Art Lovers: Portugal—Porto and Lisbon

September 5-14, 2023 | SOLD OUT
To get on the wait list for this event, email

This fall we invite you to explore Portugal’s two most exciting cities – Lisbon and Porto.

Over the past decade, Porto has undergone an incredible renaissance. Split by the gleaming Douro river, discover its historic charm alongside its powerful contemporary art scene. We’ll spend a day in Portugal’s wine region before heading south to Lisbon, where centuries of colorful history are wrapped up in dozens of eclectic architectural delights.

Tour Highlights


  • Walk to the 12th century Porto Cathedral and enjoy its vast views
  • Wander through the Serravles complex, one of the world’s top art museums
  • Visit a 200 year old family owned Port wine producer
  • Explore the castle of Guimaraes
  • Discover the Rua Miguel Bombarda, the city’s art district
  • Journey through the wine producing Duoro Valley


  • Visit the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
  • Discover Belem where many explorers departed for distant shores
  • Wander through the newly opened Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)
  • Explore Sant’ Anna, a ceramics factory
  • Enjoy an excursion through the town of Sintra and its 19th century Pena National Palace

Our program begins in Porto with a late afternoon boat cruise focusing on the city’s well-known six bridges, each with its own very distinctive style.

Over three full days, enjoy a walking tour of the city and learn how the striking blue and white tiles found everywhere illustrate some of Portugal’s most important historical moments. Walk to the 12th century Porto Cathedral with its commanding views. Spend time at the Serravles complex which frequently appears on lists of the world’s top art museums and stroll through the Rua Miguel Bombarda. Known by many as Porto’s “official” arts district, this area is home to several important galleries which host simultaneous exhibition openings.

No visit to Porto would be complete without a visit to a Port winery. For almost 200 years, W & J Graham’s has been a family business renowned for producing the finest Port wines.

From Porto, we have planned excursions to Guimarães, whose medieval town center is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the stunning Duoro Valley, where we drive along National Road 222. In
2015 it was awarded the world’s best road. The road is 16 miles long and features jaw dropping scenery including 93 heart-stopping bends cutting right through the heart of the Douro Valley offering amazing views of the terraced hillsides.

Head south to Lisbon stopping at Coimbra which rises scenically from the Rio Mondego. Coimbra was Portugal’s medieval capital for more than a century and it’s home to the country’s oldest and most prestigious university.

With three full days in Lisbon, discover a splendid city whose success during the Age of Exploration brought it great wealth. Indeed, that wealth can be seen at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, which houses some 2,200 paintings and extensive collections of drawings, sculpture and decorative arts.

It was from Belem, the location of Lisbon’s shipyards and docks, that 16th century explorers set off to foreign shores and returned with incredible wealth. Admire the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument of Discoveries) – a towering monument high above the banks of the Tejo estuary.

Recently opened is the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), Lisbon’s answer to the Tate Modern which focuses on the intersection of technology and contemporary art. Visit the Sant’Anna, a Portuguese ceramic factory, established in 1741, that produces all its products according to the oldest handcraft techniques. Juxtaposed against that is the colorful world of street art in Lisbon where hidden artwork waits to be discovered down alleyways and narrow streets. At the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, enjoy an art-filled oasis and one of the world’s most important and impressive private art collections.

On an excursion from Lisbon, explore Sintra, where palaces are known for their whimsical designs and sweeping views. Return to Lisbon through the charming seaside village of Cascais, a long preferred summer retreat for Royals and other important figures throughout Portuguese history. End the day with a cooking class where you learn to prepare traditional Portuguese dishes alongside a local chef and enjoy a wonderful dinner!

A view of Sintra Palace, outside of Lisbon in Portugal, from a distance

Trip Cost and Inclusions

Price: $4,470 per person
Deposit: $500 per person
Single Room Supplement $1,070

To register, download the registration form and mail the completed form and deposit to Distant Horizons, 350 Elm Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802 or email it to

Tour Cost Includes

  • Accommodation based on double occupancy
  • Daily full breakfast, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Sightseeing, tours, entrances and transportation (public and private) detailed in the full itinerary available upon request
  • Services of a Distant Horizons Tour Manager
  • Gratuities to drivers and local guides

Not Included in Tour Cost

  • Airfare and travel to Porto and from Lisbon
  • Transfers to and from the airports
  • Meals not listed
  • Gratuities to tour manager
  • Porterage at hotel
  • Drinks other than a glass of wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Personal insurance for health, baggage and trip cancellation

For more information or a detailed itinerary please contact: Michelle Turner at 585.747.1547 or, or Julie Scott at

The Memorial Art Gallery’s tour operator, Distant Horizons, is a California Seller of Travel (CST #2046776-40) and a participant in the California Travel Restitution Fund. Information regarding the rights of California residents to make a claim may be found at