If you fancy experiencing one of the best holidays that Portugal has to offer, then take this tour staying in some of the country's 34 pousadas - beautifully restored and renovated castles, palaces and monasteries - that are at the historic heart of this proud nation. Beginning and ending in the beautiful city of Porto, on this seven night tour you will stay at some of the finest pousadas where you can live a life of luxury in these amazing buildings.
Your wonderful pousada tour begins when you fly into Porto and pick up your hire car with time to explore before heading off to nearby Viana do Castelo where you spend your first night. Porto is known for its stately bridges and port wine production. In the medieval Ribeira (riverside) district, narrow cobbled streets wind past merchants’ houses and cafes. São Francisco Church is known for its lavish baroque interior with ornate gilded carvings and the beautifully tiled railway station is worth a visit.
Ponte de Lima
This morning after a complimentary breakfast served in a refined restaurant with chandeliers you say farewell to the lovely town of Viana do Castelo and head to Ponte de Lima. Before leaving enjoy fabulous views of the ocean from your hilltop pousada. This regal belle epoque high end hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Santuário de Santa Luzia church, and five miles from the beach at Praia do Norte. Amenities include an outdoor pool, a spa, a tennis court, a billiards room and gardens.
Ponte de Lima
After your first of two nights at Ponte de Lima in the stunning Geres National Park you can explore the Pousada at Geres, which boasts a spectacular backdrop with plenty of valleys, rivers and hills, where you can relax and take in wonderful views from the terrace over the forests of the park and the Canicada Dam. This rustic hotel has modern rooms and breakfasts are included. Amenities here include a cozy wood-panelled restaurant and an outdoor pool.
Today you leave the Pousada at Geres and head over to Guimarães, one of the country's historical gems which is commonly known as the 'birthplace of Portugal' and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can enjoy walking its charming cobbled squares. The town is known for well-preserved medieval buildings like the hilltop, 10th-century castle, with its sweeping city views. The restored Dukes of Bragança Palace, built in the style of a French chateau, has a fascinating museum.
Amares is the next stop on this Green pousada route and with two nights here you can make the most of both the beautiful natural surroundings and nearby historic villages such as Braga, located only 13 miles away and overlooked by the beautiful Sanctuary of Bom Jesus. The pousada at Amares is set in a restored 12 century Cistercian monastery which is classified as a National Heritage Site. Some of the rooms have balconies and courtyard views and there are family rooms as well.
After your complimentary breakfast you can spend the rest of the day exploring this delightful area or simply relax and enjoy all that the pousada has to offer. There is an old-world restaurant which has two original ovens as well as a bar/lounge with a fireplace. Amenities include an outdoor pool, tennis court, courtyard seating and a games room. Lots of guided activities can be booked at reception including hunting trips and horseback riding.
Viana do Castelo
After leaving Amares you drive back to Viana do Castelo for your final night of the tour staying in the elegant pousada where you sent your first night. From here you can easily reach the city Porto to see more of the famous sights, possibly visiting one of the port wine companies that line the banks of the Douro River, go shopping for souvenirs, or take a boat ride under the impressive bridges out to the ocean. Porto is one of Portugal's most beautiful cities with so many places of historic interest.
End of Tour
Today your wonderful tour around Portugal's Green Route comes to an end. After spending your final night in the lovely pousada, which is part of an old monastery, you can enjoy breakfast before beginning the short drive back to the airport to catch your flight home, having spend seven wonderful days staying in some of Portugal's magnificent pousadas. These historic buildings have all been beautifully restored and renovated and are great for family holidays.