This 7-day program features most beautiful and renowned gardens, as well as the UNESCO heritage sites.
Participants will guided by an English-speaking tour guide and visit medieval villages, university towns, ancient cities from Lisbon to Porto.
|Tuesday, September 13||U.S./Lisbon|
Depart US, flying to Lisbon.
|Wednesday, September 14||Lisbon|
The morning tour includes a visit to the Botanical Garden of Ajuda, planted for the royal family in the 18th Century overlooking the mouth of River Tagus.
Then see the UNESCO sites of Monastery of Jeronimos, Monument of Discovery and Tower of Belem. The afternoon is free to rest or explore on your own. Dinner is on your own. (L)
|Thursday, September 15||Sintra|
Following breakfast, we travel to Sintra, a fairy-tale village of palaces, gardens, castles and quirky boutiques. It is here that romantic landscaping influenced garden design elsewhere in Europe. En route, we stop at the Queluz Palace and Gardens, visiting the royal apartments and gardens design in the French fashion. After an included lunch in Sintra we visit the hilltop Pena Palace and Park, one of the best examples of 19-Century Romantic architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Next we drive to the westernmost point of Continental Europe, returning to Lisbon along the scenic road through the seaside villages of Cascais, and Estoril. Dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Real Palacio. (B,L)
|Friday, September 16||Óbidos/Nazaré/Coimbra/Lamego|
Today we travel to Óbidos, a preserved medieval town with classic crenellated walls and a gorgeous historic center. Resembling an open-air museum, we explore the narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed houses. Then we head to one of the favorite seaside resorts in Portugal, Nazaré – a typical fishing village, known for fabulous seafood. After lunch on your own, we continue to the university town of Coimbra, to visit the famous Baroque Library. Traveling north, we visit Bussaco Forest, a luxurious garden with many species of trees and now one of the most valuable natural heritages of the country, renowned by arborists worldwide.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel de Lamego (B,D)
|Saturday, September 17||Lamego/Douro Valley/Guimaraes/Porto|
In the afternoon, continuing on we arrive at Villa Real to visit the Palace and Gardens of Mateus. The baroque mansion is surrounded by orchards and vineyards, producing Mateus Rosé wine.
Then we drive to Guimaraes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the cradle of Portugal. Stroll the medieval streets and explore the old quarter, among the most beautiful medieval spots in Europe. Our final destination is Porto where we will dine and overnight at the Hotel Crowne Plaza. (B,L,D)
|Sunday, September 18||Porto|
Enjoy a city tour of Porto, including a visit to the Jardim Passeio Alegre, a 19th century garden flanked by graceful old buildings and dotted with willowy palms, sculptures and fountains. Then we see Serralves, a cultural institution encompassing a Contemporary Art Museum, Park, and Villa. Upon arrival at the Ribeira district, known as the “Soul of Porto” – and another UNESCO World Heritage Site – we find a wine cellar to sample some of the famous beverage. Your included lunch of local specialties is served in reataurant in historic district. One hour cruise on board a river ship as we admire the city from the Douro River. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure, overnighting in Hotel Crowne Plaza. Dinner on your own. (B,L)
|Monday, September 19||Porto/Tomar/Évora|
In the afternoon drive on to EVORA, important cultural city of Portugal (UNESCO Heritage).
We stroll through the winding medieval streets and visit the Roman Temple and the Bones Chapel.
Enjoy dinner and overnight at Hotel Sheraton Convento do Espinheiro – Évora (B,D)
|Tuesday, September 20||Lisbon|
In this big property we shall have a delightful olive oil experience and wine tasting. Lunch in the premises.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel Sheraton Convento do Espinheiro – Évora (B,L,D)
|Wednesday, September 21||Lisbon/U.S.|
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. (B)