Take a Portugal walking tour that highlights the hillside vineyards, medieval history, and charming villages of this renowned wine country.

Emerging as one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, Portugal is blessed with a poetic landscape, pleasant weather, and fascinating history. Start your walking tour in Porto, then make your way to the Douro Valley—a UNESCO World Heritage site—where you’ll explore a storybook landscape of steep, terraced vineyards overlooking the shimmering Douro River, and sample world-renowned port wines at historic estates (quintas). A traditional boat cruises gives you a unique perspective of the landscape from the water. Amid the hills and granite peaks of the Alentejo region, you’ll discover a medieval fortress town, wander cork oak forests, and enjoy a stay at a converted 14th-century monastery. Discover friendly locals and talented artisans along with the country’s rich culture, on this Portugal walking tour.

Highlights

  • Walk amid the terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley, visiting an elegant quinta estate to sample its world-renowned port wines
  • Explore whitewashed villages and beautiful cork oak forests as you trace medieval pathways along the ancient smuggler’s route of Alto Alentejo
  • Discover the fascinating history of Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage site, through the eyes (and stories) of your guide as you tour this cultural treasure
  • Witness the creation of hand-embroidered wool tapestries in the charming whitewashed village of Arraiolos
  • Savor lunch, local wine, and spectacular views as you cruise the Douro River aboard a barco rabelo, a boat traditionally styled to transport wine casks
On all Fully-Guided Adventures you can count on...
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Expert local guides to introduce you to the best of your destination.
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Off-the-beaten-path places you’d never find on your own.
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Delicious, authentic multi-course meals — virtually all are included.
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A maximum of 18 fun-loving fellow travelers to share the journey.
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Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home.
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Experts to handle all the details.
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Flight + Tour Combos include plane tickets, airport shuttles, and pre- and post-tour accommodations.

Itinerary

Mon, Apr 27 to Wed, May 6 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend the first night aloft.

Upon arrival at Porto’s Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign will meet you as you exit the baggage-claim area. A complimentary small-group transfer will be provided to your hotel in Porto, approximately 25-30 minutes away. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included).

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact our local partners at the following (Spanish) mobile number + 34 647 751 105 to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service on your behalf. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

Please note: If you arrive early, and your hotel room is not available prior to the designated check-in time, you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Accommodation: Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel, Porto, Portugal

Meet in Porto. Casa de Mateus guided tour. Douro Valley: Casal de Loivos to Pinhao; 4.5 miles, easy to moderate,1,500-ft. elevation loss

Breakfast is included at your hotel. Your guide(s) will meet you at 8:30 a.m. at the Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel in Porto. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please be dressed in hiking shoes for the afternoon walk in the Douro Valley.

Following a short introductory meeting you and your fellow adventurers travel east (90 minutes) to Vila Real. Once headquarters for the port and wine trade (which later moved to Porto), Vila Real is now a quiet village and the capital of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Province. While there, you have a guided tour of Casa de Mateus (House of Matthew), an estate of both architectural and cultural importance. Built in the early 18th century and attributed to Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, the house is a baroque masterpiece. The tour includes the equally ornate estate chapel and the library, whose collection includes one of the first illustrated editions of Portugal’s epic poem, Luis Vaz de Camoes’ Os Lusiadas. Rounding out the tour, you stroll through delightful gardens with many interesting featured sections, including a cedar “tunnel” and an expanse of boxwood, pruned in intricate patterns.

Moving on, a one-hour drive brings you to the Douro Valley, and the tiny hamlet, Casal de Loivos, perched high above the Douro River. The first stop is our friend Paulo’s olive oil mill, where he introduces you to his DOP (Denominação de Origem Protegida) or Protected Designation of Origin product with a tour and tasting. As you discover through the week, Portuguese olive oils are diverse, as there are countless varieties of olive trees. Passionate about his product—and no wonder, since he’s a fifth-generation producer!—Paulo shows you around his small “museum” and shares his family’s traditions, which include winemaking. You savor a light lunch of local cheeses, cured meats, salad, and freshly-baked bread accompanied, of course, by a glass or two of Paulo’s wine. The lovely view from the terrace down to the Douro is worth savoring as well.

Thus fortified, you leave Paulo on foot, walking through his vineyards on a gentle downhill path with views of the Douro shimmering below. The Douro is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s oldest demarcated wine region, the source of Portugal’s renowned Port. This is a unique and unforgettable landscape of steep, terraced vineyards carved into the mountains that descend to the river, and whitewashed wine estates (quintas) built atop the hillsides. This lovely two-hour walk on a switchback trail culminates at the distinguished riverside Croft family estate, Quinta da Roêda. Founded in 1588, it is the oldest company still active today and this property is considered its crown jewel, whose renowned port wines are made from grapes from some of the oldest vineyards in the Douro Valley. You learn about its pioneering spirit, time-honored traditions, and innovative new styles during a tasting in the beautifully-renovated stables.

From Quinta da Roêda, a 40-minute transfer brings you to Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, your home base for the next two nights. This renovated 19th-century manor house, the country’s first wine hotel, is part of a quinta dating back to 1725, when it was the property of the Portuguese royal house. In the highly acclaimed restaurant, you enjoy Chef José Pinto’s innovative twists on traditional Portuguese cuisine, featuring locally sourced, seasonal foods like pork medallions, followed by poached pears or a crème brûlée, all enhanced by the estate’s own renowned wines. After a final gaze at the serene, expansive view, enjoy a great night’s sleep.

Accommodation: Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Covas do Douro

2-6 miles, easy to moderate, maximum of 1,000-ft. elevation gain

Coffee lovers will discover this morning, if they haven’t already, that the Portuguese appreciate excellence in coffee as well as in wine. You awake to the smell of café com leite (coffee with steamed milk) and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before a morning walk through and around this large estate. The owners are also Portugal’s largest producers of cork and the trails crisscross not only vineyards, but also stands of cork oak, cypress, orange, and almond trees, with breathtaking views of the valley and river all the way. Should you prefer to walk a shorter distance, your route can easily be customized. Relaxing poolside, or in the manor house library are also respectable options; in fact, you could impress your friends at dinner by recounting the harvesting and production of cork— a truly fascinating process.

Midday you gather riverside to board a barco rabelo, a boat modeled on those traditionally used to carry casks of wine down the river. A catered lunch is served while you relish this fresh perspective on the vineyards and quintas from the water.

After you return to Quinta Nova, there is a special tour of the winery and a tasting, followed by a traditional Portuguese dinner alfresco (weather permitting).

Accommodation: Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Covas do Douro

4 miles, easy to moderate, 1,350-ft. elevation loss

This morning, you bid the Douro Valley farewell and travel south to the historic heart of Portugal with two interesting stops—walks included—along the route. The first of these, Trancoso, is reached after a 90-minute transfer. Situated on a plateau nearly 3,000 feet high, Trancoso served as an imposing fortress during the Middle Ages, and has always been strategically important due to its proximity to the Spanish border. Its large Jewish community was the source of much commercial development dating back to the 15th century. During the Napoleonic invasions, England’s General Beresford maintained his headquarters in Trancoso. In short, the town’s history parallels that of the nation, and you have a chance to ponder that history during a walk through the town and an independent lunch. Then, you continue on to the Serra da Gardunha, a Moorish name meaning “mountains of refuge” which overlook the Cova da Beira plain. Covered with vineyards during the 13th and 14th centuries this area has been known as “the King’s groves” ever since Portugal’s king decided to substitute chestnut trees for grape vines.

Beginning at a beautiful ridgeline, you start a scenic walk to the charming village of Castelo Novo, first settled in the 7th century. Although the walk is steadily downhill, and not especially long, it is a genuine hiking trail; rocky, with some protruding roots (walking poles are advised). On the outskirts of the village, you trace a riverside trail into town.

During a short stroll through the stone-cobbled streets, you view the remains of the 12th-century hilltop castle that gave the town its name (“new castle” in English) as well as impressive manor houses and churches. A two-hour transfer delivers you to the day’s final destination: a former monastery dating to the 14th century, your pousada (hotel converted from a historic property) in the Alto Alentejo, where you arrive in time for a quick dip in the pool (or Jacuzzi) before reuniting for dinner in the hotel’s elegant restaurant.

The restaurant’s menu, a worthy complement to its luxurious accommodations, emphasizes seasonal produce and locally sourced products in preparing traditional recipes with a contemporary twist. You might enjoy a starter of asparagus with Nisa (DOP) cheese, or Alentejo gazpacho, followed by chicken with muscatel and apricots served on a bed of greens, prawns with squid-ink pasta, or steamed sole on wild mushroom risotto. Desserts are exceptional, from a regional cheese plate to homemade ice cream with fresh fruit, or a traditional monastery recipe, a sweet cake called tecolameco.

Accommodation: Pousada Mosteiro do Crato, Crato

6.5-7.5 miles, easy to moderate, 650-1,350-ft. elevation gain and 450-ft. elevation loss

Today’s walk in the beautiful Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede traces one of many historical paths in this region of rocky peaks, wooded hills, and fertile valleys. A 15-minute transfer to the hamlet of Galegos brings you to the departure point, a rural paved road surrounded by cork oak trees.

The Alentejo region is one of Portugal’s chief cork production areas (the other being the Algarve in the south), and these cork oak (quercus subra or sobreio in Portuguese) forests are part of extraordinary pastoral ecosystems called montados that are highly sustainable and help to prevent desertification of the region and preserve wildlife habitat, while providing grazing for domestic animals. Beginning each May, skilled workers known as tiradors begin harvesting cork bark manually, exactly as it’s been done for the past three centuries. Today, Portugal accounts for half of the world’s cork production.

The walking path climbs steadily with varied views of forest and open land with grazing sheep along the trail towards La Fontanera, located on Portugal’s border with Spain. That fact made it a transfer point for smugglers sending in contraband coffee during the Spanish Civil War. You continue on the smugglers’ path to a wonderful outlook with views of your next destination, the village of Marvão high in the hills. En route you stop beside the Sever River to enjoy a tasty picnic lunch of local cured meats, cheese, bread, and fruit that will energize you for the next leg of the day’s journey.

The walk continues another two hours through lovely terrain dotted with (in addition to cork oak) fig, almond, pomegranate, and chestnut trees. Migratory and native birds are abundant here as well. Approaching Marvão itself is an amazing experience; a UNESCO World Heritage site, Marvão’s nickname is “Eagle’s Nest” no doubt for its mountaintop perch, but chiefly for the native Bonelli Eagle. Your minibus and driver will wait at the base of the hill to whisk those who prefer not to walk up the steep (approximate 700-ft. elevation gain) path to the village. There is time to explore the ruins of the 13th-century castle and the town’s winding streets with charming whitewashed houses and traditional blue and white tile (azulejo). After this full day, you return to your beautiful pousada where the swimming pool or spa helps you unwind before another wonderful dining experience.

Accommodation: Pousada Mosteiro do Crato, Crato

2-3 miles, easy

Today’s more leisurely pace begins with breakfast and perhaps a spa treatment or swim before your departure for the nearby town of Arraiolos. Arraiolos has a long tradition, dating back to the Middle Ages, of producing beautiful embroidered wool tapestries and rugs. Village men carded while women combed and dyed the wool, using natural plant dyes from the surrounding area. Their tapestries were highly prized and graced the homes of royal houses in Portugal and throughout Europe. This interesting history is explained in detail at the town’s museum, where you can see one of today’s weavers creating rugs based on traditional patterns. You stroll among the village’s whitewashed, tile-roofed houses, or possibly shop for a lovely rug to take home before enjoying a tasty tapas lunch at a local restaurant.

Then it’s on to Évora, capital of the Alentejo region, and also your base for the next two nights. After settling in to your hotel, embark on a walking tour of this fascinating town with a local expert guide. You explore the city’s historic center including the ancient Roman Temple of Diana (or Temple of Évora) and the Cathedral of Évora, a massive Gothic structure begun in the 12th century. You also visit the Igreja de São Francisco, which features Gothic and baroque architecture along with the skeleton-adorned Chapel of Bones. Once an important city for trading and religious purposes, today Évora is a vibrant university town.

Your hotel was fashioned out of a palatial house located beside a 16th-century aqueduct within the city walls. Like the town itself, the hotel beautifully blends historic and contemporary styles. It also features an excellent restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine, where you may choose to enjoy tonight’s dinner. The evening is yours, though, so you may also want to explore the town and discover your own perfect eatery.

Accommodation: M’AR De AR Aqueduto Hotel & Spa, Évora

4-5 miles, easy to moderate

Today’s walk in the Alentejo traverses typical Mediterranean landscape dotted with cypress, pomegranate, fig, and ancient olive trees. You depart from the tiny, rural village of Outeiro and soon reach one of some 150 dolmens and menhirs scattered across the surrounding plains. These carved-rock monoliths and piled structures, similar to those found in western Ireland, date from the 3rd and 4th millennia.

A sustained 30-minute climb along a cobbled path brings you to the very picturesque hilltop village, Reguengos de Monsaraz, designated the European Wine Capital for 2015. (Your minibus and driver provide a lift up to the village for those who prefer to skip the climb.) From this vantage point you see a huge modern dam and the Alqueva Lake on one side, and to the East, the Spanish border. Enjoy lunch with a view, dining at a restaurant with a scenic outdoor terrace. Afterward there is time to stroll this atmospheric village whose cobbled slate streets with whitewashed houses retain an authentic feel. Pop into artisan studios, and be sure to visit the castle, which now houses a bullring within its walls!

You continue to the nearby village of São Pedro do Croval, known for its fine pottery traditions, and visit an olaria (workshop), where you see potters at work on the wheel or artisans painting colorful designs. Returning to Évora, there is time to relax a bit before a festive dinner celebrating the week’s adventures. Tonight’s restaurant is in the heart of Évora, and the meal—featuring locally sourced products paired with wine from their own winery—is sure to be memorable.

Accommodation: M’AR De AR Aqueduto Hotel & Spa, Évora

1 mile, easy

You depart Évora this morning for a visit to the Cromlech of the Almendres* archaeological site. Dating from the 5th century BC, the site consists of nearly 100 granite monoliths set in a circle; it’s one of the largest such emplacements in Europe. It was most likely the site of an ancient civilization’s sacred rituals. Today, it is a serene and beautiful place surrounded by cork oaks.

*Please note that depending upon access conditions, you may visit the Cromlech of Vale Maria do Meio instead of the Almendres.

From there, you make the one-and-a-half-hour drive to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, where you bid adeus (farewell) to your guides and travel companions to enjoy an evening on your own and an overnight in Lisbon. (Lunch and dinner are on your own.)

Accommodation: Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel (or equivalent), Lisbon, Portugal

Adeus! This morning a complimentary small-group transfer is provided to Lisbon Portela Airport (or Lisbon Huberto Delgado Airport) based on your flight itinerary. Your transfer time will be communicated locally by your guide(s).

Wed, Apr 29 to Tue, May 5 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Meet in Porto. Casa de Mateus guided tour. Douro Valley: Casal de Loivos to Pinhao; 4.5 miles, easy to moderate,1,500-ft. elevation loss

Your guide(s) will meet you at 8:30 a.m. at the Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel in Porto. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please be dressed in hiking shoes for the afternoon walk in the Douro Valley.

Following a short introductory meeting you and your fellow adventurers travel east (90 minutes) to Vila Real. Once headquarters for the port and wine trade (which later moved to Porto), Vila Real is now a quiet village and the capital of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Province. While there, you have a guided tour of Casa de Mateus (House of Matthew), an estate of both architectural and cultural importance. Built in the early 18th century and attributed to Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, the house is a baroque masterpiece. The tour includes the equally ornate estate chapel and the library, whose collection includes one of the first illustrated editions of Portugal’s epic poem, Luis Vaz de Camoes’ Os Lusiadas. Rounding out the tour, you stroll through delightful gardens with many interesting featured sections, including a cedar “tunnel” and an expanse of boxwood, pruned in intricate patterns.

Moving on, a one-hour drive brings you to the Douro Valley, and the tiny hamlet, Casal de Loivos, perched high above the Douro River. The first stop is our friend Paulo’s olive oil mill, where he introduces you to his DOP (Denominação de Origem Protegida) or Protected Designation of Origin product with a tour and tasting. As you discover through the week, Portuguese olive oils are diverse, as there are countless varieties of olive trees. Passionate about his product—and no wonder, since he’s a fifth-generation producer!—Paulo shows you around his small “museum” and shares his family’s traditions, which include winemaking. You savor a light lunch of local cheeses, cured meats, salad, and freshly-baked bread accompanied, of course, by a glass or two of Paulo’s wine. The lovely view from the terrace down to the Douro is worth savoring as well.

Thus fortified, you leave Paulo on foot, walking through his vineyards on a gentle downhill path with views of the Douro shimmering below. The Douro is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s oldest demarcated wine region, the source of Portugal’s renowned Port. This is a unique and unforgettable landscape of steep, terraced vineyards carved into the mountains that descend to the river, and whitewashed wine estates (quintas) built atop the hillsides. This lovely two-hour walk on a switchback trail culminates at the distinguished riverside Croft family estate, Quinta da Roêda. Founded in 1588, it is the oldest company still active today and this property is considered its crown jewel, whose renowned port wines are made from grapes from some of the oldest vineyards in the Douro Valley. You learn about its pioneering spirit, time-honored traditions, and innovative new styles during a tasting in the beautifully-renovated stables.

From Quinta da Roêda, a 40-minute transfer brings you to Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, your home base for the next two nights. This renovated 19th-century manor house, the country’s first wine hotel, is part of a quinta dating back to 1725, when it was the property of the Portuguese royal house. In the highly acclaimed restaurant, you enjoy Chef José Pinto’s innovative twists on traditional Portuguese cuisine, featuring locally sourced, seasonal foods like pork medallions, followed by poached pears or a crème brûlée, all enhanced by the estate’s own renowned wines. After a final gaze at the serene, expansive view, enjoy a great night’s sleep.

Accommodation: Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Covas do Douro

2-6 miles, easy to moderate, maximum of 1,000-ft. elevation gain

Coffee lovers will discover this morning, if they haven’t already, that the Portuguese appreciate excellence in coffee as well as in wine. You awake to the smell of café com leite (coffee with steamed milk) and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before a morning walk through and around this large estate. The owners are also Portugal’s largest producers of cork and the trails crisscross not only vineyards, but also stands of cork oak, cypress, orange, and almond trees, with breathtaking views of the valley and river all the way. Should you prefer to walk a shorter distance, your route can easily be customized. Relaxing poolside, or in the manor house library are also respectable options; in fact, you could impress your friends at dinner by recounting the harvesting and production of cork— a truly fascinating process.

Midday you gather riverside to board a barco rabelo, a boat modeled on those traditionally used to carry casks of wine down the river. A catered lunch is served while you relish this fresh perspective on the vineyards and quintas from the water.

After you return to Quinta Nova, there is a special tour of the winery and a tasting, followed by a traditional Portuguese dinner alfresco (weather permitting).

Accommodation: Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Covas do Douro

4 miles, easy to moderate, 1,350-ft. elevation loss

This morning, you bid the Douro Valley farewell and travel south to the historic heart of Portugal with two interesting stops—walks included—along the route. The first of these, Trancoso, is reached after a 90-minute transfer. Situated on a plateau nearly 3,000 feet high, Trancoso served as an imposing fortress during the Middle Ages, and has always been strategically important due to its proximity to the Spanish border. Its large Jewish community was the source of much commercial development dating back to the 15th century. During the Napoleonic invasions, England’s General Beresford maintained his headquarters in Trancoso. In short, the town’s history parallels that of the nation, and you have a chance to ponder that history during a walk through the town and an independent lunch. Then, you continue on to the Serra da Gardunha, a Moorish name meaning “mountains of refuge” which overlook the Cova da Beira plain. Covered with vineyards during the 13th and 14th centuries this area has been known as “the King’s groves” ever since Portugal’s king decided to substitute chestnut trees for grape vines.

Beginning at a beautiful ridgeline, you start a scenic walk to the charming village of Castelo Novo, first settled in the 7th century. Although the walk is steadily downhill, and not especially long, it is a genuine hiking trail; rocky, with some protruding roots (walking poles are advised). On the outskirts of the village, you trace a riverside trail into town.

During a short stroll through the stone-cobbled streets, you view the remains of the 12th-century hilltop castle that gave the town its name (“new castle” in English) as well as impressive manor houses and churches. A two-hour transfer delivers you to the day’s final destination: a former monastery dating to the 14th century, your pousada (hotel converted from a historic property) in the Alto Alentejo, where you arrive in time for a quick dip in the pool (or Jacuzzi) before reuniting for dinner in the hotel’s elegant restaurant.

The restaurant’s menu, a worthy complement to its luxurious accommodations, emphasizes seasonal produce and locally sourced products in preparing traditional recipes with a contemporary twist. You might enjoy a starter of asparagus with Nisa (DOP) cheese, or Alentejo gazpacho, followed by chicken with muscatel and apricots served on a bed of greens, prawns with squid-ink pasta, or steamed sole on wild mushroom risotto. Desserts are exceptional, from a regional cheese plate to homemade ice cream with fresh fruit, or a traditional monastery recipe, a sweet cake called tecolameco.

Accommodation: Pousada Mosteiro do Crato, Crato

6.5-7.5 miles, easy to moderate, 650-1,350-ft. elevation gain and 450-ft. elevation loss

Today’s walk in the beautiful Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede traces one of many historical paths in this region of rocky peaks, wooded hills, and fertile valleys. A 15-minute transfer to the hamlet of Galegos brings you to the departure point, a rural paved road surrounded by cork oak trees.

The Alentejo region is one of Portugal’s chief cork production areas (the other being the Algarve in the south), and these cork oak (quercus subra or sobreio in Portuguese) forests are part of extraordinary pastoral ecosystems called montados that are highly sustainable and help to prevent desertification of the region and preserve wildlife habitat, while providing grazing for domestic animals. Beginning each May, skilled workers known as tiradors begin harvesting cork bark manually, exactly as it’s been done for the past three centuries. Today, Portugal accounts for half of the world’s cork production.

The walking path climbs steadily with varied views of forest and open land with grazing sheep along the trail towards La Fontanera, located on Portugal’s border with Spain. That fact made it a transfer point for smugglers sending in contraband coffee during the Spanish Civil War. You continue on the smugglers’ path to a wonderful outlook with views of your next destination, the village of Marvão high in the hills. En route you stop beside the Sever River to enjoy a tasty picnic lunch of local cured meats, cheese, bread, and fruit that will energize you for the next leg of the day’s journey.

The walk continues another two hours through lovely terrain dotted with (in addition to cork oak) fig, almond, pomegranate, and chestnut trees. Migratory and native birds are abundant here as well. Approaching Marvão itself is an amazing experience; a UNESCO World Heritage site, Marvão’s nickname is “Eagle’s Nest” no doubt for its mountaintop perch, but chiefly for the native Bonelli Eagle. Your minibus and driver will wait at the base of the hill to whisk those who prefer not to walk up the steep (approximate 700-ft. elevation gain) path to the village. There is time to explore the ruins of the 13th-century castle and the town’s winding streets with charming whitewashed houses and traditional blue and white tile (azulejo). After this full day, you return to your beautiful pousada where the swimming pool or spa helps you unwind before another wonderful dining experience.

Accommodation: Pousada Mosteiro do Crato, Crato

2-3 miles, easy

Today’s more leisurely pace begins with breakfast and perhaps a spa treatment or swim before your departure for the nearby town of Arraiolos. Arraiolos has a long tradition, dating back to the Middle Ages, of producing beautiful embroidered wool tapestries and rugs. Village men carded while women combed and dyed the wool, using natural plant dyes from the surrounding area. Their tapestries were highly prized and graced the homes of royal houses in Portugal and throughout Europe. This interesting history is explained in detail at the town’s museum, where you can see one of today’s weavers creating rugs based on traditional patterns. You stroll among the village’s whitewashed, tile-roofed houses, or possibly shop for a lovely rug to take home before enjoying a tasty tapas lunch at a local restaurant.

Then it’s on to Évora, capital of the Alentejo region, and also your base for the next two nights. After settling in to your hotel, embark on a walking tour of this fascinating town with a local expert guide. You explore the city’s historic center including the ancient Roman Temple of Diana (or Temple of Évora) and the Cathedral of Évora, a massive Gothic structure begun in the 12th century. You also visit the Igreja de São Francisco, which features Gothic and baroque architecture along with the skeleton-adorned Chapel of Bones. Once an important city for trading and religious purposes, today Évora is a vibrant university town.

Your hotel was fashioned out of a palatial house located beside a 16th-century aqueduct within the city walls. Like the town itself, the hotel beautifully blends historic and contemporary styles. It also features an excellent restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine, where you may choose to enjoy tonight’s dinner. The evening is yours, though, so you may also want to explore the town and discover your own perfect eatery.

Accommodation: M’AR De AR Aqueduto Hotel & Spa, Évora

4-5 miles, easy to moderate

Today’s walk in the Alentejo traverses typical Mediterranean landscape dotted with cypress, pomegranate, fig, and ancient olive trees. You depart from the tiny, rural village of Outeiro and soon reach one of some 150 dolmens and menhirs scattered across the surrounding plains. These carved-rock monoliths and piled structures, similar to those found in western Ireland, date from the 3rd and 4th millennia.

A sustained 30-minute climb along a cobbled path brings you to the very picturesque hilltop village, Reguengos de Monsaraz, designated the European Wine Capital for 2015. (Your minibus and driver provide a lift up to the village for those who prefer to skip the climb.) From this vantage point you see a huge modern dam and the Alqueva Lake on one side, and to the East, the Spanish border. Enjoy lunch with a view, dining at a restaurant with a scenic outdoor terrace. Afterward there is time to stroll this atmospheric village whose cobbled slate streets with whitewashed houses retain an authentic feel. Pop into artisan studios, and be sure to visit the castle, which now houses a bullring within its walls!

You continue to the nearby village of São Pedro do Croval, known for its fine pottery traditions, and visit an olaria (workshop), where you see potters at work on the wheel or artisans painting colorful designs. Returning to Évora, there is time to relax a bit before a festive dinner celebrating the week’s adventures. Tonight’s restaurant is in the heart of Évora, and the meal—featuring locally sourced products paired with wine from their own winery—is sure to be memorable.

Accommodation: M’AR De AR Aqueduto Hotel & Spa, Évora

Almendres archaeological site; 1 mile, easy

You depart Évora this morning for a visit to the Cromlech of the Almendres* archaeological site. Dating from the 5th century BC, the site consists of nearly 100 granite monoliths set in a circle; it’s one of the largest such emplacements in Europe. It was most likely the site of an ancient civilization’s sacred rituals. Today, it is a serene and beautiful place surrounded by cork oaks.

*Please note that depending upon access conditions, you may visit the Cromlech of Vale Maria do Meio instead of the Almendres.

From there, you make the one-and-a-half-hour drive to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, where you bid adeus (farewell) to your guides and travel companions to explore the city on your own or travel onward. Your tour will conclude at the Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel, Lisbon, by 1:00 p.m.

Accommodations

Linger Longer with a Tour Extension

Portuguese city waterfront
Pre-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2020

2020 Pre-Tour Extension - Porto

  • Two nights at the Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel
  • Small-group round-trip Porto Airport transfers
  • Two breakfasts

2 Nights From $498
per person, double occupancy

Please refer to your air itinerary for your specific flight details.

Upon arrival at Porto’s Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign will meet you as you exit the baggage-claim area. A complimentary small-group transfer will be provided to your Porto hotel, approximately 25-30 minutes away. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included).

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact our local partners at the following (Spanish) mobile number + 34 647 751 105to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service on your behalf. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

Please note: If you arrive early, and your hotel room is not available prior to the designated check-in time, you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Accommodation: Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel

You are ideally situated to explore Porto today. Among Porto’s many points of interest are the Sao Bento railway station, with its giant tile murals, Rem Koolhaas’ stiking concert hall, and the heavily gilded interior of the São Francisco church. This evening relax and perhaps dine, at your hotel’s hip restaurant and many lounges. (Lunch and dinner are on your own.)

Accommodation: Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel

After breakfast at the hotel you have another full day to discover Porto. Wander through the Crystal Palace Gardens, overlooking the Douro River, and the river itself, with its iconic bridges. Later make your way to the Praca da Batalha (or Batalha square), the site of an important 10th-century battle that is today a pedestrian plaza surrounded by interesting buildings. Don’t miss the 1947 Art Deco movie palace nearby. Enjoy one more relaxing evening on your own before you meet your guides the following morning.

Accommodation: Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel

Portugal: Porto to Lisbon 2
Post-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2020

2020 Post-Tour Extension - Lisbon

  • Two nights at the Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel
  • Small-group airport and hotel transfers
  • Two breakfasts

2 Nights From $548
per person, double occupancy

After breakfast, continue your exploration of Lisbon. Castelo de Sao Jorge, once the site of a former Moorish residence, is a great place to get your bearings, as is the Torre de Belem, a UNESCO World Heritage site and fortress on the Tejo (Tagus River). As your hotel is on the city’s main avenue, described as “Portugal’s Champs-Elysees” you can plan out your days’ activities in comfort with transportation close at hand. (Lunch and dinner are on your own.)

Accommodation: Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel

Today be sure to discover Lisbon’s cultural treats. The coach museum displays ornate horse carriages and stories of their royal occupants. The Gulbenkian Museum’s collection of Old Masters and Impressionist art is a rewarding stop, as is the beautiful St. Jerome Monastery, built to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India in 1498. (Lunch and dinner are on your own.)

Accommodation: Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel

Adeus! This morning a complimentary small-group transfer is provided to Lisbon Airport based on your flight itinerary. Please note that your departure transfer time will be communicated locally by your guide(s).

What's Included

Flight + Tour Combo
Tour Only
Exceptional boutique accommodations Check Check
All on-tour meals except 1 lunch and 1 dinner Check Check
Local guides with you throughout tour Check Check
Local wine and/or beer with dinner Check Check
Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary Check Check
Emergency travel assistance hotline available 24/7 Check Check
Roundtrip airfare Check
One extra night in Porto, Portugal and one extra night in Lisbon, Portugal Check
Airport car service for arrival & departure Check
Pre- and post-tour breakfasts Check
Business-class upgrades available Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

Flight + Tour Combo

10 days. Includes round-trip international airfare, airport car service, additional hotel nights with included breakfast, and your tour.

Single Supplement: From $1,298

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Tour Only

7 days. Includes your tour only.

Single Supplement: From $848

Limited Spaces Left

Mon, Apr 27 - Wed, May 6, 2020

$6,798

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Apr 29 - Tue, May 5, 2020

$5,548

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Limited Spaces Left

Mon, May 11 - Wed, May 20, 2020

$6,998

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Wed, May 13 - Tue, May 19, 2020

$5,598

Reserve Online

Mon, Sep 14 - Wed, Sep 23, 2020

$6,998

Reserve Online

Wed, Sep 16 - Tue, Sep 22, 2020

$5,598

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Mon, Sep 21 - Wed, Sep 30, 2020

$6,998

Reserve Online
Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Sep 23 - Tue, Sep 29, 2020

$5,598

Reserve Online

Mon, Sep 28 - Wed, Oct 7, 2020

$6,998

Reserve Online

Wed, Sep 30 - Tue, Oct 6, 2020

$5,598

Reserve Online

Mon, Oct 12 - Wed, Oct 21, 2020

$6,998

Reserve Online

Wed, Oct 14 - Tue, Oct 20, 2020

$5,598

Reserve Online

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