11 days & 10 nights
Lisbon – Algarve – Évora – Castelo de Vide – Belmonte – Viseu – Mateus – Guimarães – Porto – Coimbra – Tomar – Fátima – Batalha – Nazaré – Óbidos
Let the melancholic trill of the Fado Guitar follow you from Portugal’s Manueline Lisbon to Baroque Oporto and the sun-soaked beaches of Vilamoura. Wander through the medieval cities of Óbidos, Évora and Guimarães, and visit the religious landmarks of Fátima, Batalha and the dramatic Hieronymite Monastery, enjoying a delicious pastel de nata or two along the way.
DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN LISBON ( — / — / — )
Bem vindo a Lisboa! 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.
DAY 2 LISBON DAY TRIP ( B / — / — )
Delve into Lisbon’s centuries-old seafaring heritage, paying tribute to the brave men who set off from these shores to discover a new world. We’ll see the shimmering white Monument to the Discoveries, the iconic suspension bridge spanning the River Tagus, the Belém Tower – built to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s expedition. We join a local specialist for a sightseeing tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Hieronymite Monastery, an exquisite testament to 15th century Manueline architecture and art. Spend the rest of your day meandering through the cobblestone lanes of Bairro Alto, join an Optional Experience to the historic towns of Cascais and Queluz or enjoy a traditional Portuguese dinner amidst the heart-wrenching, melancholic sounds of the fado.
Portuguese Fado Evening Of Music & Song With Dinner
A Portuguese-style evening’s entertainment. You’ll savour a typical meal with local aperitifs and wines and hear beautiful, traditional Fado singing.
The Golden Triangle: Sintra, Cascais & The Estoril Coast
After passing through the fashionable resort of Estoril, we’ll explore the picturesque fishing village of Cascais, with its beautiful array of mansions and exclusive residences. To complete the Golden Triangle we’ll visit the impressive Royal Palace of Sintra. On occasions where Sintra is not available you will be offered a visit of the Palace of Queluz.
DAY 3 LISBON • ALGARVE ( B / L / — )
We journey across the Tagus in the morning and drive south towards the Serra da Arrábida Mountains and to the golden pastures of Alentejo. The hearty aroma of Portuguese chicken fills the air as we share a traditional Be My Guest lunch with the owners of a stud ranch where Lusitano horses were reared at the pleasure of King João VI in the 18th century. Meandering further south, we arrive on the sun-kissed shores of the Algarve – our home for the next two nights.
Join us for an authentic local dinner where you’ll taste delicious dishes cooked in a traditional ‘Cataplana’, along with other specialities.
DAY 4 THE ALGARVE EXPERIENCE ( B / — / — )
The dramatic cliffs and beautiful beaches of the Sagres Peninsula, at the very edge of Portugal, 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, today a picturesque seaside retreat of winding cobblestone roads and quaint squares encircled by 16th century walls.
Faro And Almansil Excursion
With your local specialist you’ll head to Faro, the historical capital of the Algarve, to visit the old walled town and to have some time for souvenir shopping. Then, we’ll visit Olhão. With its lively waterfront markets, it’s one of the Algarve’s best-kept secrets.
DAY 5 REGIÃO DO ALGARVE • ÉVORA ( B / — / D )
Meandering north, we travel across the Serra de Caldeirão to the ancient Alentejo city of Évora. Join your local specialist and visit the elaborate cathedral, Roman temple and the Chapel of Bones. 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 set against the stunning backdrop of golden olive groves. This evening we dine at our hotel in Évora.
Monsaraz And The Deep Alentejo Drive
Follow your local specialist through the vineyards and groves of cork oaks to charming Monsaraz, one of the most famous and beautiful ‘white villages’ of the Alentejo, inhabited since prehistory. You’ll admire the castle which overlooks Spain and see views of the largest artificial lake in Europe, before tasting typical local refreshments.
DAY 6 ÉVORA • CASTELO DE VIDE • BELMONTE • VISEU ( B / — / — )
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 da 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, visiting the 12th century Sé, standing imposingly on a hill overlooking much of the city.
Ínsua Manor – Food And Wine Pairing Experience
Situated in the heart of the famous wine region, join us on a short drive to the spectacular Ínsua Manor, an 18th century manor house and estate, where you’ll enjoy a gourmet experience matching local food with different local wines.
DAY 7 VISEU • MATEUS • GUIMARÃES • PORTO ( B / — / D )
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 beautiful baroque Palácio de Mateus, depicted on the label of the distinctive Mateus wine bottles. We then continue via Guimarães for views of its impressive 10th century castle before arriving in the seaside town where we will spend the next two nights. This evening we enjoy a memorable dinner together.
DAY 8 PORTO DAY TRIP ( B / — / — )
Join a local specialist today for a sightseeing tour in Porto taking you past baroque churches and along the winding cobblestone lanes that tumble down towards the Douro. 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, before experiencing a fascinating Cultural Insight 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, admire the azulejo-clad façades or visit Livraria Lello, the city’s oldest book store with its iconic red staircase.
Douro Cruise And Dinner
Enjoy a relaxing and leisurely cruise along the Douro River. You’ll have a chance to see two medieval “world heritage” cities plus six impressive bridges, one of them the famous UNESCO-listed Eiffel bridge. Afterwards, savour a typical meal in the Medieval Ribeira Quarter.
DAY 9 PORTO • COIMBRA • TOMAR • FÁTIMA ( B / — / D )
Soak up the grand atmosphere of one of Europe’s greatest and oldest universities and meander through the ancient streets and squares of Coimbra in the morning, before journeying to the Templar city of Tomar to visit the Convent of Christ, originally built as a Templar stronghold in the 12th century and today an exquisite reminder of the Portuguese Renaissance. We arrive in the pilgrimage centre of Fátima where we’ll dine in our hotel.
DAY 10 FÁTIMA • BATALHA • NAZARÉ • ÓBIDOS • LISBON ( B / — / D )
In the morning we rub shoulders with millions of Catholic pilgrims who have journeyed to the shrine where three young shepherds famously saw the apparition of the Virgin at the pilgrimage site of Fátima. En route to Lisbon, we stop at the imposing monastery at Batalha – a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the best example of late Gothic architecture in Portugal. Our next stop is at the quaint fishing village of Nazaré before we visit the medieval walled city of Óbidos with its quaint white-washed houses and cobblestone roads. Our last night in Portugal together sees us toast to an incredible journey at a farewell dinner with wine.
DAY 11 END OF TRIP ( B / — / — )
Say a fond adeus to your fellow travellers at the end of an unforgettable Portuguese holiday. Airport transfers are available.