Highlights of the Douro Valley & Centro de Portugal
Based on 14 nights self-drive independent tour in Portugal
Discover the well known delights of romantic, old-world Porto and the Douro Valley, the world’s oldest denominated wine area with its famous vertiginous landscape, then move on south, away from the crowds to lesser-known but enchanting region of Las Beiras.
Discover the fortress towns dotted among the vineyards of the high plains of the Planalto before heading up into the Serra da Estrela, Portugal’s highest mountain range.
Take in a Fado show and marvel at the historic University of Coimbra with its stunning views over the city before finishing at delightful Art-Nouveau Aveiro back at the Atlantic coast.
The full route takes fourteen days but you can do as little, or as much, as you like.
- World Heritage Porto Old Town with its famous Port Wine Lodges
- Stunning scenery of the Douro Valley
- Fortress towns and prehistoric rock-art of the Planalto
- Magnificent rocky wilderness of the Serra da Estrela
- Elegant, lively Coimbra and its monumental University
- A ‘moliceiro’ ride in Art-Nouveau Aveiro
Day 1 to 2 – Porto
- Ribeira, Porto’s fascinating historic centre, a World Heritage site
- Cross the impressive Dom Luis I iron bridge to the Port Wine Lodges
- Art for all from finest museums to simple galleries
- Walk the lanes, sail the river, live and breathe Porto
- Ferry to Afurada and the golden beach of Estrela
Day 3 to 5 – Douro Valley
- Fabulous Douro scenery – take an unforgettable boat trip
- World Heritage Douro vineyards, the World’s oldest!
- Romantic Amarante on the River Tamega
- Lamego – famous stairs of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios
- Superb gastronomy in the atmospheric “adegas” taverns
Day 6 & 7 – Planalto & the fortress towns
- Fortress towns – Trancoso, Almeida, Castelo Rodrigo
- Paleolithic rock-art in the Côa Valley 22000 years old!
- Local wine and olive oil of the Beira Alta
- Faia Brava nature reserve with wild horses, cattle and large birds of prey
- Explore the Douro International Nature Park
- Jump the border to Ciudad Rodrigo and Salamanca
Day 8 & 9 – Serra da Estrela
- Walking, cycling, kayaking and much more in the Serra da Estrela Nature Park
- Visit the Burel Wool factory in Manteigas
- Scale the Torre peak – Portugal’s highest
- Manteigas and Sabugueiro – charming mountain villages
- Rich Jewish heritage and historic castle of Belmonte
Day 10 to 12 – Coimbra
- Coimbra University – stunning buildings, stunning views, fascinating museums
- Sé Velha, Portuguese Romanesque at its finest
- Take in a fado show – Coimbra style of course
- Jewish Quarter – especially magical by night
- Roman ruins at Conímbriga
Day 13 & 14 – Aveiro
- Discover Art-Nouveau Aveiro from a gondola-like ‘Moliceiro’
- Sail or kayak in the estuary, go surfing in the ocean
- Gaily-painted seaside houses of Costa Nova do Prado
- Visit the Vista Alegre porcelain factory
- Playa de Barra and the wild dunes of São Jacinto
The itinerary includes the following:
- Accommodation in our listed hotels – 2 sharing 1 std. double ensuite, B&B
- Economy 4dr car hire
- Regional map and guide book
- Instructions to find all accommodation & regional road map
- Flights – but we are able to advise
- One-way car hire charges, where applicable (see your quote email)
- The following car hire extras – these can be added at pick-up point
- extra driver
- Portuguese toll device (we highly recommend to take this service)
- child seats
- Garage parking where applicable (mostly city stops) – please ask us about parking charges
Fly directly to Lisboa / Lisbon and hire a car – the best options are:
From London Gatwick: Easyjet or TAP Portugal
From London Stansted: Ryanair
From London Heathrow: British Airways or TAP Portugal
From Luton: Easyjet
From Edinburgh: Easyjet
From Liverpool: Easyjet
From Manchester: Ryanair or TAP Portugal
From Bristol: Easyjet
From Dublin: Ryanair or Aer Lingus
From Glasgow: Ryanair
Or fly directly to Porto / Oporto and hire a car – the best options are:
From London Gatwick: TAP Portugal, Easyjet or British Airways
From London Stansted: Ryanair
From London Heathrow: TAP Portugal, British Airways
From Edinburgh: Ryanair
From Liverpool: Ryanair
From Manchester: Easyjet
From Birmingham: Ryanair
From Luton: Easyjet
From Briston: Easyjet
From Dublin: Ryanair
PLEASE NOTE some flights are seasonal.
NB: Flights are not included
As part of your package we will include a hire car. Normally we include a 4 door economy class car but please let us know if you would like something different.
What our clients say
Everything and everywhere fabulous.
We had a 2 week self driving tour which took us to 6 very different and diverse places and accommodation. It was fabulous.
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour around Portugal. We loved the mixture of cities, towns, hilltop villages and countryside. The accommodation was carefully chosen by the Casas team and ranged from the grandeur of a former palace in Coimbra to a delightful rural guesthouse in Castelo Rodrigo.
Highlights of the trip included a night time excursion with a private guide to see the spectacular Palaeolithic rock art in the Côa Valley, a wonderful boat trip along the Douro river from Pinhão and the best meal ever in Aveiro.