Photo courtesy of Cityscape-of-Porto-Tow, Associação-de-Turismo-do-Porto-e-Norte-AR
This custom itinerary was designed for an active Family of 3 Adults (mom & dad & grandma) and 2 children ages 11 & 12 for their summer holiday. This itinerary combines half & full day private tours between leisure days for relaxation.
The remainder of the day is for you to have some rest in your beautiful Art Suite at the lovely Hotel El Palace and its rooftop swimming pool or for self-exploration of the nearby neighborhoods for your afternoon lunch.
Hotel El Palace has undergone a two-year modernization that brings fresh splendor to one of the most exclusive hotels of Barcelona. Centrally located, near the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, Paseo de Gracia and famous landmarks such as the Picasso Museum and the Sagrada Familia, it boasts an important art history, as Salvador Dali and his wife Gala once lived in the Royal Suite, now named Suite Dali. True to its name, the hotel has public areas in opulent style, with marble colonnades, ornate moldings, richly upholstered seating and crystal chandeliers. Accommodations have a contemporary feel, with some of the classic deluxe rooms with mosaic-covered Roman-style bathrooms, and new exclusive suites based on the six classic arts. The perfect choice for dining is the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant Winter Garden – a must; and The Garden for buffet breakfast.
Decorated in the finest of inviting hardwoods, the Bluesman Cocktail Bar is the only place in Barcelona where you can enjoy a cocktail while listening to jazz or blues.
The outdoor pool, the gem of the rooftop retreat, was designed by the hotel’s original owner, César Ritz, and inspired by ancient Roman baths. Look out over all of Barcelona from your bamboo armchair at the charming Winter Garden restaurant. Cast-iron furniture is inspired by antique designs, while the armchairs date back to the hotel’s early 20th-century beginnings. Take in the full experience at the hotel’s highest point, the solarium, where at the end of the day the perch atop the city promises a perfect view of a shimmering sunset.
There are few cities in the world that can compare to the beauty of Barcelona; the capital of Catalonia and Spain’s second-largest city. It has long rivaled Madrid in industrial might and business prowess, and considers itself equal to other great European cities. Barcelona enjoys a deep cultural life and long heritage as home of the architect Antonio Gaudi, known for his Modernism. The true heart of Barcelona lies in the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), a twisting maze of mysterious streets representing the oldest part of the city. Among its wealth of medieval buildings are the Cathedral, the Picasso Museum and La Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous street.
Europe’s most unconventional church, the Sagrada Familia, is considered Barcelona’s most eccentric landmark. Crammed with symbolism, it epitomizes Gaudi’s greatest work, having become his life’s endeavor for 16 years. The most complete part of the church is the Nativity facade, its doorways representing Faith, Hope and Charity.
The Placa del Rei, the city’s most historic square and a place where tradition lives, was where Columbus was greeted on his return from the New World.
The final stop of your morning is at Parc Guell, a beautiful municipal garden with a superb panoramic view over the city; the focal point is a colorful sea-serpent-shaped central terrace. Gaudi lived in the gatehouse during his later years, and this is now a museum dedicated to him.
After free time for lunch, take the afternoon to explore the true heart of the old city – the medieval Gothic Quarter. The narrow, labyrinthine streets and quiet squares are quite distinct from the rest of the city. Your guide shows you the magnificent thirteenth-century cathedral, notable for its fine Gothic chapels, medieval choir stalls and shady cloister. You also visit the Picasso Museum, where some of the painter’s earliest works are housed in the remarkable setting of a part-Gothic, part-Roman palace. (8 hours, driver and guide)
Please note: Casa Mila (La Pedrera) & Parc Guell are not recommended for people with mobility issues and are not accessible for wheelchairs.
Evening at leisure to explore the city on your own.
in the world when it comes to mosaics and the stunning Mediterranean city is full of picturesque and visually arresting mosaics whether it be in parks such as Gaudi’s Parc Guell or everyday items such as tables and mirrors. With this much heritage, you are in the right place when embarking on designing your own mosaic. During the workshop, your mentor will help you to use the Trencadís technique in order to make your own individual and unique mosaic piece – a great memento to your time in the Catalan capital. At the end of your workshop, you are transferred back to your hotel. (Return transfers and 2 hours; private mosaic class)
After lunch, grandma & the kids will have the afternoon at leisure and mom & dad will meet their driver at the hotel to be transferred to Tablao Flamenco El Cordobes, to take a private flamenco lesson. This captivating dance is, of course, extremely complex and it is only possible to learn some of the rudiments in a single class. Here, rather than learning just a few steps, you will experience all the elements which are the essence of flamenco; dance, singing and the guitar. Receive a warm welcome with a glass of red wine and a delicious Spanish snack, whilst listening to an expert guitarist and then a singer, after which it will be time to take the floor and learn some of the simpler steps and get into the rhythm of clapping and the castanets. Flamenco, the hypnotic music of the gypsies of Andalucía, has its roots firmly in places like Seville and Jerez de la Frontera. Over the last 50 years however, there has been massive migration of Andalusians to Barcelona, bringing with them the heritage and live tradition of flamenco. Some of the most famous flamenco dancers of modern times, such as Antonio Gades, first reached fame in Barcelona. Consequently, flamenco is very much alive in Barcelona today and it is a perfect place to experience and learn something of this uniquely Spanish tradition. (Return transfers, 1 hour private class).
At the end of the flamenco lesson, the reminder of the day is at leisure for you to explore the city with the family.
The remainder of the day is at leisure for the family to explore the city of Barcelona.
Upon arrival in Oporto you are transferred from airport to your hotel.
The rest of the day is for you to explore Porto on your own.*** The hotel does not offer a shuttle service, clients will need to make own way to town by Taxi.
Occupying a breath taking position overlooking the Douro River and the historic city centre, the luxury The Yeatman hotel enjoys stunning panoramic views and is famous for its outstanding selection of wines. The hotel’s 70 rooms and 12 suites blend the finest Portuguese furnishings with British flair for ultimate comfort and luxury. The Yeatman is renowned for its Michelin star restaurant that favours the importance of wine and food pairing. It is also famous for its extensive wine cellar containing more than 25,000 bottles of wine, a haven for wine lovers and those wishing to explore the fascinating world of Port and other wines from Portugal’s best producers. Cushioned seating areas are set around the outdoor pool that overlooks the Douro River and the contemporary, well-equipped gym offers state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment. Conveniently located in Vila Nova de Gaia, The Yeatman hotel is only a short walk from General Torres Station and the Douro River, perfect for wine enthusiasts and those seeking the best views of Porto from the comfort of their own room.
Cais da Ribeira, the quayside of the fascinating Ribeira district, and some of the city’s most beautiful monuments including the opulent 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace and the St Francis Church. Round off your tour with a port wine tasting at one of the famous riverside lodges. (4 hours, driver and guide)
Afternoon at leisure to explore the city on your own.
São Lourenço da Montaria. After a private demonstration on how to make mouth-watering Portuguese cornbread, you have the chance to make your own loaf using methods that date back to the 16th century. While your bread bakes in the wood-fired oven, take a short hike through the charming countryside and terraced fields until you reach the local watermills to discover their cultural heritage. You are transferred back in company of your driver to your hotel in Porto. (6 hours, driver and guide)
Evening at leisure to continue exploring the city on your own.
Upon arrival in Pinhao, rest of the day at leisure to explore the area on your own.
The Vintage House Hotel enjoys an idyllic and tranquil riverside location at Pinhão in the authentic heart of the Douro Valley. The Douro is one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful wine regions, a breath-taking man made landscape enjoying World Heritage status. Remote and undiscovered, it offers the discerning traveler one of Europe’s most unforgettable vineyard experiences.
Here you have the opportunity to explore the Casa de Mateus; a Baroque masterpiece designed by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, which is set in equally sumptuous gardens. The house famously features on the label of a well-known rosé wine. Return to Pinhão in the late afternoon. (8 hours, driver and guide)
Evening at leisure.
Once Portugal’s capital, the city of Coimbra has a rich past. Taking you along the main avenue, past the aqueduct and botanical gardens, the drive up to the iconic Old University, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a ‘must see’ in itself. Founded in 1290, Coimbra University is one of Europe’s oldest, featuring the superb Joanina Library, with its grand Rococo design, the Manueline chapel and a beautiful ceremonial hall.
After your visit inside, stroll down the narrow medieval streets lined with shops and cafés, past a Roman crypto-portico below the Bishop’s Palace, to Se Velha, the Romanesque Cathedral and the ancient city center. Here, wander through a warren of enclosed streets and squares to the River Mondego.
Photo Coimbra – Santa Cruz_Credit Centro de Portugal
After some free time to have lunch at leisure (payable locally) continue to Lisbon with your driver. (8 hour transfer, driver and 3 hour, local guide)
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon rises from one of Lisbon’s seven hills and is one of the most prominent modern landmarks of the city. Located in the heart of the city within walking distance from the historic “old town” the hotel boasts 18th-century replica furnishings and a museum calibre collection of contemporary Portuguese art, reflecting historic Portugal’s nobility and charm. Most of the guest rooms and suites feature private balconies with magnificent views of the Eduardo VII Park and the city. They are all equipped with high-speed access to Internet and dual telephone lines. The restaurant “Varanda” overlooks the Park and is acclaimed as the city’s most sophisticated restaurant for business lunches or more intimate diners. The Ritz bar with dramatic décor and soft piano music entertains late into the night. The Hotel also offers a 24 hours business centre as well as a boutique arcade. The Ritz Spa is located on the garden level of the Hotel and offers relaxing views over the garden and the Eduardo VII Park. It features an indoor lap pool and a pool lounge area; multi-functional treatment rooms with private showers; a relaxation room, with reading light and personal music system; and changing areas, that include Sauna and Steam room as well as a refreshing crushed ice fountain.
With a unique setting on the rooftop of the Hotel and offering breathtaking views over the city and the Tagus River the Fitness Centre provides its guests with 700m2 of exclusive facilities – including a full Pilates Studio, one to one training studios and a 400m outside running track – and state of the art equipment in the exercise room. Four Seasons’ impeccable service anticipates every need to ensure a comfortable stay.
Once populated by monks, the UNESCO-listed monastery was commissioned by King Manuel I to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India in 1498. Time permitting, visit Torre de Belém (Belém Tower), one of Lisbon’s most iconic buildings and symbolic of Portugal’s great Age of Expansion.
Next, it’s time for a refreshment stop at the Belém Pastry Factory, where you may wish to sample the famous and scrumptious Pastéis de Belém (custard tarts).
Photo Pasteis de Nata_8EEW0973_Credit Pedro Clarinha-Pasteis de Belem
Afterwards, continue to the world-famous coach museum, accommodated in the sleek, minimalist building designed by Pritzker Prize winner Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Photo DSC01828_Museu dos Coches_Credit PJF-TdP
After lunch at leisure (payable locally) venture out of the city today to explore Sintra, known for its countless 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments and previously as the summer residence of Portuguese kings and aristocrats.
This charming and pastel-coloured town on the northern slopes of the Serra de Sintra, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its array of spectacular buildings. Enjoy a visit to the National Palace of Sintra, a former Royal residence, with a variety of architectural styles and interior decorations. Discover for yourself why the town is often referred to as a page torn from a fairy-tale as you stroll at leisure through the ancient narrow streets, occupied with local handicraft shops and cafés. Sintra is world-famous for its Marzipan, at the end of your tour, you are transferred back to your hotel in Lisbon (8 hours, driver and guide). Please note that the National Palace of Sintra has a total of 150 steps and no elevators.
Photo Palacio da Pena, Sintra_Credit Joao Paulo
Your visit this morning allows you the opportunity to understand the methods for making hand-painted relief tiles and to learn how different colored glazes can be used to create intricate designs in the style of 16th-century Hispano-Moorish tiles. After taking time to admire the designs and learn the history and tradition entwined in this long-standing craft, you return to your hotel with your driver. (4 hours, driver and guide)
The Arrabida Natural Park makes for an active adventure experience with a true Mediterranean environment. Start your tour in Azeitão village to get a feeling of the traditional atmosphere, and taste some fresh and delicious local pastries. From here you head on to the natural park to start your three-hour hike through the charming natural environment.
Stop at Portinho da Arrábida beach for lunch before you hit the water with your kayaks for a two-hour paddle along the rugged coast line.
a34_Canoagem_Penacova_Rio Mondego_Credit Paulo Magalhães
You round off your tour with a visit to the JMF winery for a tasting, before returning to your hotel. (Up to 10 hours, driver and guide)
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