Portugal is a spectacular destination all year round for your vacation consideration. This vibrant coastal country has so many amazing sites and activities all easily accessible on a short holiday. The summer is a special time to come, even before the current travel restrictions were enacted, fall has always been our favorite time to visit.
We have had clients vacation in Portugal in past years in the autumn. (And we have visited many times ourselves!) They, nor we, never tire of warm lunches on the beach even in November. For visitors daydreaming about a Portuguese vacation that is now on hold, considering a fall holiday is a wonderful idea.
Starting off your vacation in Lisbon is a must. This lively city is full of character and is just the right size to make exploring it easy but never repetitive. We could spend a whole vacation just in the capital! On your first day, you’ll enjoy a relaxed panoramic tour of the Belém area with the Discovery Monument and Belém Tower. You’ll also stop at the 19th-century factory converted into a pastry shop for a gourmet treat with Lisbon’s famous Pastéis de Belem (custard tarts). Top it off with a glass of Port. After this tasting, enjoy a panoramic walking tour to Rossio, Bairro Alto, and Chiado. These are Lisbon’s hippest districts. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the rest of the city on your own in the afternoon.
While you are in Lisbon, an easy trip to magical Sintra is also a must. Magical is the right word. Your private guide will meet you at your hotel for a short drive to Sintra for a wonderful day of hiking these special forests. Hiking is the perfect way to enjoy the nature and beautiful scenery that Sintra has to offer. We especially like it in the fall when the temperatures are cooler and the air is crisp with a sea breeze. The trails lead us through the forests and usher us up to unforgettable monuments, on a journey through time. Whether you are an avid hiker or someone who wants to capture the beauty that nature offers, you will enjoy the trails, the vistas, and the mystery of Sintra in this unique experience in harmony with nature. The passing through emblematic areas, fabulous views over the Atlantic are the highlights of this day. A unique opportunity to get to know the Sintra forest, exercise, and enjoy unforgettable moments over the Atlantic.
Since all of our vacation packages are tailored to your interests, there are many options for your last day. You can spend an extra day exploring Lisbon on your own. Or you can have another day to explore a special region, the Alentejo inland. We’ll arrange for a rental car to be delivered to your hotel. From there, you can enjoy a relaxed self-drive inland towards the medieval town of Monsaraz village. This is a truly unique place where one can find all the peace and tranquility that have been forgotten by the modern era. Upon arrival, you’ll first enjoy a peaceful private gourmet picnic of local specialties. Then, board a jeep with a driver to explore the centennial paths and crossing mountains and plains. Here you will have direct contact with people of the land where traditions, customs, and ancient histories remain intact after hundreds of years.
After Lisbon, you’ll head to the spectacular, UNESCO world heritage site of the Douro Valley. This special valley is home to the world’s oldest wine region. En-route you can decide to hug the coast and enjoy the scenery and charming villages such as Aveiro and Obidos or choose to travel more inland and stop in Tomar and Coimbra. This is an incredible area to explore in the fall, and visitors coming in the early fall can see the harvest in action.
There are a number of amazing activities that we can arrange for you in this area that will let you experience and taste what makes this region so famous. An e-bike tour riding through the hills and vineyards that finishes with a local wine tasting and lunch of traditional specialties is a great choice or a private cruise down the Douro River with a gourmet lunch and wine pairings is another. This is an area you will never forget!
From here, your vacation will wind up in Porto. The second most “famous” city in Portugal is coinsdered Lisbon’s friendly rival. The food here is amazing, and the libations even more so. Note, port hails from here, hence the name! The fall is a great time to visit. Being a small city there is always life and activity. Yet, the temperatures are lower and the city eases into its winter rhythm. The city has sweeping bridges and cobblestone medieval alleys that make up the historic center (Ribeira) leading down to the waterside, lined with pastel-painted merchants’ houses. It’s a perfect postcard, and an amazing way to end up your trip to the country.
Like all of Southern Europe, Portugal tourism has been hit hard by the current crisis. Remember though, the friendly Portuguese people are all heart. There will be no one happier to see you as visitors.
Does this fall vacation sound like what you’ve been dreaming of these past weeks at home? Contact us to learn more about making Portugal your perfect fall destination!