Undiscovered Portugal from Lisbon to the Algarve
From the winding cobbled streets of vibrant cities to wind-swept beaches and quaint fishing villages, Portugal is a glorious mix of cinematic scenery and historic wonder. You’ll drink fine wines and indulge in delicious food, against a backdrop of natural beauty. You’ll ponder the stories behind medieval churches and castles, and see the legacy of Moorish, Celtic and Roman influences. Get lost in enchanting towns, and sip port as you watch fishing boats gently bob on the water of charming coastlines.
Your holiday includes:
8 excursions and visits
- Guided tours of Lisbon (with Pasties de Nata and Ginjinha tasting), Beja (with wine and cheese tastings)
- Excursions to Arrábida Natural Park; Lagos and Sagres; São Brás de Alportel, Faro and Tavira (including cork factory)
- Wine tasting in Azeitão; tasting of local products in a traditional taberna; and tile painting
- 9 nights in historic pousadas and hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International flights. Prices are based on return flights with easyJet from London Gatwick. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 16 meals: 9 breakfasts (days 2-10) 7 dinners (days 1, 4-9)
- Portable audio headset system on excursions
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
UK - Lisbon
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Lisbon.
Hotel Mundial, Lisbon (4-star)
One of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon’s wide boulevards and squares are dotted with rich architecture and grand monuments. Think pastel-coloured buildings, pretty squares and white-domed cathedrals. We’ll enjoy a guided tour with a local expert, taking in the highlights including the Old Town, built on the city’s terraced hillsides. The sprawling Praça do Comércio; the largest square in the city is lined by al fresco eateries with wonderful riverfront views. We head along the river to Belem to take in the Belem Tower, monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries.
We’ll also stop to enjoy a tasting of some of the city’s favourite treats: Pasties de Nata (custard tarts best served with a sprinkling of cinnamon and icing sugar) and Ginjinha, a sweet liqueur made from berries.
This evening, you might like to join an optional dinner with music at a traditional Fado restaurant.
Arrábida Natural Park - Azeitão
Today we journey south for a day of scenic delights in the lesser-known area of Arrábida. We’ll explore the one-time fishing village of Sesimbra, now a bustling whitewashed beach town set in the foothills of the Serra da Arrábida mountain range. Here, you can look up at the rugged Moorish castle and enjoy the beach that edges the town.
We continue to the sleepy little village of Azeitão, known for its wine production. Here, we’ll sample some of the local moscatel wine at a famous wine cellar, before continuing our drive through the Arrábida Natural Park. This area reveals stunning natural beauty, rare indigenous plants and a towering mountain range.
On the way back to our hotel, we’ll cross the seven-mile-long Vasco da Gama Bridge, providing views across one of the widest estuaries in the world.
There’ll be the opportunity for you to enjoy a traditional Portuguese pastime today, too; the art of tile decorating. We’ll stop by a local manufacturer where you’ll learn about the tradition and have the opportunity to paint your own tile.
Alcácer do Sal - Grandola - Beja
We wave goodbye to Lisbon today as we journey towards Beja. En route, we stop at two idyllic Portuguese towns. The historical town of Alcácer do Sal sprawls along the bank of the Sado River. It’s a beautiful web of alleys and stairways leading to castles and churches. But it’s not just a pretty face - archaeological remains here date to the Neolithic period. We’ll have some time here to wander and take in some of the highlights, including the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo and the Municipal Museum of Archaeology.
Our next stop is Grandola; a unique town that combines influences of the sea with traditional inland farming. We’ll enjoy a tasting of some local products in a ‘taberna’ (tavern). This evening we arrive in Beja and check into our pousada - a historical Portuguese hotel.
Pousada Convento de Beja (4-star)
We set out today to learn about the local way of life in this region. Agriculture is deep-rooted in the culture of the area and we’ll visit the esteemed grape-producing estate of Vale da Rosa and visit a local wine producer for a tasting. We’ll also taste local cheeses in Serpa.
White-walled buildings and terracotta topped roofs; Beja is the picture of a traditional Portuguese town. The walled centre holds some charming sights and quaint plazas. It’s an authentic slice of Portugal and we’ll take in some of the best bits on a guided tour together, including the castle, regional museum and lavish 15th-century Franciscan convent.
Mértola - Santo Antonio
We head to the medieval town of Mértola which sits high above the Guadiana river. We’ll wander the quaint cobbled streets, and past a collection of white houses that surround the small but imposing castle.
We discover that Mértola is an open-air museum bursting with history with Islamic influences that are still so prevalent, including the Igreja Matriz, a parish church which was once a 12th-century mosque. Mértola is also home to the rare black stork and we may be lucky to spot the nesting birds. This evening we check in to our newly refurbished pousada in Santo Antonio.
Pousada Vila Real Santo Antonio (4-star)
Lagos - Sagres
One of the Algarve’s most historic port towns, Lagos saw many of Portugal’s greatest explorers set off for the New World. We’ll wander the pretty Old Town, learn about the infamous Mercado de Escravos the first slave market in Europe, and visit the golden Church of St Anthony. Lagos is also famed for gorgeous beaches and the Ponta da Piedade, a stunning group of rock formations that look out to sea.
We head further west to the fishing port of Sagres and enjoy the scenery from the dramatic cliffs to the 15th-century fortress. We’ll also venture to the ‘end of the world’ at Cape St Vincent (the most south-western point of the European continent). We may even catch a glimpse of some of the birdlife in the area.
Sao Bras de Alpotel - Faro - Tavira
Today is a full day of exploring. We’ll enjoy the tranquillity of São Brás de Alportel, a quiet countryside town known for its cork production. We learn how the cork is harvested from the tree and see the production process first-hand at a cork factory.
We then continue our journey to Faro, the Algarve’s capital. From a marina and attractive plazas, to the atmospheric Old Town, we’ll stroll the cobbled streets past the 13th-century cathedral and then have free time to wander.
Our final stop is in picturesque Tavira. From bobbing fishing boats to pretty churches there’s a wealth of Renaissance and baroque finishes. The views from the ramparts of the medieval castle are superb.
Today is free. You could stroll through the main square past the handsome whitewashed houses with terracotta roofs; visit the town’s only church with its famed stained-glass window; or enjoy the beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe take the ferry across to Spain and the pretty, old town of Ayamonte - it has a lovely harbour to sit and watch fishing boats coming and going. This evening we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner.