Follow our footsteps through Portugal – inside secrets and recommendations

From the medieval allure of Porto to the picturesque vineyards of Douro, the cultural richness of Lisbon, and the sun-kissed beaches of Algarve, Portugal offers an exquisitely diverse and exciting itinerary.  

Having recently returned from a multi-generational family vacation through Portugal, our Senior Travel Advisor and Europe expert, Kathryn Read has compiled her top recommendations of hotels, dining destinations, and signature experiences. Read on as we retrace her journey through this enchanting country – where indulgence and tradition unites with culture and adventure!

For more first hand secrets and to craft your own personalised journey through Portugal, reach out to us via email on enquiries@jigsawtravel.com.au

Porto: Old-World Charm on the Douro River

Porto, with its medieval heart, is a city that effortlessly blends the old with the new. Cobblestone streets wind through historic districts, leading to the breathtaking Douro River. 

STAY: Hospes Infante Sagres: A five-star haven nestled in the heart of Porto, Hospes Infante Sagres is a masterful blend of classic charm and modern luxury. With its beautifully styled interiors and impeccable service, it provides an opulent sanctuary after a day of exploring.

DINE: Gruta: For an authentic taste of Porto, head to Gruta, where traditional Portuguese flavors are elevated to an art form. With a focus on locally-sourced ingredients, every dish is a celebration of the region’s gastronomic heritage.

DO: Tuk Tuk Tour: Discover Porto’s hidden secrets with a Tuk Tuk tour. Take a winding ride through the narrow streets, uncovering architectural marvels, and absorbing the rich tapestry of Porto’s history.

Douro Valley: An Idyllic Vineyard River Trail 

Journeying eastward to the Douro Valley, you’ll find terraced vineyards that paint the hillsides in a visual spectacle of green and gold. 

STAY: Six Senses Douro Valley: Perched on a hill overlooking the Douro River, Six Senses offers a tranquil retreat. Immerse yourself in the stunning scenery, relax in the spa, and savour organic, locally-inspired cuisine.

DINE: Bomfim 1896: Here, you will be guided through the finest Douro wines, designed with a menu that pays homage to the region’s culinary traditions.

DO: Grape Stomping: Connect with the land and the winemaking heritage of Douro by participating in the age-old tradition of grape stomping during the early September harvest. 

Lisbon: Cultural Elegance on the Atlantic Coast

Lisbon, a city of hills and valleys, is a mosaic of colourful neighborhoods and historic sites. 

STAY: Palacio Ludovice: A boutique hotel housed in a meticulously restored palace, Palacio Ludovice offers a blend of history and contemporary comfort. Each room is a work of art, transporting guests to a bygone era.

DINE: Bahr: Experience a fusion of flavours at the bohemian and irreverent Bahr, where contemporary Portuguese cuisine takes center stage. The menu, a creative exploration of local ingredients, is a testament to Lisbon’s gastronomic evolution.

DO: Day trip to Cascais or Tram Car Ride: Take a leisurely day trip to the coastal town of Cascais or hop on a traditional tram car to explore Lisbon’s narrow streets. Both options offer glimpses of the city’s diverse charm.

Algarve: Sun, Sea, and Splendour 

We finish our tour of Portugal in Algarve, where golden beaches meet dramatic cliffs. Nestled in this coastal paradise is the Villa Vita Parc, an oasis of seaside luxury.

STAY: Villa Vita Parc: Surrounded by lush gardens and overlooking the Atlantic, Villa Vita Parc epitomizes seaside elegance. Indulge in spa treatments, gourmet cuisine, and unwind in the lap of coastal luxury.

DINE: Giardino: Our pick of Villa Vita Parc’s 12 restaurants is Giardino, where the culinary excellence is rivaled only by the beautiful ocean vistas. Opening earlier this year, Giardino’s creative menu is evocative of an authentic Italian kitchen, a love-letter to the fresh produce and classic flavours that make the cuisine Southern Italy so iconic

DO: Cave Boat Tour: Embark on a boat tour to explore the iconic Benagil cave, a natural wonder sculpted by the sea. The azure waters and mesmerizing rock formations provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable journey.

The essence of Portugal is found in its blend of tradition and modernity, the richness of flavours, and the diverse landscapes. To learn more and to let us unfold your own bespoke Jigsaw Journey, contact us on enquiries@jigsawtravel.com.au

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