Gorgeous beaches, fascinating architecture, and a rich culinary scene help make Portugal one of Europe’s most beguiling countries to visit.
Perched on the Iberian Peninsula bordering Spain, Portugal has never quite attracted the same level of tourist interest as its neighbouring continental counterparts, but its distinct culture makes it a worthy alternative. While many chose to explore the country independently, there are also a wide number of group tours available which allow you to meet and share your experiences with fellow travellers. We’ve picked out 5 of the best small-group tours of Portugal currently on offer.
Highlights of Portugal (7 days)
This action-packed week-long tour will introduce you to Portugal’s main highlights. Over the course of the trip, you’ll wander the hilly streets of coastal Lisbon, where you can munch on a custard tart while gazing at sun-dappled architecture, get your fill of history and culture at UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Monastery of Batalha, step back in history wandering charming hill towns like Sintra, take a day trip to the coastal town of Aveiro, and visit the pilgrimage sites of Fátima. The tour ends in the historic city of Porto via the majestic Douro Valley where you can learn to become a port connoisseur in the birthplace of the famous fortified wine. From €1,203 per person.
Walking in Madeira (8 days)
Comprising four islands off the northwest coast of Africa, the archipelago of Madeira is known for its namesake wine, subtropical climate and rugged volcanic landscape featuring high cliffs and pebbly beaches. This 8-day walking excursion invites you to experience all of this – and more – as part of a small group of travellers. The trip starts in Santana before taking in Porto da Cruz, followed by the unique network of levadas and ancient footpaths in Madeira, allowing you to discover the many different sides to this beautiful island. Walk through Laurel forest, along cliff tops to the Ponta de São Lourenço and past alluring waterfalls. The tour ends in Funchal, Madeira’s capital city. From €964 per person.
Best of the Azores (7 days)
Portugal’s Azores archipelago in the mid-Atlantic comprises a chain of islands characterised by dramatic landscapes, fishing villages, green pastures and hedgerows of blue hydrangeas. This 7-day tour takes you through this magical region, with each traveller having the option to add or reduce the number of days as they please. Trip highlights include relaxing in hot thermal waters, taking in the views from the Vista do Rei ‘s viewpoint at Sete Cidades volcanic complex, exploring the picturesque town of Sete Cidades where lunch will be served in a local restaurant, visiting the Caldeira Velha nature reserve, stopping in the ancient whaling village of Capelas, and strolling around the historic city of Ribeira Grande city. The tour starts and ends in Ponta Delgada. From €1,102 per person.
Portugal by High-Speed Train (8 days)
Ideal for those who prefer to take the scenic route rather than arduous road trips along unsightly highways, this 8-day tour includes high-speed train travel between destinations, offering the chance to soak up the views as you hurtle along through the verdant Portuguese countryside and past picture-perfect towns and villages. Stop-offs along the way will include a full-day exploration of the city of Oporto, a visit to the picturesque Douro Region, a cruise along the River Douro, a city tour of Lisbon, a trip to the Pena Palace grandly located at the top of the gorgeous Serra de Sintra, and a look around the coastal villages of Cascais and Estoril, known as the “Portuguese Riviera”. The tour starts in Porto and ends in Lisbon. From €1,580 per person.
Best of Portugal (11 days)
If you’ve got plenty of time to spare and a budget to match, this extended immersive tour shows you – as the name suggest – the very best of Portugal over 11 busy but relaxed days. Starting and ending in Lisbon, over the course of the trip you will visit a grand total of 15 cities, as well as a number of different smaller towns, villages and off-the-grid rural spots. Highlights will include exploring a Templar stronghold, watching thoroughbreds perform at an Alentejo farm and visiting the sun-kissed Algarve. There’ll also be time to explore Lisbon, Coimbra, Tomar, Évora and Porto, all in the company of a local specialist who will regale you with fun facts and tales along the way. From €2,567 per person.