(Santiago de Compostela)
Spend time in Lisbon, and choose to spend your days as you will - either in the company of a private guide and/or driver or doing some independent discovery of this magical city before joining a small, fully guided multi-day group tour. Portugal offers a uniquely diverse and exciting range of cultures, traditions, and landscapes. On this tour you will combine visits to cosmopolitan Lisbon and Porto with Portugal’s Silver Coast, a gem of undiscovered natural beauty, home to a real Portuguese way-of-life that is not found further south. You will have an opportunity to explore the cuisine of Portugal and taste various types of wine including famous export ‘Vinho Verde’, which translates to green wine. Your tour will finish at Santiago de Compostela, a famous pilgrimage site in north-west Spain that became a symbol in the Spanish Christians' struggle against Islam. With its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque buildings, the Old Town of Santiago is one of the world's most beautiful urban areas.
Small group tours typically depart every 2nd Sunday from May 5th till October 13, 2013. Tours are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 participants. In general, the maximum group size is 16.
Remember, there is always the option to add a full day or afternoon of private guided services throughout your small group multi-day tour. Do things your way, at an affordable price, knowing that you have 24/7 support as you travel.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer in Lisbon.
Spreading out along the right bank of the Tagus, and known as the Baixa, the downtown area of Lisbon is located in the 18th-century area around Rossio. East of the arcade Praça do Comércio, are the medieval quarters of Alfama and Mouraria, crowned by the magnificent St. George's Castle. To the west lie Bairro Alto and Madragoa, with their typical streets, and on the western extreme is Belém, with its Belém Tower, (the sentinel over the Tagus river that protects the entrance into Lisbon), the Jerónimos Monastery (masterpieces of Manueline architecture and classified in UNESCO's International Heritage list) and the Cultural Center of Belém.
A welcome package with your vouchers, a city map, train tickets (if relevant) and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Heritage Avenida Liberdade (4*) a small Lifestyle Boutique Hotel located in the historic centre of Lisbon. The blue façade of the Heritage Avenida Liberdade stands out in an architectonic unit on the prime artery of the capital - Avenida da Liberdade. The hotel provides 42 personalized rooms, breakfast buffet, library, lobby Bar, a Fitness room with a Jet Pool and a Gym, 24h room service, a laundry, free access to broad band wireless, free use of a computer and printer with Internet access, a video library and a postal service. A hotel designated for non-smokers.
Enjoy a private walking tour of the highlights of Lisbon.
Meet up with your Guide and fellow travellers of your small group tour this morning. The rendezvous is at 9:00am at the Hotel Heritage AV Libertade, 28 Avenida Libertade, 1250-145 Lisbon, Portugal.
Enjoy a full day city tour of Lisbon. Home to Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums, Lisbon is best explored on foot where its hidden delights can be discovered as you wander through the narrow lanes of its backstreets. Located near the shore, Jeronimo’s Monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Maueline-style architecture and, along with the nearby Tower of Belem, has been classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cross the Tagus River to the Almada region for a panoramic view of Libson. Taste the legendary Pasteis de Belem, a local speciality of the area.
This evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner in a local restaurant whilst being entertained by Fado singers.
Heritage AV Liberdade is a small Lifestyle Boutique Hotel located in the historic centre of Lisbon. The blue façade of the Heritage Av Liberdade stands out in an architectonic unit on the prime artery of the capital - Avenida da Liberdade. The hotel provides 42 personalized rooms, breakfast buffet, library, lobby Bar, a Fitness room with a Jet Pool and a Gym, 24h room service, a laundry, free access to broad band wireless, free use of a computer and printer with Internet access, a video library and a postal service. A hotel designated for non-smokers.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
This morning travel through hills dotted with fairy tale palaces and extravagant villas to Sintra. From the main square you will see the two conical chimneys of the 14th century National Palace, which are the town’s most recognisable landmarks. However, the most famous building in Sintra is the 19th century Pena Palace. The extravagant interior is decorated in late Victorian and Edwardian furnishings and contains rich paintings and priceless porcelain. Surrounding the palace is Pena Park, which is filled with plants from the former colonies of the Portuguese empire. You will enjoy fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean this afternoon on a drive along the Portuguese coast to Estoril and Cascais, an active fishing port with an old town full of narrow winding streets.
This evening is at your leisure.
Today you will travel north to Coimbra. Your first stop is the romantic village of Obidos with its cobbled streets surrounded by medieval walls and rustic houses. Continue to the charming fishing town of Nazare, where you can explore the town on your own. Then head to Batalha to visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Batalha Monastery, which commemorates Portugal’s independence from Spain in 1385. Your final stop is at Conimbriga, one of the largest Roman settlements in Portugal. Archaeological evidence shows that this site was inhabited as far back as the 9th century BC.
Tonight, dinner will be served in a local restaurant in Coimbra.
Quinta das Lagrimas, a hotel with soul and character, a retreat of comfort that honours Portugal`s rich traditions of hospitality and gastronomy, a member of Relais & Chateaux. Throughout the Quinta’s interiors is a pared-down opulence, with simple lines and muted palates to a classic dark wood background, allowing the rich gastronomy to take centre stage at Michelin star awarded restaurant Arcadas, whose menu counts on homegrown herbs, and oranges and lemons from the grounds’ orchards. The Bamboo Garden spa and its assorted treatments, completes the modernisation of this original sanctuary of calm.
Coimbra is a lively university town, with a picturesque maze of medieval streets and an assembly of Romanesque and Gothic buildings. Outside of the dense old city, you can stroll along Coimbra’s riverfront and enjoy leafy walks through its parks and gardens. After a morning exploring the city, you travel to Aveiro, known as ‘the Venice’ of Portugal. To the north of the central canal is the old fisherman quarter and to the south are most of the city’s historic buildings.
Return to Coimbra where you have your evening at your leisure.
Travelling North, you will explore Portugal’s beautiful but remote Douro Valley, the home of port wine. The valley, with its hills falling steeply down to the river’s edge becomes more sparsely populated and wild the further inland we travel and the roads, which zigzag up and down the mountainsides, offer fantastic views of the vines and olive groves. Famous producers of the region include Taylors, Cockburns and Sandeman, whose wines are a great accompaniment to local cuisine. From the Douro Valley continue to Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, where you will enjoy an evening meal in a local restaurant.
Located in Rua Santa Catarina in the historic city centre within walking distance of shops, services, theatres and monuments, the Grande Hotel do Porto has 94 rooms, all recently modernised and equipped for your comfort. They have a restaurant, bar, a fitness and wellness room and a terrace overlooking the city to make your stay even more comfortable.
Situated at the mouth of the Douro River, the hilly city of Porto is one of Europe’s oldest centres and is a fascinating city to explore. Its historic Ribeira district, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, has many winding medieval lanes, extravagant baroque churches and small squares. Along the riverside promenade you will see some important landmarks of the city including the Bolsa Palace, the San Francisco Church and the Porto Cathedral.
This afternoon you will visit one of the many wine cellars in the city for a tasting of its famous export ‘Vinho Verde’, which translates to green wine.
Your journey today takes you to the historic town of Guimares, which was voted European Capital of Culture in 2012. As the first capital of Portugal and birthplace of the nation’s first king, Guimares is one of the country’s most historic cities. It is home to an imposing medieval castle, several fine churches and the Rua de Santa Maria, a beautiful cobbled street that leads to the old town. After some time exploring this fascinating city you will head to Ponte de Lima, a lovely market town on the south bank of the Lima River, founded on the site of a Celtic settlement and developed by the Romans. Your accommodation tonight provides wonderful views over the Lima Valley and surrounding vineyards.
Paço de Calheiros has a most impressive entrance with its distinguished gateway, beautiful tree-lined drive and stone fountain. The Count of Calheiros, who will proudly show his 17 Th Century family home, makes guests to feel very welcome. A magnificent view of the Lima valley can be seen from the tranquil gardens. Facilities: 15 rooms, dinning room and living room with fireplace, breakfast rooom, swimming pool, tennis court, chapel, gardens and vineyard.
After breakfast you make your final journey north, crossing over the border from Portugal into Spain. Your final destination is Santiago de Compostela, a city which can lay claim to being the world’s first tourist destination. During the middle ages, from the 9th to the 16th century, this was an important pilgrimage site with up to two million people a year coming to worship at what was believed to be the burial place of St James. Whether or not you believe in the legend of St James, Santiago de Compostela is still a fascinating city to explore. One of the most impressive sights is Santiago’s cathedral square, which is made of golden granite and is bordered on one side by the Baroque façade of the cathedral and on the other the 18th century town hall, formally the Raxoy Palace. Walk through the old streets that run from the cathedral where modern clothing shops stand next to ancient grocery shops run by traditional women swathed in black.
Your small group tour concludes this afternoon in Santiago de Compostela around 5:00pm.
Hotel AC Palacio del Carmen (5*) offers 75 rooms in an emblematic and splendid building, the old Oblatas Convent was recently renovated and its original architectural and artistic style maintained. It is located in the historical centre of monumental Compostela, very near to the Plaza del Obradoiro, and provides all the services of a luxury establishment, exquisitely restored in an unrivaled setting.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Portugal for the most up to date visa information.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Spain for the most up to date visa information.
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