Portugal is a fascinating and varied country, with breathtaking scenery, compelling history and a glorious climate. Portugal is a wonderful holiday destination and if you want to visit this fascinating country, you should join us. Along the coast, traditional fishing villages overlook pristine beaches, while in the cities, historic districts coexist with ultra-modern. We’ll visit the picturesque capital Lisbon, Guimaraes which is the cradle of the Portuguese kingdom, we’ll see the amazing village of Monsanto which is unique in the whole world as there you can see stones everywhere.
Day 1 (Saturday)
Meeting at the airport of Lisbon. Transfer and accommodation at the hotel. Walking tour of the historic part of the magnificent Lisbon. At the end of the tour there is a cruise on the Tagus River (20 Euros). Overnight stay.
Lisbon, in the distant past, was the capital of a powerful maritime empire, which gave the world the great Vasco da Gama and Fernand Magellan, and now a picturesque and atmospheric city, still keeping the memory of its former greatness. The dramatic and crucial moment in the history of Lisbon was the year 1755 when a powerful earthquake destroyed it almost to its very foundation. But, despite the fact that medieval architecture and many priceless monuments were lost, the restored Lisbon of the XVIII-XIX centuries is of great interest to tourists.
The capital of Portugal keeps the treasures of the monastery of Jeronimos and the Ajuda palace spreads along the quaint streets of the Alfama and Baixa quarters and flaunts grandiose suspension bridges. The historical heritage of the city is priceless, so for tourists there is a wide field for research.
Day 2 (Sunday)
Breakfast. Departure from the hotel in Lisbon with things moving to Porto. Hotel accommodation in Porto. Sightseeing tour of Porto: see the “Railway Palace” - Sao Bento Station, decorated with a panel of tiles, the highest tower of the city, the bell tower of the Clerigos Church - Baroque, cathedral, from which the medieval streets with granite houses XII century. Go down to the embankment of Douro. A visit to Wine Cellars - Port wine tasting (€ 10). You will visit the famous wineries, learn the history of Portuguese port wine and the production process. Lunch Cruise on the Douro River (payable on the spot € 15) on a boat under the outstanding bridges of Eiffel and Cardoso. Visit the Church of St. Francis, which is not equal in gilded carving in Europe. Free time. Overnight stay.
One of the most beautiful sights of the Portuguese city of Porto is located on Almeida Garrett Square, the station of San Bento. Its walls are decorated with magnificent white and blue mosaic of traditional clay tiles azulezhu. Picturesque mosaic scenes tell about the historical past of Portugal.
The Clerigos Church, made in the Baroque style, from the side may seem like a theater or a palace because its main entrance is beautiful and magnificent. Behind the church stands the bell tower, recognized as the highest in Portugal. For centuries, it served as a lighthouse for ships sailing into the harbor of Porto, now citizens and tourists are guided along with it as the bell tower can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
Not far from the Douro River, near Ribeira, is located one of the most famous churches in the city of Porto - the church of St. Francisco. The building was built in the Gothic style and is famous for the interior decoration in the Baroque style, made in the 18th century. Altars, fences, columns and vaults are covered with carved gilded wood with the image of garlands, angels and animals. About 200 kilograms of gold powder went to make these ornaments.
Day 3 (Monday)
Breakfast. Visit Guimaraes - the cradle of the Portuguese kingdom, which won independence in the XII century, separated from Castile. Inspection of the fortress Kastellu de Guimaraes of the 11th century, from the observation towers of which a breathtaking panoramic view of the surroundings opens. Lunch at a national restaurant with drinks. Continuation of the excursion to Braga which was founded more than 2.5 thousand years ago and has a great historical significance for Portugal. The city was the capital of the Roman province of Galicia and served as an outpost of the Christian faith. In Braga, many architectural monuments, including the Cathedral, ancient churches, the Pelican fountain on the Municipal Square, Arcade. Excursion participants have the opportunity to walk through the unique complex of Bom Jesus. Until 1917, this place was the largest center of Catholic pilgrimage. Dinner. Return to the hotel in Porto. Overnight stay.
Guimaraes is a beautiful city with its own special history, a large number of unique monuments, architectural landmarks. The city consists of old streets and squares in general, well preserved. The most important monuments include the Royal Palace, which was abandoned for a long time and only in the XX century it was restored and began to be used as the residence of the President of the country, the Rain Palace and the Church of St. Francis, as well as the Nossa Senhora de Oliveria monastery, which contains a collection of historical and church values, among which the armor of King Don Juan I and which was named after it was planted in 672 years of the olive tree. Guimaraes is surrounded by dense forests and mountain slopes and is a wonderful corner for tourists.
Braga Cathedral is one of the most significant architectural monuments in the city. Because of its history and artistic expression, the cathedral is also one of the most magnificent buildings in the country. The construction of the cathedral was begun by Bishop Pedro in 1071 and lasted until the middle of the 13th century.
The original building of the cathedral was made in the Burgundian Romanesque style. Later, new chapels, a pre-gothic style of pre-temple, were added to the cathedral, and today the cathedral is a mix of Romanesque, Gothic styles, as well as Baroque and Manueline styles.
Day 4 (Tuesday)
Breakfast. Check out the hotel with things. Transfer to Fatima, accommodation at the hotel in Fatima. Excursion to Coimbra, Fatima and the Caves (entrance fee is payable on the spot 7 €) with lunch. Coimbra is an old university town, soaked through with the peculiar atmosphere of students. Visit “Grutas da Moeda”, which translates into Russian as “piggy bank with coins.” Continuation of the tour in Fatima - for almost a century is a famous religious center. Overnight stay.
Coimbra is an old university town, soaked through with the peculiar atmosphere of students. The university, built in 1290, is located on a mountain, so it is perfectly visible from the embankment.
The small city of Fatima with a population of 12 thousand people, located near the capitals of the country. The city became known and visited after the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children. This event is recognized by the church as a true miracle. Every year on May 13 hundreds of thousands of Catholics come to Fatima because the city is recognized as the spiritual center of Portugal. The huge area is able to accommodate everyone who wants to worship the Mother of God. Fatima Square is also a venue for religious events and various religious orders are located in the Basilica building.
Another rare underground object in Portugal is the Grutas da Moeda (Piggy with Coins cave), which is located in the mountains of Serra da Estella. It was discovered in 1971, it was done by two hunters who looked into the slot and saw a huge void. The first hall, which they saw, was called “the pastor’s room”. After that, they did not stop and continued to pave the way, making small digs in the gorges. As a result, new halls were opened with outlandish figures with stalactites and stalagmites, and even with underground water spaces. When geologists were busy with the discovery, calcinites and clay deposits were found in the Piggy cave with coins. Then it was prepared for visits by tourists.
Day 5 (Wednesday)
Breakfast. Departure from hotel in Fatima with things, moving to Lisbon. Along the way, an excursion to Monsanto is one of the most unusual towns in the world. Recognizable far beyond the borders of Portugal from pictures with unusual buildings, a fortress built by the Templars and huge granite boulders. Arrival in Lisbon. Overnight.
Amazing village of Monsanto is unique in the whole world. In Monsanto you can see stones everywhere. There is a boulder here and there. In some place a stone acts as a roof, in other place as a foundation for a house, in the third place as walls or as a house “cut out” in stone. Locals often joke about this, saying that in this village it is not clear whether a stone appeared here thanks to the house or the house itself thanks to a boulder.
Day 6 (Thursday)
Breakfast. A visit to the grand palace of Pasu Ducale in the Villa Vicose, the residence of the Portuguese kings. Dinner. Excursion to Evora, whose architectural ensemble is under the protection of UNESCO. The participants of the excursion will see the church of Santo Antonio of the XVI century, the temple of Diana of the II century AD. This is the longest bridge in Europe. Overnight stay.
The history of the small town of Vila Visosa, where no more than five thousand inhabitants now live during the time of the Roman invasion and experienced a lot in its lifetime.
In 1461 the residence of the Dukes of Braganza was located there. Initially, it occupied the fortress, and since 1501 moved to a specially erected luxurious palace of Paz-Doucal. The gates of Porta du Nosh, the “Knotted Door”, lead to the residence. The building houses a collection of works of art, including marine watercolors, painted by King Carlos I, and a huge exhibition with copper kitchen utensils.
Day 7 (Friday)
Breakfast. At the beginning of the tour visit Obidos. Characteristic white houses topped with red-tiled roofs. Walk through the streets, get acquainted with the chapel of the Nose Signora do Carmo in the central square, the old church of St. Mary and the Arab fortress. Acquaintance with the medieval abbey in Alcobaca, built in the style of the early Gothic. Representatives of the Burgun dynasty were buried in the monastery. Then the tour continues in Batalha, where the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria, a masterpiece of Portuguese Gothic architecture, is located. Inspection of the tomb of the representatives of the Avisi royal dynasty, characterized by a mixture of styles of Manueline and English Gothic. The last point of the trip is the town of Tomar on the banks of the river Naban. The settlement arose during the times of the Reconquista and for a long time it was ruled by the Knights Templar. Inspection of the majestic 1160 Monastery of the Order of Christ. It is possible that the mysterious Grail is hidden there. Return to the hotel in Lisbon. Dinner. Overnight stay.
The “Golden” Church of the Nose Signora do Carmo in the northern part of the city, according to experts, is the best example of leaf gilding on wood in the south of Portugal. In 1826 a chapel was added to the church. The entrance to the chapel is through the back side of the church of the Nossa Signora Du Karma, into whose walls the skulls and bones of monks are embedded.
The Dominican Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria is better known as the Monastery of Batalha. The monastery was built in memory of the battle between the Portuguese and Castilian troops in 1385 at Alzhubarrot. The King of Portugal, Juan I, made a vow to build a monastery in honor of the Virgin Mary if the Portuguese won the battle. A year after the victory, the construction of the monastery began, which ended only at the beginning of the 16th century.
The monastery of the Order of Christ in Tomar was founded by the Portuguese Templar in the XII century as an order castle, later turned into a monastery. Around the fortress, reinforced by round corner bastions, over time, the city of Tomar was formed. The oldest building of the monastery complex is a circular church in the plan, a rotunda (rotunda), the interior of which is decorated with frescoes with floral motifs. The temple was substantially rebuilt in the Manueline style after the abolition of the Knights Templar in 1312 when the castle was transferred to the Order of Christ - the nave was attached to the round church, turning it into an apse itself. Later in the XV - XVI centuries, the structure acquired elements of the Renaissance.
Day 8 (Saturday)
Breakfast. Half-day excursion to Sintra. The fabulous medieval town has retained its charm to this day and has earned the name "Pearls of Portugal." A visit to the estate Regaleira, Cape Roca, resorts of Cascais and Estoril. Discharge of rooms. Airport transfer.
The mysterious manor of Regaleira is the former suburban possession of a wealthy lord who was also a member of the Masonic lodge. Having bought an estate in Sintra in the 19th century, he transformed the place into a mysterious garden with underground secret passages, lakes, towers and chapels and a multi-tiered stone well with a spiral staircase, which, they say, was used for Masonic rites.
The location and date of the announcement of Cape Roca, the most westerly point of continental Europe, is carved on a stele plate installed on a special area of the rock. On top of the stele is a symbolic cross-padran. The phrase "Cabo da Roca" causes most people to think about the fate of a person at his birth or the inevitable, which a person cannot oppose. However, the word “roca” from Portuguese means only “rock”. There is no question of fate, fate, and even more so of their inevitability.
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