Solares de Portugal is a unique concept offering accommodation in houses of character and therefore a very different kind of holiday experience with a special “personal touch”. During your trip you will live in that privately-owned stately manor houses, elegant country houses and rustic farm houses. The owners will warmly welcome you and during your stay they will share their knowledge and their traditions. Situated in some of Portugal’s most picturesque locations Solares de Portugal is not only a feast for all your senses, but also a symbol of our Portuguese culture and history. Join us to a journey of warm hospitality and the rich legacy of Casa de Sezim Portugal’s architectural and cultural heritage!
Oporto – Minho
Arrival at Oporto airport (either you meet your tour guide or you pick up your rented car at the rent-a-car desk). Start with a walking tour through the lively streets of Oporto, and see landmarks like the Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa), a convent reconstructed over the years that is now an astounding example of the Portuguese architecture of the XIX century, and the São Bento train station. Then walk up to the cathedral from where you have a wonderful view over the Ribeira area. Take in views of the Douro River as you wander around the riverside Ribeira district, and finally cross the famous D. Luís Bridge in order to reach Vila Nova de Gaia. Here, the ageing and blending of most of the world’s supply of Port wine takes place with some of the most famous names in winemaking which is where you will stop at the renowned and historical Port cellar Ramos Pinto for visiting (cellars and museum) and Port wine tasting.
Afterwards, leave the capital of Port wine to continue your Solares de Portugal Tour to the Minho region. Explore that region and discover the unique Vinho Verde – a light and refreshing wine which is found nowhere else in the world. Check in at Casa de Sezim. This winery situated in an impressive Manor House is very well known for its Vinho Verde of biological production and is owned by the 3rd generation of the same family. Here you will experience Portuguese hospitality at its best and taste the fantastic wines, of course.
This manor house’s interior has captured a style of simple elegance with its exquisitely decorated bedrooms, some furnished with four poster beds and the lounges boast early 19th century panoramic panels depicting scenes from both the New and Old World.
Guimarães – Braga – Ponte de Lima
Begin your day with a great breakfast in the hotel. Afterwards visit the quaint city of Guimarães, which is hailed as the ‘cradle of Portugal’. Enjoy a nice walk to the historic centre, which will lead you to the Castle of Guimarães and Paço dos Duques de Bragança, before you follow to Praça da Oliveira and Praça São Tiago, enjoying the life style of a city that was considered as the European Capital of Culture in 2012! We recommend a light lunch in one of the typical restaurants in town.
After having lunch we suggest a trip to Braga. There are a lot of places to visit in Braga: The historic city centre with the cathedral and other churches, museums and traditional shops. The cathedral is almost 1000 years old, and while in there you can have a guided tour to its treasure. You can also visit the beautiful Braga Municipal Stadium, used for the 2004 European Football Championships held in Portugal. While in Braga, looking east or south-east you will probably see two distinct sanctuaries on a mountain just outside the city. The higher one, Sameiro, with a beautiful Church with lots of paintings and gold decorations, and the other one, Bom Jesus do Monte, with a beautiful park around it. While in Bom Jesus, you can ride the Bom Jesus funicular, the oldest funicular in the world moved by water balancing.
In the afternoon continue to Ponte de Lima. This is a beautiful village founded as a Celtic settlement and developed by the Romans. Your accommodation for the next two nights is Paço de Calheiros! This wonderfully located 17th century manor house is owned by a real Count, no less, and has been in his family’s hands since its inception. This stately home is a relevant residence of history, heritage and culture, framed by elegant gardens with 13 acres of orchards and vineyards. Horse riding, a swimming pool and wine tasting are just some of the attractions Paço de Calheiros has to offer and also the view it affords from its position high above the Lima valley is marvellous! Enjoy a free evening to explore Ponte de Lima and to have dinner at one of the great restaurants near the main square. Ponte de Lima is definitely worth walking along the labyrinth of streets in the historical centre and to discover each one of its monuments, such as the main church founded in the 15th century. The landscape surrounding the picture perfect medieval village will make a lasting impression in your mind and heart.
Ponte de Lima – Viana do Castelo/Peneda Gerês – Ponte de Lima
After taking a breakfast at your hotel this morning we have many suggestions for this day, why not visit Viana do Castelo? We highly recommend the city centre and the church Santa Luzia, which is nestled on the Monte de Santa Luzia. It can be reached by foot, car and by a funicular, which leaves from near the station. It is worth making the trip if only for the magnificent view. If there is still time in the afternoon our suggestion also goes to the beach nearby. A ferry or the bridge takes visitors across the river to the beautiful sweeping sandy beach of Praia Cabedelo.
For nature lovers we also recommend the National Park Peneda Gerês. Only on foot or astride a garrano pony can one appreciate the vast expanse and diversity of Peneda Gerês. Walk along narrow shepherd trails or on the ancient cement of Roman roads. From lush river valleys to bare rocky mountain peaks, from golden gorse fields to sweeping oak. For the more adventurous of you in the Peneda Gerês National Park, canyoning is an exciting challenge. You also can try white water rafting on the river Minho. The white waters and strong currents of the river Minho are perfect for water sports. If there is still time you can use the afternoon to visit Viana do Castelo.
In the late afternoon return to Paço de Calheiros where you enjoy a nice dinner in the restaurant of the hotel (included).
Ponte de Lima – Centro
After breakfast, the day will lead you to the very centre of Portugal.
First enjoy an interesting morning in Aveiro. The district of Aveiro captures the essence of the perfect picture-book destination, with its colourful gondola-shaped boats, natural lagoons, elegant 19th Century architecture and traditional cobblestone passageways – this is a special place where old meets new. While in the city centre, make your way to the famous Mercado do Peixe, a traditional fish market and stop at any typical café whenever strolling through the city and taste the heavenly ovos moles, the district’s sugary and egg-based delicacy. Also, be sure to enjoy a Moliceiro Boat trip at the canals of Aveiro which are fed by the Ria (estuary). These typical boats used in the past to collect the river seaweeds where completely refurbished and adapted to nowadays accommodate the ones that would like to experience a different trip by the river and its city canals.
Continue to the historic city of Coimbra. On your way we highly recommend a nice lunch in the restaurant Praia do Tubarão at Costa Nova. It is one of the best-known restaurants in that region. It is a simple house, with a warm ambiance and a beautiful view of the Ria de Aveiro.
Coimbra is without any doubt, one of the most beautiful cities of Portugal and the dazzling scenery is reflected in the river and whoever visits is amazed. A visit to the University centre is a must; and also do not miss to enter Joanina Library, recently considered as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world by The New York Times!
Your accommodation for today is Paço da Ega. This medieval castle is located on the top of a hill 15 km from Coimbra and offers panoramic views of the countryside. Its spacious living room features original 16th-century windows and doors. Rustic furniture, including a 4-poster bed and wooden pieces are featured. All rooms come with a private bathroom with heated towel rails. This exclusive and outstanding building is ultimately a place to dream.
Centro – Cascais
After breakfast your journey continues to Cascais. On your way to Cascais visit Ericeira – fishermen village and Atlantic Ocean Resort. This little idyllic coastal town, blessed with 300 days of sunshine, mild temperatures I winter and sea-breezed summers, is often praised as the Mecca of Surf in Portugal. You do not have to be surfer to enjoy Ericeira, as it is not only famous for its constant waves, but also for its healthy air, beautiful beaches and landscape an the excellent food served by local restaurants.
In Cascais check in at Casa da Pergola, a beautiful mansion in Mediterranean style with its elegant white marble floors and staircases, bedrooms, with “bas relief” stucco ceilings, is located in the very heart of Cascais. Its exuberant flowery, beautiful garden attracts all the attentions. Guests have access to a partner property’s indoor pool, outdoor pool, health club, and recreational facilities.
Renowned for its glorious stretch of white, sandy beach, myriad of shopping opportunities and cosmopolitan vibrancy, the former fishing village of Cascais has reinvented itself into a refined seaside resort and one of Lisbon’s most sophisticated destinations. Take a stroll trough the picturesque old city centre and the nearby marina – a modern seafront setting where you can appreciate luxurious yachts, sizzling seafood dishes, trendy bars and boutiques.
Cascais – Lisbon – Cascais
Start your day with a wonderful breakfast and prepare yourself for an unforgettable day in Lisbon and its surroundings.
Lisbon is reached in only 30 minutes. The city is full of art and architectural sites bearing the magnificent history of the country. Take a stroll through the Alfama, the most interesting district of Lisbon. Visit the 12th-century Se (cathedral), and take in a view of the city and the river Tagus from the Santa Luzia Belvedere and climb up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George’s Castle). We also recommend to visit the high-end riverside district of Belém. Here you will find the Jerónimos Monastery – this historical and beautiful monastery is one of the most astounding and breathtaking visions you’ll experience in Lisbon, and absolutely worthy of your visit, as well as the Belém Tower, the old military naval tower that was once located in the middle of the river.
If you want to escape the hassle and the heat of Lisbon on a hot summer day in the afternoon, why not try the magnificent sandy beach of Guincho. Backed by dunes and with some of the best rollers in Europe, it is a true paradise for surfers. Praia do Guincho is the beach to head to for all adventure sports while the backdrop landscape of the Serra de Sintra will captivate the less adventurous.
For the evening we recommend a dinner at Restaurante da Adraga located at Praia da Adraga. Praia da Adraga is one of the best beaches in Europe, and one of the most scenic in the Lisbon area. Situated near Almoçageme, north of Lisbon on the North Atlantic shore, the beach’s unspoiled beauty will seduce you.
Check out of the hotel and end of program. Additional week at the beach available.
This package includes per person…
This proposal is prepared for self driver and includes all overnights with breakfast. Please note that all the mentioned excursions during that tour are just recommendations and shall help you to get a general view of the great things Portugal has to offer. Of course, we would be pleased to book the excursions for you. In the mentioned prices we also give options for renting a car as well as for a private driver. We also give you the option to reserve your dinners in the hotels in advance.