Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Together with more than 20 travel agents, we have made a wonderful trip through northern and central Portugal in 6 days. From Porto we travelled through the green north and the Serra da Estrela mountains, authentic villages and cities to bustling Lisbon. A special trip in which an introduction to the versatile nature, the beautiful cities and authentic villages and its culture.
We started the journey from enchanting and charming city of Porto
One of the nice things about Porto is that you can do pretty much anything on foot, as almost all sights and highlights are within walking distance. We also discovered Porto on foot. During a city walk we've seen among other things, the train station São Bento (one of the most beautiful train stations in the world), the famous bridges and the beautiful bookstore Lello e Irmão.
A visit to this more than 100 year old bookstore is highly recommended! Even if you don't like books, look out your eyes in this historic store. Despite the fact that more than 3000 tourists a day visit this bookstore, the purpose of the store is still to sell books. The € 5,- entrance fee you pay will be refunded when you purchase a book.
Charming Douro Region
From Porto we drove via the beautiful Douro region to our overnight address for that evening in Marialva. We made a stop for a delicious lunch at Hotel &Spa Douro 41. This hotel is located right on the river and is truly beautiful! At the end of the afternoon we arrived in Marialva and there you imagine yourself in the Middle Ages.
This beautiful, authentic village is located on a slope just below the centuries-old castle. Scattered throughout the village are the rooms of Casas do Coro. This accommodation consists of a number of centuries-old houses that are equipped with all luxury and comfort. An overnight stay here is really recommended!
Serra da Estrela Natural Park
The following days of our trip were dedicated to the Serra da Estrela Nature Park. Before we got there we visited the historic Sortelha and during a wine tasting we were introduced to some typical Portuguese wines, something that should not be missed during a holiday to Portugal! Arriving at the Serra da Estrela Nature Park, the surroundings turn out to be truly breathtakingly beautiful! In this natural park is the mountains of the same name. "Serra da Estrela" means "the mountain of stars." In the past, when the shepherds went up the mountain with their flock, it was also said that they could take the stars out of the sky with their hands because the mountain was so high. Nowadays, this natural park is ideal for hiking or cycling.
About 375 kilometres of hiking trails have been set out. We also put on the sporty shoes and explore the area with a cycling and walking tour! The beautiful views, the diversity in nature and the many rock formations make this area really worth staying for a few days. There are several beautiful hotels where you can stay, including Casa de Sao Lourenço Burel Panorama hotel and Casa das Penhas Douradas Hotel &Spa.
University of Coimbra
We left the Serra da Estrela and made our way to Coimbra.
Coimbra is the national university of Portugal and as you walk through the narrow streets with many historic buildings you can almost smell the history.
Thanks to the many students who live here, there is always fun to be found, especially in the evening hours! In addition to 'normal' cafes and bars, there are also several fado bars here, highly recommended if you ask me!
We also visited a fado bar and the wistful sounds let you experience the real authentic Portugal. A visit to portugal's oldest university should not be missed. Especially the library that is here is a 'must see'. The 300,000 works that are kept here date from the 16th to the 18th century and are displayed on beautiful bookshelves. A nice fact about the university: they have found a natural way to protect the books from moths and flies. There are bats behind the bookshelves that emerge at night to eat the bugs. As soon as the weather becomes light, they disappear behind the racks again and as a tourist you do not notice their presence!
The coast and Obidos
From Coimbra we moved to Peniche on the Portuguese coast, a paradise for surfers! After a beach walk along the surf we go to our overnight address for this evening, Obidos. In Obidos, it's like going back in time.
This beautiful, medieval, walled city has friendly people, the most beautiful buildings and traditional white houses. It is one of the most photographed towns in Portugal! We slept at Hotel Rio do Prado and this is really recommended! This exclusive suite hotel is wonderfully quietly located just outside Obidos.
We ended this wonderful trip in bustling Lisbon!
From narrow streets to giant shopping boulevards and from traditional Fado music to a tall, metal elevator that offers a perfect view of the city: Lisbon has it all! Tip: go for an overnight stay at hotel Mundial! This hotel has a central location and in addition you have a beautiful view of the city from the roof terrace!
Tip: go for an overnight stay at hotel Mundial! This hotel has a central location and in addition you have a beautiful view of the city from the roof terrace!
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Hope you've been inspired!
If you are planning to visit Portugal and no any idea how to create a worry-free itinerary, for a short weekend or many days country tour, a fly-drive or camping with a combination of surfing or hikings, do not hesitate to drop me a message. I would really be happy to assist you and share my travel expertise.