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Portugal

Portugal Off the Beaten Path
Purpose: Discovery, Culture, History
No. of days: 10 days - 9 nights
First & Last Cities: Lisbon
Other cities: Sesimbra, Arrabida, Setubal, Evora, Arraiolos, Estremoz, Marvão, Castelo de Vide, Castelo Branco, Linhares da Beira, Viseu, Vila Real, Amarante, Guimarães, Braga, Ponte do Lima, Oporto, Aveiro, Coimbra, Tomar, Obidos, Mafra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais, Estoril
Starting cost: $2,669

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Day 1: Lisbon

Upon arrival at Lisbon airport you’ll be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest and relax. Overnight in Lisbon.

 

Day 2: Lisbon, Sesimbra, Arrabida, Setubal, Evora

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Departure to the south, crossing the Tagus by the suspension bridge: Ponte 25 of April. Arriving at the fishing town of Sesimbra, you will find a sheltered hill near a bay, at the top of which is the castle, offering a wonderful view of the sea. Continuing to Setúbal, you will cross the dazzling Natural Park Arrábida, encircled in the West by numerous small beaches of fine sand and transparent waters. In Setúbal, have a lunch break and revel in fresh fish or the local specialty: the fried cuttlefish. Continue to Évora, a city set amid the beautiful plains of the Alentejo.  Overnight in Évora. [B]

 

Day 3: Evora, Arraiolos, Estremoz, Marvão

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. The city is classified World Heritage: bright, surrounded by ramparts, it houses a beautiful monumen-tal complex including the Roman temple of Diana, the imposing Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, the church of São Francisco and its myste-rious Chapel of Bones. Heading north to Arraiolos, a small very typical town in Alentejo and well known for its famous tapestries. Departure to Estremoz, nicknamed "the white city" due to its block of houses of this color, but also to be one of the largest exporters of white marble in the world. Finish the day at the medieval and walled village of Marvão. Overnight in Marvão. [B]

 

Day 4: Marvão, Castelo de Vide, Castelo Branco, Linhares da Beira, Viseu

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Departure to Castelo de Vide, a typical village of Alentejo, with small white houses, winding streets and flowers. Head towards the region of Beira Baixa, on Castelo Branco, where you can see the Episcopal Palace Garden, emblem of the city and example of Portuguese Baroque. Then continue to one of the historic villages of Portugal: Linhares da Beira. Medieval village of the 12th century, it possesses a unique architectural diversity, inherited from different eras, and also known as the paragliding capital of Portugal. Finally, in the center of the country, standing on a plateau surrounded by chains of mountains and rivers, the city of Viseu, crowned by its imposing cathedral. Overnight in Viseu. [B]

 

Day 5: Viseu, Vila Real, Amarante, Guimarães

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Departure in the region of the Douro Valley, the first wine region in the world to be demarcated, having its landscape classified as World Heritage of UNESCO. In Vila Real you can visit one of the most beautiful Baroque palaces in Portugal, the House of Mateus, and its gardens. The charming town of Amarante stands on either side of the Tâmega River. The bridge of Amarante perpetuates the memory of the heroic resistance of the population against the Napoleonic forces who, at the beginning of the nineteenth century invaded Portugal. Continuation to Guimarães, considered as the cradle of Portugal, because it was born Alphonse Henriques who will become the first king of this country. Associated with the formation and identity of Portugal, the historic center of Guimarães within the walls has been declared World Heritage by Unesco, on the basis of originality and authenticity, guided its renovation. Overnight in Guimarães. [B]

 

Day 6: Guimarães (Braga, Ponte do Lima)

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Direction Braga, one of the oldest Christian cities in the world with a vast religious heritage, as are the sanctuaries that make up the triangle of faith: the Cathedral and Sanctuaries of Bom Jesus and Sameiro. Continue to Ponte de Lima. The Roman bridge that crosses the Lima River at this point has given rise to the name of this ancient city, rich agricultural region, where is produced the famous vinho verde (green wine). Return to the hotel. Overnight in Guimarães. [B]

 

Day 7: Guimarães, Oporto, Aveiro

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Departure to Porto, capital and gateway to the northern region, Porto is an ancient city that gave its name to Portugal and wine known around the world: the port wine. With a magnificent location near the mouth of the Douro and an architectonic complex of exceptional value, the historic center of Porto is Heritage of Humanity since 1996. Continue to Aveiro, the "Por-tuguese Venice", crossed by the Ria de Aveiro, lagoon basin where the fresh waters of the Vouga river mix with the waters of the sea, navigable by the moliceiros, small colored boats. Overnight in Aveiro. [B]

 

Day 8: Aveiro, Coimbra, Tomar, Obidos

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Departure to Coimbra, the city of students, so called to host one of the first universities in Europe and the largest in the country. Stroll through the oldest part of Coimbra, made of narrow and steep streets that lead to the top of the colline. Set off to Tomar, former seat of the Templars, a city that has a lot of charm, because of its artistic and cultural richness. The best proof is the convent of Christ, one of the most important works of the Renaissance in Portugal. End the day in the walled medieval town of Óbidos, admire its Gothic churches and narrow, winding streets, and the small shops where you can taste the famous ginjinha (sour cherry liqueur).  Overnight in Óbidos. [B]

 

Day 9: Obidos, Mafra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais, Estoril, Lisbon

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Departure to Mafra, known for its imposing palace, the largest Portuguese building, built in the eighteenth century. Cross the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park to arrive at the most westerly point of continental Europe, Cabo da Roca. On the way to Cascais by the coast, enjoy the seascape. In Estoril, we highlight the gardens of the biggest Casino in Europe. Overnight in Lisbon. [B]

 

Day 10: Lisbon, USA

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. At the appointed time our representative will pick you up and transfer you to Lisbon airport to board you flight back home. [B]

 

Note: Most monuments are closed on Mondays and on national holidays.

 

[B] = Breakfast