Day 1 + 2: Lisbon
This legendary city has a history spanning 2,000 years. One of the oldest quarters in Lisbon is the Moorish Alfama, home to the city’s tallest hill and the area of Bairro Alto. Visit the state-of-the-art aquarium, experience the breathtaking view from the walls of a millennium-old castle, see fairytale palaces, interesting museums, World Heritage monuments, castles, open-air markets, narrow cobbled Medieval streets, exquisite shopping, fine cuisine, lively music – you will agree that Lisbon is a most captivating city. You will stay 2 nights in Lisbon. Spend your last day visiting museums and catching up on sightseeing some of the many castles, palaces and World Heritage monuments that you missed on Day 1. If you believe you need more time, then book an extra stay. With fine shopping and open-air markets there will be much to do. Enjoy a relaxing meal of the rich, filling and full-flavored dishes of the area.
Day 3: Lisbon – Lagos – Praia da Rocha/Portimao (ca. 190 mi/ 310 km)
From Lisbon drive south to the Algarve with its fishing villages, market towns and spectacular coastline. As you drive enjoy this beautiful part of Portugal. Conquered from the Moors by the Portuguese, traces of its Moorish presence can still be seen in its unique architecture and whitewashed houses. Argarve’s southern coastline consists of long stretches of fabulous sandy beaches, broken up by rugged cliffs and fantastic grottoes. End your day at Praia de Rocha, where we have arranged your overnight accommodation, a town internationally known for its sandy beaches sheltered by high cliffs. St. Caterina Fort is situated at the end of the beach near the marina, and offers a wonderful view over the surrounding area. With the town’s many bars, restaurants and Casino it is an extremely cosmopolitan vacation town.
Day 4: Portimao/Praia da Rocha – Albufera – Beja – Evora (ca. 180 mi/ 290 km)
As you drive you pass through green countryside dotted by fig, almond, orange and pine trees, and the decorated chimneys of the cottages stand out against the ochre colored roof tiles. Famous for its beautiful beaches and famous golf courses Albufeira is best explored on foot through its cobbled alleys and Moorish arches. Leaving the Algarve your drive north continues through beautiful and unspoiled countryside to Beja. Here the Moorish influence can be seen amongst the cobbled streets of the old town. Leave Beja for the historical city of Evora where we have arranged your overnight stay. This region has been settled since prehistoric times – megaliths from 4,000 BC can be seen a few miles outside the city. Today Evora’s walled town contains many interesting sites with a full range of architectural styles reflecting its rich history.
Day 5: Evora – Castelo de Vide – Belmonte – Viseu (ca. 230 mi/ 365 km)
This morning’s journey takes you to the pretty Roman town of Castelo de Vide. Time seems to have stood still in the medieval atmosphere of the Jewish Quarter, with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, many with Gothic doorways. Take a short climb to the Castle that looks down upon the town. Down the hill is the newer part of the town with wider, less steep streets, and an elegant main square. From Castelo de Vide as you drive to Viseu experience the breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, gorges, streams and tiny remote villages, many seeming remarkably untouched by modern life. At Viseu we have arranged your overnight stay. It is here that the composer Hilario was born, whose composition Coimbra led to the Portuguese singing style of Fado. Whilst here sample Viseu’s fine cheeses, for which the area is renowned, and also the Dao wines.
Day 6: Viseu – Mateus – Vila Real – Porto (ca. 135 mi/220 km)
Leave Viseu and drive through beautiful countryside of chestnut trees, vines and orchards as you come upon the village of Mateus, famous for the rose wine made on the estate once owned by the Counts of Vila Real. The manor house, Solar de Mateus, is considered to be a perfect example of Portuguese Baroque. Although the Mangualde family still live there, parts of it are open to the public. The beauty of its gardens surpasses the beauty of the building. Your day ends in the city of Porto, where we have arranged your overnight stay. Porto is built into the granite cliffs at the mouth of the river Douro and here you will find an array of architectural gems. Be sure to sample the country’s famous Port wine and seafood cuisine.
Day 7: Porto – Aveiro – Coimbra – Caldas da Rainha (ca. 170 mi/300 km)
Today, a fascinating drive. Your first stop is the city of Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal, it is surrounded by salt-flats, beaches, lagoons and dominated by the Central Canal which runs through the town. It is basically a mixture of neat fishermen’s cottages and Art Nouveau town houses with a few historic buildings. While in Aveiro taste the town’s specialty pastry, Ovas Moles, small almond shaped creations with a sweet filling. Continue on to Coimbra which is overlooked by the tall tower of its old university (one of the oldest in Europe). As early as the Middle Ages Coimbra was divided into an upper city, where the aristocracy and the clergy lived, and the lower city by the river, where commercial activities took place. Some remnants are still visible of the ancient fortified wall which encircled the city. Continue your journey to the small town of Batalha then on to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, in the green hills of Cova da Iria. It is one of the most famous in the world, and its name comes from the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary by three shepherd children at Fatima on the 13th day of six consecutive months starting on 13th May 1917. Overnight in Sintra or Caldas da Rainha.
Day 8: Sintra/Caldas da Rainha – Lisbon (ca. 30 mi/50 km)
End trip or book some nights extra in Lisbon or Cascais/Estoril Beach
|Daily arrival||Price per Person||Remarks|
- 08 days Self Drive Tour according to program
- 07 nights in double room in 3/4 star hotels incl. breakfast
- Hotel taxes and Service charges (tourist taxes not included)
- directions, maps and information in English including voucher package
- prices are always per Person
- your flight / Choose & Book here Low Cost Flights
- your carhire /Choose & Book here Low Cost Car Rental
- entrance -and parking fees, fuel, road tax etc.
- local tourist tax (payment on the spot)
- other meals
- supplement single room (on request)
- This trip can always be extended / shortened or adapted
- upon reservation you will receive directly reserved hotel confirmations