Meeting in the luscious city of Lisbon we'll admire the Gothic glamour, winding cobbled streets, gorgeous cathedrals and scenic views. But the best way to explore this gastronomic capital is through taste, why not sample some delicacies and the Lisbon speciality: green wine, or maybe go for a glass of port in the Bairro Alto and watch the sunset.
See ya, Lisbon. We'll never forget your culinary and cultural charms.En-route to Porto we've got a few special stopovers, such as the sacred place of miracles: Fatima. Said to be the site where the Virgin Mary appeared to peasant children, Fatima attracts 6 million people a year. Today there are two ginormous basilicas to mark the site.This lively city is bursting at the seams with historical monuments. It's home to Portugal's oldest university, and when we stop for lunch we'll fall in love with the old stone walls and tumbling terraces of pastel coloured buildings.Cruising into the terracotta washed city of Porto, we'll explore this city on foot, seeing all the main sites like the lavishSãoFransisco Church and 19th centuryPalácio de Bolsa, and sneaking in some cheeky port tasting on the way.An optional E-bike tour is on offer, allowing you to breeze through Porto’s iconic sites with the help of a hill-conquering engine when you need that extra push (it’s not cheating if you pretend to pedal and put on your most determined face).
Porto is a spectacular city, but it's also very hilly. You'll have the chance to explore the city in your free time, sampling port and wandering the picturesque coastline, before an optional EatWith experience this evening. This brings you into the homes of locals, who host and cook for you for a uniquely authentic dining experience. As well as sampling a delicious array of traditional Portuguese food, you'll sample some port, and hear stories from your hosts about their lives in this spellbinding city.
We're saying 'Tchau' to Porto today. After breakfast we're taking the coach towards Santa Cruz.This mini-Venice is a gorgeous town built on canals. We'll have an optional traditional boat tour to cruise the winding canals, admiring the colourful houses and learning about the area's history.Another stop for lunch lunch, another stunning historic old town to enjoy it in. Obidos will charm us with its whitewashed houses and ruddy blooms of flowers.Located on the glorious shores of Ericeira, on Portugal’s West Coast, Noah’s Surf House has one motto “At Sea We're Home.” That’s why the entrance is on top of the sand, why the windows and balconies face the azure ocean, and why chilled surf culture informs everything they do. Whether you're looking to kick back or get involved with surfing, skating or yoga, this is so much more than just a place to stay.
Portugal’s west coast is one of the best spots in Europe to find perfect surfing conditions for all abilities, and has so many golden beaches that overcrowding never becomes a problem. Take one of Noah’s surfing classes and you'll be using the best gear on the market while being trained up by instructors with more than 15 years of experience, so no matter your skill level, you'll be mastering the waves in no time. If want to hit the waves in a different way, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or SUP might be for you. It’s just you, your big board and an oar, and as well as being an incredible core strength workout, it’s a fun and unique way to explore the glorious med from an upright perspective. Yoga is an option if you're looking for an activity that is a bit more grounded, or you can simply kick back with a beer and enjoy the sound of the waves gently lapping against the shore.
Noah's Surf House - you've been a dream. It's time to drag ourselves away this morning as we head to Lagos.Another trip to the past as we head inside the 14th century walls of Evora, home to grandiose medieval cathedrals, roman baths and a spectacular town square. After wondering the cobbled streets we'll head on towards Lagos.This picture perfect port town retains Evora's quaint cobbled lanes but adds a whole bunch of stunning beaches.
Today is yours to enjoy The Algarve. Play golf, eat, take a boat trip, swim, soak up some rays or enjoy some watersports. The choice is yours in this sun-drenched playground.
After breakfast, we head north back to Lisbon stopping en route in Cascais and Sintra. See ya the Algarve, thanks for the good times!We head to the coastal town of Cascais, known for its stunning beaches and tasty seafood. Stroll along the marina or opt in for a Contiki Cares experience hosted by local residents. This tour showcases the culture of a neighbourhood shaking off old perceptions by creating an urban art gallery unlike anywhere in the world.We have one last stop to make in the UNESCO town of Sintra, before heading back to Lisbon. This fairytale town features turreted palaces and castle ruins with the real star of the show being the insta-famous Pena Palace.Later, we'll enjoy an optional farewell feast - the perfect chance to reflect on how much we've fallen in love with Portugal, and say our sad goodbyes.
Portugal, it's been emotional. Your delicious food, rich culture, paradisaical coastlines and glittering waters will stay in our memories forever. But we'll be back soon enough.