This is Portugal
A private sunset cruise in Lisbon, wine tasting in the famed Douro Valley and surf lessons on the rugged Atlantic coast
This is Portugal
About your trip
Fairytale castles, narrow streets and iconic yellow trams, port houses, golden beaches perfect for surfing, one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world (who knew?); Portugal is so much more than a whirlwind city break or a slow week in the Algarve.
On this local-led immersion there’ll be port tastings and dinner at one of Porto’s oldest port houses. A backstreet walking tour through narrow alleyways full of history and architecture. A private pastel de nata cooking class. There’ll be wine tasting in the Douro Valley, surfing on the Atlantic coast and a 4×4 adventure across Sintra Natural Park – a world of forested hills hiding otherworldly castle palaces. Lisbon will be your final stop, where an exclusive sunset boat trip awaits, signaling the end to an all-encompassing adventure that’s seen you experience something different with people just like you.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 3-5 star hotels
- Private minibus, boats, tuk-tuks & 4x4s
- We offset the carbon emissions per person on this trip
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
- Arrival airport transfer
- Max 14 travelers per group
Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 WELCOME TO PORTO
Welcome to Porto, a picturesque city with well-preserved medieval architecture and red-roofed buildings cascading downhill towards the winding Douro River. Having checked into your boutique hotel and met your group, your adventure will begin in earnest this evening with a walk to the riverside, the oldest part of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll get a feel for Porto’s charm as you wander past live musicians and buzzing bars before hopping on a water taxi to reach the other side of the river and the famed port houses. Here, you’ll go straight to Taylors, one of Porto’s most renowned and historic port houses, where a private guided tour through the houses’ beautiful hidden gardens and vast barrel rooms will take place. Afterwards, enjoy a port-paired dinner with sunset views of the city.
Day 02 FLAVOR IMMERSION
Today, you’ll start your exploration on foot. Together with your local Pack Leader, you’ll take a tour of the historic center, seeking out spots often missed by regular tourists. Then your group will participate in a culinary workshop, using secret recipes and techniques passed down generation by generation (much to our benefit). With the help of a local chef, you’ll prepare some classic Portuguese pestiscos (savory tapas-style dishes) for lunch, and learn how to make a traditional pastel de nata (custard tart). Fully sated, the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the atmospheric architecture, wander along the river or relax back at your hotel.
Day 03 DOURO VALLEY indulgence
The verdant rolling hills of the Douro Valley are calling. For so long overlooked in favor of the winelands of France and Italy, the world is finally waking up to the glories of one of the world’s oldest (and best) wine-growing regions. On this full-day tour, you’ll get a chance to experience modern wine production techniques as you visit one of the region’s newest quintas for a tour and tasting. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a hearty Douro lunch before boarding a traditional ‘rabelo’ boat for a cruise along the river; no longer fringed by ancient buildings but instead the endless greenery of vineyards and fields. Back on dry land, a traditional dinner awaits at your characterful hotel. A word of warning: slow living in the Douro Valley can become something of an addiction.
Day 04 Medieval wanderings
Wake up to views across the valley and spend some time relaxing at the hotel before your mid-morning transfer. So far you’ve hopped from city to winelands, now it’s time to head towards Portugal’s dramatic coast. You’ll be based near Óbidos, a gorgeous medieval city of whitewashed houses and pretty baroque churches, set within a classic crenelated wall. Spend some time exploring the labyrinthine cobblestoned streets, walking the ramparts to the hilltop castle and sampling the local cinnamon cherry liqueur, ginja, traditionally served in a tiny chocolate cup. Later, you’ll transfer to your eco-chic hotel just outside the city to spend a relaxed evening by the pool or indulging in a treatment at the on-site spa.
Day 05 BEACH LIFE
Today is for embracing beach living and you’ll be taking a private surf lesson at a nearby beach, led by an expert instructor. You’ll be learning at a perfect spot for beginners, thanks to a consistent break and gentle waves. Cheer each other on as you attempt to stand (you’ll have it down in no time, we’re sure) and catch your breath on the golden sand. You’ll have the rest of the day with your new friends to relax and explore at leisure. Your Pack Leader will have all the tips for making the most of your time.
Day 06 4x4 forest adventures
Sintra is calling. A UNESCO World Heritage Site full of old palaces and opulent gardens, a ‘regular’ day here never feels quite enough. Luckily you’ll be seeing it from a completely unique perspective, hopping aboard your 4×4 vehicles for a chance to escape the crowds. You’ll visit the quieter Palácio de Monserrate with its rich Moorish architecture and fly through silent forests, before tackling rugged terrain on a dramatic route past the soaring cliffs and roaring surf of the Cascais coastline. You’ll stop for lunch at a traditional Portuguese tasca before rejoining your minibus and continuing your journey towards the golden streets of Lisbon.
Day 07 Alternative Lisboa
No visit to Portugal would be complete without getting to know its capital and this morning’s walking tour will introduce you to the city’s most characterful districts. You’ll be transported back in time as you explore the medieval streets of picturesque Mouraria (birthplace of Portugal’s national music, fado), wander the ancient narrow alleys of pastel-hued Alfama and take in the dazzling views from hilltop Castelo de Sao Jorge. After lunch, you’ll have a few hours to relax and explore before your final Flash Pack treat. Early evening, a series of tuk tuks will arrive to transport you to the docks for a private sunset yacht cruise along the Tagus River. Make a toast with your friends as the city sits ablaze with the colors of sunset behind you, and look forward to a final dinner at a revered local restaurant.
Day 08 Tchau, Portugal
After breakfast at the hotel, your Portuguese adventure has sadly come to an end. It’s now over to you to make your own way onwards. Rediscovered a love for Europe? We’ve got plenty more opportunities for adventure, from snowy Finland to sun-scorched Turkey. Explore them all here.
Our Favorite Hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Pestana Pousada Flores, Porto
Located on one of Porto’s most beautiful streets; Pestana Pousada is housed in a beautifully restored building. It boasts elegant rooms, an indoor pool and lots of cozy corners surrounded by rock walls to relax with a drink.
Quinta de Casaldronho, Douro Valley
Set at the heart of the Douro region and boasting views over the river, Quinta de Casaldronho is a contemporary, minimalist wine hotel. Think floor to ceiling windows, an outdoor pool surrounded by vineyards and, of course, a selection of local wines.
Rio do Prado, Óbidos
Earthy tones meet contemporary design at this award-winning eco-chic hotel. The energy-efficient suites feature large picture windows looking out over the landscaped grounds, dotted with natural ponds, 2 outdoor pools and a Portuguese tapas restaurant.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly into Porto Airport, also known as Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO). Fly out of Lisbon Airport (LIS).
- What time should my flight arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
Ideally before 1 pm. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 4 pm onwards starting at the hotel, which is located approximately 20 minutes away from the airport.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no activities planned for the last day, so you can leave any time you wish. The airport is approximately 15 minutes away from the hotel.
- Are airport transfers included?
If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.
Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.
We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. However, your Pack Leader will offer you support with finding a local taxi, which should cost around 15 EUR.
- Are tips included?
Please note that tips are not included in the cost of this adventure. Suggested amounts per person are:
- Pack Leader: 10 USD per day
- Drivers: 5 USD per day
- Local tips: your Pack Leader will be able to advise on how much to tip local guides, restaurants, etc. Some Pack Leaders will collect a tipping kitty at the welcome meeting to take care of local tips.
However, all tips are at your discretion depending on what you feel comfortable with.
- Do I need a visa?
You do not normally need a visa if you’re visiting as a tourist from the UK, USA, Australia or Canada. Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa.
From 2024, ETIAS travel authorization will be an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to European countries https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias/what-etias_en.
We recommend that you have at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.
- How much should I budget per day for extras?
We recommend budgeting around 45 USD per day.
- What fitness levels do I need for this trip?
We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness. Overall, the trip is relatively relaxed so no real level of fitness is needed. However, there is a good amount of walking (at your own pace).
- Will the itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
- Do I have to share a hotel room?
Please be aware that room arrangements for this trip are organised based on same-sex sharing in twin rooms, unless you have purchased the single supplement.
If you prefer a single room, please note that it incurs an extra cost and must be booked in advance, subject to availability. You can add a single supplement during the booking process or by getting in touch with our Customer Experience team.
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission to create 1 million friendships so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends. Want to know more about your group? GET IN TOUCH
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS
We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone.
8 days in Croatia
9 days in The Americas
8 days in Turkey
4 days in Turkey
Slovenia's Great Outdoors
SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Hear about our new adventures before anyone else
Hear about our new adventures before anyone else.
Be the first to hear about exclusive Flash Pack offers.
Access exciting competitions.
Receive weekly inspiration and travel stories from solos just like you.