• 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

2019

    • Apr 15–Apr 26 (Mo–Fr)
    • $3,195 + Air

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    • Apr 17–Apr 28 (We–Su)
    • $3,195 + Air

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    • Apr 22–May 3 (Mo–Fr)
    • $3,195 + Air

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    • Apr 24–May 5 (We–Su)
    • $3,195 + Air

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    • Apr 29–May 10 (Mo–Fr)
    • $3,395 + Air

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    • May 1–May 12 (We–Su)
    • $3,395 + Air

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    • May 6–May 17 (Mo–Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 8–May 19 (We–Su)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • May 13–May 24 (Mo–Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • Sep 23–Oct 4 (Mo–Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • Oct 7–Oct 18 (Mo–Fr)
    • $3,495 + Air

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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
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • 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 2019
  • 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 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 short meeting, followed by an orientation walk through our neighborhood, and a "Welcome to Portugal" dinner together. Sleep in Lisbon (3 nights). No bus. Walking: moderate.

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

Susan

Regina, SK

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first time Rick Steves tour attendee I was more than impressed with every part of the tour and have highly recommended it to friends. Rafael added to the daily adventures with informed historical and local details. His ability to respond to queries with ease aided in decision making during free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley - sitting on the deck of our hotel with a glass of wine looking over the river and valley was a beautiful, relaxing end to the day."

Thomas

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Landscape, history, and culture brought to life by the most professional, knowledgeable and passionate guide of any tour we have ever experienced. Amazing experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in Fátima was very special. The spirituality and pure emotion was unlike any experience, including several trips to the Vatican."

Elise

Cambridge, MA

Tour: 09/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour! Great group of travellers! And an amazing tour guide, Cristina!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one "wow" moment. The Portugal trip had so many lovely experiences."

Gerry

East Berlin, PA

Tour: 09/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour, destinations, food, guide and tour group! It was one of the top tours we have done with RS!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stomping grapes was just a BLAST! I realize we hit the grape harvest season just right but WOW! What fun!"

Rick

Vashon, WA

Tour: 09/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour overall. We had a very pleasant group - many nice people. Covered a lot of ground. The logistics of the tour were essentially seamless - smooth transitions from city to city and venue to venue. Many fun experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the tour of the cork farm and the lunch there. Also the tour of the winery in the Douro valley."

Gail

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great to get out of the cities and into the small towns and country side. These areas provided a view of the "real" Portugal. The special visits to the cork forest and farming family, tile factory and vineyard, complete with grape stomping was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How much of the old parts of Portugal still exist - walled cities, Roman aquaducts, baroque and Romanesque churches and how the country is working hard to preserve this part of its heritage."

Linda

Glenview, IL

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. I would recommend it enthusiastically. Our guide Fatima was wonderful. She is passionate about her country and really gave us a feel for this wonderful country and it's people. Also, she was fun to be with. She was watchful and helpful to all. I feel I learned a lot about Portugal and it's history. The tours to the cork farm and the vineyard were so much fun and their owners were such wonderful people. There was a lot to do in 12 days, but still had a little down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I had one wow moment. The highlights for me were the farm/vineyard tours and lunches with our hosts. I found myself saying "I'm headed to the library when I get home to search for Portuguese cookbooks."

William

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide, Fatima, was excellent. Very knowledgeable about the sites and very proud of her country. Great group and phenomenal itenerary.

Catherine

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful from start to finish. I really didn't know exactly what to expect from Portugal, but my experiences were all positive. First of all the Portuguese people are wonderful - friendly, genuinely hospitable, helpful and very skillful with the English language. We saw wonderful sites - beautiful churches, monasteries, and university buildings, rural landscapes (Douro Valley), and a cork "farm" and winery. Our guide, Fatima, was first rate - among the best in my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always a difficult question. My favorite church/monastery was the beautiful Monastery of Santa Maria of Victory in Batalha. The experience of standing in the unfinished chapel and gazing up past the beautiful gothic columns into the sky was awesome. My favorite experience was at the winery in the Douro Valley - first picking the grapes, then stomping them in a big vat, and finally having a lovely "farm lunch" and sampling the local wine."

Kevin

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overall tour! What drew me to the tour was that, with the exceptions of Sintra and the Algarve, the itinerary hits every major site described in Rick's Portugal guidebook. It would be very hard to put together an equally comprehensive 12-day overview of Portugal on your own. This is not a tour for you if you don't like hills, but in all other respects it's easy to see why this is one of Rick's best-selling tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One morning we pulled into a highway rest stop for a scheduled break, but the rest stop was closed. So, we continued a few miles to the nearest town. The driver wound his way to the center of town while our guide described the locations of the nearest cafes and restrooms, plus a set of stairs to climb to get a scenic overview of the town. If you'd been sleeping in the back of the bus, you would never guess the stop had been improvised. Impressive recovery!"

Peggy

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was fantastic. I began the tour knowing nothing about Portugal. During the tour I learned the history, economic troubles and also about the people, who I found to be delightful. The cities we visited were varied and well planned. I enjoyed every single day of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was stomping grapes at a winery in the Douro Valley. Being in a very large cement vat full of port wine grapes with many of my tour mates stomping to accordion music was very fun and definitely a highlight of the trip. Also, the beauty of the Douro Valley was awesome."

Robert

Glenview, IL

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great guide and driver. Also excellent local guides. The cork farm tour was an experience that was unique.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving the Douro Valley and the cork farm."

Cynthia

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another typical Rick Steves tour in that it was absolutely fantastic. Another outstanding tour guide in Fatima, great traveling buddies, can't believe the jaw-dropping scenery in the Douro Valley, and other exclusive Rick Steves activities like grape stomping, visiting a cork farm and the ceramic tile experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are always multiple daily 'wow' moments, but again, the natural beauty of the Douro Valley can't be surpassed. Every church, monastery and cathedral had it's own special beauty but being in Fatima on Sunday for a mass was beyond Wow."

Stephen

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a hidden treasure for travelers and this tour shows why this wonderful country, cities and people will not remain a travel secret for long. Our guide, Fatima, was an awesome tour leader and made this trip very memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day was a new Wow moment but I especially enjoyed the visits to the more rural areas including the cork farm and winery where we got to stomp grapes."

Sherry

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is an amazing country; its people are the warmest, friendliest, and most helpful I have met; Fatima made it ALL come alive with her knowledge, passion and love of her country, humility and a keen sense of humor. She also has indefatigable energy. We experienced everything listed on the tour, cities, events, sites and sights with great tour guides, time to explore. I came away with a new group of friends, happy memories and a deep desire to visit Portugal again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were SO many, but I think seeing the Douro Valley stood out for its sheer immensity, and of course for the way Fatima shared its rich history, the love its inhabitants have for the land, their care & love of it. Visiting the Port winery was a stellar experience. Maria, family member & our guide exuded joy in the way she spoke of her life & her eagerness that we enjoy picking, stomping grapes & taking pictures for us so we would have those memories."

Mary Beth

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal was a wonderful trip. We had a fun group of people and Fatima was great.The wide variety of experiences was greatly appreciated. Loved the food. The Portuguese people were so friendly and helpful. I really enjoyed the quality of the hotels we stayed in. I would definitely recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Church of Sao Francisco was my WOW moment. I have been in churches and cathedrals all over Europe, but this one was jaw-dropping beautiful."

Joan

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, itinerary, tour director, and day guides. We absolutely loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the grape stomping the best! But every day was something wonderful."

Bill

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 09/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 4th Rick Steves tour was another winner and good for a first time intro to Portugal. Making it 13 days with a full day trip to Sintra from Lisbon could be a plus. Our half day taste of the Atlantic beach was just right; Algarve would be too much. Our guide Maria is a true gem: knowledgeable, very well organized, kind, funny. It's no coincidence that by the end of the tour our 27 members felt like a family - probably the most completely congenial group we have been in on any RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The idea of "Wow moments" seems a bit out of place in Portugal, which served up a steady stream of very interesting people, places, history, music, tiles, food and beverages. Porto was gorgeous and fascinating. Visits to the Alentejo cork forest and the Douro winery, and quality time with the families who run them, were also highlights. The Portuguese people we met, both in the group context as well as on our own, were very welcoming."

Ed

Stevensville, MI

Tour: 09/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was another excellent tour. We learned about places we had not seen before, we had unique experiences and we interacted with interesting people. It was enjoyable and educational at the same time.

Karen

Hernando Beach, FL

Tour: 09/19/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It would be outstanding except my friend I was traveling with got a cold and shared that with me and fellow travelers. Maria was guide and she was amazing. Always had time to spend with each traveler . Although I have used Ricks books in independent travel for many decades, this was the first tour I took.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was the grape crushing."

Anthony

West Deptford, NJ

Tour: 09/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Please refer to comments by my wife, Annette. We collaborated on the comments together.

Annette

West Deptford, NJ

Tour: 09/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip. Saw and did many things that would not have been possible on our own. Maria was a terrific guide, outstanding...knowledgeable, friendly, fun to be with and helpful to all. We stayed at excellent hotels and out of the way places that added to the enjoyment of our trip. All the meals we shared, both in quality restaurants and more intimate settings, were delicious and varied. Excellent wines added to the experience. Our tour group was just small enough to get to know everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose just one "wow" moment, so many little things that were unexpected. The luncheon we had at the cork forest estate, shared with the 93 yr old matriarch of the family and hearing about the history behind their land, of harvesting grapes and stomping on them to accordion and drum beat, our stay at a country estate with dinner served on a patio strung with lights, being treated to a "medieval" evening of food and dancers, a food tour of Porto...all memorable moments."

Joanne

Northampton, MA

Tour: 09/19/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I very much enjoyed the trip, and was especially pleased with the nice group of people and our guide, Maria, who was knowledgable, and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was eating our incredible food at the cork farm, where the family, the ambiance and culmination of learning highlighted the trip."

Gary

Northampton, MA

Tour: 09/19/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Of the seven European tours I have taken with Rick Steves Tours, I found Portugal to be the least interesting and the food was underwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say I experienced a real WOW moment. The most interesting activity was the tour of the cork farm."

John

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/19/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally, a very good tour experience. Our guide, Maria, was excellent--knowledgeable, kind, patient, and supportive. We went to Sintra on our own prior to start of the tour, and am glad we did as it was one of the best two days of the trip. It is a shame that the tour does not include a night in Sintra. We may have spent a bit too much time in churches, but that is a major element in Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time spent at the cork forest and listening to the fellow describe the process of harvesting the cork and hearing his tremendous passion for the land and the people who work for him."

Marsha

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This active, busy, tour was just fantastic. The guide was such a history buff and his explanations were helpful and interesting. Portugal is absolutely beautiful and has so much history and so many UNESCO sites, it must have been hard to choose an itinerary. I enjoyed the city tours, the short travels, the country stays, and the cruise. The guide, Rafael, was very professional, fun, caring, and attentive. Also, the people on this trip were fantastic. This made the trip absolutely wonderful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, it was getting to stomp those port wine grapes in the Douro Valley. I've just never had so much fun!! But, I also loved some of the other sites like the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon and the Gulbenkian."

Charles

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We look back and remember the perfect Photo Stops, treats of local delicacies, GREAT meals, and plenty of good wine. We won't forget Rafael's history lesson in Belem, his poems, and teaching moments. We tell our friends that Rick Steves tours are a good value - they give a great overview of the region being explored and visits to a carefully refined list of top attractions. Comfortable buses, enough seating. Hotels are all clean and safe plus they are close to the top attractions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment was the Douro valley and visit to the winery. The scenery was breathtaking, the bus ride was exciting (thank goodness you have great bus drivers!). We were lucky enough to visit at harvest time and got to pick grapes and stomp grapes. The guides at the winery were very knowledgable and so much fun to visit with. Every stop on the itinerary was a hit!"

Mary

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw some amazing places! There were a variety of experiences that were very educational. The food was terrific!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley was so beautiful. Vineyard after vinyard climbing the mountains with the river running down the middle."

Grace

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great experience with a wonderful guide, group and itinerary. Our guide, Rafael, was so passionate about his country, history and people greatly enhanced the overall experience for me. He was also funny, helpful, caring and full of surprise treats. The group was great! They were fun, friendly and inclusive. The itinerary was a fun mix of large and smaller cities, with a great stay in the Douro Valley. Hotels were centrally located, which is especially great for navigating on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the visit to the winery and stomping the grapes in the Douro Valley. It was so much fun! The visit to the cork farm was very interesting and surprising."

Susan

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of fellow travelers. Our tour guide Rafael was fantastic. His breadth of knowledge was incredible and he spoiled us with special treats and activities. Country was beautiful especially the Duoro Valley.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stomping grapes at the winery. Hilarious and fun. Drinking the wine was special too."

Matthew

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A beautiful county with a rich history. Portugal is a must see country. It is simply amazing that such a small country has had such an incredible impact on mankind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing, eating and staying in the Douro wine country . . . need I say more?"

Debra

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rafael was a passionate, caring, knowledgeable tour guide with a good sense of humor. He was able to give us a sense of the history of the country and current environment. He consistently surprised us with treats. I particlarly enjoyed our trip in a tuctuc to a scenic overview followed by dinner in a little neighborhood restaurant. He had an extensive knowledge of each region and town we stayed in. His many restaurant and activity suggestions were very helpful and much appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Druro Valley. The Cork farm and winery were excellent experiences that helped us to understand the country and it's people."

Nikki

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my fourth Rick Steve's tour and I was not disappointed. I always find very experienced, knowledgable and fun guides, as well as fellow travelers. The hotels are unique and very European which is truly enjoyable, as are the arranged group meals at the smaller and/or family owned establishments. I no longer want to spend valuable time worrying about transportation and lodging, or wondering how long the lines at various landmarks will be; that is efficiently taken care of for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I most enjoyed the tour and meal at the family owned cork farm, and the picking and stomping of the grapes at the port winery, as well as their excellent meal."

Barbara

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina was a fabulous guide. She was organized, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fun. We experienced many different modes of travel, bus, funicular, boat, tuk tuk, and farm wagon. The people on the tour were friendly and since I was alone on the trip, I felt included in the activities. I enjoyed the walks we did exploring the cities, markets, farms and winery. The food and wine were excellent as were the tasty little custard pies that were everywhere.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two, the visit to the cork farm and stomping grapes at the vineyard."

Christopher

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very good introduction for a first-timer in Portugal. The tour was over too soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I guess I'm split between the fado performance and dinner and the visit and lunch at the cork oak farm. Both were memorable."

Reid

St Pete Beach, FL

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed this tour. All aspects of the tour were exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a "wow" moment!"

Bob

Gainesville, VA

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a success in my eyes because our guide, Christina, made the tour interesting and informative. She painted a picture of Portugal and the Portuguese people. The use of additional guides at several locations enhanced the experience. The visit to the cork farm and the vineyard were particular highlights for me. I had no idea how cork was harvested and stomping the grapes was a rip. The mix of people worked well and we got to appreciate each other by the end of the tour.

Kathee

Gainesville, VA

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and I would rate it very good to outstanding. I truly have no complaints and was amazed at how compatible everyone on the tour seemed to be..I know we have made many friends from around the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley was beautiful and the WOW moment was the grape stomping at the winery. Even the people watching had a great time."

Jean

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Portugal tour is terrific and we are happy that it is a stand alone tour now. There is so much to see and do in Portugal that it easily filled the twelve days with impressive sights, fun activities, and delicious food and wine. We were very lucky with the weather so we were able to enjoy every activity thoroughly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tie between two activities. I loved the visit to the Quinta in the Duoro Valley where we had the opportunity to pick and stomp grapes destined for bottles of port, followed by a delightful lunch with generous tastes of their wines and varieties of port. The second wow, was the visit to the cork farm. We learned so much and again were treated to a lovely lunch with a member of the hosting family seated at each table so that we could ask questions and get to know a bit more about them."

Elisabeth

Guelph, ON

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel like we really experienced Portugal; it involved a variety of ways of seeing aspects of the Country, from hitting the tourist highlights, to visiting a non-touristy Cork Farm and having lunch with the family. The Guide was empowered to make various impromptu decisions (e.g., ice cream included following a long walking tour of Lisbon) that would make our experience even more unforgettable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cork Farm experience was my "wow". I learned a lot, in a fun and experiential way, met some wonderful people, and consumed delicious food and wine."

Karen

Ogden, UT

Tour: 09/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first trip to Europe so seeing Portugal in such detail was nothing short of amazing! I loved the small tour group and our superb tour guide Christina!She had so many unexpected surprises for us that each day felt like Christmas! The places we visited were so beautiful and unique and gave me endless opportunities to embrace the Portuguese people and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Fatima was incredibly spiritual and heartfelt. My grandparents were born in Portugal so this has been my lifelong dream to come see the place where my grandmother was born. She was my most Godly influence. My cousin Lynne and niece Sarah (also on the tour) and I knelt on the pathway to the shrine and held my Grandmother's rosary and said a prayer together. "Wow" doesn't begin to describe the love in my heart for being given this moment!"

Jeanette

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just great! Loved the fact that we went to see Portugal and really felt we had seen a large part of it. But we did not have to do all the organizing ourselves. This tour for us was part of an extended trip, just great to have someone look after all details. Our quide Fatima provided extra value by sharing personal stories about Portugal, buying us extra treats, snacks, stuff we might not have tried ourselves. Accomadation was top notch, and in the best locations. Provided meals were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to Fatima was an experience I wasn't expecting. Fatima got us there on time on a Sunday to see the end of Mass procession, lots of people, not your ordinary candle lighting."

Johanna

Kelso, WA

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent, thoroughly enjoyable! It was great sharing the experience with the other tour members, everyone was extremely friendly and positive, wonderful travelers who added to the enjoyment and success of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were twelve days of "wow" moments! At the top of the list of "wow" moments was visiting Fatima and the Douro Valley."

Bruce

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS tour. We have enjoyed both of them. The other was Eastern Europe with Katka. We got to see their different styles. We got to meet other seasoned RS travelers on a fabulous journey through Portugal. Fatima did a great job and treated us as family. The weather was fantastic with 90 degree temps every day but one. The food selection was excellent. I got to eat octopus twice and had barnacles. Felt safe at all times. Hotel selection was very good. Enjoyed the trip!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 3 "WOW" moments - personal, couple and group Personal - (joke) Fatima introduced our bus driver "NU NU" with Portugese accent. I asked is "NO No" married to "YES YES" Couple - We stayed on after tour was over and went to Salema to recharge and relax. Beach scene was great! Had a great full moon lit dinner along the beach. Group - Douro Valley at Eufemia winery with grape stomping, great meal with host and the Hotel afterward with a great breakfast along the Douro River."

Noel

Briarcliff Manor, NY

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

In total, with a few minor glitches, I was quite impressed with the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unquestionably, the tour and stay in the Douro Valley was one of the most breathtaking visual experiences of my life."

Sylvia

Briarcliff Manor, NY

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Noel and I have always travelled through Europe on our own. This was our first experience with a tour group and I must say, I will be traveling with Rick Steves from now one. Our tour guide Fatima, the people in our group and our overall travels through Portugal made for a memorable tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the breathtaking views of the Douro Valley. Also, loved seeing a cork farm, learning about how it is harvested and having lunch and spending time with the Rovisco Garcia family. They were so welcoming."

Catherine

Durango, CO

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fatima was an upbeat & very professional guide,making the tour both very educational and fun. The local guides were also wonderful. The accommodations were top notch.the included meals & extras that Fatima did with her discretionary money were always a pleasant surprise. I loved everything about the tour with the exception of one thing that can't be fixed, and that is that there was not enough free time. Despite this I wouldn't be surprised to find myself On another great RS adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The.ruins outside Coimbra - To see the remains of the Roman civilization uneathed & so amazingly preserved out in the open, rather than in a history book was incredible. Another wow was seeing the our Lady of Fatima procession."

Evans

Durango, CO

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and it was wonderful! My expectations regarding learning the history and culture of Portugal we're far exceeded. I enjoyed the mixture of large cities and small towns that we visited. The tour is also a great value. The quality of the food and hotels was excellent. The guides and the experiences they provided were all memorable. There were also several experiences that are available only to Rick's tours. I cannot imagine a better tour company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was a Wow moment. Experiences that particularly impressed me were the cork farm and the winery tour in the Douro valley. The Sunday procession for the Lady of Fatima was particularly moving."

Dale

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding! I rate it among the top two tours I have ever taken (along with Rick's "Eastern Europe") I usually keep a diary as I travel. This time I decided to give myself a break and rely on Rick's tour outline. What a mistake on my part! The tour was so much more. The real adventure is in the details. They were varied and unique.You must live the tour to experience the warmth of the Portugese people and your fellow tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many"wows" so little space! We had the opportunity to re-create a famous episode from the T.V. show "I Love Lucy". Imagine the setting in the vineyards of the beautiful Douro Valley at harvest. There are 27 American tourists stomping grapes in a huge vat of purple liquid & grape skins. The owners of the vineyard are playing the accordian & beating the drum for us. We need to stop laughing so we don't fall in.I am still bleeding purple. Remember this while drinking red port wine in 2 years."

Sarah

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded my expectations. A wide variety of experiences enhanced this wonderful country. I came away with a better understanding of Portugal's history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments. Visiting the cork farm, learning the process of harvesting cork. Also, visiting Fatima, which was awe-inspiring."

Margaret

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great trip and each day was another chapter. I found Portugal to be a warm country both in climate and hospitality. We were all fortunate to have delightful weather and a friendly tour guide in Fatima. We were hoping to get a group picture in the end, as in other tours. Overall, it was a fun trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say its two- fold: Having the opportunity to go to Fatima and see the procession of our Lady of Fatima. The Douro Valley is just beautiful and the scenery was magnificent. Great fun and hospitality at the winery. What a" hoot" that we got to stomp grapes! I think it really brought the group together."

Maureen

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fell in love with Portugal! And I attribute those feelings to the many talks that our guide Fatima gave about her country. She told us about the political hard times that her people endured and about the "Carnation Revolution ". She talked to us about their progressive drug policy and many other topics. I really enjoyed our fellow tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved stomping grapes at the vineyard in the Douro Valley and hearing about the operations of the vineyard.We were so lucky because it was harvest time and we were sent out with our buckets and shears to cut the grapes(and along the way the family picked figs for us)."

Jane

Carver, MA

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steeve's tour, and it did not disappoint. It was very well organized and provided a wide variety of experiences that it is unlikely we would have had if we travelled there on our own. We enjoyed the hands on experiences and the opportunity to walk around and immerse ourselves in the local communities that we visited. It also provided a nice balance with time on our own to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to isolate a WOW moment as there were many. First of all was the ride from the airport in Lisbon to our hotel. Taking in the architecture of the city with it's brightly colored tiles was impressive. This continued throughout the trip. We enjoyed the visit to the cork farm and the winery, complete with grape stomping. Perhaps one of the most memorable moments was the trip to Fatima. It was perfectly timed as we arrived just as the procession began."

James

Rocky Face, GA

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The amazing things about traveling and touring with Rick Steve's are the extra special events that are Amazing as to the wonderful adventures that are not expected or on the itinerary. This being our 12th tour with Rick Steve's was just excellent and the group was also extra special. Maria, our guide was so nice with all the extra information and advise. Maria, took care of the entire group just like we were here family. Great adventure filled with joy and excitement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Geological excavation of graves 1300-1500 years old ongoing within 50 feet of the front door of our My Story Tego in Lisbon. What a way to start the tour of Portugal. Chapel of Bones was a once in a lifetime event along with the geological evacuation as mentioned above. Just being able tour Portugal the way we did was outstanding and couldn't have been any better than what we all experienced. All the places we toured were more than was expected. All the hotels and Accommodations great."

Chuck

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each day was a new adventure of sights, sounds, food, culture and people. How stimulating and just plain fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Could it be the cork farm where we learned of the importance of this product to the country and it qualities all tied together by dining with the patriarch of the family. What insights we learned of present day Portugal and his family's past. Could it be the stroll through the vineyards tasting the sun kissed grapes, beautiful vistas, learning of the family business and history of seven brothers and sisters; then having lunch and tasting wines and ports. Many not just one."

Christie

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Since this was my first tour (Rick Steve's or otherwise) I have no comparison. I enjoyed every minute for many reasons. It was an amazing group of people I grew to value and love by the end of the tour. Our guide, Maria, was just about perfect. Had we not been on the tour we would have seen about half of what we were able to see and would have had some language frustrations even having studied some of the words and phrases beforehand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is difficult. I guess the Portuguese tiles I saw everywhere from the subway stations to the funicular station to building outside and inside decorations. The other wow was the sense of history timeline. To see a country whose civilization goes back thousands of years through conquerors to self government by monarchy to dictator to democracy and was at the forefront of exploration in the renaissance but has come to value peace is impressive and we can learn from them."

Molly

Danville, CA

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. Accommodations and food was outstanding. Maria was friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. The cities and countryside were beautiful. My only negative comment is shopkeepers and general public were rude. Rick Steves' does an outstanding job, I highly recommend him to everyone.

Deborah

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip with a variety of experiences. I particularly enjoyed the city experiences in Lisbon and Porto, but our visits to the cork farm and the vineyard showed us the beautiful countryside as well as the cities. We had a very congenial group of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think there was one "wow" moment, but I really enjoyed our visit to the cork farm and lunch with the family. Other favorites included making our own tile at the ceramics factory and joining in with the medieval dancers in Obidos. Visiting Navare and having a day at the beach was also very relaxing and showed a different side of Portugal."

Jon

Livermore, CA

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Many things were a little better than I had expected. The food was more interesting, the hotel rooms were a little nicer, the neighborhoods were a little less touristy, and the Euro went farther.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting across the river from Porto (in Gaia?) on a beautiful sunny afternoon sipping glasses of port and eating amazing appetizers."

Barbara

Roeland Park, KS

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip of a lifetime. Combined this trip with Best of Spain (review of this later.) I knew little of Portugal but our wonderful guide, Maria took care of that. She was an absolute delight-patient, considerate and informative. The pace was great with time to explore on our own. Our fellow passenger were fun and friendly. We toured the best places in every city and our visit to the cork farm was outstanding. Where else could you do that? The hotels were all 4 and 5 Star, in the middle of the action

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick a favorite. Obidos was amazing. We found a little bar and had "flaming sausage." Outstanding view at the hotel. Went to Douro for a wine tour and walked through the vineyard and ate grapes in the vine. Had a ball with our fun guide and all our fellow travelers. The cork farm was great too."

Ann

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We found Lisbon to be a bit overwhelming and were happy to get to smaller towns. Our trip just got better and better and we learned so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Douro Valley-the landscape was extraordinary. The tiles are amazing!"

Peter

Sherwood Park, AB

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We found this trip fun and exhilarating. We met a great couple from Los Angeles who we will continue to keep in touch with. One of the best things about the trips are the people you make a connection with. We were blown away by the quality of the hotels. Our favourite was in Óbidos. The mist in the morning and street sounds coming in the open window will be with us forever. Second favourite was the hotel in Porto, an amazing city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment for both myself and my wife was the Fado performance in Lisbon. Just goes to show "it's what inside that counts and not the outside" (of the building). We also had a great evening at Óbidos with the medieval performance. The group managed to get everyone involved and laughing. A perfect night."

Armen

Glendale, CA

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was tailored very well giving the utmost important point in less time in a very good price.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was impressive and thoughtful, all entertainments were very much informative and entertaining impressive. The entertainment in Obidos was very much impressive, that was a WOW moment to me."

Kathleen

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We experienced so much of Portugal - tiles, castle walls, white-washed buildings with red tile roofs, pasteis de nata (several times over), port, salted cod, beaches to mountains, fado, history from early Roman times, ornate churches, medieval dancing, gelato...... Our guide, Maria Jose, brought Portugal alive to us. She was so knowledgeable, arranging local guides, answering all our questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Views of the Douro Valley from the Quinta de Santa Eufemia. Because the landscape is so rugged, the vineyards looked like a patchwork quilt."

Heidi

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have never done a tour group vacation before so wasn't really sure what to expect. From the beginning of the tour meeting our guide Rafael and the other members of the group to the end it was one of the best if not the best vacations I have taken. It was so well planned out that I didn't have to do anything but enjoy every day and moment of the tour. Our guide Rafael made sure we received the best experience possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many 'wow' moments from beginning to end I can't really say but when I first got into Lisbon I said 'wow' I didn't know they had so many hills! The experience of traveling from city to city and seeing the different parts of the country and the visit to the centuries old owned Cork Oak Farm to a family owned vineyard and learning and listening to 'Fado' music and just meeting all the wonderful people was a 'WOW' moment I will always remember."

James

Santa Ana, CA

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Raphael made the tour. Whatever you are paying him...it's not enough!! His knowledge of Portugal's history is amazing but then he also can give you the Roman history of Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm and the wonderful people there that welcomed us as if we were long lost relatives. I also enjoyed the quaint out of the way restaurants that we ate at."

Stana

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was energizing and we feel we really got to know Portugal. We liked the people on the tour, they were interesting and seasoned travelers that had something to say. The countryside was lovely and visiting the cork farm and vineyard gave us insights into the real lives of people. Rafael was the best tour guide I've ever seen. He had a wealth of knowledge to share and was part Dad sheparding us around and providing special treats like Natas and Ginginja.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved sitting in front of the Sandeman Port Lodge and watching the river traffic and scenery"

Mary

Wichita, KS

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the best tours I have ever taken in one of the most beautiful and culturally intact countries in the world. From the weather to the food, wine, art, history, people and pace of the tour, I could not have been more pleased.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The personal/private tour of the vineyards, followed by an incredible lunch, in the Duoro River Valley at the Quarta de Santa Eufemia Vineyards. We tasted the sweet, ripe grapes straight from the vines, still warm from the sun. The homemade food could not have been better. One dessert (of 3) was warm chocolate cake with fresh custard sauce and port wine--yum! The family/owners gave a wonderful description, in perfect English, of their business and their vision for their wines."

Warren

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This "heart" of Portugal tour far exceeded my expectations and was an amazing journey and discovery of the great history and culture of Portugal and the Portuguese spirit. This was because of our amazing guide,Rafael, who led us on this journey and a wonderful group of fellow travelers who showed great caring, camaraderie and passion for adventure and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one "wow" moment as every day of the tour had at least one "wow" moment. Our arrival into the Duoro Valley did stand out as seeing the terraced vineyards was spectacular and awe inspiring from our cliff hugging drive into the valley."

Julie

Bradenton, FL

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Portugal and felt like we really got to see the country, meet lots of Portuguese, eat great food and still had plenty of time to look for mementos.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Porto. Great food, easy to get around, beautiful hotel though the wine country was also outstanding with the river between steep slopes and the vineyards on the terraced sides divided by olive trees.There wasn't a day that I did not enjoy."

Janet

Evanston, IL

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I am a first time traveler with your company. Everything was very thorough: pretrip info, appreciate getting info via email. Excellent guide, well paced

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to the cork farm. Having lunch with Teresa at our table. She was happy to engage in conversation about the farm and her cooking skills. The landscape in the area was a wow moment."

John

Wichita, KS

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"cork safari and lunch afterwards on the property. Also the ceramic factory"

Barry

Evanston, IL

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Informative and in-line with the tour descriptions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the cork farm and lovely lunch which followed."

Sandra

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour group experience and it was outstanding. Very well organized. A nice group of people. I came home telling friends I will be doing another and highly recommending they try one of your tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, that's hard to say we did so much. It was probably the Cork farm tour and lunch and the Douro Valley tour and lunch with the families."

Elvin

Princeton, IL

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience with great locations, nice mix of activity and free time, fantastic food and drink, and above all fabulous guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sunset from the Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge in Porto"

Neil

Natick, MA

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, my tour experience was outstanding. We received a very comprehensive set of Portugal experiences. It was fun, interesting, and enlightening throughout. I also had some of the best meals I've ever had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure there was one "wow" moment. Perhaps it was the experience of watching a free concert in central Porto with thousands of other people one night. Not only was the concert superb, but it was thrilling to be with so many people of all ages and backgrounds, all thoroughly enjoying this late night experience (The concert began at 10:00 which is when this city comes to life....something that takes some getting used to for me.)"

Debi

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels and staff were great, the food (especially the seafood) was wonderful, and even though Portugal lacks the rich architectural history of other European countries due to a devastating earthquake in 1755, our guide, Fatima, made the whole trip fun and interesting. Trip highlights were the many surprises that Fatima bestowed upon us, including a medieval dance performance, a memorable history lesson about Pedro and Inês, painting tiles, and eating barnacles and the best nata in Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment (which was not a moment but an entire 3 week experience) was discovering and learning about the tiles that decorate nearly everything in Portugal (floors, walls, ceilings, outside of buildings, churches, train and subway stations, sidewalks) and are used as an art form to tell stories and history. The other wow moment was experiencing the wonderful free classical concerts in the praça in Porto with thousands of locals and learning about the mayor who makes this possible."

Corinne

Morrisville, PA

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve tour. Typically I like to travel on my own. This tour included several things I could not have done if I planned the trip myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fatima had taken us to a church in Lisbon where the roof had collapsed after the earthquake. I toured the my story museum on my free time and then I went back and sat in the church for a half hour. Contemplating the devastation and the inner strength needed to rebuild is my wow moment"

Jen

San Jose, CA

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded all of my expectations. The route and activities were well thought out and planned, there was a nice balance of tour time and free time, the group was excellent, and the hotels were very nice. Our guide, Fatima, was exceptional. I knew very little about Portuguese history and culture before the tour and learned so much along the way. I will definitely be back to visit Portugal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had wow moments in each town we visited (the architecture, the cork farm, the library in Coimbra, outdoor symphony concerts in Porto, etc.). If I were to capture my favorite, it would be the whole day in the Douro Valley. Taking in the views, exploring a family vineyard, enjoying a delicious homemade lunch with lots of port to taste along the way...and then arriving at our amazing hotel with time to wander the grounds, relax by the pool, and soak it all in...it was magical!"

Gary

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ok, so I'm gonna get the one bad thing out of the way first. Lisbon is a den of thieves. I had my bag opened 3 times by pickpockets, they got nothing because I had nothing of value in the bag. Not so lucky for one of our group as she lost her wallet in the first 2 hours. Being on high alert is a bit of a buzz kill but that just goes to show how good this trip was. I really enjoyed the trip from start to finish, and the reason was our guide Fatima. She showed us so much about her country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have 2 wow moments, first, staying in the Douro Valley at a wonderful villa estate was unexpected and such a great break in the tour. Wish we could have stayed another day to just relax and enjoy the amenities. My second wow moment is our guide Fatima. She was so welcoming to all of our group and went out of her way to make sure the individuals needs were met and that we became Portuagese. Fatima exceeded all of my expectations."

Michael

Ivins, UT

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best tour guide ever. Her passion and love of her country was critical to our successful understanding of Portugal and its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fatima. Site blew me away with the size and layout. The most unique church we have ever seen in europe"

Mario

Katy, TX

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour to Portugal was a blast!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments everyday. We love the whole experience."

Alfred

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect-except the hotel in Lisbon- was over the top. Fatima was an exceptionally good tour guide and was enthusiastic about her great country. After Lisbon, our hotels were far beyond what we expected. The side tours,e.g., cork farm were outstanding and added cultural depth to the tour. Our planned restaurant meals were both delicious and a true Portuguese experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was a "wow" moment! It would be impossible and unfair to take one or two experiences out of the tour and rate them higher than others."

Steven

Chicago, IL

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour gave us an in-depth understanding of the people, history, food and culture of Portugal. The places we visited ranged from the two major cities, Lisbon and Porto, to several smaller historical towns that exuded excessive charm. What brought the places to life was our main guide, Fatima, as well as the several other local guides all of whom were very engaging and informative. Especially nice were visits to a cork/wine farm in central Portugal and vineyards in the Douro valley.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Douro valley vineyard run by a small family was particularly wonderful. Walking through the vineyard, tasting the ripe grapes (it was close to harvest time), seeing how the wine and port were made and then enjoying lunch and a tasting of some very fine ports on a beautiful day made this a fabulous experience."

Russ

Farmington, NM

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Liked the group size, accommodations were good; both general location and quality. Local guides and special tours were exceptional. Enjoyed self time and the opportunities to wander on our own. Nice that local travel tickets were provided where needed. Enjoyed the local wines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pretty much the entire trip. Learned a lot about Portugal and came away with the desire to spend more time there."

Janet

Hilton Head, SC

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Fatima, made this trip amazing for us. We loved the food, the people and the beauty of Portugal. Our hotels, with the exception of the first stop in Lisbon, were absolutely wonderful. Some of them were truly sumptuous. Fatima quickly created a "family" of our group of travelers, and we parted ways reluctantly, hoping to see each other again. Maybe another tour?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My own "wow" moment (there were actually so many, every day!) was walking into the library at the university in Coimbra. The colors, the immense room and even the smell of all those old books was just stunning."

Theresa

Richmond, BC

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Portugal tour was generally very good and informative. Possibly a few too many churches for me. I didn't get enough free time on this tour. I actually talked two couples that we were travelling with into going on a Rick Steves tour by telling them about the free time advantage of these tours. On our previous 2 tours, one in Italy and the other Germany, Switzerland & Austria we had plenty of time to be free on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two favorite "wow" times, not actually moments. The two Qinta tours. Meeting the families and learning about their farms was amazing. I love to learn about the everyday lives of people when I'm travelling and this was truly special. Not only did we spend time learning about the farms but we were given a fantastic lunch by both families. I won't forget them."

Carol

Fremont, NH

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time in Portugal. Cristina was extremely knowledgeable and a lot of fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the library at the University at Coimbra."

Gail

Yulee, FL

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic! The tour far exceeded my expectations. This was my first Rick Steve's Tour and will definitely will not be my last. Everything we did-from bus rides and tours, restaurants and hotels was top notch. All of the sites we visited were beautiful and so historic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several wow moments! I can't pick one in particular. Maybe the tours to the winery and the farms where we had lunch with the families."

James

Boulder, CO

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time. Portugal is beautiful and the people were nice (both in the tour and without).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A spontaneous boat ride that we took from Pinhão, Portugal."

John

Richmond, BC

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Like our other RS tours it was well organized. Lots of places to visit, no lines for us to get in, good information and acceptable hotels. Enjoyable through out. Organized meals were wonderful, organized entertainment was top rate, all in all a very good experience. My one concern was our tour guide knew no short stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pick one, my favorites were the cork farm and the port/winery. I was amazed at the process to produce cork, really enjoyed the explanations of risk and reward, a real eye opener. The winery was also a brilliant tour, enjoying the grapes right off the vines, seeing the wine making process and understanding how the production of port is controlled - brilliant."

Greg

Cary, NC

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We arrived a day early and went to Sintra. What an amazing little town but I can see why it could be difficult to put this town in the tour during peak season...it was very crowded but a definite 'must see' for those who can arrive early. This trip seemed to be even more active than our Heart of Italy trip and while we soldiered through, we did find ourselves looking for that 'day of rest' later in the trip. While each Cathedral was simply amazing...they started to get repetitive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is easy, but there were two. The time spent with the family on the cork farm and the time spent with the family at the Douro Valley Vineyard. The passion for what they do and their genuine interest in explaining it to us in an interesting way was priceless. The hospitality and the food they served made these two of my favorite meals of the trip. That's not the wine talking either (although there was plenty of that too!)"

Bryan

Fremont, NH

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"cork and quinta tours"

Rebecca

Cary, NC

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves Tour (Heart of Italy two years ago), and Heart of Portugal did not disappoint! What a fantastic experience! This very active informative tour provided an overview of Portugal's culture, customs, history, people, landscape and food through a variety of informatitional and hands on tour experiences. This tour satisfied my interest in learning about Portugal and provided exciting adventures too! Our guide Cristina, a gem and true ambassador for her country!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day provided a WOW moment, including all of the experiences listed in the itinerary. But I'll always remember the excitement I felt with fun during my free time...discovering the beautiful arts in the National Tile Museum in Lisbon, walking the ramparts of Óbidos Castle with spectacular views of the village below, and swimming in the refreshing Atlantic Ocean off of the Silver Coast in Nazare!"

Joseph

Ridgewood, NY

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience. Wonderful part of the world shared with like minded people. It was a fantastic vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments tend to be organic. Something that happens outside of the tour. My wife and I were spending an evening at a fair in Evora. We were hoping to find live music somewhere in town. We ended up having dinner at the fair and stumbled upon a stage. The music was so much fun that it was difficult to leave. (should we head back to the hotel? No, we need to see what the next tune is). It is a moment like that that lasts a lifetime and your tour are fertile ground allowing them to happen."

Lyn

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thanks to the skill and enthusiasm of our guide, Cristina, our "Heart of Portugal in 12 Days" tour was one of the best. We've taken five Rick Steves tours prior to Portugal. We had an extremely congenial group of well-traveled individuals - we bonded very well - one tour member called our group her "travel family". The hotels were very nice, food excellent. A bonus was having Portugal in the World Cup while we were there. Fun to see the excitement in the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A "wow" moment for me was learning about cork production in Portugal...who knew? Certainly not me. Touring the Ravisco Garcia farm and estate was fabulous. Lunch at the estate hosted by Goncalo and and his sister Sophia was wonderful, sampling several local wines during the meal. The two fado performances were very nice. Another breathtaking moment - taking the hairpin turns up to the quinta, enjoying the scenic beauty of the vineyards terraced on the hills. Gulbenkian Museum"

Dan

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide and a very nice group of fellow travelers. By the tours end, I felt I had a good sense of Portugal's history, it's food, it's people (friendly with many speaking English) and it's geography and different regions. I would definitely recommend this RS tour to others without reservation!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It may seem odd for a "Wow" moment, but mine occurred at the cork farm we toured and the family owners/workers we ate lunch with on Day 5. Learning about their history, their property, and what they grow (cork and grapes) was fascinating. This was followed by a very tasty lunch with wine and conversation with a member of the family or lead worker (who is considered family). Just a great experience I will not soon forget."

Lynn

Bangor, DOW

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour with a passionate and engaging guide like Cristina. She is a true ambassador for Portugal and for the Rick Steves organisation. I am a RS guide too and I can say that Cristina is caring, extremely knowledgeable, always pleasant and attentive guide who worked hard every day to help us get the most out of every experience and visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time we spent in Fatima. Personally I would have preferred an hour or two extra there as it is a unique and moving place but I do understand the time constraints of any tour."

Claudia

Ridgewood, NY

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was wonderful. We were able to see a good portion of the country, and I never felt as if we were being rushed or did not have enough time to experience a place (that being said, there are a few places I would love to go back to someday!). Mostly the people we interacted with were warm and friendly, with a ready smile and a helping hand. I now understand why so many Americans move to Portugal after they retire.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rather than any one moment that stood well above the rest, there were many moments and places that were truly engaging and interesting. The Monument to the Discoveries, the Monastery of Jerónimos and the tile museum in Lisbon; the visit to the cork farm and lunch there; the old university library in Coimbra; the fado performances in Lisbon and Coimbra; the spectacular Douro wine valley; the food and wine tour in Porto. Every place provided new and interesting sights and experiences."

Joshua

Marina Del Rey, CA

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

One signs up for a Rick Steves tour because you trust Rick's guidance as to what to see and how best to experience where you're visiting. This tour did a fine job at illustrating all the places we visited. In many ways it's after you leave Lisbon that the tour is the strongest. Many of the great Lisbon area sites are left off your tour, I'm assuming on the assumption you'll arrive early and visit independently. You must do that or you'll have a deficit in your Portuguese knowledge base.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is difficult as overly, Portugal lacks "wow" sights like you might find elsewhere in Europe. For me Porto was the most attractive place we visited with the most "wow" locations."

Mark

New Palestine, IN

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had high hopes for this trip. We knew it was rated as one of the top RS tours. This was our 7th RS tour so was it possible for this tour to stand up to our expectations? Well - IT DID! Phenomenal experience! What a fantastic blend of large and small cities - cultural experiences and quaint environments. Cristina Duarte is absolutely fantastic. Her pure love and enthusiasm for Portugal was invigorating - Her smile, infectious!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour was packed with special treats. From tuk tuk rides to private Fado performances - River boat rides to personal museum tours. We love these small tour experiences. The guides, city mixes and food experiences are amazing. The private cork farm safari and lunch was a wonderful afternoon - probably my WOW moment. Can't experience that on my own!"

Kenn

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip far exceeded our trip expectations. This our 6th Rick Steves' tour and ranks up there as one of the best tours we have taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Before you can write about WOW moments, a great deal of credit must go to our tour guide, Cristina. She brought Portugal to us by bringing out its history, culture, people, food, and traditions. Plus Portugal was playing in the World Cup and that was a special treat to watch and experience. It is very hard to decide on one event/thing as the WOW moment. The visit to the Cork farm, the Fado singing, the beautiful landscapes, the wine country and the city of Porto are all wow moments."

Arthur

Irvine, CA

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is my third tour with RS and it was the largest at 28 . Christina was outstanding and even though I am conservative she presented her views in a very acceptable way. The food was great and the hotels exceeded the other tours. The design of each tour has been excellent with some free time and directed activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several, but the way Christina presented the history of the explorers was so well done with her dancing on the world map made the history so very clear."

Sarah

North York, ON

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour, from start to finish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around the medieval town of Obidos at night, buying a huge bag of fresh cherries at the market in Evora, seeing a baby peacock for the first time at Sao Jorge Castle in Lisbon, learning about cork and port wine in the farm and vineyard, so many things!"

Kelly

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second RS tour and it did not disappoint. the tour was well run, balanced between group time and free time to explore and, interjected interesting side trips. It was great to explore the history, culture and people of Portugal. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably touring the cork farm, gaining a wealth of information about the process and business but most importantly, meeting and breaking bread with the family and their crew. It was a great afternoon of education and comraderie. Loved it."

Sarah

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great introduction to Portugal, their culture and history. I liked moving around to the different cities and parts of the country. Our tour guide, Cristina, was fabulous, full of energy and knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't realize there was so much Roman history in Portugal, I need to read my history!"

Neal

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal had always been on on list, but our schedules and the fact that Greece was full convinced us that it was time to go to Portugal. We are very glad that we did. The tour was great. Some of the hotels are the best we have stayed in on a Rick Steves' tour. The guide was just great! Patient, warm, knowledgeable and friendly. I could have stayed in the Douro valley or Porto for an extra day or two - they were real highlights for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife and I had two wow experiences on this trip – she is writing about one, and I am writing about the other. The Douro Wine Country is the most breathtakingly beautiful wine country that I have visited. The estate and winery that we visited made us feel like family. What a great experience!"

Kenneth

Nashville, TN

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Maria was great.......organized, interesting, very nice, knowledgable! I loved most of the site visits. Other people were friendly, courteous, and on-time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably enjoyed the "cork farm" and lunch as much as anything. University Library was also awesome!"

Alice

Kannapolis, NC

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Portugal trip was great. We did 2 things with our guide that we could not have done on our own. The cork farm was eye opening. Non of us knew that it can be harvested every 9 years, so the farm must diversity their products. The port wine farm was very interesting and a fun day strolling through the vineyard. Both of these places had excellent lunches after our tours. Maria is so professional and smart and kind. She's a top quality guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most moving and special moment for me was the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Santa Maria Monastery in Batalha."

Linda

Boulder, CO

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience with a Rick Steves' tour and I was most impressed. It was an overall outstanding experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really couldn't single out a "wow" moment as I enjoyed the sites of the cities but equally enjoyed the countryside excursions at the port winery and the olive oil, wine, cork etc. ranch. I would say that those two excursions with lunch and tours with the two families certainly were memorable and would have been very hard for me to have set up on my own."

Minna

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

overall as a single person with vegetarian diet request, this trip was good to very good. the fellow travelers were pleasant and responsible. the guide, Maria was efficient caring and knowledgeable above all the itenary was was the key reason for choosing this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"vineyards and the museums"

Don

Kannapolis, NC

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met all my expectations and exceeded them on several fronts, including extra meals that were not on the itinerary and hotel accommodations which were all very good. Portugal is one of those countries that I had never given much thought to because it rarely is in the news and the historic events which make it remarkable all occurred 15th - 17th centuries. It is a history filled with top-notch exploration by extremely able seaman and navigators who opened up new worlds to Europeans

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While the churches and monasteries were interesting, you get a little jaded after a time visiting these places. The most fascinating parts of the tour were the visits to the cork farm and the winery in the Douro region. It is amazing how many products [INVALID] besides wine corks [INVALID] can be made from this natural product. At the cork farm we saw how wise practices and diversification can make it possible for a family to retain its heritage."

Craig

Boulder, CO

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

my first land based tour. Excellent tour guide who was a wealth of information about each area and town visited; the pace of activities was just right. Not to full and gave us plenty of free time to explore each stop on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really enjoyed the personal visit to the cork family farms and winery. Great time and very informative."

Eileen

Los Gatos, CA

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"During Valley lunch and tour."

Karen

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a more laid back country than the places we visited on previous RSE tours, so we had to downshift our expectations a bit to fit the pace. But we really appreciate that RSE tours are high value for the money, educational, engaging and usually filled with other great travelers, and this was no exception. We enjoyed the experiences that are unique to Portugal, and especially those that were unique to RSE - the things that not just everyone gets to see and do!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork forest/farm! When we were previewing other tour reviews before our trip, we didn't quite believe how many people named this as their Wow moment. Now we understand! We learned SO much, not just about cork, but about sustainable farming and forestry, about Portugal's recent history, about animals, pine nuts, wine and hunting. The family was so engaging. The lunch was one of the best meals of the whole trip. We even bought wine and olive oil to bring home!"

Howard

North Bethesda, MD

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Found the tour guide Rafael very knowledgable and able to corral our group of 28 easily so that we were on the bus and ready to go before the scheduled time on several occasions. The fellow travelers were friendly and easy to get along with so there appeared to be no tension between any members. This was my second Rick Steves tour and sent a message to my late wife's brother and sister-in-law that I could not understand why she and I never took a Rick Steves tour before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment - watching the second half of a Portugal World Cup game in a square of hundreds of Portuguese in Coimbra. The second was the scenery of the Duoro river valley (and of course the tasting of the wines)."

Kathy

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steves tour! Our guide, Rafael, was very passionate about Portugal and his attitude was contagious! The tour had a great itinerary and a nice balance between group activities and free time. I especially enjoyed visiting the smaller villages and the visits to the family-run businesses (the cork farm, the vineyard, and the ceramic painting factory).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Duoro Valley was gorgeous! We had a great day driving through the beautiful countryside, touring a vineyard and being treated to a delicious meal, and ending the day at a fabulous hotel on the river."

Stephanie

New York, NY

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An immersive tour of Portugal that is fun and educational. Our guide and local guides were the key to the experience. They bring authentic experience and humor to the trip. We not only experienced the beautiful country with varied landscape in cities and villages, but learned so much of the history current affairs, culture and wonderful food. I have been recommend it to everyone who asked about my trip. Rick Steves tour is unique!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Breathtaking terraced vineyard in Douro valley, especially from the spa hotel. It was breath taking. And the tour of the winery and farm lunch with the family was unforgettable. The cork farm safari tour and farm lunch was also incredible."

Susan

Columbia, SC

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was on my bucket list. I would go back except in cooler weather. I learned so much on this trip. Things I had forgotten since school - everything came together. I really enjoyed the special things that a Rick Steves tour includes like side trips to the Cork tree farm, family Vineyard in Douro Valley and trip to the ceramic factory.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the Cork tree farm and the family hospitality, and what a learning experience. Great Food! And of course the Douro Valley."

Dale

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional experience - the tour leader was amazing, passionate about his country, and extremely knowledgeable about its places, history, culture, and culinaria. The pacing was really well planned, the hotels nicely chosen,the group meals were excellent, and the off-the-beaten-path visits to the cork farm and vineyards were real gems of the trip - unique and informative. We are taught so little about Portugal in our Western Civ classes that the trip was a real eye opener.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the cork farm - who knew cork came largely from Portugal and how it was raised and harvested!"

Barry

Spokane, WA

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The weather was perfect, the food was fantastic and the hotels were all four stars. Portugal's reputation for being a "great deal" was truly brought home with the amenities we all experienced. The sense of history and the number of historical buildings that we visited were almost overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The portuguese people's love of country was heartening to see. From the tour of the sustainable cork farm to the guided walk through Porto it was clear that portuguese love their country and are very proud to show it off. I have to say the cork farm was my favorite - fantastic guide (owner) explaining how his family was able to make a living harvesting oak, offering large game hunting and olive oil for sale was impressive. The meal provided was to die for and the dogfish soup was awesome."

Donna

Crozet, VA

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous introduction to Rick Steves' tours! I appreciated how easy it was to have a fun-filled, action-packed experience, thanks to the skill and know-how of our guide. The ratio of guided-time to free-time was just about right, although there were certainly times when I was happy to take a short rest before our next adventure. Hotels, restaurants, local guides, and "extra" events were of high quality and I came home with a new appreciation for the country and people of Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was interacting with the people of Portugal - they are friendly, intelligent, helpful, courteous, and very pleasant. And they speak excellent English."

Rita

Downingtown, PA

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fatima was marvelous--a treasure trove of facts, observations and wisdom plus she has a wonderful personality. Hold on to this woman and give her a big raise!! The itinerary was excellent and I really appreciated the free time i.e. the itinerary was not so "packed" that you were afraid that you would miss something if you opted out. The one night stay at the mansion in the Douro Valley would have been a wonderful opportunity for a two-night stay for R&R.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful Douro Valley and the town of Obidos. Also, as a "cradle Catholic" I was delighted to see, for the first time in my life, a statue of Mother Mary in Obidos picturing her as clearly pregnant! The two luncheons, at the cork farm and the vineyard, were a wonderful event."

Patricia

Princeton, ID

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding guide, once in a lifetime experiences on the cork farm, family winery tour, Porto food tour, St. John festival in Porto, watching football in Lisbon Square with Fatima and daughter, great food, nice and some outstanding hotels. More strenuous than expected with all the hills, cobblestone and stone steps. Saw lots of solar and wind energy facilities. Great highways and bridges. Proud, football-crazy, industrious, and friendly people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cork Farm for sure. Learned so much about family history, cork and olive farming, conservation and sustainable farming. Lovely meal. Great wine."

Christine

Medina, WA

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour (our 11th) was very good and we loved most everything we did. The basic concern is the number of people on the tour. Rick Steve's has always positioned himself stating that his groups are small. We have had consistently 24 - 25 tour members on past tours, however, this one was 28. Too many to shepard around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Douro Valley, very beautiful. Also enjoyed the extravagant meal at the family estate."

Maria

Concord, CA

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, I had no idea there was so much history and interesting sites to visit in Portugal. In the future I would like to also visit: Sintra, Tomar and Braga amoung other sites that I did not see on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Duoro Valley and visiting the agritourism winery (what a meal!). I live near Napa Valley California but it can't compare to Duora Valley, I was not prepare to see the most beautiful valley were it seems everything grows like the Garden of Eden. I'll remember it forever!"

Claudia

Portsmouth, VA

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Fatima symbolized the essence of Portugal-beautiful, fun, energetic, hardworking, polite, generous, and caring. The hotels was exceptional, the meals exceeded all my expectations, the wine glorious, and the vistas varying and mind-blowing. This is the Rolls Royce of Rick Steves trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lisbon-watching the World Cup in the Placa with the local and visiting fans and the fado show Evora- the vibrant street cafe and market scene, the cork farm and luncheon Obidos-the medieval dancers and the keys to the castle Coimbra-fabulous university, twisting streets, and student fado singers Douro-there is heaven and great wine on earth Porto-walking wine tour, farewell dinner, elegant hotel"

Jill

Sturgis, MI

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first organized tour. In the past we have always used your books and downloaded your guides to various sights and neighborhoods.It was better than I was expecting. The food and lodging for this tour were excellent.The variety of things we were able to experience were also stellar. Our guide, Fatima, could not have been a better introduction to organized touring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I realized we were not going to be eating institutional food in restaurants that could handle groups of people at one time. We had lunch with a family at their cork plantation!"

Bruce

Princeton, ID

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour and as usual met our expectations. It was more of a challenge than expected. Fatima is an impressive guide. Especially in the fact that if she saw us on our free time would join us with no hesitation. Was as interested in us as we were in Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Joining in with Fatima for street night festivals and seeing how the people of Portugal celebrate their country."

Sara

Roswell, GA

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to Lisbon and Sintra in 2003 and much has changed in the interim. I agree with others that Sintra needs to be added to this tour. We went again anyway, and loved it just as much as in 2003. After the tour, the Algarve was a nice (added) R&r. Fatima now has peaked my interest in the Azores and Madiera too. What I liked best was the feeling I had experienced most aspects of Portugal and I found it wonderful. The Portugese we met were so nice and welcoming!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Douro Valley and the hotel where we stayed there. It was far prettier than I had expected and the area was charming. I would have liked a day dedicated to seeing more Duoro Valley scenery and visiting the small towns there."

Robert

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, well paced, good variety of learning opportunities. I honestly think it should be a couple of days longer ( still within the typical 14 day Rick Steves pattern). I would strongly recommend Sintra and Tomar. The experiences at the cork farm, Douro valley winery and the ceramic factory were outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Frankly, it was realizing about an hour into the tour that we had a wonderful guide"

Michael

Sturgis, MI

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fatima showed how pride for ones country is a valuable asset for a guide. Her passion for history and culture made the tour a complete picture of Portugal

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm/winery tour. I will remember the tour every time I open a bottle of wine from Portugal."

Deborah

Chicago, IL

Tour: 06/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was extremely surprised everyday with our tour. Our guide, Fatima, told us it would get better each day of our tour and I was a little doubtful at first. But as each day progressed, she would blow us away with another wonderful experience. I didn't know that much about Portugal, but Fatima gave us all a wealth of information every single day. I know I will visit this beautiful country again some day because of Fatima.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "Wow" moments, but the first one was when we were walking in Obidos and a street performer sang "Ave Maria" for our group. It actually brought me to tears hearing this gentleman's operatic voice."

Helene

Natalia, TX

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of folks who were there to learn and have fun. The Portuguese people were genuinely grateful that we were visiting. The food was delicious and the wine was plentiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to narrow it down to just one. Fatima - from a spiritual standpoint. The fado performances in Lisbon and Coimbra. Stopping in a square during our Porto foodie tour to cheer on Portugal in the World Cup. Wandering around streets in Obidos. Learning about the complex operations of the cork farm and meeting the 93-year-old matriarch. Each day had its own wow moment."

Cheryl

Garden City, NY

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful and very educational. Cristina was so very knowledgeable about every aspect of the trip. She treated us like family and we will miss her. So much variety was shown to us which gave an in depth look at Portugal. We could not have achieved this on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fado was a new experience for me. The private club atmosphere in Lisbon made it so personal. The cork farm and vineyard were terrific. Cristina had her own way of having us participate in the World Cup."

Frank

Brookline, MA

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Portugal is an excellent tour destination. The country offers much for a tourist to see and experience. The tour is well designed and well administered. The sites visited are consistently worth a tourist's attention. The hotels, travel arrangements, and group meals were consistently very good. The tour leader was very enthusiastic and excellent on logistics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight was the visit to the forest where cork trees are nurtured and harvested. The family representative who guided our visit was exceptionally informative and well spoken. The hospitality (including lunch) was also memorable."

Caryl Ann

West Simsbury, CT

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina made me feel as though I were visiting a relative who wanted me to know everything she could tell me and show me about Portugal to give me a good time as well as a wonderful educational experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each place had something unique and distinct that it is hard to pick one but visiting the Cork Farm family really stands out. The place is gorgeous, the grandson's passion for the farm and grandmother's gracious hospitality and demeanor left quite an impression."

Gloria

Hurley, WI

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another fantastic Rick Steves' tour and GREAT guide! This tour provided great depth of history, architecture, agriculture, culture and understanding of a country that has so many connections to other countries in its history and with the EU. The topics varied day by day as we saw different landscapes unfold around the country. The activities varied as well - drinking great wine, visits with family owned farms, walking hills in cities, making a ceramic tile, boat ride - so much to learn.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so MANY but one leap of understanding for me was when Christina was teaching about the age of discovery at the Maritime Museum. I had not understood how Portugal and Spain actually reached an agreement on colonization of the "new world" and how the exploration to India was achieved by understanding the currents of the oceans."

George

Prospect, KY

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christine was a delightful travel guide for 12 days. She's a credit to your organization. Portugal and the people of Portugal were all so kind and friendly. Sandy and I had a great visit...thanks to ALL who made it possible. George

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Torn between cork farm, vineyard and Douro valley. The Sunday Mass ( we are Presbyterians ) at Fatima was also a highlight for us."

Sheila

Trenton, ON

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal is a beautiful country which we had not visited before. All the aspects of the tour experience were extremely positive. Our guide (Cristina) was excellent, the excursions were interesting and fun, the group was very congenial, the scenery spectacular and even the weather was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many, I would have to say the drive through the Douro Valley to Pinhao was my favourite. The stunning scenery, the terraced vineyards and the groves of olive and fruit trees were breathtaking. Coupled with our walk through the quinta and delicious lunch, it was a very memorable day. Close second and third.....Cork farm and Fatima."

James

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

the tour was very good. Portugal is an interesting and beautiful country with gracious and friendly people. The tour gives you a good overview of the country and our tour leader was excellent. It is a very active tour, like most Rick Steves. By the time it is over, you need a vacation!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many lovely moments, but if I had to pick one, it is when we entered the Douro Valley. This was stunning beauty."

Roger

Garden City, NY

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was outstanding. My expectations were surpassed. We were looking for an education, yet a leisurely tour of Portugal. We were looking for some freedom to see sights and to find dining experiences on our own. We experienced these moments with great satisfaction due to the direction and recommendations of our tour guide. This was our first Rick Steve's Tour, but it will not be our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were 8: 1. the Fado performance at Casa Alentejano, Lisbon. 2. The Leitao at Solar do Bacalhao, Coimbra. 3. The Cork Farm and Rovisco Garcia Winery tour, Alentejo. 4. The Taste of Porto: Bolhao, Tasco, Padaria Ribeiro, Prova in Porto. 5. Meeting Theresa at Quinta Sta. Eufemia, great 30 year Tawny! 6. The ceramic and tile factory outside of Coimbra. 7. The visit to the Galbenkian Museum in Lisbon. 8. The view of the Douro wine valley from the Vintage Hotel, Pinhao."

Christine

Arlington, VA

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well constructed , excellent and friendly guide, nice fellow travellors

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the cork farm, hearing the multigenerational story and chatting with family members."

Diane

Whitefish, MT

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 9th tour with your company. Really enjoyed Portugal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Douro Valley and time there was amazing! Beautiful scenery, gorgeous river, delightful vineyard and winery tour with the most incredible family and lunch.The hotel was my favorite.Truly my WOW nomination."

Gary

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our third Rick Steves' tour and we remain big fans. Our group had good people. Maria, our guide, was great. I am amazed that you can recruit and retain such good guides! We did not like Fatima. I will comment further. Hotels were generally good, but a few were disappointing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The morning visit and lunch at the Rovisco Garcia Family Estate. These type of visits cannot be done if we are going on our own. This was the best. But the visit to the ceramic pottery factory and seeing them do the hand painting was also a unique treat. As was a similar visit in the Duro Valley area, but I cannot remember the name of the winery."

David

Shushan, NY

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An enjoyable group of people to travel with. Portugal is a friendly and inviting place to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fado, I anitcipated that it would be hokey, but it turned out to be quite entertaining."

Nancy

Rye, NH

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was great! The letters Steves sends before the trip were very helpful and set the tone for the trip. Everyone in our group was fun and cooperative (and followed your suggestions) so we really didn't have any problems - which made the trip so smooth. We loved learning about all the history, Roman sites, medieval towns and most of all Porto. Maria was wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best visits were the special ones - cork farm, family winery, ceramic factory where Steves has cultivated good relationships - the people made them wonderful experiences! We especially loved the passion of the family's son - Gonzalez about creating a sustainable cork farm. Since one of our daughters also has a sustainable farm in VT, we felt great kinship -and we know how much work goes into making that happen. We also liked going to churches and found the Manueline architecture fascinating."

Rod

Alamo, CA

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We chose this tour because of the great diversity of sites within a small geography and Portugal did not disappoint! From large cities in Lisboa and Porto to a quaint medieval city to a beach town to farms, Portugal has it all! RS' Tours did a great job of exposing us to the sites and culture. Our guide was wonderful - informative, confident, and able to joke around. The only reason I didn't give the tour a perfect score was due to the hotels. Great locations but not always comfy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment was the Duoro Valley! The terraced vineyards with a river flowing between the hills was absolutely stunning. It is amazing to think of all the work done by hand to create the wineries and the wine we love so much!"

Robert

Manchester, KY

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall a disappointing trip. Great people and guide services but except for the cork farm and winery excursions forgettable. Lisbon was dirty and just another big city. The airport was filthy. The food was a major disappointment. The hotels wherewith two exceptions uncomfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cork farm meal and the hotel used during the winery stop were great as was the winery."

Linda

Manchester, KY

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves Tour and the overall experience was very positive. Maria was an excellent guide and very enthusiastic/informed about her country and sharing it with us. The other tour members were wonderful and I very much enjoyed time spent with them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I particularly enjoyed the day at the cork farm and the day at the winery. It was very informative and interesting. I also enjoyed the meals there very much. I became a big fan of Port Wine due to this experience! Also, I thought the days spent in the Duoro Valley were wonderful; beautiful countryside, wonderful people."

Sadie

Bend, OR

Tour: 06/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Maria, was excellent, very patient, kind and gave us good information about all of the sites that we visited. The balance between group activities and free time was great. The hotels and restaurants were in very good locations and the food was great. We will definitely use Rick Steves Tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The university library used in the movie Beauty and the Beast. We couldn't take photos there so will have to see the movie!"

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."

Jason

Seaside, CA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our sixth RS tour met or exceeded our expectations in every respect. Comfortable, strategically located hotels, a packed itinerary that nonetheless left some free time for exploring on our own, very informative talks by both Fatima and our local guides, unique experiences at the cork farm and vineyard, wonderful interactions with locals, a nice group of fellow travelers, and the memorable opportunity to travel with Rick himself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's tempting to say "chatting about writing & travel with Rick Steves" -- but the big "wow" moment for me was the "extra" our guide Fatima added, bringing us to her hometown of Tomar and the Knights Templar fortress there. The town square of Tomar is one of the most picturesque of any small town I've visited in Europe, and the Knights Templar fortress was spectacular. The cork farm and vineyard visits were also wonderful, mostly for the interactions with the hardworking families who run them."

David

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was all that I expected, and more. We had an excellent and very knowledgeable guide, it was very well planned and organized and we had a wonderful group. The special times that we had with local experts, especially local guides and the visits to the Rovisco Garcia cork farm and Santa Eufamia winery were superb and one of the reasons why we choose to join Rick Steves tours. I learned anew so much of the history of Portugal and their contributions to human exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Knights Templar castle in Tomar."

Rick

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and smart use of my vacation time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting Rick Steves!"

Karen

Seaside, CA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great trip-our 6th with Rick Steves. We are already talking about another tour for next year. Good balance between city, small town and countryside. Fatima was an excellent guide with so much pride for her country. The country was beautiful, and the people were so kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Knights Templar castle in Tomar was a real WOW moment; maybe even more so since it was a total surprise added to the tour. It's an amazing building and it was so much fun the see Fatima take such pride and joy in showing us around her hometown treasure. The cork farm tour and lunch with the family. The emphasis on sustainability and working so hard for the benefit of future generations-planting and nurturing trees that you personally will not ever see a profit from-was so refreshing to me."

Indira

Davenport, FL

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour. Never thought we'd take one, but thoroughly enjoyed it and are very glad we chose a Rick Steve's tour. Flawless arrangements and a very personable and knowledgeable tour guide and free time to go off on our own as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lovely people we met at Quinta Santa Eufemia and Rovisco Garcia and learning about their stewardship of the land. Ricardo of TastePorto.com, David of Touriga Wine Shop in Porto, the nice people at Lisbon Winery. All our best memories are of the people we met and the knowledge and experiences that they shared."

Wee Bin

Singapore, 04

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent tour guided by the effervescent, passionate, caring Fatima - I came home with wonderful memories, satisfied taste beds, & special experiences which only a Rick Steves' tour can deliver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to the passionate deliveries during our private fado performances did 'wow' me, as did our visit to the cork farm where we learnt so much about cork making & were privileged to spend time at lunch with the whole family running the business. Their dedication & passion for the business shown through."

Michael

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was wonderful. We did not know a lot about Portugal and its history but we certainly feel like we do now. What was really impressive is what the country has done in the last thirty years. The Portuguese receive a substantial loan from the EU and have used it to build infrastructure and best of all they have repaid most of the loan. Everything on the tour went very smooth. Our guide, Fatima made things feel like the tour was running like a clock.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments, the cork farm, The vineyard in the Douro Valley, hand painting our own tiles and all the local tours. On a personal note one big wow moment was watching the expression on my wife's face the morning we left Lisbon when Fatima returned the camera my wife though she had lost. Fatima took the extra step to find the camera which was left in a restaurant."

Mark

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The toor was great! For a large group they did a good job of keeping things going along. Fatima was the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to farms and vineyards are keepers. I was impressed with the visit to Tomar and the Knights of Templar Oratorio..."

Phyllis

Princeton Junction, NJ

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour provided all the experiences I hoped for: visiting the top attractions in each city/town and the off the beaten track places that are the highlights of the RS tours; learning in - depth from Fatima and local guides about the history, culture, national identity, economy, health care and educational systems etc of Portugal; highly qualified and knowledgeable guides, the cuisine, food, and wine, balance of group touring and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lasting impression for me was the drive through and time spent in Douro valley...the deep and sloping terrain with the terraced vineyards is an unforgettable sight and the visit to and meal at the vineyard was the icing on the cake. Also memorable was the visit to the cork farm, boat ride in Porto and the Fado performances."

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."

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."

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."

Ray

Mentor, OH

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Cristina and our driver did excellent work in taking care of everyone on the tour. She was passionate about her job and was excellent in co-ordinating a very diverse group of travelers. She also worked hard to insure that everyone enjoyed themselves during each phase of the tour. I would rank her among the elite of the guides that we have had on our previous RS tours. We were quite disappointed in the breakfast room and the road noise levels in our room in Coimbra. The staff was tremendous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found the Duoro Valley visit, including the Wine and Fruit farm and the overnight lodging and meals excellent. Truly a memorable experience and escape from the noise and crowds experienced earlier in the tour. A breath of fresh air for sure."

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."

James

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

The Portugal tour should be maximum eight-nine days,if this had been our first tour instead of our seventh there would not be six to follow, the guide makes the tour, very scripted nothing spontaneous no connection with the group. We had much more fun with My Way last year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We did enjoy the Vineyard and the visit to the Cork farm."

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!"

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."

Laurie

Normal, IL

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Somewhat disappointing. I found myself bored. Day 7 was second day in a row of a major monastery, then 2 full hours in Fatima - very boring, not lovely place - and then boring tour of Coimbra. It would have been a much better tour if you left that day out altogether and spent more time in Douro, or a day in Sintra, Bussaco, Guimaraes -many wonderful options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I adored the hotel in the Douro Valley. A fabulous, charming place, rooms nice and house wonderful, food good. I walked around the area enjoying the vineyards in the free time we had in the afternoon. Just fantastic. My other wow moment was walking on the Obido wall - fantastic."

Caroline

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the history of Portugal; loved the trip to the Cork Farm and meeting the amazing family and fantastic lunch ; loved the Douro Valley, tour and trip to vineyards of Quinta Santa Eurfemia and again the lovely family and superb lunch and porto wine; University of Coimbra fantastic and city interesting; loved Porto more than Lisbon. Only negative was tour guide was excellent on history but spoke to long during the whole tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cork Farm and meeting the amazing family and fantastic lunch ; loved the Douro Valley, tour and trip to vineyards of Quinta Santa Eurfemia and again the lovely family and superb lunch and porto wine and staying in the estate in the Douro Valley"

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."

Raymond

Normal, IL

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

MIXED, BUT MOSTLY GOOD. ALL BUT ONE OF THE HOTELS WERE VERY GOOD; THE OTHER WAS POOR. TOUR GUIDE WAS ERRATIC. AT TIMES, DELIVERED VERY GOOD INTERESTING MATERIAL IN INTERESTING WAYS. OTHER TIMES, LESS INTERESTING AND GIVEN TO GO ON AND ON ABOUT THINGS LIKE HOW TO GET YOUR BOARDING PASS (HOW DID SHE THINK WE GOT THERE?). OVERALL GOOD, BUT TO ME A SENSE OF OUTWARD CHARM BUT NOT A GENUINE CONNECTEDNESS OR INTEREST IN US.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THE HOTEL THAT WAS ALSO A WORKING VINEYARD ON ONE OF LAST DAYS."

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."

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."

Katherine

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Portugal had been explained to me as that "hilly, chilly Mediterranean country on the Atlantic"... that was an understatement. It was its own person, from language to food to tiles to the warmth of the people, esp the people. This tour had the least fit people of any of our RS tours I have been on, but then, in the end, that did not stop anyone from seeing anything. It might have in fact forced us to slow down and enjoy the walking even more. Robert was a happy, wonderful pro.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyone in the country wore sensible shoes. The bikes in the cities were mountain bikes and the riders wore helmets (In the rest of Europe, they only wear helmets on weekends when they are dressed in their spandex). When in heels, the women wore heels about the diameter of a half dollar. All these are examples of the pervasive cobblestones. And of the practical, hearty people. The people were my favorite part of the country. So genuine."

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!"

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"

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.

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."

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!"

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"

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"

Peter

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In one word... Wonderful! We saw so many great things and experienced what Portugal is truly about. We could never do so many things without taking a RS tour that are packed into 12 days. The history of Portugal and its ties to Spain in the Age of Discovery were well covered and a highlight for me. Our group was fairly large (28) but it was great to be with each and every one of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Cork farm and Quinta de Santa Eufemia winery were fantastic. We saw so many highlights it's impossible to pick just one. Our guide, Maria, was incredible - she is a gem with passion for Portugal and a great manager."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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,"

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."

Kellene

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was much more than I ever expected for this kind of travel experience. I was very impressed with our tour guide, the experiences, hotels and food. It was a very well coordinated tour which included interesting group activities as well as time on our own to explore the area. The majority of hotels in Portugal were extraordinary. I had heard the hotels on many of RS Tours were marginal but interesting. What a treat to stay in 4 and 5 star hotels!

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wows" came from our lovely hotels, the view of the Douro Valley, the all special locations and activities included in the cost of our tour."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Robert

Asheville, NC

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An excellent tour in almost every respect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food, especially the special lunches was terrific. I was also struck by the beauty of Portugal and the warmth of the Portugese. I also say wow about Christina, our guide."

Helen

Jersey Village, TX

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken several Rick Steves tours and always enjoy the sensible mix of guided tour time and free time. This tour seemed busier than usual, but we enjoyed Portugal's unique cultural sights and experiences. Through our excellent guide, we learned more about Portugal's art, architecture, and history of discovery than we ever could have on our own. We especially enjoyed visiting & exploring the small towns. As always, it was fun getting to know our terrific group of compatible tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's always difficult to pick one moment from the many amazing parts of the tour, but the Douro River valley wins as the best. The beauty of the terraced vineyards on the hillsides rolling down to the river was incredible! I would love to have had a few more relaxing days there. Also amazing were the beautiful azulejos blue and white tiles depicting Portugal's historical events and scenes, especially at the train station in Porto. Our visit to the cork farm & estate was truly memorable & unique."

Susan

Asheville, NC

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. We saw so much more of Portugal than we ever could have on our own. We had many interesting experiences and learned a lot about the culture from our amazing guide, Christina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed our tour of the cork farm. It was fascinating and gave me a real insight into the culture that would not have been possible had we been traveling on our own. It was interesting talking to the family members at the very delicious lunch."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Larry

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Porto"

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."

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."

Herbert

Needham, MA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Knowledgeable, friendly, professional,generous, entertaining: all are adjectives that describe Robert, the guide and group leader of our Portugal tour, who made this trip one of the best I've ever been on. Like our Sicily tour, the Portugal itinerary helped solidify political, societal, economic and artistic and cultural features along the way into a log-lasting dynamic that I've been able to relate to friends- or anyone who is willing to listen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In no special order: view from the top of Porto's Clerigos Tower, Coimbra University Library, "serenade" by students in their bat-like black robes before final exams, best octopus roasted in olive oil and garlic, wonderful dinners with 4th generation of cork farmers and port wine producers, stock exchange bldg. interiors (Porto), tile museum and Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!!!!"

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"."

Weather

Portugal / Lisbon

Portugal Weather

Hotels & Flights

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, as well as in your online customer account. About one month prior to the tour departure, in your customer account you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you.

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.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Portugal guidebook.