Lissabon - Tróia
Tróia - Marvão
We’ll enjoy magnificent coastal vistas as we ride along the Costa Vicentina, and across the Alentejo—a poster region likened to Tuscany or Provenece - past wheatfields and cork oak forests and wildflower meadows. A highlight is ūber-photogenic Évora, a beautifully preserved Roman-era, still-cobbled city steeped in charm and antiquities.
We continue east to spiral up to Monsaraz, a sensational medieval hilltop town with one of the most beautiful castles in Portugal. We end our day in another spectacularly situated walled hilltop village, Marvão - where our hotel is perfectly perched for sublime sunrise and sunset vistas.
Marvão - Almeida
Thrill to twisties and sweepers as we climb past boulder-strewn alpine meadows to the summit of Serra de Estrela, Portugal’s highest mountain. We then aim for Monsanto, a quintessential Portuguese hilltop town build amid giant boulders; and Sortelha - a medieval walled village perched atop a rocky promontory and hailed as the prettiest village in Portugal.
Almeida - Pinhão
Enjoy another fantastic day in northeast Portugal as we pass Rodrigo Castle into the heart of the Douro Valley wine district. Our route takes us past dramatic cliffs to Freixo de Espada à Cinta, perched over emerald hillside corduroyed in vines spilling down to the river. We then head west, following the river to Pinhao, a small and charming riverside wine-producing town. Its railway station is a must-see, decorated with tiles dedicated to viticulture.
Pinhão - Viana do Castelo
We’ll spend the morning exploring the Peso de Regua district, with its tiered vineyards rising from the banks of the Douro River. Our route along the N222 was voted “Most Scenic Drive in the World”! Then head northwest via Amarante, an architecturally stunning town in the Minho region; and equally enchanting Guimarães - the “birthplace of Portugal” - with a crenellated castle fit for a Hollywood movie.
Our route through the Viana do Castelo region leads via Ponte de Lima, with its long Roman bridge, and the heartland of Portugal’s acclaimed Vinho Verde (vibrant and fruity young wine) terroire, the country’s largest wine region.
Viana do Castelo - Porto
A short ride along the Atlantic - washed western shore brings us to Porto, a gorgeous city at the mouth of the Douro River. Marked by faded sophistication, this fabled estuary town (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) combines a picturesque medieval heart and a trendy contemporary buzz. We’ll end our day by the Cais de Ribeira waterfront, with its traditional barcos rebelos (flat-bottomed boats) laden with port caskets…and, across the river, the city’s hallowed port cellars.
Porto - Lisboa
Portugal’s identity is tied to the mighty Atlantic Ocean. The sea is our guide as we head south via Aveiro, a small coastal town crisscrossed by canals adorned with brightly painted moliceiros (traditional watercraft with upturned prows, like the gondolas of Venice), and thus known as the “Portuguese Venice.”
Next, we’ll wind inland through the Buçaco forest, then return to the coast to be awed by the rolling Atlantic swell at Nazaré. This fishing village is famous for the world’s largest surfable waves, while nearby Peniche awes with sublime seascapes. Lisbon - Europe’s sunniest capital city - beckons on the horizon to provide a memorable flourish to end this sensational trip.
We’ll spent the day enjoying a guided tour of Lisbon’s historic heart, where antique wooden trams still rumble through crooked cobbled streets, and the Baixa district is an unforgettable mélange of baroque architecture, haberdashers, and magnificent plazas. Tonight we savor our memories with a farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant.
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