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The Portuguese describe their country as a land of ‘brandos costumes’ – gentle ways and there is no doubt there is something very alluring about this astonishingly beautiful country, with its soft, verdant landscapes awash with dense forests and wild flowers, dramatic coastlines and magnificent rivers, where the pace of life seems slower and the people charmingly courteous.
For such a small country there is a huge cultural diversity too – from the cosmopolitan sophistication of Lisbon with the stunning architecture of its grand public buildings, wealth of
excellent museums and galleries, and world-class restaurants to the undiscovered rural villages and smaller towns, still off the tourist beaten track where life seems unchanged for centuries.
Once a powerful seafaring kingdom that dominated the merchant routes to Africa, South America and the Orient, today, the legacy of Portugal’s former wealth and power can still be seen in its beautifully historic cities; the capital, Lisbon, is superbly sited on the Tejo river estuary, with its grand monuments and maze of medieval alleyways it is a delight to explore. Porto meanwhile, the country’s second city and a
UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the best place to sample some of the many varieties of Portugal’s other notable contribution to the world, port wine.
As a Catholic country, there are ancient churches in every community – and while support for the institutions of the Church may have waned, a belief in traditional values remains. The Portuguese have embraced contemporary life without ever quite getting rid of the more appealing aspects of previous centuries and it is this delightful mix of old and new which makes the country such a delight to discover.
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour, despite some rain at the beginning. Our tour guide, Hugo, was excellent and so were the local guides in Tarragona and Barcelona. We were lucky enough to have a .. [Read More]
Mary and Peter Berg
A very informative and enjoyable trip, hotels 1st class, our tour guide, Richard’s knowledge and attention to to detail excellent, making this holiday memorable
Paul & Claudia McDonald
This was our first trip with Riviera but certainly won’t be the last.It was beautifully organised with Nikki our tour manager and Mariano our driver being outstanding. Nothing was too much .. [Read More]
Keith and Lynda Thatcher
What a fabulous holiday! All 3 hotels were of superb standard and had their own individual character. We visited some beautiful places in the Douro Valley that would have been difficult to .. [Read More]
Valerie Marden and Caroline Paige
We recently returned from the Riviera’s Land of the rising sun tour and it was a wonderful experience. The tour was very well planned and made the best and most efficient use of our time .. [Read More]
Nicki and Simon Jefferis
Just arrived safely home from our best Riviera experience yet. Tour manager John Shaw was outstanding, his talks on Portugal’s history, geography and customs were greatly appreciated by all and .. [Read More]
Colin and Wendy Butt
A thoroughly enjoyable trip - an ideal introduction to the area - we saw and learnt so much (as we have always found with Riviera Travel tour managers!)
Diane was excellent - as was Gerard .. [Read More]
Hazel and Simon Morton
A very enjoyable tour. The time spent in each town seemed just right. The hotels were in good locations and all of a good standard. Tour guide Sharon, driver Orencio and the local guides were all .. [Read More]
Rob & Jane Taylor
Just back from a wonderful holiday in South Africa with Riviera. Everything ran very smoothly thanks particularly to the professionalism and good humour of Matt, our excellent Riviera Tour .. [Read More]
Hugh and Irene
This was the first time we have been on an organised tour and we really couldn’t fault it. We stayed at the very Italian, shabby chic Europa Palace which admittedly does need an .. [Read More]
We have just returned from our second Riviera tour and we enjoyed this one just as much. It is quite simply the best way to cram so much into a taster holiday for a given region. Riviera organise .. [Read More]
Richard and Deborah Willshire
To enjoy the unmatched landscape, European type towns, yet farmers from years gone by you must take the guides advice about the altitude. Ann from Rivera will then take you on an unforgettable .. [Read More]
John and Debbie
Kevin was a good and a very knowledgeable guide who clearly loves and understands this part of the world, its people and culture and could explain all this and its more recent turbulent history. .. [Read More]
My wife and I have just returned from a visit to the Deep South of the USA, which was a very enjoyable experience for us despite the petty moans and grumbles of a few of our party. The tour .. [Read More]
Mr and Mrs Hales
Just returned from another superb Riviera holiday. Highly recommend this tour. Our guide Paula definitely knew Italy and gave us a good insight with great humour.
We have just returned from Lake Maggiore, Orta and The Matterhorn tour 20-27 Sept 2016, and wanted to write to you about our tour manager, Cecilia. I have already submitted a review of the whole .. [Read More]
Christine and Michael Smythe
We have just returned from a Riviera tour to Lisbon, Porto and the Douro.
Can I take the opportunity to thank all at Riviera for an excellent tour,well organised and showing us many sights .. [Read More]
Mr & Mrs Whyte
I was a participant in the above holiday the other week.
I must tell you that I found Paula to be very efficient at her job, she paid great attention to our needs and .. [Read More]