Cultural tour in Portugal

“A ten day small group, guided vacation, traveling from Porto to Sintra, through some of Portugal’s finest ancient towns and exquisite countryside.”

Highlights

Porto | Douro Valley wine region | Coimbra UNESCO University city | Evora | Walk in Alentejo region | Lisbon | Sintra

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Date
Price
Basis
08 Oct 2018
US $ 2475
excluding flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Oct 2018 departure
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cultural tour in Portugal

Accommodation & meals:
During this trip we stay in accommodation that is locally run (sometimes family run) and staffed with people from the surrounding areas, which has a positive effect on employment levels and economy in the region. Most lodgings are located in proximity to the town centers, which reduces further the need for carbon producing transfer vehicles on the trip. The majority of lunches and dinners are not included on this trip, this benefits the local economy; clients can enjoy various local authentic dishes and at the same time support numerous local businesses.

Community & Culture:
By spending a night in the rural village of Penela, we provide direct income to a community which would otherwise be excluded from the classic tourism influxes. In this village you can still take part in activities that some of its 40 inhabitants still continue to perform, thus encouraging the community to sustain and continue their traditions. The owner of the guesthouse where we will be staying is one of the entrepreneurs who started the project of developing tourism initiatives in these forgotten 'schist villages'; he will be delighted to explain the project and history of this beautiful location to the group. Using a local guide throughout the trip also has the mutual benefit of creating employment opportunities in the region, whilst clients have the advantage of in-depth expertise of the country. By visiting a number of sites, monuments, buildings and museums we generate funds which support the maintenance of these important historical and natural places. Finally, by purchasing these products and other handmade items (paintings, ceramics, embroidery), we help to sustain traditional methods of craftsmanship.

Social responsibility:
Our local partner actively promotes sustainable tourism practices by incorporating social or environmental projects in their itineraries.
Environment: Buying bottled water has detrimental impacts on the environment; we can make a conscience effort to reduce plastic waste by not buying water. On this trip, water in all the accommodation we stopover in is drinkable. Clients who bring their own water bottles will be able to refill them daily, when out and about the local guide will be able to point out places where they can top up their water bottles, for example, this is possible in a lot of the main squares. Regional cooking in Portugal has strong links to the land and sea; very little is imported from abroad therefore having a positive impact on the environment.

Group size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 18 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

Activity:
We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. By using local drivers for transfers, local restaurants and small shops, we make daily contributions to the economy and the community.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

2 Reviews of Cultural tour in Portugal

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 06 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Portugal's historical sites are pretty amazing and having a small group and an excellent driver/ guide facilitated access. The experience that I enjoyed the most was our stay in a tiny village where we learnt how to milk goats and make bread. A wonderful experience with warm hosts and at times hilarious results.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Learn a few words of Portuguese -always welcomed - even though English is spoken everywhere. Try the different local foods.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely. Especially the two country stays one in a beautiful family manor and the other in a simple and very comfortable farm house.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very highly. The small group and bus with experienced driver/ guide allowed for flexibility. The mix of large cities, local towns with their own history and charm and country stays / wine tastings kept everyone very happy.

Reviewed on 17 Dec 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We stayed in a quaint guesthouse in Penela- a village in the Schist Mountains. We milked goats, made bread, and learned how to make cheese. Later we ate the fruits of our labor at dinner. What a wonderful day!!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared to walk. It is not strenuous, but you do a lot of walking. We loved it, since you get more up front and close to what you came there to see.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. We went to out off the beaten path sites so you felt the local people benefited fro us being there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Outstanding. A great combination of urban and country- a little something for everyone.

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