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Bem vindo a Lisboa. On arrival at Lisbon Airport, transfers will operate at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. A sea of pastel pinks, yellows and blues dot the seven hills of the romantic Portuguese capital, which you will have an opportunity to explore today before meeting your fellow travelers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive past the city's most iconic sights.
Delve into Lisbon's centuries-old seafaring heritage today, paying tribute to the brave men who set off from these shores to discover a new world. We'll see the shimmering white Monument to the Discoveries, the iconic suspension bridge spanning the River Tagus and the mighty Belém Tower. We join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Hieronymite Monastery, an exquisite testament to 15th-century Manueline architecture and art. Join an Optional Experience to the historic towns of Estoril, Cascais and Sintra to explore the famous Golden Triangle, or join a traditional Portuguese dinner amidst the heart-warming, melancholic sounds of the fado.
Travel to the ancient Alentejo city of Évora. Join your Local Specialist and visit the elaborate cathedral, Roman temple and the Chapel of Bones. We spend the rest of our day delving into the medieval history of this enchanting city. Consider joining an Optional Experience to the village of Monsaraz set against the stunning backdrop of golden olive groves. This evening we dine at our hotel in Évora.
Our fist stop today is in the quaint hilltop town of Castelo de Vide with its charming white faҫades, narrow alleys and fascinating Jewish Quarter. Travel north towards the Serra de Estrela mountains and arrive later in Viseu, set high on a plateau near the famous Dão vineyards. Explore the city's rich art and architectural history, visiting the 12th-century Sé, standing imposingly on a hill overlooking much of the city.
Vineyard-clad hills provide an enchanting backdrop for our journey today through the Douro Valley where port wine is produced. We explore the magnificent gardens at the beautiful baroque Palácio de Mateus, depicted on the label of the distinctive Mateus wine bottles. We then continue via Guimarães for views of its impressive 10th-century castle before arriving in Porto where we will spend the next two nights.
Join a Local Specialist today for a sightseeing tour in Porto which takes you past baroque churches and along the winding cobblestone lanes that tumble down towards the Douro. See the remarkable bridges that span the river and the Gothic Church of St. Francis. Visit the Stock Exchange Palace with its splendid Arabian Hall inspired by Granada's Alhambra, before we dive into culture and into the centuries-old tradition of local port production at a tasting in a port cellar. Spend the rest of the afternoon strolling through the historic center of Porto, admire the azulejo-clad faҫades or visit Livraria Lello, the city's oldest book store with its iconic red staircase.
Soak up the grand atmosphere of one of Europe's greatest and oldest universities and meander through the ancient streets and squares of Coimbra this morning, before journeying to the Templar city of Tomar to visit the Convent of Christ, originally built as a Templar stronghold in the 12th century and today is an exquisite reminder of the Portuguese Renaissance. We arrive in the pilgrimage center of Fátima where we'll dine in our hotel.
This morning we rub shoulders with Catholic pilgrims who have journeyed to the shrine where three young shepherds famously saw the apparition of the Virgin at the pilgrimage site of Fátima. En route to Lisbon, we stop at the imposing monastery of Batalha—a UNESCO World Heritage site and the best example of late Gothic architecture in Portugal. Our next stop is at the quaint village of Nazaré before we visit Óbidos with its quaint white-washed houses and cobblestone roads. Our last night in Portugal together sees us toast to an incredible journey as we connect with locals over a memorable Be My Guest Farewell Dinner.
Say a fond adeus to your fellow travelers at the end of an unforgettable Portuguese vacation. Return transfers will arrive at Lisbon Airport at 7 am and 9:30 am. Conditions apply.
12 meals. 8 breakfasts, 4 dinners with local wine.
Christmas & New Year's Eve Highlights: The December 21 departure will celebrate Christmas in Porto. The December 28 departure will toast New Year's Eve in Viseu. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.
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