Day 1:ARRIVE IN LISBON, PORTUGAL.
Welcome to Lisbon! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Lisbon was the center of Europe’s longest-lived overseas empire. Portugal’s imperial ambitions date back to Prince Henry the Navigator’s 15th-century discoveries in West Africa. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide features a drive through the Baixa quarter’s main squares. Then, enjoy a walk through the cobblestone alleys of quaint ALFAMA, the popular quarter of the seamen and Fado singers. Drive along the grand Avenida da Liberdade up to Pombal Square, and stop for pictures of Belem Tower and the Monument of the Discoverers. Visit JERONIMOS MONASTERY with the tomb of Vasco da Gama. An interesting optional excursion to the royal palace of Queluz is available, as well as dinner at a typical taverna with Fado-style entertainment.
Stop in medieval Obidos and go back in time as you pass the main gate in the impressive perimeter wall and walk along the narrow streets. Then on to the fishing harbor of Nazaré, the perfect place for a leisurely break. Continue to Alcobaça to visit the CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA MONASTERY, built in the 12th century for 999 Cistercian monks. See the elaborate tombs of King Pedro I and his Castilian lover, Inês de Castro. In the afternoon, mix with the pilgrims at the country’s hallowed national shrine, Fátima’s SANCTUARY OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY. Overnight in Tomar.
In Tomar, the historic seat of the mighty Order of the Knights of Christ, visit the hilltop CONVENT OF CHRIST with its famous Manueline Window. Continue to Coimbra, strategically situated on a hill overlooking the Mondego River. Enjoy a walk around the centre, then drive by ancient Buçaco Forest on your way to Oporto, Portugal’s second-largest city. Tonight, why not relax during an optional cruise on the Douro River, followed by dinner at one of Oporto’s fine restaurants?
Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a panoramic drive to the mouth of the Douro River, the soaring cathedral, and the STOCK EXCHANGE with its contemporary ARABIAN HALL, inspired by Granada’s Alhambra. Of course, a PORT WINE TASTING has been included at one of the local cellars to sample the delicious wine produced from grapes of the Douro Valley.
Enjoy a walk through the medieval centre of Guimaraes, often referred to as the “Cradle of Portugal” because of its association with the country’s first king, Alfonso Henriques. Next, taste Portuguese tapas at the Quinta da Aveleda WINERY and visit its splendid GARDENS. From here, a scenic road through the port wine vineyards leads to Viseu, where dinner at a local restaurant awaits!
Day 7:VISEU-BELMONTE-CASTELO DE VIDE-EVORA.
This morning, stop in Belmonte, today a symbol of Jewish awakening, for a visit to the JEWISH MUSEUM. Also enjoy an OLIVE OIL TASTING, for which the area is famous. Enjoy an afternoon break in Castelo de Vide, with time to walk through the Jewish quarter with its white-washed houses and its medieval synagogue. Before arriving in Evora, the cultural centre of southern Portugal and a former royal residence, visit a CORK FACTORY and learn about the many ways this material can be used.
A massive wall surrounds Evora’s medieval centre, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Follow your Local Guide on a walking tour through its narrow alleys to the Roman Temple, the early gothic CATHEDRAL, Portas de Moura fountain, and SAO FRANCISCO CHURCH. Visit the OSSUARY CHAPEL, whose walls are covered with thousands of human bones and skulls. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with your travelling companions.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.