Heritage of Portugal

Heritage of Portugal

Day 1 Lisboa

Arrival in Lisboa where you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Tonight enjoy a Fado dinner and Show. Overnight.

Day 2 Lisboa

Breakfast. A morning tour today to the suburb of Belem, where you will visit the Torre de Belem, the Jeronimos Monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries. A gourmet highlight today is a stop at the famous “Casa Pasteis de Belem” to sample a delicious ‘pastel de nata’ or Portuguese custard tart. Your driver will then take you back to the city centre, to the Castelo San Jorge where your tour services come to an end. Afternoon free. Overnight.

Day 3 Lisboa - Sintra - Obidos

Breakfast. Collect your hire car and travel along the scenic coast to Cascais and Estoril as you wind your way north toward beautiful Sintra for a visit. Sintra is a regional town of great beauty set in an oasis of pine woods and exotic gardens in a barren and rocky landscape with an altitude of some 500m above sea level. Sintra has a splendid palace (formerly a Royal residence), a castle of moorish origin from the 8th century and the Pena Palace with its surprising variety of architectural styles. Continue to Obidos, Portugal’s whitewashed town surrounding a castle. Overnight.

Day 4 Obidos

Breakfast. Full day at leisure. Obidos, an enchanting medieval fortified town dating right back to Celtic times, with successive occupations of Romans, Visigoths, Moors until the 12C. In 1282 King Dinis and Queen Isabel spent their honeymoon in the village, which had been given to them as a wedding gift; a tradition thereafter maintained by all Portuguese queens until 1834. Entrance is gained via one of four gates in the wall, bringing the visitor into a world of centuries past - tiny winding streets, whitewashed houses with their typical ochre trimmings and flower boxes brimming with colour. Overnight.

Day 5 Obidos - Coimbra - Bussaco

Breakfast. Today you head north to Bussaco. You travel via some marvellous, historic towns, such as Alcobaça, Leiria, Batalha and Pombal. Continue to Coimbra for an optional lunch stop. The city of Coimbra was Portugal's first true capital, the birthplace of six kings and is where the nation's first University was founded in 1290. Located on the banks of the Mondego river, the historic heart is found high above the river, where there are cathedrals, the university and a fine museum. Back on the road to Luso (Bussaco), to your magnificent historical hotel a clearing of the great Bussaco Forest.  Overnight.

Day 6 Bussaco - Viseu - Pinhao

Breakfast.  Head north through Viseu and into the beautiful Douro Valley. Home to the first demarcated wine region in the world, the steep hills of the valley are lined with vines and famous port wine estates. Stop at Lamego for a brief visit of the town. An attractive town within the demarcated port area, Lamego also produces wines, including Raposeira, Portugal’s premier sparkling wine. Head to nearby Pinhao for overnight.

Day 7 Pinhao

Breakfast. Full day at leisure. Pinhão is a small town 25km east of Peso da Regua, famous for its quality port-wine production. Surrounded by vineyards, the town has many lodges and even the train station has azulejos depicting the wine harvest. Be sure to take a short day trip northeast on the N322-3 to Favaios to taste a little known moscatel, one of only two produced in Portugal. Overnight.

Day 8 Pinhao - Vila Real - Guimarães

Breakfast. Your journey takes you north again to Vila Real for a visit of the beautiful Casa de Mateus, Built in the first half of the 18C and betraying the finishing touches of Nicolau Nasoni, this palace set in beautiful gardens on a vast farm is considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque civil architecture in Portugal. Continue through Amarante to Guimaraes. Overnight.

Day 9 Guimarães

Breakfast. Spend a full day discovering this delightful regional town. Framed by gently rising hills, the town of Guimaraes is celebrated as the birthplace of the nation. In the well-preserved city centre, the narrow streets of the medieval quarter are ideal for exploration on foot. The cobbled Rua de Santa Maria, lined with old town houses embellished with ornate statuary, leads up from the main square, the Largo da Oliveira, past the Paço dos Duques to the castle. Overnight.

Day 10 Guimarães - Porto

Breakfast. An easy drive takes you back to Oporto, the capital and heart of the north of the country. Situated on the bank of the river Douro, Oporto is one of the oldest cities in the entire Peninsula. Known as the "unconquered city", owing to its renowned courage in fighting back all invaders, it is also the centre of an internationally important wine industry. The port wine grown in the upper Douro Valley is synonymous with this charming city. Overnight.

Day 11 Porto

Breakfast. Morning tour of the city. The heart of the city is the wide, grass-lined, Av dos Aliados, which runs five blocks inland from the river. All of the sights lie south of this landmark. The cathedral, with a fine altar, stands two blocks directly south; the church of San Francisco; southeast a block from the river beside the Palacio da Bolsa. Free afternoon at leisure. Overnight.

Day 12 Porto

Breakfast, collect your luggage and farewell the city as you drive to the airport to drop off your car.