This twin-centre holiday showcases two of Portugal’s contrasting highlights, combining a city break with an island getaway. Start with Porto’s mercantile past, evidenced in port houses and vibrant Baroque architecture funded by a centuries-old trading wealth, before flying south to Madeira. Portugal’s idyllic island hideaway is a sunny retreat of vineyards and spectacular natural beauty. Along the way, you’ll stay in two of the best hotels available, each marrying 19th century extravagance with more contemporary delights.
Days 1-3: Porto
Arriving into Porto, you’ll be met and transferred to your luxurious accommodation – the superb Pestana Palacio do Freixo (Pousada do Porto). This 19th century palace is a beautiful example of Portuguese Baroque architecture, complete with manicured gardens, a grand white façade and a delightful riverside setting on the Rio Douro – a view enjoyed by stately rooms and an infinity pool. Back inside, you’ll find antiques borrowed from various museums across the city along with everything from a boutique spa to gourmet restaurant.
But, with a complimentary shuttle service put on, you’ll also have all of Porto’s heritage delights on your doorstep. Watch as the severe Gothic architecture of its cathedrals and churches punctuates the bright terracotta of its pretty old town. The best way to see it all? Lose yourself in its warren of labyrinthine alleys that weave between the cutting edge of the city’s contemporary art scene and its rich past, found in dignified beaux arts buildings, the gilded extravagance of its ecclesiastical heritage and port tasting sessions in merchants’ houses.
Stay: Pousada do Porto – Pestana Palácio Do Freixo (Deluxe)
Days 4-7: Madeira
Transfer to the airport to fly south to Madeira – Portugal’s paradise island getaway. On arrival in its main city, Funchal, you’ll be transferred to the Quinta da Casa Branca. This quinta country house has been transformed into a Small Luxury Hotel of the World, pairing its 19th century elegance with stunning modernist architecture. It’s all wrapped up in a botanic garden that exhibits trees and plants from around the world. Guests also enjoy complimentary access to the Jacuzzis, saunas and gym of its state-of-the-art health club while fine dining restaurants and poolside sun loungers provide further relaxation.
It’s the perfect base to explore from, enjoying coastal seclusion just outside of Funchal’s colonial charm. You’ll also want to head further afield to discover Madeira’s verdant interior. Here, great mountains spill down, covered in old growth forests and brightly coloured wildflowers. Take it all in on walks that track the Madeira’s 16th century levada aqueducts. Or, take advantage of the island’s Mediterranean climate by relaxing on its sun-soaked coast after tasting your way through its world-famous vineyards. You can even take to the water on everything from dolphin safaris to kayaking and snorkelling trips, enjoying the warmth of its subtropical waters.
Stay: Quinta da Casa Branca (Deluxe)
Day 8: Departure
Transfer to Funchal Airport in time for your flight home.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust