Pura Aventura, best known for its tailor-made authentic travel adventures to Latin America and Spain, are launching a brand new destination for 2018 – Portugal. From the Douro in the north to the Costa Vicentina in the south, Pura Aventura introduces two new itineraries here which showcase the unassuming star of Western Europe at its best. Choose from a self-guided inn to inn walk from the rural heartland to the rugged coast of Alentejo or a self-drive trip which sweeps down the country, from Porto in the north to Lisbon in the south, or tailor-make a unique adventure.
Alentejo Inn to Inn
From the pastoral heartland close to the Spanish border, to the rugged coastline of the Costa Vicentina, this unique self-guided inn to inn walking break explores the contrasting landscapes, towns and lifestyles of the Alentejo province. Exploring far from the tourist trail, where hilltop fortress villages loom over ancient cork oaks and medieval pathways wind through chestnut forests, guests will discover the true essence of rural Portugal, where little has changed over the years.
From Lisbon, head east to reach the quietness of the Alentejo’s ‘montado’ countryside to walk between the picturesque village of Galegos, the stunningly-located town of Marvão – the views across to Spain and sunsets from here are just breathtaking – and hill-top Castelo de Vide, with its layers of history and narrow flower-filled streets.
Staying overnight in Lisbon? Read our Lisbon by Night mini-guide.
Take a break from walking to enjoy a private tour of the region’s capital, Évora. Here, uncover the city’s interesting history, from its Roman temple to the eerie Chapel of Bones, and the importance of cork – the region yields 60% of the world’s cork production. Perhaps add on a visit to Herdade do Freixo, a farm run as a cooperative by its owner Alfredo. Moving onto the coast, the final days are spent walking in the Costa Vicentina Natural Park following a section of the Fisherman’s Trail, from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar. Meander along beautiful cliff-top paths past deserted beaches, passing the Cabo Sardão Lighthouse and the only sea cliff stork nests in the world. Hand-picked accommodation along the route includes a mix of welcoming guesthouses, a ‘pousada’ and hotel with pool.
Price: from £1,520pp based on 2 sharing, including 8 nights’ B&B accommodation, 4 dinners, 3 lunches, private transfers between Lisbon, inland and the coast, walking notes and maps, pre-loaded GPS and local support. International flights to Lisbon are extra.
Portugal’s winning combination of historic monuments, glorious scenery and lively cities can be covered in just two weeks on this carefully-planned self-drive adventure. Winding down the country, from north to south, all the highlights, as well as some special hidden gems, are cleverly weaved together, along with some gorgeous hotels – among them a converted mansion, a beautiful quinta, a ‘pousada’ and a hotel within Lisbon castle’s walls. Expect culture at every turn, from Roman ruins to stunning architecture, and delicious food and wine.
The discovery begins in Porto, where a private guide uncovers the city’s hidden corners before taking guests to Pura Aventura’s favourite wine lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia. Collect the hire car to travel east into the heart of Portugal’s finest wine-producing area, the Douro, where there is plenty of time to enjoy a spot of wine tasting, or enjoy leisurely walks in this idyllic corner. The highlight though is a river boat trip with knowledgeable captain Paulo who takes guests to lunch at his family’s historic quinta, one of the valley’s oldest. Swap the vineyards for the enchanting forests and palaces of central Portugal, including the National Forest of Buçaco, where pathways lead to little chapels hidden in the lush forest, and the hill-top village of Marvão, close to the Spanish border – another excellent walking location. In the south, enjoy a guided day in Évora to explore its striking temple, one of the finest Roman remains on the Iberian Peninsula; a trip to the Cromeleque dos Almendres, home to 100 granite monoliths; and walking along one of the loveliest stretches of coastline in Europe on the Costa Vicentina. The journey ends in ever-changing Lisbon.
Price: from £2,645pp based on 2 sharing, including 15 nights’ B&B accommodation, 4 dinners, 2 lunches, car hire, walking notes and maps, some guiding and local support. International flights are extra.
For further information visit Pura Aventura or call 01273 676712.