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Duration: 18 days Visiting: Portugal
Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Welcome to Lisbon
On arrival at Lisbon Portela Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Settle in and relax. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Lisbon & the Age of the Great Discoveries
Your guided panoramic sightseeing takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and across the tree-shaded squares. Pass beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city, named after the palace which was destroyed in the terrible earthquake of 1755 (along with much of the rest of the city). Visit the Belem Quarter from where sailing ships set forth to discover unknown lands. See the traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for over 100 years and enjoy a tasting of the famous 'Pasteis de Belem'. See the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belem Tower, erected to protect Jeronimos Monastery, whose church we visit. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Perhaps take the funicular railway up into the steep alleyways of the old town or explore the terraces of the Alfama district?
Cross the River Tagus and head for the sun-drenched southern coast. Lunchtime finds you on the coast at Lagos, a fishing port nestled at the back of a bay. After free time to explore, your gracious resort hotel is not too far away, set within a magnificent 360 acre estate. Simplicity is the soul of Algarve cuisine, along with seafood so fresh it still tastes of the sea. The small coastal towns and fishing ports house a rich variety of restaurants and your Tour Director knows the best! Enjoy a delightful evening of wine and classic seafood dishes rooted in the region.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, journey to the medieval walled city of Évora. Join a Local Expert to explore the highlights of this beautifully preserved town. See the Roman Temple and visit the Capela dos Ossos - an extraordinary 17th century chapel comprising the skulls and bones of 5,000 bodies. Visit the cathedral with its attractive mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. In the afternoon, perhaps hire some bicycles or take a stroll through Évora’s unique historical centre and follow the aqueduct inside the city walls?
Monsaraz and Évora
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, you'll be transported to the striking white village of Monsaraz, situated on an imposing hilltop, surrounded by cork oaks and vineyards. From the castle ruins, admire the spectacular views across to the dry Spanish plains, contrasting with the blue of one of Europe's largest artificial lakes. Enjoy a leisurely cruise before a delicious and memorable lunch in a restaurant that was formerly an old olive oil mill. The choices offered are all typical of the local Alentejo region, with wine included. Later, return to Évora where cathedrals, churches, aqueducts and ancient castle walls all serve to create the feeling that this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city is a living, breathing museum to Portugal's rich past.
Scenic drive to Óbidos, Fátima and Tomar
In the morning, pass fields of cork oak and expansive rice fields as you journey to the fortified town of Obidos. Walk inside walls to explore the craft shops, art galleries and flower-bedecked houses that line the narrow, medieval streets. Continue to Fátima, Portugal's most renowned place of pilgrimage. See the basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Now on to one of Portugal's historical jewels - the Templar Castle and Convent of Christ at Tomar. With a Local Expert, explore the octagonal Templar's Rotunda in the cloister and glimpse the day-to-day life of a warrior monk in the domestic areas. Outside on the battlements, the Manueline Window is perhaps the finest example in the country. Next, visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal, housing a small Jewish museum.
Coimbra, the Douro and Pinhao
(Relaxed Start) Drive to Conímbriga, Portugal's best-preserved Roman archaeological site. With a Local Expert, marvel at the mosaics, explore the ‘House of the Fountains' and visit the museum. Move on to Coimbra, where guided sightseeing shows you the highlights of the Old Town, including a visit to the impressive baroque University library. Continue through rolling hills to your hotel, nestled on the vine-laden banks of the Douro.
Guimarães and Porto
Journey to Guimarães, known as the Cradle of Portugal. From the ruined castle there are wonderful views. Down in the historic heart lies a web of washing-hung alleyways, cobbled streets and cosy squares with tiny bars and cafés. Head on to the bright lights of Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated as the Port wine capital of the world. The Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores house these famous port wines. Walk along corridors of casks and get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting.
Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro
(Relaxed Start) A free day to enjoy at your own pace. Why not admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in beautiful glazed tiles, as well as the iconic bridges or join a relaxing Douro River cruise for a different perspective and excellent views of the city? In the evening, bid 'adeus' to your Tour Director and friends with a palate-provoking Celebration Dinner, complete with wine at an authentic Porto restaurant.
Porto and Join Your Cruise.
(Relaxed Start) After breakfast, transfer to your Uniworld boutique cruise ship, the Queen Isabel to begin your captivating journey that pays tribute to the age of exploration.
(Relaxed Start) Porto, is experiencing a booming cultural revival and you are offered a choice of how you wish to experience the city. The panoramic tour option will give you a feel for this vibrant town, which is simultaneously profoundly urban and moodily romantic. Take in the UNESCO-designated 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, seeing its famous Moorish Revival–style Arab Room, before visiting Porto's austere hilltop cathedral and the bustling pedestrian shopping street, Santa Catarina. Alternatively, you may wish to experience the city on foot and climb the 249 steps to the top of Clérigos Tower for the best view in Porto, before continuing on to marvel at the magnificent interior of the São Bento railway station.
(Relaxed Start) Should you wish to learn more about the region's unique winemaking history, you are invited to a special lecture at the Douro Museum. Alternatively, you can visit the legendary Mateus Palace, which has one of the most beautiful gardens in the country. In the evening, enjoy a special dinner at a local quinta.
Pinhão, Vega de Terrón.
Choose between an excursion to one of two quintas. Quinta do Seixo — a prestigious Port wine estate — offers an enlightening tour of its state-of-the-art facility. Sample some of their famous Sandeman Port, learn more about the production and admire breathtaking views from the estate's tasting room. Or perhaps you prefer to to enjoy a scenic drive through Pinhão before visiting Quinta da Avessada, complete with an interactive museum, the first of its kind in the country, celebrating the Douro's history and culture of wine.
Vega de Terrón, (Salamanca, Spain), Barca d’Alva
(Relaxed Start) In the morning there is the opportunity to join a full-day excursion to Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and known as the “Golden City” for its tawny sandstone buildings. Salamanca boasts a dozen beautiful and historic churches, including two cathedrals. Alternatively you may prefer to gain a better understanding of the flora and fauna of the land, on a half-day scenic cruise through the Douro International Natural Park.
Barca d’Alva (Castelo Rodrigo), Pocinho, Régua
(Relaxed Start) Travel through wonderfully scenic countryside to the walled village of Castelo Rodrigo. On your tour of this fascinating site, dating back to the 12th century, you will sample delicious local treats, such as honey, olive oil and cheeses. In the afternoon, venture to the UNESCO-designated Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley, considered the world's most important Paleolithic open-air rock art site.
Explore Portugal's second-largest city further with a 'Soul of Porto' walking tour through the UNESCO-designated Ribeira district. Stroll its narrow cobbled streets, that spread alongside the Douro river, past merchants' houses and cafes. In the evening, enjoy a Gala Dinner onboard your ship.
Disembark your ship and enjoy a private transfer to Porto Airport for your flight home.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.
Known as ''the soul of the Portuguese identity'', Fado is the emotive folk music for which Lisbon is famous. Take in an unmissable performance of this UNESCO-recognised art form in one of the country's most prestigious Fado houses. To complete the experience, savour a typical Portuguese dinner, with wine included.
Adult Price: EUR 66.00
Drive to the Bairro Alto, the old quarter of Lisbon, to admire the beautiful views over the city. Then take a funicular ride to the downtown Baixa area where cobblestones sparkle in the light of the shops, bars and cafes. Returning to your hotel, you'll pass monuments and buildings, lit up in all their glory.
Adult Price: EUR 19.00
Across the mighty Tagus River await Lisbon's famous seafood restaurants and wonderful views of the city. Board your ferry to cross the wide blue waters for a delightful evening of Portuguese seafood and fish specialities. After dinner, encounter more sweeping views over the Portuguese capital, as you return to your hotel via the impressive suspension bridge.
Adult Price: EUR 53.00
Like the Kings of Portugal before you, travel along the Portuguese Riviera to the glamorous resort of Cascais and the Queluz Palace – veritable jewels in the crown of Portugal. Then, we'll return to Lisbon via the wealthy playground of Estoril with its famous Casino and learn of the inspiring people who frequented Portugal's Golden Triangle.
Adult Price: EUR 46.00
Aboard a traditional Rabelo boat, marvel at the sites along Porto's Douro River and its delta. As the setting sun highlights Porto's historic skyline, enjoy a range of Portuguese specialities with wine from the comfort of your riverside restaurant.
Adult Price: EUR 59.00
Lisbon (Central) - Portugal
Altis Grand is a landmark 5 star hotel in Lisbon with a prime location in central Lisbon, within walking distance of Avenida Liberdade and Lisbon’s historic districts, this hotel has its history linked to the contemporary history of the country, which regularly hosts media events.
Algarve (Central) - Portugal
Hotel Ria Park, Algarve
Evora (Contemporary) - Portugal
Among the white-washed houses of Évora, next to the Roman aqueduct, your 5-star M'Ar de Ar Aqueduto hotel blends part of an old monastery with modern design.
Pinhao (Scenic) - Portugal
Vintage House, Pinhao
Porto (Central) - Portugal
Located in the principle city in the north of Portugal, Crowne Plaza Porto is a landmark in the Avenida da Boavista business area. Thanks to its privileged position in the heart of a busy urban centre, this luxury 5-star hotel will help you discover the eternal soul of the city, its history and its cultural life.
Porto (Central) - Portugal
NH Batalha, Porto (2 nights)
Clothing, gear, and accessories you need for your next premium or Luxury Gold escorted journey
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