- Portugal Home
- Travel Info
- Video Tours
Day 01: Toronto – Porto
Overnight flight from Toronto to Porto.
Meals on board. Flights and times TBA
Day 02: Porto, World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Meeting, assistance and transfer to your pousada, OR pick up your car if you plan to drive in the city, Accommodation at Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel and Heritage Building, your home for 2 days. Discover the typical Ribeira district at your own pace, shop for souvenirs at the street vendors’ stalls, and taste the local food at one of the many local restaurants. In the afternoon pay a visit to one of the famous wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the other bank of the Douro River, and sample the famous Port or any of the excellent table wines of the Douro Region.
Return to Porto and explore its downtown area on foot (Ave dos Aliados, Sao Bento Railway Station with its tile panels that depict the history of Portugal). If you still have some free time just drop in for a coffee or tea at “Café Majestic” pastry shop, a pearl from the 19th. Century, at 112 Rua de Santa Catarina.
Day 03: Porto.
Today we take a full day mini-cruise up the River Douro to admire the breathtaking beauty of the Douro Valley, UNESCO’S Heritage Landscape. We will marvel at the “Quintas” (wine estates) with their terraced rows of grape vines, often supported by charming hotels. Most of the Quintas are open to the public and provide wine tastings and even meals (reservations requested). Return to Porto by train or bus.
Day 04: Porto
Full day hop on hop off to visit some museums and historic buildings, namely the Cathedral, St. Francis Church (Igreja de Sao Francisco), Clerigos Church and Tower, the Stock Exchange, Serralves or Soares dos Reis Museums, Dona Maria Pia Iron Railway Bridge, designed by Gustave Eiffel and completed in 1876, and the recently built Casa da Musica (House of Music).
Day 05: Porto – Guimaraes – Braga – Amares (70km)
Today drive to quaint Amares, in the “green” Minho Province. Check-in at Santa Maria do Bouro Pousada for a stay of 2 nights. Mother Nature was very generous with this Province and Amares is the ideal location to explore it. On the way to Amares we will visit Guimaraes and Braga, fascinating midsize cities.
Guimaraes was appointed the first capital city of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1128 by King Afonso Henriques. It was also appointed by UNESCO World Heritage in 2001 and European Capital of Culture in 2012. Most of Guimaraes’ historical richness is concentrated in its historical center. Visit the Castle of the 12th Century, the Ducal Palace of the 15th Century, and Our Lady of the Oliveira Monastery. We can catch an overall view of the city by taking the Penha Cable Car ride.
Braga is the oldest Portuguese City, a great cultural heritage featuring invaluable samples of Roman, Gothic and Baroque architecture and beautifully tended parks and gardens. One of the city’s post cards is the Bom Jesus do Monte (Good Jesus of the Mount) Sanctuary, a pilgrimage spot built on the top of a hill featuring beautiful architecture and allowing sweeping views across the city. Take the time to explore the various flights of stairs to the summit, each one dedicated to one of the five senses: sight, smell, sound, touch and taste and dotted with stations representing the virtues of the wounds of Christ. Then, a short drive will take us to Amares for overnight stay.
Day 06: Amares – Canicada (stop) – Geres National Park (stop)- Ponte de Lima (stop) – Valenca (stop), Viana do Castelo (stop) – Amares
On our way to the Geres National Park we make a short stop at the Pousada de Sao Bento, in Canicada, to enjoy one of the most beautiful natural views of Minho: The Cavado River making its way through valleys and canyons. The Peneda-Geres Nationl Park became a refuge for some Europe’s last predators and ground for Euro-Siberian and Mediterranean plant species. Stunning scenery – mountains, valleys, rivers and dam reservoirs – surround this lovely piece of heaven on earth. Then on to Ponte de Lima, the oldest town of Portugal, considered by many the country’s most fascinating, with its spotless streets, elegant boutique shops, Roman bridges, old squares and flowery gardens, and to Valenca do Minho, on the shores of the Minho River, just across from Tui in Spain. Half of Valenca is set within the walls of a historical fortress. Lastly we visit the coastal city of Viana do Castelo, also known as “The Princess of Minho”, and its center enriched by opulent mansions from the days gone by. The local pousada (Monte Santa Luzia), situated on the top of a hill, is the ideal look-out for a general panoramic view of the city and its basilica.
Return to Amares for overnight.
Day 07: Amares – Amarante (stop) – Peso da Regua (stop) – Lamego (stop) – Viseu.
Today we drive to Viseu with short stops in Amarante, a graceful town located on the banks of the River Tamega, featuring a bridge built in 1790 and Sao Goncalo Convent from the 18th Century. Try its pastry, namely “Lerias” and “Papo de Anjo” and its reputable “vinho verde”. Regua (Peso da Regua) is known as the capital of the “Port”. Not long ago the world famous wine used to be shipped in barrels to the wineries in Vila Nova de Gaia, via the “rabelo” boats. Mini cruises up and down the Douro River start here. Lamego is an interesting city with baroque mansions, a castle from the 12th. Century, a Gothic Cathedral, a town museum and a sanctuary to Our Lady of the Remedies. A stop at the Sanctuary will allow an overall view of this city. Viseu is a pleasant country city with routes in Lusitania, land of Viriathus, a shepherd that once dared to fight the Romans on the Herminius Mountains (today’s Estrela Mountains). Viseu is known for its excellent pastry, for the appreciated “Dao Wines” and for the world praised “Estrela Cheese” exported to many foreign countries. Viseu’s historic center with its narrow cobble streets is great for a relaxing walk. Grao Vasco Museum that holds the name of a great native painter, a cathedral from the 12th. Century and the Bishop’s Palace are located here. Check-in and overnight at the Pousada.
Day 08: Viseu – Coimbra (stop) – Lisbon.
Morning departure to Lisbon. We suggest a stop in Coimbra, home to the oldest university of the Portuguese speaking world. Most of the city’s life activities take place in the typical districts with their narrow and stone paved streets. A short break for a walking tour of this area is recommended. Then on to Lisbon. Accommodation at the Portugal Charm Hotel. Guests may use the car parking space of Hotel Mundial, a few steps away. The Hotel Portugal is ideally located in downtown Lisbon, with easy access to stores, cafes, pastry shops and open air restaurants, with the subway (metro) and tramway lines at its door step and some hop on hop off sightseeing tour departures from Figueira Square ( Praça da Figueira) just a couple of minutes walk from the hotel. Lisbon is a royal city, and her palaces and monuments mirror that greatness. Wide tree lined avenues with outdoor cafés and impressive city squares are the stages for our discovery of this magnificent city. Mediaeval Alfama narrow streets suggest Morocco, especially when the entrancing “fado” is heard in the clear night air. Quaint tramcars climb steep hills and wander among streets with palaces and monasteries, Gothic churches and richly ornate “Manueline” architecture.
Day 09: Lisbon.
JM Vacations has a wide choice of sightseeing tours covering Lisbon and the neighboring delightful villages, namely the “Golden Triangle” (Estoril, Cascais and Sintra), or the unique Obidos, Nazare, Batalha and Alcobaça . Please call us for more information.
Day 10: Lisbon – Canada.
Morning departure to Lisbon airport, about 20 minutes’ drive from your hotel. Please return your car before checking in.
End of or services
For more information and pricing, please contact us.
850 College Street,
Toronto, ON M6H 1A2
Monday to Friday
9:30am – 5:30pm