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Hidden Portugal

8days from
£1,075*per person

Overview

Portugal's undiscovered treasures

Discover a delightful corner of Portugal, filled with fascination, offering the warmest of welcomes and home to famous wines. Stay at a choice of excellent hotels close to the historic Costa Verde fishing town of Póvoa de Varzim, beautifully set on the glorious Atlantic coast, and explore this little-known but lovely region on three fascinating included guided excursions: one to Porto, one along the Costa Verde and one into the Minho region just north of Póvoa. Hugely popular with our customers, this holiday also offers opportunities to explore the vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal's historic former capital, Braga, and Spain's stunning pilgrimage shrine at Santiago de Compostela on optional tours.

Itinerary

  • Arrive in Oporto, meet your tour manager and board the coach for the short transfer to your chosen hotel.
  • Spend a relaxed day in the hotel and its surroundings, with the chance to join your tour manager for a leisurely guided stroll or the area in which your hotel is based.  
  • Our first included excursion, taken in the company of your tour manager, is a full day visit to Portugal’s second city, Porto. The city that gave its name to the country is ancient, time-weathered, and clings haphazardly to the hillside above the beautiful River Douro. During the day, you'll also visit one of the city’s many famous port wine lodges, and have the chance to enjoy lunch in a riverside restaurant. An optional boat trip on the Douro will also be available (payable locally).  You’ll return to your hotel for dinner. 
  • Today, you’ll travel travel into the heart of the Douro Valley. The tour will first make its way to Favious, an authentic wine village, backed by rugged mountains and one of two places in the country where the sweet dessert wine, muscatel is produced. You’ll be able to taste a few glasses and experience a tour of a local adega while taking in the surrounding vista. You’ll then enter a local bakery that creates a distinctive four-cornered loaf from locally grown wheat, which is baked in a wood-fired oven. While sampling this bread, a baker will tell you about how the recipe was passed down through generations and you’ll get to see the original wooden ovens. The Bread and Wine Museum will follow, and it’s housed in an 18th-century building lined with exhibits detailing the area’s culinary history.   A delicious lunch, made with fresh ingredients, will then be served at the winery, Quinta Avessada, as you listen to the owner talk about the production process before tasting a few labels. Afterwards, the tour will travel along the river Douro on the EN222 – considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world.  
  • Today’s full-day optional tour takes in Barcelos, home to Europe’s largest open-air market – a colourful, bustling hive of activity offering a huge range of locally produced goods. From here you’ll continue to Braga, the former Catholic capital of Portugal. Set in the heart of the verdant Minho region, this ancient university seat is one of the country’s oldest settlements. See its great cathedral, and explore the verdant acres of Bom Jesus park and the Escadaria (Baroque staircases) which climbs through it, past chapels, fountains and statues, to the hill-top church.
  • You can embrace a free day, taking advantage of your hotel’s facilities or exploring the surrounding area.  
  • Your final included tour takes in the beautiful coastal region of the Minho. Your first stop will be the typical seaside town of Viana do Castelo, on the northern bank of the estuary of the River Lima. One of the town's highlights is the Basilica de Santa Lucia, which has wonderful views over the surrounding area. You'll also head further inland, through the Vinho Verde vineyards, to the historic market town of Ponte de Lima, famous for its 18th-century fountain and Roman bridge.
  • Bid “Adeus” to this delightful region of Portugal, and head back to the airport to check in for your flight home, at the end of a hugely enjoyable holiday.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover Portugal's second city, Porto, in its splendid setting above the River Douro
  • Visit a port wine lodge
  • Journey along the scenic Costa Verde
  • Explore the Vinho Verde's vineyards
  • A leisurely walking tour of Póvoa de Varzim on an optional excursion
  • Experience guided visits to Viana do Castelo and Ponte de Lima in the northern Minho region on an optional excursion
  • Travel on an optional tour to Barcelos, home to Europe’s largest open-air market and Braga

Our Price Includes

  • Seven nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at your chosen hotel
  • A full-day tour of Porto
  • Tour of the Minho region
  • A visit to one of the city’s many famous port wine lodges
  • A trip to Vinho Verde vineyards and Ponte de Lima
  • Return flights to Porto
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
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Dates and Prices

 
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Accommodation

Axis Vermar Beach Hotel, Povoa de Varzim -

★★★★

Boasting a fantastic location next to the beach and close to the centre of Povoa de Varzim, the four-star Axis Vermar Beach Hotel provides a relaxing home-from-home for guests wishing to soak up the sun. The hotel offers a wonderful range of amenities, including two tennis courts.

Facilities & Amenities
The hotel has outdoor and indoor swimming pools, an indoor spa (payable locally), two tennis courts, a table-tennis room, a restaurant, and a bar and lounge area.

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Other Information

Hotel transfer times

The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.

Combining hotel transfers

We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.

Room tax

Some hotel have introduced a room tax of between 1 € and 3 € per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager at your destination if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.

Special requirements

If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

Disabled access

The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Itinerary changes

Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

Foreign Office Travel Advice

Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

Airport development fees

An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.

Travelling to Europe

Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel. Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names. Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date"). Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at www.etias.com.

Holiday code

N1011

Holiday provided by Newmarket Holidays

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: fully flexible booking policy, covid-19 cancellation cover insurance as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Newmarket Holidays (ABTOT 5509, ATOL 2325, ABTA V7812), you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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