Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto, the perfect itinerary, for those who really want to visit Portugal, starting at the beautiful city of Oporto, visiting the country from North to South, what are you waiting for ? Take your doubts with us, right now…
Portugal has the same boundaries defined since 1139, thus becoming the oldest nation-state of the European. The first king of Portugal, Dom Afonso Henriques was proclaimed in 1139.
The oldest alliance in the world, the Anglo-Portuguese alliance was signed in 1373 between Portugal and England and is valid until today, both countries entered wars to defend the other, including the United Kingdom entering the Iberian Peninsular War and Portugal entering the World War I.
Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto
The most typical and popular music is called Fado (Fate in Portuguese), a musical genre originating mainly from Lisbon, a kind of folk music lúdica and touching to the heart, sung mainly by the people and Intangible Cultural Patrimony of the World by Unesco.
It is estimated that some 700,000 people live and work in Paris, making this city an extension of Portugal, also in Luxembourg there is a high percentage of Portuguese, about 12%.
Take all your doubts about our Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto right now.
The first of our Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto will begin by the visit to Oporto, where we will start trough the Avenida dos Aliados (Avenue of the Allies), the city´s focal point, where everything happens,from manifestations to celebrations on this thoroughfare, there is the imposing Oporto Municipal Council building, not far we have the Lello Bookstore perfect for literature and architecture lovers especially “Harry Potter” fans.
Its staircase is a major attraction, the cause… JK Rowling who, despite never having spoken openly about the period she was in Portugal, was married to a Portuguese and lived in Porto at the time she started writing “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. ”
Another attraction will be Sao Bento’s train station, where 20 thousand tiles from Portuguese artist Jorge Colaco will take you a virtual trip through Portugal in the North in general, with a special emphasis on the different civilizations that have passed here and the different occupations.
The Oporto Cathedral, a church with a Roman-Gothic structure that was began to be built in the 12th century, however with several renovations in the XVII and XVIII centuries, inside it stands the medieval rosacea of the 12th century, and from outside the highlight goes to the lateral galilee, work of Nicolau Nasoni in 1736, decorated with tiles.
The Church of San Francisco built in the 12th century. initially of Romanesque architecture was transformed into Gothic style and later Baroque, three naves covered with gilded carvings, in which it is thought that were used more than 300 kilos of gold dust, another one of the curiosities of the Church the Tree of Jessé, a sculpture of polychrome wood considered one of the best in the world of its kind.
Time to visit Gaia where Port wine is being aged in hundreds of different cellars, visit one of those cellars, enjoy its atmosphere and taste this unique wine it is obligatory to know whole process, from the harvest to the final product.
Guimaraes, the first Portuguese capital, lets explore the city, where a statue of D. Afonso Henriques (first king of Portugal) waits for us, the Guimaraes Castle, followed by São Miguel Church and Paço dos Duques de Bragança (Bragança´s House Palace).
Exploring the old medieval streets that were left to tell the tale and history, ending in the the squares reign, like Sao Tiago, Toural and Oliveira, last but not least we take a little time to taste the delicious Santa Clara’s Pastry.
Now its time to visit Braga, a modern city but full of rich roman and medieval past. Commencing in the Cathedral (Monument from the eleventh century), one of the main attractions is the cross used in the first mass service in Brazil, also see the majestic pipe organs.
We will visit the high pulpit and the mortuary chapels that hold the tombs of some of Braga´s most notorious archbishops and also the graves of our first king´s parents (D. Henrique e Dona Teresa).
The “Bom Jesus” sanctuary has a Elevator as one of the great attractions, although it is not a normal elevator is the only water powered elevator in us allover the world, its construction is due to a nineteenth-century Bracaran businessman, built by two well-known engineers of the time, Nikolaus Riggenbach and Raul Mesnier.
A water tank that fills in the upper plane and empties in the lower one. The amount of water is in function of the existing passengers. At the time of departure the driver of the lower cabin informs the superior by a sound signal the number of passengers in that cabin.
Then the driver of the upper cabin will fill the tank with a quantity of water according to the signal received from the lower and according to the number of passengers in that cabin.
The weight of the water together with the weight of the passengers then makes this cabin down and up the opposite. Each cabin also has a brake to adjust the tempo and to slow down and stop before reaching the stops at the end of the course
On this we will leave our hotel in Oporto and continue our drive towards Amarante visiting it´s historic center, walk through the ancient streets, see the typical houses and the history that the city counts, with the river and the bridge.
For those who like to appreciate the ancient architecture, in Amarante, mainly in the historical center, there are numerous examples of the Romanesque and still many buildings of the Middle Ages, along S. Gonçalo bridge (name of the Dominican friar who will have it built) and enjoy some of the most touristic points of the city: the Church and Convent of São Gonçalo and the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum.
The Douro Valley is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful regions in the world, a place where wine culture coexists with small villages and humble people in a harmonious way, the region with the denomination of controlled origin of the World, famous for its Port wine, but also for its table wines (white and red).
The Pinhao Railway Station, built in the nineteenth century, its tiles representing the landscape and the life of the people in this region, with images of Port wine production from the harvest, the peculiar tread of the grapes with the feet, and the transport of wine in rabelos boats, typical boats that make the transport of the wine from there to the city of Oporto or more precisely Gaia.
Now we will visit a local winery, where you will be shown the different aspects of winemaking and also taste some of the best wines in the world according to world renowned Wine Spectator, at the end you should understand the methods and the different kind of grapes and wines here create.
In this day of our Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto te overnight in the region.
We start our 4th day of our Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto, by visiting Lamego, more precisely in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies and its staircase, built in the eighteenth century, on the summit of Monte de Santo Estevao, in honor of Senhora dos Remedios, the Lamego ex-libris.
The staircase, which rises from the center of the city to the top of Mount, is full of sacred places and surprising nooks. It is probably the greatest symbol of devotion to Our Lady of Remedies, in September, day and night, Lamego lives intensely the celebration of the Pilgrimage to its patron saint.
The city bustles with emotions, cultural and religious events: processions, parades, folklore and much, much fireworks, drums and bands of music that every day take the party to the streets of the city.
The whole municipality is full of churches and chapels, pillories, cruises, historical villages, medieval bridges and a series of archaeological remains from the earliest times of the settlement of these lands.
The city of Viseu has reached its apogee in sacred art and religious architecture, as we can see in the countless churches of its historical center, the Museum of Sacred Art and the Cathedral itself, one of the lost dwarves in Viseu, where we will find still the Church of Mercy, the pillory and the Ride of the Canons.
The black granite, characteristic of this region, framed in contrast the white facades of immaculate aspect.
A calmer day that will start with the visit to Coimbra´s University ( oldest in Europe ) with it´s highlight the Joanine library, built in the XVIII century on the former prison of the University, simply one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, Its decoration was only finished, close to the XVIII century, the renovation it, on the ceiling the frescoes were executed by Mestre António Ribeiro and Vicente Nunes, and the portrait of Dom Joao V was done by the Italian Domenico Dupra.
After visit the library we will continue visiting Coimbra´s University and visit other interesting places like; Saint Michel Chapel, “sala dos Capelos”, the “cabra” tower between others.
Coimbra´s downtown situated, between the Mondego river and the University, a lovely sidewalk street where you can relax and get lost in this charming city narrow streets and beautiful alleys, and squares, you will find countless cafes, pastry shops and restaurants.
Rich in culture and with an unforgettable gastronomy, this area has been the commercial center of the city for hundreds if not thousands of years, maintaining its genuine atmosphere and unique personality.
Where theres also a romanesque style 12th century Cathedral, the Arc of the Almedina and visit the Church of Santa Cruz where the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques (Afonso I) is buried.
Today we will leave Coimbra, where in less then one hour we will reach Fatima, starting our visit to the Sanctuary of Fatima, we will them find three places of interest where you can attend a mass ( optional ), the Chapel of the Apparitions, the first Chapel to be built immediately following the apparitions occupying a prominent place, not by size or grandeur, but yes by the location, practically in the center of the Sanctuary.
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, built in 1928 in Neo Baroque style, it houses today the tombs of the children, but also the tomb of Sister Lucia who passed away in 2005, and the Basilica of Santissima Trindade, built in 2007 with more than 8000 seats and 40,000 m² of area was designed by the Greek architect Alexandros Tombazis, a modern and quite imposing church.
In Tomar we will understand importance of the Order of the Templars the most important of all time, for the creation of Portugal. The entrance of Convent of Christ is made through a portico, an authentic sculpture by João and Diogo de Castilho, in the first church built by the Templar´s master Gualdim Pais, the oratorio or the Charola, a rare octagonal form, where the monks walked around praying, in16th century the Portuguese king D. Manuel add magnified sculptures, paintings and gilded carving.
With the glories of the maritime expansion is renovated with lush constructions in Manueline style, which has in the famous Window of the Chapter its greatest evidence.
In 1312, the Order of the Templars had already been transformed into the Order of Christ, under the care of the infant D. Henrique, who will receive valuable knowledge that will be used for the overseas epic.
This Convent crosses times and artistic languages that travel through Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque, Unesco World Heritage since 1983.
Another importance place to visit will be the Church of Santa Maria dos Olivais, also known as the Church of Santa Maria do Olival, located on the left bank of the river Nabao, in the city of Tomar, Portugal.
The first temple founded around 1160 by D. Gualdim Pais, master of the Order of the Knights Templar, where a Benedictine monastery was formerly erected, was the seat of the Order of the Templars in Portugal, having served as pantheon of the Order’s masters. Possible lunch at Tomar´s center on one of the sides of Marao river.
Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto
Today on our Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto we will leave tomar, up to Marvao, with its enchanting landscapes worthy of a medieval movie theater, a charming city, where its monuments tell a story so intense that it will leave you speechless.
At an altitude of eight hundred meters above sea level, due to its privileged and strategic location, which allowed the control of the Sever River, tributary of the Tagus, this region was disputed tirelessly by the peoples of the north and the south.
The Marvao Castle, one of the most important fortresses in the history of Portugal, especially in the conquest of Alcácer do Sal to the Moors, by D. Afonso Henriques in 1158, the convent of Nossa Senhora da Estrela, the ruins of the Roman city Ammaia de Lusitânia and the Romanesque style bridge are some of the monuments that deserve our attention.
In Marvão lies the history and traditions of the peninsular lost in the immensity of the landscape, which disfigures the line of the border between Portugal and Spain, a region that gives us a new perspective of territory and peninsular identity, waiting to be rediscovered.
Evora was the residence of some Portuguese kings, a point of convergence of renowned artists, supported by the patronage and dynasty reigning in Portugal.The period of the discoveries was of glory to Evora creating particularly favorable conditions in the construction of numerous aristocratic mansions of the city as the Jesuit university.
However, the ex-libris will be the Church of San Francisco, especially the Bones Chapel, clothed with skulls and bones of 500 monks, attracting thousands every year and proclaiming “We bones, here we are, for yours we will wait” at the entrance of the it.
Another option for our day will be a visit to a Cork factory, Cork is the bark of the cork oak, a kind of oak, a bark with unusual characteristics, is light, elastic and resistant to fire among others, each year the bark grows, however, only after nine to nine years it must be removed from the tree, being able to reach 25 centimeters of thickness, defenitively an excellent protection for the tree against the heat, cold and fires, after removing the tree forms a new bark.
Portugal is responsible for 55% of world cork production, valued worldwide for decorative cork coatings on walls and floors, the manufacture of sporting goods being even the ideal material for the kernels of baseball or the cable of fishing rods.
However, cork is best known for being the cork raw material, since it allows very small amounts of oxygen in contact with the wine, without spoiling the aging process.
Today will be the day to drive to the south of Portugal trough beautiful green landscapes, mediterranean forests of oliveiras (Olive trees) and sobreiros (cork oak trees), but before we get there we will visit Monsaraz, a small medieval village with narrow stone streets and houses painted white add special charm to this village and its inhabitants.
As we walk in its walls, we return to medieval times, surrounded by plains that stretch out of sight and along with the Alqueva that divides Portugal and Spain.
Since the Alentejo is a region renowned for its cuisine and its wines, we will know a little more about this noble product, with a possible visit and tasting in one of there local wineries, after our visit we will continue to the Algarve where we will suggest on this day of our Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto the overnight in Albufeira.
On this day we will visit some of the most important cities in the Algarve, such as Tavira where we will find the City Hall and the Islamic Museological Nucleus with a diverse archaeological collection from the Islamic period, the Misericórdia Church, built between 1541 and 1551, is considered the most remarkable Renaissance expression of the Algarve and then Faro probably the city in the Algarve with more heritage, a city to discover it within its walls, with history as divergent wealth to the poverty of looting to authentic destruction especially during the great earthquake of 1755.
Lagos a city of “poor” memory since we will visit the historical slave market, and probably have lunch there since its famous for its excellent gastronomy, where fish is the most appreciated meal, if the weather permits its visit to the “Ponta da Piedade” caves a lovely ride a small boat.
Our day will end with the visit to Sagres Fortress, also known as the Promotorium Sacrum, built by order of Prince Henry the Navigator, where inside we will see; cannons, a sixteenth-century tower and also the Church of Our Lady of Grace, one of the former monument ex-libris is the rose of the winds, a sundial that some consider to be of the time of the infant and the nautical school that he founded in Sagres, considered the first in the world.
This will be the day to leave the Algarve on the way to Lisbon, staring our day by the South West Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park is the best preserved stretch of European coastline, covering over 100 km, from Porto Covo in the Alentejo region.
Arrabida Natural Park a deep contrast between the whitish shades of limestone cliffs, the blue of the waters, and the green of the vegetal mantle that covers the saw this conjugation of colors could only result a unique picture, that is painted according to the seasons of the year, a string of beaches, which is the most beautiful, each with its attributes and charms between them; Figueirinha, Portinho da Arrabida, Galapos or Galapinhos that was elected, the best European destination in 2017.
In Azeitao we have a traditional tile factory is an authentic jewel for lovers and collectors, in this factory will find European, Islamic and Chinese drawings of the most different types, whether painted or relief, in the Hispano-Arabic style of the 15th and 16th century.
A true lesson on the various stages of the manufacturing process, from the “making”, through the glazing and finishing in the painting, you can still live on the skin the experience of painting your own tile.
Setubal and the sea, the fishermen’s , there boats, the river and the sea are inseparable and Setubal identity, demonstrated and colored by the hundreds of boats anchored along the riverfront contrasting with the bronze tanned skin of men of toil, real people of the sea, accustomed to overcome all different challenges, with a peculiar wisdom and humour, able to paint pictures with words that make anyone mesmerized.
In Setubal old town you find stores for every taste, from some of the most recognized global brands, mingle with others from older times, where one can discover some rarities and less conventional products, culture peeks around every turn, where buildings are living testimonies of a city that grew, which is modernized, all without forgetting its sea roots.
Most of the streets converge to “Praça do Bocage” Setubal´s meeting point of the locals, full of esplanades and dedicated to one of the greatest figures of Portuguese poetry, his statue with his eyes fixed on the sea, is the landmark of this busiest square.
Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto
Day dedicated entirely to visit Lisbon, city that was practically devastated by the earthquake of 1755, the largest ever recorded in Europe, so it was necessary to design a new city with the first anti-seismic constructions, drawn with a set of straight and perpendicular streets organized around an axis the central part of Rua Augusta. In these streets were given the names of the various crafts of the time and artisans of that time among them; cobblers, corraliros, of gold.
“Baixa de Lisboa” is also known for the monumentality of its buildings, which represent a new social order that values the merchant and financial class. To test the resilience of these buildings to a new earthquake used troops marching inside buildings.
In Belem the region that personifies the epic of the Portuguese Discoveries with several monuments classified Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity by Unesco such as the Jerónimos Monastery and Torre de Belém of the Manueline style in an urban set unique in the world and also, more modern the Monument of the Discoveries and the Plaza do Imperio complete the sense of grandeur of the times of the Great Portuguese Empire.
All this in a pleasant place next to the Tagus River with green spaces and unique atmosphere with marinas and sailing clubs and still a cycle path where the pure air of the sea competes with the beauty of the view. You will not want to miss the Pastels of Bethlehem, this secret and magical recipe that makes us smile.
Sintra the Portuguese Aristocracy paradise, we will discover the charm of the narrow alleys and the typical and regional products stores, letting yourself be taken to the Piriquita pastry where the famous sweets ” Queijadas de Sintra and “Travesseiros de Sintra” are waiting for you.
The choice of what palace ( or palaces ) to visit its just yours, the guide will suggest that it is best for you to visit between; “Quinta da Regaleira”a palace from the XIX. although it seems to be older, with a decoration that impresses, rich in Masonic symbolism, Moorish Castle a testimony of the Islamic presence in the region, built between the 8th and 9th centuries and enlarged after the Reconquest or why not the Palaçio da Pena, a a fantastical and revivalist reconstruction, to the taste of nineteenth-century romanticism, which was owed to the passion and imagination of the artist D. Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, consort of D. Maria II.
The geological formation of ”Cabo da Roca”is also known among the sites as “The Snout of the Rock”, others prefer to call it a poetic way “Promontory of the Moon,”, the beauty of this place is imaginable. With thousands of visitors every year, Roca Cape was mentioned by the Portuguese poet Camoes in “Os Lusíadas”, In his words this was the place “where the Earth ends and the sea begins”, part of the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais and from there it is possible to put on the shoes and follow the ecological rails of the Serra de Sintra.
Time to explore Cascais this ancient fisherman´s village turned into a beautiful and cosmopolitan beach resort, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, next to it there´s Estoril, famous for its casino ( largest gambling room in Europe ) and by the fact of the Yan Fleming wrote there the first 007 nobel Casino Royale during the 2nd world war. From here will get back to Lisbon along road “Marginal” enjoying breathtaking ocean scenery along the coast.
We hope that our Twelve Days Private Tour in Portugal from Oporto was as pleasant for you as it was for us.
It was our first time (Feb 2017) in Portugal, they pointed us to Walkborders Tours and it was a pleasant surprise. Jorge, our guide, qualified professional, with excellent training in History and Tourism, educadíssimo, solicito, quickly understood our demands and became the short time we had in Lisbon very special.
It was so good that we hired it for a second day for a tour of Sintra that perfect. Customized tour, you choose what you want to do, where you want to go and how long you want to stay. The large and comfortable car, with air conditioning / heater. For those who are going with children or the elderly or had little time to prepare a script, it is ideal.