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Best of Portugal Escorted: Porto, Evora, Lagos & More

Duration
11 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,219

FIRST-CLASS | ESCORTED COACH TOUR: This tour takes you to the most important sights in Portugal. Start in Lisbon and drive north visiting Obidos, Fatima, Coimbra and Porto. Then, journey south to Evora and the iconic Algarve region. The best of Portugal all in one trip!


This 11-day escorted round-trip from Lisbon, staying in 4 star accomodations, is the ideal all-round introduction to Portugal.

Set out from Lisbon bound for the medieval city of Obidos, where you can sample the famous cherry liquor, and Alcobaca, home to the largest gothic church in Portugal. Stop at Batalha to visit the tomb and monastery of Henry the Navigator before staying overnight in Fatima. Your next stop is Coimbra, famed for having one of the world’s oldest universities, with a magnificent baroque library and a great reverence for its traditions and culture. Go on to visit Aveiro, a city of channels known as ‘Portugal’s Venice’, before overnighting in Oporto.

Featured on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, Oporto boasts a rich heritage of wine, religion and discovery, all yours to explore over a full day’s sightseeing that includes its most picturesque churches and monuments. Spend another night here before setting out for the Minho region. Visit the birthplace of Portugal’s first king, try some of the region’s famous ‘green wine,’ and be awed by the diverse religious architecture of Braga, home to the oldest cathedral in Portugal. And if you have ever wondered why the rooster or Galo is such a famous Portuguese symbol, the charming town of Barcelos has your answer.

Your next day is devoted to the romance of everyday life, starting with the home town of Sao Doncalo, famed promoter of love and marriage. The local monastery houses his tomb, and his local market is still a popular place to find fresh produce, poultry and clothing. Afterwards, you’ll wander the gardens of Mateus, before going in search of samples in the Port wine regions of the Douro Valley. Your final day takes you back to Lisbon, passing through the exotic trees and plants of Bussaco. Discover the hidden Templar history of Tomar, not that you’ll have to look too hard. Much of the original 12th century architecture remains, and is another UNESCO World Heritage site.

With two nights back in Lisbon, you’ll take a day trip to explore the palaces and gardens of Sintra and Estoril. This is also a day for exploring Portugals’ sparkling coastline, where it’s easy to contemplate the vast influence this country once had on world exploration and trade. Set out from Lisbon and discover the charms of Evora, the UNESCO World Heritage listed city notable for unique structures including Saint Francis Church and the eerie Chapel of Bones. Sampling the local wine and cheese is highly recommended before staying overnight and having the next morning free to explore. Head south to Beja, where medieval castles tower over the historic streets. Then cross the mountains to Algarve, a region of orange groves with castles of its own dating back to Moorish times. Enjoy the sands of Praia da Rocha before overnighting in Lagos.

Located on Portugal’s southern tip, Ponta de Piedad offers dramatic views over the Atlantic. Follow the cliffs to the fishing port of Sagres and Cabo Sao Vincente, the most south-westerly point of Europe. Take some time to explore Lagos on your own, perhaps taking a swim before returning inland. The trip back to Lisbon takes you via Setubal and the Arrabida mountain range, one of Portugal’s most impressive natural parks known for its limestone formations and a wide variety of animal and plant life.


 

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Duration
11 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,219

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Lisboa - Obidos - Alcobaca - Nazare - Batalha - Fatima

Departing from Lisboa through a landscape rich in windmills and fruit trees, we arrive in Obidos surrounded by medieval walls where we can admire the harmony of the architecture, the diversity of the handicrafts and taste the famous ginginha (bitter cherry liqueur). Visit Alcobaca with the first and largest gothic church in Portugal with the tombs of the doomed lovers Pedro and Ines de Castro. Stopping in Nazare, a typical fishing village and seaside resort immersed in tradition and legend. We continue to Batalha - visit the Monastery of Santa Maria de Victoria, a masterpiece of the Gothic architecture in Portugal where we also encounter the tomb of Henry the Navigator, the mastermind behind Portugal's era of maritime discoveries. After we arrive in Fatima, the famous Marian Shrine, there is the opportunity to assist the candle procession.

Day 2

Fatima - Coimbra - Aveiro - Porto

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards Coimbra - visit of the University, one of the oldest in the world, with its magnificent baroque library and its unique atmosphere characterised by ancient traditions and customs such as the black student capes and the melancholic fado music. Stop at St Clara Church, where lies the tomb of Queen St. Isabel, the protagonist of the "miracle of the roses". In the city centre, you can admire the exclusive ceramic of Coimbra. In the afternoon, we continue to Aveiro, a city of canals and known as the "Venice of Portugal", where you shall have time to see the graceful boats "moliceiros" and taste the local sweets "ovos moles".

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Porto - Guimaraes - Braga - Porto

Breakfast at the hotel. Porto, the 2nd city of Portugal and world heritage by UNESCO - a living amphitheatre inviting us to make a morning visit to discover the riverside area, old houses, palaces and churches that history has made eternal and port wine, known worlwide. We continue to the Minho, the northwest region of Portugal that offers natural green sceneries and sparkling "green wine". Starting by Guimaraes - the cradle of the nation and birthplace of the first king of Portugal where, walking through the historic centre, for moments one is plunged back into medieval times. Visit the Sacred Hill, crowned by the Castle, as well the Palace of the Dukes of Braganca, which original building dates back to the 15th century. Drive to Braga known as the "Portuguese Rome" for its concentration of religious architecture, as the oldest cathedral in the country and the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary with its famous baroque stairway and gardens. Return to Porto.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Porto - Santiago de Compostela - Porto

Breakfast at the hotel before setting off for Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia and the centre of pilgrimage at the end of the Santiago Way. In 1985, UNESCO declared Santiago de Compostela World Cultural Heritage and you have the entire day to freely discover this fascinating city. Wander its historical streets and learn about its most extraordinary monuments before sampling some of the traditional local dishes.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Porto - Amarante - Vila Real - Vale do Douro - Lamego - Urgeirica

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Amarante, a pretty town proud of Sao Goncalo, the patron Saint of Amarante, known for the promotion of love and marriage and where the river facing monastery houses his tomb and with a lively, bustling market where you can find fruit, vegetables, chickens, cloths and an immense variety of other popular items. After, drive to Vila Real - visiting the gardens of the manor of Mateus, which facade is still depicted on the well-known Portuguese rose wine bottles. Then, we enter in the port wine region, travelling through the vineyards and the breathtaking landscapes of the Douro Valley. Stop in Lamego, overlooked by one of Portugal's most important shrines N. S. Remedios with its magnificent baroque style staircase. Maybe you will 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 the mountainous hinterland to Viseu, center of the Dao Vineyards and a city connected with Portugal's oldest hero, Viriato, the Lusitanian chief. In the shadow of the cathedral, narrow streets and doorways with coats of arms carved in granite make up the ancient town of Viseu. Along the centre we find a busy commercial area. Arrival to Urgeirica.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Urgeirica - Bussaco - Tomar - Lisboa

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive through the heart of Portugal till Bussaco well known for its luxuriant forest, made up of a selection of rare trees and plants of exotic beauty, where was built a charming and romantic hotel, formerly a royal hunting lodge. We continue to Tomar, a city whose development is closely linked with the Order of the Templars, which received these lands in 1159 as a reward for the assistance they gave to Dom Afonso Henriques (the first King of Portugal) in the Christian reconquest of the territory. It was Dom Gualdim Pais, the first Grand Master of the Order in Portugal, who founded the castle and the remarkable Convent of Christ inside. Enlarged and altered over the centuries, this retains the influences of various architectural styles; it is the centrepiece of the city and classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. We continue our journey until Lisbon.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Lisboa - Sintra - Cabo Da Roca - Cascais - Estoril - Lisboa

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards Sintra for a luxury day. Visit the Palace of Sintra and walk through this charming village. Enjoy an amazing view from the westernmost point of mainland Europe (Cabo da Roca). Along the coast, we pass by one of the most famous surfing beaches, the incredible Hell's Mouth, the cosmopolitan Cascais and the gardens of Estoril Casino. Return to Lisbon.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Lisboa - Evora

Breakfast at the hotel. One day discovering the town of Evora, a mosaic of culture, history and traditions. Leaving Lisbon, we cross the bridge over the river Tagus and head through a beautiful and bucolic landscape of olive trees, cork oak trees and vineyards before arriving at Evora - World Heritage of UNESCO. In the narrow streets of this whitewashed town we walk back through time visiting some of Evora's most important monuments: the Roman Temple, the Romanesque - Gothic Cathedral, Saint Francis Church with its "Chapel of Bones" and the University. At the market, we see and feel the richness of the products used to prepare one of the most elaborated and appreciated gastronomies of Portugal. Throughout the visit, we also admire the diversity and authenticity of local handicrafts with cork, ceramic and copper objects. Time for lunch. In the afternoon, free time for a better discover of the city. Our suggestion: wine, cheese and olive oil gourmet proof.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Evora - Beja - Silves - Lagos

Breakfast at the hotel. Part of the morning at leisure in Evora and then driving southward passing Beja where the highest tower of Portuguese medieval castles dominates the town and the region. Crossing small mountains we enter in the Algarve. By fields of orange trees, we arrive to Silves, the renowned town dominated by its red sandstone castle dating back mainly to Moorish times and by the memory of is former cork industry. Continue to the golden sands of the Algarve passing by Praia da Rocha to Lagos.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 10

Lagos - Ponta da Piedade - Sagres - Cabo de Sao Vicente

Breakfast at the hotel. The Algarve has the call of the sea that led to the discovery of the New World. Stop in Ponta da Piedade and admire the magnificent views over the Atlantic Ocean, and cliffs whose shapes have been sculpted by the erosive action of both the sea and time. Continuing to Sagres, a fishing port, for a visit to the fortress that was the mythical "navigation school" forever linked with the presence of Prince Henry the Navigator during the first days of Atlantic navigation and the discovery of the African coast. Proceeding along the cliffs to Cabo Sao Vincente, the most southwestern point in mainland Europe. The city of Lagos, a cosmopolitan town with a marina and fishing port where you can taste the delicious Algarve dishes, such as the fish and shellfish cooked in a copper pan (cataplana). Don't forget to try the fine sweets such as the famous marzipan, almond and fig cakes. Return to the hotel, where, the afternoon at leisure invites you to take a dip in the warm sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Lagos - Setubal - Serra da Arrabida - Lisboa

Breakfast at the hotel. A last look at the water while travelling along the coast to say farewell to the Algarve. The return trip to Lisbon will take you by the city of Setubal, a major port and industrial centre on the north bank of the Sado estuary. Then comes a scenic route over the Arrabida mountain range, an area preserved as a Natural Park, with amazing scenery and unique vegetation at the gates of Lisbon and enjoy the views of the Troia Peninsula. Crossing the bridge over the Tagus River, we arrive in Lisbon.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2021: Aug 21; Sep 4, 18; Oct 2, 16; Nov 13; Dec 11
2022:  Jan 15; Feb 12; Mar 5, 19; Apr 2, 16; May 7, 21; Jun 4, 18; Jul 2, 16; Aug 6, 20;
Sep 3, 17; Oct 1, 15; Nov 12; Dec 10
2023:  Jan 14; Feb 11

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 11 day Escorted Coach Tour including:
    • Transportation in air-conditioned bus or minivan with Experienced Tour Guide
    • 1 night first class accommodations in Fatima
    • 3 nights first class accommodations in Porto
    • 1 night first class accommodations in Urgeirica
    • 2 nights first class accommodations in Lisbon
    • 1 night first class accommodations in Evora
    • 2 nights first class accommodations in Lagos
    • Entrance fees to: Batalha Monastery, Coimbra University, 'Palacioda Bolsa' (Porto), St. Francisco Church (Porto), 'Gardens of Palacio Mateus', Convento do Cristo (Tomar), Palacioda Pena (Sintra), Bones Chapel (Evora), Sao Francisco Church (Evora), Evora's Cathedral, and Sao Vicente Fortress (Sagres)

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Entrance fees to monuments not mentioned
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas if required
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not specifically noted in the itinerary
  • Beverages unless specified
  • All international and domestic airfares and airfare taxes unless specified

OTHER INFORMATION:  

Hotel accommodations are subject to change and based on availability at time of booking. 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB DOMITURLIS0121SG: DL11
5 Mar 2022
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