Portugal in Depth Tour

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Lisbon, Portugal

Free time to rest or start exploring the Portuguese capital. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Dinner)

Day 2 - Lisbon

Lisbon was the center of Europe's longest-lived overseas empire. Portugal's imperial ambitions date back to Prince Henry the Navigator's 15th-century discoveries in West Africa. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide features a drive through the Baixa quarter's main squares. Then, enjoy a walk through the cobblestone alleys of quaint ALFAMA, the popular quarter of the seamen and Fado singers. Drive along the grand Avenida da Liberdade up to Pombal Square. Stop for pictures of Belem Tower, guarding the mouth of the Tejo River, and visit JERONIMOS MONASTERY with the tomb of Vasco da Gama. Afternoon and evening at leisure. Exciting optional excursions to Sintra and the royal palace of Queluz, and dinner at a typical taverna with Fado-style entertainment are available. (Breakfast)

Day 3 - Lisbon - Obidos - Alcobaça - Nazaré - Fatima - Tomar

First stop on your northbound journey is medieval Obidos. Go back in time as you pass the main gate in the impressive perimeter wall and walk along the narrow streets. Continue to Alcobaça to visit the CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA MONASTERY, built in the 12th century for 999 Cistercian monks. See the elaborate tombs of King Pedro I and his Castilian lover, Inês de Castro, and hear how she was murdered at the order of Pedro's father. The fishing harbor of Nazaré is the perfect place for a leisurely lunch break. In the afternoon, mix with the pilgrims at the country's hallowed national shrine, Fatima's SANCTUARY OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY. Overnight in Tomar, the historic seat of the mighty Order of the Knights of Christ. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4 - Tomar - Conimbriga - Coimbra - Porto

Visit the hilltop CONVENT OF CHRIST with its famous Manueline Window. Further north, the ROMAN RUINS OF CONIMBRIGA are eloquent testimony to centuries of Roman influence. Tour the excavations, admire the well-preserved mosaics, and visit the excellent MUSEUM. Continue to Coimbra, strategically situated on a hill overlooking the Mondego River. After a visit to the gilded baroque LIBRARY of its 700-year-old university, drive by ancient Buçaco Forest on your way to Porto, Portugal's second-largest city. Tonight, why not join an optional dinner at one of Oporto's fine restaurants? (Breakfast)

Day 5 - Porto

Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a panoramic drive to the mouth of the Douro River, the soaring cathedral, the richly decorated CHURCH OF SAO FRANCISCO, and the STOCK EXCHANGE with its contemporary ARABIAN HALL inspired by Granada's Alhambra. Next, visit a PORT WINE CELLAR where the famous wine produced from grapes of the Douro Valley is aged in huge vats. Afternoon at leisure. An optional boat ride combined with a visit to the House of Music is available. (Breakfast)

Day 6 - Porto - Vila Real - Viseu

Head inland to Guimaraes, often referred to as the "Cradle of Portugal" because of its association with the country's first king, Alfonso Henriques. Enjoy a walk through the medieval center, before continuing to Vila Real, former capital of Portugal's northeastern region of Trás-os-Montes. Just outside the town, visit the splendid park and manor of PALACIO DE MATEUS, whose picture graces the label of the excellent Mateus rosé wine. From here, a scenic road through the Port wine vineyards leads to Viseu, believed to have been the home of Lusitanian leader Viriate, who resisted the Roman conquest. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 7 - Viseu - Belmonte - Evora

This morning, your first stop is in Belmonte, today a symbol of Jewish awakening, for a visit the JEWISH MUSEUM. Also enjoy an OLIVE OIL TASTING. Afternoon break in Castelo de Vide, an enchanting small town. Time to walk through the Jewish quarter with its white-washed houses and to take pictures of the 14th-century castle. Continue to Evora, the cultural center of southern Portugal and a former royal residence. This evening, dinner at a local restaurant is included. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 8 - Evora - Algarve

A massive wall surrounds Evora's medieval center, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Follow your Local Guide on a walking tour through its narrow alleys to the Roman Temple, the early gothic CATHEDRAL, Portas de Moura Fountain, and SAO FRANCISCO CHURCH. Visit the OSSUARY CHAPEL, whose walls are covered with thousands of human bones and skulls. Next, proceed across the arid Alentejo plain to the Algarve, Portugal's most popular vacation area. Tonight, why not try one of the seafood restaurants for which the Algarve is famous? (Breakfast)

Day 9 - Algarve Costal Excursion

Today you may prefer to relax, explore this beautiful resort at your own pace, or join the included excursion along the enchanting southern coastline. History comes alive as you reach the wind-swept PROMONTORY OF SAGRES, where Henry the Navigator lived and planned his overseas expansion. Only a few miles away is Cape St. Vincent, the southwestern corner of continental Europe, a dramatic cliff defying the waves of an ever-angry Atlantic Ocean. Time in pretty Lagos before returning to your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 10 - Algarve - Lisbon

Take the scenic route over the Serra da Arrábida and savor sweeping views of the Tróia Peninsula. Catch glimpses of the castle at Sesimbra, which recall fierce medieval battles between Christians and Moors. After crossing the Bridge of April 25th, you're back in Lisbon. Why not join an optional dinner to celebrate the success of an exciting touring adventure? (Breakfast)

Day 11- Lisbon

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Extend your trip to Barcelona and Madrid. Package includes 3 nights in Barcelona, 3 nights in Madrid, flight to Barcelona, AVE train from Barcelona to Madrid, sightseeing tours of both cities, First Class hotels and daily buffet breakfast. Please contact us for details and prices.

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