Portugal - Touring Holidays
An escorted tour to Portugal offers a fantastic mix of sunny beaches, towns oozing old-fashioned charm, flower-strewn countryside and a dramatic coastline.
There’s more dazzling scenery to be admired in its vibrant and lively cities, including its cosmopolitan capital, Lisbon, which is set on seven hills and tumbles down to the north banks of the River Tagus. There’s plenty to discover on a stroll around its intriguing side streets and majestic plazas, which are home to colourful boutiques, pavement cafés and riverside restaurants. You can easily lose yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage too as you gaze at its renovated palaces, magnificent churches and an impressive castle.
Holidays to Portugal are not complete without a visit to its second-largest city, Oporto, famed for the production of port wine. If port is your tipple, make sure you put a visit to Vila Nova de Gaia on your list of things to do. Here you’ll find the lodges where this rich, sweet fortified wine is blended and aged and where you can indulge in a tasting.
Cruise the River Douro
From Oporto, a cruise along the Douro beckons. Rising in Spain and cutting through the picturesque Douro Valley, the river meanders past rambling vineyards and olive groves which cling to the valley’s steep sides, forming what is perhaps one of Europe’s most unspoiled regions. The landscape changes colour as the trees mature. When the almond trees blossom in March, they wave a pink-white flag to the Portuguese which brings everyone out along with the fine weather for the first picnic of the year.
Once spring has sprung Portugal basks in around 300 days of glorious sunshine a year. Average temperatures hover around 15°C, with the mercury often soaring to between 30°C and 40°C in the months of July and August.
During your holiday to Portugal be sure to try as much of the local cuisine as you can. Sardines plucked fresh from the sea, salt cod, crispy suckling pig and slow-cooked wild boar stew are the kind of rustic dishes found on the menu. Enjoy alongside glasses of crisp Vinho Verde, a young wine usually consumed shortly after bottling. Another speciality is the delicious pastéis de nata – custard tarts said to have been invented by the monks of Lisbon’s Jerónimos Monastery.
On a Travelsphere Portugal holiday you can actually stay in a former monastery too. In the 1940s the country’s government decided to preserve forever its many culturally important buildings by turning them into deluxe hotels. These unique buildings, which also include former palaces, convents and castles, now offer top-class accommodation. So you can take a step back in time whilst enjoying modern features and luxury surroundings.
Every Travelsphere holiday offers exceptional value for money. Included in the price are return scheduled flights/rail travel and internal flights, where applicable, overseas transfers and transportation, carefully chosen hotels, many meals and excursions and the services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager or Local Guide.
Articles about Portugal
Choosing the perfect holiday hotel can be tricky. It’s an important decision, especially if it’s to be the base for your entire holiday. Do you want to be close to the town or on the beach? Do you want to be located in a lively spot or are you seeking seclusion in a peaceful hideaway?