On a journey by river and land, discover the historic monuments and palaces of Lisbon and Sintra. Tour Porto’s World Heritage-listed Old Town, then take a seven-night cruise on the Douro River cruise, stopping at vineyards and villages along the famous wine trail.

Starting at: $5,790 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The city of Porto and the Douro River
The city of Porto and the Douro River
 Sherry boats on the Douro River, Porto
Sherry boats on the Douro River, Porto
 The scenic Douro River valley
The scenic Douro River valley
 Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon
Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon
 Belem Tower, Lisbon
Belem Tower, Lisbon
 Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon
Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon
 Fishing boats in the harbor at Cascais
Fishing boats in the harbor at Cascais
 Lighthouse near Cascais
Lighthouse near Cascais
 The town of Sintra, with the National Palace at center
The town of Sintra, with the National Palace at center
 The town of Coimbra, home to a World Heritage-listed university
The town of Coimbra, home to a World Heritage-listed university
 The scenic Douro River valley
The scenic Douro River valley
 Harvesting grapes along the Douro River
Harvesting grapes along the Douro River
 Vineyards along the banks of the Douro RIver
Vineyards along the banks of the Douro RIver
 The town of Guimaraes, along the Douro River
The town of Guimaraes, along the Douro River
 Typical <i>azulejo</i> or traditional decorative tiles, Pinhao
Typical azulejo or traditional decorative tiles, Pinhao

Portrait of Portugal: Lisbon, Porto and a Douro River Cruise

Aboard the 130-guest Douro Spirit (2024) or 132-guest Gil Eanes or Amalia Rodriguez (2025)

12 days from $5,790

On a journey by river and land, discover the historic monuments and palaces of Lisbon and Sintra. Tour Porto’s World Heritage-listed Old Town, then take a seven-night cruise on the Douro River cruise, stopping at vineyards and villages along the famous wine trail.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

While our group was on a small ship with other groups, we felt very fortunate to have our own subject matter expert and logistics facilitator to make our trip special and rich.

- John, S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 60 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).

While our group was on a small ship with other groups, we felt very fortunate to have our own subject matter expert and logistics facilitator to make our trip special and rich.

- John, S.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. for Lisbon, Portugal

Depart the U.S. for Lisbon on an overnight flight and transfer to your hotel upon arrival. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be on hand to help with information for independent activities. In the early evening, meet fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers at a welcome reception at the hotel. (Meals: R)

Day 3 — Lisbon

Explore Lisbon cultural and historic highlights, beginning with the two monuments that share World Heritage designation: Jerónimos Monastery, known for its stunning cloisters, and the Tower of Belém, a 16th-century fortification that served as a departure point for explorers setting out to discover the world. See the Monument to the Discoveries, built for Portuguese World Exhibition of 1940 as a tribute to those explorers. Step into the Church of Santa Maria, where explorer Vasco da Gama and poet Fernando Pessoa are buried. Take a drive through the leafy Estrela neighborhood and learn how it was designed as a self-sustaining town. In the evening, sit down to dinner in a cozy fado restaurant where you’ll enjoy regional favorites and local wine while listening to soulful songs accompanied by two guitarists. (Meals: B,D)

Day 4 — Sintra / Cascais and Estoril

Spend the morning in the historic town of Sintra, a royal retreat that became a favorite of Romantics such as Lord Byron and Richard Strauss. Stroll through the main square of this World Heritage site and tour the National Palace of Sintra. After a lunch of local specialties, drive along the coastal road to the fishing town of Cascais for a guided walk through town. See the elegant resort town of Estoril, a gathering place for Europe’s “glitterati.” In the late afternoon, join a local expert for a talk on Portugal’s role in key events during the 20th century. (Meals: B,L)

Day 5 — Obidos / Coimbra / Porto

Bid farewell to Lisbon and travel to the medieval walled town of Obidos, renowned for its narrow winding streets, its whitewashed houses covered with bougainvillea, and its well-preserved 17th-century architecture. Take a guided walking tour and enjoy time to explore the town on your own. Continue the drive north to Coimbra, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe—another World Heritage site.   After lunch together, set out on a tour of the architectural highlights of the University of Coimbra, including the Chapel of São Miguel and the Royal Palace with its grand Ceremonial Hall. You'll have free time to meander through Coimbra's historic center, and perhaps visit the Old Cathedral commissioned by King Afonso Henriques.

Arrive in Porto in the afternoon and embark the ship. Take time get settled before gathering for a welcome reception and dinner on board. (Meals: B,L,R,D)

Day 6 — Porto

Today choose from two included shore excursions:

Porto City Tour: Set out to explore Porto, beginning with a visit to the extraordinary Stock Exchange, built in 1842. Continue on to the Igreja de São Francisco, a church originally built in the Gothic tradition, that has transformed into a baroque masterpiece through successive renovations. Cap off your tour with a visit to a port wine cellar, to learn about the region's 2,000-year-old wine-making tradition and sample local vintages.

Porto Tram Trek:  Board a city tram for a unique perspective on Porto’s points of interest. Stop at the Tram Museum, housed in a former power plant. The museum collection includes the oldest horse-drawn cars and the last trams in operation dating from the 1950s and 1960s. The excursion ends with a tasting of Porto’s local specialties before returning to the ship.

The balance of the day is at leisure for exploring on your own. Shuttles from the ship to the town center will operate this afternoon for your convenience. Later, gather for a talk by a local expert on the Alto Douro Wine Region, a World Heritage site. After dinner, enjoy a special musical performance by a local Tuna Band—a talented group of university students, in medieval costume, who perform in the tradition of the historic balladeers. The ship will overnight in Porto. (Meals: B,L,D)

Day 7 — Guimarães / Regua

Choose from one of the following excursions this morning: 

Guimarães: World Heritage site, Guimarães is considered Portugal’s birthplace. With an expert local guide, explore this university town on foot, discovering historic treasures amid its maze of evocative lanes and picturesque plazas. Visit Nossa Senhora de Oliveira Church, stop at the Sacred Hill to admire the Castle of Guimarães, and visit the Palace of the Duques de Bragança.

Hiking Along the Douro: Hit the trail with a local guide for a comfortable hike along the Atlantic coastline and the Douro River. On the walk, pass through the fishing village of São Pedro da Afurada. Enjoy beautiful views of Porto and the renowned Ribeira Square. Visit the town of Vila Nova de Gaia, where the local wine is aged in world-famous cellars. Visit a quinta, or country estate, for a wine tasting.

This afternoon, cruise toward Peso de Regua. This region of Portugal is known as the Alto Douro, a World Heritage site and the world’s major producer of port wine. Late this afternoon, gather with fellow participants in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for an informal conversation. (Meals: B,L,D)

Day 8 — Regua / Barca d’Alva

Enjoy an excursion to the Casa de Mateus, built in the 18th-century and considered one of the most beautiful manor houses in northern Portugal. Stroll through the perfectly manicured formal gardens, and see a 115-foot tunnel of old cedar trees. Continue to Vila Réal, a pleasant town set among picturesque vineyards and known for the diversity of its religious architecture. Your guide will lead you through narrow streets to the Clerigos Chapel, a baroque church decorated with blue azulejos tiles. Stroll through parallel shopping streets and stop to sample the local pastry. Afterwards, there will be time at leisure to discover the town on your own. Before dinner, get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for lively discussion. After dinner, attend a performance of Sevillanas dancers, influenced by Spanish flamenco traditions. (Meals: B,L,D)

Day 9 — Barca d’Alva / Salamanca

Travel into Spain on a day trip to the World Heritage site of Salamanca. Discover the city on your choice of the following excursions:

Salamanca City Tour: Delve into the historic Old Town to discover the Plaza Mayor and the city's Cathedral, which has, over time, evolved from late Gothic to baroque in its style. Visit one of the world's oldest universities, established in 1218. 

Salamanca Bike Ride: Join a local guide for a bike ride along the Tormes River, then see the historic and cultural highlights of Salamanca’s Old Town as well as points of interest off the beaten path.

After lunch together at a local restaurant in Salamanca, return to the ship in time to for a conversation in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. The ship remains in Barca d’Alva this evening. (Meals: B,L,D)

Day 10 — Barca d’Alva / Ferradosa / Pinhao

Enoy a relaxing morning cruise as the ship makes its way from Barca d'Alva to Pinhão with a stop in Ferradosa. Go ashore to explore the Porto wine trail and visit the villages of San Salvador do Mundo and Sao João da Pesqueira, set among the endless vineyards of the Rio Tinto Valley. Stop at a quinta to sample its famous port. This evening, attend a traditional Portuguese folk performance onboard. The ship will overnight in Pinhao. (Meals: B,L,D)

Day 11 — Pinhao / Lamego / Porto

Travel to charming Lamego for a morning visit to the 18th-century Nossa Senhora dos Remedios Sanctuary, one of the most important pilgrimage churches in Portugal—known for the 686 stairs that lead up to the shrine. Stop to sample local charcuteria and port wine in town, then browse some of Portugal’s finest religious art at the Lamego Museum. Celebrate your Portuguese sojourn at a farewell reception and dinner tonight. The ship will depart for Porto after dinner. (Meals; B,L,R,D) ​

Day 12 — Depart for home

After an early breakfast, transfer to Porto Airport for your flight home. (B)​

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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