ESSENTIAL PORTUGAL ROADTRIP
6-23 APRIL, 2022
with Jeremy Woodhouse
(16 days – 17 nights)
Tower of Clerics (Torre dos Clerigos), Porto
This tour will take us to many of Portugal's most well-know spots as well as some locations that are more "off the beaten path". With a good mix of lifestyle, urban and natural landscape you should come away with a rich portfolio of images.
Pre-Tour: 6 Apr – Arrival in Porto
Check in at hotel and free time to rest or go out on your own to shoot/go for a stroll.
O/N Hotel Eurostars, Porto Duoro
Nestled in an unbeatable location against the Douro River and only a few metres from the most important attractions in Porto, this traditional and classic hotel preserves the indoor architecture and the typical materials of this Portuguese city. Just 290 metres from Dom Luís I Bridge, in the picturesque and colourful Ribeira, the Eurostars Porto Douro 4* offers a unique experience at the heart of the city. It includes totally equipped rooms to ensure maximum comfort after a pleasant walk along the river. The Eurostars Porto Douro 4* have impressive facilities equipped with bar and two ballrooms, ideal for hosting business meeting, at your disposal. Our convenient location, just 20 minutes driving from the Francisco Sá Carneiro airport and 10 minutes walking from the railway station (Porto-São Bento), allows our guests to get superb road access or to come by using public transportation.
Day 1: 7 Apr – Porto | City center
While Portus Cale (the Romans’ “sheltered port”) has a long history, modern Porto largely eschews its distant past and presents itself to visitors as a busy commercial city rather than a prettified tourist destination. If that puts you off, it shouldn’t, because commerce is written into Porto’s DNA, from the great trading river at the heart of the city to the Baroque churches and Neoclassical buildings funded by merchants who made good. If it’s never quite what you’d call gentrified – especially in the old riverside back-alleys – modern Porto does at least look better now than it has done for decades. Since 2001, when it was declared European City of Culture, many of the streets and squares have been reconstructed and historic buildings restored, particularly in the riverside bairro of Ribeira – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – where the waterfront cafés and restaurants are an obvious attraction.
O/N Hotel Eurostars, Porto Duoro
Day 2: 8 Apr – Porto
Porto’s waterfront – known as the Ribeira – has changed dramatically in recent years, from a rough dockside cargo zone to one of the city’s major tourist attractions. The arcaded quayside, the Cais da Ribeira, is one long run of restaurants and cafés looking across the river to the port wine lodges on the other side. However, come down in the morning – before the parasols and blackboard menus have been put out – and the Ribeira still ticks along in local fashion. Between the postcards and touristy ceramics you’ll find dusty grocery stores and a warehouse or two, piled high with bags of potatoes. Meanwhile, behind the arcades and heading up towards the cathedral is a warren of stepped alleys that thumb their noses at the riverside gentrification.
In the afternoon we will drive approximately 10kms to photograph the sunset on a chapel by the sea (Capela do Senhor da Pedra). Originally, the stunning marble- and granite-strewn beaches of Miramar were the site of ancient pagan worship. Specifically, the giant boulder jutting into the sea was where rituals were once performed and where the Capela do Senhor da Pedra (Chapel of the Lord of Stone) sits to this day.
As part of the mass campaign to Christianize Europe during the 17th century, the hexagonal structure was constructed to ‘reclaim’ the land from the ‘heretic,’ naturalist pagans who sought enlightenment at the very same site.
O/N Hotel Eurostars, Porto Duoro
Nearby Castelo, one of the earliest parishes in Lisbon, dates back to 1147. The commanding hilltop presence of the medieval Castle of São Jorge provides photogenic panoramas of Lisbon’s historic center below. Moorish Alfama – the oldest district in Lisbon – survived the great 1755 Lisbon Earthquake and tsunami which destroyed most of the city. Today it remains a picturesque labyrinth of narrow streets and small squares.
At sunset we will photograph the town from the walls of the fort with sweeping views across the landscape.
O/N Estalgem de Monsaraz
This unassuming hotel is a 7-minute walk from Castelo de Monsaraz and a 4-minute walk from the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Lagoa.
Following our stop in Monsanto we will continue our drive north through the Sierra d'Açor to the town of Piodão, arriving sometime in the early afternoon. Nestled in the mountains of Portugal, this lovely village in the mountains of Portugal is made almost entirely of schist rock. The schist houses are capped with slate roofs, their colors causing them to blend in with the stone pathways that wind among the buildings. The few non-schist buildings, as well as various window shutters and architectural accents, add pops of color to the otherwise earth-toned settlement.
All but abandoned a couple of decades ago, this remote settlement still depends on small scale agriculture supported by the much needed boost that tourism has brought–and the newly-painted, bright white Igreja Matriz stands out against the surrounding dark stone.
Leaving Piodão we will begin our drive back to Porto. We will head to Viseu, the center of the Dão wine growing region. About 20 min south of Viseu is the pretty village of Santar where it is possible to participate in a wine tasting–then onward to Porto.
Arrival & Departure
We will meet at the Hotel Eurostars, Porto Douro on 6 April, 2022. The hotel is conveniently located just a 20 minute taxi ride from Porto's Francisco Sá Carneiro airport, and a 10 minute walk from the railway station (Porto-São Bento). We will meet in the lobby of the hotel at 6PM for an evening orientation walk and dinner.
We will arrive back in Porto on the evening of 22 April where we will check into our hotel. Located just 5 minutes away on foot from the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport terminal building, the Park Hotel Porto Aeroporto offers 143 comfortable rooms and 4 meeting rooms, all with free wi-fi access.
The best time to visit Portugal is in spring (March-May), when the country is in bloom and waking after the winter. In April, average daytime temperatures in Portugal are around 18-20°C (65-68°F). Rain isn't uncommon, but mostly, you can expect beautiful sunny skies. Sometimes temperatures rise to summer-like 25°C (77°F), which is almost too warm for exploring the cities.
Portuguese is the only official language in Portugal
The Euro € is the currency of Portugal
2 SPOTS OPEN
Tour Cost: $6500
Maximum Group Size: 6-7
Tour Price Includes
- Ground Transportation with photographer for 16 days
- Meals on a B&B basis
- Tour accommodation, as listed
- Airport Transfer. Transfer to and from the airport upon arrival and departure from Porto.
Tour Price Excludes
- International arrival/departure flights
- Lunches and dinners
- Entry Fees to monuments and attractions
- Travel insurance
- Pre- and post-tour accommodation
Paying by check
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Paying by Wire Transfer
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- Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
- Camera body(s)
- Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good
- Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
- Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
- Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
- Charger for batteries
- Spare batteries
- Spare Memory cards
- Memory card reader
- USB key to exchange images
Also good to have
- Good quality polarizing filter
Travelling to and from Portugal during Covid-19?
It is mandatory to wear face mask in closed spaces, commercial and service establishments, public buildings and event venues, and it is recommended to use it outdoors when it is not possible to ensure physical distance. Comply with breathing etiquette, respect physical distancing and hand hygiene.
Proof of a test, with a negative, result for COVID-19: NAAT - Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (RT-PCR, NEAR, TMA, LAMP, HDA, CRISPR, SDA, etc), carried out at least 72 hours prior to boarding;
Antigen Test (TRAg) performed within 48 hours prior to departure (only rapid antigen tests on this list are accepted).
Certificate of Recovery from COVID-19. More information here
- The tests and certificate of recovery can be submitted using a digital certificate or on paper.
- Children under 12 years are an exception.
- Self-tests, of any kind, are not accepted.
- On flights between Lisbon, Porto and Faro no additional tests are required. The same is applied to passengers coming from Azores and Madeira to mainland Portugal.
Testing at the Airport
With due notice, it is possible to have tests at the airport before departure.
Porto Airport: Public Area: Synlab Laboratory (Level 3, near the check-in area) - from 7:00 am - 19:00 pm
You can schedule your return test in advance: The Travelcheck-in platform enables online scheduling of COVID-19 tests at clinics and laboratories across the country (mainland and islands). Access at www.travelcheck-in.app;
Forms for Mainland Portugal
Passengers bound for mainland Portugal or transit/transfer: It is mandatory to fill-in the Passenger Locator Form
Forms for the Azores
Passengers travelling to the Azores must register on My Safe Azores and complete the questionnaire;