Portugal

CONNOISSEUR’S PORTUGAL 

“A Voyage of Discovery – Portugal’s Hidden Gems”

 Arrival Day – Independent or group arrival to the hotel.  In the evening welcome cocktails in the hotel’s lovely garden.  Hotel Lapa Palace.

Day 1 – In the morning enjoy a panoramic drive around the city.  Drive along the Tagus to the Praça do Comércio and through the Baixa financial district with its elegant late 18thcentury architecture.   Walk though the Rossio and then continue through the Expo Sites to the Madre de Deus Convent which houses the National Tile Museum.Lili Box 027   Visit the museum and its outstanding collection of tiles from the 15th century Hispano-Arabe to present times.  Lunch at the museum.  After lunch stop at the St. George Castle . Then visit the magnificent Gulbenkian Foundation, housing the eclectic collection of the late Calouste Gulbenkian.  This evening reconvene for dinner at Sinal Vermelho or A Travessa. Hotel Lapa Palace (B, L, D)

Day 2 – Full day excursion: Drive to Sintra on the north slope of the serra, a haven of peace and greenery.  For six centuries the town was the favorite summer residence of the kings of Portugal.  Visit the Royal Palace, which has a remarkable collection of 16C and 17C tiles (azulejos).  Also see the Pena Palace with its eccentric architecture evokes some of Ludwig II of Bavaria’s castles.  Free time available for browsing in the interesting shops, a bit of hiking, or practicing the art of photography.  Drive to the coast and enjoy a wonderful seafood lunch overlooking the sea at the Restaurante Porto de Santa Maria  Return to Lisbon via Estoril and Casçais.  Hotel Lapa Palace (B, L)King Ferdinand Palace

Day 3 – In the morning drive into the Belem District of the city.  See the Tower of Belem.  This elegant Manueline tower was built starting in 1515 in the middle of the Tagus River to defend the river mouth and the Monastery.  See the Monument of Discoveries, erected in 1960 beside the Tagus on the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator.  Then visit the Monastery of Jeronimos.  In 1502 King Dom Manuel undertook to build this magnificent Hieronymite monstery, considered to be the jewel of Manueline art.  This style of art glorified the great discoveries and in this case that of Vasco da Gama. Finally visit the National Coach Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of coaches dating back to the 17th century.  Lunch at the Estufa Real Restaurant in the AjudaPark. Afternoon free for independent activities to browse in the Alfama District or shop and explore  in the Rossio or Bairro Alto.  Hotel Lapa Palace (B, L)

Day 4 – Departure by small coach for Oporto.  Enroute visit the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe and a lovely Manueline building.  The library is the highlight and the rooms are a work of art.  Also visit the Chapel which is decorated with 17th C. azulejos. Lunch of the typical leitâo (roast suckling pig) in Mealhada.  Continue drive to Oporto and check into the hotel, across the river from the city in Vila Nova de Gaia.  Yeatman Hotel – Porto View Rooms (B, L)

Wine Barrel Barges

Wine Barrel Barges

Day 5 – Enjoy a morning of sightseeing in Porto, including the Cathedral, the Rail Station with their magnificent “azulejos”, the Palacio da Bolsa, and the Sao Francisco Church, a triumph of the Baroque.  Move on to lunch at the Serralves Museum of Modern Art.  After lunch visit the museum and its magnificent park.  Hotel Yeatman – Porto View Rooms (B, L)

Day 6 – Visit the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis housed in the 18th century Palacio do Carancos and exhibiting collections of Portuguese paintings and sculpture from the 17th to the 20th centuries.  Then see the Crystal Palace Gardens and its Quinta da Macierinha, a small house with its Museu Romantico.  On the lower floor is the Solar do Vinho do Porto where we will enjoy a tasting.  The afternoon is free for browsing and shopping, for which there are many opportunities.  Dinner will be enjoyed at the charming Restaurante Don Tonho on the riverside.  Hotel Yeatman (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Drive to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesús do Monte near Braga with its magnificent staircase. Visit for a while and then drive to Guimaraes, once the capital of Portugal. Visit the Castle and the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança.  Lunch at the lovely Pousada Santa Marinha in Guimaraes.  In the afternoon continue drive into the Duoro Valley and check into the hotel which has a privileged location high above the Duoro River.  Dinner on own at the hotel.  Hotel Quinta Nova (B, L)

Day 8 and 9 – Two days of visiting wineries and perhaps the charming Palacio de Mateus in Vila Real and its lovely gardens. The palace is a perfect example of Portuguese Baroque Portugal Country Villaarchitecture with magnificent carved wooden ceilings, a rich library and two rooms which have been made into a museum. Lunch one day DOC and one day at Quinta da Pacheca and then enjoy a short private cruise on the Duoro River.  Dinner on our own at the hotel.  Hotel Quinta Nova (B, L)Portugal Wine Country

Day 10 – In the morning drive south, with a possible stop in Lamego to see their lovely staircase, to Belmonte, a delightful town perched high on a line of hills near the Serra da Estrela.  Check into the Pousada de Belmonte.  Free time for lunch.  In the afternoon see the remains of the 13th century castle and the 16th century Sâo Tiago Church which still has some interesting elements from the Romanqesque and Renaissance periods.  Belmonte was one of the largest Jewish communities in Portugal in the Middle Ages and the Jewish Quarter has been nicely restored.  There are details of a synagogue dating back to 1297, and a new synagogue which we will visit along with the museu Judaico.  Dinner somewhere fun in the village.  Pousada de Belmonte (B, D)

Day 11 – Continue drive south to Crato.  Lunch at the Flor da Rosa Pousada, which was a Medieval Monastery belonging to Order of the Knights Templars.  After lunch visit the Royal Stud farm Alter do Chào of the famous Lusitanian thoroughbred horses.  Continue to Evora and check into your charming hotel.  Dinner on our own at the hotel.  Hotel Convento do Espinheiro – Deluxe Pool View Rooms (B, L)

Day 12 – In the morning tour Evora with a local guide. A walled town since Roman times, it is attractively Moorish in character.  From a rich past Evora retains several medieval and Renaissance palaces and mansions.  See the Roman Temple and visit the chapel of the Convento dos Loios which is now a Pousada.Portugal Evora  Visit the Cathedral, built in the late 12th century in the Transitional Gothic syle on the site of a former mosque.  Walk down the hill past the Praça do Giralde to the Church of Sâo Francisco with its macabre Bone Chapel.  Time permitting you may have a look at the University.  Lunch at the famed Fialho Restaurant.  In the afternoon free time for browsing.  Dinner on own at the hotel.  Hotel Convento do Espinheiro – Deluxe Pool View Rooms (B, L)

Day 13 – Departure for Arraiolos: Visit the town, a charming village, perched on a hill in the great Alentejo plain, and has long been famous for its carpets.  The 14th century castle dominates the narrow streets of white-washed houses.  Enjoy browsing in the shops to see these lovely carpets.  In the second half of the 17th century, a small industry was established in the Arraiolos region, manufacturing hemp and linen carpets which were then embroidered with wool and used as chest and wall coverings.Portugal embrodiery  Lunch at the Pousada de Arriolos.  In the afternoon continue drive to Casçais and check into the charming Albatross Hotel – Sea View Rooms (B, L, D)  Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 14 – Independent departures.

  • INCLUDED:Accommodation in 4-5 star properties including buffet breakfast and all taxes.
  • Transportation by luxury coach.
  • One (1) Welcome Cocktail event.
  • Four (4) Dinners.
  • Eleven (11) Lunches.
  • One (1) Port Tasting.
  • One (1) Olive Oil Tasting.
  • One (1) Private Boat Cruise on the Duoro.
  • Tour Manager.
  • Local Guides where necessary.
  • Entrance tickets to all monuments while on tour.
  • Water on the bus.
  • Tips to drivers and any local guides.
  • Porterage.
  • Information Packet.
  • All taxes.
  • Services of Adamarie King as Tour Escort.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Tip to Accompanying Tour Escort.
  • Meals other than those mentioned as included in the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses, such as phone, internet, laundry, snacks.

 COST: (based on 8-12 participants)

Trip costs depend on the number of travelers, time of year, and the number of travel days.  Please contact Ada King for more information about your trip: ada@connoisseurstravel.com

 

 

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