Cultural tour in Portugal

“A ten day small group, guided holiday, travelling from Porto to Sintra, through some of Portugal’s finest ancient towns and exquisite countryside.”

Highlights

Porto | Douro Valley wine region | Coimbra UNESCO University city | Evora | Walk in Alentejo region | Lisbon | Sintra

Description of Cultural tour in Portugal

A ten day cultural tour in Portugal that takes us from the wonderful riverside and ancient port town of Porto, travelling south as far as an equally historic and stupendous town of Sintra. Portugal is actually packed with cultural and ancient gems, often upstaged by other European countries. In Porto we take a guided tour of the Old City, with multi coloured ancient buildings which seem unchanged since medieval times. Although the narrow streets conceal fine restaurants, artisans and artists, museums, galleries and cool bars.

Wine is a feature of any trip to Portugal where its wonderful array of wineries are one of Europe’s best kept secrets. We take a train journey through the stunning vineyards and terraces of the Douro Valley, taking an all important tasting session at the Quinta da la Rosa, a family-run wine estate. One of our next stops is another of Portugal’s best kept secrets: the ancient university town of Coimbra, with UNESCO World Heritage status. Like something out of Harry Potter, the fado-singing black caped students guide you around this extraordinary university, but you will also have time to take in some of the city’s other medieval marvels.

More medieval magnificence awaits at Evora, capital of the Alentejo region and another town that merits its UNESCO status. After a day of enjoying the rural gorgeousness of the Alentjo region we transfer to Lisbon. Lisbon is one of Europe’s finest capital cities, with an eclectic mix of medieval architecture and contemporary chic, fado bars and outdoor markets such as the vast Feria da Ladra.

Our final day is spent in the very special town of Sintra, the ancient royal seat of Portuguese kings. We take a guided tour of the iconic National Pena Palace perched on the rocky slopes of the Serra de Sintra, leaving you with plenty to reflect on if you have never visited this wonderful country before. It always leaves guests saying, I had no Portugal was so amazing. Such thoughts that are shared between fellow travellers on this small group tour at our farewell dinner accompanied by traditional Fado music. And more Portuguese wine. Amazing indeed.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
09 Oct 2017
£ 1599
including UK flights
Full
 
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cultural tour in Portugal

Accommodation & meals:
During this trip we stay in accommodation that is locally run (sometimes family run) and staffed with people from the surrounding areas, which has a positive effect on employment levels and economy in the region. Most lodgings are located in proximity to the town centers, which reduces further the need for carbon producing transfer vehicles on the trip. The majority of lunches and dinners are not included on this trip, this benefits the local economy; clients can enjoy various local authentic dishes and at the same time support numerous local businesses.

Community & Culture:
By spending a night in the rural village of Penela, we provide direct income to a community which would otherwise be excluded from the classic tourism influxes. In this village you can still take part in activities that some of its 40 inhabitants still continue to perform, thus encouraging the community to sustain and continue their traditions. The owner of the guesthouse where we will be staying is one of the entrepreneurs who started the project of developing tourism initiatives in these forgotten 'schist villages'; he will be delighted to explain the project and history of this beautiful location to the group. Using a local guide throughout the trip also has the mutual benefit of creating employment opportunities in the region, whilst clients have the advantage of in-depth expertise of the country. By visiting a number of sites, monuments, buildings and museums we generate funds which support the maintenance of these important historical and natural places. Finally, by purchasing these products and other handmade items (paintings, ceramics, embroidery), we help to sustain traditional methods of craftsmanship.

Social responsibility:
Our local partner actively promotes sustainable tourism practices by incorporating social or environmental projects in their itineraries.
Environment: Buying bottled water has detrimental impacts on the environment; we can make a conscience effort to reduce plastic waste by not buying water. On this trip, water in all the accommodation we stopover in is drinkable. Clients who bring their own water bottles will be able to refill them daily, when out and about the local guide will be able to point out places where they can top up their water bottles, for example, this is possible in a lot of the main squares. Regional cooking in Portugal has strong links to the land and sea; very little is imported from abroad therefore having a positive impact on the environment.

Group size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 18 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

Activity:
We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. By using local drivers for transfers, local restaurants and small shops, we make daily contributions to the economy and the community.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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