Best of Portugal

Discover the Best of Portugal. Let the melancholic trill of the Fado Guitar follow you from Portugal’s Manueline Lisbon to Baroque Oporto and the sun-soaked beaches of Vilamoura. Wander through the medieval cities of Obidos, Évora and Guimarães. Visit the religious landmarks of Fatima, Batalha and the dramatic Hieronymite Monastery. Enjoy a delicious ‘pasteis de nata’ or two along the way.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Lisbon

Bem-vindo a Lisboa. A sea of pastel pinks, yellows and blues dot the seven hills of the romantic Portuguese capital, which you will have an opportunity to explore today before meeting your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive past the city’s most iconic sights.

Hotel: Marriott or Turim Marquês, 2 nights

Day 2: Lisbon Sightseeing and Free Time

Delve into Lisbon’s centuries-old seafaring heritage today, paying tribute to the brave men who set off from these shores to discover the ‘New World’. We’ll see the shimmering white Monument to the Discoveries, the iconic suspension bridge spanning the Tagus and Belém Tower, built to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s expedition. We join a ‘Local Specialist’ for a sightseeing tour of the UNESCO-listed Hieronymite Monastery, an exquisite testament to 16th-century Manueline architecture and art. There’s time to join an Optional Experience to the historic towns of Cascais and Sintra. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a traditional Portuguese dinner amidst the heart-wrenching, haunting sounds of the fado.

Day 3: Lisbon – Algarve Region

We journey across the Tagus this morning and drive south towards the Serra da Arrábida Mountains and to the golden pastures of the Alentejo. The hearty aroma of Portuguese chicken fills the air as we ‘Connect With Locals’ over a ‘Be My Guest’ lunch at a stud ranch, where Lusitano horses were once reared at the pleasure of King João VI in the 18th century. Our journey continues further south, bound for the sun-kissed shores of the Algarve – our home for the next two nights.

Hotel: Agua Riverside, 2 nights

Day 4: Algarve Excursion

The dramatic cliffs and beautiful beaches of the Sagres Peninsula provide a stunning backdrop for our morning coastal drive. Admire spectacular views across Baleeira Beach, before continuing along the coast to Cape St. Vincent, the site of many sea battles centuries ago. We end our excursion with a visit to the resort town of Lagos – once the home of Henry the Navigator.

Day 5: Algarve Region – Évora

Journeying north, we travel across the Serra do Caldeirão to the ancient Alentejo city of Évora. Join your ‘Local Specialist’ for a visit to the elaborate cathedral, Roman temple and the Chapel of Bones. Then, spend the rest of your day delving into the medieval history of this enchanting city. Trace centuries of history along its city walls, kick back with a bica and bolo in Praça do Giraldo or perhaps join an Optional Experience to the village of Monsaraz. This evening we dine at our hotel in Évora.

Hotel: M’ar De Ar Muralhas

Day 6: Évora – Castelo de Vide – Viseu

Our first stop today is in the quaint hilltop town of Castelo de Vide with its charming white façades, narrow alleys and fascinating Jewish Quarter. Travel north towards the Serra de Estrela mountains and arrive later in Viseu, set high on a plateau near the famous Dão vineyards. Explore the city’s rich art and architectural history, seeing the 12th-century Sé, standing imposingly on a hill overlooking much of the city.

Hotel: Grao Vasco

Day 7: Viseu – Mateus – Guimarães – Porto

Vineyard-clad hills provide an enchanting backdrop for our journey today through the Douro Valley, where port wine is produced. We explore the magnificent gardens at the Baroque-style Palácio de Mateus, depicted on the label of the distinctive Mateus wine bottles. We continue via Guimarães for views of its impressive 10th-century castle, before arriving in the seaside town of Porto where we will spend the next two nights.

Hotel: Carrís Ribeira or Neya, 2 nights

Day 8: Porto Sightseeing and Free Time

Join a ‘Local Specialist’ today for a sightseeing tour in Porto, which takes you past Baroque churches and along the winding cobblestone lanes that tumble down towards the Douro River. See the remarkable bridges that span the river and the Gothic Church of St. Francis. Visit the Stock Exchange Palace with its splendid Arabian Hall inspired by Granada’s Alhambra, then ‘Dive Into Culture’ and into the centuries-old tradition of local port production at a tasting in a port cellar. Spend the rest of the afternoon strolling through the historic centre of Porto and admiring the azulejo-clad façades, or visit Livraria Lello, the city’s oldest bookstore with its iconic red staircase.

Day 9: Porto – Coimbra – Tomar – Fátima

Soak up the grand atmosphere of one of Europe’s greatest and oldest universities and stroll through the ancient streets and squares of Coimbra, before journeying to the Templar city of Tomar to visit the Convent of Christ, originally built as a Templar stronghold in the 12th century. We arrive in the pilgrimage centre of Fátima, where we rub shoulders with millions of Catholic pilgrims who have journeyed to this pilgrimage site, where three young shepherds famously saw the apparition of the Virgin Mary.

Hotel: Fátima

Day 10: Fátima – Batalha – Nazaré – Obidos – Lisbon

En route to Lisbon, we stop at the imposing monastery of Batalha – a UNESCO World Heritage site and the best example of late Gothic architecture in Portugal. Our next stop is the fishing village of Nazaré, before we visit the medieval walled city of Óbidos with its whitewashed houses and cobblestone roads. Our last night in Portugal together sees us toast to an incredible journey at a Farewell Dinner with wine.

Hotel: Turim Av Liberdade or Occidental

Day 11: Depart Lisbon

Say a fond adeus to your fellow travellers at the end of an unforgettable Portuguese holiday.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
March: 25$3,195.00$4,145.00
April: 01, 08$3,195.00$4,145.00
April: 15, 17, 22, 24$3,295.00$4,245.00
April: 29$3,350.00$4,300.00
May: 01, 06, 08, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29$3,350.00$4,300.00
June: 03, 05, 10, 12, 17, 19 $3,350.00$4,300.00
June: 24, 26 $3,325.00$4,275.00
July: 01, 03, 08, 10$3,395.00$4,345.00
July: 17, 19, 24, 26, 31 $3,450.00$4,400.00
August: 05, 07, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28$3,450.00$4,400.00
September: 02, 04, 09, 11$3,495.00$4,445.00
September: 16, 18, 23, 25$3,425.00$4,375.00
September: 30$3,350.00$4,300.00
October: 02$3,350.00$4,300.00
October: 07, 09, 14, 16, 21, 23$3,295.00$4,245.00

Inclusions 
Meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
Transport: Luxury air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 10 nights accommodation
Guide: An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Grand Spain & Portugal

Enjoy an in-depth portrait of the local people, their cultural heritage and their multifaceted countries; this trip includes adventuring in Santander, San Sebastián and Barcelona.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Welcome to Madrid

Your airport transfer departs Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:30, 13:30 or 16:00. The rest of the day is at leisure to begin to get to know this stylish city. At 18:00, join your Travel Director for your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of good food and wine. During your time in Madrid you will travel along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive will take you through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city.

Day 2: The old Capital of Toledo and on to Granada

Venture south to meet a master craftsperson in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft handed down by the Moors centuries ago. Continue to the fascinating city of Toledo, situated high above the River Tagus. This was Spain’s capital during the golden era, where Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures flourished side-by-side through the Middle Ages. Walk within the city walls, through the narrow cobbled streets, led by your Local Expert. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco’s famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.’ Your journey continues to Granada.

Day 3: The Alhambra Palace and Seville, City of Carmen

‘There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada’, cries the inscription on the walls of the Alhambra. Bathed in morning light, the Alhambra Palace awaits – a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Explore with your Local Expert and also visit the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence. Take a moment to relax in the sunshine as you enjoy the fine views over the town and its three verdant hills. Embark on a scenic drive to Seville where a Local Expert will guide you through the maze of narrow lanes and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter. Emerge by the huge walls of the fabulous Alcazar to see La Giralda, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, but now the cathedral bell tower. Enter the immense 15th century cathedral, the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and see his tomb enriched with the spoils of the New World.

Day 4: Free Time in Seville

This is a free day, so take your time to bask in the city’s romantic aura and explore as you wish. Our suggestion is to join an Optional Experience to the ancient city of Córdoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop or explore as you wish. Visit Cristina Heeren Foundation, a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. This private dance school is dedicated to promoting the conservation of flamenco and supports young enthusiasts from all over the world with a special focus on new talent from the Andalusian region. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson before witnessing emotions come to life in a flamenco performance. With some free time for dinner, head next door to Triana market and stroll through the many colourful stalls where vendors are selling tapas made from fresh, local produce. Why not grab yourself a refreshing sangria for a cheers to your new found dancing feet?

Day 5: To Lisbon

Pass through the oak forests where black Iberian pigs are bred for the famous Spanish hams. Stop in Huelva for a demonstration of ham cutting and a tasting of fresh jamón ibérico.

Day 6: Lisbon

During your stay, a guided orientation of the city with your Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter and enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same, secret recipe for almost 200 years. View the Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the beautiful Portuguese Riviera?

Day 7: Holy Fátima and Salamanca

Travel into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fátima, the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in Portugal. Visit the Basilica commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children in 1917. Cross the border, returning to Spain and continue to Salamanca, famous for its golden stone buildings and the handsome arcades of the Plaza Mayor. Across the River Tormes, see the Puente Romano with 15 of its 26 arches dating from the time of the ancient Romans.

Day 8: Ávila and on to Madrid

Cross the rock-strewn hills of the Castile, to arrive at Ávila. Walk within the ancient city that is still entirely enclosed within 11th century walls, a unique occurrence in Europe. Return to Madrid to explore more of the capital with your Local Expert. At a local restaurant, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a lively Highlight Dinner.

Day 9: Madrid of the Bourbons

Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city. A highlight of your escorted journey will be a visit to the Prado Museum. Discover countless works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others as you are guided by a local art historian. The afternoon is free for you to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques.

Day 10: Through Rueda to Santiago

Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile and continues past the impressive Castillo de la Mota, conquered by Queen Isabella. Some of Spain’s most fashionable white wines are produced in Rueda and this morning we have the opportunity to learn how they are made and sample the delights of the Verdejo grape. Travel on to Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of the Apostle St. James was miraculously discovered in the Middle Ages.

Day 11: Saintly Santiago de Compostela

Explore Santiago de Compotela with Insight Choice. Choose between joining a city tour with a Local Expert and visit Praza do Obradoiro to admire the cathedral facade festooned with architectural frills. Alternatively, embark on a scenic walk on part of the Way of St James, through parks and gardens that transform with the seasons. Relax during your free time or explore the narrow streets and old squares of this city.

Day 12: The Costa Verde to Oviedo

Pass through the ancient forests of Galicia and cross to the Green Coast of Asturias – one of Spain’s most beautiful, named after the colour of the sea and the pine and eucalyptus trees that line the shore. Meet a true local, Flor, who will invite you to join her for lunch. Hear about daily life as you enjoy a delicious meal, typical of the region, that Flor has freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by delicious local cider. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to Oviedo. Continue on to Oviedo where a Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe.

Day 13: Santander

See the unique Roman bridge in Cangas de Onís as you head into the foothills of the Picos de Europa, a national park encompassing spectacular mountain and gorge scenery. Visit the Holy Cave of Covadonga, a shrine to Pelayo, who achieved the first Christian victory over the Moors in 722. Enjoy views of the Costa de Cantabria while travelling to Santillana del Mar, arguably the most beautiful village in Spain. Stroll through the rustic cobblestone streets, admiring stone houses decorated with carved, heraldic symbols and reach the delightful church square. Continue on to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander where you have free time in the evening to enjoy this luxurious hotel. Why not take the time to explore the hotel terrace with stunning views of the bay below or relax with one of the many therapy treatments offered at the hotels spa?

Day 14: Bilbao and San Sebastián

In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world’s most spectacular buildings. Enjoy the views as you are driven along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages. Pause in Getaria, at the mouth of the Urola, to see El Ratón, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. Admire its beauty as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter. See the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitución, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square. Atop Monte Igueldo there are breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.

Day 15: The Cantabrian Coast

Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastián’s boardwalk and with the city harbour filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Perhaps you’ll want to explore the nearby French village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris? Maybe stroll the promenade of the famous La Concha bay or enjoy the boutiques of the Old Town?

Day 16: Pamplona and on to Barcelona

Journey to the famed town of Pamplona, known for its Running of the Bulls festival. With time free for you to explore, perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Café Iruña, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ Your travels continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions.

Day 17: Barcelona, City of Gaudí

Wake up ready to embrace the city’s artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, and walk through the Roman Gate to see its narrow lanes and old squares. You are driven along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to behold Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. As you venture inside, look above to see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows. With the afternoon at leisure, you are free to relax or continue your exploration on your own. In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant. Raise your glass and toast your travels during your delightful Celebration Dinner.

Day 18: Depart Barcelona or Madrid

After breakfast depart for Madrid. A stop is made at Madrid airport in the early evening, followed by the Madrid trip hotel.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
April: 18, 25$6,850.00Price on Application
May: 02, 16$6,850.00Price on Application
May: 30$6,875.00Price on Application
June: 13$6,925.00Price on Application
June: 27$7,095.00Price on Application
July: 11, 25$7,095.00Price on Application
August: 08, 22$7,095.00Price on Application
September: 05$7,095.00Price on Application
September: 19$6,895.00Price on Application
October: 03$6,895.00Price on Application
October: 17$6,750.00Price on Application

Inclusions 
Meals: 17 breakfast 1 lunch, 5 dinners
Transport: Airport Transfers & Luxury air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 17 nights accommodation
Guide: An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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