• Lisbon
  • Monument to the Discoveries, Belém district, Lisbon, Portugal
    Lisbon's Belém District
  • Roman Temple, Évora, Portugal
    Roman Temple in Évora
  • Cork farm, Alentejo region, Portugal
    Cork Farm Visit
  • Óbidos, Portugal
    Óbidos
  • Nazaré
  • Cistercian Monastery in Alcobaça
  • Fado Performance
  • Douro Valley, Portugal
    Douro Valley
  • Port Tasting
  • Port wine boats along Cais da Ribeira, Porto, Portugal
    Porto

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

Heart of Portugal in 12 Days Tour

from $3,195 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $625

See Tour Dates

Starting in lively Lisbon and ending in proud Porto, our Heart of Portugal tour 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

2018

2019

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 22 group sightseeing events • Lisbon walking tour • Fado performance • São Jorge Castle • Monastery of Jerónimos • Monument to the Discoveries • Gulbenkian Museum • Évora walking tour • Olive oil tasting • Cork farm • Alcobaça Monastery • Nazaré day trip • Batalha's Monastery of Santa María • Fátima • Conímbriga Roman ruins and museum • Coimbra University tour • Coimbra musical performance • Port wine tasting and lunch • Porto panoramic bus tour • Porto food tour • Douro River cruise (weather permitting) • Porto walking tour • Porto's Stock Exchange Palace…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 2018
  • 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 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 of 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 hour. 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 hours. 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 hours. 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 on your own. Bus: 2 hours. 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. This afternoon, our destination is Portugal's historic capital of Coimbra, where we'll tour the city'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. We'll end our day with dinner together in the heart of the Old Town. Sleep in Coimbra (2 nights). Bus: 2 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Classic Coimbra

This morning we'll journey back to Portugal's ancient Roman past, wandering the evocative remains and perfectly preserved mosaics of once-prosperous Conímbriga. The rest of your day will be free back in Coimbra 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. Bus: 1 hour. 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 with all evening free to relax and watch the sun set over the Douro River. Sleep in the Douro Valley (1 night). Bus: 4 hours. 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. After checking in to our hotel, a savvy guide will show us how to explore the city through our taste buds with a sampling of delicious local cuisine, teaching us about history, architecture, and culture along the way. We'll end our day with a relaxing cruise on the Douro River (weather permitting). Sleep in Porto (2 nights). Boat: ¾ hour. Bus: 3 hours. 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 São Francisco, 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-wine lodge. This evening we'll enjoy a final dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Saúde! No bus. Walking: strenuous.

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 (possibly several blocks) 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

Gail

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fatima was just amazing. She planned and included so many " extras" and special experiences for us. She truly is a wonderful ambassador for her country and made my trip an encounter with not only Portugal but also the culture and people. Quintessential Rick Steves style!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Cork farm was amazing and a real insight to the farming challenges of these people."

Chris

Davenport, FL

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided an excellent view of two thirds of central and the northern portions of Portugal. Personally my wife and I could not have taken in all sites that we encountered. There were times that I felt I was being bombarded by history and other times being left out as in the period of the Inquisition. Having the oppertunity to tour the market in Alcobaça was an outstanding chance to take in the day to day life. The side trip to Tomar was an unexpected wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the Douro Valley and walking among the vineyards where the port is produced. When you look out on the terraced steps and take in the amount of labor required to produce the port from there you truly begin to appreciate the love the Portuguese have for their country. Second was the food and wine tour of Porto. It was obvious the pride of their city on display."

Conrad

Newport, OR

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall an excellent experience with the people & culture of Portugal. The greatest asset of any country is the people & the Portuguese are exceptionally gifted in caring about their lives & the lives of visitors. A very warm and vibrant cultural experience. The pace & variety was very well organized & the quality of Fatima's guiding & all the local guides was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley visit & the cork farm really stand out for me. The wow factor was the extremely caring people."

Larry

Wilsonville, OR

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina was a wonderful guide, with encyclopedic knowledge of places, history, and current Portugal. Her humor and her passion for Portugal and all of humanity were truly treasures that she shared at all times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cristina's talk about the history of navigation that featured the Portuguese navigators in the late 1400s and early 1500s--things that in the United States were never shared in any of my history classes."

Hugh

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We certainly did much more and saw more than we would have on our own. Moreover, the group was most congenial--and we were impressed how many Rick Steves tours they had been on. We agree that the amount and nature of the walking was relatively demanding though that was due particularly to the country; Portugal is a hilly country (particularly the cities of Central and Northern Portugal). The tour might consider an extended visit with a family, as OAT arranges--although one or two of the session

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from the Douro Valley area."

William

Hertford, NC

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was well organized and comprehensive. Tour guide was very knowledgeable about her country and was always a source of entertainment and got along well with the travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the cork farm and having an excellent lunch and wine tasting. Food tour in Porto was also very well done and I think travelers are looking for this experience."

Robert

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good group to be with. Efficiently coordinated. Optimal pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Particularly enjoyed the winery visit and luncheon in Douro Valley, and the evening spent at the family estate that evening."

Maria Rosa

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a very good time ... we saw a lot because of the tour, we could not have achieved what we achieved on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Quinta of the Rovisco Garcia family, cork trees, olive trees, vinyards and lunch!! Same with the Quinta Santa Eufemia. Excellent!"

Elsa

Glen Allen, VA

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was a good tour, but I don't think I will do it again, It was very tiring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we visited the cork farm. The family was delightful."

Nicanor

Glen Allen, VA

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a good tour that provided us the opportunity to see a variety of places. Some unique like the cork farm, other times wonderful views, like Nazare and the Douro valley. Very interesting places like Evora but other times the choices were not of my liking like Obidos, very difficult to negotiate and little to see except for the wall. Coimbra was not a well planned visit. The bus tour of the city didn't provide much to see and the university became a long never ending visit. Porto excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Doury valley amazing views one after another. The church in Evora with all those skulls in the walls."

Patricia

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

see info at the end

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the Roman ruins and the Sunday visit to Fatima."

Natalie

Canfield, OH

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I are very busy and work a great deal. We love international travel, but we don't have the time to plan the details that coincide with a multi-city country experience. We have been curious about Portugal for some time, and we enjoyed our first Rick Steve's tour in 2017, so we thought another tour with RS - especially one to Portugal would be perfect. This trip was beyond our expectations - we loved the mixture of culture, history, great food and a wonderful guide and group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's really hard to pinpoint a favorite "wow" moment - there are so many! My husband loved the Fado performances and enjoyed hearing the difference between the Fado in Coimbra, which is sung by male performers versus our Lisbon performance/dinner in which females were the entertainers. I loved the visit to the cork farm and also the relaxing day in the Duoro Valley - it was a dream come true! The trip to the ceramics factory was also fun and provided a glimpse into the detail of the craft."

Debra

Suisun City, CA

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the beauty of the land and citizens of Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Obidos and seeing the beautiful procession celebrating The Lady of Fatima and visiting Fatima the next day. As we entered the area of the Basilica you could hear the choir singing and then we off loaded the bus witnessing and participating in Sunday mass."

Beverly

West Linn, OR

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Portugal is a beautiful country and our tour guide Maria made it even better.

John

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything I hoped for and more

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the cork plantation"

Eileen

Tigard, OR

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very enjoyable tour, hitting many of the highlights of this lovely, interesting country. Lisbon has many wonderful sites to see and choose from. Loved Obidos and Evora and the farm/winery tours to the cork, especially, and port farms with their delicious home-cooked meals. The Douro Valley was beautiful and the Hotel Rural Casa dos Viscondes Da Varzea where we stayed was spectacular! All the hotels were in good locations with easy, walking access to the best areas of the cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The estate hotel in the Douro Valley was so beautiful and photogenic! It was wonderful to just wander at leisure and enjoy the beauty. The cork farm tour was really interesting and informative and the lunch was delicious!"

Joan

Cold Spring, MN

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour surpassed my expectations. Thoroughly enjoyed our tour guide and the participants on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gin Ja in chocolate cups"

Carolyn

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wow moments! Here are just a few: visiting a family-owned working cork farm and getting to know family members as we ate a homemade lunch together; viewing the art collection in Lisbon's Gulbenkian Museum; seeing the university library in Coimbra (and the prison below!); touring an old family estate and winery and sampling their port; exploring the magnificent Douro Valley estate where we spent the night; and gaping at the tiles in the Stock Exchange Palace in Porto."

Marilyn

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I'm a "my way" tour fan. But I was glad to have as much free time as we did, and the guide did not seem to mind when I opted out of one museum visit which was of no interest to me, and the second fado experience. Other people opted out of things as well. As long as the guide is informed and no one inconvenienced, it seems to me you can adjust the tour schedule to fit your needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorites were visitng the cork farm and the beautiful Douro valley"

Thomas

Cold Spring, MN

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and our tour guide was excellent. The accommodations were better than expected. Included dinners were high quality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gin Ja in chocolate cups!"

Jeffrey

Monroe Township, NJ

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth trip with Rick Steves, and while we enjoyed the others immensely, we absolutely loved the Heart of Portugal Tour. We cannot say enough positives about the the itinerary,sites and hotels and country. However what truly made our tour superlative was our outstanding guide, Fatima. She showed unbridled enthusiasm and passion for her country, and her knowledge was limitless. She was kind, considerate and always full of wonderful surprises for all of us traveling with her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Shrine at Fatima. We arrived on a beautiful sunny day during mass, and while not of the Christian faith, we were profoundly moved by the mass, the return of Our Lady to her chapel with the people waving goodbye to her with white handkerchiefs, and the devotion of the people present."

Jeffrey

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fatima was so well liked that we surprised her with a song composed just for her. (She has video.) This group bonded best I have ever seen-credit to Fatima again. Stayed healthy and completed all tour activities. Drivers excellent; local guides very good. Good mix of accommodations. I was only tour participant to swim in the pools at 2 locations-beautiful salt water pools, my favorite. Included meals generous & excellent. Easily found good unincluded dining. Great weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tie: Obidos + medieval dinner dance. Coimbra Fado. The second singer had operatic level skill. Roman temple in Evora. Barnacle "snack" in Nazare."

Cecily

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From Lisbon on this tour opened new avenues of knowledge for me. An extremely knowledgeable guide & bus driver gave an unsolicited comfort factor to the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt favorite day was that spent at the cork farm. Opened up a whole new world & the hosts knew their business and imparted it with wit."

Phil

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I always start RS tours with an open mind. I want to be surprised, and I was not disappointed. Portugal was a pleasant surprise because of its unique culture, varied history, and beautiful landscape. Or tour guide (Fatima) could not have been better. She was passionate about Portugal and well informed. She also went above and beyond to make the tour enjoyable. I had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but I have to give it to the visit to the cork farm. It's a kind of farming unlike anything in my experience. The owners/hosts were wonderful people who are dedicated to their work and the sewardship of the land and it's resources. Also, the lunch they served us, as well as the conversation during lunch, was fantastic."

Elizabeth

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group was terrific. Loved Portugal and the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the two farm experiences the most. The cork farm was a wonderful lesson in long-term land management for sustainability. The vineyard experience showed a family of hard working women facing the challenges of a complex crop, employees, sales and marketing."

Bruce

Holmdel, NJ

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One word describes this particular tour experience FABULOUS

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley was just beautiful. The day at the cork farm interacting with the family was both educational and inspiring!"

James

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful survey of Portugal. I cannot imagine how this tour could have been better. I felt there was a perfect balance of tour and personal time. We got a nice feel for most of the important regions of Portugal in just 12 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved everywhere we went, and everything we saw. My "wow" moment was visiting the Basilica in Fatima during mass on Pentecost Sunday which was deeply moving. I also found the Douro Valley to be very beautiful, and a place I would love to return to. Obidos was very charming with wonderful "hidden" cafes and shops. I loved our tours to the Cork Farm, Pottery Factory, and vineyard."

Judie

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour, and our first tour of any type. We had always previously used the RS guidebooks and traveled independently. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but we had the most wonderful time. Portugal is an amazing country. Our tour was well paced, and allowed us some independent time to enjoy people watching, which we love. Our group was very compatible- no grumps! But what made the tour so incredible was our fabulous guide, Fatima. She is a jewel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We arrived at Fatima during Sunday mass. The courtyard was filled with worshipers and the choir was broadcast to all. It was a very moving moment, especially at the conclusion of the service when the faithful waved their white handkerchiefs as the image of Fatima was returned to her chapel. We are not Catholic, but are people of faith. This was an unforgettable experience. We credit our guide, Fatima, for her incredible timing managing our arrival."

Lynne

Monroe Township, NJ

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on several prior Rick Steve's tours but this tour was outstanding. Portugal far exceeded the expectations we had. The country is beautiful and the people are so friendly. However, it was our tour guide Fatima that made this such a memorable trip. She is so knowledgeable about her country, the history and customs. She is energetic, enthusiastic, funny, full of surprises and made you feel like you were her family. She is a true gem and a shining star.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments but the two that stand out for me are the Duoro valley and our trip to Fatima. When we arrived there was a mass taking place outside. The choir was singing. It was truly a very uplifting spiritual experience."

Jackie

Pass Christian, MS

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Portugal tour was fantastic. A wonderful group of people to travel with helped make it memorable. I want to thank Fatima, our tour guide, for sharing the love for her country with us. Her passion was contagious. I enjoyed Lisbon and Porto's amazing Fado music and all the history we learned about a country that survived under a dictatorship and is now flourishing. But my most favorite parts were all the small towns and villages we visited and were able to experience the true Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the town of Fatima on Pentecost Sunday and being able to attend the Sunday Mass service out in the open with hundreds of other travelers was an overwhelming experience. What a true feeling of Christianity at work. Also our bus ride through the Douro Valley seeing all the terraced rows and rows of grape vines on the majestic hillsides was truly a picture I won't forget."

Mary

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Portugal was my favorite trip of all of the 15 I have taken so far. It was a surprise every day. From the frenetic energy and sweeping views of Lisbon to the peaceful valley and pretty town of Evora to the great little coastal town of Nazare and the barnacles to gorgeous Coimbra and tile painting to the stunning Douro Valley and ending in the fun town of Porto....it was a delight every minute. Loved learning about the rich history of Portugal

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley took my breath away with its sweeping terraced vineyards. But I was stunned by our experience at Fatima where the mass was going on just as we arrived. Watching all of the faithful waving a white flag to Our Lady as she was brought back to her home base was very moving. Lisbon was so full of fun. People, views, lovely neighborhoods. Hearing the story of Francisco's family having to leave their cork farm after the dictatorship ended was also very moving."

Wendy

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was curious to revisit Portugal to see some familiar places as well as places I hadn't visited since 1974-75. The trip far exceeded my expectations. We were able to have experiences that wouldn't have been possible on our own. Our guide, Fatima, was beyond marvelous. Her knowledge and love of her country helped us experience the history, beautiful scenery, wonderful food and wines, and congenial people in a special way. I highly recommend this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among my favorite "wow" moments were visiting the market and learning about Pedro and Ines in Alcobaca, touring the cork forest and estate of the Rovisco Garcia family and having lunch with family members, exploring the Douro Valley and visiting the Quinta de Sta. Eufemia and dining with family members, enjoying fado in Lisbon and Coimbra. However, staying at the Hotel Real d'Obidos and participating in the Renaissace fete arranged by Fatima and Miguel probably wowed me most."

Ronald

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip even though it was the largest group we have had with a Rick Steves' tour. Our tour guide was responsive and informative. Our hotels were much better that expected and centrally located. It was nice to have wine included with our group meals, since wine is so much a part of the culture of Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the winery in the Duoro Valley. Beautiful views with the river below."

Janet

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed the variety of tours. Enjoyed Robert's ability to convey the historical stories that took place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to the process of making port wine. Visiting Fatima,"

Colleen

Laytonsville, MD

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much.. Robert is a wonderful guide. He loves his job and it shows. We had a great group of people.

Johanna

Pacific Palisades, CA

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband John and I had not been to Portugal previously. As a result of this outstanding tour, we now have a good understanding of the history of Portugal , as well as current affairs in the country. Our guide Robert, supported by local guides, was the key to making this trip "come alive" and become one of our all time great Rick Steves tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many great moments that it's impossible to pick just one. We loved the two Fado performances, the Porto food tour, the cork farm tour, and the vineyard tour plus lunch with the extended family to name just a few."

Carol

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our 7th RS tour. It lived up to our expectations in every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After 6 tours we had an idea what a RS hotel is. The Portugal hotels were so far above the norm it was stunning. It was fun to stay in such luxury. The breakfast buffets were amazing. No, we won't expect this on future tours. We assume it was a confluence of early season and cheaper country and rapid increase in hotel supply."

Nina

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about our tour. Cristina was an incredibly thoughtful, prepared guide. There was incredible variety of activities. Everything thing was so well organized from transportation to scheduling to accommodations. Loved the city tours, cork farm, winery, tile factory, Food tour of Porto. So many opportunities we would not have found on our own. Our tour mates were especially congenial, friendly & thoughtful. Loved talking to people from all over the states.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were SO many! Fatima, cork farm, winery tour, churches, museums., Roman ruins. Each activity seemed to surpass the last."

Donald

Arden, NC

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Grandfather was born in Portugal around 1880 and this was my first trip there. It was fascinating to learn and see things that my Dad and Grandfather would talk about while growing up. As a Gloucester Mass fisherman my grandfather would always talk about fishing off the Grand Banks in Canada and Codfish. Experiencing Portugal and my heritage with Cristina was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow factor for me was the trip and stay in Douro Valley. It was truly amazing, worth the whole trip."

Diana

Poway, CA

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a busy and interesting tour with an excellent guide! And, many thanks go to all the wonderful tour buddies with which we had the pleasure of traveling...just the kind of group that we have come to appreciate on RS tours. Some of the tour highlights for me were: the cork farm visit; Obidos; Roman Coimbriga, the Fado performances, the Douro Valley winery, and the Gulbenkian Museum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm visit and lunch was an excellent activity. It was just the type of experience that we appreciate in RS tours. Meeting the family, sharing a meal with them in their home on the farm, and learning about their business was a priceless experience."

Katherine

Arden, NC

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour ever so somewhat nervous to be led around, etc. Could not have been more pleases. And can't wait to try again. We picked Portugal because Great Grandfather Santos came from here. My husband could see his family roots. Wonderful tour guide, Cristina, could not have been more energetic or informative.

Robert

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Comfortable, informative, fun, well planned. Excellent tour guide. Good interesting meals. Beautiful hotels. Comfortable bus with very skilled driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm and vineyard."

Dannette

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a good mix of city & countryside, with a great group of interesting, engaged fellow travelers. Excellent food & wine & hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One thing that was part of the tour & one thing that wasn't: The Fado concert in Coimbra really transported me into the Portuguese psyche. After our tour in Evora, we went to a tremendous museum exhibit of nativity scenes that captured an unimaginable array of artistic views on parenthood, as well as the religious aspects of the Nativity. It was a brilliant and very moving collection."

Avrum

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Chapel of the Bones in Evora. The concept is creepy, but the execution is inspired. Being surrounded by artfully arranged bones encourages a person to think about mortality."

Dennis

Mulino, OR

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to begin? An amazing streak of fabulous weather. A firecracker native guide with a gifted knowledge of Portugal's history and place in the world. A compatible group of travelers from all across the country who got along well with each other. The overlooked and underrated beauty of the country and the friendliness and helpfulness of its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Duoro Valley must have been divinely sculpted by God, on the day we all thought he was resting."

James

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina was amazingly outstanding. Her depth of knowledge and passion for Portugal made the trip spectacular. The tour of the cork oak farm and the Rovisco Garcia Vineyard were truly highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow was the people on the tour. Friendly and fun."

Grace

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the combination of history, scenery, and experiences such as the cork grove tour. Interacting with local land owners who owned their own business gave the tour a personal feel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a particular "wow" moment-enjoyed it all."

Tomie

Eugene, OR

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good, and a suggestion would be to have better diversity. Understanding that a tour is about the culture of the country, we realize that the religious system was a big part of Portugal's history. But I think that we had a couple too many churches, basilicas, and monasteries. The time would be better spent perhaps by having local interactions with the people, both young and old, of Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying on the estate in Lamego. It was fantastic, peaceful and beautiful. We all needed a rest and being there, even for only one night, was great."

Elaine

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Beautiful country. The up and down streets on cobblestones were difficult for me. It was difficult for me to walk up and down streets on cobblestones. The hill towns were very picturesque. The Portuguese were very nice and helpful. It seemed quite repetitive visiting all the churches and once monasteries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro valley."

Monica

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour guide leading us thru Portugal. I so enjoyed the food tour of Porto and cork luncheon and wine tour and luncheon in Douro valley.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coimbra university tour"

Arnie

Edmond, OK

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As usual, the RS tours are run very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm"

Douglas

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking note of the hills in Lisbon. "Steep" is putting it mildly."

Sue

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour, I was pleasantly surprised how beautiful it was. I did feel like we saw too many churches and didn't have as much free time as on other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite day was visiting the cork farm. It was very interesting, and informative as well as fun and a delicious lunch."

Sally

Irvine, CA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The history of the country is very interesting. Perhaps it was the weather, but I was a little underwhelmed with the city of Lisbon. Fortunately, we came a couple of days early and saw Sintra and other surrounding historic sites. I think you should consider adding Sintra and omitting the trip to the castle in the city of Lisbon. I most enjoyed the cork farm, Evora, port making tour and the Duoro Valley - Vintage House Hotel in Pinhao.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I could have stayed at the Vintage House Hotel in Pinhao for the rest of my life."

Charlotte

Wauwatosa, WI

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves Tour and it was everything I was led to believe it would be! The introductory materials were great. One of the most exciting aspects for me were all the extras our tour guide, Fatima, brought to the tour. In Belem she made the effort to bring us hot-out-of-the oven Pastéis de Belém. Likewise, in Evora, more traditional pastry snacks, and so it continued throughout the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments... the first is the tour of the multi-generational cork oat forest and the respect I have for the owners and their love and care for these remarkable trees, plus their home-cooked dinner and wine and olive oil tasting.The second is the visit to the tile factory to see the incredible skill of the hand painters at work. Also the opportunity to try our hand at it ourselves and bring home our own Portuguese hand-painted tile. These really felt like total immersion."

Daniel

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good information from our guide, Fatima, regarding history, current social, economic, & political status of Portugal, & of the culture in general.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm tour was excellent!"

Sarah

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour filled w/exceedingly well-traveled, interesting people. Since we had few real "expectations," the tour easily exceeded them. We hit 2 holidays + graduation in Coimbra (WILD); museums were closed in Lisboa on May Day, sadly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was not expecting the sidewalks to be covered in calcada, and so the entire country was a wow moment for me The tiled buildings were stunning and also made walking around everywhere a "wow" moment. My MOST "wow" moment was the Chapel of Bones in Evora. I had absolutely no context into which to put seeing this or understanding of the impulse behind its creation. Fascinating. Loved the Porto Food Tour! Loved the library in Coimbra!"

Zephron

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

well organized tour and Fatima was a very good tour guide. Interesting to see the pilgrims walking to Fatima. Very interesting geography and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Duro Valley. Tour of Gulbenkian Museum"

Glen

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was hoping to learn about Portugal's history, culture, and food, and my goals were met. Beautiful country and people. Such a long history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps visiting the cork tree farm and having lunch."

Mark

Flagler Beach, FL

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the History, culture and diverse landscapes of 'little' Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really loved the Cork farm tour and lunch and the Spectacular setting at the lovely hotel in the Douro Valley."

Richard

Richmond, VA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through the Douro Valley. Wow!"

Susan

Needham Heights, MA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first was our first RS tour and exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was well thought out; however, there was too much free time in Nazarre - not much to do or see. If we hadn't been traveling on to Batalha later in the afternoon, it would have been a boring day. Also, not much to see in Regua, but the afternoon of rest was welcomed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Rovisco Garcia estate visit. We learned so much about the agriculture, what it takes to operate an estate, and what eco-friendly innovations have been used to sustain the business. We had lunch with the son of the owner who told us about the economy of the country and what need to be done to improve it. He was a very savvy guy. The food and the wine served at the lunch were outstanding. The whole experience was wonderful, definitely not the usual tourist spot."

Wayne

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nice mix of sightseeing supplemented with free time. Many hotels on this tour were refreshingly quite upscale, and the quality of the included meals was decidedly better than experienced on any of our previous 12 RS tours (and those previous meals were fine). Distances between stops/sights were relatively short, so bus rides were, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first group dinner at Restaurante Leão d'Ouro. Beautiful restaurant, large enough so everyone could visit without shouting, and the food was wonderful. We liked happening upon the black-clad students as well, although the comment "Any friend of Zorro is a friend of mine!" was lost in translation."

William

Bloomington, IN

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nice balance of cities and countryside, of sightseeing and free time, of meals with the group and those on our own, of bus travel and staying put. Our group of 28 was larger than our other two RS tours but it was extremely compatible. We all got along wonderfully. Several had mobility limits and could not participate in longer walks and many steps. I became quite comfortable with Portugal and it's culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking out into the vineyard of the Sta Eufemia Winery with the view of the breathtakingly beautiful Doro Valley was my WOW moment. Could hear birds singing from near and far away. The sunshine felt so good - for growing grapes and for nurturing my contentment. The meal with our wonderful hostess could not have been better. And oh that delicious Port! The sustainable cork/olive oil/wine/wildlife estate was a close second. I was inspired & intrigued by their practices. Cozy lunch."

Thomas

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great introduction to the history, people and culture of Portugal.There was good mixture of tour activities and free time. Our tour guide Robert's enthusiasm for Portugal made the tour fun and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the surf at Nazare, where the world's largest wave (80 feet) ever surfed was ridden by a Brazilian surfer in November 2017. Another highlight was touring the Rovisco Garcia cork plantation."

John

Dix Hills, NY

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, well-organized itinerary, good food, good activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just an overall good tour. No real "wow moments" that stand out."

William

Apollo Beach, FL

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THIS WAS OUR FOURTH RICK STEVES TOUR. As expected, our tour mates and guide were super nice and fun to be with. very interesting sights. Hope to take another Rick Steves tour one day. Its the best

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the port wine country"

Sally

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves tour and we had a great time! Organization of each day seemed to be very good and we had just the right amount of free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the cork farm and lunch with family members was spectacular. I also loved the food tour in Porto."

Bonnie

Needham, MA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Robert brought Portugal and its culture to life for us. His intimate knowledge helped at every turn. We learned Fado music, ate great local foods for the first time like barnacles. Stayed in interesting locals and witnessed college partying the week before graduation, April 25th carnation revolution celebration, May 1st Labor Day celebration and the pilgrims at Fatima. What a rich experience! Our accommodations were superb and the visits to the cork farm and port vineyard were highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Singing together at the Fado performance in Coimbra."

Larry

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Porto"

Nancy

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The variety of sights and activities on this tour was outstanding, from the large cities of Lisbon and Porto to the quiet of Evora and Obidos. Our guide,Cristina, could not have been more friendly, well informed and sensitive to our group and its interests. Our various city guides were great as well. I feel like I've seen many sides of Portugal and have a basic appreciation of a country I knew little about before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like others, I appreciated getting to meet and hear from families running the cork farm and the port winery. These "insider" looks at what it takes to operate a successful agricultural-based business today was fascinating. A favorite moment was the fado performance in Lisbon."

Donna

Van Nuys, CA

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well planned and executed; bus rides had appropriately timed breaks, guide provided snacks of local specialties just when we needed a quick pick up after a morning of sightseeing, hotels were in great location, itinerary was perfect. It was obvious that this tour had been very well thought out and executed many times, running like a well oiled machine. However, the best part was the access we had to special experiences and tours that would never have been accessible to us on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the Douro River Valley and seeing all the terraced hillsides...breathtakingly beautiful! And I loved the tour of the Quinta followed by the delicious lunch and wine they provided."

Faye

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Impressive itinerary and guide. I am so glad that we signed up for the first tour of the season while the weather was temperate and the crowds were not overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Usually, I have one WOW moment, but on this tour the variety of experiences WOWed me."

Larry

Fox Island, WA

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina's in-depth knowledge of Portugal and life experiences made Portugal much more meaningful. She grew up in both the dictatorship and republic forms of government and could add a new dimension to the things we were seeing. The tour included special areas such as the private fado performance, and the visit to the cork ranch and lunch with the owner's family. The port wine vineyard tour in which one family has owned and operated the vineyard for numerous generations was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing the families talk about the history and challenges of operating their cork farm and port wine vineyards for more than 100 years and their challenges as the politics changed. Their struggles were hard, but successful."

Carolyn

Fox Island, WA

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was an excellent tour, covering many areas in Portugal. I appreciated the mix of cities, towns and countryside, all of them beautiful. Our guide, Christina, was passionate about sharing her country and personal experiences. we had the gift of timing in that we were in Lisbon on the Revolution Day and she explained all about that to us. She had lived under the dictatorship and her perspective was invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was blown away by the Roman ruins and all the mosaics. I couldn't believe how accessible such a treasure is to the general public. The advanced society of the Romans is always impressive and this treasure is among the best. I also loved the cork farm tour and the part wine farm tour and meeting the families and having a delicious lunch in each of those places."

Jim

Oakland, CA

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Not really knowing anything about Portugal this trip provided us a good "feel" of the country - the people, some history, cultural nuances, and topography - the land itself which always shapes the way people live.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorite moments was viewing the "Golden Gate" bridge from the castle in Lisbon. The drive thru the Douro Valley was especially scenic, the terraced hills and the river at Pinhao. At the same time, I was very disappointed that the funicular at Nazare was not working, but I know this is not your fault."

Susan

Washington, NH

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved Portugal and the Rick Steves itinerary. I especially liked the specialty visits to the port wine vineyard with lunch and the cork farm with lunch, and the food tour in Porto. Our bus driver did an amazing job of navigating the narrow roads. Cristina obviously loves her country and did a very good job showing us why. The hotels were all very good with the exception of the one in Porto. Cristina gave us excellent recommendations for restaurants on our free meal times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Evora was amazing. I loved the hotel, the evening when we got to know our fellow travelers, and the sights in the town. I also really loved the food tour in Porto. That was a "wow"."

Jane

Oakland, CA

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th Rick Steves tour, first as a single. Enjoyed all of it, got tired of churches but know that is where art is located. Liked ceramics factor tour and art museum in Lisbon. Could use a little more walking, but managed that on my own. Liked river cruise in Porto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to cork farm. Vehicle, walk, lunch all really fun."

Ken

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed the tour of Portugal. Cristina did a wonderful job as our guide, and our bus driver, Manuel, was tremendous at getting the bus around all the tight curves in the mountainous driving. Our city tour guides were excellent too. The farm and winery visits were some of the highlights of this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the visit to the winery in the Douro valley. The vistas were spectacular. The vines were just beginning to leaf out, and I was able to see how they were pruned. The wines at the winery were excellent. I was surprised by the quality of all the Portuguese wines that I tasted on the trip. The food and wine at the winery were excellent and a nice contrast to many of the restaurants that we tried. I really enjoyed the visit to the cork estate."

Christopher

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very interesting and a lot of fun. Wonderful tourmates. Outstanding tour guide (Christina). Early on, I got fatigued on some of the longer walking days, because my wheels aren't as good as they used to be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fado concert in Lisbon, followed closely by fado concert in Porto."

Diana

Bonny Doon, CA

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All was so good, Christina was warm, funny so into her country history. Just the great cork farm tour and lunch was so much fun, learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm tour and lunch!!!!"

Peg

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 04/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of a beautiful country. Upscale lodging, esp. Vintage House, M'AR DeAR Aqueduto. Excellent breakfasts (except Coimbra Riversuites, adequate, but like budget hotel fare). Tour-included lunches and food tour were superb. Consider shorter tour to Conimbriga mosaic remains, and the time at the tile factory was so-so. Christina very knowledgeable; local tour guides were pleasantly interactive, open to questions, provided focused information and explanations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pinpoint a WOW...Coimbra Univ. Library, Stock Exchange Palace, Cork Farm, moving Fatima experience, Changing of the Guard at Batalha, awesome Douro Valley. Here I must add Wow, kudos and atta-boys on Manuel's expert handling of our coach! Always a charming smile and gracious manner, too."

Rebecca

Aptos, CA

Tour: 10/16/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Christina was excellent with information for anything w a heart for her country. This country is not yet ready for tourism, tour is too long and some places and activities felt like "filler" such as the ceramic factory, Coimbriga, tractor ride (just walk!). Portugal is new to tourism and needs facelift. Some cities are depressing, run down. This ocean nation tour, needs a stay on the beach (we loved Legos), skip Evora!, another castle town (Sintra, Pena Palace, Castle of the Moors)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Batalha Monestary of Santa Maria, Library at U of Coimbra, Monestary of Jeronimos Lisbon. Wine, excellent meals, inexpensive shopping"

Richard

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/16/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Better than Spain conditions. Changing hotels quite often was nice. Just 1 light rainy day. More country environments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork forest. Wavy beaches. Pot and dishes manufacturer. The amazing bus driver."

Sue

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 10/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing guide in Christina. She made the entire tour so fun and interesting. She was just outstanding! The tour had a wonderful variety of sights both in cities and countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is difficult to answer because we loved so may things. We loved the beauty of Porto and Loved visiting the vineyard and meetig the family and having lunch in the Douro Valley."

Kristine

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 10/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a country of contrasts: coastal cities full of action and small villages with narrow streets. A history of wealth and a current situation of struggle. Tradition, customs and history are everywhere. All of this makes for a really interesting experience that is unique, interesting and educational. The tour was enough to give me a taste of what Portugal has to offer and what I want to explore next time I go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved the Douro Valley. The tour of the winery, learning about how port is made and the differences in varieties and a really fantastic lunch made it a really amazing day. The scenery is breathtaking. If I could pick a second, it would be the monastery at Alcobaca. It was stunning. All the monasteries we visited were beautiful this that one was something to see."

Jeanne

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great value for the cost considering all of the things we saw and did, the quality of hotels and meals. There was a nice balance of activities ranging from touring historically significant sites to touring a winery and a cork farm and taking a walking food tour. The variety of activities should have provided something of interest for everyone. It was a truly fun, informative, interesting, and culturally enriching tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's just so unfair to ask for one WOW moment when there are so many!!! Having to select just one, I would choose spending Sunday in Fatima just a week after the 100th anniversary of the Virgin Mary's alleged appearance to the three children. We arrived in time to observe mass being held in the huge assembly area on the plaza. Although we missed the huge pilgrimage on October 13, there were literally thousands of people there, including penitents crawling on knees seeking forgiveness."

David

Tannersville, PA

Tour: 10/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent tour with a nice mixture of large cities and small towns, churches, museums and wonderful food and wine, all augmented by an exceptional guide. Cristina's passion for her country and her descriptions of its history and culture helped to make the tour memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day had its own Wow moment: Douro valley, visits to quintas (cork and port) with the opportunity to lunch with the families who managed them, Fado concerts, Obidos, beautiful cathedrals"

Julie

Matthews, NC

Tour: 10/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour. Cristina, our guide, was a bundle of energy with an incredible knowledge of all aspects of her country. This tour was different than the other 3 Rick Steves tours we have been on, in that we moved from place to place quite often, and less walking than on the other tours we've done. I loved every place we visited. Would have loved a little more time at some of them. Loved the winery and cork farm tours, the wine tastings, the food, everything!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't really name one. There were such varied and different sights and experiences. I loved the cork farm tour, and the winery tours. Loved Porto and Lisbon. Just loved the whole experience. Feel so lucky to have gotten to tour the Port winery in the Douro Valley. That was an awesome experience, including the lunch they served us. Really enjoyed the taste Porto food tour also. Loved walking the wall around the medieval town of Obidos!"

Scott

Matthews, NC

Tour: 10/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour of Portugal. We had an outstanding guide in Cristina, who was very passionate and knowledgeable of her homeland. We had a great balance of large cities, smaller towns, religious sites and outstanding scenic viewing opportunities. The people of Portugal are very friendly and hospitable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's tough to pick a single wow moment but walking the ancient wall around the perfectly preserved medieval city of Obidos, which is indeed picturesque and the whole experience of the Douro Valley stand out."

Diann

Temple, TX

Tour: 10/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I found this tour much more exhausting than the Scotland tour though they are rated the same. Perhaps there was less bus time, more hills, and much more standing looking and hearing about at churches/buildings, etc. I did like the wine with meals and the RS camaraderie, all the tile work, the lovely Duory valley and the temperate weather. The cork tour, winery tour and pottery tour (including painting our own tiles) was fun and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I know nothing about the cork industry and found this very enlightening."

Margaret

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect amount of free time, variety of experiences was very good. I'm more of an independent traveler, but this has made me a fan of the RS tours. I think two nights in Evora would have been good. The entire group loved this city, but we didn't get much free time. The people on the tour were like the folks who read and use the RS tour books... great, fun, ready to do whatever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cork farm was great. So many little wow moments that were planned by the tour but a surprise to all of us. The tile was also a really cool think to do."

Pat

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 10/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Group was congenial. Leader was organized and knowledgeable. Portugal's road system is fantastic. The fire damage we saw was devastating. It was good to see peaceful demonstrations in Lisbon and Porto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating in Porto at a family owned and run restaurant, where their friends came in to help out."

Kirsten

Spring, TX

Tour: 10/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hi RS Team! This was our 2nd tour; we love the vibe and the structure, as well as the overall goals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The farm/winery tours were just splendid. The cork/olive oil/wine farm tour (after Evora) & lunch were so educational; I'm so glad the family and RS formed that partnership. (I would have bought more from them if they'd had carry-on size options, btw.) The winery tour in the Douro Valley was astounding, too; it's a wonderful thing to have an inside look at a family-run operation like that, and to have to opportunity to support a business like that is wonderful."

Gene

Franklin, TN

Tour: 10/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the concept of having fewer travelers which allowed us to know most everyone and get into good restaurants,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first group meal was excellent."

Catherine

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well organized with great attention to all aspects. Maria was an amazing guide with deep knowledge and an immediate kinship with the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the cork/pine nut/wine farm was truly memorable. It provided such great insight into agricultural practices and family values. The entire day was fun, lively and filled with new experiences."

Rosalie

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves Tour. RS tours use a format for bringing together a disparate group of 30 persons to share in an (intense) learning experience in and about a foreign country that never falters in accomplishing the tour's goals and, I suspect, the personal goals of each person on the tour. It's an amazing work of magic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment happened after the trip when memories of so many details about Portugal -encounters with its residents, visual impressions of what we saw as we walked the streets, observing the countryside as we traveled from place to place - kindled an intense appreciation for this country. I must also mention "the big waves" at the mouth of the Douro River where it joins the Atlantic Ocean."

Paul

Duvall, WA

Tour: 10/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really felt that we had a great tour experience. On so many levels, we were given a tremendous overview of Portugal, and were exposed to many aspects of the culture, the history, and the landmarks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to narrow it to one. I will give you all my favorites: Cork Farm, Wine Makers dinner, Fado music, great breakfasts, Alfama walk, Food Tour in Porto, University of Coimbra, working with ceramics (could have used more time)"

Floyd

Woodland, CA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A complete great tour experience: great group, great food and hotels, great Guide, and great itinerary. Very well organized and executed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am Japanese American. Portuguese explorers visited Japan in the 1540s and tJapanese artists recorded the visits in large, colorful screen paintings called Namban. Was I surprised when I checked into my hotel and saw a beautiful Namban reproduction behind the main desk. Was I in Lisbon or Tokyo! Then, the next day I learned that the Japanese word for "thank you", which is "arigato", is derived from the Portuguese "obrigada"."

Janice

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fatima was wonderful. Fatima's passion for showing her country is contagious. I fell in love with the people, their struggles, and as always, their food & wine. This is our fourth and best tour through Rick Steves' Tours(RST). The people we traveled with were a good mix of east & west coast and we all "gelled" nicely. I commend the ever-evolving work that RST does on the tours to help tour goers enjoy the countries they visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was learning the struggles that family at the cork farm went through and seeing what a successful(diversified) business they have developed for them and future generations."

Barry

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After having enjoying Spain so very much we decided that Portugal had to be one of the future trips. Portugal is a small country but has so many different landscapes. There are the mountains, rolling hills, plains, big cities, small villages and beautiful countryside. The Portuguese people are very friendly and accept us as part of their family. Even though Portugal is a socialist country families think to the future instead of the short term. The food is always fresh and never processed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two wow moments. The biggest was the cork farm where the families accepted us into their home and treated us like long lost relatives. They told us everything about Cork harvesting, olive oil processing, pine nuts, and fruit harvesting. Wow 2- The winery showed another family committed to the long term family business of growing grapes and making wine. The business was made up of five children who each played a different roll in the business. Very interesting!"

Frank

Peterborough, NH

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fatima's knowledge of Portugal's history provided a comprehensive background to the sights of this country. I came to realize how little I knew beyond de Gama and Salazar. Her enthusiasm for and pride in her country was infectious. The tour was wonderfully diversified, in that we visited large cities, small towns, historical ruins, churches, a farm and vineyard in the beautiful countryside. Once again had the pleasure of traveling with a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was taken by both the cork farm and vineyard. Also, the spectacle of Fatima."

Robert

Folsom, CA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As we have come to expect with our Rick Steve's tour experiences, the tour was exceptional overall (a couple of comments on lodging and itinerary are appropriate though). The exceptional knowledge of the country, culture, history, and engaging personality of Fatima really was one of the reasons I would continue to experience Europe with Rick Steve's. She made the historical perspective fun and interactive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were the opportunities to get away from the hustle of the big cities and enjoy the more rural feel of Portugal (cork farm, winery, family visit and port production)."

Stephen

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was was really wonderful. I found Fatima and William to be excellent leaders. The group as a whole were a great bunch of traveling buddies that got along with each other so well and made traveling together fun. I liked the choice of hotels and itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was visiting the winery in the Duro Valley and a close second the Cork farm."

Joellen

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heart of Portugal was my first tour of any kind. I participated as a single traveler and found this rather easy on this tour despite most of the tour members traveling with a spouse or friend. My worries about getting up early were realized since we got up between 630-7am every day to be ready to go by 830-9am. I was torn about this because I knew the later it was in the morning the more crowded the area became. Our guides were the best!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Discovering Fado. I was prepared to dislike it from the description in the guide book but it was such a surprise and treat to have dinner in a "hidden" restaurant and hear such lovely voices and guitar. The Coimbra male Fado singers were equally enchanting! I'm glad I bought a CD!"

Susan

Richmond, VA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As lifelong 'independent' travelers, we were just uncertain about whether the whole 'tour thing' was going to be for us....BUT IT WAS FANTASTIC!! I think that I have never been so relaxed on a trip--I wasnt the planner. I wasnt the tour guide. I wasnt the nagivator (our version of the navigator). My husband wasnt the driver. We both just had to open our eyes and open our hearts to what we were seeing and feeling. It was just a wonderful, wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Interesting question as there were a lot of wow moments. I guess I would still say: turning the corner and looking down on the shrine at Fatima(as Sunday mass was ending, also). I/we are not Catholic but the purity of the space and the spirituality of the space was palpable, even if it was not 'ours'"

Robert

Tulalip, WA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love Portugal, Fatima and William made this trip a superior experience. The places extrodinary and the Portuguese people friendly and warm. The weather was great but there was some concerns about the fires, smokey air other than that we were out of trouble.The food and wine outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments; the cork farm, lunch with the family, then the other vineyard in the Douro valley and lunch with that family , walking in the vineyards and learning about the family history and their wines. The tile factory and Porto, I want to go back and experience more of Porto."

Nerlhuys

Folsom, CA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fatima and William where very engaging and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Fatima. We got there at the end of the mass and she was been carried out. Very touching."

Joy

Burien, WA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour is as organized as any RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the cafes submerged in local chitchats and feeling the warmth radiating from them. It's rare to find an European City not overrun by tourists. Sunday mass in Fatima, sharing homecooked meal and recipes with the cork farm owners, dragged into a garden and offered a giant squash in a village, getting pronunciation lessons from every waiters and store clerks along the way; this trip is a reminder that there are down to earth, simple, loving, neighborly people still in this crazy world."

Karen

Tulalip, WA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Oh my gosh..mere English cannot describe how fantastic was this trip! The beginning in Lisbon to the final morning in Porto was one moving experience after the next. Fatima & Will were attentive, fun, inspirational, competent, and more. We felt so safe tho the country was on fire. The hotels were first-class-esp. in Lisbon the first 3 days; it had water for us + our water bottles daily. Wineries, cork farm, churches, art, social justice and more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunches with the 2 families who worked the soil in cork, olives, & wine, plus the winery lunch on that family's vineyard / farm that had been in their family for generations in the Douro Wine Country. The Douro Valley bus ride was spectacular through the winding roads (& our bus driver was a gem!) That Porto food tour was spectacular in its array of markets, wines, cheeses and the local folks we were blessed to meet were authentic. Port = exceptional. The Roman ruins? Fascinating!"

Karen

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As all Rick Steves tours I loved the variety of sights and activities. Might be my favorite tour guide yet!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm. Fascinating product and how it is farmed. The lunch and history were excellent. Wine was wonderful"

Susan

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and I was thoroughly impressed. I loved every minute of it from the introductory meeting to the end-of-tour dinner. The itinerary was just the right pace of activities and leisure time, and it included activities that I'd never be able to experience on my own. The hotels were mostly great, and certainly adequate, and so were the meals that we enjoyed as a group. Our group leader was the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to our guide recite Paseo's poetry in both Portuguese and English. It was very meaningful."

Wendy

Langley, WA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent RS tour.The tour's itinerary was well laid out and I enjoyed every minute of the trip.Our guide, Rafael, is Portuguese and loves his country.He was able to share his love Portugal with us.I thoroughly enjoyed all of the other people who were on our tour.All the Portuguese people that we met were very warm, gracious and welcoming.I liked the mix of tour time and free time. it is great to have the choice to either see new sights or to have a long lunch with new friends

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick just one WOW moment. I loved the tour of the Alfama in Lisbon. Rafael knew the area well and knew some of the people who lived there. Both the visit to the Cork Farm and the lunch that we had there were outstanding. We had the privilege of sitting at the lunch table with the owner of the farm. He was a gracious host and a wonderful man. The medieval city of Obidos was beautiful. Porto was probably my favorite city. I loved the Harry Potter students and the boat cruise."

Jeffrey

Langley, WA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"None"

Polly

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and my tour with a tour group. The tour and tour guide were outstanding. The locations and activities included in the tour were a great balance - with a nice variety of urban, rural, cultural, gastronomical and musical venues. Raphael was a suburb teacher, ambassador and behind the scenes problem-solver. without making the tour about himself, he provided the lens that allowed us to see the complex, passionate and rich culture of Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one favorite! Raphael reciting his favorite poem in front of the statue of his favorite poet the first evening. Then the recounting of a dark and stormy night at sea and reciting his own poem a couple of days later. Wow! Learning about cork during the visit and lunch at the cork farm. Fascinating look at the current cork industry and sustainable farming. From both farm visits, the impact of government policies on land resources and agricultural polices."

Corinne

Holland, MI

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We felt our tour guide, Raphael was very personalble, knowledgeable and helpful in conveying the love for his country. I have food issues and he worked very hard in meeting them with the restaurants we visited as a tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Fado music concerts and the food tour in Porto. Also we thoroughly enjoyed the tours of the cork and olive farm plus the Douro Valley winery. It was all great !"

Kathy

Holland, MI

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best tours we have ever been on. Raphael was an outstanding guide, sharing much more about his country than just the surface facts. We appreciated his knowledge, heart, excellent communication skills, organization, kindness, positive outlook, patience and more. He loves aportugal and it showed. The locations visited were excellent, the personal contacts at the cork farm, the Vineyard etc. we're special. We liked no tipping and that everything was included. We liked our smaller group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the moon rising over the castle in Lisbon, the view in the Durou Valley, the kindness of the vineyard and cork farm families.???"

Steve

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

History, scenery, culture, cork and port - add in a great guide, great itinerary, good hotels and decent food and you've got another RS tour to remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure that "Wow" is the right term for these, but places and things to especially remember include the cork farm, the whole port experience and the walled town of Obidos."

Elsa

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time in Portugal and we really enjoyed it. This tour had a mixture of everything: the big cities of Lisbon and Porto but also the small walled cities of Evora and Obidos; beautiful countryside and seaside views and great experiences like the visit to the cork farm and the quinta in the Duoro Valley.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that my favorite wow moment was the visit to the cork farm which I found fascinating. Also, our host and his family were very welcoming and just made the visit and the yummy lunch afterwards a real pleasure. I also enjoyed very much the visit to the Quinta Santa Eufemia in the Duoro Valley where Maria showed us how port is made and then treated us to a delicious lunch. Being Catholic, the visit to Fatima was also very special for me."

Paul

Hainesville, IL

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day during the tour was better than the day before. This was our 6th Rick Steves tour and it exceeded our expectations in every way. From the itinerary, to the tour group and group think, to the hotels, to the food, to our guide, everything about this trip was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The way that our guide, Rafael, brought the history of Portugal to life and helped us 'connect the dots'. He not only traveled with us through the Heart of Portugal, he helped us see and understand the ' Heart of Portugal.'He made the whole trip a 'WOW' moment"

Debra

Hainesville, IL

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour had just the right about of city stops, village meanderings, and free time. And we were lucky to have a group of seasoned Rick Steve's tour-mates to share in our adventure. In addition, our tour guide was charming, capable, and full of great stories about the history of Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we arrived at Batalha to visit the grand Monastery of Santa María, the morning sun was casting a golden glow on the cathedral and the scene took my breath away! It was a stunning "Wow" moment. And throughout this tour we saw so many beautiful cathedrals it is hard to describe how wonderful and unique each one really was."

Ellen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a very enjoyable trip. Raphael was a superb guide. He provided an excellent immersive experience and his passion for his country was infectious. I was inspired to read more Portuguese history after the end of tour! The local guides were also excellent. Good mixture of group activities and independent exploration. Fortunate to have a group of seasoned travelers to share the adventure. Food, warm Portuguese people, rich history, arts/cultures... I want to go back to Portugal for more!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many little wows. Everyday there was something to smile about. Alfama, Monastery of Jeronimos, Raphael reciting poems, pastel de nata (WOW), Maria's slow paced walkabout Evora, bone chapel, catching the sunset walking along the Obidos' wall, ginjinha and more pastries (thanks Raphael!), boiled barnacles in Nazare, monasteries in Alcobaca and Batalha, fado in Lisboa & Coimbra, tiles, port wine tasting at Quinta Sta. Eufemia, sunset in Douro Valley, food tour with Taste Porto, and francesinha!"

Kathy

Everett, WA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am always amazed at the quality of guides and drivers on your tours. I always feel a special connection with the guides, it's not just a "job" for them. Loved the people of Portugal, so open and friendly. The woman in the Alfama neighborhood that served us fish cakes and Ginjinha. The family run winery in the Duro Valley and their pride in the history of their land. The Chapel of Bones, amazing. All of Porto, love to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was before the tour,& the Palaces in Sintra, where I stayed for 3 days, and where I realized this was a special country and tour coming up! ON the tour MY WOW was getting to drive the yellow funicular up the hill for the neighborhood tour our first evening there! The driver that gave me the control was great. And the huge full moon over the Fort that evening BEAUTIFUL! Dinner fabulous, group wonderful. What a way to start a tour!!"

Iva

El Dorado, CA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The HEART OF Portugal was truly a great travel experience. It was comfortably paced to allow time to savor the whole experience. It explored interesting highlights of Portugal and its long history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley was definitely a wow! However, I think the combination of our guide Raphael, the people, the food, the history and culture was a total wow. Portugal itself was a wow!"

Deborah

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience! Welcoming, interesting and beautiful Portugal has so much to see and do. Raphael was an amazing guide, clearly suited and passionate about his country and profession. His leadership and care made the group cohesive and congenial, his commentaries were engaging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count..what comes to mind includes: the library at Coimbra, the fado concert at the private club in Lisbon, the winery and lunch in the Douro valley the walking tour in Evora and the food tour in Porto!"

Paula

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second rs tour and was by far the best. The outstanding selection of locations and activities to experience provided for no dull moments, unless you wanted dull. Rafael was the most interesting and caring of guides. He truly helped make the experience great. The meals were good, but made excellent by the inclusion of wine with meals. I think that should always be included in your tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the moon come up over the fort in Lisbon, on our first day walking tour. We had taken the funicular to a high part of the city."

Karen

Vashon, WA

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our 1st Rick Steve's tour. After years of independent European travel using Rick Steve's books as our guide, we decided to do a tour. Scary....we were hesitant to give up our independence. We were too young to be "that old". Surprise...it was a fabulous experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The realization that this was not a tour of "old people",but a group of healthy, happy physically active, interesting people from all over the world."

Bruce

Vashon, WA

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on a tour; a Rick Steves' or any other tour. Have used Rick Steves' travel books to plan our trips, but never signed up for a tour. We thourghly enjoyed the experience. Our tour guide Cristina was exceptional. Very knowledgeable on all subjects. You name it and she had an answer, even on occasion she preferenced her response with "in my opinion". Even though we were traveling with another couple, we enjoyed the opportunity to meet and mix with others in the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sunday visit to Fatima. The whole scene was amazing; the size, the choir, the priests, the people praying on their way to take communion. Must be amazing at Easter."

Sandy

Fox Point, WI

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour experience was excellent. Warm, friendly group of people. No long bus rides. Knowledgeable guides and comfortable accommodations. I had never been to Portugal before. While it may not have iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower or Sagrada Familla, it is has a proud history, beautiful countryside and lovely old cities. Fados concerts and visits to a cork farm, a vineyard and a ceramics factory, including an opportunity to paint tiles, added memorable unique touches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The library at the University of Coimbra. It was magical."

David

Novato, CA

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina was a fantastic guide she had a great sense of humor, was very informative in teaching us about the culture and life in general in Portugal the locations selected for the trip were fabulous from big cities to small country side farms very well done can't wait to go on our next adventure with Rick Steves

John

Lynbrook, NY

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an outstanding group and an outstanding guide in Christina the tour was well planned out, the weather was great and the food delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two wow moments The first being the visit to Fatima and the Procession at the end of Mass returning the statue to the grotto as the bells tolled and watching tens of thousands of the faithful waiving goodbye with their white handkerchiefs in their hand.The second one was the college students the upper freshman dressed in their black formal wear and the freshman dressed in their costumes parading around Lisbon, Coimbra and Puerto as their initiation to the university."

Michael

Beaumont, TX

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina the tour director was great-passionate about her work. knew her job. understood americans & Canadians she was dealing with. kept it interesting with knowledge of the country & people plus kept it funny all the time. ran the tour on schedule & we did all that was planned. Christina came up with a good alternative to the name game since I so bad it. she took a picture of the group on the first day & put our names over it & gave it to all of us. I referred back to it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"*seeing the stock exchange building-ballroom. *the last church in porto where we could not take pictures that is all gold leaf. *the library in cambrimia where you cannot take pictures. *the chapel of the bones. *the monastery in belem"

Rita

Novato, CA

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We sure enjoy the Rick Steves travel ethic...and scheduling. It was another excellent tour, our third.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bus ride through the Douro Valley was a "wow" for me...and that gorgeous hotel by the river that we stayed at that evening."

Elizabeth

Golden, CO

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was great. It encompassed so many areas - political, economic,cultural, historical, family life, cuisine, social, religious, and on and on. It was a very thorough.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Douro Valley, the vineyard tour and lunch and the cork farm tour and lunch - a chance to meld with regular people and see some of the economic and cultural side of the people of the country."

Myra

Lakewood, WA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have all heard of the economic crisis that several countries in Europe have suffered over the pass few years. There is a revitalization of Portugal today. I hope that is the case with other countries as well. Today I am home in the rainy Pacific Northwest and missing sunny Iberia. We saw so many beautiful cities and historical sites and met the lovely people of Portugal. It is an experience we will always treasure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Where to begin. The beautiful countryside and its people for starters, dynamic Lisboa and the active street life of Porto. I loved seaside Nazare and Pinhao in the Douro valley. The Coimbra University library and the "Harry Potter" Lello bookshop were magical. My husband and I will always remember the famous Francesinha quadruple decker " heart attack on a plate" sandwich we shared in Porto- delicious??"

Lawrence

Canyon Country, CA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Tour Leader! + Great Group of RS travelers! + Great Country to Visit = Outstanding Travel Experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The very interesting and personally delivered open-air tour that we experienced at the Cork/Olive/Pine Nut/Wine ranch outside of Evora"

Barbara

Westport, CT

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So enjoyable! Our tour guide was excellent, our co-tourists were very friendly and easygoing, the sights we saw were absolutely amazing, and the meals were incredible. We traveled by ourselves using Rick's books for years, but we couldn't arrange such excellent transportation, guides, travel companions, activities, and meals. We used to spend hours trying to park our rental cars! It is so much easier to let you make the arrangements for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was enchanted by the library at the University of Coimbra. I imagined the students studying the volumes there throughout the ages. Of all the libraries in the world, this is the library that was the basis of the one in "Beauty and the Beast." No wonder! It is so special!"

Sherrill

Somerset, WI

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal now has to be one of my favorite Rick Steves adventures. While I have loved all my other 12 RS guided tours, there is just something really special about the beautify and charm of the country and its wonderful people. One of the things that struck me most and often was just how truly genuinely warm, and welcoming the folks of Portugal are. It's just in their nature to be helpful and it was much appreciated when I had a few travel "situations" while on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments every morning when we got started on the day's adventures. Our guide, Maria, was the perpetual wow moment just because of who she is and how she shares her country with us!"

Sandra

Laurens, SC

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. The group was a little bigger than I like but we lucked out and had a really great group of people. Also Maria managed the large group well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two come to mind. Obidos was really great. But the best was being in the Douro Valley. The scenery was breathtaking."

Patricia

Laurens, SC

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is an amazingly beautiful country from Lisbon to Porto. The Douro Valley being the most scenic. Porto is a city with history and personality - it's alive and exciting!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork farm in Evora."

Alice

Centerville, OH

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth RS tour. Loved it. Our guide, Maria, was amazing. She made it look effortless to handle a diverse group of 28 (though the dynamics with 28 are definitely different than the usual 24). Excellent itinerary, great hotels. Wasn't prepared for how many tourists are invading Portugal these days. That was a bit overwhelming at times. Was fascinated by the Belem district, Gulbekian, cork farm, etc. Could have skipped the food tour in Porto, and wouldn't have minded one less monestary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Douro Valley from our hotel in Pinhao, the Fado performance in Lisbon, Roman ruins in Coinimbriga"

Nancy

Arlington, VA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. Maria was a fantastic friendly guide. The whole group was great. Portugal is an amazing country, and the people were all friendly. The tour was a great balance of scenery and culture, museums and sights. Fatima was my least favorite stop, very over commercialized. The Douro Valley was amazing and my favorite. The Ceramic Factory and the Cork farm and winery were highlights. One of my favorite tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Douro Valley. The scenery was amazing and incredible, especially after leaving our hotel in Pinhao and going up the mountain. Spectacular scenery."

Ann

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. It is so special to be able to visit the Cork farm since we would never have experienced this on our own. WE just wish we had a smaller group. Did you admit additional family and friends of Rick Steves employees that bumped it up at the last minute? There were a couple of people who were not able to navigate the steep hills. I know you stress the stairways but in Portugal, there were slick streets, unexpected steps and steep alleys with no handrails. add to brochure

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment was visiting the Cork Farm and learning about how cork is harvested and processed as well as learning about pine nuts, olives, fruit and eucalyptus. The other wow moment was going to the top of hill above the Douro valley and visiting the winery and having a meal with them. This was very special and we would not have done this otherwise. It scared the x#!x out of me on the way up the steep hills in our bus and I am glad that we had an accurate bus driver!"

Roelof

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

our guide Maria was excellent. Cork farm (Quinta) was a highlight. Also vineyard in Douro valley. Vintage Hotel was fabulous. Introduction to FADO music in Lisbon and Porto was great. Happy we saw Fatima - but didn't like it - too commercial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"our experience at the Cork farm (Quinta). see vista of Douro valley"

Paul

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour kept us very busy and involved in so many interesting things regarding Portugal. From the sidewalk cobblestone mosaics to the wonderful pastries I really enjoyed the tour. Since Portugal is a relatively small country, we also had a minimum amount of bus time, a plus in my book. The two Fado presentations were interesting in their differences and the various ruins were fascination also. As I review my photos I am amazed at all the things we saw and did in '12 days'.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork tree farm. Who knew how sophisticated farming cork is, and how much goes into doing it sustainably. It was a fascinating learning experience. The man who guided us around on the tour as well as his helper were very informative and spent a lot of time answering our questions."

Nicholas

Westport, CT

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Maria-Jose was the best tour guide we've ever had. in addition to her knowledge, she really really enjoyed making sure everyone's travel was smooth and enjoyable. She was completely patient with all the little blips and issues that came up during the tour. Portugal's deep history and cultural depth was a standout. That the people remained totally pleasant given the crush of tourists, even in late September, was impressive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very difficult to pick out one thing since there were wow moments continuously throughout the tour. Some of the hotels were awesome. Some things we did on our own were standouts; visiting Sintra, the restaurant "Quernesse" near our hotel in Lisbon had high end food but inexpensive (too small for the whole group, I'm afraid), a 2 days before the tour started, 100s of classic and famous automobiles came down Avenida Liberdade and parked near the hotel. The São Roque Museum in Lisbon."

Alan

San Marcos, CA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide, great food, wonderful fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the cork estate and eating a delightful meal with the 93 year old great grandma, while in the presence of elk and deer attached to the walls."

Joan

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! Portugal is an amazing country. Great variety of places and sights. I loved both Lisbon and Porto. I worry that Portugal is being loved to death, however. The number of tourists each year us about double the population! With Portugal being recognized as a great destination, I worry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one? I would say the cork farm/winery with an amazing lunch after. It was fascinating learning about the family business as well as how cork is produced. But - also - the Douro Valley - wow. Also an interesting look at a family business followed by another yummy lunch. What a beautiful place. And I did enjoy the chance to taste those special barnacles in Nazare :)"

Jeff

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lovely opportunity to meet the people of Portugal and learn from them. I knew nothing of the history, culture, language or food before the trip. I came away feeling so blessed and enriched. I am not Roman Catholic and while I appreciate the historical role of the church, I thought there was too much emphasis on visiting cathedrals. Please decrease the tour group size; 28 felt too large.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the city of Porto and we stayed two more days just to explore on our own. Also, seeing the Atlantic coast from the bluff above Nazare was very dramatic."

Soren

Bowen Island, BC

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our fourth tour with your firm. Overall, we saw aot but thought the tour tried to cover too much of the country. It could have focused on the cities of Lisbon and Porto, and include Sinatra which we saw by ourselves. The countryside could maybe be covered separately. This led to more group dinners and events, though enjoyable generally, to the cost of independence and the chance to explore on our own. This was a departure in style fro previous tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the cork farm, the welcoming and informed owners. Many comment on this and hence, my favourite moment was the chance, in the limited free time we had, to meet and discuss life, politics and 'Portugal in the EU' with University students in Coimbra."

Ginny

Coos Bay, OR

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but the cork farm was truly outstanding and the stomping of the grapes was a first!"

Maryanne

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very congenial group of people and a terrific tour guide. Also perfect weather every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"probably the group grape stomp.The pictures said it all!"

Joanne

Reno, NV

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina led us thru Portugal through a native's eye in good and bad times. She has lived Fado, experienced the food country life, found culture treasures to share the richness Portuguese culture for her tour members. From the palace grounds overlooking Lisbon as a tourist, I could see countless cranes and construction and realized that the culture of Portugal is standing on the cliff of change and wondered if Portugal would be able to keep this special culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Portugal diversity and richness. Food treasures: quince jam, piri piri chicken, grilled octopus, Belem pastries, wines, ports... Experience: 2 kinds of Fado, Grape Stomping (we were very very lucky to be there at that time)"

Tracy

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have used your guidebooks on several European trips, but this was our first tour. Wow! It was beyond our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but probably the tour of the cork farm and stomping grapes in the Douro Valley. At both places were were greeted warmly by the families and treated to fabulous meals."

Vincent

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We arrived in Lisbon a day early and scouted some things out for ourselves, but Cristina's orientation made the experience richer, though I must say that the crowds of tourists (uh-oh, that includes us) were a bit overwhelming. I especially enjoyed the evening and the Fado performance, as well as a couple of small places we toured on our own. Other cities weren't as crowded, but the variety of experiences made this very worthwhile. I would recommend this tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of mini-wows, but no overwhelming ones. Perhaps the history overall. I enjoyed the variety of most days. We spent another two weeks on our own after the tour, and did revisit Evora to experience Mario's Megalithic tour. That and Monsanto were the two most memorable places in Portugal for me."

George

Reno, NV

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is great to have someone who loves their country introduce you to that country! The sights and people we interacted with could not have taken place without Cristina leading the tour. Our hotels were great and the cities visited were memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had TWO WOW moments: The highlight of the tour was in the Duro Valley with our group "Stomping Grapes." our introduction to the Old and New Methods of Port Wine production was super interesting and informative. Not the least was the fact that the Duro Valley itself is spectacular. My second WOW, was our Safari in the Cork Forest and our time learning about corks along with our lunch with our gracious hosts - eye opening about Portuguese History."

Monaree

Canby, OR

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We're really glad we selected this tour. We felt like we really gained an understanding of Portuguese culture, history and key places during the tour. Every guide along the way was top notch, especially our primary guide, Cristina. The tour provided an excellent balance of guided tours and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery in the Douro valley - seeing a true family-run operation and getting to spend time with them. The grape stomping was fun, and really seemed to bring the whole tour group together."

Michelle

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There once was a tour guide named Cristina.. Who took us to Fatima! We went to mass with the masses. We rode the trolley in Lisboa What a folley! We went to see what was doin.. at the Romans ruins We like the cod fish.. Oh what a dish! We did not need to row On the Douro! We went grape crushing.. left us blushing! Rick Steves should know he has a treasure.. Cause Cristina was such a pleasure

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many.. My favorite was the Monument to the Discoverers in Lisboa. The Fado was amazing! The cork farm family and lunch w/ Sofia and her parents. The porcelain factory..watching the artists paint the pieces. Crushing grapes to live music was totally fun."

Patricia

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Christina was fantastic-very enthusiastic and helpful and fun. She made the trip. I liked the variety and felt the balance of free time/tour time was about right.

Patricia

Chesterton, IN

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am so glad I went. I could never have seen as much or done as much on my own. Everyday I have something new to tell my friends and family. I can't believe we packed so much into 12 days. I was a little apprehensive, but I lucked out in the roommate department.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moments I find myself telling everyone about was our experience crushing grapes in the Duoro Valley. The crushing only lasts about two weeks during harvest so it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. I thought the experience really brought our group together as it was more strenuous than anticipated and we needed to help and support each other."

Ellen

West Hartford, CT

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a perfect balance of education, culture, art and history. The bus time was broken up well by stops and Cristina's telling us information. I loved the use of local guides, the different personalities, viewpoints and even the English words they used to describe things. The group was also great and while Cristina didn't select the tour members she set the tone. Best tour so far and I am recommending it to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stomping grapes at the winery in the Duoro river valley. It was an unexpected opportunity and I had a blast. I also loved our private Fado performance in Lisbon. It helped us really get into the emotion of the performance My"

Bill

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though I had a serious knee injury that happened 10 minutes before leaving Bellevue for airport I elected to proceed with the trip. Our tour group was great, everyone got along very well and I can't say enough about Rafael's sincerity, knowledge, and professionalism!! He was especially empathetic to my knee injury and forewarned me of activities that I may want to skip due to my condition.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow moment, but the cork tree farm, the port winery and the accompanying meals were outstanding. I'm presently in pain for my knee awaiting an appt. with my orthopedic surgeon this Thursday otherwise I would continue to elaborate. The trip was absolutely great and is our 4th, but not last with Rick Steves."

Judy

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rafael would make an excellent cat herder. He gently kept us moving in the right direction. We had a high powered group--lots of chiefs, few Indians. Rafael was amazing and gracious. We saw, ate, and drank our way through Portugal--a sensory and intellectual experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stumbling into a mass at the Fatima shrine, attended by probably around 30 people, led by a dark skinned priest who spoke French. In the midst of this enormous and overwhelming kind of garish monument, the real, intimate body of Christ was being celebrated."

Donald Christopher

Rockville, MD

Tour: 09/13/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable. Our tour guide, Rafael, was an outstanding young poet/philosopher/historian who added immeasurably to the whole experience. The cohesiveness of the smaller group staying together for the entire journey is far superior to other travel experiences I've had (cruises).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe the day-long visit to the cork plantation. It was a slow-moving 'wow', but still exposed us to a very different cultural approach, with business planning that looked out to children and grandchildren as a matter of course."

Anita

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good. Only "not great" due to husband's brand new torn meniscus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Highlights: Alfama Gulbenkian Museum (!!!), Getting lost on public transit & 4 of us making our way "home" Evora and Obidos - magical ! Cork farm - the general! - had privilege of lunching next to her), Roman ruins outside of Coimbra (a delightful treat/surprise), Douro winery & getting to be "Lucial Ball" stomping grapes - & the drum/accordion accompaniment!"

Robert

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was as well composed, as satisfying/educational/fun as a guided tour could be. The guide, Rafael, was excellent in every way that a guide should be, as well as a delight. Hotels were outstanding and as good as I would hope to book by my own choice. Great meals, good companions,and the schedule was well paced. I wish there was a "Heart of Portugal, Part II" to return for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, this is an impossible choice to make--there was one "wow" after another. The architectural destinations were all amazing, interesting and beautiful and Rafael's narratives brought them alive. I could say that the "surprise wow" of the trip was Porto and to it I will certainly return."

Patrick

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 09/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The sights, sounds, and tastes of the Heart of Portugal Tour were excellent from start to finish. Our guide, Rafael, was exemplary and the local tour guides were top shelf.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to São Jorge Castle provided an extraordinary panoramic view of Lisbon, from ancient to contemporary times. Simply amazing. We descended from São Jorge Castle by meandering through the medieval streets of the "Alfama" neighborhood with it's interesting architecture and distinct Lisbon subculture. Wow! That was just the overture of what was to come. Conimbriga (Roman ruins) and the cork farm were close seconds in the "wow" department."

Robert

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Felt totally immersed in Portugal current and historcally. Rafael was an excellent guide and gave me the full Soledaud experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guibibkien Museum, Roman Ruins, eating fish Driving around the country side Seeing the Douro valley..."

Teresa

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very pleased with our first R.S. tour and look forward to a future tour. Rapael is a marvelous tour guide and manager who made a huge difference to the overall tour experience. We liked the variation in the activities, the personal experiences on the farms and ceramic plant, the pace of each day (time to relax or do an activity on our own), delicious and well organized group meals, and nice hotels with comfortable beds. We truly learned about the heart of Portugal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were the cork farm and winery tours and lunch with the families, food tour in Porto, both fado shows, Lisbon and Porto walking tours with treat breaks, walled cities of Evora and Obidos, Coimbra library, Douro Valley, the ceramic plant, and Rapael's discussions on various topics (EU, local music and poetry, influence of other civilizations on Portugal and more). Also liked given transportation passes in Lisbon and Porto to try out various modes of transportation. Many wow moments!"

Jeannie

Leander, TX

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the tour - my first "guided" tour. It had a lot in a little time, and that was good. But sometimes things ran together, and we were asking, 'Where were we yesterday?'

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Rovisco Garcia farm. I'm very interested in sustainable farming."

Marjolaine

Feeding Hills, MA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved my trip. Maria our guide was very informative and a pleasure to be around. Portugal is a booming country and the Portuguese people are very friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had quite a few. The food for one was delicious, The Portuguese really know how the grill. The visit to the cork farm and the vineyard and the ceramic factory just to name a few."

Lucinda

Waco, TX

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience great! Hotel Lisboa Plaza had great staff, nice clean rooms and a great breakfast. We stayed there three extra nights and thought it was overpriced for each night compared to many others we looked at. Maria was always helpful and doing nice things for everyone. Very thoughtful. She taught us how to use subway there and local bus to get around on our days off. Every day was full of beautiful, historic things to see and she certainly knew her history!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few! First wow was the Tile museum which was not on the tour. Thought it was so amazing and we had one of our best lunches in the cafe at the museum. second wow was the cork/olive farm. The owners could not have been nicer and the work they do there is incredible. Learned so much about making cork among other things. Vineyard in Douro Valley was a WOW with the opportunity of a lifetime to stomp grapes. Cant remember having so much fun!"

Karen

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fado musical performances"

Jose

Feeding Hills, MA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this is our third RS tour and the experience, as noted above, was Outstanding. We saw many historical and contemporary sights and experienced quite a few things we had never done before, of which crushing grapes with our feet comes to mind! Fantastic. Great food! Fado was a new experience for us and the performers were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crushing grapes with our bare feet and having a fantastically delicious meal for our 'labor'! :-) Duoro valley and the hotel rank way up there in my view! Fantastic!"

John

Brentwood, CA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good. Particularly enjoyed the meals at the cork farm & winery. Other than these two group meals the others were very disappointing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was stomping grapes at the winery. Once in a lifetime experience."

Landa

Campbell, CA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved all the activities and meals. This was truly a wonderful cultural experience and a great introduction to Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting a winery and stomping grapes, fun."

Michelle

Marietta, OH

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to the cork estate and the winery were the best experiences. Talking with the patriarch of the cork estate was a highlight of the meal."

Roy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour. Our guide, Christina, was exceptionally knowledge about all aspects of Portugal. We had the good fortune to have a diverse group of experienced travelers who were prepared to have a good time. The tour was well-paced -- packed with sites and experiences to get a good sense for Portugal, while also providing time on one's own for independent discovery -- or to take a break. Overall, it was a joyful and very satisfying experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were in the Duoro Valley during "crush" -- a time when the wineries are harvesting and processing their grapes. For those of us who wanted, we got to hop in the vat and stomp on the grapes, while accompanied by the wine-maker playing her accordion. It was great fun! Our trip to a family-owned cork farm was pretty terrific, too."

Sue

Kaysville, UT

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 14th Rick Steves' tour...need I say more? Absolutely outstanding start to finish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moments are always interacting with the locals. I love going to the market and watching the mass at Fatima."

Frances

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being in the US Army, we have done our share of traveling/sightseeing. This is the first time we've gone with a tour group and what a difference! Cristina is knowledgeable and passionate about Portugal. I wasn't excited about seeing yet another "old church", but having her explain what the carvings mean and pointing out things we would have missed made for an exciting trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I have to choose just one "wow" moment, it has to be the Douro Valley. Just imagining people actually digging out the terraces and building rock walls to hold in the soil for the grapes and trees made me appreciate the beauty all the more. The Portuguese people seem to always be thinking about future generations."

Shannon

Shelby, NC

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of those great tours where we didn't know exactly what to expect of Portugal. We have British friends who love the beaches of the Algarve, but that's really all we knew, along with Portugal's recent economic issues. What a wonderful education and beautiful, historic, vibrant place! I would spend time in Portugal again in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the Douro Valley and Porto was a wonderful, surprising city! My new summer wine of choice is vinho verde."

Jeannette

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Something new to experience every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Got to crush grapes a la Lucy and Ethel."

Roger

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, professional guides. Excellent hotels, superb food and wine and interesting, historically relevant venues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman ruins in Conimbriga. Pompeii without the crowds."

David

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I felt that this was less like a traditional Rick Steves tour and more closer to tours by "the other guys." The first hotel, in Lisbon, was a bit fancy but great for the first stop on the tour. Kind of an easy introduction into the culture. The hotel in Evora (more on that below!) was wayyyyyyy off-base for the type of tour. There was plenty of walking (good), some sampling of local cuisine (good), the tile factory (good).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Obidos but the whole countryside was very nice. The cork farm was interesting as was the diametrically opposed viewpoints on the political climate during and after the dictatorship."

Darryl

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina was outstanding she provided a in-depth knowledge of the customs and politics of Portugal that can only come from someone born there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Grape stomping in the Porto."

Mark

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a fantastic time throughout Portugal. I had high expectations following our Rick Steves' trip to Spain, but my expectations were exceeded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Almost every day brought another "wow" moment. One of these was going to a grape/wine farm in the Douro Valley and participating in the wine-making by hopping into a large vat and stomping on grapes while being serenated by the sisters/owners. Another amazing experience was going to the Cork farm, another multi-generational farm where we met and dined with the owners/operators following an enjoyable tour of the cork oak trees, the vineyards, and the olive trees. Both unforgettable experiences."

Mauricia

Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We expect great things from a Rick Steve's tour, and we weren't disappointed. We greatly enjoyed Portugal; the culture, the people, the food, everything! Our guide was wonderful- well informed, warm, competent, pro-active, and you could tell he really loves Portugal. We enjoyed the extra nice hotels in Portugal that were a step above the usual on tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two favorites. The cork farm tour was fascinating from start to finish. I learned so much about the cork industry, and so enjoyed the meal prepared for us by the wonderful family we visited. Definitely my favorite thing on the tour. The winery tour and grape stomping was also a wow moment. So much fun, and a nice break from the more educational portions of the tour. It's great to break up the cerebral with some physical."

Claire

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was by far my favorite tour of the three Rick Steves tours I've done (Heart of Italy and Best of the Adriatic). The variety of experiences made this trip exceptional: touring a cork farm, stomping grapes in the Douro Valley, seeing how Portugese tiles are made, strolling through the Balhao Market in Porto, etc. This trip had lots of hands-on stuff to balance the cathedrals and museums. Also, we spent so little time on the bus. Wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the 60,000 books at the Coimbra University Library [INVALID] the inspiration for the library in Beauty and the Beast. That was a sight to behold! Watching the thousands of people at the Mass at Fatima - weeping, throwing candles in the flames, walking on their knees [INVALID] I had never seen anything like this. And then 75 priests seem to come out of nowhere to distribute Holy Communion to the thousands of people. That blew me away!"

Judy

Gilroy, CA

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Robert was so knowledgable about the country of Portugal and he shared his knowledge with us in a very enjoyable way. From storytelling to pastry tastings, he engaged our whole group in the experience of exploring Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The grape stomp was the best group experience."

Joe

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had nothing to expect since I knew nothing about Portugal. So consequently it was a very educational experience. The people were warm and courteous. Our tour guides were outstanding and knowledgeable and the accommodations were fair and comfortable. The food was abundant, tasty, and inexpensive. It was a very good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stomping grapes with our feet at a vineyard in the Douro river valley and it's landscape."

Ronald

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent, Robert our Guide was very passionate and knowledgeable about Portugal. He was easy to talk with and engaged with all tour members This was our 5th RS tour and our group on this tour connected very well. Robert kept us excited about Portugal with his knowledge and stories Great Tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to stomp grapes during harvest time in the Duro Valley -"

Wilma

Midland, ON

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour. It was exceptionally well organized. The hotels, restaurants, drivers, pace were all above our expectations. Our guide, Robert was extremely knowledgeable and tended to details. The tour was a good mixture of historical, cultural and scenic experiences.The tour group was congenial, thoughtful and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley was the highlight for me. Breathtaking scenery in wine country."

Klaas

Midland, ON

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent itinerary. It was complete with beautiful scenery, historic sites,excellent commentary and guide, superb food and drink. Many enjoyable experiences such as farm and food tours with expert local guides. Well-planned and efficient use of time. Great hotels. Great transportation and excellent congenial driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visits to both farms were a highlight. A very interesting view of agriculture with excellent hosts. The lunches were a highlight."

Robert

Kelso, WA

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great sights, great guide, great travel value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stomping grapes on a farm in Portugal."

Mark

Sylvania, OH

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Of all 4 of our Rick Steves tours Portugal was best! Amazing scenery, lovely people, well-paced mix of activities, wonderful guides, man dazzling personal experiences. Even the hotel choices were above what we have come to expect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Douro wine country was an unexpected delight. Beautiful views, great hospitality at a family winery, amazing overnight hotel nestled in the Douro Valley. But the best single day of the trip was our visit to the working family cork farm and vineyards northwest of Evora. The family was so gracious and every moment of the tour and follow-up lunch provided an informative and fun insight into the Portuguese view of life."

David

Gilroy, CA

Tour: 08/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved this tour. From the old historic city bustle of Lisbon, to the medieval walled city of Obidos, to the beautiful views of Nazare from high above on the cliffs, to the beauty of the Duoro valley to the the beauty of Porto - it was fantastic! We were fortunate that we were in the Duoro valley during grape harvest time which afforded our group the experience of stomping grapes! Why a terrific experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several - the grape stomp experience at the Duoro valley winery, the ancient Roman ruins at Conimbriga, the medieval walled city of Obidos and the beautiful river front views in Porto."

George

Hamden, CT

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

not knowing much about Portugal, experiencing the country was delightful the wide variety of activities and toured sites was very satisfying itinerary provided a full range exposure to the various urban, seaside and rural aspects of the country group bordered on being too large. when walking on streets or sidewalks on a line, being near the back sometimes put us out of range of the radio communication from guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the overall experience of the country having no prior expectations made a large impression. the charm of the historic old parts of cities, the extensive tile and mosaic features fascinated by the cork farms and production"

Carolyn Hardin

Hamden, CT

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was terrific in every way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Obidos!"

Valerie

Arlington, VA

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a beautiful country with friendly people, and great places to visit and learn about. The tour provided those opportunities. Robert was a great guide and we had a good group to travel with and get to know as friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably visiting the "Cork Farm" and eating lunch with the family members there. Also the Roman temple with Corinthian columns in Evora(?) was fascinating."

Alan

Folsom, CA

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We got off to a bumpy start when our daughter badly sprained an ankle coming off the plane. This is when we learned about the kindness of the Portuguese and how well RS tours can rise to the occasion. We were a few days early so she had time to recover and RS made sure our room was close to hers. Our guide Robert was tops! The tour exceeded my expectations. The sights, the history, the food all great. And the wine, the wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not think there would be one until we strolled onto the plaza at Fatima to the sound of the soaring voices of requiem mass. I'm not Catholic, but I still get goosebumps thinking of this-the sounds, the sight of pilgrims walking on their knees, the scent of burning wax. Very moving."

Daryl

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 4th Ricky Tour and, as always, the guides lived up to expectations. I don't know how you do your hiring but it seems magical. Every guide has been so knowledgeable about history and culture and they manage to impart this knowledge to us in an engaging and charming way. I enjoyed every aspect of the tour especially the treats Robert always gave us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley was like a painting but I loved so much about what we experienced."

Gale

Spokane, WA

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was really amazing how many 'high points' this tour managed to offer... the many impressive churches and monasteries and their historic background, the unique Cork Farm and time with the family, the two concerts of Portugese Fado, the very special Gulbrekian Art Museum, the chance to catch the spirit of a famous university town (Coimbra), enjoying Portugal's Port Wine tour while gasping at the incredible scenery to and from,the Roman ruins,and finally Porto, a step into a different Portugal

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For impressiveness of buildings and architecture, it would be the Battalha(sp?) Monastery and the Stock Exchange in Porto. For sensual experience, our two nights listening to Fado. For impressive breakfasts, those enjoyed in Evora!"

Lisa

La Grange, IL

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour as well as my first trip to Europe. The over all experiences exceeded my expectations. The mix of group time and free time was perfect. Our tour guide, Robert, was fantastic. He was very knowledgeable and I loved hearing his stories about the sites we were visiting.

Judi

Avalon, NJ

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved Portugal! Tour was wonderful as always w Rick Steves. Meals great, wine with meals a big bonus. Particularly enjoyed the tours & meals with local families. Learned so many wonderful things[INVALID]about pine nuts, cork trees & production. Loved seeing the Atlantic Ocean from the other side as I live on the east coast 3 blocks from the ocean so that was particularly cool.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the harvesting of cork was amazing as well as the library at the college. The architecture, the scenery was amazing. The terraced vineyards truly incredible. It was a fabulous trip. Thanks"

Lynn

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 06/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour from beginning to end. The daily activities were fun AND educational. Robert entertained us while imparting his extensive knowledge of the region's history, culture, and architecture. The local guides were fantastic, too! I loved the variety of activities -- doing things I would never have thought to do on my own. It was an all-around great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one? I think there was a WOW moment every day! My very favorite was our visit to the cork farm. A close second was seeing the terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley."

Armando

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very special tour for me due to the passion and knowledge exhibited by Rafael. He is a truly gifted guide due to his ability to explain not only what we were seeing but also the emotional foundation and meaning of the whole experience wherever we went. I thought I knew about Portugal before the tour but I learned so much more. Rafael gave me a way to connect to the "Heart of the land and People" of Portugal and left me feeling like I belong there and should return some day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley wine and Port visit was very moving and enjoyable for me. The family winery was so warm and caring and relatable it was like you were a part of the family."

Peggy

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your Heart of Portugal tour was fabulous! Why Portugal is not a more-visited destination is beyond me. Our guide Rafael really poured his heart and soul into providing a wonderful experience for our entire group, and his knowledge of history/art/architecture combined with his love of his country really made for a memorable trip (OK the pastries, Port, and cherry liquor didn't hurt either). This was also my first trip as a solo traveler, and the experience was terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride on the Duoro River at sunset--a total impromptu cheap excursion that turned out to be a wonderful surprise. The lighthouse at Nazare--wow what a sight to anybody who knows anything about surfing! Many many beautiful churches in pristine condition. Amazing food--and who knew that a Brazilian BBQ is really a Portuguese BBQ?!? Two 5 star hotels were unexpected too. And Rafael our guide was WOW every day. Please double his salary as soon as possible."

Holly

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

26 members and all got along very well! Good mix of urban and rural travel, hotels were varied and comfortable, enjoyed bus, funicular, trolley, metro and boat trips. Was amazed at the history of the country, architecture of the churches, monasteries and convents, and the statues everywhere. Loved being in the Duoro Valley, the porcelain factory, seeing the Roman ruins, being invited to the cork farm and winery, visiting Coimbra and Fatima. Tiles were everywhere! Such history!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I never knew how cork grew, and the farm visit was really interesting. I was especially intrigued by how the various family members formed a functioning work group, created innovative sustainable practices, and did this knowing that their work would come to fruition only for future generations. Such a difference from the US! The children in this generation are being are being allowed to explore different things as they grow up, but are also shown the way to continue the cork production."

Liz

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Portugal Tour was a phenomenal experience! I did not know what to expect, as this was my first Rick Steves' tour, but what I left with is more than I could ask for. From the country itself (very underrated, I might say), to our phenomenal guide, I was able to really connect with a culture not familiar to me. I walked away from this experience with a new lense and perspective on life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tasting barnacles for the first time (they were delicious!)"

James

Franklinville, NJ

Tour: 06/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Heart of Portugal Tour. Our tour guide Rafael was terrific. His love of Portugal was contagious. He helped us understand the history of Portugal through the places we visited. We had been thinking about going to Portugal for a few years and this trip was everything for which we could have hoped. As tour members, we came together as strangers and left as family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "Back Door" events at the Cork Farm, the Ceramic Factory and the Winery top the list. Sharing a meal with the families at the farm and the winery were unbeatable. Making friends with those folks and sharing recipes, email addresses, and stories was such fun. It feels like we came away with good friends in Portugal. The walled city of Obidos was exciting as we walked the ramparts and looked out over the town."

Patricia

Franklinville, NJ

Tour: 06/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

If you want to experience the "real" Portugal & mingle with its lovely people, this is the tour to take & Rafael is the guide you want. Our group members felt like family. With Rafael's expert leadership & passion for his homeland, we were immersed in the history & culture of this gem of a country. There was a good balance of included activities & time to explore on our own. For our free time, Rafael was ready with ideas for things to do, restaurants to try & how to navigate public transit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiences like the Fado performances, painting a tile at the Coimbra ceramics factory, touring a cork oak farm & sharing in a home-cooked meal with the family, walking through a vineyard in the beautiful Douro Valley & again having a meal with our hosts, and seeing the many pilgrims at the Sunday mass in Fatima all made for some incredible memories."

Joanna

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the cork farm. It included nature, culture, history, food and interesting people."

Bernard

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 06/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fantastic! It exceeded my expectations. We saw so much of Portugal and learned a lot about its history and culture. Rafael, our guide, was the best ever, and our travel companions were wonderful. Portugal, which has been off the beaten path for many years, is well worth visiting. The Douro Valley is spectacular. The meals were excellent, and included "oceans of wine."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The spectacular beauty of the Douro Valley. Taking communion during outdoor Sunday Mass in Fatima only steps away from the Chapel of Apparitions."

Margaret

Isle Of Palms, SC

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed everything but the heat the first few days. The Oak cork farm/estate and family were delightful. Enjoyed the best black clams in Nazare'. Would skip Fatima or make it and option. The Douro Valley and visiting the vineyard was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed Porto and arriving the day of the St. John the Baptist celebration was special."

Judy

New York City, NY

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, we really enjoyed ourselves. And it reinforced our positive view of Rick Steves' travel philosophy. We enjoy the balance of guided tours and self-exploring parts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure I had one wow moment. - there were lots. Portugal was beautiful. I loved the tiles. And the tour of the pottery factory and painting our tiles was such fun. Great idea! The tours of the cork farm and the vineyard and the tasting tour in Porto were great - (I love food)."

Roberta

O Fallon, IL

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had never been to Portugal, and this tour provided a wonderful array of experiences and interesting insights into its history and culture. We enjoyed getting a chance to experience the cities of Lisboa and Porto, but also some of the beautiful small towns and countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't name just one. My favorite moments were the visits to the Cork farm and the family winery. Both families were extremely welcoming and charming. We also enjoyed the opportunity to be in Porto during the St. John's Day festival. And the food tour there was also a wonderful experience."

David

New York City, NY

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A well organized and comprehensive tour of Portugal. Great tour guides, hotels, food, culture. Wonderful group of fellow travelers (as always). Bus driver and bus were terrific, as always

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The farm and vineyard. Never would have found these places on our own. Also the St. John's festival in Porto - where a million people ran around bopping each other on the head with plastic hammers! Who knew?! We even brought our hammer home with us!"

Belinda

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is so much more than I what I expected! I was hoping for a lovely experience that involved being in the countryside and visiting urban settings where I could learn more about the people and culture. In Portugal, I had that experience and more. First off, being that this was my first Rick Steves Tour, I had a vague idea of what to expect, but it was more fun and more relaxing than I expected. I'll definitely be going on another tour with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh, this is a tough question, but I'll give it a try...Porto stands out as the most beautiful city we visited, but I loved viewing the Atlantic from the top of the cliff in Nazare, seeing the Monastery of Santa Maris and hearing the story of the King Pedro and his murdered mistress, touring the library of Coimbra's 700 year-old library are all close seconds. Another favorite was staying in the Douro valley and sampling port wine at the family owned and operated vineyard."

Jeff

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful experience with the right mix of organized and free time. Our tour guide was exceptional with great knowledge of Portuguese history, culture, and politics.

Kitty

New York, NY

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip with great people as fellow tourists and staff. Each location within Portugal was different and brought its own highlights. All were rewarding and well worth experiencing. The challenges of the trip - very hot temperatures, a dangerous fire, and an accident with one of our group members - were managed professionally and expediently. I cannot imagine how it could have been done any better. Very professional - both Fatima - our guide and Karen - our assistant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments within this trip, but the Douro Valley was hard to beat. The beauty of the hillsides, our amazing hotel, the warm family who provided our port wine with accompanying lunch all stand out as incomparable. Beautiful country, warm people, outstanding food, and wonderful sites to visit. An outstanding trip with many "wow" moments."

Gail

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a wonderful country - with wonderful people! We were fortunate enough to be in Lisbon during the Festival of St. Anthony - and in Porto (one day after the tour ended) for the Festival of St. John. It was exciting to be able to participate like locals! Fatima prepped us well for the craziness! We spent several days in Cascais/Sintra before the tour started - highly recommend both! The ONLY downside was the heat wave that was happening while we were there. Another amazing R.S. tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was struck by the visit (on a Sunday) to Fatima, which really surprised me, as I am not a religious person. There was something magical about seeing part of the outdoor service, music coming down from the heavens, people waving hankies and approaching the chapel on their knees, filling water bottles with holy water, and lighting candles for prayers. On another day, maybe it wouldn't have been as impactful. I also loved the Fado performances!"

Michele

Arlington, MA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fatima was an amazing guide who set a great tone for the trip. I loved the large variety of experiences and types of activities; everything together made for a great experience. It felt like a relaxing trip with a good mix of activities and time off. Given the heat wave, we needed the time to rest. Also, Fatima and Karen handed a rough day of a traveler having an accident and the terrible fires on the same day. The injured tour mate received outstanding care from both guides. I enjoy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It wasn't one thing for me; rather the variety of experiences: loved Lisbon and Porto, Obidios, lots of good meals, little surprises from Fatima, like the Nata pastry. I liked have the mix of local guides. Liked the different monasteries and churches. Liked the family lunches on the estates. I enjoyed the 2 fado concerts and the landscape of the Douro valley."

Susanne

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I think the tour was more canned and not accepting of the tour members needs. The weather was extremely hot and several of the days should have had adjustments for the heat and smoke in the air due to the severe fires in central Portugal. When Karin and Fatima asked for a mid tour evaluation, I know many of us were concerned about the health and safety of our group. In particular, the first day's walk in Lisbon and the Cork Farm tour should have been revised for the weather condition

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley day was outstanding, including the lunch at the winery and the hotel along the river. My favorite moment was the Douro Valley winery lunch and wine tasting. I enjoyed meeting the owners, very nice people, this felt authentic."

Ray

Rantoul, KS

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought Portugal trip was very good. I learn a couple of things like CORK I had no ideas it came from bark of tree and of course eating different type of fish I found the food very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we arrived in Batalha and Fatima and set out from the bus it was on a Sunday morning the music was overwhelming, and the burning of candles. Then going inside the churches where Pop John Paul II had been this was just one wonderful WOW moment"

Arthur

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

loved Portugal. we ran into very hot weather and later into smoke from the fires. some of the schedule/route should have been changed to make that time more comfortable. too much emphasis on religious sites and "faith".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"some of the old walled cities.."

Sylvia

Rantoul, KS

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed local celebrations in Lisbon and walk the hills of the neighborhoods, saw a former Roman Temple site, enjoyed lots of wine. Visited a cork farm on a very hot day and learned how cork is harvested and had a wonderful meal with the family.Saw the Atlanic Ocean at Nazare,loved the walled town of Obidos and experienced the concern of the people with the local forest fires. Fatima was special with a quiet peacefulness.Painted a ceramic plate and had dinner with a wine farm family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to pick one. The Atlantic Ocean,Fado performance,the wine fields and Fatima."

Rhonda

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a blast. I toured with several friends I made from a previous RS tour to the Adriatic. The tour was exceptional except for the heat wave that when on pretty much during the entire tour. It was over 100 degrees several days in a row and then fires broke out near central Portugal. The heat made visiting some sights almost unbearable and after awhile wore on us. Portugal was everything I had hoped it would be--just a little unseasonably hot!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour was timed perfectly (purely by accident) to enjoy "Favorite Saints" celebrations in Lisbon and then in Porto. The reason why I keep taking RS tours is because of the cultural experiences that I get. I want to see and do what the locals do, and what better way then during their biggest party of the year. I don't think I'll ever forget the smell of sardines on the grill or the parade of dancers through Lisbon."

Christine

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was Hot!!! Then smokey! We were reunited (by design) with 8 friends that we first met on a Croatia tour so that was fun in itself. Portugal was totally delightful, safe and friendly. Fatima was warm, positive, organized and truely lovely. It was a good trip but I find I burn out on lectures and touring. I think I will do a my way tour next time. I like to take it a little slower,absorb the scenery, feel of the towns a little more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to have just one The festival in Lisbon The farm lunches at the cork farm and at the Douro Valley The visit to Fatima while a service was in progress The Hotel in the Douro Valley Obidos"

Margaret

Franklin, TN

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned so much about the history, culture, people, food, music, etc. of Portugal. Taking a tour such as this really provides so much more than one can get from touring on one's own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not any one "Wow" moment but rather a series[INVALID]city after city. But then too[INVALID]The tiles of Portugal, everywhere!"

Liz

Harahan, LA

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The two opportunities to visit actual families engaged in their life work-the trip to the Rovisco Gartchia family and the Douro Valley winery. These experiences are what distinguish RS trips. It was an insightful opportunity to view not only the diversity of economic enterprises but gain a hint of how geo-political influences the fortunes and experiences of two very different families. A discussion of this point post visit would have been useful."

Glenys

Oviedo, FL

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well done! We really enjoyed this tour. It was well planned, and our guide was enthusiastic about showing us her country. We liked the mix of time with the group and time to ourselves. Traveling on the comfortable and uncrowded bus was very pleasant. We had a great group of fellow travelers and enjoyed getting to know them. We had some experiences we know we would have missed if we had been traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to the cork farm and the Douro Valley vineyard, as well as our lunches there, were most memorable. It was wonderful to meet members of the families who own these farms and hear their stories. We also loved the Fado performances."

Lawrence

West Islip, NY

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Everything you managed about the trip was perfect. Plus the weather and traveling companions were great. A dynamite combination for a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm and the winery tour. I learned a lot about those businesses and about these special people who run them. I never expected that kind of experience. Thanks for that."

Debra

Junction City, OR

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed my Portugal tour. It was a country we hadn't had a lot of knowledge about so I was very excited to learn more. It was a great tour. Our guide was wonderful and she was great in helping us find things during our free time. I would recommend this tour to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. My first "wow" moment was in Evora with the Roman aqueduct and temple. That was pretty awesome. I loved it."

William

Junction City, OR

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Maria our guide was an amazing person. She really made the tour fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cork farm was amazing."

Branda

Port Angeles, WA

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time in Portugal. So glad that we went. Maria was outstanding. She was personable, friendly and very knowledgeable on everything Portugal. It was a great combination of tour time together and down time to do what we wanted. All of the hotels were great with wonderful breakfast setups. The restaurants that we all went to were very nice and food was great. Enjoyed all the special little tours that we got to do that weren't your typical tourist locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First was going to the "Rovisco Garcia" Farm. The tour around the cork fields and learning how they harvest the trees was fantastic. They put together a wonderful meal for us with great wines and olive oil. The second "wow" moment was going to the "Coimbra Ceramics" for a tour. Beautiful pottery and so fun to see the process from beginning to end. The last "wow" was the Duoro Valley and the "Tonnellerie Quintessance" estate. The estates were beautiful and great food. Very nice."

Walter

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An excellent tour to provide an introduction to Portugal. The tour provided a variety of cities, sights, and experiences. Knowledgeable and personable tour guide and local guides were key to making this tour a great vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visits to family run businesses were the best part of the tour. Tour included visit to cork and wine ranch, a porcelain factory, and vineyard. These activities wouldn't have been possible if you traveled on your own."

David

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was interesting and informative. I developed an appreciation for Portugal's history and personality. I liked experiencing the small, old cities as a contrast to Lisbon and Porto. I enjoyed the geographic diversity of the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to the two farms, the meals at each and meeting some who lived and worked there. The ceramic plant was interesting, as well."

Elizabeth

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide, wonderful bus driver. Great schedule of sightseeing with history and culture added to the mix.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I particularly enjoyed the visits to the cork farm and to the port vineyard. These trips were very informative, and we were hosted by gracious people. The food also was delicious!"

Bob

Saint Charles, IL

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First, our tour guide, Maria, is a gem. She is warm, kind, helpful, and extremely knowledgeable. In addition, her passion for Portugal was obvious from the start. Portugal is a beautiful country and reminded me of Italy in many ways. The wine was superb, but the cuisine was disappointing. I felt the food was bland and uninteresting, but my comparison benchmark was Italy, which is hard to beat food-wise. Also disappointed with some of the hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Evora, Coimbra, and Porto. The weather all 14 days, while some days were very hot, was wonderful - everyday filled with sunshine. Porto was much larger than expected, with a lot of energy and things to do. Enjoyed it more than Lisbon."

Albert

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall tour experience like our previous three RS tours was fantastic. I love the organization of the tour, the small groups, the bus which is half full.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maria was our wow moment. She is patient, knowledgeable, and very charming"

Mary Ellen

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am impressed by how well managed, well paced and seamless the whole trip was. I particularly liked the interactions and events with real people from Portugal. I was initially concerned that these might be too contrived or artificial but was pleased to feel that I had just been dropped in on various aspects of Portuguese life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to admit that I am a fado fan and the two intimate performances arranged for our tour group were amazing. The performers were very talented and gracious in their interactions with the group. I particularly liked the venue in Lisbon and felt that I had entered through a backdoor into a part of Lisbon that I would not normally have been allowed."

Jennae

Lafayette, CO

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

What a great time I had! Maria was a wonderful tour director I enjoyed interacting with the other people in our tour and each day offered a new experience. We did so many things that I would never have done on my own or even thought to do!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed so many things, it's hard to pick just one! The visit to the cork forrest was fantastic as was the Fado singers and seeing the Douro valley."

Rosanne

Granbury, TX

Tour: 06/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the places we visited. We had a great group and excellent tour guide. A free full day is always appreciated. It was not part of this tours' itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery of the Douro Valley was spectacular. The other "wow" moment was in Porto. It was on the Day 11 walking tour. Our group was surprised by the gorgeous hillside when we stepped out onto one of the bridges. Sorry, don't know the name of the bridge."

Jean Ann

Ft Mitchell, KY

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great with a good deal of the credit going to Cristina. I really liked her style of guiding. By the end, I felt like I had made a new friend. Funny, entertaining, strong, knowledgable. She crowd-wrangled well and made for a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the cork farm and separate vineyard that we visited. Both were great at understanding the rural nature of Portugal. Our owner hosts were VERY informative, enjoyed and helpful. AND THE HOME COOKED FOOD was FANTASTIC! Great weather certainly helped on both days."

Karen

Schaumburg, IL

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip- well thought out itinerary. Great group of fellow travelers. Terrific guide and driver!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lovely Douro Valley was a total wow!"

Jerrianne

Lacey, WA

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"visit to the cork farm...fantastic owners (guiding and hospitality)"

Gerry

Lacey, WA

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

While I had learned about Portuguese explorers since grade school I knew little about Portugal. The tour immersed me in Portugal's history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was our visit to Fatima where I witnessed profound adoration of Mary."

John

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great fun and I learned a tremendous amount about a large part of Portugal and its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to the cork farm and winery -- amazing."

Randi

San Luis Obispo, CA

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual the tour group was a wonderful mix of interesting people of all backgrounds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria, just incredibly beautiful."

Marc

Bothell, WA

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Rafael was very passionate about his country which elevated the experience. Our guide at the Gulbenkian museum, Christina I believe, was also amazing. Her understanding of every item in the museum made it the tour unlike any experience I have had in a museum. And then there is the food. I love black porc cheeks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the cork farm. Until we arrived at the farm I assumed all corks where a compressed wood product not a solid piece of bark."

Weather

Portugal / Lisbon

Portugal Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

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.

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as the complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Transportation

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 arrange to fly into Lisbon and out of Porto ("multicity" 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 your Rick Steves guidebook for more details.

Packing

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

Special packing note: We use an audioguide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.