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Portugal

While Lisbon and Porto often steal the spotlight, Portugal has an abundance of hidden gems beyond its captivating historic cities. This small Iberian nation is a treasure trove of natural wonders, ranging from golden beaches to majestic mountain peaks and lush river valleys. The best places to explore in Portugal largely depend on your interests. If you crave sun-kissed beaches and thrilling aquatic adventures, the Algarve is the place to be. For those seeking historic architecture and a rich traditional dining scene, Évora is the perfect destination to immerse yourself in. Portugal, with its rich history and vibrant traditions, offers a delightful blend of medieval castles, enchanting cobblestone streets, and idyllic coastal towns. Start your journey in the lively city of Lisbon, where you can hop on the iconic yellow trams and soak in panoramic views from breathtaking viewpoints. Don't forget to explore the fairytale-like town of Sintra, where majestic castles and palaces are tucked amidst lush green landscapes. Portugal is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, waiting to be discovered at every turn. When planning your custom tour Portugal, be sure to include the captivating city of Porto. Famous for its production of port wine and breathtaking views of the riverfront, Porto offers a delightful blend of culture and beauty. Take a leisurely stroll through the charming Ribeira district, visit the historic port wine cellars, and treat yourself to mouthwatering local cuisine. As you venture south, the coastal city of Lagos awaits with its stunning cliffs, golden beaches, and pristine waters. Explore the mesmerizing rock formations of Ponta da Piedade and embark on a thrilling boat tour to uncover hidden caves and grottoes along the picturesque coastline. These are just a few of the many incredible experiences that await you on your custom tour of Portugal. Immerse yourself in the captivating culture and rich history of the nation, as no Portugal trip would be complete without it. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Évora, a captivating destination that invites you to stroll amidst ancient Roman ruins and be awe-struck by the grandeur of the Évora Cathedral's Gothic architecture. Experience the vibrant student life and rich intellectual heritage in Coimbra, home to one of the world's oldest universities, on your custom tour Portugal. And make sure to visit the charming city of Aveiro, often dubbed the "Venice of Portugal," with its scenic canals and vibrant-colored moliceiro boats. These destinations offer a glimpse into Portugal's fascinating past and present, leaving you with unforgettable memories of your journey. Portugal beckons nature enthusiasts with its awe-inspiring landscapes, offering endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Many Portugal trips take you to the picturesque Douro Valley, adorned with terraced vineyards and a winding river, which sets the stage for scenic hikes and delightful wine tastings. The rugged coastline of the Algarve region invites exploration, unveiling hidden coves, sandy beaches, and dramatic cliffs waiting to be discovered. And in the remote Azores, an archipelago nestled in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, you can explore amidst volcanic terrains, soothing hot springs, and breathtaking crater lakes. Portugal's natural wonders are a true paradise for those seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the great outdoors. When organizing your Portugal itinerary, don't forget to include unforgettable experiences that highlight the country's vibrant traditions. Immerse yourself in the soul-stirring melodies of Fado music, a genre that beautifully encapsulates the essence of Portuguese culture. Indulge in a cooking class where you can uncover the secrets behind crafting delectable Portuguese dishes. Indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of bustling local markets, where you can tantalize your taste buds with regional delicacies and uncover exquisite handmade crafts that highlight local artistry. These immersive experiences will infuse an extra dose of authenticity into your Portugal journey, leaving you with cherished memories that will endure for a lifetime. Immerse yourself in the lively energy of the markets and let the sights, smells, and flavors of Portugal captivate your senses, creating unforgettable moments along your travel adventure. With a custom tour Portugal, you have the freedom to design your perfect itinerary, allowing you to delve into the aspects of this captivating country that interest you the most. No matter your travel preferences, a customized tour of Portugal ensures that your trip is perfectly tailored to your interests. Whether you're fascinated by historical landmarks, eager to explore natural wonders or yearn for cultural immersion, a personalized tour allows you to design an itinerary that reflects your unique desires. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, your well-tailored tour of Portugal guarantees a travel experience that exceeds your expectations and fulfills your travel dreams. Portugal is a destination that caters to every traveler's desires, from its fascinating history and culture to its stunning natural beauty. So, start planning a trip to Portugal and get ready to embark on a journey that will create lasting memories and leave you yearning to return to this country again and again.

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Flavors of Portugal

Flavors of Portugal

7 Days | From $1899

Portugal
Porto | Lisbon | Coimbra
Treasures of Spain and Portugal

Treasures of Spain and Portugal

14 Days | From $5799

Spain | Portugal
Madrid | Seville | Fatima | Lisbon | Costa del Sol | Granada | Cordoba | Porto
Enchanting Portugal

Enchanting Portugal

11 Days | From $2749

Portugal
Porto | Lisbon | Coimbra | Algarve
Charms of Lisbon and Madeira

Charms of Lisbon and Madeira

8 Days | From $1499

Portugal
Lisbon | Madeira
Scenic Portugal Self Drive

Scenic Portugal Self Drive

8 Days | From $599

Portugal
Fatima | Porto | Lisbon | Viseu
Gems of Portugal

Gems of Portugal

10 Days | From $2899

Portugal
Porto | Lisbon | Evora | Coimbra

Top destinations to visit in Portugal

Lisbon:  Being Portugal's vibrant capital, it is a must-visit city. Explore charming neighborhoods like Alfama and Bairro Alto, visit iconic landmarks such as Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, and don't miss the breathtaking views from São Jorge Castle.

Porto: Known for its port wine production and scenic riverfront, Porto offers a blend of historic charm and contemporary vibes. Visit the Ribeira district, tour the port wine cellars, and admire the stunning architecture of the Dom Luís I Bridge.

Sintra: This enchanting town is famous for its fairytale-like castles and palaces nestled in lush greenery. Explore the colorful Pena Palace, the mysterious Quinta da Regaleira, and the romantic Monserrate Palace, all surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Douro Valley: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro Valley is renowned for its terraced vineyards, picturesque landscapes, and winding Douro River. Take a scenic boat ride, visit wine estates, and savor the region's renowned port wines.

Algarve: Your Portugal trip package must have the country's southern most region known for its stunning coastline, golden beaches, and dramatic cliffs included. Explore charming coastal towns like Lagos and Albufeira, enjoy water sports, and discover hidden coves and caves along the coastline.

Évora: Immerse yourself in history in the UNESCO-listed city of Évora. Admire the well-preserved Roman Temple, visit the haunting Chapel of Bones, and explore the historic city center with its narrow streets and whitewashed houses.

Aveiro: Often called the "Venice of Portugal," Aveiro is famous for its canals, colorful moliceiro boats, and charming architecture. Take a boat tour along the canals, explore the picturesque streets, and indulge in delicious local cuisine.

Madeira: This Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean offers stunning natural beauty, including rugged cliffs, lush forests, and beautiful gardens. Explore the capital city of Funchal, hike along the Levadas (irrigation channels), and enjoy the unique flora and fauna.

 

Best time to visit Portugal

Spring (March-May) and fall (September-October) are the ideal seasons to visit Portugal. In spring, the country comes alive with blooming flowers and vibrant colors, while in fall, you can enjoy warm weather and fewer crowds. Whether you choose to witness the awakening of the country in spring or soak up the pleasant temperatures of fall, Portugal offers a delightful experience during these seasons.

Experiences you should not miss in Portugal

1. Take a tram ride in Lisbon

Discovering Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, is best done through a self-guided tram tour. These iconic electric trams have been an integral part of the city since 1901, offering locals and visitors a charming way to navigate the hilly streets.

For an unforgettable sightseeing experience and breathtaking views, hop on Tram 28. Consider it Lisbon's authentic alternative to a hop-on-hop-off bus tour! This route, stretching from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique, takes you along the city's most enchanting streets, passing by renowned landmarks like Lisbon Cathedral, the Thieves Market, São Jorge Castle, National Pantheon, Miradouro da Graça, Arco da Rua Augusta, and more. Embark on this tram journey to immerse yourself in the beauty and history of Lisbon.

2. Cruise the Douro River

In Porto, Portugal's vibrant second city, the Douro River takes center stage, adorned with iconic landmarks and surrounded by the medieval charm of the Ribeira district. Immerse yourself in the city's history by embarking on a boat trip along the Douro, following the route once taken by the Rabelo boats that transported Port wine. This journey offers a unique perspective of Porto's highlights, including the famous 'Six Bridges,' the Gaia caves with their Port wine cellars, and the scenic Cabedelo Nature Reserve. Experience the breathtaking beauty of Foz do Douro and the mesmerizing lighthouse of Barra do Douro along the way.

3. Taste some Porto Wine

No trip to Portugal is complete without indulging in a tasting of the world-renowned Port wine. And where better to experience it than in the Douro Valley, one of Europe's most esteemed wine regions, located just outside Porto? While Porto City offers touristy and overpriced Port tastings, the true essence of Port wine awaits you in the Douro Valley. Here, you can visit centuries-old wine estates, known as Quintas, and witness the stunning vineyards, that stretch as far as the eye can see. Immerse yourself in Portugal's rich wine-making traditions as you explore the picturesque landscapes and savor the flavors of this exquisite drink. many Portugal tour packages also have wine tasting tours included, so make sure you choose those ones.

4. Experience the tropical life in Algarve

Portugal's southern coast is a paradise for sunseekers. The Algarve boasts a stunning and diverse coastline, offering something for everyone. Whether you prefer the bustling atmosphere of popular resorts or seek tranquility on secluded beaches with dramatic cliffs, you'll find your slice of seaside bliss here. Spend your days frolicking in the waves, taking leisurely walks along the oceanfront, or catching unforgettable waves at renowned surf spots. On a custom tour Portugal, you have the flexiblity to extend your days and continue soaking in the beachy vibes.

Families will also find the Algarve to be a top destination in Portugal. With its family-friendly beaches, water parks, and a plethora of outdoor adventures, there's no shortage of fun activities for kids. Explore hidden sea caves by boat, embark on boating excursions, or discover undeveloped islands for an unforgettable experience.

Pro tip: The Algarve enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year, making it an ideal destination throughout the year. However, for the best deals and fewer crowds, consider visiting during the winter season.

5. Go for hiking in Serra da Estrela

Head to the Serra da Estrela, Portugal's magnificent mountain range, for a dose of rugged beauty, thrilling outdoor activities, and a glimpse into a disappearing traditional way of life. With an extensive network of high-country trails offering breathtaking vistas, hikers will find themselves in paradise. The charming mountain villages that dot the region serve as perfect bases for outdoor adventures and exploration.

At the pinnacle of the range lies Torre, the highest point in the country, marked by a striking stone monument that pushes its height to 2000m (6561ft). Here, daredevils can slalom down Portugal's sole ski slope. And don't forget to keep an eye out for the adorable furry sheepdog puppies frolicking along the roadside—they're sure to steal your heart.

 

Things to know before traveling to Portugal

Visa Requirements: Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter Portugal. Check the visa requirements for your country well in advance and ensure you have the necessary documentation.

Currency: The currency used in Portugal is the Euro (EUR). It's advisable to have some cash on hand for smaller establishments that may not accept cards. ATMs are widely available throughout the country.

Language: The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. While many locals, especially in tourist areas, may speak English, it's always helpful to learn a few basic Portuguese phrases to enhance your interactions and show respect for the local culture.

Transportation: Portugal has a well-developed transportation system, including trains, buses, and metro systems in major cities. Consider purchasing a transport pass or card for ease of travel. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also available.

Safety: Portugal is generally a safe country to visit. However, it's always wise to take standard precautions such as keeping an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and being aware of your surroundings.

Cuisine: Portugal is known for its delicious cuisine, including fresh seafood, grilled meats, and pastries. Don't miss the opportunity to try iconic dishes such as bacalhau (salted codfish) and pastéis de nata (custard tarts) on your Portugal tour. Pair your meals with local wines or try the famous port wine.

Electrical Outlets: Portugal uses the standard European two-pin plug (Type C and Type F). If your devices use a different type of plug, consider bringing an adapter.

 

Why choose Acqua?

Acqua offers access to local expertise through carefully selected tour operators who possess excellent language skills, destination knowledge, and buying power. Customize your trip to Portugal by choosing accommodation, transportation, activities, and pace. Directly booking with local operators ensures cost efficiency and supports local economies. Acqua partners with established operators for favorable rates, providing peace of mind with guarantees and insurance coverage. By choosing Acqua, you support responsible travel and contribute to community projects.

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