The rolling Alentjo countryside east of Lisbon was first occupied around 8,000 years ago, a legacy born out by the numerous stone circles scattered throughout the region. Found among cork and olive plantations near the ancient city of Évora, the Almendres Cromlech is the largest and best known of several Neolithic sites near Lisbon.
Arrábida is a wild region fringed with soft, sandy beaches located between Setúbal and Sesimbra on Portugal’s Atlantic coast. At just 40 minutes away, visiting Arrábida Natural Park from Lisbon makes for a great day out in tranquil wilderness.
But being more than an hour drive from my lodging in Porto, and possessing a dizzying number of wineries and restaurants to visit, I turned to Viator’s Douro Valley Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting, Portuguese Lunch and Optional River Cruise tour cover the region’s best highlights.
Sprawling along the Douro River and once an outpost of the Roman Empire, historic Porto is the biggest city in northern Portugal and the main town of the fabled Douro wine-growing region. With an ancient heart and stylish modern boulevards, quayside walkways and landscaped, the city is a delight to explore on foot. Look out for the top ten sights to see walking around Porto.
The charming Portuguese city of Lisbon is a photogenic sprawl across seven hills; an elegant city of tiled sidewalks and grand architecture overlooking the River Tagus. The city wears its history with pride, as can be seen in the most popular sightseeing districts in Lisbon.
The fertile rolling valleys of Minho lie northwest of Porto, abutting the border with Spain, an untamed region offering historic cities, sacred monuments, a fine gastronomy and a reputation for producing aromatic young wines. Even though it’s well off the tourist track, there’s plenty to do when spending a day in the Minho region.