Start: Lisbon Finish: Lisbon
Tour code: PORTFA17
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This Best of Portugal journey reveals a nation's proud history, warm-hearted locals and soul-warming cuisine. Starting in Lisbon, you'll travel north and south to explore a Templar stronghold, watch thoroughbreds perform at an Alentejo farm and visit the Algarve.
Accommodation: Turim Av Liberdade
Meals: Welcome Reception
A sea of pastel pinks, yellows and blues dot the seven hills of the romantic Portuguese capital, which you will have an opportunity to explore today before meeting your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive past the city's most iconic sights.
Delve into Lisbon's centuries-old seafaring heritage today, paying tribute to the brave men who set off from these shores to discover the 'New World'. With our Local Specialist We'll see the shimmering white Monument to the Discoveries, the iconic suspension bridge spanning the Tagus, and Belém Tower, built to commemorate Vasco da Gama's expedition. We'll Dive Into Culture on a sightseeing tour of the UNESCO-listed Hieronymite Monastery, an exquisite testament to 16th-century Manueline architecture and art. There's time to join an Optional Experience to the historic towns of Cascais and Sintra. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a traditional Portuguese dinner amidst the heart-wrenching, haunting sounds of the fado.
Location: Albufeira, Panoias-Ourique
Accommodation: Real Bellavista
Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest
We journey across the Tagus this morning and drive south towards the Serra da Arrábida Mountains and to the golden pastures of the Alentejo. The hearty aroma of Portuguese chicken fills the air at our Be My Guest experience as we Connect With Locals over a traditional lunch at a stud ranch, where Lusitano horses were once reared at the pleasure of King João VI in the 18th century. Our journey continues further south, bound for the sun-kissed shores of the Algarve - our home for the next two nights.
The dramatic cliffs and beautiful beaches of the Sagres Peninsula provide a stunning backdrop for our morning coastal drive. Admire spectacular views across Baleeira Beach, before continuing along the coast to Cape St. Vincent, the site of many sea battles centuries ago. We end our excursion with a visit to the resort town of Lagos - once the home of Henry the Navigator.
Accommodation: M'ar de Ar Muralhas
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Journeying north, we travel to the ancient Alentejo city of Évora. Join your Local Specialist for a visit to the elaborate cathedral, Roman temple and the Chapel of Bones. Then, spend the rest of your day delving into the medieval history of this enchanting city. Trace centuries of history along its city walls, kick back with a bica and bolo in Praça do Giraldo or perhaps join an Optional Experience to the village of Monsaraz. This evening we dine at our hotel in Évora.
Accommodation: Grão Vasco
Our first stop today is in the quaint hilltop town of Castelo de Vide with its charming white façades, narrow alleys and fascinating Jewish Quarter. Travel north towards the Serra de Estrela mountains and arrive later in Viseu, set high on a plateau near the famous Dão vineyards. Explore the city's rich art and architectural history, seeing the 12th-century Sé, standing imposingly on a hill overlooking much of the city.
Location: Porto, Mateus
Accommodation: Neya/Carris Ribeira
Vineyard-clad hills provide an enchanting backdrop for our journey today through the Douro Valley, where Port wine is produced. We explore the magnificent gardens at the Baroque-style Palácio de Mateus, depicted on the label of the distinctive Mateus wine bottles. We continue via Guimarães for views of its impressive 10th-century castle, before arriving in the riverside town of Porto where we will spend the next two nights.
Location: Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia
Join a Local Specialist today for a sightseeing tour in Porto, which takes you past Baroque churches and along the winding cobblestone lanes that tumble down towards the Douro River. See the remarkable bridges that span the river and the Gothic Church of St. Francis. Visit the Stock Exchange Palace with its splendid Arabian Hall inspired by Granada's Alhambra, then Dive Into Culture and into the centuries-old tradition of local port production at a tasting in a port cellar. Spend the rest of the afternoon strolling through the historic centre of Porto and admiring the azulejo-clad façades, or visit Livraria Lello, the city's oldest bookstore.
Location: Fatima, Coimbra, Tomar
Soak up the grand atmosphere of one of Europe's greatest and oldest universities and stroll through the ancient streets and squares of Coimbra, before journeying to the Templar city of Tomar to visit the Convent of Christ, originally built as a Templar stronghold in the 12th century. We arrive in the pilgrimage centre of Fátima, where we rub shoulders with millions of Catholic pilgrims who have journeyed to this pilgrimage site, where three young shepherds famously saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
Location: Lisbon, Batalha
Accommodation: Neya Lisboa/Occidental
Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
En route to Lisbon, we stop at the imposing monastery of Batalha - a UNESCO World Heritage site and the best example of late Gothic architecture in Portugal. Our next stop is the fishing village of Nazaré, before we visit the medieval walled city of Óbidos with its whitewashed houses and cobblestone roads. Our last night in Portugal together sees us toast to an incredible journey at a Farewell Dinner with wine.
Say a fond adeus to your fellow travellers at the end of an unforgettable Portuguese holiday.
1 lunch (Be My Guest)
Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
Optional Experiences and free time
All porterage and restaurant gratuities
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
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