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

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Heart of Portugal in 12 Days Tour

from $2,895 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $625

See Tour Dates

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!

Dates & Prices

2016

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 • Fado performance • São Jorge Castle • Monastery of Jerónimos tour • Monument to the Discoveries • Gulbenkian Museum tour • Évora walking tour • Olive oil tasting • Cork farm visit • Batalha's Monastery of Santa María • Fátima visit • Alcobaça Monastery • Conímbriga'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 (weather dependent)…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
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • 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 2016
  • 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 at 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 Bairro 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 free to visit any of Lisbon's "niche" museums (tile, fado, port wine, and other Portuguese specialties). Tonight we'll regroup and enjoy a soulful fado performance with dinner. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Seafaring Belém and the Gulbenkian

We'll begin our day with a bus tour through Lisbon to its 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. Then we'll take in the view from Edward VII Park before 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. You'll have the evening free to continue to explore the museum or return to Lisbon for dinner on your own. 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 Óbidos

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 medieval walled town of Óbidos. Upon arrival we'll take an orientation walk through the perfectly preserved cobblestone streets, and learn why this is known as Portugal’s “wedding city.” Sleep in Óbidos (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 6: Royal Intrigue, Alcobaça, and Nazaré

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 some fun in the sun in the old coastal fishing village of Nazaré. Splash in the waters of the Atlantic, sample the local specialty – barnacles, or take the funicular up to the historic Sítio neighborhood to enjoy its sweeping cliff-top views. This evening we’ll return to Óbidos for dinner together. 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

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. 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.

Physical Demands

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

Valerie

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At the time I chose this tour, it was at one if the most stressful times of my life and I made the decision based on the Rick Steves reputation, the tour destination and the available start date for the tour. I really didn't know what to expect. This tour was so wonderful for me. I enjoyed every bit of it. I had no idea how beautiful and rich in history Portugal is. Also, the food and wine were delicious. The places we visited were varied and interesting. The shining star was our guide, Robert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment, occurred at the Quinta Santa Eufemia. It had been raining that morning and during our drive there. It was drizzling some when we got there. Teresa was talking about her family's vineyard, the property and their work and beginning the tour. Shortly after, it started to clear up and the sunshine on the terraced, autumn-hued vineyard was absolutely glorious. The place was so stunning and serene that I wanted to stay there forever."

Jim

St Louis, MO

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a very under-rated country. It is full of beautiful people, sites and culture. Our tour guide Robert was totally the best. Very friendly and knowlegable. This will date myself, but I kindly referred to him as "The Shell Answer man". Our tour-mates were very likeable and fun to be with. The accomodations and motor coach were first class. It was all good!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dauro River Valley area."

Kathy

St Louis, MO

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. I have always bought the travel books & have found them to be extremely helpful but thought we might want to try our first tour. A friend I work with who is single has been on 9 tours & has loved them all. We chose Portugal because my Mom said that in her travels it was her favorite place. I loved our Guide Robert. He was extremely knowledgeable. We would have never visited so many sights & learnt the history if not for him.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We thought all of the beautiful churches were a "WOW". I did not realize how ornate they were."

Thomas

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guide; tour guide handled problems easily; very well organized tour; good tour pace. Good sites; sites were well described; good local tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset at Nazare. I have seen many and this was as good as any."

Deborah

La Plata, MD

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Let me begin by stating that despite any misgivings that I have about aspects of the tour, I'm delighted with my overall experience on the Heart of Portugal tour. I think that my overall good impression was largely due to our guide Robert. Robert has a lovely personality and is very knowledgable about the history and culture of Portugal. His enthusiasm for the subject matter (i.e. Portugal) is infectuous and Portugal is beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming out onto the patio of my room at the magnificent Vintage House in Pinhao and looking out on the Douro Valley. The hotel was beautiful and the views were breathtaking. Even though it was overcast and occaisonally rainy the day we checked in, the scenery was outstanding and rivalled the hotel in its beauty. That was my idea of a vacation spot."

Paula

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The well-chosen tour sights and guide Robert's intelligent explanations served as a dynamic introduction to Portugal. Roman, medieval, and of course age of discovery history were brought to life. The Portuguese people were warm and hospitable. Tour members were all interested, fun, good company! I appreciate staying in centrally located hotels. I enjoyed the Mediterranean food: fish, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, local wine. Great desserts. Excellent espresso!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were observing how hilly Portugal is. Lisbon's Baixa neighborhood has high neighborhoods on either side. Escalators, elevators, trams, and funiculars take you up the hills. Evora has a Roman temple at the top. Beach resort Nazare has a high town reached by funicular. Obidos is a walled hill town. Coimbra's university sits on top of killer steep streets. The Douro Valley is all about terraced vineyards and groves. In Porto a funicular lifts you from the riverfront to the center"

Bobbe

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the winery & cork farm tours."

R Lauren

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First Rick Steves tour. Packed a lot into a limited time frame.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were two "wow" moments. The visits to the cork plantation and to the vineyard. Both with superb lunches, great information, and the chance to meet and interact on a personal level with the owners."

Patricia

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed with Christina, our tour guide. She helped with reporting my loss to the police and tickets and directions to the American embassy for a temporary passport. I don't know what I would have done without her. The whole Portugal tour was very beautiful, interesting and educational. Our small group became very close and we enjoyed the many sights and hotel stays. Christina was the best in narrating the whole tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The intimate and family settings at the cork farm and wine farm were my favorite. The family meals were wonderful."

Lynn

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The exceptional tour guide, Cristina, with her passion, caring, knowledge and love of her home country truly made the trip superb. Add to that the people, food, well-balanced itinerary between cities and countryside, group and free time, fabulous sites and learning about the history and culture, resulted in a fantastic vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was Cristina's passionate and knowledgeable explanation of Portugal's Age of Discoveries, standing (and moving around) a huge map on the walkway at the Discoveries Monument in Lisbon. People not in our tour group even stopped to listen. Other favorites are the Nazare sunset, Douro Valley and Porto."

Linda

Calgary, AB

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina is an amazing tour guide, who shared her love of her wonderful country with all of us! Her knowledge of the history, culture, art and the people of Portugal is incredible! This was one of our favourite tours so far!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Douro Valley with the vines changing colour was a WOW moment, followed by lunch at the quinta and staying at the Vintage House Hotel. Lovely!"

Ivan

Auckland,

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were in Europe for 6 weeks and this tour was the highlight of our holiday. Cristina was an outstanding leader in all respects. She was knowledgeable obout everything we did and with her easy manner and expertise was able to gain our total confidence. Everything went to schedule with a minimum of hassle. Before we went to Portugal we had little knowledge of the country, Cristina took care of that giving us lots of historic information as well as a in depth summary of present day condition

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What a hard decision! Every day had its highlights, be it history, hotels, food, commentaries, scenery and the group members themselves. The itinerary was excellent, but on balance for me the time we spent in the Oporto area was the most memorable. The hotels were magnificent and Cristinas leadership really gave it the wow factor. I will never forget the humour and knowledge she brought to the tour."

Paul

Chehalis, WA

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great bus, hotels,and super great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Douro valley"

Bonita

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Trip was packed full of activities, included great hotels, great itineraries, excellent food. Due to our excellent guide, Christina, I feel as if I learned alot about Portugal's customs, economics, political climate, and challenges.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman ruins, watching the gargoyles in a pouring rain, seeing Porto by boat and having an elegant happy hour in Evora."

Donna

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was so interesting, educational and enjoyable from day 1. I learned so much about Portugal's history, culture, traditions, government etc. Our guide, Cristina made everyone feel at ease while showing us new ways of traveling via trams, metro, buses, elevators etc. Every day was a wow! day with Cristina guiding us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment is hard to choose, because I had so many. My favorite days were visiting the Douro Valley; the land was just breathe taking, and visiting Porto; lovely city."

Sarah

West Pawlet, VT

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of very experienced travelers who showed up on time, asked good questions, and shared valuable travel tips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed walking through the vineyards with Teresa at Quinta Santa Eufemia in the Douro Valley. Besides the breath-taking views, I enjoyed hearing about her farm's practices and family's business. This was followed by an excellent lunch with wine/port!!"

Linda

Mcloud, OK

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much, the organized activities was varied enough to provide real insight the country of Portugal. There was plenty of free time to enjoy the cities on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments, driving through the Douro Valley and walking through the vineyard was stunning. The visit to the Cork farm was very interesting."

A C

Mcloud, OK

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The chance to travel through the world history that was so important to the founding of our own country, and to see the culture of the people as it has evolved over the centuries since, and to do it with the people most dear to me, plus 21 new best friends, makes it unforgettable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Observing the spirit of the people making their living on the land. Seeing that, politics aside, there is much more that unites, rather than divides us."

David

Junction City, OR

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Maria and Rosie, our escorts, where top notch! They added a lot to the tour and were full of helpful information. Portugal was wonderful, prices were reasonable, food was very good, and the local seafood was off the chart. I even enjoyed trying fresh barnacles from a street vendor--with Maria's encouragement! Coastal Portugal is beautiful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the cork farm and getting the chance to meet the owners and having lunch with them. Very informative tour with historical background."

Cindy

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived at our hotel in Lisbon late Monday evening after the orientation and welcome dinner, due to an airline cancellation. But the next morning after a wonderful breakfast, everyone from the tour was waiting in the hotel lobby to welcome us. Maria (our guide) arranged for us to have the welcome dinner we missed the last evening we were in Lisbon. By her doing that, we felt we had not missed out on anything, plus she got high marks in our book. Portugal was a pleasant surprise!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bus tour through the Douro Valley and visiting the winery where we had lunch. After lunch, Maria(our guide) surprised me with a birthday cake."

James

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my second Rick Steves' tour. His tours seem tastefully economical. We are kept busy and learn much. Additionally, we meet many wonderful people. With this tour, Maria is first class.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on the beach in Nazare."

Chrisann

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We have never been on a tour with such enjoyable fellow tourists. We loved hearing their perspective on all of their travels, experiencing Portugal with them and now keeping in touch. We would definitely take another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the cork farm, the information shared by the family and lunch. Visiting the Port winery."

Rod

Cody, WY

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with our 4 other Rick Steve's tours, Portugal was a tremendous tour. The tour guide, Maria, along with her assistant Rosie immediately set the tone for comraderie and exciting expectations. Our group was arguably the most physically and academically diverse group of all of our previous tours but Maria's personality, knowledge, love of her country, and leadership skills met and adjusted to every challenge. Portugal has such a long rich history that each day was a delightful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday there was a "wow" moment whether it be in the large cities such as Lisbon or Porto, countryside small towns, the University city of Coimbra with the youthful student energy, or the breathtaking Douro Valley. However, the two Estate Farm visits left me in awe of what families can accomplish over several generations, the complexities of their respective operations, and getting to know 3 generations of the family and how they comfortably interact. The food and wine were to die for!!!"

Marcia

Richmond, VA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Congenial group, well informed guide, great food and wine experiences!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to the vineyards/farms. Seeing cork trees up close, seeing the vines and the olive trees, and then enjoying a meal in beautiful surroundings -- that was great!"

Samuel

Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and was pleasantly surprised at the depth and knowledge of all the tour guides. We did far more in a short time than we could have ever done on our own. The agenda for each day was posted in the lobby of the hotel so all knew what was happening from day to day. The only reason I did not give an outstanding rating is because some of the hotels were what I would consider as borderline acceptable. I know it is difficult to rate location over quality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was being able to converse with the owners at the Cork Farm and Porto Winery. In addition, it was a real treat to have their locally prepared food for lunch. These two events were the highlight of the tour for me."

Donna

Latham, NY

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a good blend of historic sites, cities, villages, and beautiful countryside. I gained a new appreciation for the history, culture and people of Portugal. It truly is a beautiful old world country filled with charm and friendly, helpful people. Our tour guide, Maria, was excellent and the smaller travel group was made up of outstanding individuals-caring and friendly. The group connected immediately and shared a fun time with lots of stories and laughter!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many memorable moments on this trip. The highlights for me were the cork farm visit, the vineyard tour, the fado performances and the breathtaking scenery in the Douro valley. The host families for both tours were so warm and hospitable and the meals were excellent. Ditto for the wine. The riverfront hotel in Pinhao was a lovely respite from our busy schedule."

Jean

Junction City, OR

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Maria is an excellent guide who went out of her way to make the tour stress free and interesting. The pace was relaxing and the days full of variety. The people of Portugal were friendly and transportation to and around various cities was easy and inexpensive when not on the tour. We found much to see and do when not with our guide and we were never bored or inactive. We felt we saw things on our tour we'd never have seen on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was one giant "wow." We were really lucky to get such a caring and thoughtful tour guide, great weather, a good exchange rate, and super people to travel with. My favorite part of the trip was Porto. I'm glad we chose to stay another day there after the tour ended. I still can't believe how inexpensive wine, food, and transportation are in Portugal."

Peggy

Cadet, MO

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

enjoyed the co travelers and the scenery. Great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley night over and the views."

Kathy

Holmdel, NJ

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip in every way. Nice tourmates, beautiful country with extremely diverse stops. Our guide Cristina was knowledgeable and fun, we learned a lot from her. Rick Steves does a great job of connecting with local businesses like the cork farm, port winery and tile factory to give us experiences other tourists don't see. In 12 days we went from cities to countryside to ruins to seashore, all very beautiful and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Grape stomping was a lot of fun, and the tour and lunch of the cork farm was exceptional. Both fado nights were great."

Karin

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a marvelous experience we had: beautiful country; enthusiastic, knowledgeable guide;great traveling companions and chances to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard top single out any one thing, but I'd have to say that the experience of stomping grapes had all sorts of unexpected ramifications and encountering the university students in the various towns provided delightful moments! At first I was less than excited about stomping grapes, but it was a wonderful experience that underlined our guide's enthusiasm for doing so[INVALID]a surprisingly fun group experience!"

Ruth

Orinda, CA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked the tour very much. We did a variety of activities and visited many different towns and historical sites. We visited a cork farm and a winery. Also got to see how tiles are made. I especially enjoyed the day we went to Bathalha, Fatima, and Coimbriga.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved grape stomping in the Douro valley. The accordion player played the chicken dance and we danced in the huge vat of grapes."

Agnes

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We went on this Portugal tour right after our my way in Spain with Pal. This was a good way to compare two countries and they were both a very good experience although different.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments, but I cannot get over how impressed we were with both spanish and portugese family values. Unlike in the United States there could not be too many lonely older people, wasting away in homes. seems like family comes first in those countries. It is also nice to see young people out playing fussball in the plazas instead of indoors on their gadgets. Aside from that Portugal is is a beautiful country."

Kenneth

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a memorable time in Portugal . I enjoyed the country, the people ,the places we visited .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to mention two. The first was the fado music performance in Lisbon . The second was the grape "stomp " at the vine yard in northern Portugal."

George

Dalton, MA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an excellent mixture of big city and small town Portugal. The big cities of Lisbon and Porto bookended the tour while a myriad of smaller venues filled the middle. The two farm visits were special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley winery visit was certainly a "wow" moment. I shall always remember the grape stomping episode. The luncheon food was excellent. A close second "wow" goes to the Sunday visit to Fatima. However I must say that the Portugal tour was lacking in the super "wows" that were part of previous RS tours; such as viewing the Alhambra at night. That said almost every day contained a minor "wow"."

Robert

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a very beautiful and interesting country to visit and Rick Steves' Europe gave us a brief but very good tour of the cities, towns, countryside and sights of this small European nation. The distances are small and the van rides are short. Our tour companions were very pleasant and we shared a variety of interests. It is very nice to travel with a small group as you become first name friends quickly. The trip was a very good experience for us and we will talk about it for years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Certainly, the visit to wine country and the stop at the winery. Stomping the grapes was fun and the wine tour and meal were memorable."

Beth

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal was amazing. Very friendly and helpful people, fabulous food and wine for unbelievably inexpensive prices, and amazing things to see and do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stomping grapes at the winery in the Douro Valley. It was an "I can't believe I'm here and doing this" kind of moment. The winery owners playing the accordion and a drum while we stomped to music was a riot. We sang, stomped and ended dancing to the Chicken Dance in total chaos. It was hilarious and quite memorable, down to one of our tour members almost losing his shorts."

Sandra

Waterloo, IL

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I thought Marie was a great tour guide and really enjoyed her. She was very knowledgable and very helpful and I would recommend her for any tour. The highlight of the tour was the two farm/wine tours. The cork/olive farm on day 5 and Douro Valley together with the port tour in Porto. I was very unhappy with the hotels in Nazare and Coimbra. Food in local restaurants was much better than the meals provided on the tour dinner meals. Breakfasts were good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm and the Douro Valley port tour. Both were very interesting and a learning experience. The host families and the food was spectacular. I enjoyed the grape stomping and the tour in Porto about the production of port tied the farm tour together so well. I would really recommend that tour also."

Stephen

Waterloo, IL

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was ok. Maria was a delight. She was so knowledgeable and helpful it made the trip good. The food in the hotels was not very good. The meals that we ate in the local restaurants were quite good. The hotels in Evora and Nazare were poor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the cork plantation. Teresa's cooking was fabulous. Best food of the entire trip. The tour of the ranch was quite interesting."

Vanessa

Auckland,

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really liked Portugal and loved the tour. It was a good balance of historical sites and current culture. Maria was a totally fantastic guide with a fun and caring approach. The restaurants and Portuguese food was great. Maria advised us very well on other places to eat and local delicacies. I am glad that I tried a Portuguese hot dog and a Francesinha! The pateis de nata we had everywhere were delicious too. On top of this Maria kept plying us with treats on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery was very special with lovely food and an entertaining wine stomping session. The Douro valley was absolutely stunning. I also really liked Lisbon and Porto. They are really charming cities with a rich history and intricate architectural features."

Isabelle

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed seeing Portugal but I did have problems with the length of some of the days. The weather was hot - 30 to 34 C. and a couple days did not provide us with any 'down time'. I realize the cultural experience is all important but getting on a bus at 8:30 and being on the go in the heat until 6:00 is, in my opinion, too much. I am in good condition and can walk for miles but some of the tour members were having a difficult time. I feel there should be more time to oneself built in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many 'wow' moments on the tour such as the day spent with the family at the cork farm but my absolute favourite 'wow' moment was stomping grapes and having lunch with the family at the winery in the Douro Valley. I will alway treasure my memory of grape stomping. It was so much fun!"

Mary

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Douro Valley"

Keith

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"douro valley quinta vist"

Carolyn

Roswell, NM

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The hotel in Lisbon was very expensive because I went 2 days early and didn't want to have to change hotels. Wish there had been some arrangements for a reduced rate for Rick Steve's groups. The hotel in Nazare was not up to standards. The bThroom in my room was old and the shower way too small. Being on the beach was nice except for the noise, people walking about till all hours and the band that played until 2Am. Also the food was not good and the owner was not very friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the opportunity of stomping grapes!"

Jeanette

Coeur D'alene, ID

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and we are still impressed with the quality of the guides. Maria was so knowledgeable, kind and had a great sense of humor. We felt we came away with a great overall experience of Portugal. The quality of the hotels varied, but they were all in convenient locations. Our group was fantastic! The days were packed with activities. I would suggest to build in one day as a break so people can explore on their own or recharge such as on other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dining with the matriarch of the cork farm. Learning the history of the family farm and all that they produce. Such good stewards of the land. Also, loved going through the Douro Valley and the stay at the hotel in Pinhao."

Roger

Belleville, IL

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Maria was a great tour leader and guide. I enjoyed getting to know the tour members and sharing the tour events. Our side trip to Sintra with your recommended guide Christina was outstanding. We shared this with two other couples who were on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was surprised that the Moorish fortresses continued to survive and were available to explore. I was also surprised to learn that Portugal became a Communist government after the Carnation Revolution. I was also surprised to see the Communist Party having a pre election rally while we were in Lisbon."

Judy

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pace was just right. I appreciated being able to stay in the first hotel for a longer period of time to get acclimated. Our foursome was able to experience Sintra. I am looking forward to another Rick Steves Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Grape Stomping was my favorite "WOW" moment. Our group had excellent timing to have arrived during this harvest time. Theresa, our guide and part of the "wine owner family" made the process of making wine "come alive". She asked if we would like to stomp grapes and my hand shot up. After we donned our shorts and shirts. When I saw the depth of the grapes in the vat, I had some concern. Being one of the shortest women in the group, if not the shortest, I got wet up to my clavicle! Just kidding"

Mary

Orangevale, CA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fabulous from start to finish! Our tour guide, Maria Jose, couldn't have been more knowledgeable, made sure we were having a wonderful time. She was warm, and provided "special touches" along the way. I was very pleased to be a part of a tour group of strangers that quickly became a cohesive, caring group. I went to Portugal with little knowledge of the country, and culture. I came away with fantastic memories, and an appreciation of this beautiful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very hard to narrow down to one moment as each day was so special. I must say, though, that grape stomping in the Douro Valley was a once in a life time experience!"

Karen

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a fabulous tour which covered everything we wanted to see and more. Very well done. I wouldn't change a thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several moments for me, Cork farm, Ceramic factory, Fado, but to pick one, it would be the winery tour, stomping the grapes, followed by a fabulous lunch. The Quinta Santa Eufemia (family) were absolutely warm and welcoming. It was a wonderful afternoon. I do have to mention the Rovisco-Garcia family, (Cork Farm). They were phenomenal. So gracious and warm. I felt like part of the family."

Deborah

Centennial, CO

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. The land cost of this tour per day vs. other tour companies I have travelled with was more expensive and I was underwhelmed. The sights and transportation were very good, the hotels were average with accommodations in Nazare and Coimbra less than expected (small room size, dark, noisy), the food was average, unlimited wine at dinner was appreciated, use of "whispers" was very good, and the tour guide, although very nice, was average.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stomping grapes in the Duoro valley was something I'll never forget."

Maria

Redlands, CA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All the people on the tour were very nice and non complainers. The guide , Christina, was extremely knowledgeable tho a bit wordy. Christina went out of her way to accommodate us! She even arranged a grape stomping activity which was very entertaining. This was my 6th tour with your company and so far it's my favorite!! I think an extra day in Lisbon would have been in order since all the days there were pretty packed with activities allowing us little free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Porto Entering the room in the old stock exchange building where dignitaries are entertained"

Olga

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great! Some wonderful surprises along the way. I loved all the historical facts about Portugal. Enjoyed the group time but also had fun exploring the towns and villages on my own, with family or with new friends that I met on this tour. Gulbenkin museum, Porto Art Museum and Fatima are not for everyone. Too long staying at these locations for some tour members. Members who weren't Catholic didn't care about Fatima, so it was time wasted for them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm tour and lunch, I felt as if our tour group became special guests for the afternoon. Grape stomping and lunch at the Douro winery. The stomping was all on harvest timing, an added bonus. I loved exploring each town during the times on my own. Cristina helped with planning a birthday celebration for my sister-in-law."

Kathy

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great itinerary, an awesome guide, fun activities, but the hotels...really?! The 3-star hotels were terrible! I won't be doing any more tours until the hotels are upgraded. Noone wants a noisy room, a dirty room or a room that's one step up from a hostel! FIX this - it's a problem! PS This is our 4th tour and several of the hotels on each tour are always terrible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far it was the grape-stomping in the Douro Valley - so darn fun and Cristina was the leader of the fun! Also loved the lunch at the cork farm. These are the things that are so fun when traveling with a group."

Jacqueline

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Christina did a wonderful job as our tour leader. Her experience paid off and appreciated her sense of humor. When I needed her the most in getting a separate room for me, she came to the rescue! I paid extra and it was worth it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"stomping grapes and the family lunches and dinners."

Maggie

Stratford, ON

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

I thought the your poorly conceived and badly organized, and the tour guide the worst I have travelled with in many years of taking group tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the cork farm and enjoying the incredible hospitality of the owners"

Kathy

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the grape stomping. The family owned winery was very special and the meal they prepared for us was excellent, along with all the wine and port tasting. Plus it was my birthday and they had made a wonderful orange cake for me. So special. loved the accordian playing and the drum beat to our grape stomping. The other highlight was the cork farm. The different family members sat at our tables making it a very special event"

Christine

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful trip - Maria was a wonderful guide who showed us her beautiful country, and brought the history of Portugal to life. The Douro Valley was so beautiful! We enjoyed a LOT of great wine, delicious meals, clean and comfortable hotels, and, as always, Rick Steves travelers are an interesting group ... I know I've made a few new friends that I'll be staying in touch with!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard because there were many things I'll never forget, but my favorite moment was stomping grapes at the Eirados Winery on my birthday! It was such a hoot, unforgettable really! The family sang and had a cake with candles ... might have been the best birthday since I was 10!"

Mary

Waterford, CA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Knowledgeable guide, fascinating travelers, evocative sights, wine, port, conversations, & sharing a fanominal experience! Extraordinary experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most memorable moment was looking down into Roman ruins & wondering what life must have been like for the people who existed at that time!"

Christopher

San Luis Obispo, CA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All great - diversity of experiences, amount of free time, pace, large comfortable bus, group restaurants, winery lunches, etc. Maria did a fantastic job - as did all the guides - of communicating history, advising trip plans, and listening. The group itself was an interesting mix of geographic and background - very easy going - always on time - fun to talk with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough call - many of them - but probably both Fado evenings - although the grape stomping deserves honorable mention status."

Michelle

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The variety of options and sights in the various stops was very nice. We especially enjoyed the Quinta Santa Euphemia experience. Maria did a lovely job explaining the sights and history, and was very helpful over all. The group of people on this tour was one of my favorites so far. Everyone got along, helped out, was on time and had lots to share. Truly delightful folks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour thru the Douro Valley was breathtaking. The views, the history, the towns...just lovely."

Bonnie

East Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific and well thought out route to include most interesting places in Portugal

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing gold leaf in churches, etc. knowing the the country has high level of poverty. Looking over the beautiful Douro Valley!!!! Cork and the many uses other than for wine bottles"

Margaret

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Maria was an excellent tour guide! Very knowledgable ! She really took care of us but also was very calming! Most of our group were experienced travelers! The hotels were very nice! I felt we had more time and not as hectic as Spain last year! I want to return to Portugal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many WOW moments !!! But enjoyed Porto! All of it!"

Brian

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great overview of Portugal from a guide that loves her country and is fun as well as organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the farm visits, cork and port and the city of Porto."

Victor

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great cross section of Portugal from vineyards to Lisbon to smaller cities which capture the real flavor of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the cork/vineyard farm and then the porto vineyards were really special. Such custom tours that one could never do on their own. Genuinely understood so much more about the product and culture."

Barbara

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the Heart of Portugal tour and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Portugal was as beautiful as I pictured it, the food and wine were great and the people were friendly. Our tour guide Cristina was very organized, friendly and knowledgable about her beloved country and enthusiastically shared her love of Portugal with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a Roman Catholic, visiting Fatima had to be a highlight and WOW moment for me. I have heard about Fatima for most of my life and it was really something to see so many people in worship in such a beautiful setting. The churches there were beautiful and seeing that spectacular candle fire was really amazing. Seeing city of Coimbra was another WOW moment. Such a wonderful vista from the university looking down on the city."

Theresa

Colbert, WA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very enjoyable tour which offered a little bit of everything - big cities and small picturesque towns, inland cities and waterfront cities and beaches, churches, monasteries, a winery and a cork farm. We had a wonderful guide who was very competent, entertaining and provided us with little surprise treats throughout our tour. As usual, I enjoyed the interactive activities the most. Would have voted to eliminate the Serralves Museum in Porto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wows for me were the Vintage House Hotel in the Douro Valley and the people of Portugal. The Vintage House Hotel offered gorgeous accommodations in a beautiful setting. Shame we only had one night there. I found the people of Portugal to be warm and welcoming. They readily spoke English and provided wonderful service. Favorites on this tour were the visits to the cork farm and the quinta where port was produced. Other highlights of the trip were the fado performances in both Lisbon and Coimbra."

Alice

Tauranga,

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I think the main thing, for me, about a tour, is if it delivers what it states it will. This tour did do that, and I am very happy with the tour, and my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, as quite a few things wowed me, not one more than others. Perhaps the calibre of the Gulbenkian museum, and Christina's guiding through that."

Sophia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Portugal and with Cristina Duarte as my guide it made it all the more magical. She was very knowledgable on everything you would want and need to know about Portugal. Also, Christina made the experience fun with her charm, great humor and beautiful smile. In addition, she shared some personal stories that I felt really made the experience very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are many "wow" factors but the one that I would have to say is visiting the family cork farm and learning how they use many parts of the cork tree to produce not only cork stoppers but goods such as purses, wallets, you name it its all made out of cork. Also, you get to taste test the many different ports and wine that they have to offer. In addition, The farm uses a biodiversity approach on the land. They work with nature to have a balance and land that's rich in soil."

Claudia

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Portugal tour was absolutely incredible! Our tour guide, Cristina, was stellar: very knowledgable about history, geography, culture of Portugal, and most of all, had a great sense of humor. We were fortunate to have a fabulous tour group as well, which definitely enhanced the whole experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pinpoint one highlight! I treasure my experience visiting the two family owned estates - Rovisco Garcia Estates who have a cork farm, vineyards, olive groves, pine trees; and Quinta Santa Eufemia in the Douro Valley who produce amazing ports and wines. We were treated to not only tours of these incredible estates by family members, but also were served lunches on their estates accompanied by their olive oils/wines/ports."

Janet

Cottonwood, AZ

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Maria was so fun and informative. Our group really meshed and worked well together. The bus drivers were wonderful. The hotels were all clean and comfortable. The food and was wine was plentiful, cultural and very good. The most outstanding aspect was Portugal itself. It was such a beautiful country with lots of history and culture. All the Portugal people were extremely friendly and Lisbon and Porto were easy to get around in. It was a fantastic trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day in the Douro Valley was the highlight of the trip. The views of the vineyards, seeing how the Port Wine was made and the fabulous hospitality of Teresa and her family made it an extra special treat. Lunch was delicious and Teresa really opened up about her feelings about her family's estate and modern society. It was a very special day."

Larry

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Portugal was a very pleasant country to tour and our tour guide, being native to Portugal and a very good guide, made it all the more pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to the cork farm."

Nancy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

In general I enjoyed the trip but having just completed the Basque Country tour, I would say the Portugal tour was a little dry. I would have liked to have heard more cultural information instead of so much historical data while spending less time in churches (I don't object to visiting churches). I would reduce the time in Lisbon by a day and cut out the visit to the modern art museum in Porto. The trip seemed too long. Maria and all the guides were both informative and very funny.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fado in both Lisbon and Coimbra--fantastic. These are the kind of experiences that make Rick Steves tours memorable for me."

Diane

New York, NY

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Portugal Tour had an excellent balance of culture, food, monument, museum and outdoor/nature experiences. Our escort, Maria, was an excellent resource for information about all that we did, and she went above and beyond to give us the opportunity to have unusual as well as typical Portuguese experiences. I was looking for a comprehensive tour of Portugal, and this went beyond my expectations. My only regret is that it didn't last longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many, perhaps my favorite "wow" moment was the landscape of the Douro Valley. Words do it no justice; it has to be experienced."

Virginia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal was a wonderful gem that we enjoyed discovering with our excellent guide Maria. With the water and the green rolling hills, it is a beautiful country. We learned a lot of history, saw breathtaking cathedrals and other sites, ate delicious food, and met wonderful people. Every day had a surprising discovery. It was interesting to be in a country that has had austerity measures as the EU-Greece situation was being debated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trips to the cork and port farms. The tours were full of information and both dinners with the families present were so special. We could not have done this on our own. The Douro Valley was breathtaking, as was our bus drivers skillful driving on the mountain roads."

Kathleen

Richland, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first organized tour and first trip to Europe. The tour and Maria exceeded my highest expectations. There was just the right amount of free time to explore on your own, the group dinners and lunches were fun, the food delicious, the surprise treats Maria handed out from time to time just added to the overall experience. Maria was knowledgable and gave outstanding context to the sites we visited. She was calm, funny, able to deal with a diverse set of tour members. I loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Past reviewers have mentioned their wow moments as the cork farm and port stop. They definitely were, and I would agree. Also wow for me were the people of Portugal, meeting the other tour members. Just terrific."

Lorna

Kailua, HI

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was amazing and very rewarding to visit Portugal. This is the land of my ancestors so I was pleased to see how they live and the country is just so beautiful. I particularly enjoyed visiting the small towns like Evora and Alcobaca which did not have a lot of visitors. Our guide Cristina enriched the tour with her vast knowledge of the history of Portugal. I think it is great that she is also from Lisbon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have 3 "WOW" moments from the tour: Douro Valley, Fatima, and Evora. I was moved by the Holy Spirit at Fatima, I was breathless from the beauty of Douro Valley, and I loved the charm of Evora, with delicious meals at "Momentos" and "Bistro Barao." I love that the tour allowed us to mingle with the families at the cork farm and the winery. I also enjoyed the tile painting at the tile factory in Coimbra. All of these events were WOW moments for me! What fabulous memories were made here!"

Lois

Yakima, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip to Portugal was very pleasant. The people were patient, helpful, and friendly.The tour was well organized. The scenery was fantastic. The other guests on the tour were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments. I will definitely remember the great food, especially the bread and the fish. My favorite day was the day we visited the vineyard and winery in the Douro Valley."

Mina

Woodland, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was fun and educational. Christina is knowledgeable. Enjoyed having her as tour guide but the local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really enjoyed the 2 farm visits especially the hosts and the food."

Susan

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Great group. Everyone very friendly. Loved our guide Christina! Very knowledgeable and shared her passion for Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fatima. Arriving during the Sunday mass and seeing the people doing their pilgrimages. Very moving."

John

Tulalip, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A lot of history, art and culture information was given to us over the course of the tour. The special activities like cork farm, winery, and tile painting made the experience worth it. It's those things that you couldn't easily find/do on your own that make your tour company extra special. Guide was great. Only constructive criticisms are to ask for questions at frequent intervals, and think about how to get the group better engaged. I got to know a very nice couple but I'm not an introvert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm and the engaging family members that run it. The passion they had and the hospitality they provided were outstanding. The riding tour itself was okay, but it was the opportunity to engage with the family members during the ride and during lunch that made it special."

Andy

Westchester, OH

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Compared to the Basque tour the key is the guide. Our Guide for Portugal was wonderful, delightful, very knowledgable. Fransisco, our guide for the Basque tour had a terrific way to "engage" me through story and passion. Both were great tours But I would rage the Basque tour higher because of the tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments: 1. Tour of the cork farm where we met the 92 year old grandfather and 90 year old grandmother who sat with us to tell their life stories. 2. Tour of the port winery - again meeting the brothers and sisters and hearing their stories and history."

Robert

State College, PA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is an active tour, which we wanted, with plenty of walking. Except for the heat it was a great tour. Cristina was a very knowledgeable and passionate guide who knew how to pace the group. Cristina gave us the historic context and background of the sites, something many tours do not. Also enjoyed having free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm and Douro valley"

Donald

Edmond, OK

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The small tour group was perfect for this trip, however, we enjoying traveling with a mixture of English speaking nationals (i.e., UK, NZ, AUS and etc.). The large bus allowed everyone the ability to spread and not have to be assigned seating. The liberal free time allowed my wife and I to do a little more exploring, sightseeing and shopping. The option excursions were excellent and even if we chose not to purchase the excursion, we had a choice and opportunities to venture off on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping out on the patio of our hotel room at the Vintage House in Pinhoa and seeing the Douro River and the vineyard blanketed hills. We later took a one hour boat ride on the river and enjoyed it and the interaction with another couple and the boat crew."

Urania

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

In general the tour was a very good and rewarding experience particularly as we have such a wonderful tour guide, Cristina. However there are tree things that could be improve: 1) allow a little more extra time for tourist to explore in their own, full free afternoons, 2) perhaps the tour could be a little shorter 10 days rather then 12 days, it is tiring to be moving from one town to another, 3) make the tour smaller 18 maximum to better enjoy the experience with the natives. Thanks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wow moments were visiting the cork farm and the the Porto production farm as allow us to really get to places where other tourists can not go. Visiting and having lunch with those families was wonderful way to see more about how the natives lives their lives in the rural area. The food was fantastic. Also I really enjoyed visiting the Duoro Valley in Pihñao, I would have love to stay in that hotel for two nights rather than just one night as it was really a relaxing place and by the river!!"

Jonathan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything worked. It was intensified living and learning about Portugal. I have tremendous memories. I am in very good physical condition but still had difficulty with jet lag, even though my wife and I arrived 2 days early. There were times when I was tired. We could have used a little more time off, more of maybe 1 or 2 afternoons.--

Favorite "WOW" moment

"farms ....–It was as much serendipity as the planned events that made the wow. Like at the Quinta Santa Eufemia, when as the winery manager recounted the almost spooky story of the legend of the Saint, a huge gust of wind blew in through the front door and blew a large farmer doll off the shelf behind her; or when we watched the 10k race and festivities at Nazare which started and ended right in front of our hotel."

Patricia

Mt Holly Springs, PA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful...terrific guide, who was incredibly well informed, warm and personable. The tour participants were certainly enjoyable as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was absolutely floored when our wonderful tour guide, Cristina, related the story of King Pedro and Inez during our visit to in Alcobaca."

Mary

Selah, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All activities occurred on time and as described. The conditions of travel (tour guide, hotel, food, bus travel, walking tours, local guides, etc.) were all excellent. Even the weather cooperated. This trip was a good combination of pure enjoyment and education. Our guide and local guides were all very well informed and delightful in their presentations. I can't imagine a better travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I could list more than one "wow" moment, and the list would likely turn out to be all of the activities covered in the description of the twelve days. This makes me think that my overall "wow" discovery was how much I enjoyed Portugal. There is significant historical significance, beauty, diverse geography, gorgeous buildings, wonderful food, and, most especially, friendly and hard working people who make guests in their country feel welcome. Everyone should visit Portugal!"

Joseph

Mt Holly Springs, PA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was incredibly well planned, encompassing a wide variety of sites, with something of interest for everyone. The tour guide, Cristina was a walking, talking history book of Portugal. She was warm, funny and a delight. I would recommend this tour to everyone, as would my wife, Patricia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fado au Centro!!!!! and I will tell you why. Fado, which is the national song style of Portugal, is sung by men and women all over the country. But in Coimbra, at Fado au Centro, it is sung by men who are students and/or graduates of the University of Coimbra. Their singing voices are soulful, engaging and second to none. The same can be said about the talented artists who play the Portuguese and classical guitars. Their concert brings all in attendance closer to the Portuguese heritage."

Judy

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour went pretty smoothly. Everyone got along.

Carol

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My husband & I have done one Globus, four Trafalgar & one Viking River Cruise so this was a new experience going on a Rick Steves Tour. I must say I was pleasantly surprised . Our tour guide Robert was very good and full of so much information. The tour of the Cork farm was good, but perhaps a little long on the trailer ride - it would have been interesting to see how they took the cork off the trees, but the family was very gracious and welcoming to say the least.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The remains in Conimbriga - unbelievable to say the least"

Ronald

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good and enjoyable. The only part which I thought was a waste of time was the tour to the modern art museum. I enjoyed the tour of the cork farm although it was a little longer than it needed to be. It would have been nice if they demonstrated the peeling of cork bark from a tree. Also some explanation of how manufacturers made products such as purses, shoes etc. I was amazed at Robert's knowledge of Portugal's history and lifestyles.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the family winery."

Nancy

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the highlights of Portugal. I feel that I have a new appreciation for its history, it's culture, it's people and its products. The land is beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the farm experiences where we heard from the people themselves about how they work to maintain the culture of the family farm and traditions."

Martin

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th Rick Steves tour, and just as with the other three, I had a great experience. The country was awesome, my fellow tour members were wonderful, and I was able to share it all with my daughter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few, both big and small. The Duoro valley was definitely a "wow" for me. There was the perfect lunch my daughter and I had at a tiny place in Evora......I could go on and on."

Virginia

Lander, WY

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was well planned and well paced.

Michael

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip very much exceeded my expectations. Portugal is just such a fun country to visit. The people were so friendly and welcoming. Both the cities and the countryside were beautiful. The food and wine was great. And the history was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first view of the Douro Valley is definitely a "WOW" moment."

Richard

Sherwood, AR

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of Portugal ... from Lisbon north to Porto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Douro Valley and Pinhao. Enjoyed the vineyard/winery and hotel! This was the first time to post a picture on Facebook for the tour."

Jenny

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and it was wonderful. We had a great group from all over the country and some of them had been on many Rick Steves tours before! As far as the tour itself goes, everything was great from the sights to the hotels and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That a hard one because it was all excellent. Of course the farm and winery visits were amazing. The fado performances also stand out in my mind, especially the one in Coimbra with the videos playing in the background showing the inspiration for the music."

Elaine

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third RS tour and I am a fan for life. My desire to travel more often does not match my bank account. Otherwise, I would book a tour with you guys several times a year. I love how the tour offers so much free time after the tour part ends in the afternoon. Most of us take these types of "tours" because we are not tour types, but enjoy having company for those of us who travel solo. This is a first class operation all the way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, it is really hard to narrow it down. I enjoyed meeting the family who owned the cork farm and vineyard. I enjoyed the experience of meeting this sweet intimate family who made me feel like family. The 95 year old great grandpa made sure my wine glass stayed full the entire time. :)"

Payge

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It's funny; when I went to Portugal, I had a list of at least 15 places I wanted to travel to, but since I've been home, all I can remember is Portugal. I can't wait to go back to discover the places not included in the tour. This was my first time traveling on my own, and I now know that solo travel is where it's at for me. I loved the opportunity to hear the history and get a high level lesson on the country; but really appreciated the time I also had on my own to discover.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm tour was an absolute highlight. The family that hosted us was wonderful. It was such in incredible experience to be able to have home cooked meals with a local family both here as well as at the port vineyard in Douro Valley. An experience that I wouldn't have had without the tour/on a different tour I'm sure. I also loved Nazaré and Alcobaça."

Arthur

Johnson City, TN

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was informative, and we got a good overall view of Portugal. Our guide was knowledgeable and personable and willing to share her personal thoughts and life experiences living in Portugal. This was our first tour, and we felt it was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our lunch with three generations at the cork farm and lunch at the vineyard were our wow moments. Douro Valley was also beautiful."

Valerie

Downingtown, PA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it didn't disappoint. Portugal is a fascinating country. The best experience was meeting the people of Portugal, so warm and friendly!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments in each city we visited---the architecture,the countryside, the farm and winery visits."

Michele

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our family of four - me, my husband, and 2 daughters aged 18 and 22 - were part of this tour. It was perfect for us. Most mornings started at 8:30am and ended in the afternoon. This gave us the late afternoon and evening to do things on our own. About half the nights there was an evening activity and half we were on our own. The people of Portugal are amazing - life can be lead very simply and wonderfully in this amazing country, and Cristina does a beautiful job of sharing it with her tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm - amazing family, Duro Valley - the very definition of peaceful, Lisbon - love that city!"

Marcia

Wilton, ME

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Cristina was a great guide. She was knowledgeable, caring, organized, sensitive to the needs of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through the vineyards/having lunch there."

Dennis

Green Valley, AZ

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour. It exceeded our expectations in all ways. The amount of information provided by Cristina and the local guides was overwhelming, but in a good way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many so I have to say that it was one long "wow". But if I had to pick one or two moments I would select the time we spent on the cork farm and the time spent at the Vineyard/winery."

Raymond

Tigard, OR

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Went to Portugal after 3 weeks in France to a) relax and b) get a taste of Portuguese Life. Did both. It was a wonderful way to spend 2 weeks and see a lesser explored corner of Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two, one on and one off tour. The on tour moment was in Batalha -Monastery of Santa María. The other, Christina arranged for me to get a private tour of some of the standing stones near Evora. Wow!!!!"

Betty

Libby, MT

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our choice of Portugal as a tour destination was a little "iffy" at first. After the trip it moves up to share the top of the list with Italy. What a beautiful old world country with real basic values of Christianity and family. We traveled as a family with our adult son, and it was nice to be in such a comfortable country. The Portuguese people are very friendly and have such a national pride and rich heritage.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The service at Fatima. We loved the tour and wine tasting at the cork farm. The Fado was wonderful and I always like the boat cruise."

Bette

Woodland, CA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group we traveled with were outstanding individuals. We had fun time with much laughter and exchange of stories about our travels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our fellow travelers were "wow" as well as the citizens of Portugal we met in restaurants. They were interesting, kind and friendly. The food and entertainment was super. Everyone should experience Portugal especially Douro Valley and the Cork Farm."

Buddy

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Portugal tour was everything we thought it would be. We wanted fewer big city stops, and more small towns or cities and countryside touring and that what this tour was. Maria made the tour special with her excellent knowledge and her organizational skills to say nothing of her attitude and personality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a tough one, but I would pick the Duoro River Valley vineyards and our visit to the winery. What a great experience."

Dick

El Macero, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour with lot's of history and visits to churches/cathedrals. Was a good mix of bigger cities and rural areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed tours and lunches with owner families at cork farm and port vineyard/winery. Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon is outstanding. Beautiful stay in Pinhao in the Douro Valley. Nice beach in Nazare. Side trip to Pena Palace in Sintra with Maria's help was very rewarding. Old University in Coimbra was wowing particularly the library. Also, visit to ceramic factory outside Coimbra was fun especially making our own tiles."

Gary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Itinerary was great; our guide was outstanding; accommodations including meals were excellent. Travel arrangements via bus were comfortable. Balance of scheduled activities and free time met our needs. Group was compatible - no eccentrics or control freaks. As "first timers" with Rick Steve's we were very impressed and are ready to sign up again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three "wow" experiences - 1) visit to the cork farm and lunch with the owners; 2) Duoro Valley - fantastic scenery and fantastic hotel; 3) Fado Central in Porto plus the time at the University Library in Porto."

Lynne

Stockton, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great mix of long days, short days, lots of walking, not so much walking, churches, museums, a book store, a library, wine tasting, fado, and ecotourism.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thoroughly enjoyed the day at the cork farm learning how the family manages the biodiversity of their property. The library in Coimbra and the bookstore 'Livraria Lello" in Porto were nice surprises."

Lisa

Pearland, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As usual we had a wonderful trip with Rick Steves' group. However, I think it would have been fine to skip the day at Fatima. We were there on a Sunday (thankfully not on the 13th) so the town was mobbed with religious tourists. The other thing I would skip was the boat cruise on the Douro river. You really can't see much because of the boat's design.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our lunch and tour of the vineyard in the Douro Valley was spectacular. Our host, Theresa? was wonderful and so enthusiastic. I also enjoyed the tractor tour of the cork farm and another wonderful lunch. The fado performances were just right...not too long but experiencing their passion for their art form was very memorable."

Daniel

Stockton, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very companionable tour buddies. Everyone was fun and engaging. No complainers. All forays were doable and nicely varied. Sites were interesting. Historical info well done. Buses and drivers excellent. Hotels generally fine. A couple were quite small.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the Douro valley by bus. Even for a central California native, an impressive wine growing region...and a great lunch with the family. #2 was the cork oak etc family farm. Such a wonderful family...and a great lunch with the family."

Marianne

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wows to select one , cork farm , the family winery and tastting party the Douro Valley is stunning!! Etc........,"

Nelda

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since 2007 we have taken six Rick Steves' Tours, & they just get better each time. We also travel a lot on our own, & Portugal was not high on our "bucket list", but it should have been! For a country the size of Indiana, it is filled with amazing history, architecture, food, & people. This tour was a perfect blend of historical sites, cathedrals, vineyards, cities, villages & learning about the people & their amazing culture. Our guide, Maria, was superb, & our tour companions were a joy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were not prepared for the awesome beauty of the drive through the Douro Valley. It should be ranked up there with Tuscany, Provence & the Alps. And, the library at Coimbra was one of those eye-opening experiences - so much history & beauty preserved in one place."

Leo

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I relunctantly agree to our Rick Steves tour thru Portugal. The country was on my wife's short list of places to visit. We're veterans of Rick Steves tours but I knew very little about this wonderful country! Wow! Maria was fantastic! The people were very friendly and eager to share with us the best of their country... their culture, their history and beautiful weather. I must admit that my wife was right once again. A great country... and Maria with Rick Steves was the best way to learn!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a "country boy," I really enjoyed the "safari" style tour of the farm in the south and the vineyard tour in the Duoro Valley. The interaction with the families provided an extra level of experience that is hard to describe. Thank you! The introduction to "Fado" was also a special part of the Portugal tour."

Joan

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first organized tour. I was relieved and pleased that everyone was respectfull of meeting times and didn't leave the group waiting. There were events we couldn't have done on our own. On the other hand there were places planned that didn't seem worth the time. The group meshed well and Cristina was knowledgeable and funny. I was surprised at the time and energy she expended helping everyone with departure plans. Having been independent travelers I wasn't expecting ths.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley. The tour of the vineyard and lunch were both well done. The hotel was one of the better ones. We were disappointed to stay only 1 night. On the other hand we stayed in Nazare 2 nights in a 3rd rate noisy hotel. This area was of limited interest."

Paul

Edina, MN

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very good tour. excellent guide. nice balance between larger cities and smaller ones. Portugal is a delightful place to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"hard to pick one. The Cork farm and lunch with the family that ran it was great. So was the vineyard tour/lunch."

Robert Burgess

Bettendorf, IA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very excellent tour guide. Interesting selection of tour stops (although I don't know how you can leave out Sintra).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fado in Coimbra."

Judith

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderfully paced: lots to see and do but also enough down time. It was a good mixture of history, music, art, and life in Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a history teacher, it was great seeing the tombs of Vasco da Gama and Henry the Navigator. I had taught about those men many times."

Debra

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful way to see Portugal for the first time. I especially enjoy the more rural areas, especially the cork farm and the Douro Valley. I spent 2 nights in Sintra before the tour and loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fancy spa hotel with the pool in the Douro Valley."

Stephanie

West Linn, OR

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome. The tour guide arranged experiences we could not have done on our own, because she has the local contacts. We especially enjoyed having a Portuguese person do the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to a family owned cork farm that included lunch hosted by the multi-generational family. Best food in Portugal."

Samuel

West Linn, OR

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great experience on this tour. It was very well organized and included visits to some fascinating sites

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing folks "walking" on their knees in Fatima as part of their religious experience."

Tom

Chico, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We travelled by bus from Seville to Lisbon following the Spain tour. Loved the hotel in Lisbon and a small family owned restaurant around the corner. The overall trip was interesting and the itinerary well thought out. Both my wife and I agreed that we would have traded an extra day in Porto for the night in Nazare. Don't know how difficult it would be to go straight on to Coimbra but that would be our suggestion. I grew up surfing so found Nazare of interest but not enough spend night.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One would certainly be eating a wonderful meal and watch a Portuguese family at the next table. Fascinating to witness their affection for each other and the joy they were having just being together. The Fado performance in Coimbra. The young university student and his accompanying musicians were very entertaining and informative. Watching Sunday mass in the open air amphitheater was moving. Skyline of Porto."

Phyllis

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The guide was positive and lively which added to the quality of our tour. At the end of our ten days with the tour I felt I'd seen the best and most interesting of Portugal. Each day had a highlight and they were varied. We love history and learned lots! But there were art tours and farm tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most fabulous was the Library tour in Coimbra. Don't miss this one!"

Melinda

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first time going on a group tour. I really enjoyed Portugal and thought the tour was very good, I learned so much about the country & saw so many interesting things. Christina was a great guide and also very fun with a great sense of humor. We had a really nice group of people who were enjoyable to be with. It was great having everything planned & taken care of. I do wish the tour groups were a bit smaller (maybe 16 at most?). I would highly recommend Portugal to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved so many things, but Douro Valley, including the winery visit with lunch and the relaxing place we stayed there were particularly memorable."

Eric

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide Maria was excellent. Knowledgeable, good sense of humor, good manager, mother hen when necessary, and very approachable with good understanding of traveler concerns. Fellow travelers were smart, interesting and interested, and gracious. Portugal was lovely, safe, and very interesting. Portuguese people were very nice, helpful, bright and smiling. Degree of activity was good for us and well described in pre-tour information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many. Favorite day was probably the Cork Farm tour day including the lunch at the estate with family members. "Wow" moment was probably the evening walk in Coimbra observing students during their annual "pre-finals" celebration."

Linda

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Maria was so good at her job that nothing could have possibly gone wrong. She showed us the beauty, history, and personality of Portugal in a manner that couldn't have been better. We loved everything about it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beauty of the vineyards in the Douro Valley was definitely a "wow" moment. Visiting the cork farm was also certainly a highlight."

Douglas

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal was a wonderful destination for us. For such a small country the options are varied: great history, beautiful architecture, stunning scenery, friendly people who often speak English, and excellent food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Douro Valley. The visit to that area was my highlight."

Rodrick

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The library in Coimbra!"

Drew

Norman, OK

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Praise first for Maria Jose. She was so kind in so many individual, personalized ways. She was very knowledgeable and conveyed her knowledge clearly and effectively. She was so clear in information and instructions about the daily "tasks" of the tour. She was wonderful. Portugal exceeded my expectations in every regard -- its history, its monuments, its historical sites (churches, monasteries), its landscapes, its people, its food. So pleased that we chose to see Portugal -- a gem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two "wow" experiences: The library at the University of Coimbra. Incredible beauty, intellectual significance, and unique protection of the books from insects by using bats living in the library. The monastery at Alcobaca. Like the library, incredible beauty, historical significance, and unique insights into the history of Portugal. Not to be missed."

Kathleen

Norman, OK

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded our expectation of a group tour. We were treated well and were given clear instructions and information. Problems were taken care of quickly. We loved the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The library in Coimbra was a wow moment. I have to say the Duro Valley was up there in satisfaction."

Jim

Moscow, ID

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We personally enjoyed that Portugal was less touristy, and the majority of towns visited were relatively small. Daily there was a wide variety of experiences scheduled (cork farm, wineries, monasteries, college town of Coimbra, pilgrimage site of Fatima, cathedrals, coastal town of Nazare, variety of local guides). The guide (Maria) was very knowledgeable, personable, well organized, and very willing to help--we enjoyed her thoroughly. We were pleased with the variety of accommodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Fatima, with the masses of people walking for days to get to the May 13th celebration, and feeling the energy and faith...experiencing mass along with the singing, is a moving experience. The Duora Valley, with spectacular views of vineyards covering steep hillsides overlooking the river below. Experiencing the 9 day end-of-school year celebration, in the college town of Coimbra, is a very unique, crazy and yet fun to see (unless one wants to get a good night's sleep)."

Barbara

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Imbedded in the sites, was a new appreciation for the culture, food, and people of Portugal Travel companions were fun and interesting

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coimbra ---the library at the school. It was totally amazing Dazzling Oceanside of Nazare"

Kelly

Sequim, WA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Being our first Rick Steves' tour, we had nothing to compare with. The 12 days went by quite quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery Quinta Santa Eufemia in the Doura Valley. Seeing this family in operation is amazing. The lunch and wine they served was even more amazing. When people have asked us about the tour, that seems to be shared each time."

Mary

Eagle, ID

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour, the tour guide, the tour group and the country of Portugal all added up to a fantastically wonderful time! This is our 7th Rick Steve's tour and the 7th time that we loved learning about a new country, meeting locals, eating the food, drinking the wine, all orchestrated by a talented and personable tour guide, Cristina. We have never been disappointed and that did not end with this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the cork farm, walking through the land, eating lunch with the family and having them answer all our questions. But equally as wonderful was the port vineyard in the Duoro Valley! The families love of the land, wine, port and traditions shone through in everything they did. The Portuguese people were warm and welcoming. And let's not forget watching the ladies in Coimbra hand painting ceramics...and then we got to try our hand at it! Great fun! And the fado performances!!! Great!"

John

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A tie between the Cork Farm tour and the Duoro Winery tour. The Fado dinner was very fun."

Jonathan

Maitland, FL

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The most enjoyable group I've met so far on any tour I've taken. This group was very compatible. Our guide, Christina was extremely knowledgable, extremely helpful and just plain fun to be with. Her intimate knowledge of every place we visited added a great deal of value to our experience, Hotels were excellent and the food was even better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Nazare the locals were wearing traditional costumes at a festival on the waterfront. At the same time fisherman's wives were drying and selling the day's catch on the beach. In the streets back off the beach the seafood restaurants put their offerings on display and the clams in one of the pans were so fresh that they were squirting water!!!"

Dolph

Locust Grove, GA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour .The itinerary exposed us to cities and some out of the way places. Portugal is such a beautiful place. Our guide Christina took excellent care of us and was knowledgeable on a breadth of subjects. The travel group was fun and there was always someone with to share the experience. Although we had a day of rain ,it did not hamper the things we had planned to do . Overall it was a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through the Douro Valley and seeing the vistas of vineyard and olive trees was truly spectacular."

Margaret

Locust Grove, GA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide Christina was excellent! The visit to the cork farm and port making winery were highlights and added a very personal touch to the trip. We were the first group to have a tour of the tile factory. Seeing the process first hand provided a very memorable experience and gave us all a keen appreciation of the artistry and work that goes into making their beautiful ceramics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to the Douro Valley was amazing. The views provided some of the most spectacular scenery I've ever seen. Being in the countryside is always my favorite part of any trip and the images and pictures from this area will stay with me forever."

Darwin

Eagle, ID

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first meeting with our tour guide Christina and the other tour members we knew this would be a great trip. Christina was such a joy to be around, very knowledgeable about her country, a genuinely good hearted person who is fun loving and a little saucy! This was our 7th Rick Steve's trip and this group of tour members seemed to jell very well from the first night's meeting to the end of the trip, which makes these trips all that more memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment was really three on this trip: 1: The cork farm visit including a wonderful lunch and great wine tasting 2: The Port vineyard tour & visit including lunch and great Port & wine tasting 3: The ceramic factory tour (was the first time it was offered) and was informational, interesting to see how everything is hand made, and the highlight was painting our own tiles and having them delivered to us at our last stop in Porto"

Weather

Portugal / Lisbon

Portugal Weather

Planning Tips

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.

Trip Resources

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

Transportation

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.

Many 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. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Lisbon and out of Porto ("multi-city" on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Portugal. Lisbon and Porto both offer good transportation options, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

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 to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Portugal before your tour begins, use the 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 the 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: Port Wine Institute, Museum and School of Portuguese Decorative Arts, 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 the Rick Steves Portugal guidebook for more details.

Packing

For advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick's packing tips.