7-Nights A Week In... Portugal - Land Journey
A Week In... Portugal
Discover the seafaring charms of the coast, the lush river valley vineyards, the hilltop castles and villages in its alpine interior and monuments to grandiose man-made achievements... Portugal may be small... but it’s big on vibrant culture, history, and natural beauty that invites intimate exploration. 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. Your unique accommodation in Évora 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 includes 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, and tastings of world-famous port wine and olive oil during a tour and lunch at a renowned winery.
7 nights from $3990 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 (Oporto), 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.
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