Departure Date: 25/04/2020
On this trip you will get to experience the Best of Portulgal. Wander through medieval cities and visit the religious landmarks of Fatima, Batalha and the dramatic Hieronymite Monastery, enjoying a delicious Pastel de Belem or two along the way.
The Trafalgar Difference:
• Connect with the locals
Saddle up for a superb stud farm visit, the tragic story of unrequited love and a traditional home-cooked 'Be My Guest' lunch with Tiago and Vera in Portugal's beautiful Alentejo. (Day 3)
• Dive into Culture
Sample the Douro Valley's delicious Port wine-making tradition at one of the local Port wine lodges. (Day 8)
Day 1 Arrive Lisbon (2 Nights)
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.
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 15th-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 (2 Nights)
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 Joao 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.
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 – Evora
Journeying north, we travel across the Serra do Caldeirao to the ancient Alentejo city of Evora. 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 Praca do Giraldo or perhaps join an Optional Experience to the village of Monsaraz. This evening we dine at our hotel in Evora.
Day 6 Evora – Castelo de Vide – Viseu
Our first stop today is in the quaint hilltop town of Castelo de Vide with its charming white facades, 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 Dao vineyards. Explore the city's rich art and architectural history, visiting the 12th-century Se, standing imposingly on a hill overlooking much of the city.
Day 7 Viseu – Mateus – Guimaraes – Porto (2 Nights)
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 Palacio de Mateus, depicted on the label of the distinctive Mateus wine bottles. We continue via Guimaraes for views of its impressive 10th-century castle, before arriving in the seaside town where we will spend the next two 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 – Fatima
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 Fatima, where we'll dine in our hotel.
Fatima – Batalha – Nazare – Obidos – Lisbon
This morning, we rub shoulders with millions of Catholic pilgrims who have journeyed to the pilgrimage site of Fátima, where three young shepherds famously saw the apparition of the Virgin Mary. 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 Obidos 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.
Day 11 Depart Lisbon
Say a fond adeus to your fellow travellers at the end of an unforgettable Portuguese holiday. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
Airport transfers on first and last travel day. Conditions apply. 10 Nights’ 4/5 Star accommodation in the right locations , 15 meals including Trafalgar’s exclusive Be My Guest Experiences, The icons you couldn’t miss with VIP access, Luxury coaches with wifi on-board, services of a professional Travel Director who share hidden gems and local secrets, local specialists who unlock their home cities from their perspective, all hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes and a choice of optional experiences and free time included.
10 Nights from R33,800 pps
These offers are brought to you by Travel Counsellors (Pty) Ltd. Selected departures 25 April 2020 to 2 October 2020. A deposit of R3000 per person is required on booking and the full amount must be paid no later than 60 days for land only guided holidays or 90 days for guided holidays including train or cruise prior to departure from South Africa (whichever comes first). Subject to availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Excl. Flights, visas, travel insurance, spending money and items of a personal nature. Offers are per person sharing. Rates for other periods are available on request. Packages are subject to availability, seasonal surcharge; high season supplements and currency fluctuations. Supplier's terms and conditions are available on request. Valid for SA residents only. Terms and conditions apply. Prices and information correct at time of publishing. E&OE.