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Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve

Overview

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  • Discover the ancient city of Porto
  • Visit the capital, Lisbon
  • Explore the awe-inspiring Algarve’s beautiful beaches
  • Take in beautiful coastal towns and villages
  • Take in Spain's charming Salamanca and Burgos

Famous for its Port wine, opulent architecture, and wonderful medieval city centre, Porto makes for an incredible sight. Explore at leisure to admire its many historical sights, before we take in the alluring Algarve’s breath-taking beaches and charming towns.
We’ll begin our holiday in beautiful Porto, enjoying time at leisure to take in the city’s many sights, before enjoying an included excursion to Braga and Guimaraes. Braga, known as the ‘Rome of Portugal’, is filled with incredible ancient sights, while Guimaraes is considered the birthplace of Portugal. It was here, in 1109, that Afonso Henriques was born - he would later go on to become the first King of Portugal.

We stop en route is Fatima, a famous pilgrim site. In 1916, three children were tending a flock of sheep when they saw an angel, and a year later the Virgin Mary also appeared to them, and since then thousands have flocked to the small village to the site of this miracle.
We then spend the night in the suburbs of Lisbon. Portugal's hilly, coastal capital city, Lisbon is a sun-kissed, terracotta hub against the deep blue Atlantic Ocean backdrop.

We continue our journey to the stunning Algarve, our base for the next three nights. Here we'll explore the Eastern Algarve with visits to Faro and Tavira, as well as the Western side with a stop in Lagos.

Lagos is known for its important role in the Portuguese ‘Age of Discovery’, when the country was at the peak of its naval discovery and overseas exploration. We'll also visit Cliff Richard's vineyard, known as Adega do Cantor or Winery of the Singer, which produces quality wine and combines traditional and innovative wine making techniques.

On our way home we'll stop in Salamanca for two nights. This Spanish city dates back to the Celtic era and is known for its ornate sandstone buildings. Its Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its University is one of the oldest in Europe.



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Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Northern France

Across to Calais, with a meal voucher included for an early dinner, then to our overnight hotel in Northern France. (D)

Day 2: Northern France to Bordeaux

From Northern France, we continue down through France to Bordeaux for an overnight stay. (B,D)

Day 3: Bordeaux to Burgos

After breakfast, we travel into Spain to the Hotel Abba in Burgos, famous for its cathedral. (B,D)

Day 4: Burgos to Porto

We continue to the picturesque city of Porto today, known for its ancient heritage and colourful cityscape. This medieval city is also well-known for port wine. (B,D)

Day 5: Porto

Relax at the hotel, explore Porto at leisure, or join our optional tour to enjoy a Port wine tasting in the atmospheric cellars. (B,D)

Day 6: Braga and Guimaraes

Our excursion today takes us to Braga, where our local guide will show us the sights including the cathedral and Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctury. We continue to Guimaraes, where we visit the stunning Palace of the Dukes of Braganza. (B,D)

Day 7: Porto to Lisbon area

Continuing southwards today, we call at beautiful Fatima, famous for its shrine to the Virgin Mary, before heading on to capital Lisbon, the City of Seven Hills, for an overnight stay at the Hotel Olaias Park. (B,D)

Day 8: Lisbon area to Albufeira

Explore the cobbled streets and bustling squares of Lisbon this morning, see the UNESCO listed sites or simply enjoy the local delicacy Pastel de Nata, a local custard tart. We continue to the southern tip of Portugal, where we stay at the Hotel Vila Gale Ampalius in Albufeira for three nights. (B,D)

Day 9: Eastern Algarve

Today we are joined by a local guide as we visit the eastern Algarve region, including its capital Faro, with its attractive marina and pretty plazas, as well as discovering charming Olhao and Tavira. (B,D)

Day 10: Lagos

Enjoy our visit to lovely Lagos, known for its walled town, cliffs and Atlantic beaches, before we enjoy a visit to Cliff Richard’s vineyard and tasting. (B,D)

Day 11: Albufeira to Salamanca

Leaving the Algarve behind, we’ll head northwards to Salamanca in Spain, with its UNESCO World Heritage Site Old City. Stay at the IBB Recoletos Coco Hotel for two nights. (B,D)

Day 12: Salamanca

Enjoy a day at your leisure in Salamanca, where there is much to see, including the new and old cathedrals, bustling Plaza Mayor square and the Casa de las Conchos, named after the 300 scallop shells on the buildings façade. (B,D)

Day 13: Salamanca to Bilbao


Heading northwards through Spain, we will stay overnight this evening in Bilbao, arriving in time for dinner. (B,D)

Day 14: Bilbao to Bordeaux

Our journey continues as today we cross the border and travel up into France, staying in the Bordeaux area tonight. (B,D)

Day 15: Bordeaux to Northern France

Following breakfast, we’ll continue our way northwards, staying in Northern France overnight (B,D)

Day 16: Northern France to UK

Today we leave France behind as we head to Calais and then across to the UK and onwards home. (B) 

Hotel Axis Porto

Situated in Porto’s historical city centre, the Hotel Axis Porto is ideally-placed for exploring this wonderful destination, and also boasts comfortable guest rooms. 

Rooms at this hotel


Hotel Gallery

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The Local Area

Included Excursions

En Route: Fatima

Famous for being a well-known pilgrimage site, Fatima is home to one of the most important Catholic shrines dedicated to the Virgin Mary. During our en route visit, spend time admiring Fatima’s Sanctuary. This beautiful sanctuary was constructed after three children witnessed the apparitions of an angel.  

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Full Day: Braga and Guimaraes

Once the centre of the Roman province of Gallaecia in Roman times, and known as Bracara Augusta, the wonderful city of Braga is filled with wonderful sights. Take in this beautiful scenery and architecture with our exciting guided tour, visiting the Braga Cathedral. This is one of the city’s most important monuments, and its magnificent façades features incredible Romanesque and Gothic architecture. We will also be taking a tourist train ride around the city.

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Full Day: Eastern Algarve

Explore the eastern Algarve, beginning in the ancient city of Faro, the capital of the Algarve. We’ll then continue to the Moorish town of Olhao, known for its important fish market; then to Tavira, with its attractive Old Town. Our final calling point will be Vila Real de Santo Antonio, situated on the Spanish boarder. Throughout our excursion, our experienced tour guide will give us extra insight into this fascinating towns. 

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Full Day: Lagos and Cliff Richard's Vineyard

Explore the beautiful Western Algarve with us, taking a scenic drive through stunning scenery. We’ll visit Lagos first, where we can uncover Portugal’s fascinating history. This city was integral to Portugal’s ‘Age of Discovery’, when the country’s naval exploration was at its peak. Admire the city’s ancient walls, which circle the Old Quarter, and perhaps visit one of its stunning beaches.

Then we'll visit Cliff Richard's vineyard, known as Adega do Cantor or Winery of the Singer. Learn more about the production of wine here and even try a sample!

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Optional Excursions

Lisbon Guided Tour

We’ll discover gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums on our guided tour of Lisbon, as well as many other delights in Portugal's capital city. Bright yellow trams wind their way through hilly, tree-lined streets, whilst the locals stroll peacefully through the old quarters. The city is set on seven hills where a number of spectacular monuments sit protectively, such as the iconic Belem Tower.

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Port Wine Tasting

In Porto, we’ll be treated to an optional port wine tasting excursion, which will give us a chance to sample this delicious wine for ourselves.

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World Heritage Site of Salamanca

Discover the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Salamanca, famous for its magnificent Old City and beautiful selection of fascinating sights.

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