Lisbon Area Hiking Tour

Itinerary

Day 1: Lisbon

Meet your guide at Lisbon Airport to begin a Lisbon sightseeing tour. Founded by Phoenicians and settled in turn by Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors and finally the Portuguese, Lisbon's long history is evident in the cosmopolitan city of today. Visit some of the magnificent monuments built with the wealth of Portugal's vast empire from its Age of Discoveries. Lisbon is a city of neighborhoods, best seen by walking. Your guide will take you to Bairro Alto, a typical residential area with local shops and then down hill to the Chiado, were early 20th century writers and philosophers used to gather. Climb another hill to the Alfama, the neighborhood, whose twisting, steep maze-like streets recall the days when it was the Moorish quarter. Visit the 12th century Lisbon Cathedral and then continue up the hill to the Castle of Sao Jorge for a panoramic view of the city. Free time for lunch in the city before checking into your hotel for 2 nights. Evening free.
Accommodation in Lisbon at Sana Lisboa Hotel (4 stars)
or, near Sintra & Cascais, at Pestana Sintra Golf (4 stars)
(Your choice)

Day 2: Sintra and Coastal Hike

Begin today with a drive to Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sintra's mountainous location near the ocean creates a densely forested landscape. Chalets and villas of wealthy Lisbon families from bygone eras line the road as you drive to the crest of the Serra de Sintra to the Pena Palace. Visit this eclectic palace built in the middle of the 19th century in many architectural styles and painted in bright colors. Free time in Sintra for lunch. Handicraft shops, boutiques, tea rooms and restaurants can be enjoyed in its charming small center.
After lunch, you'll head to the coast and Adraga Beach to begin the walking trail along the coast. There are several pathways next to the shore or within the Natural Park of Sintra and Cascais. Dinosaur footprints can be seen near Praia Grande. Adraga Beach is considered by readers of England's Sunday Times to be among the 20 best European beaches. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. 6.2 mile hike of mostly flat terrain with some uphill climbs.

Day 3: Departure to Evora and Sesimbra

Head east today through the Alentejo region, the agricultural heart of the country. Vast fields of grains, olive groves and vineyards alternate with cork oaks, the bark from which cork is processed, is peeled away exposing the red inner layer. Rising from the Alentejo plains is Evora, UNESCO World Heritage Site, a walled city whose monuments date to Roman, Moorish, Medieval and Renaissance eras. A walking tour of the historical center will acquaint you with this unique city, considered one of Portugal's treasures. Free time for lunch in a city known for its local cuisine.
After lunch, a unique hiking experience awaits: The Megalithic Trail. Dating back 4000 to 2000 BC, stone circles, menhirs, cromlechs and dolmens stand today among cork oaks and wheat fields. The cave paintings of Gruta do Escoural date from 18,000 to 13,000 BC. Afterwards you'll proceed to the fishing village of Sesimbra for the next 3 nights. 5 mile hike of mostly flat terrain.
Accommodation in ocean view rooms at Sesimbra Hotel & Spa.

Day 4: Arrabida Mountain Hike, Palmela Fortress and wine tasting

Morning hike through the distinctive Mediterranean vegetation of the Natural Park of Arrabida. Pastures hold sheep and goats from which Azeitao cheese is made. Enjoy the panoramic view from Louro Mountain. Visit the Castle of Palmela, constructed in 3 different stages dating from the 14th century. From the top of the keep (64 steps), there are beautiful views of the Arrabida Mountains, the Alentejo plain, Atlantic coast and, on a clear day, Lisbon and the Sintra Mountains. Then to the wine cellars of Jose Maria da Fonseca in Azeitao for a tour and tasting (closed on Sundays). If you prefer, enjoy leisure time in Portinho da Arrabida, a calm beach on a small bay protected by a high cliff of Arrabida Mountain. Return to your hotel in Sesimbra. 4.3 mile hike of mostly flat terrain with some uphill climbs.

Day 5: Bird Watching Tour in the Sado River Estuary

Accompanied by an expert bird watching guide, view many species of birds that can include flamingos, storks, black-winged stilts, avocets, little terns, Kentish plover, yellow wagtail and ospreys that inhabit the salt marshes, saltpans, lagoons, rice fields and forests of the Sado River Estuary.
Alternative to Bird Watching Tour: Spend the day at the beach of Sesimbra. Or, a private car tour to the walled city of Obidos, fishing village of Nazare, monasteries of Alcobaca and Batalha and Fatima (additional cost for this tour).
Accommodation at Hotel Sesimbra and Spa.

Day 6: Hotel check out and private transfer to airport.

Note: We can customize this itinerary to your interests as well as re-organize the number of days and time you have available. Extra nights and accommodation substitutions are available as well.


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