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Tour Overview: Portugal in 13 days south to north. Our tour begins in the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal famous for its beautiful beaches. Tavira is an ancient Moorish town turned resort offering a relaxed away-from-the-crowds experience. On our way north we’ll spend a morning exploring beautiful hilltop Mértola overlooking the Guadiana River with extensive remains of centuries of Moorish rule. Our next lodging destination is Évora, the capital of the region of Alentejo, former Roman city and home to Portuguese kings, with whitewashed houses decorated with Azulejos tilework. In Azeitão a wonderful Renaissance chateau, art collection and gardens combined with wine tasting awaits us. Lisbon is one of our rare destinations deserving a four night stay, in the old Moorish district of Alfama. Our explorations inside the city will include an extensive walking tour and the fabulous Jerónimos Monastery in Belem; outside we will travel to peculiar Sintra and the very pleasing town of Cascais. Heading north once again we’ll stop for a taste of Ginja – a cherry liquore served in an edible chocolate cup – in picturesque Óbidos. The largest waves in the world crash down on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal, up to 35 meters tall – we’ll have an opportunity to watch surfers attempt to catch them off the dramatic coastline of Nazaré. The medieval capital of Portugal is Coimbra, best known for its university and the fabulous Joanina Library. Deservedly voted one the world’s best tourist destinations, Porto has a lot to offer – great food, a lively riverside scene, 300 year old Port caverns and wonderful architecture. The Douro River Valley displays some of the most lush scenery anywhere – we’ll travel winding roads through vineyard covered hills, visit one of the oldest wineries in the region, take a private boat cruise upstream to Pinhão and lunch on a balcony overlooking the river. Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal and a UNESCO site, is rich in cultural and architectural heritage. The best thing about Portugal are the Portuguese people – warm, welcoming and easy to befriend.
Day 1 :
From the 1400s to the 1800s Portugal was a maritime powerhouse, a pioneer in navigation and cartography, home to daring seafarers and traders who established colonies in South America, Africa, India and as far away as Macau in the South China Sea. Today Portugal is a small democratic country of 10 million inhabitants while Portuguese is the official language of 8 additional countries and spoken by over 300 million people.
The region of Algarve comprises the wonderful, sunny southern coastline where some of Europe’s best beaches lie, stretching from the eastern Spanish border to the western Atlantic coastline. Tavira is the Algarve’s most beautiful town with cobblestone streets, traditional architecture and fine dining. Our historic center lodging for the first two nights on tour is the Pestana Tavira, a former 16th century convent.
Arrival to Faro airport where you will be transferred to the hotel. Late afternoon orientation walk followed by aperitifs and welcome dinner.
Day 2 :
Tavira dates back to Phoenician times and was later dominated by Romans and Moors before being reconquered by Christians in 1242. During the Age of Discoveries Tavira was an important port – supplying wine, salt and dried fish to the expeditions.
The Gilão River flows through Tavira on its way to the Atlantic. The two sides of town are connected by the pedestrian “Roman Bridge” which is thought to be more likely a 17th century reconstruction of a previous Moorish bridge. Our guided morning tour begins here and will take us up to the remains of the former Moorish castle and includes a visit to the Igreja da Misericórdia to see the wonderful Azulejos tiles.
The Ilha (island) da Tavira has one of the Algarve’s longest and most beautiful beaches. It is reached by a 20 minute ferry ride from the center of town and passes through the mudflats and lagoons of the Ria Formosa Nature Park. The Atlantic waters are a bit cold for swimming but the golden sand beaches allow for enjoyable walking.
Evening free in Tavira
Day 3 :
Our morning visit is to charming Mértola, perched on a hillside above the Guadiana River. As the northernmost trading port on the river, Mértola has a long history of visitors and conquerors featuring Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians. The sites we will visit regard the last two of these and include the mosque-turned church and museum, a typical Moorish home and the medieval archaeological site. Included lunch on a terrace overlooking the river valley.
Transfer to Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Portugal’s best preserved medieval towns. Our lodging for the next two nights is the 15th century boutique M’AR De AR Aqueduto hotel.
Late afternoon and evening on your own to get charmed in the maze of cobblestone streets, visit the public gardens or just take in the view from the Giraldo Square.
Day 4 :
Évora has a long and rich history and within its walls hosts a fascinating display of monuments. It was a regional capital of Celtic tribes as far back as 3,000 B.C. and under Roman domination from the 2nd century B.C to the 5th century A.D. – remains from this period are parts of the thermal baths, city walls and the 1st century A.D Roman Temple, originally dedicated to Augustus. The city was ruled by Moors for 450 years whose architectural influence is still noted today. Under the rule of the Portuguese kings beginning in 1166 Évora became one of Portugal’s most important medieval cities. This morning our local guide will walk us through the centuries, taking in the imposing Romanesque/Gothic Cathedral and the eerie Chapel of Bones.
Half of the cork harvested in the world comes from Portugal. The cork from cork oak trees is harvested just once every nine years and is used in myriad products such as insulation, tiles, shoes and handbags as well as wine bottle corks. The process of harvesting and processing of cork is very interesting as we will discover in a late afternoon factory visit.
Included dinner in a local restaurant that serves only what arrives from the farm and sea that very day.
Day 5 :
Morning visit to a splendid Portuguese Renaissance palace and gardens once owned by Portuguese kings, followed by a tasting of three wines from their Azeitão estate.
Setúbal is an industrial city with a colorful fishing port and a pretty, pedestrianized historic center where we’ll stop for lunch.
Mid-afternoon departure for the fabulous city of Lisbon! Our lodging for four nights is the Eurostars Museum hotel, located in the famous Alfama district. The Alfama is the oldest and most characteristic part of Lisbon, squeezed between the Tagus River and the hilltop São Jorge Castle. After check-in at the hotel your tour manager will guide you through the winding lanes and picturesque small squares that rise up to the castle.
Day 6 :
The Tagus River, the longest of the Iberian Peninsula, originates in Spain, flows through northern Portugal, opening to become an estuary at Lisbon before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Its wide, slow moving waters, well protected from the ocean allowed the city to become a prosperous trading center through the rise and fall of many civilizations – the Roman Olisipo, the Visigoth Ulixbona and to the Moors, who ruled until 1147, it was al-Us̲h̲būna. Beginning in the 15th century Portuguese navigators and traders traveled the globe, established colonies, brought back luxury goods and Lisbon became one of the richest, most vibrant cultural centers on the planet.
In 1755 Lisbon was devasted by an earthquake estimated to be of 8.5–9.0 magnitude, followed by a twelve meter high tsunami and a raging fire that lasted five days. An estimated 30,000 people lost their lives and most of the city, excluding the Alfama, was in ruins. But, within one year, the city was cleared of rubble and new broad avenues, large squares and seismically protected buildings were under construction.
This morning we will further explore Lisbon with a guided tour of the Chiado and Baixa areas of the city.
Afternoon on your own. Included dinner in the Alfama.
Day 7 :
The Belém district is located 6 kilometers west of the Lisbon center and is home to many of the city’s most important monuments. Situated on the banks of the Tagus, the early 16th century Belém Tower was built as part of the city’s defense network and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Monument to the Discoveries was constructed in 1960 to honor the Portuguese Age of Discoveries. It is decorated with 33 of the most important figures of that period including Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan.
The Jerónimos Monastery and Cloister is an enormous, fabulous complex in Manueline design – a lavish and thematically complex architectural style named after King Manuel I. Construction began in 1501 and was completed a century later. The monastery is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After some free time for lunch along the riverside we’ll take in the National Coach Museum, a wonderful collection of 16th to 19th century coaches. Beautifully maintained and restored – most were royal carriages – they show the evolution of private transport from horse drawn up the earliest motor cars. Included in the museum is an exhibition of the Royal Family’s Departure for Brazil in 1807.
Late afternoon and evening free in Lisbon
Day 8 :
Sintra is an attractive but busy mountainous tourist village set amidst forests and ferns, most famous for the nearby crazy, colorful and crowded Pena Palace. We will arrive early, before the cruise ship buses, for a guided visit to the worthwhile Sintra National Palace, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Portuguese kings. The palace was built atop a former Moorish castle in various architectural styles of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Cascais is one of the loveliest seaside towns anywhere, with small beaches, a pedestrianized Old Town, excellent restaurants, grand mansions, villas and gardens. Lunch and early afternoon on your own.
Late afternoon and evening free in Lisbon
Day 9 :
Today we drive north from Lisbon to Coimbra with 2 very interesting stops along the way.
Óbidos is a charming, fortified medieval hill town with a well-preserved castle. The main gate is beautifully decorated with glazed blue and white Azulejo tiles. Do try the local specialty – Ginja de Óbidos – a delicious cherry liquor served in edible chocolate cups.
The upper part of has spectacular views from its headland 318 meters down to its lovely long, sandy beach. Some of the world’s biggest waves break here.
Coimbra was originally a Roman town. It was conquered by the Moors in 713 and, after the Reconquest, was the first capital of Portugal in the 12th and 13th centuries. The University was founded in 1290, making it one of the oldest in Europe.
Our lodging is the 18th century Quinta das Lágrimas, located just across the river from town. Late afternoon we will have a guided visit of the University’s Royal Palace, the Chapel of St. Michael, the Baroque Library and the College of Jesus, which includes the Physics Laboratory (18th and 19th centuries) and the Natural History Collection (18th century).
Included dinner in Coimbra
Day 10 :
Late morning departure to Aveiro, a pleasing coastal town crossed with canals and moliceiros, gondola-style boats. You’ll have free time here to take a ride and to enjoy lunch at an outdoor cafe in one of the town squares.
Arrival to Porto where our lodging for the last three nights on tour is the Eurostars Porto Douro, located on the banks of the river.
The Ribeira district of Porto, the oldest part of the city, stretches west alongside the river from our hotel and is filled with small restaurants and bars, street musicians and strollers. From there the city slopes up the hillside where you’ll find narrow cobbled streets, beautiful architecture and vintage shops and cafes.
Mid afternoon guided walking tour of the city that includes two UNESCO sites – the 15th century Gothic church Igreja de São Francisco, the 19th century Palacio de Bolsa – and the beautiful interior of the São Bento train station.
Evening on your own to enjoy the riverside scene of cafes and restaurants.
Day 11 :
The Douro River originates in northern Spain, some 900 kilometers from where it spills into the Atlantic Ocean. It forms a long stretch of the Portugal/Spain border, then passes through vineyards and agricultural areas down to the cities of Porto and, just across the bridge, Vila Nova de Gaia.
Early morning departure from our hotel for one of the most scenic rides in all of Europe. After a coffee stop in picturesque Amarante we’ll arrive to the Alto Duoro River Valley, the world’s oldest designated wine region. Most famous for the production of fortified Porto wines, vintners these days also produce excellent reds and whites.
Visit to the one of the oldest wineries in the region with a tour through their wine museum, a walk through their cantina for an explanation of how fortified wines are made, followed by a wine and cheese pairing overlooking an amazing land and riverscape. Just below the winery we’ll board a private boat for the 45-minute cruise on the Douro to the village of Pinhão. Included lunch at a lovely restaurant situated on the river.
Evening on your own in Porto
Day 12 :
The first king of Portugal was born in Guimarães. The carefully preserved town and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is closely associated with Portuguese national identity and language. Our guided visit will include the 15th century Palace of the Dukes of Braganza.
Afternoon free back in Porto to visit one of the Caves, the historic Port wine cellars of the Vila Nova de Gaia – easily reached on a short walk via the Dom Luis I Bridge, one of six fabulous bridges that cross the Douro. The underground cellars, some of which are 300 years old, reflect the trade history between England and Porto and the early English dominance of Port wine production.
Evening farewell dinner in the Ribeira.
Day 13 :
Morning transfers to Porto Airport
|No of pax||Age Limit||Price per pax (Rs)|
|Adult||Above 12 years||$ 4972 / Adult|
* Mentioned prices may vary depending upon date of travel, hotel availability, surge pricing and seasonal rush.
|City||Hotel Name||Star Rating|
|Tavira||Hotel Pousada Convento Tavira hotel||
|Lisboa||Hotel Eurostars Museum Hotel||
|Coimbra||Hotel QUINTA DAS LÁGRIMAS hotel||
Payment Terms & Methods :
* Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.
Cancellation & Refund Policy :
* Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.
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