon - Sunset Picnic
  • 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 - Wine Tasting
  • Pico Island - Criacao Velha Vineyards UNESCO World Heritage Site

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Portugal & the Azores trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

From 01 September 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips will be required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Excludes Australia, New Zealand and Cook Islands tours. Read details here.

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for internal flight tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 6 weeks of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
3. The luggage limit for airlines we use for the domestic flights on this trip is 20kg. Exceeding this limit will incur an excess baggage charge, payable by the traveller. However, we must stress that due to the adventurous nature of this trip and the amount of public transport we use on it, this limit far exceeds Intrepid's recommended luggage weight for this tour (15kg).

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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