Christmas in Northern Portugal
As Christmas approaches, Portugal hangs millions of Christmas lights and builds thousands of nativity scenes. Keep your eyes peeled for nativity scenes perched on the roadside as you travel between the beautiful towns of northern Portugal. Based at a historic former monastery in Guimaraes, you don’t need to travel far to experience something wonderful. This former European capital of Culture is considered the birthplace of Portugal, but this special holiday embraces much more, including a day in beautiful Porto.
Your holiday includes:
3 excursions and visits
- Guided tour of Guimaraes including cable car trip to the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Penha
- Guided visit to Valença do Minho and Ponte de Lima
- Guided visit to Porto including port tasting
- 5 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International flights. Prices are based on return flights with TAP Portugal from London Gatwick. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 10 meals: 5 breakfasts (days 2-6) 1 lunch (day 4) 4 dinners (days 1-3 and 5)
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
UK - Porto - Guimaraes
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Porto. On arrival, we begin our journey to a grand pousada in Guimaraes. This former Augustinian monastery is where we’ll stay during this festive break.
Pousada de Guimaraes (5-star)
After a leisurely start, we take a guided tour of charming Guimaraes, a city with World Heritage status that’s still full of vitality. It was the birthplace of Afonso Henriques, who led battles against the Moors to secure Portugal’s independence, and became Portugal’s first independent king 980 years ago. You have free time to explore, find lunch and enjoy the Christmas decorations and seasonal delicacies - perhaps some Bolo-rei (cake of kings). We take a cable car trip up to the summit of Mount Penha where, after a short walk, you reach the church with its tower reaching above the treeline. Make sure you have your camera - the views are incredible.
Christmas Eve - Valença - Ponte de Lima
Today we head to Portugal’s north border, to Valença do Minho. The gentle undulation of forested hills, speckled with towns and laced with wide rivers provides lovely views for the journey. The historic town was pivotal in upholding Portugal’s independence from Spain, which sits just the other side of River Minho. As a result, the old town is a wonderful walk through 2,000 years of history combined with a lovely festive feel. Our second stop is Ponte de Lima, Portugal’s oldest village and named after the pretty bridge the Romans constructed in AD 1 that aided pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela. The photogenic town is a wonderful assortment of historical sights, such as the unusual tower of Igreja de Santo António which overlooks the ancient footbridge, and the iconic bronze statues around the town.
Christmas Day - Guimaraes
Feliz Natal! Enjoy a relaxing Christmas at our historical hotel. You might like to walk off your Christmas lunch (wine included) with a gentle stroll along the botanical trail in the wonderful nine-hectare garden.
Boxing Day - Porto
Porto oozes Portuguese character, and we discover the best bits on an included tour. Forever associated with the country’s famous fortified wine, we head to the banks of the River Douro to see elegant wooden sailing barges - barcos rabelos - traditionally used to transport port. Important landmarks and bridges are bedecked with festive decorations and colourful illuminations, and Porto’s magnificent Christmas tree is located on the Avenida dis Aliados. Neon lights announce the presence of famous port sellers on the southern bank, connected to the rest of the city by Ponte de Dom Luis I, Porto’s landmark two-tier bridge. You’ll also spend time in Ribeira, Porto’s UNESCO listed district, which has everything from Roman remains to grand churches, quirky statues, and buildings decorated with classic blue and white tiles, plus all the lights of Christmas.
Day 6 Guimaraes - Porto - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.