Portugal & Azores

Highlights of Portugal (2-weeks)

This two-week trip starts in Lisbon for a dose of culture before heading out into the countryside. You’ll enjoy the scenic delights of the Arrabida national park and have a night wild-camping on a remote beach before another dose of culture in Evora. Then there’s plenty of time to explore the white-washed villages, rolling hills, and dramatic beaches of the Alentejo before finishing up with some relaxation on the Algarve.


  Take the tram in Lisbon
  Fairy-tale castles in Sintra
  Wild camp on remote Arrabida beach
  Cycle along a Roman aquaduct
  Explore an Alentejo cork plantation
  Search for dolphins from a catamaran
  Relax on a blissful beach

15 days from £2,200 pp

Plus international flights starting from £200

A two-week holiday in Portugal for a family of four usually costs from £8,800 plus flights, depending on type of accommodation.

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Highlights of Portugal day-by-day itinerary

Day 1, Lisbon
Olá, bom dia! When you arrive you will be met by a Stubborn Mule Travel representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in. One of the best ways to see Lisbon is from the River Tagus (Te-jo), so this evening you might like to hop on board a catamaran for a sunset river cruise.

Day 2, Lisbon
This morning your guide will take you on a city tram and walking tour. Start with a wander along the cobbled streets of Bairro Alto. This is one of the oldest and most picturesque parts of Lisbon. The streets are full of coffee kiosks where you can stop for a drink and sample a Pastel de Nata custard tart whilst enjoying the street buskers and dancers.

From here you will take the number 28 tram on its iconic route. This takes you through the city and up into the hilly, historic area of Alfama. From the hilltop castle enjoy breathtaking views of the seven hills of Lisbon. You will then make your way back down into the city on foot. End your tour at one of the tiny Ginjinha hole-in-the-wall shops. Here you can sample the sweet cherry, Portuguese liquor – one for Mum and Dad.

Day 3, Lisbon – Day trip to Sintra
This morning you will take a day trip to Sintra. This beautiful town is situated in the mountains outside the capital. It is famous for its dramatic fairytale palaces and expansive gardens. Our favourite is Quinta da Ragaleira Palace which is reachable on foot from the town centre. The gardens here are a child’s paradise, with hidden passageways and tunnels leading to underground stone spiral staircases.

Another favourite is the spectacular hilltop Palacio da Pena. With its huge turrets and brightly coloured facades, this is a palace straight out of a fairytale. Explore the extensive gardens and woodland, as well as the palace itself. There are breathtaking views out to the Atlantic ocean from here.

Return back to Lisbon for the night, stopping off at the most westerly point of Europe to watch the sunset.

Day 4, Lisbon – Arrabida
This morning, pick up your rental vehicle and leave the city behind you. You will be heading for the Natural Park of Arrabida, only 40 minutes away. This beautiful protected landscape offers some of Portugal’s most stunning coastal scenery. Steep hills and wide sweeping valleys are covered in evergreen Carob and Kermes Oak forest and lead down onto white sandy beaches. There are masses of adventurous activities to enjoy. These include coasteering, mountain biking, horse riding, rock climbing, snorkelling and stand up paddleboarding.

Once you arrive, we suggest that you spend the rest of the day on one of the many stunning beaches. Long arcs of white sand are backed by forest and offer beautifully clear water that is perfect for a cooling dip.

This evening head to a local restaurant and perhaps sample a platter of Arroz de Marisco. This is a delicious rice and shellfish dish designed for the whole family to share.

Day 5, Arrabida
This morning take a catamaran excursion around the coast and along the Rio Sade, in search of dolphins. The trip lasts around 3.5 hours and usually the dolphins will come and cavort alongside the boat, giving superb sightings. You will also stop along the way for a swim.

The afternoon is free, although we can include an activity if you prefer; coasteering is always particularly popular with children!

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Day 6, Arrabida
Today you will enjoy an exhilarating overnight kayaking and camping adventure in the Luíz Saldanha Marine Park. The stunning rocky coastline here is best explored by kayak. This allows you access to remote beaches and hidden water-filled caves that cannot be reached on foot. Towards the end of the afternoon you will arrive on a remote beach, accessible only by sea or a long hike. Here you will pull your kayaks ashore to wild-camp on the beach for the night.

Day 7, Arrabida – Evora
Wake early for sunrise and enjoy a morning swim before breakfast. You will then travel inland to Evora, a city steeped in history that dates back to Roman times. This UNESCO World Heritage site reached its heyday in the 16th century when it was the home to Portugal’s royal family. Today it’s a treasure trove of exquisite historic buildings. These include the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal, beautiful public gardens and a number of impressive Roman ruins.

This afternoon enjoy a guided cycling tour along the Roman aqueduct. This is a gentle route that follows quiet roads and trails through the peaceful countryside around Evora.

Later, dine al fresco at one of the many local restaurants in Evora and enjoy beautiful views of the illuminated Roman temple of Diana.

Day 8, Evora – Alentejo
Evora is the capital of Portugal’s Alentejo region and today you will head deep into the heart of this picturesque area. Alentejo stretches across the width of the country, from the coast in the west, to the border with Spain in the east. Here you will find desert-like landscapes, vineyards, farmland, pristine lakes, white sandy beaches, pine and cork forests and a sprinkling of pretty white-washed villages.

There are many different accommodation choices here. These range from lovely small village houses close to the coast, to peaceful farmhouses set in the middle of the winelands or cork plantations.

Day 9 &10, Alentejo
You have two full days to explore the area. Although the activities available will vary depending on where you are staying, there is plenty to do here. Perhaps visit a cork or olive farm, take a river canoe trip or enjoy wine tasting. You can also go donkey trekking, take surf classes or try local arts and crafts. There are also a great variety of hiking and biking routes, with some of Portugal’s most beautiful coastal paths found here.

Day 11, Alentejo
Drive south to end your holiday with four nights on the Algarve. This is the southernmost region of Portugal, with over 150km of beautiful coastline. The area is renowned for its sunshine and seafood and there is a resort or hotel to suit everyone. Some will want a lively restaurant scene with plenty of activities for the children. Others may be looking for something a little quieter and more secluded. We will suggest an area that will best suit your family.

Day 12-14, Beach
Three glorious free days to enjoy this coastal setting to the full.

Day 15, Depart
Depart for the airport for your flight home. You can either fly home from Faro (in the south) or return to Lisbon for your flight (around 3 hours depending on where you are staying).

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01728 752751

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