Sun-splashed beaches, a fairy-tale castle, vineyards tumbling down the hillsides, picturesque Old World cities, islands that beckon the adventurer…it’s all there in Portugal. From the huge, dramatic cliffs that buffer the Atlantic in the south, to the soft rolling hills and vineyards of the Duoro Valley to the North, Portugal is an amazingly divers country given its size. Our small exclusive tour includes some of these favourite destinations.
In LISBON we discover the small cobbled streets of Baixa, the traditional centre of city where some of the oldest and traditional shops still exist. You’ll find jeweller’s stores in the Rua do Ouro (Gold Street) and the Rua da Prata (Silver Street) and cloth and clothes stores in Rua dos Fanqueiros (Drapers’ Street). We spend an evening enjoying a traditional ‘Fado’ evening in the old city. Then in contrast we will visit the historic and picturesque villages en route to Oporto.
We will have time to linger in fairy-tale SINTRA. Sintra’s Palácio da Pena is one of the best examples of 19th-century Romantic revivalism in Portugal. Set at the top of the Monte da Pena, the palace was built on the site of an old monastery belonging to the Order of St. Jerome.
ÈVORA A unique and historic city, 2,000-yeara old Evora is filled with labyrinthine streets, squares flooded with light, Renaissance fountains, Moorish courtyards and Gothic doorways and turrets. A beautiful town at the foot of the mountain range of the same name, its unique characteristics have led UNESCO to classify it as a World heritage site.
Half-way between Lisbon and Portp in the north lies COIMBRA – once the capital of Portugal. But it is most famous for the University of Coimbra, founded in 1290
and one of the oldest universities in Europe. It’s a city of medieval churches and a maze of medieval streets, some so picturesque you’ll think you’re in another time, which is likely the reason some consider it the most romantic city in Portugal.
We also stop in ÓBIDOS with its white-washed houses covered with bougainvilleas and honeysuckle, was captured from the Moors by the first king of Portugal. The town of Óbidos and the surrounding land was always the property of the queens of Portugal. Encircled by a ring of medieval walls and crowned by a rebuilt Moorish castle, it is now a Pousada.
We visit AVEIRO on the West Coast of Portugal, south of Oporto, known as the “Venice” of Portugal with its romantic canals and colourful boats (Barcos Moliceiros). Aveiro was once a small fishing village where villages made a living from the river, the sea and the salt. Walk through the narrow streets of the Costa Nova neighbourhood with its typical colourful houses.
Then there is the harbour in the north – PORTO, the second largest city in Portugal. With its splendid location at the mouth of the Douro River and an architectural heritage of exceptional quality, the historic centre of Porto was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1996. The Cais da Ribeira riverfront is the centre and the most historic and picturesque part of Porto – a romantic place that comes alive as the sun goes down, when the numerous cafés, bars and restaurants open.
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID (from previous tours)
Liewe Kitty, Ja; ek is veilig terug met wonderlike herinneringe aan ‘n onvergeetlike lekker toer met dierbare vriendinne wat sielsgenote geword het! Ek sien vreeslik uit na die volgende toer na “waarookal”; dit kan net nog ‘n onvergeetlike gebeurtenis wees! Liefde. Susan
Hallo Kitty, Ek en Ané het Parys ook baie geniet – meeste gesien wat ons wou sien ! Bly julle kaas het dit veilig oorleef Ons het aan julle gedink want toe ons instap in Amerika se customs was dit hul eerste vraag : het jul kaas gekoop ? Toe is ons maar bly dat ons kan nee sê !!! Ek wil net weereens vir jou baie dankie sê vir al jou puik reëlings ! Die toer was fantasties , al die blyplekke was sooo mooi en al jou reëlings het seepglad verloop !! Baie dankie daarvoor ! Ons het die toer BAIE geniet en sal dit aanbeveel by almal ! Jy is ń wenner !! Ons sal skree “bokke bokke ” en aan julle almal dink ! Mooi bly en geniet die naweek ! Groete uit Winnipeg Ria