Portugal is a great destination over the winter holidays. A shorter trip lends itself well to two great destinations within this Atlantic nation. First, a stop at the enchanting island of Madeira. Then, a few nights in the bustling, fascinating city of Lisbon before heading home. A catholic country, Portugal gets dressed up in her holiday best for the season!
This month, we shared some holiday itinerary ideas for our favorite destinations in the winter. It’s never too late – or early – to start planning. As always, we tailor all of our trips to your travel wishes.
These are some ideas for your next vacation in Portugal! The trip is yours to decide! We can add or change anything you wish. We are always here to help your travel dreams come true.
DAY 1: Welcome to Portugal
Madeira’s mild climate makes it a perfect choice over the winter months. The subtropical climate, beaches, mountains, gardens, vineyards and more make it an exciting visit for almost anyone!
Upon arrival of your flight you’ll meet your private chauffeur outside customs. After, you will have a private transfer from Funchal Airport to your accommodations.
We have a wide range of accommodation choices in Portugal, including on the island. Perhaps upon arrival a few nights at one of the best luxury hotels on the island? Gorgeous panoramic views, innovative cuisine and the superb service will make you feel immediately on holiday.
The rest of the evening is free to rest up!
Day 2: Exploring Madeira
After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll meet your private chauffeur at the lobby. You’ll discover Madeira with our history and traditions tour today! First, we start with a visit to the local market. Here, you can admire a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and local fish.
Second, you can experience Madeira’s most traditional craft. A private embroidery workshop at a family- owned embroidery factory is a special experience. You will learn the local secrets and get the chance to do your own embroidery work. After, lunch at a local cozy regional restaurant with dishes from this area of Portugal.
Continuing, you will visit the most historic churches of the island. In conclusion, we will also visit the old part of Funchal. Finally, you will see the impressive Botanical Gardens. They contain plants and trees gathered from all over the world by Portuguese explorers.
Day 3: Madeira at your leisure
Today you will have the day to explore or relax at your luxurious accommodations. You have a wonderful day ahead of you tomorrow!
Day 4: Madeira to Lisbon, Portugal
To start, your private driver will bring you to the airport for the flight to Lisbon. After, upon arrival, your driver will be waiting to bring you to your accommodations.
Lisbon is one of our favorite cities in Europe. It’s vibrant, just the right size to explore easily. Great food and amazing people! It’s also incredibly special over the holidays! The city is dressed up in lights and its Christmas best. The mild climate makes it great as well.
Your first evening will be free to enjoy in this wonderful city. Bella Vita will provide you with our destination kit for dining recommendations and on your own excursion ideas.
Day 5: Full day tour of Lisbon
This morning you’ll enjoy a private walking tour of Lisbon’s Alfama district. First, start with a private visit to the St. George Castle. Second, you’ll have a guided visit of the Museum of Portugal Decorative Arts.
After this interesting and interactive morning, we will stop for lunch.
Lunch will be at a lovely restaurant facing Tagus River. Here, fresh fish served is among the best quality offered in the markets of Lisbon.
Following lunch, you’ll enjoy a private guided visit of the brand new, spectacular Lisbon Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology.
You’ll then have a sweet stop at the nearby pastry shop for a gourmet treat with Pastéis de Belem. This is a delicous custard tart typical of this neighborhood of Lisbon.
Finally, end your day with a very special private vintage yacht cruise along Tejo river. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views of the Belem district, Discovery Monuments and Belem Tower.
Day 6: A “taste” of Portugal
This morning you’ll start you day by meeting your private chauffeur and driving towards Cascais. This is a quaint fishing village. It has became a popular resort. Once, favored by European nobility and kings in the early 20th century. Today, it is a colorful cosmopolitan town with elegant pedestrian streets, luxuriant villas, restaurants and bars. Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy a private guided tour to the local market accompanied by a local chef.
Following your market tour, you’ll enjoy a private cooking lesson at a charming noble house facing the sea. After your lesson you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labors with a delicious lunch.
You’ll then continue to Sintra, an extraordinary town with a surreal mixture of history and fantasy, protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. During the afternoon, your private expert guide will lead you on a private guided tour of Sintra’s historical center and private visit to the colorful Pena Palace.
Day 7: Adeus, Portugal
Your private driver will bring you to the airport for your flight home. If your flight departs later in the day, we can arrange many other experiences! A tour of the tile museum? Wine tasting on the river?
If your trip has a few extra days, a side trip to pretty Porto? The trip is yours to decide! All of our vacations are tailor made to your travel dreams and wishes!
We hope that these itinerary ideas provided some travel inspiration. Please check out our website or contact us directly! We have many other ideas in these countries and also our other destinations.
As always, its our mission and promise to make your Mediterranean travel dreams come true!