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Portugal might be a small country but it manages to be both astonishingly beautiful and endlessly surprising. There is great charm in a country that restores its great monuments, preserves its medieval villages and walled towns, while at the same time embracing progress and modernity with a style all its own.
Let the adventure begin………
Upon arrival at the Lisbon airport midday you will be transported to check in at your 5* resort- The Sheraton Cascais. You will have the balance of the day to unwind, relax and enjoy all the resort has to offer.
Day 2 (BL)
After breakfast your driver and guide will take you on a tour of Lisbon
is one of the most handsome cities in Europe though due to the earthquake of 1755 most of the architecture dates back only to the 18th
century. This city, dating back to the Phoenicians, Romans and Moors has always been prosperous and one of the most active ports in Europe. Among the monuments that you will see is the Jeronimos Monastry
built to commemorate Vasco da Gamos voyage to India. The church is known for its deeply carved stonework and the architecture is a combination of flamboyant Gothic and Moorish influences with elements of the Nascent Renaissance. You will also visit the nearby Monument to the Discovers and exhibition space.
Lunch today will be at Varina da Madragoa-a small out of the way local restaurant known for its great fish dishes.
The featured afternoon attraction will be the visit to the Castelo de Sao Jorge
standing majestically above Lisbon
. This was the seat of power for 400 years and a walk along the battlements provides a fantastic view of Lisbon
to the Tagus River.
You will then return to your hotel for dinner on your own at the hotel or in nearby Cascais.
Day 3 (B)
After breakfast the golfers will be taken to play at Penha Longa
. This Robert Trent Jones Jr. course is ranked in the top 30 in Continental Europe “with its bold drives, courageous approaches and artful greens it is both an adrenalin rush and a soothing journey through one of Portugal’s most inspiring landscapes”.
The non-golfers will also be going on an adventure to visit the National Palace of Queluz
and its historical gardens. This property is one of the most remarkable examples of harmony between the landscape and Palatial architecture during a period that was marked by the Baroque, Rocco and Neo Classical styles. After this you will go to visit Cabo da Roco the western most point of Continental Europe with its lighthouse, high cliffs and panoramic views.
Both the golfers and non-golfers will return to the hotel in the afternoon and be free to enjoy the resort and have dinner on your own.
Day 4 (BL)
After breakfast your group will depart to visit Sintra
whose verdant charms and cool wooded heights have long been celebrated as the summer residences of the Kings of Portugal and the Moorish Lords of Lisbon. Lord Byron said “It is perhaps in every aspect the most delightful village in Europe containing buildings and beauties of every description natural and artificial”.
Our first visit will be to the Palacio da Pena
, standing atop a rocky peak, King Ferdinand II’s creative genius and the greatest expression of 19th
century Romanticism in Portugal. The Palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxuriant romantic gardens.
For lunch you will enjoy International cuisine and wine at the romantic Boutique Hotel Lawrence, in the center of Sintra.
Next you will get to visit the Palacio National da Sintra
. The history of this palace dates back to the 11th
century when the original Moorish castle became, by conquest, the property of the crown. Over time new extensions were added and the layout of the building and its courtyards, the windows with their surmounted arches and the geometrical patterned tile walls feature the skills of the craftsmen that built it.
On the way home you will be taken for a wine tasting of the region’s great wines at the wine bar Bistro Da Praca
including two red and two white wines along with a platter of cheese, ham, olives, pate, and bread.
You will then return to your hotel for dinner on your own.
Day 5 (BL)
Today after checking out of the hotel you will start your journey north to the Douro River Valley
. The day’s journey will be broken up with several stops. The first stop will be at Obidos
. This preserved medieval town is one of Portugal’s most classic walled settlements. Stroll the cobblestone streets up to the 12th
century Abbey from whose ramparts you can view the entire countryside and vineyards. This village also showcases a converted 15th
century castle and several beautiful churches. In Obidos
, there will be a tasting of the famous Gingha Berry Portuguese liquor made from Morello cherries and served in chocolate cups-Voila!
Lunch will be at Adega da Albertino, located in Caldas Rainha
, and noted for its excellent traditional Portuguese cuisine.
In the afternoon you will stop in Coimbra
to visit the Bibiliteca Joanina
. As you enter the amazingly beautiful décor on the main floor, you will feel like you have stepped back in time 500 years. The architecture of this Baroque library, built between 1717 and 1728, will dazzle you with its ornate arches and highly decorated ceilings rich in gilt and exotic wood. It is one of the top five libraries in Europe. You will also have a chance to visit St. Miguel Chapel
- the Royal Chapel dedicated to Saint Miguel built in 1517 showcasing beautiful unique tile, paintings and a Baroque organ.
After this stop you will travel on to check in at the 5* Vintage House Hotel
in the hilly and tranquil Douro River wine valley. This special restored 18th
century estate building was renovated with all the comforts and facilities while maintaining the charm of the original Architecture. Tonight you can enjoy the hotel, lounge overlooking the river, and have dinner at your leisure.
Day 6 (BL)
After breakfast you depart on a great day of historical adventure. Your first stop will be in Lamego
, nestled among the terraced slopes of this Port wine region, showcasing Baroque style architecture and overlooked by an elegant shrine. Some of the great monuments here are the Castle
, the Monte de Sao Church
and the vaulted stone cistern. Here you will also find the beautiful shrine of Santuario Nossa Senhora dos Remedios
-Lady of Remedies dating back to the 18th
century, full of special painted tiles and one of the pilgrimage churches of Portugal.
Lunch today, including wine, will be at Quinta da Pacheca
offering an amazing gastronomic experience while you embrace a great river view. Each special dish is paired with the best suited wine.
Your last stop today will be at the Palacio de Mateus
and its gardens reminiscent of Versailles. The exterior of the Castle is a Baroque masterpiece, one of the finest examples of civil architecture, and the interior is equally lavish featuring rooms filled with many fine carvings, artwork, china and porcelain. This castle-country home is featured on the label of Mateus wine and you will have a tasting of three special wines.
After the castle visit you will return to the hotel for dinner on your own.
Day 7 (BL)
After breakfast you will be treated to a lazy two hour boat trip on the Douro River
to view the scenic landscape from a new perspective.
You will then have lunch at DOC
the best restaurant in the valley and located directly on the river. With its riverfront terrace and menu featuring the best regional, national and international cuisine, and the boats and barges gliding by on the river, eating here becomes a sublime experience.
After lunch you will have a tour and tasting in the orange tree glade at Quinta do Seixo
vineyard. This ancient and beautiful estate and modern winery surprises visitors with different wine experiences developed to tell the story of Porto wine and the Douro Valley
You will then return to spend your last magical night in the Douro Valley
and have dinner on your own.
Day 8 (BL)
Today after checking out of the Vintage
you will be transported to Porto
. Along the way you will stop at Amarante
“To Love” situated in the rich agricultural Minho Region responsible for the “Vinho Verde
” the young semi sparkling green wine unique to Portugal.
A striking arched bridge takes you over the Tamega River
and into town. Indeed the town seems magical with its elegant turreted buildings and its trees drooping down to the river.
Lunch today will be at the out of the way Sao Giao Restaurant featuring a fabulous menu including game dishes served in a spacious dining room overlooking its vineyard and the Moreira Valley
In the afternoon you will stop to visit Guimaraes
one of Portugal’s most important and historical destinations known as the birthplace of the Nation. With its proud castle and medieval quarters this charming town is a maze of narrow streets flanked by old houses decorated with statues leading to the main square, Largo de Oliveira
and the Palace.
The Palacio Duques de Bragnca
-“The Palace of the Dukes” is a medieval palace with beautiful grounds, built in the 15th
century and added onto by several owners before being left to ruins in the 17th
century. It was completely restored in the 20th
century and is now a treasured National monument. The interior rooms feature impressive Renaissance furniture, Flemish tapestries and Persian carpets.
Here you will also visit the Castle a 10th
century shield shaped fortress built to keep out the Moors and Norsemen raiders. It was expanded in the 12th
century into an arsenal and Palace.
Finishing the journey you arrive in Porto
, in Roman days “Portus Cali”, is a beguiling town with a lengthy history, a UNESCO
city of culture showcasing some of the richest concentration of Baroque Architecture in Europe. However this city is defined by its port wine trade and “Vila Nova de Gaia
” the south bank home to the famous port wine lodges.
Your new hotel, the 5* Yeatman
, the finest in Porto, is set on the hillside in the Vila Nova de Gaia. Check in, relax, and enjoy dinner on your own.
Day 9 (B)
This morning the golfers will be transported to play a round at Estela Golf Club
. The course, beautifully designed and visually appealing, is situated on the stunning and dramatic Minho coast-a true links course constructed along 3km of sandy beach land. The design made use of the natural dunes and shoreline hazards to shape the holes creating a stunning effect.
The non-golfers will experience a different aspect of history this morning with a tour of two of Porto’
s new contemporary architectural buildings and their exhibits. The Serralves Art Museum
, the most important in Portugal designed by Alvaro Siza, and the Casa da Musica
-Music House an icon of contemporary architecture.
After lunch on their own, golfers and non-golfers will return to Vila Nova de Gaia
for a tasting of Port at Croft’s Lodge
. The tasting will include a visit to the aging cellars and tasting three special ports followed by a Vintage fire-opening ritual and tasting, accompanied with almonds.
Upon reuniting with the golfers you can enjoy the balance of the day walking along the river or visiting shops, historical buildings and squares, or other Port lodges and enjoy dinner at your leisure.
Day 10 (BL)
After breakfast you will be taken down to the quay for a Rabelo boat cruise on the river. This will give you a different perspective of the architecture of Porto
and its six bridges.
Then you will have a tour of Porto
. Some of the famous stops will be the Torres dos Clerigos
, built in 1763; this was the tallest tower in Portugal. If you desire, you can climb up the 240 stairs for the best view of Porto. It and the adjoining church were designed by the famous Italian architect Nasoni. Next you will visit the Livario Lello bookshop
a neo-gothic structure famous for its seemingly floating staircase and grand ceiling but mainly known as the library featured in all the Harry Potter movies.
Later you will visit the Igreja (Church) Sao Francisco
. Originally built in the 14th
century the mendicant Gothic layout was added onto with a chapel and other structures in the 16th
centuries and when finished became a magnificent Baroque church which appears to be covered in gold due to the abundance of gilt-edged wood carvings. This is one of the city’s and Portugal’s oldest and most important Romanesque monuments.
Next you will be taken to enjoy lunch at the famous restaurant DOP
offering an international dining experience. This is the most sophisticated and sought after restaurant in Porto. It is located in a 14th
century building-the Palacio das Artes.
Today you will also be treated to a Port tasting at the Taylors Lodge
. The tasting and visit will include a tasting of Chip Dry, LBV, ten year old Tawney and Taylor’s Vintage 2009 served with a chocolate truffle.
The balance of the day will be free to continue your exploration of Porto
and have dinner on your own.
Day 11 (B)
Pack up your memories, check out of the hotel and you will be transported to the Porto airport to continue your travels or head home. We can add on days in the Algarve of Portugal for golf or sightseeing or visits to any other part of Europe.
Included With This Tour (Based on 20 Travelers)
• All lodging as described or equal
• All ground transportation with driver/guide
• Meals daily as noted (BLD) not including alcoholic beverages
• Entrances to monuments described
• Boat trips on the river
• Wine tastings
Not Included With This Tour
• Airfare to and from Portugal
• Gratuities for guides and drivers
• Any personal needs telephone, laundry etc.
• Entrances to monuments other than described