Lisbon hills and history, magnificent palaces of Sintra, floating on the Duoro River, exploring all day, Fado in the evening.
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Investment: $2175 per person based on double occupancy, Solo supplement: $400
Let’s explore the essential cities of Portugal together. Starting in the historical, hilly city of Lisbon, drink delicious Portuguese wine, and taste scrumptious Pastel de nata. You won’t forget a visit to Capela dos Ossos, (Chapel of Bones) in Evora. On to the lush, green Douro Valley to savor port wines and olive oils in the local countryside. Back to Lisbon to say farewell to this beautiful country, driving the coastal route to meet local fishermen and shop in lovely artisan villages.
1. Lisbon, rich in culture and history. Walk the hilly streets, ride the cable car or take the street elevator to the top. Tastes, smells, local neighborhoods await discovery.
2. The magnificence of Pena Palace, walk the historic fortress walls, visit the unique and exotic Montserrate Palace. A visit to Sintra is a must!
3. Evora is awash in medieval architecture. Explore the old town square and local shops. We won’t miss Capela dos Ossos – Chapel of the Bones.
4. Porto is often considered the most beautiful city in Portugal. The river runs through and into the Douro Valley, rich with agriculture. Savor port wines and olive oil.
5. Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, take a gondola ride in the canals. Obidos, full of artisan shops and local artists. Great stops before you head home.
Itinerary – November 7-14, 2021
Day 1 – Lisbon
Arrive in Lisbon and grab a cab to our hotel. Head out and explore the city. There are many amazing neighborhoods to visit. Spend some time in the Alfama neighborhood, one of the city’s oldest quarters. Take in the energy of Rossio Square or take the street elevator, the Santa Justa Lift from the lowest to highest points in Lisbon. You will marvel at Lisbon’s hills, narrow medieval streets and tile-covered façades.
If you prefer, you can schedule an optional tour of Belem or explore on your own.
Day 2 – Lisbon/Evora
Our local guide will meet us first thing this morning taking us on a walking tour of Lisbon. We will get the details about the history and culture of the city and its neighborhoods.
Then on to Evora, a quick 1.5 hours trip from Lisbon. In the heart of the Alentejo region (where the world’s cork is grown), a medieval town to explore. In Evora, visit Roman ruins, take some time to see the remarkable collection of watches from different eras, and of course we will visit the Capela dos Ossos or Chapel of the Bones. Built in the 1500s by a Franciscan monk to remind the living that life is fleeting.
This evening we will enjoy dinner and a Fado performance.
Day 3 – Sintra
Escape to the fairy tale town of Sintra. Explore manors, medieval palaces, Moorish walls, and amazing gardens in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will spend all day visiting Sintra.
Day 4 – Porto
This morning we will board the train and head to Porto. On arrival in Porto, our guide will give us a lay of the land city tour so we are familiar with main squares, restaurants, and things we won’t want to miss. Then you are free to explore.
Take time to walk around Ribeira Square, a charming area with lots of hustle and bustle. Visit the Porto Cathedral, (called Sé do Porto in Portuguese) is a National Monument and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Adorned with high ceilings, an exquisite courtyard and light-filled cloisters, the Sé has held deep religious and cultural significance for the people of Lisbon for centuries. Don’t miss one of the most beautiful train stations in the world, Sao Bento Railway Station.
As an option, you can take a cruise down the Douro River or “river of gold.” Float along this ancient route used for centuries as a port wine shipper’s route. Marvel int eh beauty of the terraced hills along the way. (10 EUR per person, public cruise)
Day 5 – Porto
A full day tour of the Douro Valley is the plan for the day. Visit a beautiful wineries, sample the rich reds and ports the Valley is famous for. Onward we will sample olive oil and honey, richly produced in this area. We will stop at a private Miradouro (viewing location) to see what the BBC calls one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
Day 6 – Porto
Enjoy a free day in Porto. Relax and take a day off from sightseeing. Visit a wine cellar and do some tasting. Take a peek in the Lello Bookstore for a fantastical and ornate experience. Have lunch in a restaurant on the river.
Day 7 – Aveiro – Obidos – Lisbon
It’s nearing time to head home, but there is still a bit more on the agenda. As we travel back to Lisbon, to stay at the airport in preparation for our flight home tomorrow, we will stop at two delightful towns, Aveiro and Obidos.
Aveiro, coined “Little Venice” is made up of canals filled with colorful boats. You can even take a gondola ride (moliceiros). View charming Art Nouveau houses in pastel shades. Here you can visit the Maritime museum, Portugal’s tallest lighthouse, walk the mall along the canal, or the beach.
Moving down the coastline, our second stop is in Obidos, home of Portugal’s queens. Along a narrow weaving carless streets within the walls of a medieval castle, you will fing churches, museums, and artisan shops to browse. You may choose to take a visit to the Moorish Obidos Castle, from the early 700s. And don’t forget to taste and purchase some Ginja d’Obidos, the sour cherry liqueur famous in Portugal and made in a distinct way in Obidos.
Day 8 – Lisbon to home
Catch your flight back to the US.
Your Trip Includes:
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Tours as listed in the itinerary
- All transportation between destinations
- Tour guide throughout your trip
Your Trip Does Not Include:
- International flights
- Meals not listed in the itinerary
- Airport transfers
- Travel insurance
- Optional tours
Pricing for this trip is $2225 per person based on double occupancy.
Deposit $350 to hold your space
Final payment is due on September 1, 2021
Deposit is fully refundable until final payment date.
Same gender solo travelers will be paired in rooms. If you’re traveling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip you can opt for a solo room for $400.00 additional.
Assistance with international flight arrangements and extra days and optional tours will be provided if desired.
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