The Catholic religion is deeply enrooted into the customs and traditions of the Portuguese nation. The numerous monasteries, churches and chapels are testimony of times of indifference to the technological development and enable us to stroll through places perfectly integrated into their surrounding environment. This 8-day Private Tour allows you to discover the most important religious and symbolic sites of the Portuguese culture. From Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela, in neighbouring Spain, you will follow sacred routes based on profound folk customs and beliefs. Our suggestion is to initiate and end the Private Tour in Lisbon, but it can be modified to arrive and depart from Porto international airport.
Day 1: Welcome to Portugal A tour guide will be waiting for you at the Lisbon International Airport to give you a warm welcome, the necessary assistance and to escort you to your hotel in Lisbon.
Day 2: Lisbon The Private Tour begins at the Marquês de Pombal Square. You cross the Avenida da Liberdade and go further to the Baixa Pombalina which was rebuilt in classical style after the 1755 earthquake. As you arrive in Belém (Bethlehem in English), not far from the Tagus riverbank, you can contemplate two emblematic monuments, the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. Both monuments are a tribute to the Portuguese Age of Discovery and World Heritage Sites classified by UNESCO. Both were built in the XVI century, the golden age of the Lusitanian Nation. The tower symbolically stands at the precise point where the Restelo Beach use to be; the departure point of ships and caravels on their expeditions to discover the oceans and new worlds. The Jerónimos Monastery’s construction began in 1502 and took 50 years to be completed. This monument is generally referred as “the jewel" of the Manuelino style and as the ultimate symbol of the Portuguese Age of Discovery. The Manuelino style, is an innovative style that synthesizes aspects of Late Gothic architecture with influences of Spanish Plateresque style, downtown Italian and Flemish elements and marks the transition from Late Gothic. It includes architectural elements of the late Gothic and Renaissance, associated with Christianity and the natural symbols of the king making it unique and worthy of admiration. In Belém there’s still time to taste the famous Pastel de Belém, pastries that have been in production since 1837. The Private Tour continues passing through the Commerce Square (Palace Square) all the way to Rossio, the Lisbon Cathedral, Carmo Convent and the National Museum of Ancient Art. Accommodation in Lisbon.
Day 3: Fatima and Coimbra Today the Private Tour will bring you to Fátima. The Sanctuary of Fátima is the largest place of worship in Portugal. Nossa Senhora de Fátima is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, honoring the reported apparitions of her to three shepherd children in Fátima, Portugal, on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13. Pilgrimage to the site goes on all year round but the main pilgrimage festivals take place from May to October, on the 13th day of each month, on the anniversaries of the original appearances. Thousands of people gather on May 3th and October 13th to pray and witness processions of the statue of Our Lady of Fátima, both during the day and at night, by the light of ten thousand candles. Coimbra, also known as the city of the students, began to evolve into a major cultural centre with the foundation of the University of Coimbra in 1290. The university, one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world, attracts visitors from all around the world due to its monumental buildings and history. In Coimbra you visit the university, the library and church of Santa Clara and then head north to the city of Porto. Accommodation in Porto.
Day 4: Porto After breakfast in the hotel, you will have a private guided tour through the most typical streets in Porto. The Private Tour begins in front of the Porto City Hall, from there you go on to visit the city’s most emblematic monuments with a big ending at the Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the other side of the Douro River, with a special treat… a toast… with the famous Port wine! In a colorful urban landscape, with many centuries of history, you will tread through peculiar places, get to know the most picturesque corners and witness the magnificence of the great architectural symbols of the “Invicta” city, like the Cathedral, the neo-Classical Stock Exchange Palace, the Cathedral Neighbourhood and the Church of St. Francisco, all top exponents of Baroque art. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a cruise on the Douro River, of 50 minutes duration, giving you a totally different perspective of the city’s beauty as you slowly travel up the river and under the six bridges that cross it, followed by visits to the Church of the Clérigos, the Chapel of the Souls and the city beaches. Return to Porto and accommodation in the selected hotel.
Day 5: Braga and Guimaraes The Minho is considered to be the greenest region in Portugal. This Private Tour will take you to Braga and Guimarães. In Braga, you marvel at the majesty of the Cathedral of Braga and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus with its’ monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116metres (381 feet). The present sanctuary’s construction began in 1722. Guimarães, also known as the "The Cradle City", was the first capital of Portugal and is referred to as the birthplace of the Portuguese nationality. It is also the birthplace of Afonso I of Portugal, the first Portuguese King. In Guimarães, you will visit the Palace of the Dukes, the Guimarães Castle and its’ historic centre, declared as a World Heritage Site in 2001 by UNESCO due to its historical monuments dating from the Middle Age. Accommodation in Porto.
Day 6: Santiago de Compostela You cross the Portuguese northern border and drive into Spain heading for Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain. In 1985, the city's historic centre was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city's Cathedral with its’ baroque facade makes the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of Sr. James. Legend tells that the remains of the apostle James were brought to Galicia in the early 9th century in a boat made of stone, and were later discovered at Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral was built in his honor on the spot where his remains were said to have been found. You return to Portugal. In Viana do Castelo you will visit the Basilica of St Luzia and from it admire the unique view over the mouth of the Lima River. You will also visit the historic city centre. Return to Porto and accommodation at the selected hotel.
Day 7: Alcobaça / Batalha / Obidos From Porto you travel south, heading for Lisbon, and on the way you visit the cities of Alcobaça, Batalha and Óbidos. The city of Alcobaça became notable after the 1st King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, decided to build there a church, the biggest in Portugal at the time, to celebrate the conquest of Santarém from the Moors, in 1147. The church later evolved into the Monastery of Alcobaça. The construction began in 1178 and was completed in 1252. The finished church and monastery were the first truly Gothic buildings in Portugal and are also one of the first foundations of the Cistercian Order in Portugal. Due to its’ artistic and historical importance, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1989. The Private Tour then brings you to Batalha. In town of Batalha, you visit the Monastery of Batalha, one of the best and most original examples of Late Gothic architecture in Portugal, mixed with the Manueline style. The monastery was built to thank the Virgin Mary for the Portuguese victory over the Castilians in the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, fulfilling a promise of King Dom João I. Before driving to Lisbon, a brief stop in the delightful town of Óbidos, located on a hill and still encircled by a fortified wall. The well-preserved mediaeval look of its’ streets, squares, walls and its’ massive Moorish castle, rebuilt by the King D. Dinis, have turned the picturesque village into a preferred tourist attraction in Portugal. Accommodation in Lisbon in selected hotel.
Day 8: Returning home Transfer from the hotel to the Lisbon International Airports.
Price per Person in a Double Room
· More than 14 Persons: 820€
· From 08 to 13 Persons: 1090€
· From 04 to 07 Persons: 1270€
· From 02 to 03 Persons: 1840€
The Price includes:
· 7 Nights in a Double Room with breakfast buffet
· Private transfers between Lisbon Airport and hotel
· Modern and comfortable car, mini-bus or coach
· Private English speaking tour guide throughout the whole tour
· Visits, entrances and activities as mentioned in the program
You can choose the category of hotels that best fits your expectations and budget. The hotels selected for this tour are comfortable and modern. However, you can always choose to stay in 'Luxury' or 'Premium' hotels, which will give you the advantage of the best accommodation available in Portugal.
· Single Supplement: 300€
· Accommodation in Premium Hotels: 160€
· Accommodation in Luxury Hotels: 400€
· Meals ( Lunch + Dinner ): 325€
The Price does not include:
Flights to and from Portugal