Best of Portugal

The Best of Portugal

Day 1 Lisboa - Obidos - Alcobaça - Nazaré - Batalha - Fátima

Depart Lisbon and travel north to Obidos, that has changed little since the Middle Ages. Here we can admire the lovely handicrafts and taste the famous ginginha (bitter cherry liqueur). We continue our journey to Alcobaça, home to the first and largest Gothic church in Portugal which holds the tombs of Dom Pedro and his lover Inês de Castro. Continue to Nazaré, a typical fishing village and seaside resort and on to Batalha where you will visit the Monastery of Santa Maria de Victoria, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture where we find the tomb of Henry the Navigator. Departure to the sanctuary at Fátima. Overnight.

Day 2 Fátima - Coimbra - Aveiro - Oporto

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards Coimbra to visit the University, one of the oldest in the world, with its magnificent baroque library. Stop at St Clara Church, where the tomb of Queen St. Isabel lies. In the afternoon drive to Aveiro, city of canals, known as the “Portuguese Venice”, where you will have time to see the graceful “moliceiros” boats and taste local sweet called “ovos moles”. Finally continue to Oporto. Overnight.

Day 3 Oporto

Breakfast at the hotel. The present city of Porto occupies the site of the Roman town of Portus, sprawling down the long, steep north bank of the Douro, 6km from the sea. Today you have a morning visit to discover the riverside area with its old houses, palaces and churches and its world famous Port. Afternoon free. Overnight.

Day 4 Oporto - Guimarães - Braga - Barcelos - Oporto

Breakfast at the hotel. Full day tour to the lush northwest region of Minho, which produces Portugal’s sparkling “vinho verde” (green wine). Starting at Guimarães, birthplace of the first king of Portugal, where walking through the historic centre is like stepping back in time. Visit the Sacred Hill crowned by a Castle, as well the 15thC Palace of the Dukes of Bragança. Continue to Braga known as the ""Portuguese Rome"". In the 18th century, two bishops undertook the project of redesigning the city. The religious influence is plain to see, with churches on every corner. Afterwards we continue to Barcelos, an historical city famous for its handicraft, where the Galo (Rooster) de Barcelos legend and portuguese icon was born. Return to Porto. Overnight.

Day 5 Oporto - Amarante - Vila Real - Douro Valley - Lamego - Viseu - Urgeiriça

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Amarante, a pretty town that is most proud of it’s great son, São Gonçalo, the patron saint of marriage. Continue to Vila Real, visiting the gardens of the manor of Mateus, still depicted on the well-known rosé bottles. Then we enter in the Port wine region, travelling through the vineyards and the breathtaking landscapes of the Douro Valley. You will have the opportunity to try some of the local delicacies such as the local ham or the famous “Bola de Lamego” (a loaf baked in the oven with smoked ham). Continue to Viseu, centre of the Dão Vineyards and a city connected with Portugal´s oldest hero, Viriato, the Lusitanian chief. Arrival in Urgeiriça. Overnight.

Day 6 Urgeiriça - Bussaco - Tomar - Lisboa

Breakfast at the hotel. Head south into central Portugal to Bussaco, home to the historic 250 acre forest. In a clearing in the centre of the park stands a former royal hunting lodge – now a fine hotel. Continue to Tomar. In 1128 the Knights Templar were given land to erect a castle in Portugal by Dona Teresa. In 1147 the order traded their original land for acreage at Tomar and there built a castle on a hill. A church and fortress walls were later added. It is the centrepiece of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. On to Lisbon for overnight.

Day 7 Lisboa - Sintra - Cabo de Roca - Cascais - Estoril - Lisboa

Breakfast at the hotel. We depart Lisbon and travel to the majestic UNESCO World Heritage listed Sintra for a visit of the palace and a walk through the charming streets. We depart to Cabo da Roca, the most western point in continental Europe. We pass the remarkable Boca do Inferno, while enjoying the landscape until we reach Cascais where we take a glimpse of the fishing port. Return to Lisbon via the resort of Estoril. Overnight.

Day 8 Lisboa - Evora

Breakfast at the hotel. Departing Lisbon, we cross the bridge over the river Tejo and travel through a landscape of olive, oak and cork trees to arrive in Evora. Through the narrow whitewashed streets of the town, we will visit some of the most important monuments - the Roman Temple, Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral, Saint Francis church and the eerie Chapel of Bones. At the market we can view the great variety of products used to prepare Alentejan cuisine and on the visit, we will also have the opportunity to see local handicraft, made from cork, ceramic and copper. Time for lunch. In the afternoon, free time to further explore at leisure. Overnight.

Day 9 Evora - Beja - Silves - Lagos

Breakfast in hotel. Morning at leisure in Évora, and then we travel southward passing Beja, a town of white houses and narrow streets. By fields of orange trees we enter the Algarve, arriving in Silves, renowned for its red sandstone castle and early cork industry. Continue to the golden sands of the Algarve passing by Praia da Rocha to Lagos. Overnight.

Day 10 Lagos - Ponta da Piedade - Sagres - Cabo de S.Vicente - Lagos

Breakfast at the hotel. Today travel to Ponta da Piedade and admire the magnificent view over the Atlantic Ocean. Continue to Sagres, a fishing port, from where Henry the Navigator fuelled the Portuguese exploration of the world. Proceed along the cliffs to Cabo São Vincente, the most south western point in Europe. The city of Lagos, a cosmopolitan town with a marina where you can taste Algarve specialties, such as fish and shellfish cooked in a copper pan (cataplana). Return to the hotel, where you can enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Overnight.

Day 11 Lagos - Setubal - Serra da Arrábida - Lisboa

Breakfast. The return trip to Lisboa will take you by the city of Setubal, a major port and industrial centre on the north bank of the Sado estuary. The scenic route over the Arrábida Mountain Range at the gates of Lisbon, is an area preserved as a Natural Park, where you can savour the sweeping views of the Tróia Peninsula. Cross the bridge over the Tejo River and enter Lisbon. End of tour services.