Plan an unforgettable tour of Portugal with Tourlane. Portugal is the oldest nation in Europe, having had a defined border since 1139. The capital city, Lisbon, even predates Rome. Despite its old age, it’s only in recent years that this wonderful country on Europe’s western frontier has received the attention it deserves. If you love hillside cities, excellent wine, gorgeous beaches, and fresh fish, then a tour of Portugal is right for you. With Tourlane, organize your flights, transfers, accommodations, and guides - all in one place!
If you love cities but enjoy a relaxed pace of life, then be sure to include Lisbon in your Portugal tour package. Take the tram through Lisbon’s old town and seek out a viewpoint on one of the city’s seven hills. From there, enjoy the bay vista and an afternoon bica espresso before checking out the must-sees like Praça do Comércio, the city’s main square which opens to the sea, and Jerónimos Monastery, an exemplary work of late Gothic architecture attached to the Tower of Belém.
Guarding the mouth of the city’s Tagus River, the Tower of Belém is another important attraction in Lisbon. It stands as a reminder of Portugal’s prowess during the Age of Exploration. Be sure to pay attention to its eclectic facade—see if you can spot the gargoyle and hippo. This may not seem like the makings of a fortress, but when it was built in 1520 that was indeed the purpose.
If you love hiking, head to Cabo de Roca. In mainland Europe, you can’t go further west than here without taking a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll find this outcrop within the National Park, Sintra-Cascais. From the western horizon to the Sintra Mountain Range, the views here are legendary—and it’s just 26 miles from Lisbon.
Famous for its castles and palaces, Sintra is a great destination for those interested in history and architecture. Here, you’ll find the Quinta da Regaleira - a theatrical mansion that was designed by an Italian opera set designer in the early 20th century, and includes symbolism from the Knights Templar, the Masons, and dark alchemy. Enjoy the luxurious garden terraces as you venture down a spiral staircase and enter secret chambers and tunnels that run the length of the grounds.
Another popular attraction located in Sintra is the Pena Palace - a romantic masterpiece of the 19th century. Inside the forested Pena Park, you’ll see colorful terraces, decorated battlements and mythological statues. Guided tours of the staterooms are available - ask your Tourlane Travel Expert for more information.
Interested in wine tasting? The Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine country in the world, earning it a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the terraced wine fields that rise from the Douro River and sample the regional varieties. Order some suckling pig or salted cod to pair with the house port and settle into your secluded vineyard estate. Less
Cost of a trip to Portugal: Consult your own Tourlane Travel Expert, free of charge
Is it possible to do a tour of Portugal and Spain? Yes - on our Spain and Portugal Tour
Currency: Euro (€)
Airports in Portugal with direct flights to the USA: Lisbon (LIS), Porto (OPO)
Timezone in Portugal: Western European Time (WET) Less
Portugal is a year-round destination with summer, July through August, being the most popular time, followed by Easter and Christmas. Summer is the height of tourist season with the temperature hovering in the upper 70s. Spring, mid-May through June, and autumn, September through mid-October, are less crowded times to travel and temperatures only drop a few degrees. Spring distinguishes itself with freshly blooming flowers, while wine lovers may choose autumn for the grape harvest. During the winter months, some locations may close or only maintain part-time hours.
Although the weather is a bit cooler, February and March is an exciting time to visit Portugal as it is when the annual Carnival takes place. Lisbon and the Algarve are particularly popular at this time. If you’re interested in live music, consider timing your visit to coincide with the Out Jazz Festival or the Festival de Sintra. If you’re interested in ballet and theater, the Festival ao Largo takes place every July. Speak to your Tourlane Travel Expert for insider tips and recommendations, based on your tastes.
Portugal is a great destination for foodies - especially Lisbon and Porto. Portugal’s national dishes are salted cod and grilled sardines, so expect to see a lot of fish on the menu! The Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon is a real foodie mecca, with hundreds of small stands serving up delicious treats in a beautifully refurbished market hall that opened in 2014. If you visit Porto, consider going on a Taste Porto Food Tour, where you’ll discover the city’s best foods and venture off the beaten path.
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