• Lisbon
  • Lisbon's Belém District
  • Roman Temple in Évora
  • Nazaré
  • Cork Farm Visit
  • Cistercian Monastery in Alcobaça
  • Fado Performance
  • Douro Valley
  • Port Tasting
  • Porto

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Heart of Portugal in 12 Days Tour

Starting in lively Lisbon and ending in proud Porto, the Heart of Portugal combines a dazzling mix of Roman, Moorish and Baroque architecture with the small towns, seacoast, food, wine and music of this tradition-rich country. Venturing far from the tourist crowd, this tour has a real "Europe in the old days" feel to it. Your Rick Steves guide will take you on an intimate adventure that connects you with the Portuguese people, from salty harbors to sun-baked farms to lovingly-tended vineyards. Join us for the Heart of Portugal in 12 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Portugal come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 21 group sightseeing events • Lisbon walking tour • São Jorge Castle • Monastery of Jerónimos tour • Monument to the Discoveries • Gulbenkian Museum tour • Fado performance • Évora walking tour • Olive oil tasting • Cork farm visit • Batalha's Monastery of Santa María • Fatima visit • Alcobaça Monastery • Conimbriga's Roman ruins and museum • Coimbra walking tour • Coimbra musical performance • Port wine tasting and lunch • Porto panoramic bus tour • Porto walking tour • Porto's Stock Exchange Palace • Serralves Foundation Contemporary Art Museum and park • Douro River cruise...and more
  • All group transportation from Lisbon to Porto
  • 11 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves' Portugal guidebook, Portuguese phrase book, map, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Portugal

We'll gather at our Lisbon hotel around 5 p.m. for a "Welcome to Portugal" get-together, followed by a short orientation walk through our neighborhood, a stroll down the fancy Avenida da Liberdade, and dinner together. Sleep in Lisbon (3 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Neighborhoods of Lisbon

This morning we'll take a walking tour through Lisbon's colorful downtown neighborhoods — the Barrio Alto, the Alfama and the Baixa — including a panoramic view of this vibrant city from São Jorge Castle. Along the way we'll learn about "village" Lisbon's neighborhood life, the poetry of the revered Fernando Pessoa, and Portugal's "Carnation Revolution" which peacefully ended nearly five decades of fascist rule in 1974. You'll have the rest of your afternoon and evening free to visit any of Lisbon's "niche" museums (tile, fado, Port wine, and other Portuguese specialties). Or, your guide will help point you in the right direction for a half-hour train ride to Sintra — famous for its gardens, palace and castles. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Seafaring Belém and the Gulbenkian

We'll begin our day with a bus tour through Lisbon, taking in the view from Edward VII Park and ending at the world-class Gulbenkian Museum, where we'll see how an international oil tycoon assembled a priceless art collection spanning 5,000 years. Then we'll drive to Lisbon's seafaring Belém District, home to many of the city's most historic buildings. Sticking close to the waterfront, we'll learn about Portugal's golden age of exploration at the heroic Monument to the Discoveries, and how faith, money, and a knack for sailing combined to build the dazzling Monastery of Jerónimos. Tonight we'll regroup and enjoy a soulful fado performance with dinner. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Historic Évora

Today we'll head east to the laid-back Alentejo countryside and the history-rich university town of Évora. We'll take a walking tour of Évora's preserved-in-whitewash old section, marveling at its Corinthian-columned Roman Temple and its macabre Chapel of Bones. As you'll discover in your free afternoon and evening, Évora has a world-apart feel to it that really connects you with traditional Portugal. Sleep in Évora (1 night). Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Olives, Oaks and Nazaré

This morning begins with a memorable visit to a working farm and estate. We'll have a chance to meet farming locals, and taste-test their olive oil. Then we'll wander through their forest of cork oaks, learning how the bark is harvested and how it's being regulated today. We'll cap off our visit with lunch together, including some of the estate's wines. This afternoon we'll follow the sun as we make our way to the old fishing town of Nazaré. Upon arrival we'll take an orientation walk, and learn why old women still wear seven layers of petticoats. Sleep in Nazaré (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 6: Royal Intrigue, Alcobaça and Óbidos

We'll begin today with a visit in Alcobaça to tour the ornate Baroque-Gothic Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria, and hear the star-crossed story of King Pedro and his doomed mistress, Inês. Later we'll enjoy a chance to explore the delightfully-preserved town of Óbidos — given to the queen as a wedding gift 800 years ago — before returning to Nazaré for a free afternoon, where you can stroll the long crescent of ocean beach. We'll end our day with a vertical trip up the funicular to the Sitio neighborhood, where we'll enjoy its sweeping views, and dinner together with some of Europe's best and freshest seafood. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Batalha and Fátima

We'll continue our journey north, stopping in Batalha to visit its grand Monastery of Santa María, a symbol of Portuguese pride and its victory (with help from English archers) over Spanish domination 600 years ago. Then we'll visit the nearby pilgrimage site of Fátima — a favorite of Pope John Paul II — where three children shared controversial visions of the Virgin Mary in 1917. Later we'll connect with Portugal's ancient Roman past, wandering the evocative remains of Conímbriga. Our destination this afternoon is Portugal's historic capital of Coimbra, where we'll enjoy an orientation walk and a relaxing dinner together. Sleep in Coimbra (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Classic Coimbra

Today we'll happily stay-put in Portugal's easiest-to-enjoy city. We'll start with a walking tour through Coimbra's maze of narrow lanes and its steeped-in-tradition, 700-year-old university. The palatial university library — with 30,000 books from the 18th century — is like nothing you've seen before. The rest of your day will be free for making more discoveries on your own. Tonight we'll rendezvous for a performance of Coimbra's unique style of fado...more likely devoted to revolutionary student ideals than lost love. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Douro Wine Country

We'll drive to Portugal's most famous wine-making region today: the lush, green Douro Valley, where we'll visit an old family estate and winery (quinta) with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. It's a perfect chance to learn all about the proud art of making fine port — and taste it too! Later in the afternoon we'll make our way to our hotel and wrap up the day with dinner together. Sleep in the Douro Valley (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Vineyard Views and Porto

Today we'll travel through terraced wine country on our way to the port city of Porto. On arrival in this rustic Portuguese San Francisco, we'll take a panoramic bus tour of Porto's classy neighborhoods, dynamic downtown and bustling port. Then it's all aboard for a relaxing cruise on the Douro River. We'll finish our day of sightseeing with a tour of the Serralves Foundation, a contemporary art museum and park that includes an irresistible, pastel-painted Art Deco mansion. Sleep in Porto (2 nights). Boat: ¾ hr. Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Savoring Proud Porto

This morning we'll take a walking tour of Porto's riverfront Ribeira district, including the lavish rooms of its Stock Exchange Palace, the exquisitely-gilded Church of Santa Clara, and São Bento Train Station. Then you'll have time to wander on your own through Porto's lively city center — or seek out some more sipping at an old Port lodge. This evening we'll enjoy a final dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Saúde! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Tour Over After Breakfast

Your guide will help steer you to Porto's airport, which is an easy metro or taxi ride away. Or you may want to stay for further Portuguese adventures on your own. Adeus!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Heart of Portugal in 12 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Ridgely

Hollywood, SC

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. Christina deserves a great deal of credit for this. What I had heard about Rick Steves Tours was a slightly lower level of hotels and service. Except for one property, this was not true. Group meals were of a quality standard, and except for one restaurant, the wine was very acceptable. The bus and the restricted # of travelers was critical for success. This was our first Rick Steve's Tour, but we found your tour compatible AATking, Oats, Grand Circle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day in the Duoro Valley. The geography and manicured vineyards was awesome. Our 2 home hosted meals were truly wonderful. Both families conveyed their passion and pride. And our night's lodging in Pinhau was the best of all the hotels. It should be a 5 star if it is not."

Linda

Hollywood, SC

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really loved the tour! Having done Grand Circle and OATS tours, I did not think it could compete, but it did! Cristina was a wonderful guide. The variety was great, from big cities to small towns. I liked having an introduction to each place we stayed on arrival. Our planned meals were great. The group size was perfect and we appreciated the large bus. The rides were comfortable and never too far. It was a great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the "Cork Farm" was probably the best. The tour of the grounds was great, but the caring family, setting, great food and wine, and kindness of the people made it even more special! What a wonderful family in an absolutely perfect setting. The chicken pot pie, fish and dessert were amazingly good. The winery visit and lunch was also wonderful. Getting to know the people at both was the best."

Ronald

North Delta, BC

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great tour, glad we went, I can see us trying another Rick Steve tour at some later date.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The map of the world with the dates of when territories and countries were first visited by the Portugese navigators."

Charlotte

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this trip and I have traveled a lot -- this was my first Rick Steves trip and I had always wanted to do one. I have been watching his programs on PBS for years! Finally last fall, 4 of us went up for the seminars in Edmonds and I was determined to do one of his trips. Since my return I have been talking about it to all my my friends and telling them these are the tours to take. Good value for the money also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the Duro Valley - seeing the beautiful wine country. Our visit to the winery, our tour there, our great home cooked lunch, and of course the wine tasting! I also really enjoyed the cork/wine farm visit and spending time with that family. We had an outstanding lunch there and also got to taste the wines that they produce. Both are "wow" moments."

Cindy

Pompano Beach, FL

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina is a great guide and she is passionate about Portugal! I think the farm visits were my 2 highlights. the group got along well, no one was habitually late...all is all a great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Has to be the farm visits...the families were so open and honest about the challenges of keeping the farms going...also loved the wines on the whole trip!"

Robert

Pompano Beach, FL

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We completely enjoyed our first trip to portugal. The people were friendly and the food and wine very good and plentiful. The hotel selections were very good for each area we were visiting. I particularly enjoyed Cristina's commentary about the age of discovery out at the Lisbon monument.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day trip with lunch to each of the two family estates were a real bonus. One family focused on cork oak trees and olives, and the other on vineyards and wine making in the Duoro River valley."

Jennifer

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time touring Portugal and learned a lot about their beautiful country, friendly people, delicious food and interesting history and culture. Before traveling to Portugal we knew nothing about the country but this tour has enriched our lives and educated us, thanks to Cristina and your book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite experience was visiting the Cork Farm, traveling through the cork tree fields and learning all about the harvesting of the cork from a delightful member of the family owned business. Also we were told about their production of wines and olive oil, plus their controlled hunting trips.The visit ended up with a delicious home made meal, served in their hunting room with the Family joining us and being so gracious. The Family philosophy, regarding respecting the land, was refreshing."

Rodney

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had an enjoyable time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were no wow moments for me because I am use to the Rick Steves' mystic, that formulaic equation that results in a marvelous experience for all. ,"

Carol

North Delta, BC

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Although we have travelled quite often, this was our first 'tour' experience. We were pleasantly surprised. We have used Rick Steves' tour guides for years and have found them to be invaluable in our own travel planning. Our guide and travel companions were wonderful people to be with while exploring Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I very much enjoyed our visit to the olive and cork farm. The family were very gracious hosts and the meal and wines served were fantastic. It was great to learn about one family's love of their land and their sincere efforts to maintain a sustainable estate. Also enjoyed being out in the countryside."

Marva

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip was thoroughly enjoyable. Our guide was very knowledgeable and passionate about the culture and people of Portugal. She always made sure we understood all about how to navigate through each city whether she was with us or not. It was a very relaxing experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour and lunch at the cork farm was amazing."

Sherri

Edmond, OK

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal was a very beautiful and interesting country. The tour allowed us to experience both the interior of the country and the coastline, cities and small villages, and as always some backdoor experiences you would not enjoy if traveling on your own. Cristina was a wonderful guide. Seeing her country through her eyes and experiences added to the richness of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always a hard question as there is never just one "wow" moment. The cork farm and lunch was definitely a "wow" moment. Meeting four generations of the family and hearing the love of the land and the care that is invested for future generations was inspiring. The visit to the wine estate in the Duoro Valley with the luncheon served by the family was also a "wow" moment. These kind of backdoor experiences really let you see the lifestyle and culture of the people of a country."

Michael

Lake Waynoka, OH

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I chose Portugal from your brochure because it looked appealing and then we started researching and then got excited about going. From the small villages to the big cities we were exceptionally pleased. The two best experiences were the cork farm tour and lunch (just wonderful people) and the winery and lunch. What I would rate lowest was the afternoon in Fatima (I was disappointed at the commercialism and the huge crowds. No fault of the tour it is just how it is there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide, Maria, and her wealth of information. She made the trip for me. She was accommodating, cordial, professional, clear, dignified and very funny. The local guides were also wonderful and I wouldn't change any of them. Perhaps another wow moment was seeing the Douro Valley - just exquisite. Our accommodations were excellent but for one hotel. It was probably the oldest one we stayed in and it needed some repair."

Marlene

Lake Waynoka, OH

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Portugal guided by Maria, our wonderful Portugal guide. Maria shared so much Portuguese history and culture with us---we now feel we can share that knowledge with others. The trip included so much variety--- large cities, small villages, rural areas,coastal areas; great walking tours, museum variety, visits to cork farm and mountain winery, lunches and time spent with the owners of these rural endeavors.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Cork farm - I had no idea where cork came from and was fascinated and surprized at the length of time needed to harvest it (you would have to be a very patient person), the way it was done, and its versatality - AMAZING! I might add the winery and the roman ruins were also a favorite!"

Jane

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

i hate to say this....we've been on quite a few tours with ETBD....this one wasn't great....sadly, our group turned out to be made up mainly of people who wanted to chatter - ALL THE TIME - on the bus, during walking tours - very disrespectful - to the guides and to the few of us who were trying to pay attention....i don't know if there's a good way to do this - but - perhaps - the back of the bus could be 'designated' for those who are more interested in chatting, rather than listening....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the vineyards in the Duoro Valley"

Angie

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent, I think Rick Steves really chose some very notable places to visit in Portugal and I thoroughly enjoyed every site. The hotels were beyond my expectations, and Maria was a pleasure to have as a tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed going to the two family run farms - cork farm and vineyard. The hosts were very friendly and it was interesting learning about some of Portugal's signature items."

Jonathan

Bethel Park, PA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of fellow travelers. Everyone got on well throughout the trip. There was enough free time to let us go our own way. On top of it all, Maria was just great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the moment hat will remain with me for a very long time was the Fatima visit. Seeing the pilgrims, attending the outdoor Mass, the candle burning and more. I only wish we could have stayed there longer."

Elaine

Bethel Park, PA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

When I tell my friends about this tour I emphasize that it is comprehensive. We covered the entire country (almost). The cities were diverse, the hotels were superb to satisfactory. Out guide, Maria, was just THE BEST. She has poise, great delivery, very competent. She was very friendly, but private. I really appreciate that. I would give her a DOUBLE OUTSTANDING. Change the restaurant in Coimbra. Use the Italian one near by. I have never had a steak that was tougher than the one ...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I hate this question. I don't know. I want to enjoy my entire trip. I don't need a wow moment. Oh yeah when we stayed at a really great hotel. I like going through "The Front Door" on my trips at this stage of the game. I began to think I was on another tour!"

Frank

Saint Petersburg, FL

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Met our expectations after two other R/S tours in the past few years. Loved Portugal and its people. Our guide Maria's charm, wit and knowledge made the experience delightful. Of course, our companions on the tour were the best. The friendships made in such a short time are extraordinary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The two afternoon spent with families on their vineyards had to be the highlight. We were treated as part of the family and made to feel most welcome. The food & wine, plus the spectacular surroundings did bring forth the word "WOW". The Fado show in Lisbon was way above what we expected. Professional and a joy to listen to."

Marcel

Dollard Des Ormeaux, QC

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

the points of interest highlighted were representative of Portugal. The small group made it easy to get around the sites. The amount of free time available was great allowing for a bit of personal freedom to pursue specific interests. The lodging were very acceptable except perhaps in Cambria where the location was good but the dirty carpets really damage the image of the place. Clearly not acceptable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The farm visits where the highlight of the trip for us."

Patricia

Libertyville, IL

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fifth Rick Steves tour, and we are already planning the next one! Our Heart of Portugal tour was outstanding in all ways, from the tour guide, Maria, to the wonderful travelers we shared our adventures with, to the sights and sounds and tastes of the country, to the warm-hearted and gracious people of Portugal. The towns and regions we visited gave us a real flavor of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few "wow" moments for me, among them: the visit to the Cork farm and the gracious hospitality extended to us by the family that owns it; the visit to the vineyard in the Duoro Valley, and the warmth and excellent food & drink that met us there. I like to see churches, so there were many of those that added to my enjoyment. The food and especially the sweets and wine including the port were delightful!"

Elizabeth

Roseville, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour lived up to the Rick Steves' rclaim. I learned a lot of history and impressive churches, castles, and local culture. Our guide was sweet natured & knowledgable. There were several tour members who had special requests or problems, and she dealt with it all professionally. The "whisper" system was a nice change from previous tours,very helpful to facilitate communication. There were extra activities and treats included. Good value for price.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorites were the library in Univ of Coimbra, lunch with family at cork oak farm (able to talk with them), gorgeous treasures at the Gulbakian museum, Tile Museum and train trip out to Sintra. Latter 2 not on tour but recommended in book and well worth it."

Joanne

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, although I have traveled with Rick's books on my own for many years prior to this trip. Once I got over the shock of traveling as an single w/so many other people, I found the experience to be very good, as the other travelers were interesting, friendly, and knowledgeable. I liked the fact that the group was small (although, I would have liked it to be even smaller) and that we were able to spread out when we were transported on the larger buses.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The excursions to the cork farm (after leaving Evora) and to the winery (Douro Valley area) were really so well done, and lunching with the families (owners) was very special. I feel so lucky to have had these experiences. The Gulbenkian Museum tour was very, very good also. Douro Valley setting/lodging was just lovely. Good hotel location in Porto and excellent hotel in Lisbon. Experiencing Fatima on a Sunday was wholly unexpected and mystical. Obidos was also a great place."

Jeanne

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. The Places we went gave me a good picture of Portugal. Our tour guide was excellent. She gave us so much of the history of the country, she was there to help with whatever we needed, she always suggested things to see and do on our free time, she did extra things for us along the way like buying pastry and giving us the opportunity to paint tiles. I have travelled a lot, had many tour guides, Maria was up there with the best. I liked having free time & tours. ,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the cork farm and having lunch with the family"

Gerald

Madisonville, LA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was well paced and presented a very good view of the different life styles in Portugal. The history, architecture, food and the people exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Gulbenkian Museum was my "wow" moment. It is so well laid out and the presentation of the art is perfect. The art works Mr Gulbenkian collected were superb and the foundation that built and presented the art work did a masterful job."

Elizabeth

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful itinerary, wonderful group, perfect balance of scheduled and free time, and group and private meals. The time spent on the two farms was a delight. Guide was so well informed and very personable. Trip was just the right length.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fatima was a real surprise. Arriving there during Mass on a Sunday morning surrounded by worshipers was truly inspiring. I can still get emotional when I think of it."

Vincent

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal was a pleasant surprise in many ways. Portugal was less arid and dry than I anticipated, in fact we saw a lot of lush green country side and vineyards. The Portuguese people were warm and friendly and almost speak English as a second language. The cities were clean and modern. It's hard to believe they have such a high unemployment rate. Our guide Cristina was an excellent Portuguese Ambassador - and could have a second career as a stand up comedian. She was a real asset to RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first of two wow moments were the tour of the cork farm/vineyards. The tour of the farm on the tractor pulled trailer was outstanding. The family were such gracious hosts, and the dinning experience was exquisite. A family member sat at each of our tables and entertained us with genuine Portuguese hostility. The second was the port wine vineyard and dinner. The tour was great and dinner excellent. The family were also great Portuguese hosts and likewise sat at our tables."

Loch

Lummi Island, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guide (Cristina)who really "took care of us". Kept us interested, lots of useful information, mad sure ther were no glitches

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm and winery/vineyards"

Judith

Grand Marais, MN

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to Lisbon 50 years ago, and loved it, but wanted to see the rest of the country. It was even more than I expected the trip to be, thanks to the careful planning and wonderful experiences provided by your company. I would never have been able to spend time and company with the families at the cork farm and the quinta. I loved all the cities and towns we visited and the great knowledge of Cristina and the guest guides. This was a super trip with a great bunch of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Though I would not have thought it to be true, I was overwhelmed by the spectacle of mass at Fatima on a Sunday morning. I was expecting this place to be a bit much in the tourism department, but I felt the real faith of the people and even the spirituality of the shopkeepers. Cristina prefaced our visit with a heartfelt request for respect for this display of faith. I was touched by her sincerity."

Sandra

Three Rivers, MI

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the whole trip. Christina was an excellent guide and friend. She is fun, knowledgeable, and helpful. The group was very friendly and got along well. We were in a triple room and for the first time on a tour, I was very satisfied with the accomodations for the 3 of us in one room. it made the trip even more comfortable. The food was good most of the time but there were a couple times I thought a different location might have been better. Too much history at times...will never rememb

Favorite "WOW" moment

"None in particular. Did really enjoy the Douro Valley with the beautiful scenery and the good wine!! The home tour there was fun and enjoyed meeting the family. Enjoyed the cruise in Porto also."

Barry

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was excellent. The itinerary was well planned, the hotels were very good (with the exception of the hotel in Coimbra), the group meals and other group activities were fun, and our guide (Christina) was superb. The mix of planned activities and occasional free time worked well. Christina did a great job of developing the tour participants into a cohesive group that enjoyed being together in a wonderful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single "wow" moment, but several very vivid memories: the cork farm, the library at the university in Coimbra, the vineyards in the Douro Valley, the river cruise in Porto."

Anne

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the mix of visiting the usual tourist sites and the chance to hang out on a farm and a vineyard and meet the family members who run the businesses,as well as the mix of city and small towns. Our guide Christina was very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of information about history, economics,and educational systems. I felt I got a real feel for the country and its people, much more than just a tour of monuments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to the cork farm and vineyard and chance to visit with the people who ran them."

Kay

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the tour. Good group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm, museum in Lisbon, library in Coimbra, Duoro Valley views"

Mary Lou

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved visiting the University at Coimbra with the ancient books, gorgeous rooms and the beautiful setting. Seeing the students in their gowns on the plaza was interesting."

Robert

Novato, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I had a good time. I was a little disappointed because there wasn't as much hiking outdoors available as in other Rick Steve's trips. Also, I didn't like having to wear the ear plugs when touring the city neighborhoods - it seemed like kind of a distraction from the "back door experience". That was OK in the museums however. The tour guide was very knowledgeable,very concerned about our well being, and very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say there was a big "wow" moment. However, I especially enjoyed the free time we had in Nazare and the short hike in the Duoro Valley vineyard."

Anita

Ellensburg, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Portugal tour provided a very comprehensive look at a diverse country. We started in Lisbon which alone has many sites from historical to modern. We experienced cities, farms, the valley of vineyards, the beauty of beach( including an Atlantic sunset in Nazaare) and the religious holy site of Fatima. It was another outstanding Rick Steve's tour with many unique aspects . There are always pleasant surprises but no hidden cost surprises. This was our fourth trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My personal "wow" was Fatima. As a Catholic being able to attend Mass at this holy site was an unexpected meaningful and inspiring experience. I appreciate the respectful way the guide explained the site and allowed sufficient time for those who wanted to participate . My educational wow was the cork farm. I had not known how cork is harvested or it's many uses.The financial diversity of the farm was growing pine nuts, vineyards, olive orchards, cattle, and guided hunting"

Michael

Bothell, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was completely pleased with all aspects of the tour and could not have covered all the experiences and important attractions on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but the cliffs overlooking Nazarre with the long ocean beach below was tops!"

Ron

Hood River, OR

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We love Portugal, it is a great country, nice people, varied topography....with such a historic past as a world leading country for 200 years in the age of discovery to present time with a struggling economy but a resilient population. MARIA our guide was fabulous and made the tour special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"no wow moments, but this was a great tour as always, but, you know, I think our guide Maria was a "wow", she was fantastic in addition, my wife and I after the tour, took a bus from Porto to Tui Spain and walked the Camino from Tui to Santiago Spain, that was a wow"

Carol

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the coverage of the people, country and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Nazare and it's relationship to cork. Great walkin through the cork trees and ending in the estates feast with the owner joining us."

Robert

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved Portugal but do think the tour is too short.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coimbra was all "wow" right down to the giant meringues in all the bakeries. Would love to have had an extra guided day there."

Christie

Hood River, OR

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 10th tour with RS and as usual we were not disappointed. I really appreciate the pace of the tour, where we visit places as a group but also have plenty of free time to explore on our own. I love learning the about the culture and history of each area and making great friends in the tour groups. Maria was so knowledgeable and so friendly and warm, that I wanted to bring her home with me. Portugal has many surprises to reveal and I would encourage everyone to take time to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As usual, I have a hard time picking out just one wow moment. Spending time on the family farms was fantastic and learning about the cork, olive oil and port production along with eating delicious meals prepared by the families was so special and personal. However, I also enjoy just getting to know all my fellow traveler's on each trip and sharing experiences together that enhances each journey that we make."

Sharon

Freeland, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fatima...humbled by the pilgrims on their knees silently moving toward their sacred space and hopeful healings. The overall street sounds... diverse languages, modes of transportation, colors,textures while walking, the multiple layers or old and new culture, flip flops and widows in black. Great city fun, and country beauty.."

Harrie

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal turned out to be more than I had anticipated. Beautiful cities, fascinating history, a unique artistic and musical culture, friendly people and low prices. Our guide Maria was a Porto native and her enthusiasm for her country was infectious. We visited interesting sites, stayed at lovely hotels, ate great meals (the barnacles, notwithstanding), drank delicious port wine and enjoyed a harmonious group experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two for me. The first (and probably the one that will be cited most) was the visit to the cork farm and the amazing home cooked meal that was served to us by the owners. The tour that was given to us of the estate was very informative and the family members were gracious and warm hosts. The second 'wow' for me was when Maria ushered us into what appeared to be a tourist shop in Coimbra and then took us upstairs to a work room where we all got to create our own Portuguese tiles."

Roger

Westlake Village, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We got an excellent overview of Portugal - a nation that is not at the center of world activity these days and previously one about which we knew very little. The places chosen to visit, museums, cathedrals and the two active agricultural enterprises gave us a nice overview of the country. The history we encountered is complex and difficult to sort out as a first brush but certainly left us ahead of where we were before. It is unfortunate that economics impacts preservation here.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was most impressed by the Gulbenkian museum. The pieces on exhibit are outstanding and beautiful. The tour of the winery in the Douro valley is a close second for me. A most impressive view and operation as well as an excellent lunch."

Connie

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was really a fun trip. We saw a lot and had time to explore on our own. Good mix of city, country, beach, and rivers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aside from running into Rick in Paris after the tour (having lunch at a recommended cafe)? I can never name just one thing. Everything adds up to make a great experience. Gulbenkian museum, the art deco house at Serralves in Porto, the stock exchange palace in Porto, being on the farms, the beautiful architecture in the churches and monasteries. Fun to stay in five star hotels."

Robert

Freeland, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"unesco towns"

Philip

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'd never been on a Rick Steves tour before. In fact I'd never been on any tour as I have always shunned them. I was greatly surprised at this tour. It was a revelation to me. I thought I'd be my usual introverted, grumpy self full of sarcasm and cynicism. But the opposite was true. I enjoyed being with the group and passing time with them, eating with them and hanging out. Portugal is a country I'd never visited before but would like to do so again. And thanks to Maria for her guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved both farms and I could say they could be, but instead I would have to say it was the Fado both in Lisbon and in Coimbra. I've always been attracted to folk music. And Fado I'd classify as a folk genre. But Fado seems like a living thing to me not something trotted out to rally the troops or raise money or be shown off like a museum piece. Though I don't understand Portuguese, the emotions were projected in such a way that I didn't have to understand."

Richard

Wyoming, MN

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Very nice tour. Excellent group & tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gulbenkian Museum"

Theresa

Gwynn Oak, MD

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was exactly what was advertised. Thedays were filled with the history an for me...the people. I was facinated by the culture, how they lived, loved and socialized. They are a proud and wise people. I loved the streets, everything stone and done wonderfully. Cristina was a grand hostess to her city Lisbon and a great ambassador to her native Portugal. She knows her history and loves to share.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Gilbenkian Museum did it for me...His story alone. Again I took in the culture, I rode the Metro alone I visited the Tile and Fado Museums alone. I rode the bus and shopped at Ponco something grocery store...alone. I experienced Portugal. My favorite place to eat in Porto was Majestic Cafe. I love the lay of the land in Portugal."

Donald

Le Sueur, MN

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina did a fantastic job as our guide. We both loved the way she took charge and took great care of us. Hotel accommodations were great expect for Nazare. There was water all the time on the floor next to the shower. Food was was great in all hotels and restaurants. Hotels were in great locations. I especially enjoyed the farm tours. People there were very friendly and accommodating. Food was better than at the restaurants we were in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experiences in Fatama and Colmbra were fantastic with the timing of events; location of hotel in Colmbra was great. There were wow moments when visiting the working olive, cork, and boar hunting farm during the travel to Nazare. The owners and workers at the farm did a superb job. One of the highlights on my trip since I farm in Minnesota."

Janet

Le Sueur, MN

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was uncertain about what could be done in Portugal for 10 days. But, the tour was well planned and kept my interest. The planned activities and our own time were well planned. Transit and things to do were near the hotels. A schedule was always posted so you knew what the day will be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The farm visits. And the ability of the bus driver to handle the narrow roads."

Susan

Las Cruces, NM

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent introduction to Portugal, with visits to all the major spots in each city visited, and a wealth of information given by our excellent guide, Cristina. The group was small (24?) with pleasant members; this size allowed us to move easily and efficiently around the cities we visited. Most of the hotels were very comfortable and pleasant; each was an individual experience. All thankfully had elevators. I hope to return to Portugal and learn even more. The people are wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visits to the cork farm and wineries, and our two Fado concerts."

Gloria

Harris, MN

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Coming from a very long, cold and dreary winter, we loved all the sunshine in Portugal! The people were very friendly, food and wine outstanding, and we learned so much about Portugese history from our wonderful guide Cristina. Wonderful visits to the cork farm and the port vineyard. We adored the Douro valley, could have hung out there for a week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the dinner in Pensao rates a 10. Also the little church of Santa Clara in Porto, the most gorgeous I've ever seen."

Lea

Mesilla, NM

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was great and Cristina made it special. She is very knowledgeable and congenial. She made me feel very welcome in her country, and her personality and assistance with all we did made the tour a special and memorable event for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the vineyard tour at Quinta Santa Eufemia. It was a beautiful place and Teresa and her family made us feel so welcome and comfortable. I really enjoyed that, as well as the tour of the RoviscoGarcia cork and olive tree farm in the Alentejo. Having grown up on a ranch and understanding the importance of family in such an enterprise, I really appreciated all they have done to sustain these farms and make them so successful. And the meals were great!"

Tammy

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned and allowed for a variety of energy levels throughout the iteration. The tour guides were outstanding, well prepared and full of wonderful, positive energy. I learned alot during my tour, which is primarily why I wanted to go. Portugal was the perfect choice as well. A proud country with wonderful people and alot of history to learn. Loved this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we explored Lisbon. My mouth barely closed from the awe I was in... beautiful city, beautiful people and rich culture."

Ross

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time and loved Portugal. We very much enjoyed the 2 farm type visits, especially the vineyard one near Porto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley - fantastic."

Susan

Kent, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. The weather couldn't have been better for the whole tour. In order to take in everything I ended with a sleep deficit, as expected. The tour is jam-packed with must-see and must-experience items that it is just plain difficult to get 8 hours of sleep every night. (This is NOT meant to be criticism.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Cristina and our bus driver find alternate transportation after dinner in the high city of Nazare when we discovered the funicular didn't run as late as we thought. Our Dynamic Duo sprang into action and found a fellow tour bus driver who took us all back to our hotel. This is NOT a criticism of Cristina or anyone else except the funicular company who posted such an insignificant sign. It just added to the sense of adventure!"

Linda

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

overall enjoyable. Cristina is a fun, energetic woman and kept us all moving and handled the "bumps in the road" with ease. My only suggestion for her is to try to condense her comments. She tends to over-explain to the extent that sometimes I sort of lost track of what her point was. I thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent in the smaller towns and country visits. That is when I learned the most about the country and what the residents' lives were like.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"visit to the olive grove/cork farm. The family members were all so warm and inviting and the tour and discussion of how cork is harvested was very interesting. Also just the conversations at lunch about how they ended back on their farm after WW 2 and what they are doing to keep it viable."

Sanders

Shreveport, LA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful insider's view of Portugal. So well thought out and [INVALID]d. I have arranged 5 or 6 private tours to Europe for groups of 20 to 30 persons and there is just no reason to do this yourself when you can get such an intimate and personal tour like this. This was only our second Rick Steves tour, but, there will be more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many that is is not really fair to pick only one, but, unexpectedly Fatima was quite an emotional experience. To be there with the pilgrims and see the devotion and faith lived out. Really amazing."

James

Severna Park, MD

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we skeptical about traveling with a group. As it turned out we had a great time. We have traveled a lot and were surprised to learn that about half of the group had more travel experience than we did and the other half was equally well traveled. One couple was on their 8th Rick Steves tour. We got to see and experience parts of Portugal we never would have seen on our own. We made many new friends. Maria was an excellent guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were more than one. The visit to the cork/pine nut & vineyard farm was especially enjoyable. After the very tour the owners 4 family members treated us to lunch with wine. We had 4 tables and a family member sat at each table and joined in lively conversation. They shared their excellent home made food with us and explained what each course consisted of. The fact that this very well to do family took their time to spend with us was amazing. They only do this for Rick Steves tours."

Paula

Severna Park, MD

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found, first of all, that the number of participants on the tour was just right. I dreaded the thought of being "herded" to see things, but this never happened. The tour members were of like dispositions to mine, so the compatibility factor was terrific. Perhaps only like minded people are attracted to the type of tour offered by Rick Steves' organization, and that is a plus in my mind. I would rate my "overall" experience as top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several, but I must say that seeing the academic library in Coimbra had an especially visual impact on me."

Robert

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience on our Portugal tour was by all accounts a positive experience. Our guIde, Maria, was very informative, helpful, and personable. We enjoyed her company as well as her guidance. I feel as though received all that we paid for and much more. An excellent bang for the buck, so to speak. Our fellow travelers were all fun and diverse. Thank you Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moments were the two farm tours with the local farms, the cork farm and the port wine vineyard tour."

Deborah

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was a wonderful experience. Maria, our tour guide, was very personable, knowledgeable, with a good sense of humor and so comfortable to be around. We enjoyed getting to know the other 23 people on our tour and everyone seemed to get along well. We appreciated the pace of the tour, most of the time staying in one place for two to three nights instead of moving each night to a new place. Also, leaving at 8:30 to 9:00 in a.m. was a perfect starting of the day time for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can one have more than one "favorite" time? For me I especially loved visiting both farms, the cork and olive farm and the wine/port farm in the Duoro Valley. Wine stomping to a family member playing the accordion was a once in a life time experience. When eating the incredible meals with and prepared by the family, one immediately sensed the family's pride and passion in regards to the farms that had been in their families for over 200 years. It was informative on many different levels."

Victoria

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour and our fellow travelers were a great group and we had the best tour guide ever (Maria)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to stomp grapes and eat with the families at the vineyard and the cork estate."

Eugene

Oroville, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was Great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching my wife crush grapes."

Donna-Sue

Great Neck, NY

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip brought together a great group of people to visit a lovely country. The group bonded quickly & looked out for one another. For me, travel is about the food & the people, not just the tourist sites, & the food experiences were excellent. I loved Lisbon (cities are a favorite for me) and Coimbra. Nazarre was faded in October but I enjoyed walking near the beach. Fatima is a crass touristy stop. I could have skipped it in favor of more time in charming Obidos & Alcobaca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the 2 days where we spent time with the family owners of the cork farm and the port vineyard. We got to know them and their businesses, and had great fun and great food along the way. Stomping the grapes was definitely a highlight. In Evora, Maria treated us to a wine & cheese spread at dinner time. We were outside on the terrace of our spectacular hotel, overlooking the pool and greenery and the ancient aqueduct, as the sun set with gentle purples and pinks. Memorable!"

Ian

Sutter Creek, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, Maria was outstanding! Second, we had a wonderfully cohesive group of participants. The group was fun to be with and all were great travelers. The tour was all completely as promised plus more. This was our second Rick Steves tour and our experience further confirms the quality of your organization. Great food, wonderful sights, fun and interesting guides and travel companions, and a personal touch that is priceless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maria was our "wow" experience. Maria is a very intelligent and caring person who took great care of us during our visit. Maria adapted to each individual's needs and handled a couple of unexpected situations with humor and expertise. Our visits to the cork farm and to the port winery in the Douro Valley were highlights, as were the visits to the University of Coimbra and my wife's and my "accidental" visit to the University of Evora."

Marti

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved my time in Portugal. The history was so interesting. The land was beautiful and diverse. The people were so friendly and helpful. Our accommodations were wonderful, with a mixture of posh and historic hotels. I felt the pacing of group and independent activities was just right. I also liked the interspersing of travel days with staying put for several days at a time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two memorable moments. The lunches we shared at the cork farm estate and the vineyard were wonderful. To meet those so intimately involved with the land and so proud of their heritage and contribution to the economy was very moving. Both meals from their estates' bounty and prepared by their hands were outstanding."

Judith

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal was such a wonderful surprise! This tour provided such a myriad of exceptional experinces and beautiful locales. We went during the first weeks of October and the weather was perfect (except for a little rain on the first few days in Lisbon.) Our giuide Cristina was an absolute "gem". Also, we had the most amazing group of travelers! Our group really "jelled" and enjoyed each other as much as the travel sites. All our photographs reflect this happy and funloving attitude.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We lucked out with the time of our arrival, because it was harvest time in the wine country. We got to actually go into the vinyards, cut the grapes from the vines, then change into "borrowed attire" and get into the vat and "stomp" the grapes!!! (This reminded me of the old "I love Lucy" episode where Lucy stomped the grapes!) We were knee deep in the grapes and the juice as we moved to the beat of a drum and the music of a live accordian player! WOW! What a memory!"

Howard

Vernon, BC

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina really brought Portugal to life with her enthusiasm. She probably worked harder than necessary. She could shorten up some talks as our attention spans are shorter after 50. I don't think it necessary to babysit people who have chosen meals. She was sure a great guide. Howard

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cork producing family was the best although I loved the Porto guide and the city and also the Duoro Wine producing family was great as well."

David

Buderim,

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The actual tour experience was excellent, our hard working guide Christina did an outstanding job and gave us all an insight into the lives of current day Portugal residents. Visits to family operated cork producing farm which has diversified into tourism, wine and pine nuts and to a winery were highlights. The general economic malaise illustrated by poorly maintained public buildings and parks, and street begging has resulted in my "good" rating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Gulbenkian Museum was my "wow" moment. To view this eclectic array of faultless exibits in the one museum was amazing."

Joan

Charleston, SC

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Going to Portugal was my dream for 20 years. Being able to go in 2013 and on a Rick Steves tour gave me such a thirst and desire for more of Portugal. I will definitely be returning to this beautiful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon on our second day. Visiting the Gulbenkian Museum on our second day in Lisbon. I had read the entire guidebook, but the museum was so much more than words."

Christine

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a real hidden gem of Europe. I found the people very friendly and helpful. The food was much better and creative than I imagined. Of course, the wine and port outstanding, even the "green wine". Our particular group was our best yet in 6 tours with everyone getting along so well and mixing company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching my husband stomp grapes to music!"

William

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

we've been on 6 of your tours and rank it as one of the best. I found Portugal to be a country defined by sharp contrasts: busy, bustling, sometimes noisy cities such as Lisbon and Porto populated by rather humble and friendly people, restaurants that served up incredibly tasty food that your mother might make rather than the fanciful concoctions found in the upscale Manhattan, Chicago, or San Francisco. The countryside is beautiful, especially the wine country with its ancient vineyards .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Never had the WOW type moment such as the balloon ride in Turkey but there were innumerable special moments such as vigorously stomping on grapes for a half hour to an accordion and drummer and finishing up with a wonderful lunch and wine tasting. Listening to the students perform fado in Coimbra was very special."

Mark

Porter Ranch, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Maria was the most delightful tour guide we have ever had.She set the ambiance for our trip.Our rooms were better than expected, we especially enjoyed the modern hotel in Evora and Vintage House in Pinhao.The meals were good with the exception of Sitio, poor service and suboptimal quality, Our last night was however disappointing,Food made Gail ill and the setting was dismal for Porto.Highlights were the wonderful friends we met and the people of Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For us, the Cork farm meal with Grandpa of the clan and the two Fado performances especially in Lisbon."

Sara

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was very good although 5 days with rain made some of the excursions less enjoyable than they might have been. The addition of the hearing devices used in Lisbon was a great idea-- I would encourage their use during the whole trip. They are especially helpful on tours with a preponderance of middle aged folks who have hearing aids or slightly impaired hearing. We saw more churches and monasteries than I would have liked.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the visit to the winery and tromping on the grapes--not an experience one has everyday. The visit to the cork estate was also great--the hosts were very gracious & learning about cork farming was interesting. And painting the tiles in Coimbra was a fun activity. I also particularly liked Obidos."

Jill

Jefferson Hills, PA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour for us because we were a group of three couples with pretty extensive but varied travel experience. None of us had been to Portugal. Portugal was really engaging and friendly and relaxed. Even the bigger cities felt safe, friendly and welcoming. The countryside portions (the cork farm and the port wine farm) were wonderful. The families were great to chat with during lunch. The experience made me want to do another "non-big-city" tour (like the France one).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would not say there were big "wow" moments - but everything was new and interesting! I knew very little about Portugal. The stories, with the royal intrigue of Petro and Inez, the dynasty of Joao and Phillipe, the founding of Fatima, the gorgeous beach at Nazare', it was such a variety! I guess the most picturesque "wow" was the Douro Valley vineyards - very impressive (though it was sort of drizzly and foggy for us...)."

Sharon

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am late doing this evaluation because, the first time around, after having spent considerable time writing quite a lot, I clicked out with plans to finish later. But clicking out disappeared everything. So this will be briefer. The tour was terrific--good choices of hotels, places to visit, and wonderful guide(s). Both my daughters and their husbands were in the tour, and that contributed to making the trip especially memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but the visit to the Roman ruins near Coimbra knocked my socks off! The extent of the ruins and the wonderful condition of the mosaic floors, for example, far exceeded my expectations. And the fact that our group was virtually alone, to wander at will! The museum there, too, was super."

John

Mechanicsburg, PA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal had been a dream trip for me for many years since I read a book by Datus Proper, "The Last Old Place" (A Search Through Portugal). It must have stirred that part of me that had been a Portuguese fisherman in a previous life. Proper's historical perspectives, discus-sion of cultural practices, descriptions of the countryside, its villages and village life, wines, foods and people are unique. This would be a good book to add to the Rick Steves reading list for Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There is one distinct moment that I stopped dead in my tracks to observe what was before me. Our visit to Batalha and the church of Santa Victoria marked an entry for me into Portu-guese history[INVALID]observing the larger than life monument to Nuno Alvarez was striking, but entry to the church is what gave me pause. The ornate gothic exterior I had seen before[INVALID]nothing new there, but the opening into the main hall is what stopped me. The ultimate aus- terity was like nothing I'd ever seen before!"

Stephen

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

rick steves tours score again. this was the first of back to back rick steves tours-our 4th and 5th. our tour guide, christina, didn't disappoint. she was friendly, knowledgeable and patient. how do you find such wonderful guides? the memories that she helped us create will be with us for a lifetime and we will certainly have wonderful memories of the energetic group we toured with. thank you again, rick steves for a wonderful vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"that is a tough question since the whole tour was a wow for us. special memories would have to include our emotional trip to fatima, the lovely family who operated the cork farm and served us the best meal we ate in portugal and our day at the port wine vineyard where we stomped grapes and partied with the family with several members of our group taking turns playing the accordion. it was a festive atmosphere!!"

Richard

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did not know much about Portugal before the trip. But I soon discovered it to be a wonderful country with friendly, warm people, a proud heritage, and many beautiful places to visit. I hope to get back to Portugal sooner than later! Oh yes, one big surprise was the quality of the wine and food - both were excellent! (I've been buying Portuguese wine a lot since coming home!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment came at sunset in Nazare when our group took the funicular to the higher area for our group dinner. What a view!"

Jan

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is hard to imagine how well we were informed and shown the unique features of this fine country that we knew very little about before the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to the cork plantation complete with red deer, farmland and vineyard producing excellent wine. Meeting the family with three generations present to promote the operation was special."

Ronald

Surrey, BC

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything I wanted and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to narrow it down to just one. The two farm visits - the cork farm, and the Douro winery (with grape stomping) were among my favorites. Coimbra and Porto were both particularly fascinating cities."

Susannah

Mechanicsburg, PA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful group of 22 people who were all real troupers, with an enthusiatic and knowledgeable guide Cristina. I enjoyed learning about the history, seeing the art, walking the towns, and engaging in the special events--painting a tile, fado evenings, grape stomping, cork farm experience. The people of Portugal were welcoming and their countryside charming. Would definitely return again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it had to be "stomping" the grapes during the fall harvest in the Douro valley. When else could a 76 year old grandmother behave like a youngster, or get an opportunity to do this sort of thing? The countryside was spectacularly beautiful around the farm where this event was held also, more mountainous than I expected with lovely grapevine rows curving around the green slopes."

Rolf

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina made this tour an absolutely incredible experience and she deserves to be on your future DVD of Portugal. Her love, knowledge and compassion for Portugal came through with every aspect of this tour. This was my first tour and Cristina's enthusiasm excited me to explore other tours. The emphasis on art, culture, architecture, food exceeded my expectations. The food experience was exceptional along with great hotel facilities, especially the Hotel Victoria in Coimbra.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow almost daily. I must say the experience at Fatima was outstanding and very moving. Also, stomping grapes in the Duoro Valley was a dream come true. The tour and lunch at RoviscoGarcia was so informative on learning cork farming and pine nuts. The staff at RoviscoGarcia were remarkable."

Melanie

Bethesda, MD

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the entire experience - this was my 4th Rick Steves tour and I've not been disappointed. Our time was filled - but not overfilled - and the experiences were a great mix of the life and culture of Portugal. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the cities - loved Coimbra! - and smaller towns and the two farm trips where we got to eat and talk with the local families were a pleasure. Can't forget the wonderful wines!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pinpoint just one - loved all the cities and towns but immersing myself in Coimbra and Porto was especially enjoyable. Our visit to Coimbra University was terrific - watching the students as the year started was really entertaining. Strolling around smaller Evora was especially enjoyable and provided a slice of small-town Portugal. The Douro Valley was gorgeous and I couldn't get enough of the beautiful tilework everywhere."

Patricia

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We both were very impressed with the day we spent touring the working cork farm. We learned so much about an industry that we were previously unaware of. Our hosts were wonderful and the meal and surroundings outstanding. The second best moment was the vineyard in the Douro valley and our time at the Quinta. These are among the moments we won't forget."

Susan

Walla Walla, WA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the experience was so pleasurable, informative, organized, and fun. Maria was an excellent tour guide going "above and beyond" with helpful suggestions for individual side trips, shopping, photo shots, scheduling train, plane, and bus arrangements, explanations about food, drink, mores, politics, religion, and general information. Every question was answered and perceived crisis handled. All members of the tour were respected for their differences and no favoritism was experienced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"both farm tours, one with the wealthy, old established family who had a more hand's off experience and the down to earth family who worked in the fields and every part of the operation."

James

Lewes, DE

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Explored a country new to us. As always, it was a great experience.

Leslie

Reston, VA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal had been on my list for a long time and I finally just bit the bullet and scheduled it. I was looking for a tour that was already organized to go to the places that I wanted to see and the price was right. It was a great tour because we saw so much of each place that we went, we had really interesting guides who taught us so much about what we were seeing (OMG, the cork farm tour was amazing!), and I got a much better feel for Portugal's history - they really are a baby democracy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm tour, eating grapes off the vine at the winery, driving in and out of the Duoro Valley - so beautiful and the Arabian Room at the Bolsa in Porto - wow!"

Romona

Pasco, WA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Knowledgeable, Portuguese guide Christina made the tour exceptional! She anticipated group needs before you were aware of a needed snack or break. All hotels surpassed desires with views, pools and breakfasts! The multi-generational working cork farm and Douro Valley Port vineyard tour and luncheon experiences exceeded our cultural immersion wishes. A Sunday visit to Fatima created special personal memories. Gulbenkian Museum, and Coimbra Library are magnificent. Food/wines fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to chose favorite between Gulbenkian Museum tour and Fado dinner performance in Lisbon, touring Roman Temple at Evora, beach and Bullfight in Nazare, touring Alcobaca's Monastery of Santa Maria, walking and shopping the quaint streets of Obidos, Sunday service at Fatima, visiting and "breaking bread" with families at working cork/olive and Duoro Valley port vineyard, or touring Coimbra University Library. Perhaps favorite was sharing all with a wonderful guide and group of fellow travelers"

Ronald

Moorhead, MN

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My bride & I appreciated the fact that our tour experiences were so authentic. What a pleasure to come away feeling more like a "local" rather than a tourist. Our guide Cristina and her assistant Jorge offered just the right amount of commentary concerning the sights we were seeing along with adequate instruction on how to navigate public transportation on our own. We have toured with several other companies in the past but feel sure we will be looking at future Rick Steve's tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the surprise opportunity to attend a Portuguese "piling on" bull fight, on our own, that just happened to be scheduled in the city of Nazare the evening we were staying there. That cultural experience will forever trigger fond memories of our visit to Portugal."

Tom

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina was the most wonderful tour guide I have experienced in my many years of travel. She was open, sincere, joyful, fun to be with, and most knowledgeable of the various day activities, sights, and history. She made each day a delight to share with her. I really felt she loved being with us (me) and having the opportunity to share the Rich Steves' you are uniquely known for. Because of her I will once again look to your tour group while traveling. Thanks for making Portugal memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Your magic of putting together sights, sounds, tastes (restaurants), makes traveling with your tour company a delight. Every destination , was presented in the the best way possible. So I guess the whole trip was a "wow" movement for me. Thanks for the memories"

Christine

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your Portugal tour has been one of the best tours I have ever taken. Cristina is an outstanding tour guide. Her love and passion of Portugal and its people made the tour. We became participants not just tourists in Portugal. The tour not only took the group to the typical sights one would want to see in Portugal but also to places that places normal tours don't venture. The pace had a perfect balance of group and individual time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was our tour to the family farms. The Rovisco Garcia Cork and Oil Olive farm was outstanding. We learned how Portugal's history played a role in this family generational business. What more intimacy could one ask for but to have an absolutely delicious lunch with a family member at your table."

Weather

Portugal / Lisbon

Portugal Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Portugal before your tour begins, use Rick Steves' Portugal guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Portuguese and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Many of Lisbon's sights are closed Mondays. See your guidebook for more details. Confirm all sightseeing plans with any tourist information office.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Lisbon that we do not do as a group: House of Fado and Portuguese Guitar (closed Mondays), National Tile Museum (closed Mondays), National Coach Museum (closed Mondays), Maritime Museum (closed Mondays).

If you would like to visit Sintra as a day trip from Lisbon, we recommend that you include time before your tour starts. While you will have time in the afternoon on Day 2, Sintra can be a full day outing depending on your interests. See your Rick Steves' Portugal guidebook for more details.

Transportation

Most tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. We recommend talking to your travel agent about "open jaw" airline tickets (flying into and out of different cities). Lisbon and Porto both offer good transportation options, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

The most direct option is to fly into Lisbon and out of Porto. If you have extra time and flexibility, you might want to consider a round trip flight into and out of Lisbon, which will require a train journey or low-cost flight from Porto and an additional overnight. Porto also has good connections throughout Europe and you may want to consider flying home via another European city (additional overnight required).

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Portugal: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Packing

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.