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.

  • Admire beautiful green pastures as you drive along roads bordered with flowers on your excursion to Capelinhos volcano.

  • Enjoy a whale-watching tour on a small-boat excursion with an experienced guide who’ll offer insights into the lives of these amazing creatures.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be very high in Spain (over 40°C), which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water.

  • This trip includes a walk in the Schist villages. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.

  • In Schist villages you may be staying in two separate houses (one is next to the other), just because there may not be big enough house to host the whole group.

  • Less time spent travelling; more time to explore each destination. 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.

  • There are internal flights included on this trip. There are restrictions on the amount of luggage you can carry on these flights.

  • This trip includes some ferry rides between the islands. With temperamental weather, some of these ferry trips may be a little rocky.

  • Cobblestones are common in Portuguese cities and you may prefer to bring a backpack instead of a rigid wheelie suitcase. It's also important not to exceed the luggage weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What To Take' section of the Essential Trip Information below.

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. 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 included port tasting. Oh, and in the evening, why not book yourself in to a Rio Duoro cruise to see the city from the water.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Port Tasting - Porto
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today 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
  • Serralves Foundation - Porto - EUR5
  • Experience Porto's Bites and Sights - EUR52
  • Douro Valley Day Trip - EUR650
  • Lello Library - Porto - EUR6
  • Clerigos Tower - Porto - EUR5
  • Bolhao Market - Porto - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note that you’ll travel from Porto to Coimbra in 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 county, 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 your please before meeting with your group again for an evening Fado show.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fado performance
Optional Activities
  • Boat tour - EUR7
  • Cathedrals entrance - EUR3
  • University of Coimbra visit - EUR12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to Schist Villages, which are a relatively unknown but an amazing part of Portugal that consist of 26 villages nested between the hills and the riverbanks. Once arrived, enjoy a beautiful walk in hills surrounding one of the Schist villages 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 walk
Optional Activities
  • Traditional cooking class in Schist villages (minimum 4 people) - EUR60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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. Other option is to have time 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. Afterwards, perhaps head out and grab yourself some dinner with your newfound friends.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sunset picnic in Lisbon
Optional Activities
  • Oceanarium - EUR17
  • Naval Museum - EUR5
  • Lisbon Walk - EUR45
  • Puppet Museum - EUR5
  • Folk Art Museum - EUR3
  • Lisbon Citadel - EUR9
  • National Art Museum - EUR6
  • Gulbenkian Museum - EUR10
  • Lisbon Sunset Fado & Tapas Urban Adventure - EUR70
  • Belem Tower and Monastery - Lisbon - EUR13
  • Ginginha Tasting - EUR2
  • Sintra Day Trip - EUR10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Sometime during today, you’ll board a flight from Lisbon Portela Airport to the Azores, arriving at San Miguel Island in Porto Delgada (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 you will likely be unattended on this flight. Once arrived, you will be transferred to your accommodation for the night and meet your group for the next stage of your Portuguese adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary so please attend, and 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.
San Miguel is home to some stunning scenery and by the end of the day, this should be more than obvious. Take a guided walk to the west and central sites of the island, wandering over lagoons and volcanoes in this stunning green landscape, then 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. Next, travel past three black beaches along the south coast while before arriving at the city of Lagoa for a pottery demonstration. Depart for the other side of the mountain and the Fogo Volcano, enjoying spectacular views of the west-facing landscape. Stand in awe at the top of Pico da Barossa as you look down at Fogo’s caldera, home to a lake of the same name. After romping through a few more calderas and volcanic landscapes, stop at picturesque Ribera Grande for lunch. Try some Azorean cuisinse in the evening, looking out for cozido if you can get it. This is a must stew consisting of pork, beef, chicken, sausage and vegetables, and is typically cooked underground by a volcanic stream – you'll lava it.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sao Miguel Island Day tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fly into Sao Jorge Island, one of the most scenic islands in the Azores thanks to its steep cliffs and narrow landmass. Enjoy a free day exploring the island. There’s plenty to do, and Sao Jorge is home to some of the best walks in all the Azores, taking you for views off abrupt cliffs, steep descents and, of course, the glistening sea. If you’d rather kick your feet up, simply soak in the sun in Velas, the island’s capital. Take time to visit one of the many local bars, try your hand at birdwatching or sample some of the region’s famous (and strong) cheddar.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make the most of a second day on Sao Jorge Island with a guided hike along the Pico do Pedro trail, an intermediate-level, 17-kilometre walk along the island’s stunning mountain range. Begin at the foot of Pico do Pedro and pass by Pico da Esperanca,the highest point on the island, then wander the outskirts of the underlying crater and enjoy spectacular views of the lake below. You’ll then pass by Pico Areiro, Pico Pinheiro and a series of woods and roads before arriving at Faja do Ouvidor’s lava formed landscape. Don’t worry too much about food on the trip, as a picnic will be provided along the way.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pico do Pedro trail hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today you'll travel to Faial Island by ferry, 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 safe enough. 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. Order a G&T at the famous Cafe Sport, and share a yarn with one of the travelling yachtsmen who often visit the bar.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Volcano Capelinhos Museum visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Faial for the day to visit Ilha do Pico. 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.Later in the day, embark on a whale-watching tour with the rest of your group. 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
  • Whale Watching Tour - Pico Island
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the whale watching activity is subject to the correct weather conditions and sightings of whales cannot be guaranteed since they are wild creatures of nature.When not available, the activity will be replaced with an alternative.
Say goodbye Azores! Your trip comes to an end today after check-out.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Plane, Taxi, Ferry

Accommodation

Hotel (12 nights), Guesthouse (1 night)

Included activities

  • Port Tasting - Porto
  • Fado performance
  • Schist villages walk
  • Sunset picnic in Lisbon
  • Sao Miguel Island Day tour
  • Pico do Pedro trail hike
  • Volcano Capelinhos Museum visit
  • Whale Watching Tour - Pico Island

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. 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.

PASSPORT DETAILS
In order for our local operator to be able to buy internal flight tickets we need your passport details. Please advise these at least 6 weeks prior to the trip's departure.

The luggage limit for airlines we use for 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.

View Essential Trip Information

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