7-Nights A Week In... Portugal
A Week In... Portugal
New for 2017! Portugal may be small but it's big on vibrant culture, history, and natural beauty that invite intimate exploration. Discover the seafaring charms of the coast, the lush vineyards of the Douro River Valley, the hilltop castles and villages in its alpine interior and monuments to man-made achievements during stays in gracious palace hotels and pousadas. Spend two nights in the ancient port city of Porto with guided visits to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Douro Wine Region and the historic center of Oporto; in Monte Real, an overnight stay at a palace hotel features tours of the University in Coimbra and the Monastery of Alcobaca, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Your unique accommodation in Evora is a converted, 15th-century convent, setting the scene for guided exploration of the Convent of the Order of Christ and the historic city, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, plus wine and olive oil tastings in the country; and in Lisbon, a two-night stay in Portugal's capital city showcases Jerónimos Monastery on a city tour and includes a hands-on visit to the Tile Museum, a private dinner at the Palacio de Queluz, and excursions to seaside Cascais and Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unique experiences include visits to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites on guided visits with local experts; a private tour and dinner at the National Palace of Queluz (Palacio de Queluz) and its historical gardens built in 1747; guided visit to the Tile Museum for unique insights on the history and craftsmanship of this revered Portuguese art; tastings of world-famous port wine during a tour and lunch at a renowned winery and an exclusive tasting some of Portugal's best olive oil on a visit to a private olive grove.
Unique experiences include visits to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites on guided visits with local experts; a private tour and dinner at the National Palace of Queluz (Palacio de Queluz) and its historical gardens built in 1747; guided visit to the Tile Museum for unique insights on the history and craftsmanship of this revered Portuguese art; and tastings of world-famous port wine during a tour and lunch at a renowned winery and an exclusive tasting some of Portugal's best olive oil on a visit to a private olive grove; enjoy stays at an historic palace and luxury hotels.
7 nights from $3790 per person
Portugal’s capital is an 18th-century city - elegant, open to the sea and carefully planned. Most places of interest are within easy walking distance. Rossio Square, the heart of Lisbon since medieval times, is an ideal place to start exploring. Many rebuilt houses with original façades provide stores and restaurants with modern interiors. High above Baixa is Bairro Alto - with its teeming nightlife. There are many monuments and museums, such as San Jeronimos Monastery, Royal Coach Museum and Gulbenkian Museum. Two well-known landmarks are the Monument to the Discoveries and the Tower of Belem. A statue of Christ looms above Europe’s longest suspension bridge. Madragoa, Bica and Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s older sections, offer a variety of sights: the Church of Sao Roque, with its beautiful tiles; St. George Castle, which offers a splendid view from its location above the Alfama quarter; the botanical gardens, featuring an unusual, cold greenhouse; and the cathedral, stunning with its Moorish design. Renowned Gulbenkian Museum is the cultural center of Portugal.
Porto, Portugal's second largest city, is full of interest, and the district it heads offers the visitor plenty to see. Along the coast, there are resorts like the cosmopolitan beach of Espinho, busy ports like Matosinhos, with splendid seafood, or traditional fishing towns like Póvoa de Varzim, and there is also an animated casino. Charming Amarante has 17th century mansions overlooking the river and is famous for a sweet egg pastries called "papos de anjo" (angel bellies). In Vila Nova de Gaia, there are lodges where Port wine is blended and aged and where tasting are offered, or visitors may take a river cruise along the Douro. The whole district is filled with prosperous towns, but there are also many calm roads with wonderful views over the river and a rugged and still unspoilt coastline.
Evora is considered a seat of learning with its University founded in 16th Century by Cardinal Dom Henrique. Within the surrounding wall the most prominent feature is the 2nd or 3rd Century ruins of a Roman Temple dedicated to Goddess Diana. Another attractive feature is the 15th Century Convento dos Lóios. The city’s 13th century cathedral took 50 years to build and is reminiscent of a fortress. The main square with its 16th Century fountain has a sad history. Among other events, Dom João II witnessed the beheading by his orders of his brother-in-law. Equally unpleasant were the sights caused by the Inquisition in this public place. A macabre reminder is the Capela dos Ossos in the 15th Century Igreja de São Francisco - where the bones of 5,000 monks lie. There are several museums - the Museu de Arte Sacra, Galeria de Arte Casa Cadaval, the Museu de Artes Decorativas Religiosas and the Museu de Évora. The museum, formerly the palace of the Bishop, built with many worked stones from previous buildings in the city, has some outstanding religious items.
Coimbra is one of the most romantically beautiful cities in Portugal, and it's ancient and ornate buildings are rich in historical and cultural importance. Also, being a university town the city is inevitably dotted with cafe's, and lively night clubs. Beyond the university, Coimbra has much else to offer the visitor not least an array of medieval churches, ancient Roman archaeological sites, and Portugal's largest national park, the Serra da Estrela, a popular destination with all visitors.
The Douro Valley in Portugal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site devoted to vineyards. Port wine production and beautiful scenery sculpted by the Douro River are highlights of the region. Enjoy the local cuisine, bike, canoe or cruise along the Douro, and drink in the unforgettable beauty of the area that has inspired many poets, writers, chefs and painters.
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