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Cathy Winston
Award-winning travel writer
Cathy Winston

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Hidden Portugal

Our verdict:

A glorious coastline, colourful cities, unspoiled countryside - not to mention the port and custard tarts. Portugal has plenty to tempt, whatever your travel style. Join a small group tour to discover the highlights including options to head off the beaten track on a walking or cycling holiday.

Recommended tour operator: Explore

Explore says

Although it’s virtually on our doorstep, much of Portugal remains unspoilt by mainstream tourism and uncrowded, with glorious unspoiled countryside, medieval villages and a spectacular coastline. Britain’s close relationship with Portugal dates back to the 14th century and English is widely spoken.

  • discover the real Portugal
  • ideal for walking & cycling
  • popular with solos

We recommend travelling in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn when the climate is mild, providing the ideal weather for walking and cycling holidays. We offer a range of small group trips in Portugal, some with forays into neighbouring Spain.

Our best seller is Highlights of Portugal. This one-week trip takes you to Lisbon, Sintra, Coimbra (Portugal’s medieval capital), Porto and the Douro Valley. From wine tasting to a train ride in the mountains, it’s packed with unique experiences.

Join our one-week cycling holiday and you’ll travel from Lisbon to the Algarve via the beautiful Alentejo region. Travelling around 50 km per day, the itinerary includes the Vicentine Coast Natural Park and Cabo Sao Vicente, continental Europe’s most south-westerly point. We provide the bikes – all you need is your helmet.

Another cycling option is our Spain and Portugal combo, from Seville to Porto, travelling an average of 79 km each day.

Portugal is a great destination for foodies, not least the wonderful seafood. On our 11-night food and wine walking holiday, you’ll enjoy gentle countryside walks, wine-tasting and off-the-beaten-track gastronomy in Porto, the Douro Valley and the Spanish city of Segovia.

Our groups tend to consist of 10 to 16 people, with an average age of 53. Around 40% of clients on our small group trips travel alone – we offer a free room share option, matching up solo travellers with a fellow explorer of the same gender, or you can pay a supplement for a single room. Find out more about travelling solo with Explore.

We have more than 36 years’ experience of organising intrepid group trips, tailor-made travel and self-guided walking and cycling holidays around the globe, and we now offer more than 550 trips in 120 countries.

Find out more about our small group tours in Portugal.

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