Country Roads of Portugal - Classic Group, 2021
Portugal's great New World discoveries brought the country trade and wealth, and left their mark throughout the Kingdom. Witness this legacy, from the sunny beaches of the Algarve to the vineyards of the Douro Valley.
- Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém. Lisbon: Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant and the opportunity to mingle with your fellow travellers.
- Monsaraz: Meet a local boat captain and join them for a leisurely cruise, followed by a delicious Alentejo Highlight Lunch in a local restaurant that was once an olive oil mill.
- Douro Valley: Enjoy a wonderful Farm-to-Table Dinner, freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients at Quinta da Roêda, renowned as the “Jewel of the Douro” Porto: Shared experiences and memories are often the foundation for special bonds and friendships. Toast your travels with wine and good cheer during your Celebration Dinner at a restaurant in Porto, devoted to the enjoyment of regional cooking.
Dining Summary: 10 Breakfast (B), 4 Dinner with Wine (DW), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW)
Porto: Choose between a visit to the São Bento Railway Station and walk on the Dom Luis I Bridge in Porto or alternatively, see the Clerigos Tower, the Atlantic coast at the mouth of Douro and the main Liberdade Square.
Monsaraz: Meet a local boat captain and hear tales of life upon the water during your leisurely cruise.
Top Rated Highlights
- Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the view as you travel through the Alentejo region and along the Tagus and Douro rivers.
- Lisbon: Visit Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal's trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Lagos: Explore this coastal town nestled on Meia Praia, with your Travel Director.
- Evora: With your Travel Director explore the ancient city of Evora and visit the fascinating Capela dos Ossos, meaning the Chapel of Bones, a chapel decorated with human remains.
- Monsaraz: Surrounded by cork oaks and vineyards, wander through the castle ruins to admire the incredible view over the Spanish plains that contrast with the blue of one of Europe's largest artificial lakes.
- Tomar: Guided by your Local Expert, visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal.
- Coimbra: With a Local Expert, visit the University and witness the triumphal arches, painted ceilings, golden flourishes and walls of ancient tomes.
- Guimares: Enjoy views from the ruined castle and explore the maze of streets in the historic Old Quarter.
- Obidos: Lead by your Travel Director, walk through the picturesque narrow streets up to the main square of this ancient walled town.
- Fatima: Join the faithful at one of the world's holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions or see the basilica.
Included Insight Services
- Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas
- Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary
- We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available) From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination
- If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport
Day 1 / Welcome to Lisbon
On arrival at Lisbon International Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Settle in and relax before joining your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Enjoy the the opportunity to mingle with your fellow travellers during a pleasant evening of good food and wine.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 2 / Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries
Your guided sightseeing with a Local Expert 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 Paço, the finest square in the city, named after the palace that was destroyed in the terrible earthquake of 1755, along with much of the rest of the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém, from the patisserie that has been using the same secret recipe for almost 200 years. See the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower, erected to protect Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which you visit. With free time in the afternoon, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Royal Portuguese Riviera to explore the glamorous resort of Cascais, the wealthy playground of Estoril and visit one of the Royal summer palaces?(Breakfast)
Day 3 / The Algarve
Cross the River Tagus and head for the sun-drenched southern coast to reach Lagos, a fishing port nestled on the bay of Meia Praia. After free time to explore, continue to your resort hotel set within a magnificent 360-acre estate. Simplicity is in the soul of Algarve cuisine, along with seafood so fresh it still tastes of the sea. The nearby coast houses restaurants and bars overlooking the beautiful coastal waters.(Breakfast)
Day 4 / Everlasting Évora
Journey to the medieval walled city of Évora where cathedrals, churches, aqueducts and ancient castle walls all serve to create the feeling that this beautiful city is a living, breathing museum to Portugal's rich past. Join your Local Expert to explore the highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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. With the afternoon at leisure, you may wish to continue to stroll through Évora’s unique historical centre, or the serene city park, following the aqueduct inside the city walls?(Breakfast)
Day 5 / Monsaraz and Évora
Travel 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. Meet a local boat captain and hear tales of life upon the water during your leisurely cruise. Sit down to a delicious Highlight Lunch in a local restaurant that was formerly an olive oil mill. Savour the local cuisine as your menu is typical of the local Alentejo region and accompanied with wine. Return to Évora where the evening is at your leisure to explore this beautifully preserved regional capital.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day 6 / Scenic drive to Tomar
Journey to Tomar and visit one of Portugal’s historical jewels, the Templar Castle and Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With your Local Expert, explore the octagonal Templars' 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 a national masterpiece. You also visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal, housing a small Jewish museum.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 7 / Coimbra, the Douro and Pinhão
In Coimbra, your Local Expert will show you the highlights of the Old Town, including a visit to the impressive baroque university library. Enjoy a wonderful Farm-to-Table Dinner, freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients at Quinta da Roêda, renowned as the “Jewel of the Douro”. Home to one of the most distinguished port houses, tantilise your taste buds with a tasting of port produced by the Croft family.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 8 / Guimarães and Porto
Journey to Guimarães to admire the views from the ruined castle and explore the cobbled streets and cosy squares. Next, continue on to Porto, Portugal’s second city, a World Heritage town and where Portugal originates. Explore Porto with Insight Choice. Choose between joining your Local Expert for a walk to visit the São Bento Railway Station and walk on the Dom Luis I Bridge or alternatively, join your Local Expert shows you the Clerigos Tower, the beaches along the Atlantic coast, the mouth of Douro and the main Liberdade Square. In the evening you are at leisure to enjoy your boutique, five-star hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in the heart of Porto’s historic district. The decor is a mix of classic and contemporary and each room is individually decorated with original artwork. Alternatively, why not join an Optional Experience to see the pastel-painted houses in Porto's Ribeira district before cruising on a traditional Rabelo boat and finishing off the evening with a Portuguese dinner in the comfort of your riverside restaurant?(Breakfast)
Day 9 / Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro
With a full day free to enjoy at your own pace, why not take a stroll to admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in beautiful glazed tiles. For a different perspective and excellent views of the city, perhaps embark on a relaxing Douro cruise? In the evening, bid adeus to your Travel Director and fellow travellers with a mouth-watering Celebration Dinner with wine, at an authentic Porto restaurant.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 10 / Óbidos, Fátima and on to Lisbon
Pass cork oak forests and expansive rice fields as you journey to the fortified town of Óbidos. Walk inside its walls to explore the craft shops, art galleries and flower-laden houses that line the narrow, medieval streets. Continue to Fátima, Portugal’s most renowned place of pilgrimage. See the basilica or perhaps visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917.(Breakfast)
Day 11 / Depart Lisbon
After breakfast, your departure transfer arrives at Lisbon Portela Airport at 07:00 or 09:30.(Breakfast)
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