- Pousadas of Portugal
Join us on this fascinating tour which takes you from the cobbled streets of Lisbon to the verdant Douro valley, admiring thundering waterfalls and charming medieval villages. Undoubtedly the biggest highlight of this tour is staying in the beautiful Pousadas, buildings of historic significance lovingly restored to luxurious hotels and for you to enjoy.
Depart London on your direct flight to Lisbon where you will be transferred to your Pousada.
Following breakfast, you will enjoy a tour of Lisbon, Portugal's capital and Europe's second oldest city. Admire the impressive Abril Bridge, a suspension bridge connecting Lisbon to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tagus River and one of Lisbon's most notable landmarks. Continue to the UNESCO listed Belem Tower, arguably one of Lisbon's most iconic symbols, the tower was built as a defensive fortress on the orders of King Manuel 1. The intricately carved stone of maritime motifs honours the navigators who departed from the waterfront to chart unknown lands some 500 years ago. Your tour concludes at the S. Jorge Castle, a Moorish castle which stands majestically on a hilltop above Lisbon. Climb the towers and meander along the ramparts for the most breathtaking views of the city or simply enjoy this oasis of calm and relax in the gardens with a chilled glass of wine.
Today is at leisure in Queluz, wander around the National Palace admiring its historical gardens which are one of the most remarkable examples of the harmonious link between landscape and palatial architecture in Portugal. Alternatively, you can embark on the optional excursion to Arrabida National Park, a glorious protected area covered with pines offering stunning landscapes, golden beaches and chalk cliffs. Perched on the hills is a dazzling 16th-century Franciscan monastery surrounded by five hilltop monasteries once used for solitary meditation.
Breakfast & Dinner
Following breakfast this morning you begin your journey towards Crato. Stopping en route at the beautiful city of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will enjoy a guided city tour. Check in at your Pousada and the rest of your day is at leisure to unwind. Originally a 14th-century convent, Pousada do Crato has operated as a castle, a Palace, and is now a modern luxury hotel.
Breakfast & Dinner
Today's tour takes you to Cratos surrounding areas. Delight in the medieval charm of Castelo de Vide, walk the cobbled streets and admire the whitewashed houses whilst enjoying the tranquillity of the Jewish Quarter where time seems to have stood still. Continue to the 14th-century castle which affords incredible views of the town and neighbouring landscapes. Later today you will visit Marvao, a dramatic medieval hilltop walled village housing one of the best-preserved castles in Portugal dating back to the 13th century. The views from the castle are truly breath-taking incorporating the wild rocky landscape towards Spain and the Serra da Estrela mountains in Portugal
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before travelling through Portugal towards Viseu. On arrival in Viseu, check into your Pousada and relax for the rest of the day.
Today enjoy a full day excursion to explore charming Viseu. Start your day by admiring the famous 17th-century Cathedral built around a Romanic construction. A majestic facade delimitated by two tall bell towers welcomes you once you reach the churchyard. Continue to the old town of Viseu, meander through the traditional small streets, paved with granite flagstones, view the traditional classic houses, decorated with shields bearing coats of arms and admire the 3rd century Roman Wall of Viseu.
Following breakfast, you will travel north to Geres, stopping in beautiful Porto before you reach your destination - a true highlight of the tour. Here, explore the city sights on a guided tour before visiting a port wine house for a tour and tasting of the region's famed drink. Check in at your pousada which boasts a unique, mountain-top location in the heart of Portugal's only national park and offers spectacular views. Spend the remainder of your day enjoying the serenity of this mountainside retreat.
Today is at leisure or, alternatively, enjoy an optional excursion on a picturesque river cruise, from Regua to Pinhao where you can marvel at the beautiful scenery.
Breakfast & Dinner
Explore the beauty of the Geres National Park, Portugal's only national park. A vast area which hugs the border between Portugal and Spain. Throughout your day you can admire thundering waterfalls, towering cliffs, deep ravines, traditional villages, and castle remains.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight back to the UK.
R Guttridge02 Oct 19
We greatly enjoyed our holiday in Portugal's Parados as the four we visited were all classy but very different. Another great Mercury Holiday!
Andrew Thatcher20 Sep 19
Wonderful Hotels, Palace Guard quarters, a monastery, an old hospital, and a hunting lodge, they all hard character and charm, and they all had swimming pools apart from the first. The food was excellent, and what we saw on the tour was magnificent.
Annie Emslie16 Sep 19
Interesting places all very different from each other
Margaret Woolacott13 Sep 19
We were on the Douro cruise. The service was excellent, the food amazing and the staff great. We were treated very well as Mercury clients. A member of our party who is gluten intolerant had never enjoyed such wonderful meals. We felt as if we were in a 5 star restaurant every day.This trip can not be faulted. Whole experience was absolutely faultless, we had no complaints whatsoever, everything was so well managed.
Mary Bowman03 Jun 19
Each Pousada was stunning, clean, friendly and a delight to stay in
Raymond Fleming30 Apr 19
staff very high standard and very professional and very very friendly from day 1 to our last stay would recommend to my family the Inatel hotel.
Wendy Bennett19 Nov 18
I enjoyed every aspect of this well organised and unusual trip. The guide experienced and interesting. Coach travel excellent very good driver. Accommodation very good. Food especially breakfasts was very good.
Mary Smart19 Nov 18
The pousadas were very luxurious and the breakfasts were excellent.
Our driver, Nuno was excellent on the narrow and steep roads and the small coach was just right for the small group.
Lucio the guide, put in visits to many interesting places not scheduled.
Joyce Lyng27 Sep 18
The standard of accommodation at the pousadas was high: as was the service provided.
John Llewellyn25 Sep 18
All four hotels were superb.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your TAP Air Portugal flight will depart from London Gatwick South Terminal. Baggage allowance is 23 kg. of hold baggage.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills, and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 15, and the maximum will be 35. If in the unlikely event there are less than 15 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is an escorted tour, meaning the you will have the services of an English speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times. English speaking guide for Arrival & Departure Transfers Excursion on the 2nd day, 5th day and 10th day
The currency in Portugal is the Euro. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any meals where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, drinks and snacks. Approximately (£300-£400) per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Please also bear in mind that there will be several shopping opportunities throughout your tour. Tipping is at your discretion; However we would recommend approximately (2-3 euros) per day. Tips are accepted in the local currency, however it is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency that you only pay with notes, as coins cannot be exchanged. As normal practice you may be asked for your credit card details on check-in at the hotel in order to cover any extras incurred during your stay. If you do not have a credit card, you may be asked for a cash deposit. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in hotels.