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  • Writer's pictureDEAN NELSON (he/him) CRDE, LLD

Best of Portugal: Porto, Lisbon, Setubal

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

A bespoke luxury experience of some of the best of Portugal attractions. A sample itinerary for 9-nights.


Day 1 - Porto

Upon arrival at city airport you will be welcomed to country by your local in-destination liaison as you exit customs into the arrivals hall, and transferred to your hotel where you will be assisted with check-in procedures. Personal Travel Management's travel partner is part of a unique network of over 75 representatives throughout Europe who ensure your vacation operates smoothly and to your absolute satisfaction. Your Representative is there on the ground to ensure that your travel arrangements run perfectly. He/she is on the end of the phone for you should you have any queries and is there to assist you.

Rest of the day at leisure to rest after your long flight.

Porto (also known as Oporto – literally ‘the port’) is Portugal's vibrant second city. The colourful town is filled with medieval relics, soaring bell towers, extravagant Baroque churches and stately Beaux-Arts buildings piled on top of one another, with some of Europe's most graceful arched bridges spanning the gorge cut by the Douro River above. Porto’s fame, however, springs not from the beauty of its buildings but from the taste of its port wine. First extensively developed by English merchants in the early 18th century, the port industry still plays a major role in the city's economy. Porto’s historic centre is the Ribeira district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where tripeiros (Porto residents) mingle in front of old storefronts on village-style plazas. Fashionable shops are to be found in the upper town and the main sights include the Cathedral and the Palacio da Bolsa (stock exchange), noted for its impressive Arab Room. Located in a newly renovated 18th-century palace in the heart of Porto, the NH Collection Porto Batalha was once the home of a prominent wine-producing family, and more recently the city's main Post office. Room numbers are marked on old postcards, carpets are patterned with postage stamps, and characterful prints of old stamps hang on the walls. This is a great choice for those wishing to stay in authentic old Porto while enjoying all the conveniences of a large hotel, including a small pool, spa and gym.

NH Collection Porto Batalha - Premium Double for three nights

In the 18th century, lavish balls were held here and dignitaries plotted political coups. Now The NH Collection Porto Batalha is a state-of-the-art hotel that’s retained every bit of its age-old splendor. It is set in a beautiful 300-year-old palace in the heart of the city’s ‘golden triangle’.

  • shop at Rua de Santa Catarina – the city’s main commercial street – just a short stroll away

  • experience the city’s cultural scene at the fashionable Rua de Miguel Bombarda

  • head for cocktails and tapas at the legendary Rua da Galeria de Paris

The hotel offers 107 rooms spread over five floors. There are five family rooms, 87 superior rooms and 15 premium rooms.

  • reserve 4th-floor rooms with a view and enjoy terraces offering views over Porto (subject to availability)

  • feel at home with features like express laundry, courtesy ironing and newspapers in rooms

The wellness center has a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and water circuit for you to unwind in. Massages are also available in the treatment rooms. Explore and make the most out of your stay in Porto with the help of our Guest Relations team's expertise.

  • practice your workout on the top-of-the-RANGE cardio machines at the gym

  • have fun at a fitness class, or request a personal trainer

Day 2 - Porto

Discover the history surrounding Porto's nickname, the "Unvanquished City", on your tour today. Porto is situated on a steep escarpment running down to the River Douro, occupying its north bank. Start your tour with a visit to the Romanesque Cathedral, whose terrace offers fine views of the river and the area of Vila Nova de Gaia, where all the port wine lodges are found. Descend from the cathedral to visit the Stock Exchange Palace and the dazzling, heavily gilded St. Francis Church. After some time for lunch at leisure, explore some additional highlights of Porto. With your guide and driver, head along Boa Vista Avenue passing the striking Peninsular War Monument on your way. Next, enjoy cutting-edge exhibitions at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. The celebrated building housing the museum was designed by the eminent architect, Álvaro Siza. Together with Serralves Villa, a landmark Art Deco building, the museum is situated within a beautiful park. Next, continue to the edge of the Atlantic to Foz do Douro, with its elegant promenade and fortress. Return to Porto city centre along the beautiful beach that leads to the Sao Miguel lighthouse. Travel through the more modern parts of the city, including the relaxing Palacio de Cristal Gardens and Aliados Avenue, past the City Hall. At the Clerigos Church, ascend the bell tower for impressive views over the city. (8 hours, driver and guide) → over night at: NH Collection Porto Batalha Premium Double

Day 3 - Porto

Enjoy today at leisure in Porto to explore at your own pace.

Optional: Full-day trip to the Douro Valley

Meet your private driver in the morning and transfer out of Porto. Upon arrival to Pinhao you’re your local guide and marvel at the varied scenery of the Douro wine region during a pleasant walk ; pass through beautiful vineyards on your journey to the majestic Douro River. Start at the hilltop village of Casal de Loivos to witness the splendour of the Douro landscape from various perspectives. Before you walk, visit an olive oil museum and taste their delicious olive oil and honey. Make your way downhill through the vineyards to a prestigious wine estate where you are greeted with a delicious picnic lunch followed by a tour of the winery (no tasting) to learn how the prestigious wine from the region is made. At the end of the tour, you are transferred back to your hotel. (9 hours; driver and 6 hours local guide)

→ over night at: NH Collection Porto Batalha Premium Double

Day 4 - Porto-Coimbra

Meet your private driver today and transfer in the comfort of your private vehicle to your next destination: Coimbra. During this walking tour through the historical centre of Coimbra, discover why this city was classified a UNESCO World Heritage in 2013. As you stroll through the streets of the upper town, your guide unveils its prominence in Portugal’s history and culture. Known as the “City of Knowledge”, each corner is filled with delightful surprises; enjoy the unique beauty of the historical buildings and witness centuries-old traditions played out in everyday student life. Your guide, a local resident and former student of the University of Coimbra, the oldest institution in the country, shares personal anecdotes about these academic customs. By the end of your tour, you cannot fail to fall in love with this wonderous city. (3 hours, walking guide and taxi fund)

Central Portugal is the place where you can get a little of everything, from the highest mountains and verdant rolling hills, to enchanting waterfalls and fantastic white sandy beaches. The charming town of Coimbra is deemed the medieval capital of Portugal, and is truly a Portuguese highlight. It is home to the country’s greatest university and full of multi-coloured buildings spanning nearly a millennium. Tomar is one of central Portugal’s most appealing little towns, with its pedestrian- friendly historic centre, pretty riverside park frequented by swans, and charming natural setting adjacent to the lush Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes (Seven Hills National Forest). Aveiro is a bustling city known as “the Venice of Portugal, ” due to its picturesque setting of scenic canals connected by charming bridges and dotted with colourful gondolas and speed boats. Another popular town is Obidos, where the old fortified wall that guards the magnificent medieval castle and historic centre is a special treat for visitors.

The Quinta das Lagrimas Hotel is located in the heart of beautiful Coimbra. Housed within an 18th century palace which has been restored in all its glory, this monumental hotel honours the forbidden love affair between the noblewoman Ines de Castro and Prince Pedro. Each one of its rooms has its own individual charm and design. Dine in one of the two restaurants; Arcades, which serves dishes made with the fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs from the hotel's own garden and orchard, and the Pedro & Ines which offers a casual dining experience. Wine is a very important part of the property, with the wine list featuring a very complete offering of Portuguese vintage wines. There is also an indoor pool, a relaxing spa with a great selection of treatments, a sauna and Turkish baths as well as a gym. This is the ideal getaway if you are seeking an escape in the stunning University city of Coimbra.

→ over night: Quinta das Lagrimas Hotel - Palace Double

Nature, charm, history, elegance, experiences... this is the essence of Quinta das Lágrimas (Estate of Tears). For centuries a private sanctuary that welcomed Kings and Emperors, the Quinta das Lágrimas Hotel is now open to all those that appreciate the art of fine living and to those that want to discover the love legend of Prince Pedro and the fair Inês de Castro. The hotel is a member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”.

Day 5 - Coimbra - Lisbon

Meet your private driver today and transfer in your private vehicle to Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. Your food expert meets you at your hotel this evening and takes you to the Alfama, the oldest area in Lisbon, where you learn about its rich culture and history. From Alfama, your leisurely journey continues on foot through the Old Town, where you visit traditional restaurants and stores that are popular with the locals. Taste the delicious petiscos (small portions of food) that are much-loved throughout the city. During this tour, you enjoy some delicious tastings accompanied by several beverages of your choice at four different spots recommended by your guide. (Up to 4 hours walking tour and taxi fund)

Lisbon is all about Roman and Moorish ruins, white-domed cathedrals, grand plazas lined with sun-drenched cafés and narrow cobblestone lanes. Today, the city has three major districts: the lower town is the heart of Lisbon, where most of the governmental buildings and institutions are found; Barrio Alto, the upper town, is a charming area where time seems to have no meaning; and Alfama, the oldest part of Lisbon, is made up of tiny whitewashed houses that fill a labyrinth of narrow alleys. Belem, formerly a separate town and now absorbed by Lisbon, contains the city's masterpiece of Manueline architecture, the Jeronimos Monastery. It stands in silent tribute to Portugal's celebrated age of discoveries, born out of an exuberant period when the country’s navigators were leading the world in exploration. A short way inland from Lisbon, the UNESCO heritage site of Sintra enjoys a cool mountainside location, which made it a favoured summer destination for Portugal’s royals - their ornate and extravagant palaces make for a fascinating day- trip.

The H10 Duque de Loulé is a charming boutique hotel housed in a historical building in the centre of Lisbon. The building's beautiful and typical 18th-century façade, courtesy of the Spanish designer Lazaro Rosa-Violin, has been carefully preserved, while its interior design is a fusion of traditional Portuguese and contemporary elements. In the lobby and bar area there are huge, tiled panels depicting ancient scenes from Portugal's history, while in the bedrooms and roof top bar, the rooms are decorated in blues and whites and are geometric or modern in design. Enjoy a delicious fusion of Portuguese and Spanish flavours for lunch in the Azul & Branco restaurant, with its bistro-like atmosphere, leather armchairs and a chequerboard floor. Alternatively, sip coffee at the Equestre Bar or soak up the fantastic views over Lisbon and the Tagus estuary from the hotel's Chill-Out Limao Terrace Bar.

→ overnight at: H10 Duque de Loulé - Superior Double

Day 6 - Lisbon

Start your day with an overview tour of the city, which sprawls over seven hills. The city has distinct areas such as the fascinating Alfama Quarter, which dates as far back as the 5th century, and the Baixa, cited as the heart of the city and comprising of magnificent plazas and avenues lined with 18th-century architecture. Visit Portugal's finest museum, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Set in its own lush grounds, the world-class collection was donated to the people of Portugal by an Armenian oil magnate and the magnificent quality of its artwork and exhibitions are evident throughout. During your visit, admire masterpieces by Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet and Van Dyke, as well as exquisite René Lalique jewellery. (4 hours, driver and guide) Embark on a fun tour this afternoon in a tuk tuk, where you get to know the most cosmopolitan streets of Lisbon without tiring yourself by walking up its hills! Start at Senhora do Monte viewpoint to admire the spectacular views of the city. Continue to the Alfama neighbourhood, the oldest quarter of the city. Tavel back in time to the period of the great Portuguese navigators; learn about the discovery of the New World while riding along the riverside of the Tejo towards the district of Belem. Here you see Belem Tower and the famous Jeronimos Monastery from the outside. Round off your tour by sampling the delicious pastéis de Belém (Belém pastries) accompanied with a bica (authentic espresso-style coffee enjoyed throughout Lisbon). (4 hours, tuk tuk driver-guide) Please note that an interior visit to the Jeronimos Monastery cloisters is only possible during quieter periods.

→ overnight at: H10 Duque de Loulé - Superior Double

Day 7 - Lisbon

Enjoy today at leisure in Lisbon.

Optional: Sintra (Sintra Palace), Cascais & Estoril 8 hrs During today's full-day tour, you make the short trip to Sintra, the summer retreat of Portuguese monarchs and Moorish emirs before them. Today this town, nestling on the northern side of the Sintra Mountains, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover for yourself why the town is often referred to as a page torn from a fairy-tale as you stroll at leisure through the ancient narrow streets, occupied with local handicraft shops and cafés. Sintra is world-famous for its queijadas (Portuguese cheese tart), so be sure not to miss out on sampling this delicious delicacy. At the heart of the old town, you have the opportunity to visit the oldest royal palace in Portugal, which contains a splendid collection of Hispano-Arabic glazed tiles. From here, descend to Guincho Beach for an excellent view of Cape Rock, the westernmost point of the European continent, before continuing to the fashionable fishing village of Cascais for a late lunch at leisure. Once a favourite of Lisbon's nobility, the village makes for a relaxed and leisurely stroll. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. (8 hours, driver and guide). Please note that the National Palace of Sintra has a total of 150 steps and no elevators.

→ overnight at: H10 Duque de Loulé - Superior Double

Day 8 - Lisbon - Setubal

Meet your private driver today and transfer to your next destination: Setubal. Enjoy the rest at leisure.

Hotel Casa Palmela is located about 45 minutes' drive from Lisbon and set in the heart of the Arrabida Natural Park. Housed in a manor house set in an estate of over 70 hectares, its history dates back to the 17th century. The hotel has an outdoor pool and a restaurant that serves traditional cuisine with a focus on regional dishes. In the warmer days, you can enjoy your meal outside in the attractive gardens. There are also three bars, two indoors and one serving the garden and the pool. Soak up the landscaped vineyards while tasting Portuguese wines and local cheeses, or take part in one of the activities available, such as bike tours, hiking or horse-back riding. You can also enjoy a treatment at the Slow Wellness Spa, which is the perfect place to be in harmony with nature.

→ overnight at: Hotel Casa Palmela - Premium Double

Day 9 - Setubal

Enjoy today at leisure and enjoy the Arrabida Natural Park. Enjoy a bike ride or visit the beach or Setubal town and explore at your own pace.

→ overnight at: Hotel Casa Palmela - Premium Double

Day 10 - Depart for Lisbon International Airport

Meet your private driver today and transfer in the comfort of your private vehicle to Lisbon Airport where you board your departure flight.

  • NH Collection Porto Batalha in Oporto, Premium Double for single occupancy

  • Quinta das Lagrimas Hotel in Coimbra, Palace Double for single occupancy

  • H10 Duque de Loulé in Lisbon, Superior Double for single occupancy

  • Hotel Casa Palmela in Setúbal, Premium Double for single occupancy

  • Breakfast Throughout

  • Private transport by Mercedes E-Class or similar. Please note that the vehicle provided allows for TWO piece of luggage per person. For additional luggage, larger vehicles can be provided for a supplementary cost.

  • Basic English-speaking driver for stated transfers

  • Expert local English-speaking guides for stated sightseeing

  • Expert local English-speaking driver-guides for stated sightseeing

  • Vehicles, drivers, guides & driver-guides available for the stated amount of sightseeing as applicable, i.e. 3-4 hours for half day tours and 8 hours for full day tours, starting from the time indicated in the final itinerary

  • Entrance fees to all sights and museums as per itinerary

  • The services of an in-destination liaison including airport and hotel meeting upon arrival in Porto, telephone monitoring at each hotel and reconfirmation of arrangements with all service providers.

  • Welcome pack

  • Electronic final itinerary

  • Complimentary bottled water is provided in all vehicles throughout your tour

  • All taxes

  • 24 hour emergency contact service based in Europe

  • All air travel and associated costs

  • All meals except breakfast unless stated otherwise in the itinerary

  • Porterage

  • Gratuities*

  • All items of a personal nature (e.g. beverages, telephone calls, laundry, personal insurance)

  • Anything not specifically mentioned in the “Inclusions” list above.

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departuresXdean - an independent agent with Personal Travel Mgmt. (BC Reg. 2806) proud members of the IGLTA and the Ensemble Travel Group.


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