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Portugal Retreat: Porto & the Douro Valley

Portugal Retreat: Porto & the Douro Valley

From $ 1,430 AUD

Description

Join an Intrepid Retreats experience for a different type of urban escape. Base yourself in a historic heart of the city and look over the surrounding churches, museums, and medieval merchant houses. Head to the nearby fishing town of Matosinhos, where the sun brings sands scattered with surfers and sunbathers, and feast on a traditional seafood lunch. Spend an evening with the sounds of Fado and the aromas of port drifting around you, and visit the small vineyards that cling to the terraced cliffs of the Douro Valley.

Trip Name
Portugal Retreat: Porto & the Douro Valley
Last Updated
2020-10-19
Days
4
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Soak up the sights and sounds of seaside Matosinhos and tuck into a traditional lunch of grilled sardines caught and cooked straight from the Atlantic.
  • Let the emotion of Portugal’s soul music wash over you during an intimate Fado performance in a small local theatre in Porto.
  • Get a true taste for the region with a host-led sampling session of the city’s signature fortified wine after exploring Porto’s narrow lanes and charming buildings.
  • Navigate curved cliffs dotted with terraced vineyards with a day trip to the Douro Valley, washing down a traditional lunch with the reds of small wineries.
  • Make the most of the comfort and convenience of your unpack-once, historic centre accommodation in Porto.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM VISITS & OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays (and sometimes even Tuesdays). We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where required/possible.

Day 1 - Porto
Welcome to your Intrepid Retreats experience here in Portugal. There are few European cities that do feel like a welcome, slow retreat from the chaos of everyday life, but Porto is one of them. This romantic city is tiered up the north bank of a Douro River crossed by majestic bridges, with a reconstructed and restored medieval waterfront setting of cobbled streets, merchants’ houses, cafes and old-town tascas. Begin your getaway with a welcome meeting at the hotel at 3 pm, when you’ll meet your host and get a better idea of the upcoming itinerary. Your home base for the next few days is right in the historic heart of the city, and you can look over its surrounds of churches, museums, and one of the city’s most popular late-night streets from its rooftop. Take an orientation walk with your host in the afternoon to get your city bearings, then enjoy an included dinner to get a taste of the city and, of course, get your host to point out some port to try.
Day 2 - Matosinhos / Porto
There so much life around the riverside that you can easily forget that the Atlantic is just a short train ride away. Hop on the train this morning and you’ll be in Matosinhos, known for seafood and surf. Pass old seaside fortifications on your way to the market, where the catches of Porto’s deep-sea fishermen are on display. If you were buying, the friendly stallholders are always willing to point out the freshest fish and how best to eat it. Here you’ll enjoy a traditional lunch, cooked with the seafood mastery of generations. A time-honoured dish is grilled sardines, new potatoes drizzled with olive oil, and dried, salted cod (bacalhau). Wash it all down with a refreshing vinho verde (green – as in young – wine) from the Minho Valley in the country’s north. Return to Porto this afternoon, then rejoin the group in the evening for a night of Fado and port. Soak up this soul music that originated in Africa as you watch an intimate performance in small local theatre. Afterwards your host will take you on a tasting of the city's namesake drop.
Day 3 - Douro Valley / Porto
The Douro River snakes its way from central Spain to rush out into the Atlantic at Porto, and its waters bring fertile life to the mountains and valleys that it cuts through. The laboriously terraced hillsides of the Douro Valley are strewn with vineyards that produce the grapes not only for port, but lighter reds too. Take a full day to explore the valley to the villages of Sabrosa and sleepy Pinhao, travelling along the roads that curl up cliffs and looking out across the beautiful landscape of contoured cliffs and the river flowing relentlessly below. Here you’ll drop into two wineries, where you’ll learn about how this iconic tipple is produced, and enjoy some tastings to discover the depth of this regional wine. Continue your tour through the flavours of the valley with lunch at a traditional restaurant, then return to Porto in the late afternoon for a free final evening. Pop your head into one of the independent bookshops scattered around the city, take a cruise on the river, or pull up a chair in one of Porto's atmospheric tavernas and snack on grilled octopus.
Day 4 - Porto
Your Intrepid Retreat comes to an end this morning after breakfast. With so much to see and do we recommend you extend your time in this fascinating city. Your host will be able to advise on activities.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
15-01-202118-01-2021AUD $ 1,430-
12-02-202115-02-2021AUD $ 1,430-
12-03-202115-03-2021AUD $ 1,430-
09-04-202112-04-2021AUD $ 1,430-
07-05-202110-05-2021AUD $ 1,430-
21-05-202124-05-2021AUD $ 1,430-
04-06-202107-06-2021AUD $ 1,430-
18-06-202121-06-2021AUD $ 1,430-
02-07-202105-07-2021AUD $ 1,430-
16-07-202119-07-2021AUD $ 1,430-
30-07-202102-08-2021AUD $ 1,430-
13-08-202116-08-2021AUD $ 1,430-
27-08-202130-08-2021AUD $ 1,430-
10-09-202113-09-2021AUD $ 1,430-
24-09-202127-09-2021AUD $ 1,430-
08-10-202111-10-2021AUD $ 1,430-
05-11-202108-11-2021AUD $ 1,430-
03-12-202106-12-2021AUD $ 1,430-

Accommodation

Comfortable centrally located hotel (3 nights)

Transport

Train,Private vehicle

Map