Cultural Tours to Portugal

A Taste of Portugal

Optional Pre-Trip Extension to Lisbon

May 7 – 10, 2020


Base Trip to Óbidos • Schist Village of Cerdeira • Porto • Douro Valley

May 10 – 20, 2020


A Taste of Portugal Trip Overview





Worth Noting: One of the beautiful things about Portugal is its relatively small size and so most distances are short and the times between locations are typically just an hour or so, sometimes less.



You’ll start your trip by flying into Lisbon (LIS), Portugal’s capital city and often on many well-traveled people’s list of favorite cities in the world.  Here you’ll be able to enjoy an optional 3-night pre-trip extension complete with airport transfer, hotel, local guide, several meals and a number of pre-arranged activities in and around Lisbon, including a visit to the wonderful nearby seaside village of Cascais.

Moving north with the group you’ll stay for 2-nights in the medieval village of Óbidos, a wonderfully-preserved walled city, and from there head to the coast for a day trip to experience glorious Nazaré, home to the highest recorded waves ever surfed, including a visit to a lighthouse and surf museum and a beautiful lunch near the beach.

Next you’ll continue your journey to the gorgeous central region of Alvados with its seemingly endless olive groves, rocky landscapes, stone farmhouses and a stop for lunch at a wonderful hotel where you can participate in a really fun cooking class (it’s fun even for those who don’t enjoy cooking).  Finally you’ll get to dine on the results, which are always great!

After lunch the group will be transferred to the Schist Village of Cerdeira where you’ll spend two nights.  This village is thought to be over 400 years old and has been completely refurbished with wonderful facilities for your stay.  The next day you can choose to participate in a somewhat rigorous 3 km/2 mile hike (not for everyone) to the nearby village of Candal where you’ll partake in a truly amazing lunch prepared by the owner of a quaint restaurant frequented by locals after which you’ll be driven back to the hotel (those not participating in the hike will be driven to Candal).

Continuing north you’ll stop at Aveiro Lagoon to see, meet and photograph the fishermen and -women, along with their colorfully painted boats and catches of the day.

After a most amazing lunch of fresh seafood in a locals-only restaurant you’ll carry on further north to the absolutely stunning city of Porto, enviably situated on the Douro River and where you’ll spend 3 nights.  Here enjoy several walking tours with Ralph and your local guide, a chance to shop and experience the waterfront Ribeira section of town, as well as a visit to Vila Nova de Gaia, complete with stop at a centuries-old port wine cellar including port wine tasting.  Plus, there’s so much more to do during your free time, and we’ll make suggestions.

After breakfast our last day in Porto we’ll transfer to one of the city’s most picturesque train stations to take a scenic morning train ride from Porto to Ferrão, deep in the heart of the Douro Valley, experiencing fantastical landscapes along the way.  On arrival transfer to your nearby hotel which is situated in the middle of a vineyard and clings to the hillside with unbelievable views of the valley below (you’ll probably not want to leave!).

Next day visit another vineyard for lunch and wine tasting and after three nights in this region you’ll take another train from Ferrão to Pocinho where you’ll enjoy a boat ride and more.

Finally, on the last day, after a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be transferred back to Porto by vehicle directly to the airport for your onward flight(s), or you can choose to stay and continue your journey.



Portugal is a very hilly country and so this trip does require a good amount of walking, both up and down steps and at times steep inclines and declines or on uneven and rocky or gravely trails.  Participants should be in good enough shape to walk upwards of 2 to 5 miles or more per day, on average, and be sure to have water.

For your own safety, walking sticks and sturdy, well-worn shoes are highly recommended throughout this trip.

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    Larry Ehemann Central Europe, Cuba East and Romania tour participant
  • “I really liked the [small] size of the tour. It felt like traveling with friends from very early on, and continued to feel that way. That last hotel we stayed in, the one in Budapest, was such a treat! Those views were fabulous, and it ended the trip in style. Ralph is a good trip leader… He wasn’t hovering, but he did stop and give tips and I felt well-tended. The local guides were all outstanding!”

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  • “Great examples clearly demonstrated the points Ralph made.  His teaching methods made many things much simpler to understand.  I thoroughly enjoyed this class!”

    Brenda Hatcher Photography Boot Camp participant
Map of 2020 A Taste of Portugal Trip by Ralph Velasco


Optional Pre-Trip Extension to Lisbon: May 7 – 10, 2020

Base Trip: May 10 – 20, 2020



Pricing for this trip is still being determined.


Please request the details of this trip by contacting us at this link.

To register, you can pay with a credit card via PayPal (click here to request invoice) or deposit a check directly into the PhotoEnrichment Programs, Inc. bank account at any Bank of America branch. Depositing a check affords a $50 per person discount.

We’ll send you all the payment details if you’ll contact us above.

Your participation is not confirmed until completed Reservation Form and Terms & Conditions, plus passport copy and payment in full, have been received.



SPECIAL NOTE: Along with the items listed below, the services of a local guide will be provided for various activities during this part of the trip.  That said, your Tour Leader will not be a part of the extension and will meet you on the 3rd day.

  • 3-nights accommodations in Lisbon at a very nice 3- or 4-star hotel.
  • Private airport transfer to hotel from LIS airport.
  • Private group transfer from hotel in Lisbon to hotel in Óbidos at end of extension to start the base tour.
  • Orientation tour with local, English-speaking guide and for activities as outlined.
  • Meals: Breakfast daily (B), 1Dinner (D).
  • Transportation between various locations and for group activities may be provided by public transportation or guided walk.
  • Entry fees for any included sites
  • Tips for local guide and included meals.



  • 10-nights accommodations, several with pools, professional spa services, and other amenities in each location.
  • Train ticket from Porto to Douro Valley.
  • If not participating in the pre-trip extension then private airport transfer to hotel in Lisbon (LIS) upon arrival and group transfer to Porto airport (OPO) at the end of base trip (so you may choose to fly into Lisbon and out of Porto, or make your own way back to Lisbon or elsewhere, more details to follow).
  • Services of an English-speaking guide and professional driver throughout.
  • Meals: Breakfast (B) daily, 8 Lunches (L, including cooking class in Alvados) and 4 Dinners (D)
  • Bottled water will be provided each day, plus wine tasting(s) as outlined.
  • Transportation between all locations and for included group activities, when necessary, in a private, air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Entry fees for all included sites and experiences.
  • Orientation tours in each location with our local, English-speaking guide.
  • Group tips for local guide, driver and included meals.



  • Your flights or other transportation to and from Portugal.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Alcoholic beverages and other items not specifically mentioned in the itinerary as included.

Small Group Tour to Portugal with Travel Photographer Ralph Velasco

Keeping our travel schedule in mind, our goal is always to put participants in the right place, at the right time, to explore and capture the best of Portugal.  This includes its people, food, castles, churches, markets, and other cultural wonders.

  • We’ll also visit a number of markets and off-the-beaten-path locations to meet and interact with the people, all while having a chance to photograph along the way.
  • Approximately 2- to 4-hours per day on average of instruction with travel photographer Ralph Velasco, including group photo walks and locally-guided walking tours in each location.
  • Assuming facilities are available, participants will have a chance to sit down with Ralph during a mid-trip image review, probably in Cerdeira, allowing him to gauge each participant’s progress and to provide valuable feedback on their photography.



  • Lisbon and Surrounding Area During Optional Pre-Trip Extension: Early morning tour around the Alfama and Graça neighborhoods; you’ll also visit Cascais;
  • Óbidos: Visit to the Medieval Village of Óbidos with walking tours and free time to explore.
  • Alvados: Participate in a cooking class at a gorgeous hotel, as well as time out in nature to discover olive groves and the natural landscapes in this picturesque region of Central Portugal.
  • Schist Villages: Enjoy time to explore as well as a 3 km hike to the nearby village of Candal where lunch will be waiting (hike is optional).
  • Aveiro Lagoon for landscape photography and visiting fishermen and their boats, as well as a stop for lunch as an amazing locals-only seafood restaurant.
  • Porto: Walking tours, Port wine tasting, shopping, plus optional night shoot.
  • Douro Valley: Train ride from Porto to Ferrão with stay at a gorgeous vineyard, including wine tasting and incredible food.  Plus train ride from Ferrão to Pocinho and boat ride.

Ralph Velasco with Camera by Michelle Kate LaVigne

Ralph Velasco is a U.S.-based travel photography instructor, author and international guide who has organized and led close to 100 international tours, including to Egypt, Morocco, the Adriatic, Central Europe, Iceland, Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Spain, Romania, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Turkey, and other locations (hover your mouse over the TOURS tab above for our currently available trips).  He’s also organized and participated in over a dozen fully-licensed Humanitarian and People-to-People programs in Cuba.

Ralph is an award-winning travel photography blogger and for the past 10 years he’s been the Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures.  He’s also Creator of Tour Organizer Training, a free webinar and online course series designed to teach everyday people, step-by-step, how to organize and lead their own special interest trips, whether around the world or around the corner.  Click here to join the next free webinar.

All activities and itinerary details are subject to change, but rest assured we’ll make every effort to provide a comparable alternative in the unlikely event changes to our schedule need to be made.

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