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Portugal: History & Gastronomy

Running almost the length of the Iberian peninsula, it should be no surprise that Portugal was once a powerful seafaring nation. That long history becomes apparent as you visit the old cities of Lisbon and Porto. Portugal's cuisine has been shaped by the land, the sea, and centuries of globe-trotting. On this 10-day private tour, featuring private transfers between destinations, you'll discover the interconnection of Portugal's history and its cuisine, and spend time in the Douro Valley, where some of the finest wines you've never heard of can be found.

In addition to the tours included we can arrange a number of excursions based on your own interests. All of our tours are custom, and this is just a sample meant to give an idea of what our trips are like, and the opportunities our destinations provide.

One of our team members in the region will be available to you leading up to and during your trip to answer any questions and arrange additional local services. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with its information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon your arrival, we will provide you with a local cell phone that you can use to reach your local JayWay contact throughout your trip. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 star accommodation options, including boutique hotels and charming B&Bs. With our first-hand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambience.

Route for Porto, Douro Valley, Lisbon tour

3 Nights in Porto

3 Nights in Porto

4 days in Porto
4 days in Porto

3 Nights in Porto

As the name suggests, Portugal’s second-largest urban area is a port city, located in the north of the country along the Douro River estuary. A small Celtic hamlet until a Roman invasion in the 4th century, Portus Cale, as it became known, distinguished itself as a major trading port for not just the region but the entire country. The old city center, Ribeira, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. It is an urban landscape with over 2,000 years of remarkably well-preserved history. Traversing the narrow streets, you can’t help but notice that the spirit of local life still remains despite the increasing number of tourists.

As the name suggests, Portugal’s second-largest urban area is a port city, located in the north of the country along the Douro River estuary. A small Celtic hamlet until a Roman invasion in the 4th century, Portus Cale, as it became known, distinguished itself as a major trading port for not just the region but the entire country. The old city center, Ribeira, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. It is an urban landscape with over 2,000 years of remarkably well-preserved history. Traversing the narrow streets, you can’t help but notice that the spirit of local life still remains despite the increasing number of tourists.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival in Porto

We'll arrange for a driver to meet you at Porto's airport and take you to your centrally located accommodation. The duration of the drive is about 20 minutes.

First Steps In The City

Suggestion to explore on your own

Take a walk through the pedestrian Rua das Flores that ends in St Bento Station. It depicts all the charm of the city. You will see a display of tiled houses, many of which have been restored.

Day 2

Day 2 - Your First Full Day in Porto

Porto Private Walking Tour

Discover the Unconquered City

Included in your vacation package price.

Porto is one of the most important cities in Portugal and one of the oldest city centers in Europe. Due to its geographical location, it has played an important role in world trade through history. Your guide will pick you up at your accommodations and take you for a walk down the narrow, cobbled streets of Porto Ribeira. The historical district along the banks of the River Douro has been Porto's commercial center since the Roman period when a small shipping port was built. Over the next 2000 years, it grew into a major port for shipments from across the world and the district spread into the hills. Its rich mix of architecture, developed over the years, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. At the end of the tour, your guide can bring you back to your accommodations, or give you tips for further exploration.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours

Bookworm’s Dream

Suggestion to explore on your own

You don’t need to have read the Harry Potter books to love Livraria Lello, the bookshop which is famously said to have inspired JK Rowling. With its winding spiralling staircases and floor-to-ceiling shelves of books, it could have come straight from a magical world. If you do buy anything, the price of entry (4 Euros for adults, children go free) is deducted from the cost. Be ready to queue if you want a photo taken.

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Porto

Guimaraes Private Half-Day Trip

Guimaraes Private Half-Day Trip

Included in your vacation package price.

This wonderful tour will take you to Guimarães, a charming and historic city close to Porto, closely associated with the creation of the national identity and language of Portugal. Our knowledgeable guide will show you many unique monuments and architectural sights, connecting the history of the city and the history of Portugal as a modern nation.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 5 hours

Day 4

Day 4 - Traveling to Douro Valley by Private Transfer

Today you will travel to the Douro Valley. The driver will meet you at your hotel at the agreed time. The journey takes 1.5 - 2 hours.

Douro Vallley by Private Transfer
We also offer the following excursions in Porto

Braga Private Half-Day Trip
Light5 hours
Douro Valley Private Day Trip
Light8-9 hours
Douro Valley Private Day Trip in a Historic Vintage Car
Light8-9 hours

2 Nights in Douro Valley

2 Nights in Douro Valley

3 days in Douro Valley
3 days in Douro Valley

2 Nights in Douro Valley

Wine lovers, welcome to your Portuguese paradise! The Douro Valley is one of the main wine regions in Portugal, and wine production here can be traced back more than two thousand years. This lush and fertile valley gets its name from the Douro River which meanders through it and is characterized by its hilly and steep terrain, much of which is covered in terraced vineyards. Without a doubt, the most famous wine produced here is the “port” variety, which was made famous in England. However the regular, non-fortified, wines made from local grape varieties are well worth getting to know.

Wine lovers, welcome to your Portuguese paradise! The Douro Valley is one of the main wine regions in Portugal, and wine production here can be traced back more than two thousand years. This lush and fertile valley gets its name from the Douro River which meanders through it and is characterized by its hilly and steep terrain, much of which is covered in terraced vineyards. Without a doubt, the most famous wine produced here is the “port” variety, which was made famous in England. However the regular, non-fortified, wines made from local grape varieties are well worth getting to know.

Day 4

Day 4 - Arrival in Douro Valley

Upon your arrival to the Douro Valley, your driver will take you directly to your located accommodation.

Douro Valley Private Tour in a Historic Vintage Car

Douro Valley Private Tour in a Historic Vintage Car

Included in your vacation package price.

We suggest a unique way of traveling back in time in a vintage car, not in a Delorean but close enough. You will enjoy a route through the picturesque roads of the Douro Valley in a 1928 Fiat or a 1952 Cadillac! A day to forget about your cell phones and enjoy the simple pleasures of life!


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 7 hours

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Douro Valley

Enjoy Local Wines

Suggestion to explore on your own

Portugal’s Douro Valley features hundreds of miles of riverside hills dotted with centuries-old quintas (wine estates) that have now opened up to wine tourism. Making fortified wine since 1756, the Douro Valley is not only one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world, it’s also among the most beautiful. The famous grapes grow in abundance along terraced hills, which follow the curves of the Douro River as it winds east from Porto to the border with Spain. While the ruby, white and tawny ports have brought viticultural fame to the region, today its table wines are also held in high esteem.

Day 6

Day 6 - Traveling to Lisbon by Private Transfer

Today you will travel from Douro Valley to Lisbon. Your driver will meet you in your hotel and drive you to the Portuguese capital.

The journey lasts about 4- 4.5 hours.

Lisbon by Private Transfer

3 Nights in Lisbon

3 Nights in Lisbon

4 days in Lisbon
4 days in Lisbon

3 Nights in Lisbon

The capital of Portugal since 1255 when King Alphonse II moved the court from Coimbra, Lisbon is not only regarded as one of the sunniest of the European capitals but one with a rich history on display. The soft white limestone facades of the oldest neighborhood, Alfama, welcome tourists, and locals, calling to them through the medium of Fado music drifting wistfully from the abundance of bars, or the smell of petisco (Portuguese tapas) wafting from a myriad of restaurants. Like it’s ancient rival Porto, Lisbon rests on mighty rivers originating from the eastern Spanish highlands. Remnants of human settlements in the vicinity of the city date back to the Neolithic period and since that time successful invasions have resulted in occupation by Carthaginians, Romans, Suebi, Visigoths, and Moors. The rich tapestry of Lisbon’s history has been woven into the very fabric of the city.

The capital of Portugal since 1255 when King Alphonse II moved the court from Coimbra, Lisbon is not only regarded as one of the sunniest of the European capitals but one with a rich history on display. The soft white limestone facades of the oldest neighborhood, Alfama, welcome tourists, and locals, calling to them through the medium of Fado music drifting wistfully from the abundance of bars, or the smell of petisco (Portuguese tapas) wafting from a myriad of restaurants. Like it’s ancient rival Porto, Lisbon rests on mighty rivers originating from the eastern Spanish highlands. Remnants of human settlements in the vicinity of the city date back to the Neolithic period and since that time successful invasions have resulted in occupation by Carthaginians, Romans, Suebi, Visigoths, and Moors. The rich tapestry of Lisbon’s history has been woven into the very fabric of the city.

Day 6

Day 6 - Arrival in Lisbon

Upon your arrival to Lisbon your driver will take you to your centrally located accommodation.

First Steps in the City

Suggestion to explore on your own

On your arrival to Lisbon the best way to get to know the city is to take a walk to the Praça do Comércio and discover the Baixa neighborhood elegantly built after the earthquake. The Santa Justa elevator - an iron structure that dates back to 1902 * will take you directly to the Bairro Alto and Chiado, the most bohemian part of the city with a vibrant nightlife and some of the best restaurants.

Day 7

Day 7 - Your First Full Day in Lisbon

Lisbon Private Walking Tour

Lisbon Private Walking Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Discover the stunning Portuguese capital, Lisbon, a bustling and exciting city full of stories to tell! Take a walk through the most emblematic spots, and, with the help of our knowledgable guide, immerse yourself in the past and the present of the city of Fado.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours

Enjoy Portuguese Culinary Delights

Suggestion to explore on your own

Lisbon is a great city to sample a range of Portuguese food from all corners of the coastal nation. Must-try food in Lisbon includes local specialties that originated on its cobblestone streets, as well as Portuguese dishes from other regions such as the Douro, Alentejo, and the Algarve. Lisbon is a city where you can dine at snack bars for two euros, drink specialty coffee, as well as enjoy some great Michelin star restaurants. Pasteis De Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts), Bifana Sandwich (sautéed, marinated pork packed inside a crispy roll), and Bacalhau (dried and salted cod prepared in many different ways) are just a few recommendations here.

Day 8

Day 8 - Your Second Full Day in Lisbon

Setubal Private Day Trip and Food Experience

Setubal Private Half-Day Trip and Food Experience

Included in your vacation package price.

Enjoy a fabulous trip to Setúbal and Arrábida Natural Park with an experienced local chef in his gourmet "kitchen on wheels"! Choose fresh ingredients from the local market for the delicious meal you'll be having while enjoying the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean from the Arrábida’s cliffs!


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 7 hours

Day 9

Day 9 - Departure Day

The driver will pick you up from your accommodation and take you to the airport for your departing flight. The duration of the drive is about 20 minutes.

We also offer the following excursions in Lisbon

Arrabida Natural Park Private Hiking Tour
Moderate4 Hours
Batalha and Nazare Private Day Trip
Light7 hours
Belem District Private Walking Tour
Light3 hours
Evora Private Day Trip
Light7 hours
What's Included

Here are all the services provided as part of your complete vacation package. See what every JayWay trip includes.
Please let us know if you'd like to upgrade any transfers or add any additional tours or excursions to your itinerary.

Porto

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Porto Airport Transfer
Porto Private Walking Tour
Guimaraes Private Half-Day Trip
Porto - Douro Valley Private Transfer

Douro Valley

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Douro Valley Private Tour in a Historic Vintage Car
Douro Valley - Lisbon Private Transfer

Lisbon

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Lisbon Private Walking Tour
Setubal Private Half-Day Trip and Food Experience
Lisbon Airport Private Transfer
The package excludes:

  • Flights to and from Europe.
  • Tips for Tour Guides, Drivers and Local Reps.
  • Meals (other than breakfast if included in room rate and meals listed as included in food tours and excursions, unless explicitly stated otherwise).
  • Parking fees for your Rental Car (if you are booking one with us) unless otherwise indicated. Some hotels provide free parking facilities.
  • Travel Insurance. See the insurance link on our website
Benefits of Traveling with JayWay

A JayWay vacation is more than the sum of its parts. Our team work tirelessly to ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons. Your trip is personalized to maximize your enjoyment. You're taken care of every step of the way.

A Travel Advisor who speaks your language
We will make sure that all your requirements and interests are taken into account in preparing your itinerary.
A totally tailored itinerary for your vacation
Your trip is customized for you by  an experienced trip planner and an expert on the region.
A choice of hand-picked hotels and excursions
We've personally inspected and tested all the hotels and local tour providers we work with to ensure quality.
Detailed pre-trip preparation to make the most of every day
Your Europe-based Tour Manager will be in touch by email and phone a month before you arrive to finalize timings.
On-trip Concierge Service to smooth out any bumps in the road
Our local staff are at your service throughout your journey via the local prepaid cellphone which we provide.
Personalized Guest Page to make sure you're not missing out
Packed with detailed information and recommendations curated by locals on the best things to do, see and eat.
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