Highlights of Portugal (Winter) | EF Ultimate Break

Highlights of Portugal

10 Days  •  3 Cities //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore 4

Why Go?

Like that cool uncle who’s never forgotten how to have a good time, Portugal has aged well—for nearly 900 years—transforming into one of the most beautiful, culturally rich, and vibrant countries in the world. On this journey down the coast, feel as if you’re traveling through time—from the 15th century houses in Porto, to the fairytale-like castles in Sintra, to Lisbon’s fully functioning trolleys that look like they belong in a museum. Portugal is old meets new meets dessert wine. Can you (and your Instagram) even handle it? There’s only one way to find out.

What are the top highlights?

  • Try the sweetest wine of your life—with the sweetest views of your life—in Porto
  • Have a Portuguese “Rocky” moment as you climb the stairs of Bom Jesus do Monte
  • Stand at Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe
  • Embrace your inner book worm as you visit the Joanina Library, a baroque-style library that looks like a movie set
  • Wander through Aveiro, known as “Portugal’s Venice” due to canals on canals on canals
  • Try (and fail) to eat just one pastel de nata, a classic Portuguese custard tart
  • Gaze upon ocean views and hilltop castles in Lisbon

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers
  • Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
  • Private deluxe motorcoach
  • 8 nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
  • Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
  • Metro passes in each major city
  • Entrance to select attractions

Accommodations

You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.


Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:


  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight Flight

Board your overnight flight to Portugal. Get some rest because you’ve got more than a week of exploring ahead of you. Speaking of exploring, did you know that Ferdinand Magellan, the first person to sail around the world, was from Portugal? Well now you do.

Day 2: Arrive in Porto

Welcome to Porto, a city known for its charm, historical feel, and—of course—Port wine. The only thing sweeter than the wine are the views of the old town. Known as the Ribeira, this district lies along the banks of the Douro River and is packed with colorful buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and the constant sounds of wine glasses clinking.


Today's Highlights:


  • Meet an EF representative at the airport.
  • Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
  • Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
  • Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.

In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, take the party elsewhere.

Day 3: Explore Porto + Optional Douro River Cruise & Wine Tasting

You’ve begun to familiarize yourself with Porto. But now is your time to experience this city as a local (have you practiced your double cheek kiss?); walk with a guide on a two-hour tour of the best of Porto. Your guide will be an expert in all things Portugal, so ask lots of questions, soak it all in and get ready for the written exam at the end of your trip…kidding. It’s actually an oral exam.


Today's Highlights:


  • Join a local guide on a walking tour through the streets of Porto.
  • Get lost in the Ribeira, Porto’s old town full of winding, cobblestone streets that feel like they’ve been around for centuries. Because they have.
  • Wander into the Lello Bookstore, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s depiction of Hogwarts.
  • Prep your taste buds as day turns to night and you can enjoy some of that sweet, sweet Port wine.

Douro River Cruise & Wine Tasting(extra cost)

Find out what happens when you combine two of Porto’s greatest assets: the Douro River and wine. Spoiler alert: It’s amazing. Hop on a boat and ride along the vineyard-clad hills of the Douro Valley. You’ll sample a variety of wines produced in the area, including the world-famous Port wine AKA sweet red wine. Take in the breathtaking views around you, and learn how the grapes go from vine to wine to your mouth.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 4: Explore Guimarães and Braga

Two historic cities. One legendary day. If you ask Portugal where it all began, it will tell you that it was the city of Guimarães, nicknamed the “cradle of Portuguese nationality.” And then you’ll be like, *whoa I didn’t know countries could talk.*You’ll also visit Braga, where church bells ring, students crowd low-key bars, and travelers take pictures of an epic winding staircase that you certainly don’t have to climb to appreciate.


Today's Highlights:


  • Travel by bus to Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal’s first king.
  • See a 1,000-year-old castle and walk through the city center (two thumbs up according to UNESCO).
  • Stop in Braga, a buzzing university town where you can simply follow the crowds of students to find the best bars and restaurants.
  • Visit Bom Jesus do Monte, a sanctuary and pilgrimage site most famous for its 577-step staircase that pilgrims used to climb on their hands and knees.

Day 5: Travel to Coimbra

Head south to the town of Coimbra with two stops along the way. Say “olá” to Costa Nova, a beachside neighborhood with a row of painted houses that look—but don’t taste—like multi-colored candy canes. Then head to Aveiro, known as “Portugal’s Venice” for its abundance of canals and bridges. When you’re finished oohing and aahing, grab a napkin for the drool and join your Tour Director for a classic Portuguese pastry workshop.


Today's Highlights:


  • Kiss Porto goodbye and head toward Coimbra.
  • Stop at the beachside fishermen town of Costa Nova, where the line of colorful striped houses are p-e-r-f-e-c-t for Instragramming.
  • Walk through Aveiro, a city that feels like Venice, but instead of gelato they have ovos moles—a delicious egg and sugar dessert.
  • Ride the bus (and your sugar high) toward Coimbra, where you’ll stay for the next two nights.

Day 6: Explore Coimbra and Tomar

With the help of a local guide, you will get to know the cities of Coimbra and Tomar. Portugal’s brightest minds attend the University of Coimbra, a school that’s been around for over 8,000 years. The university has an enormous baroque library with over 300,000 books…you know, in case print makes a comeback. And just when you thought you’d seen enough historically important buildings, in walks the Convent of Christ in Tomar, a former Roman Catholic convent and architectural beauty.


Today's Highlights:


  • Put on your reading pants and gawk at the Joanina Library, built in the 18th century and—for all you Disney fans—more impressive than the Beast’s library in “Beauty and the Beast.”
  • Keep your brain turned on as you wander the University of Coimbra’s campus.
  • Join a local guide on a tour of the grounds of Tomar’s Convent of Christ, a sprawling series of buildings once occupied by the Order of Christ.
  • Go miniature and visit the Portugal dos Pequenitos (or “Portugal for the Little Ones”), a mini park with classic Portuguese houses and monuments.

Day 7: Travel to Lisbon via Sintra

Get ready to work those glutes, because you’re heading to Lisbon AKA “The City of Seven Hills,” a name linked to myth rather than math. Go ahead, count the hills. We’ll wait. This colorful Portuguese capital is home to classic European charm, urban innovation, and breathtaking vistas from just about anywhere you stand. On your way, stop in Sintra to explore the Natural Park and palaces. You’ll even get a chance to stand at the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Cabo de Roca.


Today's Highlights:


  • Continue your Portuguese journey south toward Lisbon.
  • Stop in Sintra, a fairy tale city where ornate palaces are served with a side of cliff-side ocean views.
  • Indulge in queijadas and travesseiros, two of Sintra’s most famous pastries.
  • Head west—like, really west—to Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point in all of Europe.
  • Finish the day in Lisbon, where you can relax and acquaint yourself with the area around your accommodation.

Day 8: Discover Lisbon

Steep inclines. Iconic cable cars. A huge, red-orange suspension bridge that’s the perfect selfie spot. It’s no surprise that Lisbon has been described as the “San Francisco of Europe”, without the self-driving cars and delivery robots. As the oldest city in Western Europe, it's inscribed with millennia of stories that uniquely shaped the vibe today. Want to hear them? Great, because that’s exactly what’s about to happen.


Today's Highlights:


  • Meet a local guide for an in-depth tour of Lisbon (and story time, obviously).
  • Get lost in the winding streets of Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon.
  • Go medieval at Saint George Castle, a massive fortress overlooking the city below.
  • Treat your taste buds to a pastel de nata, the most classic of all Portuguese pastries.
  • Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore on your own.

Day 9: Free Day in Lisbon

The day is yours to experience the best of Lisbon. Go back to some of your favorite places from yesterday, or set out on your own to explore new sights, sounds, smells, and flavors. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, head out to discover all the hills you’ve counted.


Today's Highlights:


  • Catch a ride from a fellow American—a historic trolley that was imported from the U.S. in 1901 and is now a Lisbon staple for navigating the steep inclines.
  • Explore the city on your own, at your own pace, with as many snack stops as you want.
  • Wander through Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s bohemian quarter and the ideal neighborhood for bar hopping.

Free Time Suggestions
Elevator Pitch: Originally steam powered, the Elevador de Santa Justa is the handiwork of Gustave Eiffel’s apprentice, so it might look a little familiar. A ride up gives you awesome views of the city skyline.
Portu-gas: Take a gastronomic world tour at Mercado Fusão, a food market, where kiosks serve up everything from Brazilian cakes to sushi. Don’t miss the famous samosas at Kebab Ali House.


Farewell Dinner
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

Day 10: Fly Home

Tchau, amigos!
Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?


–OR–


EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS


1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.


2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.


Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

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