10 Days from$2,455 p/p in USD
Independent, Self Drive
Explore beautiful Portugal on this adventure, starting in historic Porto, where you enjoy a culinary experience and a city tour before heading to Peneda-Gerês National Park for hiking through breathtaking scenery and canyoning. Next is the Côa Valley, home to griffon and Egyptian vultures, golden and Bonelli’s eagles and endangered species such as black vulture, Spanish imperial eagle and black stork, before heading to Lagos in the Algarve Region, where you can explore this charming town and the beautiful Algarve beaches.
Safari types:Beach Safari, Birding Safari, Cultural Safari
You will visit:Porto, Lagos, Algarve, Peneda-Geres National Park, Côa Valley, Faia Brava Nature Reserve
Wildlife:Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Stork
Activities:Hiking, Sightseeing Tour, Optional Activities, Birding, 4x4 Tour, Wine Tasting, Swimming, Culinary Experience, Canyoning
Getting around:Transfer Vehicle
Start/end:Start in Porto, end in Lisbon
Price Per Person – EUR
From EUR 2,275 per person
- Accommodations: Three/four-star rural boutique hotels or glamping (Porto: 2 nights, Peneda-Geres National Park: 2 nights, Côa Valley: 2 nights, Algarve: 3 nights)
- Meals: 9 breakfasts, 1 dinner, 1 lunch
- Transport: Private transfers by car from airport (arrival day)
- 9 day rental car
- Porto Food Tour
- Porto City Tour
- Hike in Peneda – 4×4 experience
- Canyoning in Peneda
- Professional English speaking guides for excursions
- International Flights
- Personal expenditures
- Most meals
- Entrance fees to monuments during excursions except where indicated in the itinerary
- Tourist tax paid directly to the hotel in Lisbon/Porto
- Any optionals or suggestions listed in the trip plan
Day by Day Overview
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Porto’s airport, you will be met by a driver who will transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring. In the late afternoon, you will learn more about Porto and its cuisine with a 3.5-hour walking tour of the historic downtown. Guided by a friendly English-speaking native, this excursion offers a first-hand look at the culinary renaissance that the city is experiencing including the rebirth of specialty food shops and new restaurants that are adopting old methods. You’ll take part in several distinct tasting locations that harken back to an era of simple, quality products and recipes created by people who love what they do. Learn about these family-owned businesses and why they are an integral part of what makes gastronomy in Porto so unique. Furthermore, you’ll witness the revival of Portuguese cuisine while you explore local restaurants, cafes, and stores offering the best of Porto.
The evening, of course, would not be complete without an introduction to the famous drink of Porto: Port wine. As you taste three different versions, including one vintage, you will learn about the history of this drink and why it is a timeless favorite.
This excursion will lead you through the most important landmarks of Portugal’s second most populous city. Your guide will explain the rich history of this city, also called Invicta (the Unbeaten City), with stories of heroes and battles, as you make your way to the trendiest and most cultural area of town. Here you’ll explore Boavista Avenue, one of the city’s most important streets, and Foz, home to some of the most revered museums and modern local treasures.
Next, you’ll head to the city center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — to admire the most renowned Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical monuments and sites, including the São Bento Railway Station, Clerigos Tower, Church of St. Francis, Lello Bookshop, Sta. Catarina Street, Majestic Café, and Bolhão Market, to name a few. After visiting the imposing Porto Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, you’ll finish the tour along the banks of the immense Douro River with views of Ribeira Plaza and the D. Luís Bridge.
After the tour, you can also visit a small scale canning factory, which produces gourmet-quality tinned fishes. What makes this purveyor unique is its hand-made processing techniques, which have been used here for the last century. Tinned fish isn’t only a delicacy in Portugal; it’s a traditional way of life that continues to adapt to the times. In the afternoon, you will pick up your rental car ready for tomorrow when you start your big adventure!
Today you will drive to Pena Aventura Park to stat your first adventure of your trip! Upon arrival to the park your guide will be waiting for you to discover the hidden secrets that only the locals know! Surrounded by gorgeous mountain landscapes you will make short and accessible hikes that will reward you with breathtaking views, wild swimming in crystal clear lagoons with only fish to make you company, waterfalls taken straight from fantasy books and a time travel back to ancient times, where you can see and feel how the locals live, dress and eat in centuries old villages. To be able to absorb all the sounds, smells, and natural beauty of Gerês all year round, you have to be able to open your heart and clear your mind. Today you will sleep in a rural house in Vila de Castro Laboreiro.
- Off-road trails, small hikes to hidden spots
- See amazing landscapes
- Swim in waterfalls, do cliff jumping to lagoons or simply relax and enjoy the views
- Explore Peneda-Gerês National Park from Porto on a 4×4 led by a local friendly guide who knows every secret spot
- Taste North Portugal’s traditional food and wine (Vinho Verde) in a local restaurant
- Learn about the history, culture and people of the countryside of Portugal from Peneda-Gerês National Park locals
- Visit the most special viewpoints of Geres National Park
- Be a responsible traveler (part of your ticket goes to help the community that you visit)
- A friendly nature guide
- Small-group tour
- 4×4 experience
- Contribution to the local associations that help to preserve nature and culture
- Traditional lunch and wine (Vinho verde) in local restaurant (vegetarian and vegan options)
- Photos and videos from the tour
Connect with nature with a small group and highly specialized guides trained to ensure your safety at all times. Hike along the river beds and jump off – or abseil down – several different types of rock. Take an alternative route if you don’t feel comfortable rock climbing and jumping and travel at your own rhythm without feeling rushed. Encounter a variety of lagoons, waterfalls and different landscapes of stunning beauty. End at a local restaurant to enjoy lunch (not included). Our commitment is to ensure you have the best comfort and security. Our guides update their certifications each year, our equipment is high-end and our boots are ideal for this kind of activity. Fun is guaranteed!
- This is more than just a canyoning day tour – the natural beauty of Gerês National Park is quite impressive
- Be hypnotized by the sound of the water falling down the river
- The clear water of the spring allows you to take amazing underwater photos
- Jump, slide, abseil and climb rocks(according to the height you feel comfortable with, there are always alternatives)
- Get an adrenaline rush and experience a sense of personal triumph while connecting with nature
- Benefit from the services of the best canyoning guides in Portugal
- Connect with the natural surroundings
- After the canyoning, we invite you to lunch in a local restaurant where you can meet the countryside people – it is a real opportunity to get to know our culture through food
- Pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation
- Special highly trained canyoning guides
- The best Gerês rivers for the practice
- Small group – up to seven people per guide
- Contribution to the local associations that help preserve the local nature and culture
- Underwater photos and videos of the tour
- Canyoning special suits and helmets
- The best boots in the market, comfortable and made specially for canyonin g
Other Optional Activities
In Peneda-Gerês National Park you have a lot of options of adventure activities. If canyoning is not for you can choose other activities:
- Kayak and hiking
- Stand up paddle boarding
- Praia River white water rafting
- E-bike tour
Today you will drive south to Côa Valley. Located between the Douro River to the north and the Serra da Malcata in the south, Portugal’s Côa Valley is a spectacular mix of riverine gorges, oak forests, rocky heathlands and former cropland returning to nature. New sustainable travel here combines the finest natural and cultural experiences in the area, supporting local people and new independent nature reserves. The Côa Valley is home to griffon and Egyptian vultures, golden and Bonelli’s eagles and endangered species such as black vulture, Spanish imperial eagle and black stork. The rabbit is perhaps the most important mammal species, a vital source of prey not only for the birds but also for carnivores such as mongoose, civets, martens, polecats and elusive wild cats. Rabbits rely larger on herbivores to clear large shrubs and roe deer are making a welcomed comeback together with species of wild horse and cattle are grazing freely in the Faia Brava Nature Reserve. Today you will sleep under the stars at Star Camp in Faia Brava
You will have free time to enjoy this amazing landscape and choose to do some of the many adventure activities:
- Visit the Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with thousands of animal, human and abstract figures carved into rock faces, some of which date back over 20,000 years. Together they make up the largest open-air collection of prehistory art in Europe.
- Discover Faia Brava with a guide: in 2010 the Faia Brava Reserve was classified as the first Private Protected Area of the country also being a pilot area for the European project Rewilding Europe for the creation of wild natural areas and development of nature tourism.
- Bird watching in Faia Brava: if you are a bird lover you will love to walk around this area and discover all the bird species that you can find in this park.
- Visit a wine cellar and learn about the wine making process. You will be able to taste the wine after the tour.
- Visit Castelo Rodrigo: the historical village of Castelo Rodrigo as a whole is a genuine location of monuments preserving important medieval references.
It is time for some relaxing time after all the adventure activities you have been doing. You will drive to Lagos, a seafaring town on the western side of the Algarve Region, situated along Portugal’s southern coast. Upon arrival you’ll check-in to your hotel and have the rest of the day to explore on your own. Lagos is known for its charming inner-walled old town, pretty harbor, dramatic sandstone cliffs, beautiful beaches as well as authentic restaurants and buzzing nightlife. Locals are proud to say that Lagos has not succumbed to mass tourism like other cities in the Algarve, and the city still retains its distinctive character and laid-back charm. The best way to start is by walking around!
Take the entire day to explore the incredibly scenic area in and around Lagos, its nearby beaches, and the larger Algarve Region any way you’d like. If you haven’t spent much time in the port city of Lagos yet, it’s worth some time to wander through its 16th-century inner walls for cobble stoned streets and inviting squares. You’ll also find a great range of restaurants and nightlife options both inside and outside the walls (not surprisingly, outside is more modern).
If beaches are high on your list, you’ll find several dreamy options to choose from offering a variety of services, water-sports and boat excursions. For example, there’s Pinhao Beach, a peaceful cove known for its secluded, picturesque setting. Another great spot is the Ponta da Piedade, which features more dramatic sandstone cliffs and bright turquoise water (a range of boat tours depart from here). Meanwhile, Praia do Camilo gives way to a memorable view from the top of a staircase whose 200 wooden steps lead to down to a sheltered sandy cove. The scenery doesn’t stop there: if you have a car, the surrounding Algarve Region offers plenty to see and do within its pristine natural parks, bustling resort towns, and authentic white-washed villages.
Today you can get in the car and head east towards Tavira which is arguably the Algarve’s most charming town. The ruins of a hilltop castle, an old Roman bridge and a smattering of Gothic and Renaissance churches are among its historic attractions. An enticing assortment of restaurants and guesthouses makes it an excellent base for exploring the Algarve’s eastern reaches. Along with way you can make stops in Albufeira, with the lovely beach of Praia da Galé to the west. You can also spend time exploring the pretty inland villages and the area’s high-quality rural restaurants.
After breakfast, you will drive to Lisbon to catch your flight back home.