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PORTUGAL – Spring

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4958
  • Hotels: Standard Class
  • Max Participants: 16
  • 4/5/2020 - 4/11/2020
  • 7 Days / 6 Nights

In Portugal, the sun is bright, the food is delicious, and the living is easy. Wander the hilly streets of coastal Lisbon, where you can munch on a custard tart while gazing at sun-dappled architecture. Get your fill of history and culture at UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Batalha Monastery, Coimbra University, and the picturesque town of Sintra (optional). End the tour in Porto, where the majestic Douro Valley begs for you to lounge back with a glass of port wine in hand. Felicidades! And welcome to Portugal.

 

What's Included:
  • Lisbon orientation walk
  • Fado performance with traditional Portuguese dinner
  • Batalha gothic monastery entrance and visit
  • Porto orientation walk
  • Port wine cellars visit and tasting
  • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout
  • 6 breakfasts, 1 dinner – allow $200-$260 USD for meals not included
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities using train and private vehicle
  • Hotels (6 nts)
What's Not Included:
  • International air travel
  • Incidentals
  • Travel health and cancellation insurance
  • Applicable visas
  • Tips or gratuities
  • Airport taxes
  • Beverages
  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Optional tours and admissions
  • Airport transfers
Itinerary

Day 1: LisbonArrive at any time. We recommend arriving a day early if you have the time to better explore this world-renowned city.

Arrive at any time. We recommended arriving a day early if you have the time to better explore this world-renowned city.

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting, typically 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. After the meeting, you might consider heading out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to further get to know your tour leader and traveling companions. Please make every effort to arrive on time for this welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.

Day 2: Lisbon (B, D)Take an orientation walk. Explore Lisbon as you wish for the rest of the day. In the evening enjoy a Fado night and traditional Portuguese dinner in one of Lisbon's oldest neighborhoods.

Enjoy an orientation walk of Lisbon. The rest of the day is free for exploration. See our optional activities section further below for our suggestions on what to do with your time. If you have already explored Lisbon on the previous day, you could opt to take a day trip into the foothills of the surrounding mountains to Sintra.

In the evening enjoy a Fado (Portuguese Folk Music) night and traditional Portuguese dinner in one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods.

Day 3: Lisbon/Coimbra (B)Travel to Batalha. Visit the historic Batalha Monastery with free time to wander the grounds. Continue to the medieval capital of Portugal, Coimbra.

Leave Lisbon behind and head north to the small hill town of Batalha. We visit the Bathala Monastery, which was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. The elaborate, Gothic-style architecture of this UNESCO site is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the region.

We then continue to the medieval capital of Portugal, Coimbra.

Approximate travel time: 2 hrs by private vehicle

Day 4: Coimbra (B)Enjoy a free day to explore Coimbra. Opt to visit the famous Coimbra University, explore the winding streets and the riverfront filled with restaurants and bars.

Enjoy a free day to explore Coimbra. Explore the winding streets and the riverfront filled with restaurants and bars.

Opt to visit the famous Coimbra University, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013 (and also the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts). Portugal’s most prestigious university, the University of Coimbra is a must see landmark. The Joanina Library (Biblioteca Joanina) is one of the most ornate libraries in the world with it’s breathtaking frescoes, intricate carvings and gold-leaf touches.

Also in Coimbra you will find Conimbriga, the best preserved Roman ruins in Portugal.

If you feel you have the time you can opt for a day trip to the nearby medieval town of Óbidos and/or the Templar city of Tomar.

Day 5: Coimbra/Porto (B)Continue to the historic and vibrant coastal town of Porto in the afternoon, and take an orientation walk upon arrival.

Continue to the historic and vibrant coastal town of Porto in the afternoon, and take an orientation walk upon arrival. Set aside the Douro River, Portugal’s second city is one of the most interesting destinations in Europe. With its Medieval architecture, it’s Dom Luis I Bridge and Art Nouveau cafes, there’s something for everyone.

Approximate travel time: 1.5 hrs by train

Day 6: Porto (B)Enjoy a free day in this UNESCO World Heritage city. In the evening enjoy a visit to the port wine cellars and tasting.

Enjoy a free day to explore Porto. Opt take a cruise down the Douro Valley, or explore the city which gained UNESCO World Heritage designation in 1996. Head down Allies Avenue to see the French-inspired buildings. Bargain at the Bolhão Market. Wander the city’s World Heritage-listed Ribeira district, visit São Francisco church, the palatial former 19th-century stock market Palácio de Bolsa or head to the Clerigos Tower for a panoramic view of the city.

We will finish off the day with a tour of the cellars of the region’s famed export – Port wine. Learn about the art of Port making and the processes that render its rich taste. Indulge in a tasting and raise a glass to a day well spent. Saúde!

Day 7: Porto (B)Depart at any time.

Our trip concludes today, and you may depart Porto at any time.

Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).

If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!

Details
Frequently Asked Questions

Please click here to go to our general FAQ, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs. 

 
Resources to Learn & Teach about Portugal

Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom. 

 

Terms and Conditions

It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.

 
Cancellation policy

All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to travel@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.

  • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
  • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
  • If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
 
Trip Notes
  1. ORIENTATION WALKS: The orientation walking tours on this trip are often on cobblestone roads at steep grades and can last several hours. Feel free to opt out of these walking tours, if you wish to move at a slower pace. In some cases, on the other side of the coin, they may move a bit too slow for you. If you have a map, a travel app, or guidebook, feel free to go off on your own. GEEO wants you to have the experience you desire, and sometimes that means separating yourself from the group.
  2. GUIDES: In Europe, all guiding is based around local guides, all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks that will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable legally to share historical facts and figures in public places. Your tour leader will be able to help you find a local guided tour in each location, if you would like one. 
 
Group Leader Description

All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.

While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.

 

Fitness Level

This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. In the cities, you can split apart from the group to go your own pace. 

 

Single Travelers

Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.

 

Joining Instructions

Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Hotel check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.

When you arrive at the airport you can either take a taxi or use public transportation. 

Via Taxi
A taxi costs 20 EUR during the hours of 7:00 am to 9:00pm from Lisbon Airport to Lisbon City Center. During the hours of 9:00 pm to Midnight, the cost is 25 EUR. Journey time should be roughly 20 minutes give or take. Note that prices are estimates only. Surcharge can apply on weekends, bank holidays, and per pieces of luggage. 

*If you need a taxi in order to visit the city during your stay, ask the hotel how much it should cost to get to where you want. Then deal with the driver. This way no bad surprises occur with less than honest drivers!

Via Aerobus
Shuttles run every 20 minutes, every day of the week, from 7:45 am to 8:15 pm. The Aerobus (Carris n. 91) runs between the Airport and the city centre. Tickets can be purchased on board. Fare is 1.20 EUR for one ride, 3.10 EUR per 1 day ticket, and 2 EUR for a 1 day TAP Voucher. Journey time is roughly a 35-40 minute ride.  Use google maps to figure out where you should get off the bus. We often use Residencial Florescente hotel. If that is the case, get off the bus at the “Restauradores” stop. Cross the square to the red “Correios” (post-office) building and take the street next to it. This will lead you directly to Rua Portas de Santo Antão. Turn left and you will find the hotel on your left.

 
Emergency Contacts

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (Weekdays 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. GST)
+44 20 7243 9870

For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact: +44 7817 262 559

If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with the 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Outside North America and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

 
Packing List

Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.

 Suggested Checklist
  • Raincoat and/or umbrella
  • Personal clothing for cool weather (lows in the 50’s, highs in the 60’s) – we recommend packing 7 days of outfits so you don’t have to laundry
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Daypack
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Water bottle
  • Watch or alarm clock
  • Toiletries – Important: Some hotels do not give you soap and shampoo
  • Camera
  • First-aid kit, including: lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
Optional Checklist
  • Travel pillow
  • Money belt
  • Phone/Tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
  • Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
  • Packing cubes
  • Earplugs
  • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can also buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
  • Ziplock bags
  • Reading/writing material
  • Hand sanitizer/Baby wipes
  • Light fleece top
Document Checklist
  • Passport (with photocopies)
  • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
  • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
  • EUR/USD cash
  • Credit or debit card
  • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
  • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
  • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
 
Laundry

Laundry facilities are sometimes offered by the hotels. You can also use a local laundromat, if need be. 

 
Passports and Visas

All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport.  Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.

Americans do not need a visa for travel in Portugal. Non-American participants should check with their government or nearest Portuguese embassy to find out if they need a visa.

 

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency and this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please note that, if you are carrying U.S. Dollars, they should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently.

 
Tipping

It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2 EUR for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.

Also at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a budgeting guideline, $35-$45 USD per person per week can be used.

 
Vaccinations

You do not need any vaccinations to travel on this program.

 
Flights

We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.

Your trip begins in Lisbon and ends in Porto. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Lisbon. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, however, we strongly urge you to arrive by 6:00 p.m. on Day 1 for our group meeting. You can depart from Porto any time on the final day of the trip.

 
Plugs and Converters

There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.

Portugal uses a type F two circular prong plug. This socket also works with type C and type E plugs. Their voltage is 230 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.

 
Expectations

Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.

  • The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury as we are trying to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible. 
  • You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
  • We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
  • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.

Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!

 

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

 

Weather

Portugal is cool in April, with lows in the 50s and highs in the 60s. Typically you will be in shorts and t-shirt during the day but you should pack some warmer clothes for the evenings as it can get quite cool. April does have a fair amount of rain, so make sure you have a raincoat or umbrella handy. 

Costs

Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. Breakfasts are included in this trip, giving you the opportunity to eat out according to your own resources. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.

Tour Company Fee

See our price in the top right corner

Optional Activities

$40-$150 USD

International Airfare from the United States

Roughly $800-$1,600 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you. 

Insurance

$25-$200 USD
Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.

Tipping

We recommend $45 USD for your G Adventures tour leader.

Airport Transfers

$40-$50

Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary

$200-$260 USD

Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.

Make sure you budget for these types of expenses

Souvenirs

Variable. At your personal discretion.

Non-Educator Donation

$100 USD (Suggested donation)

This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

Optional Activities

Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip. The prices below are in Euros (EUR).

Lisbon

Belém Tower – 6 EUR per person
Take a trip to the coastline to see this charming fort, built to protect Lisbon from raiders invading from the sea. Climb up the tower for great views of the ocean and surrounding city.

Praça da Figueira Market – Free
Take a wander through this traditional open-air market, established in 1755.

Rossio Square – Free
Stop in this lively square to get a taste of the local hustle and bustle.

Santa Justa Lift – 6 EUR per person
Take a ride up 147ft from the lowest to highest points of Portugal. Sit back and enjoy the views.

Sao Jorge Castle – 8.50 EUR per person
Climb up to this Moorish castle for a wander around the impressive grounds on a guided tour, and a great view over Lisbon and Tagus River.

Alfama District Visit – Free
Explore Lisbon’s past in Alfama, one of the city’s oldest quarters. Wander along narrow medieval streets lined with typical tile-covered façades and take a step back in time; the area largely survived the great earthquake of 1755, and still retains much of its original layout. Listen for Portugal’s traditional music, fado, gracing the streets at night.

Coimbra

University of Coimbra Visit – 12 EUR
Portugal’s most prestigious university, the University of Coimbra is a must see landmark. Explore the World Heritage Site as you enter through the Porta Férra, the old entrance to the citadel of Coimbra constructed in the 10th century. Walk through the campus along mosaic cobblestone paths, explore it’s botanical gardens and Chapel of S. Miguel and opt to visit the ornate Joanina Library.

Conimbriga Ruins – 4.50EUR per person
Take a visit to the best preserved Roman ruins in Portugal.

Convent of Christ and Templar Castle – Free, but for travel expenses. 1 hour outside of Coimbra
Founded in 1160 by Gualdim Pais, grand master of the Knights Templar, the vast complex of the Convent of Christ is an incredible feat of medieval architecture. Climb up the Templar Castle for great views of Tomar.

Óbidos Visit – Free, but for travel expenses. 1 hour outside of Coimbra
One of the most picturesque and well preserved medieval towns in Portugal. Óbidos radiates Portuguese charm, from the narrow cobbled streets, the quaint houses, through it’s imposing medieval castle, which once guarded the region.

Porto

Lello Bookstore – 5 EUR per person
Take a wander around this incredible, and beautifully ornate bookstore built in 1906.

Ribeira Square – Free
Take some time to walk around this charming square and get in with the local hustle and bustle.

Palacio da Bolsa – 8 EUR per person
Join a half-hour guided tour of this neoclassical monument.

Sao Bento Railway Station – Free
The blue painted tiles on the inside of São Bento railway station makes it one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. See for yourself.

Clerigos Church and Tower – 4-6 EUR per person
Built by the same architect who constructed the Porto Cathedral, the Clérigos Church and Tower is a beautiful Baroque landmark in its own right. Opt to climb over 200 steps to the top of the bell tower for a panoramic view of the city and the Duoro River.

Porto Cathedral – Free
The Porto Cathedral (called Sé do Porto in Portuguese) is a National Monument and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Adorned with high ceilings, an exquisite courtyard and light-filled cloisters, the Sé has held deep religious and cultural significance for the people of Lisbon for centuries.

Porto Ribeira Cruise – 1h-2h, 20 EUR per person
Board a boat down Portugal’s Douro River, or “river of gold”. Float along this ancient route used for centuries as a port wine shipper’s route. Marvel in the beauty of the terraced hills along the way.

Photos