This self-drive tour includes the hotels belonging to the "Small Luxury Hotels of the World" chain that exist in Portugal, each one of them capable of providing memorable stays. They are spread throughout the country, from North to South and you will be staying in all of them. We can provide a very personalized itinerary according to your needs. We suggest adding two more nights to the self-drive program: an additional night in the Algarve (south Portugal) and an additional night in Estoril (near Lisbon) at the end.
Day 1 - Arrival in Lisbon and accommodation at Hotel da Estrela for 2 nights. *Hotel da Estrela ****
Day 2 - Day to explore the city of Lisbon (if you wish a guided tour, please consult us).
Day 3 - Car rental collection and departure to Porto, passing by Óbidos and Coimbra. Accommodation at Infante de Sagres in Porto for 2 nights. *Infante de Sagres *****
Day 4 - Day to explore the city of Porto (if you wish a guided tour, please consult us).
Day 5 - Hotel check-out and day to explore the Minho region: Braga and Guimarães. Proceed to the Douro Valley and accommodation for 2 nights at AquaPura Douro Valley. *Aquapura Douro Valley *****
Day 6 - Day to explore the Douro Valley: visit a winery and enjoy this region that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We suggest that you take a private river cruise on the River Douro among other available activities (please consult us for options).
Day 7 - Hotel check-out and proceed south to the Alentejo region, passing by Viseu and Fátima (if you have religious interests). Accommodation at L'AND Vineyards & Resort near Montemor-o-Novo for 2 nights. *L'AND Vineyards & Resort
Day 8 - Visit the walled city of Évora, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and return to your accommodation to relax and enjoy the resort.
Day 9 - Hotel check-out and proceed to the southernmost region of Portugal, the Algarve, where you will stay at the Blue & Green Vilalara Thalassa Resort in Porches for 2 nights. *Blue & Green Vilalara Thalassa Resort *****
Day 10 - Free day in the Algarve to enjoy the magnificent beach of the resort or engage in other Sea and Nature activities (please consult us for options).
Day 11 - Hotel check-out in the morning and return to the Lisbon area. In the afternoon, include a visit to the beautiful city of Sintra (UNESCO World Heritage), one of the landmarks of the region. Accommodation in Estoril at the Palácio Estoril Hotel for 1 night. *Palácio do Estoril *****
Day 12 - Hotel check-out and departure to Lisbon Airport. Car delivery at the airport.
Places you will be visiting:
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, located at the mouth of the Tagus River - where the Portuguese boats set sail overseas in the 15th and 16th centuries towards East. At that time, the Maritime Discoveries period, the city became the center of a large empire, still visible in the monuments of Belém section. Lisbon is well known for its historic traditional neighbors, you'll be amazed with the sections of Chiado, Bairro alto and Alfama as well as the Castle of Saint George and the gorgeous views from the top of its.
Óbidos is for sure one of the loveliest medieval villages in Portugal. It is surrounded by walls and the traditional whitewashed houses are decorated with blue and yellow trims around doors and windows. The multicolored flowerbeds decorating the houses prove the female touch in this village that used to be the wedding gift of our kings to their queens.
Coimbra is the city of the students because it was here that the first university in Portugal was created, nowadays it is the oldest and one of the most important university in the country. You shall not miss the Baroque Library from the 18th century that is one of the highlights of the visit to Coimbra. In its city center you'll wander among Romanesque and Manueline churches at the same time you stroll across its commercial busy area.
Porto is at the same time the name of a city and a fortified wine, one of the most famous in the world, aged at the wine cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia, next to the Douro River. Its historical center has been declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO and it preserves many beautiful monuments, namely from the Baroque period which is contemporary to the glory and wealth achieved with the trade of Port Wine. You shall not miss a visit to the Cathedral (Sé), the Church of Saint Francis and the Clérigos Tower.
Guimarães is the cradle of Portugal as this is where our first king, Afonso Henriques, was born and where he began the nation. You shall not miss the visit of the Ducal Palace, the Castle and walking along the narrow streets of the historic center (also declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO) until you get to the charming Praça da Oliveira (Oliveira Square).
Braga is known for its religious past, due to the importance and power of the church, it stills visible in the numerous churches and other religious buildings standing out the Cathedral (the oldest of Portugal) and the monumental Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Braga.
Fátima is one of the most important shrines in the Catholic world since the apparitions of Our Lady to three little shepherds in this small town in the year of 1917. Since then, thousands of pilgrims have been coming to Fátima every year to visit the sacred sites of the apparitions and to attend the religious ceremonies, chiefly between May and October, where the visions of the Virgin Mary occurred.
Douro Valley is where the terraced hill slope hide one of the country's most valuable treasures: the beautiful vineyards from where the worldwide famous Port wine is still nowadays being produced. While driving through Marão Mountain range get prepared to enjoy one of the most wonderful landscapes in the world with endless rows of vines.
Viseu is a developed small town, where a very wealthy medieval and Baroque past is still visible in the main streets. Amongst the main attractions the Cathedral and the Grão Vasco Museum have some paintings from the 16th century from the master Vasco Fernandes and his collaborators.
Évora is a beautiful small town in the Alentejo region. It is surrounded by the old walls and it is also a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO and it will attract you for its medieval appearance, the narrow streets, the historic center and for the kindness of the locals. Amongst several interesting monuments, you shall not miss the Roman Temple from the 1st century, unique of this kind in both Portugal and Spain. This is also the perfect place for a great gastronomic and wine experience, known as one of the regions in Portugal with more traditional and quality at this level. You shall also not miss the opportunity of having a meal in one of the city's great restaurants.
Algarve is the most famous summer retreat in Portugal with the best beaches. From the magnificent white sandy beaches to the rocky coastline and steep cliffs, Algarve has a diverse gorgeous coastal landscapes. Nightlife and animation is something that you can enjoy in this region too. This region is the most famous place in Portugal to play golf, having numerous fields of worldwide renowned quality.
Sintra and Estoril Coast is one of the sites you shall not miss in Portugal. Sintra was declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO for its great natural beauty and architecture with fairy tale palaces and lush vegetation.