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Pastel and azulejo-clad façades line Lisbon's narrow streets which ramble across and over its seven hills from St. George Castle to the Tagus River. Gaze over the Portuguese capital's terracotta rooftops, soaking up its small-town atmosphere before meeting your Travel Director and companheiros for a glimpse of what lies ahead. Tonight you'll join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for dinner and sample some of the local favourites that you'll encounter throughout your journey across Portugal.
Explore the Age of the Discoveries and Portugal's role as a global maritime power many centuries ago when you join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour. See the Hieronymite Monastery and the medieval quarter before taking in views of the alabaster-white Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries before taking the rest of the day to explore on your own. Hop on one of Lisbon's signature trams rolling along the city's cinematic hillsides and you'll quickly discover leafy squares and countless corner tascas (taverns) for a quick coffee and pasteis de nata (custard tartlet) fix. Consider joining an Optional Experience to Portugal's Golden Triangle of Cascais, Estoril and Sintra to see some of the country's most extravagant palaces during your free afternoon. This evening, perhaps join an optional traditional Portuguese dinner amidst the heart-wrenching, melancholic sounds of the fado.
Que bom! A full free day in Lisboa to explore the enchanting Portuguese capital your way. The secret to living a long life lies in eating a big breakfast, but as you'll come to discover in Lisbon that may extend to a big lunch and dinner too. Spend the day indulging in a culinary adventure on your own or choose an optional visit to the fishing village of Nazaré, set on a wide bay overlooking the Atlantic. This Optional Experience also includes a visit to Óbidos where you'll have time to explore the medieval walled city with its white-washed houses and cobblestone lanes. Aside from its obvious charm and history that pre-dates the founding of Portugal, Óbidos is also home to the delightfully decadent Ginja cherry drink served up in tiny chocolate cups. Don't go home without a taste or two!
Leave Lisbon behind, bound for Fátima, a site of celebrated religious miracles where three young shepherds are said to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1917. It is here that you'll rub shoulders with visiting pilgrims who have come to pray and seek divine guidance. Explore the Basilica and Sanctuary on your own before heading to the Templar city of Tomar, a beautiful reminder of Portuguese Renaissance. Later, arrive in Coimbra for an orientation drive. This evening, enjoy dinner in your hotel with your travel companions.
You'll have the whole morning to explore Coimbra your way, or head to the seaside resort of Aveiro on an Optional Experience. Don't leave town without sampling the delicious Ovos Moles sweets for which Aveiro is famous, then head north to Porto. You'll arrive in time for a sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist who'll reveal the treasures in the city's UNESCO-listed medieval Ribeira Quarter, the port and the remarkable bridges that span the Douro River. With an evening to do as you wish, you may be tempted to head to the water's edge and one of the city's Port wine cellars for a tasting and insights into the centuries-old tradition of local Port production.
Savour a full day to go back in time and explore Porto's historic centre with its beautiful Baroque façades. You could choose instead to join an Optional Experience to Braga, Portugal's religious capital. A Local Specialist will reveal insights into Braga's historic centre and you'll have an opportunity to see Europe's largest and most magnificent sculpted Baroque staircase. This evening, an optional cruise along the Douro, followed by a dinner of local specialties, is a fitting way to end your journey through Portugal. Watch the city light up as you enjoy a night cap and the fresh river breeze.
Say a fond farewell to our Tripeiro hosts as you prepare for your return journey home. You've explored Portugal's illustrious past, savoured Mediterranean flavours that will linger long after you leave and made lasting new friendships. All that's left is to take your airport transfer and wish your travel companions a boa viagem and até a proxima. Guests departing from Lisbon have the option of a complimentary return transfer to the Portuguese capital.
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