Saturday, December 16, 2017

 Lisbon Group Tours

Fridays & Saturdays
Full Day Tour - Travel through Lisbon! This tour starts off at the city´s main avenue, the “Avenida da Liberdade”. From this avenue follow in the direction to the Praça dos Restauradores (Restauradores Square) and head up to the São Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint and become acquainted with the Bairro Alto area, known as the bohemian and nightlife central of Lisbon and where all the memories of past Portuguese artists and poets are kept. This area is also famous for its restaurants many of which play or have live fado. Appreciate the modern and medieval architecture of this stunning town. The following points of interests are: the Jesuit church of São Roque with its beautiful gold décor and the ruins of the convent and church of Carmo (built by the Holy Nuno Santos Alvares Pereira in 1389). These ruins remind us of the terrible 1755 earthquake in Lisbon. The succeeding stop is the Santa Justa elevator that provides a geometrically precise view of the Baixa neighbourhood. This elevator was constructed by order of the Marquis of Pombal. The following stop is in Chiado with its fashion, clothing stores and the best dressed residents in Lisbon. You will then descend to the Rossio area where you will continue the tour by coach. Coach Tour: Alfama , a town that maintains the distant memory of past Roman eras and of German and Arabe dominion, will introduce you to its Sé Cathedral, built after the conquest of an arabe castle (now the São Jorge Castle) in 1147. This is the place where Saint Anthony was born, Lisbon´s patron saint that is celebrated by a holiday every year on June 13. Belém will impress you with its history as it is famous for its association with the era of discoveries. Some of the most emblematic monuments of Lisbon are located in Belem such as the Monumento dos Descobrimentos, honouring the pioneers of Portugal´s past, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, a monastery where the remains of Vasco da Gama, King Manuel I and other famous Portuguese figures are kept, and the famous Torre de Belem that looks more like a castle out of a fairytale rather than a military fortress that has a stunning view over the Tejo River and of the ocean. It is not by chance that this is one of the most photographed places in Lisbon.

Saturdays & Mondays
Full Day Tour of Estoril – Cascais – Sintra – Cabo da Roca - On this tour you will get acquainted with the Palácio Nacional da Pena (National Palace of Pena). Built in the XIX century, by order of King Fernando II of Vign Panorama_guinchoPortugal, this eclectic structure is a true fairytale castle rising from a mountain top surrounded by lush green vegetation. Next stop is the old town of Sintra, described as a “Glorious Eden” by Lord Byron. This town still maintains its old traditional appearance which is a constant reminder of Sintra´s history. Sintra is also known for its palace and park. Familiarize yourself with the beautiful Quinta da Regaleira, a stunning manor surrounded by luxurious gardens, lakes and enigmatic structures designed by Italian architect Luigi Manini. The next stop is scheduled at the Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe. You will feel like you are standing on the edge of the world! Get acquainted with the Guincho , a surfers paradise and where you will find some of the best seafood restaurants in the country. In Cascais, the perferred vacation spot of the Portuguese elite, you will visit “Hell´s Mouth” (An ocean side cave carved by waves), a fortress, the bay and marina. Following Cascais is a visit to Estoril, popular among the Portuguese elite of the 1920´s, this town is not only famous for its natural thermal spa, but is also famous for being a refuge / temporary residence for kings, royals and noble families that were being pursued by the nazis during the second world war. The Hotel Palácio and Casino Estoril attract all sorts of visitors to this enchanting coastal town.

Tuesdays
Full Day Tour in Óbidos - Alcobaça - Nazaré - Batalha - Visit the Mosteiro de Alcobaça (Alcobaça Monastery) – a Cistercian Abbey, the oldest in the area, where the tombs of the most famous lovers of Portugal are located – Dom Pedro I and Inês de Castro, a masterpiece of gravestone monuments. Batalha - Monastery, built in honor of the victory in the war against Castela, in the XIV century, struck by its grandeur from the outside and ease of stone lace from the inside. Next stop is Nazaré - once a small fishing village and now - a city famous for not only fishing, but also for the wonderful beaches, wonderful food and unique local folk costumes.Lunch is to be served at a typical fish restaurant on the Nazaré beach. Next stop; visit the medieval town of Óbidos. Óbidos is one of the "fabulous" cities of Portugal. Inside the city wall from the main gate to the castle, are a few shopping streets with traditional low-rise houses, twined with roses and wisteria. Outside the gates of the castle the towns’ people organize jousting tournaments, a chocolate festival, and before Christmas a real Santa Claus town is built.

Wednesdays
Oporto – Full Day Tour - Departure to Oporto – approx. 2.5hrs - Walking tour around central Oporto, “the Northern Capital” of the country. The following stop on our walking tour is the São Bento Train Station (estação ferroviária de São Bento), famous for its magnificent tile (azulejo) panels depicting scenes of the history of Portugal. Walk towards the Liberty Square (Praça da Liberdade). In the middle of the square is a monument dedicated to King Peter IV (a monarch closely linked to Oporto). Stop at the magnificent Church of the Clerics (Igreja dos Clérigos) with its famous 76-meter bell tower, the Clerics Tower (Torre dos Clérigos) - a symbol of the city of Oporto. Take a boat ride along the Douro River, visit the São Francisco church – a unique religious building built in a gothic style and is one of the most beautiful in the Iberian Peninsula. Cross the D.Luis I bridge, designed by the famous Eiffel and visit the cellars of the Douro River, where aged Port wine is stored.
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Sao_Francisco_EvoraFridays
Évora and Vila Visoza – 7hr Excursion
On this tour, experience Alentejo, the most picturesque and rural area of Portugal. Get familiar with the city of Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a walking tour through many of this city´s attractions such as its ancient well preserved medieval town centre surrounded by medieval walls, the chapel of Bones of the Saint Francis Church and it´s Roman Temple, known to many as the Diana Temple. Following Évora, is Vila Viçosa, the winter residence of the monarchs, which today remains one of the treasures of the exiled Royal Family. This tour will also pass by the town of Estremoz, internationally recognized for its marble and two medieval castles.

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