Grand Tour of Portugal: Lisbon, Porto & The Douro Valley

Grand Tour of Portugal: Lisbon, Porto & The Douro Valley

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11 Days
From

$2940

Grand Tour of Portugal: Lisbon, Porto & The Douro Valley

11 Days

Visiting: Portugal

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Tour code:

POC6

From:
$2940 (USD) including Flights from the UK

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Tour Overview

Spend longer in one of Europe's oldest countries on a Grand Tour of Portugal. Discover its vibrant cities and majestic palaces, taste Portuguese port and wine and explore the UNESCO-protected Douro Valley.

Portugal's landscapes are stunning and, on our Grand Tour, you'll experience them in full - from coastal forests, wild seascapes, fertile fields and dramatic valleys to sweeping biscuit-coloured hillsides covered with olive trees, fragrant pine forests and lush meadows. And, spared from large-scale industrialisation, these landscapes are punctuated with well-preserved medieval towns with tiny, cobbled streets full of history and appeal.

Get to know Portugal's largest cities - Lisbon and Porto - with guided tours and time at leisure to explore alone. Venture out into the countryside, following the winding path of the River Douro, and sites of historical and religious significance. This Grand Tour captures the very essence of Portugal - perfect for travellers who don't just want to observe a new culture, they want to wade right in. 

Highlights

  • Guided tour of Lisbon with its magnificent squares, Baixa and Moorish quarters and astounding Monastery of Jeronimos

  • Visit to Sintra and its Royal Palace including entrance fees – summer residence of the Portuguese monarchy

  • Guided tour of Porto, centre of the port wine trade, including a visit and tasting at a local wine lodge

  • Full day touring the Douro, one of Europe’s most dramatically beautiful river valleys

  • See the holy shrine of Fatima and visit Coimbra University, one of Europe’s oldest seats of learning with its astonishing gilded Baroque library, with entrance fees included

  • Visit the 13th century walled city of Obidos, with its cobbled streets and lofty medieval fortifications

  • Seven nights in three-star superior to five-star accommodation including all local taxes, with breakfast and three dinners

  • The Signature Tour 

  • option includes all of the above as well as: Try the world famous Pastel de Nata with a glass of port, and discover the secrets of this delicious pastry at an open kitchen

  • Experience the unique musical sounds of traditional Fado and dine on typical Portuguese dishes at an atmospheric local restaurant

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Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrival in Lisbon 

Our Grand Tour begins with a flight to Lisbon. On arrival, we'll transfer to our hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Time at leisure in Lisbon 

For those of you who love to fly and flop, there’s time to settle into your home away from home for the next three nights. Otherwise, you are free to begin exploring as you wish. The hotel has excellent access to public transport and your Tour Manager is on hand to help so the city is your oyster! 

Day 2

Lisbon 

Today we'll begin exploring in earnest with a guided tour of the city's highlights, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We’ll see the striking Monument to the Discoveries and its 16th-century fortified counterpart, the Belém Tower, and then see the church of the Monastery of Jerónimos. One of the most magnificent buildings in Europe, the monastery is a symbol of Portuguese wealth and power during the Age of Discovery. We'll also see the impressive Terreiro do Paço square facing out to sea as well as Alfama - the Moorish quarter of cobbled streets - and the garden at São Pedro de Alcântara with its expansive views across the rooftops.

Free afternoon in Lisbon 

Part of Lisbon’s appeal is its mix of old and modern, bustling and peaceful - which you choose is up to you this afternoon with time at leisure to explore. You might be tempted by the chic shops of the elegant Baixa quarter, rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1755, or decide to seek out a café to enjoy a bica – an espresso - and a spot of people watching.

+ Included Experience - Guided tour of Lisbon 

Signature Experience

The delicious finale to our morning's guided tour is a chance to taste the world-famous Pastel de Nata - the city's devilishly moreish custard tart - accompanied by a glass of port. It's the perfect pairing for this buttery pastry. And, together, we'll discover some of the closely guarded secrets of this legendary delicacy in the open kitchens of a traditional bakery.

Tonight, we'll experience the haunting sounds of traditional Fado. These expressive melodies are thought to date back to the 19th century and reflect the dangerous sea voyages so many took in search of new worlds. Later, we'll enjoy a selection of typical dishes at one of Lisbon’s traditional restaurants, where you can savour the rich flavours of the Portuguese kitchen and soak up the unique atmosphere. 

Day 3

Free day in Lisbon

Today is the day to choose your own adventure in Portugal's capital city with a whole day at leisure. You could go back and revisit some of the highlights we saw on our guided tour to explore in more detail or seek out something new.

Art-lovers can savour the Gulbenkian Museum, established by an Armenian oil magnate who bought art from Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage after the Russian Revolution for bargain prices. This world-class institution has exhibits ranging from ancient Egyptian treasures to Impressionist paintings as well a superb collection of Lalique jewellery and glass.

Or perhaps, simply walk the city. Between the historic cobbled lanes, sparkling river and striking tiled facades, there's a lot to catch your eye as you amble along. You'll stumble on shady squares lined with orange trees, bars and cafes grilling fish over coals in the open air - even the odd palace or two. Don't worry about navigating your route - to find something new, you have to get a little lost. When it's time to return to your hotel, hop on one of the clanging, rattling yellow trams; seemingly well past their sell-by date, they’re still the best way to negotiate the sharp bends of the old quarter.

Alternatively, for those who prefer a more sedentary activity, there are a surprising number of beaches within easy reach of the city, the closest of which is the long sandy curve of Carcavelos. Or if you prefer the shade, the trees of Monsanto Park offer an ideal escape from the sunshine and the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Day 4

Fatima

Leaving Lisbon behind this morning, we'll drive north through olive groves and wheat fields to Fatima. An unremarkable small town until three children experienced an apparition of the Virgin Mary, it suddenly became one of the most important Catholic pilgrimages and a national shrine. Whatever your religious views, the extraordinary sanctuary complex is certainly impressive and well worth the visit. 

Coimbra University 

Our journey will then continue north until we reach Coimbra, renowned for its impressive Roman aqueduct striding across the city. But it’s most famous for its historic university, which is one of Europe’s oldest along with the likes of Salamanca, Bologna and Oxford University. 

Once Portugal’s capital, Coimbra became a major cultural centre in the Middle Ages with the university at its heart. It’s not hard to imagine the cloak-clad learned of the age wandering its tiny medieval streets little changed since that time. With its charming Moorish quarter and pleasant squares, Coimbra is a lovely place in which to immerse yourself in the old city’s labyrinth-like lanes. 

This afternoon, we’ll enjoy a visit to the university, a wonderful seat of learning, with entrance fees included. Situated on a hill, the views are stunning but the real jewel in its crown is the library - rich in baroque gilt work, it houses a staggering 300,000 volumes. 

Porto 

Later this afternoon, we'll continue to Porto, where we stay for four nights.

+ Included Experiences - Visits to the Sanctuary of Our Lady Fatima and Coimbra University.

Day 5

Porto

Set on the Douro estuary and once Roman, Porto’s wealth derived from its knowledge of the sea routes to India. Spices, silks and other fine goods made the fortunes used to build today’s city – Portugal’s second largest. We begin our day with a tour of the major sights - as well as a few surprises.

We’ll experience the splendid Praca da Ribeira square, with its characteristic tiled townhouses and fine views of the wine lodges across the river.

Our tour includes the imposing Dom Luis Bridge and the tangled lanes of the medieval quarter. We’ll gaze up at the city’s imposing fortress, its cathedral and baroque Clerigos Tower. One of the six bridges over the river was designed by Gustav Eiffel - yes, that Eiffel - and you'll immediately see the connection with his more famous Parisian creation!

Taylor's Port Wine Lodge

No visit to Porto is complete without seeing one of the city’s world-famous port wine lodges. So, this afternoon we'll be guests at one of them. We'll learn the fascinating history of port wine and its close British connections.

Taking its name from the city through which it’s shipped, this fortified wine is made with grapes from the terraced vineyards along the Douro Valley which are still staggeringly trodden by foot! The wine is lovingly tended and matured - sometimes for decades - before you can enjoy its subtle flavours. Of course, you’ll get the chance at the end of a fascinating visit to sample this wonderful drink. 

Free time in Porto

After our visit to Taylors, you'll be free to spend the rest of the day exploring at leisure. (B, D*) 

+ Included experiences - Guided tour of Porto and visit to Taylors Port Wine Lodge 

Signature Experience

Enjoy the VIP treatment with an enhanced and more exclusive tasting, offering greater insight into the unique characteristics of port wine. These superb wines will be accompanied by a selection of local delicacies and our location, overlooking the splendours of Porto and its iconic bridges will be rather special too. 

Day 6

Porto from the Douro

What better way to see Porto than from the water? This morning, we'll cruise down the peaceful waters of the Douro River by boat. See Porto on one side and Gaia on the other connected by a series of six bridges, each with its own architecture and personality - the perfect backdrop for a leisurely morning (as well as a couple of photos!).

Free time in Porto

This afternoon is free for you to explore Porto further. Free from the chain shops that dominate most other countries, you're sure to find something special among the antiquated shops that line the streets. With everything from fine art to antiques and ceramics on offer, you'd better leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs. Book fans may want to see the Lello & Irmão bookstore, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, rumoured to have inspired the likes of J.K. Rowling.

There'll be plenty of opportunities to stop and re-energise - just like Italy, Portugal has a thriving cafe culture with seating often spilling out onto pavements all over the city - the perfect place for a spot of people-watching and to enjoy some of the most delicious cakes you'll ever taste. Or you could head into one of the many chocolatiers found on street corners all over the city's historic centre - for a true taste of Porto, you could try a bar of port wine-flavoured chocolate.

+ Included Experience – Sightseeing river cruise along the Douro 

Day 7

The Douro Valley 

Today we'll leave the busy city to explore the sinuous and scenic Douro River - the river of Gold - spending a leisurely day exploring its peaceful villages and terraced valley sides.

As we leave the Atlantic's influence behind, you'll notice the climate become warmer and dryer and the landscape changes from verdant greens to Mediterranean sun-kissed ochre. Today's adventure is nothing short of spectacular!

Eventually, we'll reach the small town of Pinhão, the heart of the port wine-producing region. Sitting on a bend of the Douro, encircled by a terraced hillside, port wine dominates life here - even the azulejos (Portuguese hand-painted tiles) in the train station depict the grape harvest. In Pinhão, we'll visit one of the local quintas and sample some of the wines that are produced in this region.

+ Included Experience – Scenic drive through the Douro Valley with a wine tasting at a local quinta. 

Day 8

Óbidos

Bidding a fond farewell to Porto, we'll head south to Óbidos, a fortified town surrounded by imposing medieval walls. It's a maze of narrow streets and alleys, lined with flower-bedecked, whitewashed houses and splashes of bright paint - the perfect place to just lose yourself.

Feel yourself stepping back in time to the days of the Moorish Arabs who once ruled from the town’s castle. If you’re feeling brave (and steady on your feet), you could take the daring walk around the fortifications themselves, but be warned - there are no railings, even at its loftiest height of 13 metres. Some sections here lead the way to beautiful viewpoints (just follow the signs saying 'Miradouro'). And you can't leave Óbidos without trying the town's own special way of serving southern Portugal’s favourite cherry liqueur, Ginjinha – in an edible chocolate cup.

Cascais

Continuing to Cascais, our final stay is in one of Portugal's classic hotels, within the impressive walls of a 16th-century coastal citadel overlooking the famous marina in a coast town near Lisbon. The four-star superior “Pousada” is a highlight of Cascais, converted from historic buildings, some were actually part of a royal residence.

+ Included Experience - Visit to Óbidos .

Day 9

Sintra 

We'll take a short drive to the lovely town of Sintra, perched on the hillside with panoramic views towards the nearby Atlantic coast. This is where Henry the Navigator grew up and doubtless gazed out to sea not knowing where his destiny was eventually to lead him.

Today we'll visit its famous Royal Palace, once the residence of the Portuguese monarchy, now a museum with grand rooms, priceless collections including portraits of Charles II of England, and reflections of its Moorish ancestry plus more modern styles.

You can also see the 19th-century Pena Palace, built as a summer residence, it is a living fairy tale. Its turrets, ramparts, gargoyles and domes are a mystical mix of styles, while the interior is extravagantly decorated with a ballroom and an Arab Room. Gardening enthusiasts should pay close attention to the surrounding park, which displays exotic plants from the former Portuguese colonies.

Cabo de Roca 

Before we return to Cascais, we'll drive to Cabo de Roca, the most westerly point of mainland Europe where you can appreciate views of the coastline atop 100 metres high cliffs. It's hard to believe now but these cliffs were thought to be the edge of the world right up until the 14th century. They're now home to a lighthouse which can be seen from 46km away. We'll return to Cascasis on a panoramic drive back via Guincho Beach, which lies at the foot of Sintra hills.

+ Included Experiences - A visit to the Royal Palace in Sintra and stop at Cabo de Roca.

Day 10

Free day in Cascais


Today is yours to explore Cascais at leisure. Historically the summer retreat of Portuguese nobility, Cascais is home to extravagant mansions and an imposing fort - all ripe for exploring. Once the official residence of kings and queens, today Cascais Citadel is home to a cultural centre with art galleries, restaurants and the gorgeous Museum of the Presidency of the Republic.

Art lovers may also want to check out Paula Rego House of Stories, created by one of Portugal's leading artists. The collection includes her own work and that of her late husband - artist and art critic Victor Willing - housed inside a thought-provoking, terracotta-coloured building.

You could also join the locals for a walk along the paredão which connects Cascais and São João do Estoril along the ocean, stop in to see the picturesque lighthouse and fort – which houses a small museum - or rest in one of the cafes to enjoy lunch and watch the world go by.

Signature experience

This evening, savour the flavours of typical Portuguese cuisine and regional products at a local restaurant. Socialise with newfound friends and soak up the atmosphere in a cosy restaurant, the perfect end to your stay. 

Day 11

After a memorable Grand Tour, we'll transfer to the airport for your return flight home, arriving back in the UK the same day.

What's Included

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject;to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes: Return flights Seven nights accommodation Daily breakfast and three dinners (or one dinner if staying at the Royal Bridges Hotel); All tours as mentioned All local accommodation taxes All transfers The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject;to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes: Direct return flights; 10 nights' accommodation; Daily breakfast and 4 dinners* (for guests of Sheraton Porto only);; All tours as mentioned; All local accommodation taxes; All transfers; The services of a Riviera Travel Tour Manager;

Check out our Q&As

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Reviews of this Operator

David Clarke (Google Reviewer)  

This review is for the...

08-Aug-2023

This review is for the italian Lake Como trip Aug 1-8 Wow what a trip. Riviera from start to finish were excellent the booking and help line answering questions were very good and clear. The travel booklet you get is laid out that it is simple to read and follow with step by step info from booking in to flights to meeting the guides. Our guide Matt Purse was just the best guide and real credit to Riviera with his knowledge and straight forward approach to running the trips. Matt kept us informed and told us all the sort of info you want to know without going over the top....This chap should teach other reps ..thank you so much. The coaches they use are all clean and well equipped with usb chargers and have aircon. The places chosen to visit were well researched even down to where coaches park or drop you off. The Bernina Express was the highlight for our family and matts photo tip was welcomed. The only down point was the hotel,a little dated and evening meal in main restuarant was a bit of a let down. I think we were lucky with our room on level 7 and with balcony as the walls are very thin and noise travels. We would book again with riviera

Barbara Shillaker (Google Reviewer)  

I have been on three...

11-Jan-2024

I have been on three trips with Riviera Travel so far, with two more booked during 2024. Highly recommended. Excellent tour guides. Great program of visits. Great hotels used.

Valerie Pascoe  

We would go again in a heartbeat

22-Jan-2022

Oh my goodness, what a relief it was to actually get away! Full marks to all at Riviera for keeping us up to date before our trip and for the help so cheerfully and patiently given with the extra admin that Covid brought our way. We felt totally safe with the measures taken on board, thank you very much for this. Without exception, Staff were fantastic and our every need was attended to. The additional Covid testing ran smoothly, organised by our Riviera Reps. The guided tours were most interesting: the guides very knowledgeable and more importantly, interesting to listen to. We loved this trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you again Riviera, you were FAB!

Chris Wilson (Google Reviewer)  

Second escorted tour with this...

25-Jul-2022

Second escorted tour with this company. Did 5 days in Iceland tour. Everything went smoothly, excellent tour guide, Per. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting guy. Very friendly too. Highly recommend. Just let down by the room given at the hotel, but I guess the travel company doesn't have control over this.

Kathryn Jurin, GB  

Riviera South Africa tour - awesome

21-May-2021

Riviera have amazing holidays and tours to choose from. The one we chose was South Africa and wow! It turned out to be our best trip ever - incredible memories we will never forget. We’ve been all over the world which was because of all our experiences, this one was awesome. The organisation of the holiday, the guide and the travel was e cells that. The choice of hotels, meals, restaurants, trips was absolutely fantastic - very good quality and character - nothing bland or boring! The Riviera guide was permanently with us along with a South Africa guide and they were both extremely friendly, professional, informative and you could ask any questions you want! I would massively recommend this holiday/trip and when you’ve experienced it, you realise how reasonable the price is. We reflect on this trip a lot and thank you Riviera for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Trustpilot
Barry, GB  

Rhine Christmas markets cruise

09-Dec-2019

Just completed a 5 day trip on the Rhine. Our first river cruise and a tester for future cruises. The boat was well appointed and the cabin and public areas were spotlessly clean. The staff were attentive and contributed to the very relaxed atmosphere on the boat. The quality of the food surpassed that which we have experiened on sea cruises in recent years. I have written little because it was a faultless experience. We have booked a further cruise (in France) on the basis of our experience.

Trustpilot
Joan Yarker (Google Reviewer)  

My first cruise and I...

23-Sep-2023

My first cruise and I couldn’t have done better than my recent Seine River cruise. Carmen the tour organiser was excellent and always willing to go the extra mile to sort out any problems. The crew were amazing , friendly and helpful, the captain was great when explaining the controls on the bridge. Everything was very clean, food truly delicious and the pianist a delight and I was able to indulge my passion for dancing. My fellow guests were a delight and I made many new friends. Thank you Riviera

Christine Hardy (Google Reviewer)  

Although most people seem to...

10-Mar-2024

Although most people seem to book and pay for their holidays online, because we live close by we prefer to make a personal visit. In my opinion if they are offering this as an option they should be better equipped to accommodate visits in person. We have not been on our river cruise yet, so can't comment on that yet.

Rob Steele (Google Reviewer)  

My 3rd Riviera trip within...

16-Feb-2024

My 3rd Riviera trip within a year and I wasn't disappointed 😁 This time it was https://www.rivieratravel.co.uk/escorted-tours/southern-india-coastal-route-solo-travellers This trip, although not cheap, it really offers exceptional value for money as you see a lot of Tamil Nadu and Kerela, stay in fantastic hotels, excellent breakfasts every day as well as some lunches and dinners also included. George Bareham, our "Tour Manager" was brilliant, very professional, but also friendly and diligent. Satheeshan, our local guide was helpful and picked me up antibiotics when I got ill, he was a nice chap, if (for my taste) went on a bit and used 20 words when 1 would suffice. Mr Sweeny, our coach driver was fantastic,really professional and an exceptionally good driver. His assistant, Murgon wad a delight, always smiling and attentive. This is a full on trip, early morning starts and quite a packed itinerary, but still leaving time to laze around some brilliant hotel swimming pools. Only a couple of suggestions to improve the holiday. More shopping time in Cochin and change carriers from Etihad who, unfortunately aren't the excellent airline they used to be. But, will I use Riviera Travel again - Yes 😁

Barbara Parkes (Google Reviewer)  

Presently in Croatia staying at...

22-Sep-2023

Presently in Croatia staying at Arauana Hotel, supposedly a 4 star property, but wouldn't give it any star rating. Rooms are small and dirty. Wallpaper blistering. Meals served in a shed like lean-to. Food like warm, greasy and always self service. Second holiday with Riviera this year and neither at standard advertised. Have travelled with them previously and everything was fine, but standards have really dropped. Have booked a holiday with them next year and now dreading it. Certainly don't provide the standard advertised. We have never stayed in such a hovel and have visited youngsters in back packers accommodation which was far better than this supposedly 4 star accommodation. There are no indoor bars or lounges only a shed as a so called restaurant. Absolutely disgusting. Won't be boking with them again

Dates & Availability

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Tuesday - Friday

Apr 08, 2025 - Apr 18, 2025
$2940 (USD)

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Tuesday - Friday

May 06, 2025 - May 16, 2025
$3052 (USD)

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Thursday - Sunday

Jun 26, 2025 - Jul 06, 2025
$3177 (USD)

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Monday - Thursday

Sep 15, 2025 - Sep 25, 2025
$3177 (USD)

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Thursday - Sunday

Oct 09, 2025 - Oct 19, 2025
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Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 200 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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