Day 1- Lisboa
Arrival in Lisboa where you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Welcome dinner at the hotel restaurant enjoying spectacular views of the city. Overnight stay at Hotel Mundial.
Day 2- Lisboa
Breakfast at the hotel then a half day tour. Departure to the suburb of Belem, where you will visit the Torre de Belem, the Jeronimos Monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries. A gourmet highlight today is a stop at the famous “Casa Pasteis de Belem” to sample a delicious ‘pastel de nata’ or Portuguese custard tart. You will then head back to the city centre, to the Castelo San Jorge where you can enjoy a little walk in Alfama, the oldest and the most picturesque quarter of the city, with a stop for wine tasting in a handicraft store (Payable locally). Lunch in a local restaurant overlooking the Tagus River. Free time at leisure after lunch.
Day 3- Obidos
After breakfast you will travel to the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Sintra for a tour of the fabulous Palacio da Pena which was built in the 19th century for the husband of the young Queen Maria II, Ferdinand Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. After the tour, enjoy some free time to explore the old quarter and perhaps sample queijadas, the local sweet pastry. Continue on your journey north through Mafra to reach Obidos, Portugal’s whitewashed town surrounding a castle. Here, enjoy strolling the tiny streets at your leisure on your free afternoon. The main street of the village is the quaint R. Direita which goes past little whitewashed houses, roofed in orange tiles, with flowers on window sills, to lead into the main square of the village. Stay overnight at Hotel Real d’Obidos.
Day 4- Coimbra
Today you head north to Alcobaça and Batalha for panoramic tour of Batalha and on to the pilgrim’s city of Fatima. The Neo-Baroque basilica, flanked by statues of saints, has a 65m tower and an esplanade twice the size of St Peter’s square in Rome. Free time to visit the sanctuary before returning to the road and heading north to the university city of Coimbra. Stay in Hotel Tryp Coimbra tonight.
Day 5- Coimbra
Morning visit of Coimbra, Portugal’s third largest city, which tumbles down a steep riverbank by the Mondego River. The city offers a regal university quarter, plus mansions, monasteries and churches, including the most imposing Romanesque church in the country. Your journey continues to Piodão a “Historical Village of Portugal”. The typical houses of schist and slate, with modern windows painted blue, gracefully descend the slope of the mountain. As you continue your travel, you will have time to take pictures in Foz D´Égua, a site with a splendid natural beauty, including a dam that creates a water mirror, a magnificent place for summer bathing. Continuation for visit of vast Bussaco Forest with lunch at the famous Palace Hotel do Bussaco.
Day 6- Porto
Travel from Coimbra to Porto, stopping for a break in Aveiro on the way, known as the Venice of Portugal. The city is crossed by canals, piled by high-bow, flat-bottomed, punted boats similar to Gondolas but serve instead as seaweed collectors. Back on the road and travel on to Porto. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Porto including a visit inside the formidable Se Cathedral, dominating central Porto, as well as the Cais de Ribeira, the oldest and most picturesque quarter. Dinner at Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira, which is where you will be staying.
Day 7- Porto
A full day tour today into the Minho region. You begin in Barcelos, renowned for its busy agricultural market and for its pottery, especially decorated cockerels. Here you will visit the Centro de Artesanato (Barcelos Handicraft Centre) where you can gain an appreciation of Minho arts and crafts. Continue on to Braga to ascend the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary in the funicular (moved by water counterbalancing). Visit the Sanctuary and gardens before heading on to Guimarães to enjoy lunch at the beautiful Pousada, within the restored Santa Marinha da Costa Monastery. After lunch, you will be able to visit Guimarães Castle and have some free time at leisure. Back to Porto after a full day.
Day 8- Pinhao
Depart Porto and travel along the route of the Douro River to Lamego for a Winery visit and Port wine tasting at Quinta da Pacheca estate. An attractive town within the demarcated port area, Lamego also produces wines, including Raposeira, Portugal’s premier sparkling wine. Continue on to Pinhao. Surrounded by vineyards, the town has many lodges and even the train station has azulejos (tiles) depicting the wine harvest. This afternoon, enjoy a cocktail in the hotel’s elegant bar before enjoying dinner. Afterwards, go back to the Vintage House Hotel.
Day 9- Evora
The journey heads south, travelling alongside the border with Spain, through historic towns and villages such as Belmonte and Fundao. Continue on and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant on the way. Your destination is Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Free afternoon at your leisure, then go back to Hotel MÁr de Ar Muralhas.
Day 10- Evora
Enjoy a walking tour of the city this morning, including a visit to the eerie chapel of bones (Capela dos Ossos) – the final resting place for hundreds of bodies that were exhumed from the city’s graves and whose bones line the chapel walls and are incorporated into the designs and patterns. In the centre of town is the Cathedral and on its left side is the Museu de Evora. The Cathedral which began construction in 1186 and consecrated in 1204 was completed in 1250. The 16th century palace, once the residence of governors and bishops, is now the regional museum – Museu de Evora. Free afternoon at leisure.
Day 11- Lisboa
Today departure to the old fortified town of Reguengos de Monsaraz for a visit. Rue Direita retains all its original charm as it is still lined by 16th and 17th Century whitewashed houses, many emblazoned with coats of arms and all flanked by outside staircases and balconies with wrought iron grilles. Continue on and enjoy a 1.5hr sailing boat ride on the Alqueva Dam. In the afternoon, transfer back to the capital for a last night. Settle in at the hotel before joining together for a farewell dinner and traditional Fado show. The essential element of fado music is “saudade,” a Portuguese word that translates roughly as longing, or nostalgia for unrealised dreams. The fado is normally sung by men or women and accompanied by one Portuguese guitar and one classic guitar, which in Portugal is called viola. Back to the Hotel Mundial.
Day 12- End of Itinerary
Check-out from the hotel, and take a transfer to the airport for your flight home.
- Transport in deluxe air conditioned bus
- English speaking tour escort
- Welcome drinks and dinner
- Entry fees to Belem Tower
- Lunch at one of the best restaurants in Lisbon
- Entrance fees to Pena Palace & Tram in Sintra, Batalha Monastery & Coimbra University
- Lunch at Hotel Palace do Bussaco restaurant
- Entrance fees at the Cloisters of Se Cathedral in Porto
- Dinner at Hotel Carris Porto Ribiera
- Lunch at Pousada Mosteiro de Guimaraes
- Winery visit and tasting
- Welcome cocktail at Hotel Vintage House served with Port wine and small snacks
- Dinner at Hotel Vintage House
- Lunch at local restaurant near Fundao
- Entrance fees to Bones of Chapel at Evora
- 1.5hr boat ride on the Alqueva Dam
- Farewell dinner
- Porterage at Hotels