Grand Designs of Portugal
10 days from £1,349 per person
Beyond Portugal’s exciting capital city lies a land of beautiful ancient towns, varied culture, wild landscapes and elegant pousadas (historic converted hotels). On this excellent-value tour, you’ll get to stand before the dazzling 110m marble façade of the Duke’s Palace, Vila Viçosa. To breathe in the wildflower scents of the tranquil Serra da Estrela mountains. And, along with your new travel companions, to toast adventure with a delicious port wine in Porto, its city of origin.
Your holiday includes:
8 excursions and visits
- City tours of Arraiolos; Évora (including cathedral, San Francisco Church & Chapel of Bones); and Porto
- Guided tour of Palácio Ducal in Vila Viçosa
- Excursion to Viana do Castelo (with Costume Museum & Santa Luzia Basilica), including Ponte de Lima and Valenca do Minho
- Visits to Castelo Branco; Aveiro
- Port tasting in Porto
- 9 nights in pousadas (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International flights. Prices are based on return flights with TAP Portugal from London Heathrow or Gatwick. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 18 meals: 9 breakfasts (days 2-10) 9 dinners (days 1-9)
- Portable audio headset system on excursions
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
UK - Lisbon - Vila Viçosa
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Lisbon. On arrival, we transfer to the delightful town of Vila Viçosa. We’ll check into our pousada, a luxury 16th-century converted convent, right next to the palace and full of history and character.
Pousada Convento Vila Viçosa (4-star)
Today we explore this small, marble-clad town. Known as the ‘Princess of Alentejo’, it’s home to a splendid palace, charming streets and a sprawling plaza dotted with orange trees. We’ll take a guided tour of the majestic Renaissance-style Palácio Ducal or Duke’s Palace - the symbol of the city and once one of the most important noble houses in Portugal. The 110-metre façade is totally covered in marble from the region making this unique building the town’s most symbolic monument.
Arraiolos - Évora
Enjoy a morning tour of Arraiolos, a small town overlooked by the ruins of a Moorish castle, to discover the town’s history and famous carpet-making tradition. In the afternoon we head to Évora, a picturesque UNESCO World Heritage city that dates back to Roman times. Our guide will bring the history of this bustling university town to life as we visit the cathedral, San Francisco Church, university and the Chapel of Bones.
Today we wave goodbye to Vila Vicosa and journey towards medieval Viseu. On the way, we’ll stretch our legs among the tree-lined squares and boulevards of Castelo Branco, the provincial capital. This evening we arrive in Viseu and check into our imposing pousada, a one-time 19th-century hospital.
Pousada de Viseu (4-star)
Today is yours to spend completely as you please in Viseu, or perhaps join our full-day optional excursion to the Serra da Estrela Mountains. The highest mountains in Portugal, this range forms a beautiful park of craggy peaks, hidden lakes, thick forest and historic villages full of character. Look out for the iconic Estrela Mountain Dog.
Today is reserved for leisure time. Perhaps take a walk in the park, around the town, or just relax at the pousada.
Aveiro - Viana do Castelo
We continue north and stop en route in coastal Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal due to several canals crossing the town. We continue to our next historic pousada, high above Viana do Castelo’s sailing port and the estuary on which it lies.
Pousada do Monte de Santa Luzia, Viana do Castelo (4-star)
Viana do Castelo
Take a morning tour of the coastal town of Viana do Castelo, with its opulent mansions, winding streets and intimate squares, and rich Minho folklore. Together we’ll explore the Santa Luzia Basilica and the Costume Museum. The nearby towns of Ponte de Lima, named after the Roman bridge that aided pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela, and Valença do Minho, are included on this tour.
Today we explore Porto. The city that gave its name to Port wine sits along hills tumbling down to the famous Douro River. Here, you may see some of the elegant, traditional, wooden sailing barges - barcos rabelos - used to transport the famous wine; and Porto’s landmark, the impressive two-tier bridge - Ponte de Dom Luis I. We’ll amble Porto’s historic Ribeira district together. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its cobbled streets and impressive buildings and grand churches dripping in gold, gives a glimpse into its Roman past. Portugal’s second city never fails to impress. As part of our tour, we’ll stop for a tasting at a historic Port cellar.
Day 10 Viana do Castelo - 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.
Important information about your destinationPlease note: • All 2020 departures and 15 June 2021 stay in Arraiolos, Serra da Estrela and Viano do Castelo with amended excursions - please call for details. • 18 May 2021 departure stays in Arraiolos, Viseu and Viano do Castelo with amended excursions - please call for details.
Your Pousadas Accommodation
Pousada da Assuncao
Originally a 16th century monastery, the restoration has preserved the beauty of the historic renaissance-style cloister and chapterhouse decorated in sculptures depicting the parental Alentejo whilst adding modern day comforts in the both the guest rooms and public areas. Thirty air-conditioned en-suite rooms each with cable TV, mini-bar, hair drier, bathing gown, safe, telephone and wireless internet. Public facilities include elegant lounge, bar, an outdoor swimming-pool, tennis court, billiards room and delightful gardens.
Pousada do Convento do Desagravo
What a gem! An 18th century convent with a varied and fascinating past, in a stunning rural location. Twenty four air-conditioned en-suite rooms each with lovely views of the countryside, TV, mini-bar, hair drier, and wireless internet. Public facilities include elegant lounges, bar, an outdoor swimming-pool,tennis court, billiards room and delightful gardens.
Pousada do Monte de Santa Luzia
Built in 1918. The restaurant and terrace have stunning views of the hills and coastline. Forty seven air-conditioned en-suite rooms each with cable TV, mini-bar, hair drier, telephone and wireless internet. Public facilities include elegant lounge, bar, an outdoor swimming-pool, tennis court, billiards room and delightful gardens.
Evora from £18pp
Half day excursion showing you the highlights of Évora, one of Portugal’s oldest towns that is partly enclosed by ancient walls. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a small Episcopal city which was known as Liberalitas Julia in the Roman times and the monumental imperial Diana’s temple from this period still remains. The Kingdom of Portugal during the Middle Ages and the court was resident here for long periods and was one of the most dynamic cities becoming the scene of many royal weddings and a place where important decisions were made. The University includes the 16th century Mannerist church and the academic buildings that surround the large 17th and 18th century cloister. You will also see the Cathedral and the church of St Francisco, with its Ossuary Chapel. The interior of this chapel is decorated with hundreds of skulls and bones. You will be able to observe the presence of many architectural styles including Roman, Gothic, Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque as well as experience the unique atmosphere in the narrow streets, squares and palaces.
Serra Da Estrela from £30pp
Full day excursion to the Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain range in Portugal including mainland Portugal’s highest point. The range is at 1,993 metres (approx. 6,541 feet) above the sea level at its highest point known as “Torre”, where you can find a geodesic mark showing the highest point in Portugal. The mountain range, situated between the municipalities of Seia, Manteigas, Gouveia, Guarda and Covilhã is about 100 km long. Formed from a huge granite ridge that once marked the southern frontier of the country. Due to its bizarrely shaped crags and gorges, mountain streams and lakes as well as magnificent views, the area ranks amongst Portugal’s outstanding scenic attractions. Visit Seia with its parish church on a hill with a view, overlooking the township, and Sabugueiro situated in the heart of Serra da Estrela Natural Park. This is the highest inhabited village of Portugal, situated at an altitude of 1200 metres. The village began to be a group of huts, inhabited by shepherds, who brought here their sheep and goats. Today this is a busy winter spot with shops and restaurants to welcome its visitors. The village has plenty to offer to its visitors: granite houses, water falls in the surroundings and panoramic views over unique mountain vegetation. We will also pass by Lagoa Comprida, an old glacial lagoon, being the most beautiful lagoon in the mountain. There will also be the opportunity to see the “Serra da Estrela” breed of dog that has stood guard for herders throughout centuries. And make sure you try a little of the Serra da Estrela soft cheese, considered to be one of the very best in Portugal.
Please contact us on 0800 988 5823 to add your chosen pre-bookable excursion to your booking.