GRANDE PORTUGAL ADVENTURE

Regions

North, Center, East, South, West

Starting Point

Porto

Best time to travel

all year

Recommended Length

14 - 18 days

Minimum Age*

Road Trip Adventure

Activity Level **

4/5

This amazing two week round trip will let you discover Portugal with all it's historic and traditional glory while enjoying fantastic and varied outdoor adventures all along the way. Travel form the banks of the beautiful Douro Valley through the traditional central highlands and Alentejo area to the beautiful sandy beaches on the Algarve and the wild, dramatic coastline along the Costa Vincentina. Plenty of hiking, cycling, kayaking, and much more is waiting for you while enjoying local traditions and high quality culinary heritage all along the way.

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ road trip to the northern, eastern and southern regions of Portugal
✓ relax, unwind and learn about wine at exclusive wine quintas in the Douro Valley and in Alentejo
✓ history, heritage and traditions in the beautiful ancient towns and villages in Alentejo and on the Algarve
✓ UNESCO world heritage sites Douro Valley, Coimbra, Tomar, Elvas and Evora
✓ hiking, cycling and kayaking tours in the various beautiful nature parks and along the coast
✓ night canoeing adventure under the star-filled dark sky of the Alqueva dam

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival - overnight in the Douto Valley
Day 2 - wine quinta tour and tasting - free time at the quinta - overnight in the Douro Valley
Day 3 - hiking, cycling and/or canyoning in the Arouca Geopark - overnight Arouca Geopark (110km)
Day 4 - hiking, cycling and/or canyoning in the Arouca Geopark - overnight Coimbra (120km)
Day 5 - hiking the Schist villages of the Serra da Lousã - Tomar (90km)
Day 6 - Tomar - the fortified medieval village of Marvão - overnight in Marvão (150km)
Day 7 - Garrison border town of Elvas - overnight in Evora (180km)
Day 8 - Evora heritage cycling - overnight in Evora
Day 9 - Monsaraz - Dark sky kayaking on the Alqueva Dam - overnight Moura (110km)
Day 10 - Vale do Guadiana Nature Park - overnight in Tavira (160km)
Day 11 - cycling or boat tour in the Ria Formosa Nature Park - free time in Tavira - overnight in Tavira (60km)
Day 12 - Faro Food tour - overnight Tavira (80km)
Day 13 - Algarve Coast - Sea kayaking in Lagos - overnight Costa Vincentina (160km)
Day 14 - hiking along the Costa Vincentina - overnight Costa Vincentina
Day 15 - Departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO PORTUGAL
Welcome to Portugal. After your arrival, you will pick up the car and transfer to the Douro Valley, where you will stay in a cozy wine quinta for the next couple of days.
Overnight in the Douro Valley.

DAY 2 - WINES OF THE DOURO VALLEY
Enjoy the day at the beautiful rural quinta, where you will learn about the special wines from Protugal's UNESCO listed Douro region. Take a tour over the vinyards, learn about the harvesting, fermentation, storing and ageing process before getting the chance to sample some of the high quality red and white wines from the Douro Valley. You will also have some free time you can take to relax or explore more of the beautiful landscape around the valley by foot, bike or kayak.
Overnight in the Douro Valley.

DAY 3 - OUTDOOR PARADISE AROUCA - COIMBRA
The Arouca Geopark in the southeast of Porto is listed as UNESCO Geopark thanks to its rich and unique geological and cultural heritage. This area of Portugal is surrounded by mountain ranges and crossed by several rivers, offering plenty of opportunities for all sorts of outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, climbing or canyoning. Discover cultural heritage and unspoiled nature with the activity of your choice.
Overnight in the Arouca Geopark area.

DAY 4 - AROUCA GEOPARK - COIMBRA
You will have the morning to further explore the Geopark on one of the many walking or cycling trails. Continue to Coimbra, home to Portugal's oldest and most prestigious universities, where you will have the rest of the day free to stroll through the medieval lanes and soak up the lively atmosphere.
Overnight in Coimbra.

DAY 5 - THE SCHIST VILLAGES OF SERRA DA LOUSA - TOMAR
Today you will escape to the quiet Serra da Lousã, a scenic region in central Portugal filled with old castles, authentic villages and many hiking trails in lush and green nature. Travel back in time as you hike around the valley on old narrow forest paths and visit the scenic Schist villages of Talasnal and Casal Novo. Continue to the Templar city of Tomar, where you will enjoy the evening in the historic center. Overnight in Tomar.

DAY 6 - CONVENT OF CHRIST - MARVAO
You will have some time in Tomar in the morning to explore the traditional streets or to visit the breath-taking Convento de Cristo, an impressive castle overlooking the town, which was originally founded by the Templar knights and is today listed as one of Portugal's UNESCO World Heritage sites. Continue to Marvão in the afternoon, a beautiful medieval village set on a hilltop, offering beautiful wide views over the Alentejo countryside all the way up to the Portuguese and Spanish border! Stroll through the beautiful cobbled alleys and relax in the small restaurants and cafes for the rest of the day.
Overnight in Marvão.

DAY 7 - ALENTEJO - ELVAS - EVORA
Travel on through eastern Portugal through the beautiful calm Alentejo countryside with rolling hills, farms and vineyards. The area is deeply steeped into history and traditional heritage and you will find many historic artefacts and beautiful villages here. Visit the UNESCO listed Garrison border town of Elvas with its numerous fortifications and the impressive Amoreira Aqueduct from the 16th century before continuing to the beautiful historic town of Evora. The beautifully preserved town is a real gem for history and heritage lovers and the UNESCO listed town holds the highest number of national monuments in Portugal. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon to explore the historic streets and pay a visit to the bizarre Capela dos ossos, a chapel decorated with human bones and skulls.
Overnight in Evora.

DAY 8 - HERITAGE CYCLING TOUR AROUND EVORA
A guided cycling tour will take you through the beautiful countryside around Evora and you will stop at various places to get a taste and authentic glimpse of real Alentejo lifestyle, heritage and tradition. Visit a traditional Alentejo winery in a medieval property, where you will enjoy a private tour over the estate and get to enjoy some of the modern Portuguese high quality wines before continuing to a prickly pear farm. The tour ends with a visit to a cork factory, where you will learn about cork transformation and all its usage.
Return to Evora for overnight.

DAY 9 - CHARMING MONSARAZ - ALQUEVA - DARK SKY NIGHT KAYAKING
The day starts with a visit to Monsaraz, a charming historic Portuguese village with white-washed houses and a medieval castle, offering panoramic views over the impressive Alqueva dam and the surrounding area. Stroll through the medieval small alleys or enjoy a walk in the countryside along the shores of the dam before enjoying an unforgettable night kayaking adventure admiring the stars on the incredible dark sky over the waters of the dam.
Overnight in Moura.

DAY 10 - VALE DO GUADIANA NATURE PARK - MEDIEVAL MERTOLA - TAVIRA
Today, you will make your way down to \Portugal's Algarve coast. You will cross the beautiful Guadiana River Valley Nature Park with hills, plains and deep valleys along the Guadiana River. The park is a great place for wildlife watching and offers some great opportunities for walking in an unspoiled landscape. Visit the picturesque medieval village of Mertola with its small castle and the cobbled medieval alleys in the heart of the Vale do Guadiana Nature Park before heading to the Southern Coast.
Overnight in Tavira.

DAY 11 - RELAX IN TAVIRA
With its mix of traditional Portuguese heritage and Moorish roots, Tavira is one of the most charming towns on the Algarve. Spend the day enjoying the lively, but relaxed atmosphere of the town center, explore the waterways and mudflats of the Parque Natural da Ria Farmosa or simply just relax at the beautiful sandy beaches on the Ilha de Tavira.
Overnight in Tavira.

DAY 12 - FOOD AND HERITAGE OF FARO
Faro is the biggest city on the Algarve and today you will have the opportunity to discover Faro's origin and history on a guided tour through the old city. Learn about the traditions, legends and lifestyle while tasting the local delicacies and traditional flavours. Spend the rest of the day exploring more of Faro’s historic center or unwind along the sandy beaches on the Algarve.
Overnight in Tavira.

DAY 13 - ALONG THE ALGARVE COAST - SEA KAYAKING AT PONTA DA PIEDADE
Travel along the Algarve coast, Portugal's most popular coastline, providing you fantastic panoramic views across golden sandy beaches, red cliffs and the Atlantic ocean. Spend some time strolling through the lively streets of the walled town of Lagos, characterized by small shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. After lunch, a combined boat and kayaking tour will take you around the beautiful Ponta da Piedade cliffs to discover caves, beaches and beautiful grottoes formed by erosion of millions of years.
Overnight along the Costa Vincentina.

DAY 14 - HIKING ON THE COSTA VINCENTINA (B)
The Costa Vincentina is known as one of the most authentic and pristine coastal sections in Portugal and Europe and is home to the Rota Vincentina walking and cycling network. Follow a section along the Fishermen's Trail today, taking you through small fishing villages, along beautiful sandy beaches and a rugged cliffs offering you breath-taking views over the open Atlantic ocean and the dramatic coastline. Overnight on the Costa Vincentina.

DAY 15 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport and departure.

This is our standard itinerary, which can be tailored to your specific wishes and needs. Just talk to us if you wish to add extra nights, adventures or special requests!

 

Family Adventure Holidays

SERVICES INCLUDED

Family Adventure Holidays

 

- accommodation in good standard middle-class hotels, quintas and/or guesthouses
- private care hire for the entire trip
- activities, visits and tours as outlined, with a certified, English speaking guide where desired/required
- all taxes and insurances for the activities
- expert travel planning, trip preparation and 24/7 on-tour support

Family Adventure Holidays

TIMES & RATES

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Description

Family Adventure Holidays

GALLERY

Family Adventure Holidays

Family Adventure Holidays

Contact us for a quote

Talk to us to get a quote for this tour or let us design a tour just for you. 

 

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TRAVEL TIPS

When to travel
Thanks to its mild climate, Portugal is a great destination all year round. March to May is a great season for outdoor activities or sight-seeing. It is not too hot yet, but temperatures can already be nice and warm, especially on the Algarve or in Portugal's southeast. Nature is in full bloom and forests are lush and green at this time of the year. While average daily temperatures in Lisbon are around 18 degrees, it can be cooler in central and northern Portugal.
Summer in Portugal comes with high temperatures and a lot of sun. While Lisbon has an average of 28 degrees over the summer months, temperatures can rise over 40 degrees in northern and central Portugal between June and August and also easily reach around 35 degrees on the Algarve, though a fresh breeze from the Atlantic makes it feel less hot. The Algarve is perfect for a beach holiday, though the water temperatures hardly go over 22 degrees. Generally the waters around Portugal stay cool with not more than 20 degrees. The summer months in Portugal are full of festivities, which take place in every part of the country.
September and October are again perfect for outdoor and cultural activities as the days are still warm and mostly dry. November until February are the months with the most rain over the year, especially in northern Portugal and there can be snow in the mountains. Temperatures would still reach around 15 degrees on the Algarve and would rarely drop below 10 degrees in Lisbon.

How to travel
Portugal has three major airports - Porto in the north, Lisbon in central west Portugal and Faro on the Algarve in the south. While Faro is much more frequented with charter and holiday flights from other countries in Europe, Porto and Lisbon offer a well developed network of scheduled flights to destinations all over Europe and overseas as well. With a volume of more than 20 million passengers a year (2018), Lisbon is by far the busiest airport in Portugal. Porto and Lisbon airport are well connected to the city centers by subway.
The easiest way to get around Portugal is by car. As it is a rather small country, distances are never far, for example you can travel from Lisbon to Porto or Faro in less than three hours and from Lisbon to Evora in less than 2 hours. There is a dense network of modern motorways linking the major centers, especially in central and Northern Portugal, which are operated through a tolling system. Apart from the motorway connecting Lisbon to the Algarve and the A22 along the Algarve coast, Alentejo is mainly characterized by national and regional roads.
Further, Portugal has a well developed rail network, connecting every corner of Portugal. The high speed Alfa Pendula connects Braga in the north with Faro in the south and stops in Porto and Lisbon on the way. The bigger cities can be reached by ”Intercidades” and the regional trains link to the more remote areas. Further, the ”urbanos” connect the commuter zones in Porto and Lisbon with the city.
The ”Linha do Douro” follows along the Douro river, passing 26 tunnels, 30 bridges and one of the most scenic landscapes in Portugal. Parts of the route are classified as UNESCO world heritage. The journey takes you along vineyards, quintas, small villages and through stations decorated with blue azulejos.
The “Linha do Algarve” runs along the Algarve coastline, offering panoramic views over the sea and the hinterland while connecting Lagos with Vila Real de Santo Antonio.

Travelling with children
Kids are king in Portugal! Family friendly hotels, great beaches, a large choice of activities and a lot of sun turn Portugal into a great destination to enjoy with the whole family. The varied scenery offers plenty of choice for kid-friendly outdoor activities like cycling, swimming, surfing, climbing or canyoning and the rich historic heritage with medieval castles, grand palaces and traditional villages allows for exciting discoveries.
Many hotels in Portugal are very focused on families and offer many extra services and facilities, ranging from kid friendly menus, babysitting service or activity programs for kids. Alternatively, farms cater for families looking for a more rural escape in the countryside.

What to bring
Depending where and when you travel, there are several things you should make sure that end up in your suitcase before setting off.
As summer is generally warm, if not even hot in Portugal, light summer clothes will be a must, including shorts, t-shirts and light summer shoes. Make sure to bring swim gear and the necessary protection against the sun, including lotion, sun glasses and a sun hat, though all of the items are of course widely available in Portugal at reasonably good prices. Due to the breeze, evenings spent at the sea can feel a bit chilly, so don’t forget a light sweater or cardigan. If you are travelling to the more continental mountain areas, a warm jumper will keep you warm in case you experience a colder evening or two. The terrain is fairly dry over the summer months, so solid shoes for hiking tours will work fine, though proper hiking shoes or boots will give you extra stability and grip when hiking in some of the rocky areas.
Winters are not cold in Portugal, but prepare for rainy days, so bring a waterproof coat or rain jacket. Solid shoes are perfect for exploring towns and cities and, if you are planning on hiking or walking in nature, hiking shoes or boots are highly recommended for this time of year. Also pack a few sweaters and cardigans for the colder evenings. Temperatures in central and eastern Portugal tend to be lower than along the coast. The sun can still be strong, especially in the mountain areas, so it is always a good idea to bring sun lotion, sun glasses and a hat.
To catch Portugal in all it’s historic and natural beauty, you should of course not forget to bring a camera. A small backpack or bag will be perfect for storing your valuables while out exploring.

 

For more practical travel advise and general information on visiting Portugal, please follow the link below.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

* The minimum age is based on the overall tour, some activities can require a higher minimum age, this will be advised at proposal stage. While not all activities are suitable for very small children, we are happy to tailor the tour to meet your specific wishes and needs.

**  The activity level is based on the amount of tours and activities included (1 - few tours and activities with a lot of free time, 5 - a lot of tours and activities with little free time). The activity level does not reflect the difficulty of the activities or tours included. Itineraries can be tailored to match the preferred level of activity.

Image by Sander Lenaerts

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From our own experience, no two holidays are the same. Talk to us and we will create your own individual holiday just for you.