THE SOUL OF PORTUGAL.
Medieval villages, castles, history, food, fado and Port wines…
Two trips in 2018, one in May and one in September.
B=breakfast / L= lunch / D=dinner
Day 1 – Sunday May 13 or Sunday September 8
Landing late morning or early afternoon in PORTO, we will go directly to our hotel to refresh after a night in a plane. Hotel Carris or Teatro, both 4*, superb, comfortable and very Portuguese will be your home for 3 nights.
We will spend this afternoon to get acquainted with this lovely historic town. Located along the Douro river estuary Porto, the second largest city in Portugal is one of Europe oldest, its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Before our first convivial dinner, nothing better to experience this town than a boat ride aboard a traditional “rabelo” used to transport Port wine barrels.
Dinner and night in Porto.
Day 2 – Monday May 14 or September 9
A full day to discover Porto. We will not forget to stop by the the famous bookstore Lello, said to have inspired Harry Potter’s library JK Rowling while she was teaching English in town; probably the only one in the world asking an entrance fee! We will spend some to visit the most famous Porto’s landmarks, Church of São Francisco, Casa do Infante, Palácio da Bolsa (stock exchange) and Porto cathedral. All this before crossing the Douro to Vila Nova de Gaia where all major Port producers are located: Sandeman, Graham, Taylor, Cruz, Croft Calem, Ferreira and many more. One or two visits and tasting.
Lunch in a local restaurant with Portuguese wine.
Dinner on your own.
B – L
Day 3 – Tuesday May 15 or September 10
Today will bring us along the Douro River for the spectacular countryside and the famous vineyards. The road N222 between Pinhão and Régua was voted the World’s Best Drive in 2015!
We will match the themes by alternating Cistercien abbeys, vineyards, viewpoints and monuments in the different wine regions of the valley, Baixa Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.
A UNESCO site since 2001 the Douro valley will offer many reason to stop, among them the small wine-producing villages such as Salzedas, Barcos or Provosende.
Back in Porto late afternoon for our last night in town. Goodbye to Porto dinner.
B – L – D
Day 4 – Wednesday May 16 or September 11
Early morning departure to Coimbra, a riverfront city in central Portugal and the country’s former capital. Home to a preserved medieval town and the historic University of Coimbraor, founded in 1290 it is one of the oldest universities in Europe. A visit to the Joanina library is on our list of things to see in this town, its construction began in 1717 and it is the most famous and beautiful Portuguese library, due to its unique style. You will find more than 60 thousand volumes, dating from the 12th century until the 18th century.
The Sé Velha Cathedral was designed by French Master Robert in the 12th century and the central gateway has a clear Islamic influence, while the side door shows an elegant Renaissance style. If time permit we will end with a tour of the Santa Cruz Church and Monastery before taking a break in the magnificent Café Santa Cruz open since 1923, located in the old church.
Late afternoon drive to Lisbon for dinner and night in the Portuguese capital your home for 4 nights. Our will be the Internacional Design Hotel or the Altis Avenida.
B – L – D
Day 5 – Thursday May 17 or September 12
Let’s get an early start to take Tramway 28. Taking a perfect tourist friendly route, the tramway passes through some of the city’s most notable neighborhoods including Graça, Baixa and Bairro Alto, and popular attractions, such as St. George’s Castle and Alfama. Along with a scenic route, the cars themselves are also considered to be part of the experience. Used in World War II, so don’t expect air conditioning, or a smooth trip up and around the area’s hills but this is all part of the tram’s charm.
Lunch and afternoon are reserved for the waterfront Belém, a historic neighborhood that houses some of Lisbon’s most important monuments, museums and one very popular Portuguese pastry place, the Pasteis de Belém. Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, the Discoveries Monument, the Belém Palace (the official residence of Portugal’s president), the Coleção Berardo Museum as well as a number of scenic gardens. Belém was a popular departure point during the Age of Discoveries. Some notable adventurers that have embarked from Belém include Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. What looks to be an idyllic mini castle seamlessly floating on the Tejo riverfront was originally a fort that served to protect Lisbon’s port in the 16th century, serving as a departure point for explorers.
Convivial group dinner.
B – L – D
Day 6 – Friday May 18 or September 13
Day in Lisbon.
We will climb the small cobblestone meandering all the way up to the Castelo de São Jorge, or St. George’s Castle, perched atop Lisbon’s highest hill in Alfama, offering both excellent history and views of the city. The castle served as a fortification for the Romans, Visigoths and the Moors, who turned it into a royal palace before it was eventually taken by Portugal’s first king, Afonso Henriques. The attraction has kept much of the building’s relics intact, including canons, which are spread throughout, underground chambers and 18 towers. Lunch inside the castle.
Before dinner, we will enjoy a drink in a bar and listen to Fado, famously sad but the soul of Portugues music. Originated in the 1820’s in Portugal. Fado is generally known for how expressive in nature it is, as well as being profoundly melancholic.
We will end the evening in the district Bairro Alto a very lively part of town, doing as locals do, ordering a glass and food to enjoy it outside.
B – L
Day 7 – Saturday (May 19 or September 14)
A day in Sintra
Located about 20 miles northwest of central Lisbon, Sintra’s praises have been sung in literature by the likes of British poet Lord Byron and Portuguese poet Luis Vaz de Camões; Byron described it as a “glorious Eden.” A veritable heaven on earth, the small city’s rolling hills are clad with vibrant vegetation and fairytale-like villas separated by cobblestone streets. The star of the show is the colorful Palácio Nacional de Pena, which was built to be a romantic getaway for Queen Maria II and her husband. There’s also the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, whose azulejo-adorned interiors make up for its bland exteriors, the Monserrate Palace, the Castle of the Moors, and the Quinta da Regaleira. What’s more, the entire city is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lunch in Sintra.
Back in Lisbon for a farewell dinner.
Day 8 – Sunday (May 20 or September 15)
Flight home for a same day landing. Froggytravel services end at the airport.
YOUR HOSTS for this special trip
Hugh SISSON. Founder and managing partner or Heavy Seas Brewery in Baltimore.
Besides his vast wine knowledge staged on his NPR show “Cellar Notes”, Hugh is also a trained actor, a formidable and entertaining group leader.
Lionel DAURY. Restaurant owner and chef in the US and in France for many years, Lionel has been guiding groups all over Europe for the last 15 years.
RATES AND REGISTRATION
301 364 5050 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rates are per person in US$, land only, hotel accommodations sharing a double room, daily breakfast, meals as described in the itinerary (with wines and beverages), visits fees,
guides, transfers, all taxes and service charges.
$3,395 for double occupancy – Add $1,240 for single accommodations.
A non refundable deposit of 500$ per person is required.
A check can be mailed to Premier Vacations LLC. 22620 Clarksburg rd. Boyds, MD 20841. Balance is due 90 days before tour date.
THERE ARE VERY FEW SEATS FOR THIS TRIP DO NOT DELAY YOUR REGISTRATION. Confirmation can be done only after reception of deposit.
If you wish to pay by credit card (add 3%); for security reasons, we will contact you to get card number, exp date, security code and billing address.