Get a taste of Portugal on this enchanting 5 day journey. The tour starts in Madrid and brings you over the border, touring the historical city of Trujillo on the way. You will have free time to explore the fascinating birthplaces of the explorers of the New World. Continue to Lisbon, where you spend a day exploring this glorious city. You will see Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, the Coach Museum, and many other sites. Afterward, you will have free time to enjoy yourself. Then, you visit small towns and cities like Nazere, Alcobaça, and Óbidos. You will then travel to Fatima, the site of the apparition of the Virgin Mary. Your last city tour will be Caceres, before returning to Madrid.
Departure from bus terminal, located in the underground parking of the Plaza de Oriente at 08:30 a.m. Drive to Avila. A city that preserves its medieval wall. Short stop to know its walled and old town. Then to Salamanca. Free time in this University City Heritage of Humanity of great architectural and artistic wealth. Departure to the Portuguese border until you reach Porto.
Accommodation and overnight in Porto.
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The culture of Madrid was dominated by its religious and royal history, evident by enormous, monolithic cathedrals and churches, although nowadays Madrid is just as much a cosmopolitan city as Berlin or London, full of new architecture, life style and nightlife. Madrid is best known for its great cultural and artistic heritage, and is considered one of the top European destinations concerning art museums. Best known is the “Golden Triangle of Art,” located along the Paseo del Prado and comprising three museums, the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum, which is home to Pablo Picasso's Guernica.
Ávila, is the capital of the province of the same name, which is now part of the autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain. The city is 1131 meters (3665 feet) above sea level, the highest provincial capital in Spain. It is built on the flat summit of a rocky hill, which rises abruptly in the midst of a veritable wilderness: a brown, arid, treeless table-land, strewn with immense gray boulders, and shut in by lofty mountains. The city walls are the symbolical emblem of the city. They contribute to the defining image of the warring and monastic center that Ávila was and has been able to maintain throughout the years. It constitutes a unique symbol that encloses within its walls mysticism and history, art and heroic chivalry. Ávila is a city of contrasts, the hustle and bustle of the Mercado (market) contrasts with the quiet repose of the temples and its cloisters. Churches, convents, and hermit; beautiful palaces and the impressive cathedral provide Ávila's character and identity, in which the spirit of Santa Theresa of Jesus and of Saint John of the Cross still vibrate.
And yet, the crowning point of Ávila is, that once you have spent your energies walking through, gazing, admiring the beauty and, and you have allowed its peace to permeate through you, to sit in front of a well laden table. To sweeten your memories, Santa Theresa's yolks, and many other Castillian desserts, constitute one of the most exquisite culinary forms of this land of saints and knights.
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, the capital of the province of Salamanca, which belongs to the autonomous community of Castile and Leon (Castilla y León). It is situated about 200 km west of Madrid and 80 km east of the Portuguese border. The knowledgeable Salamanca, with its two universities, two cathedrals and its many palaces and churches, peaks at the beauty of its Plaza Mayor. So much richness in such close quarters shares perfectly the youthful air of a prosperous and bustling city.
Its stones reflect the university students' life from yesterday and today, that prohibit the city from aging. Within its classrooms and its libraries studied erudites such as Saint John of the Cross, Father Luis of Leon, and Unamuno. Today you will find within those walls the Spanish generations of the 21st. Century. The visitor will find within Salamanca little streets brimming with history and life, that create the enchantment of this city which is not based only in its monuments. It is a summary of history throughout the centuries. In its mix of quietness from the ancient masonry, time has passed together with the joyful noise of the youth, that in its invigorating spirit, resides the magic of Salamanca. The visitor will easily fall in love with this city of centennial stones. Discover its universities, la Casa de las Conchas (The House of the Shells), its majestic cathedrals, its plazas, palaces and convents, and also its taxing cuisine with its traditional country ambrosia of flavors.
Porto, also Oporto in English, is Portugal's second largest city and capital of the Norte region. The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th Century, when the Romans referred to it as Portus Calle. Among the architectural highlights of the city, Oporto Cathedral is the oldest surviving structure, together with the small Romanesque Church of Cedofeita, the gothic Igreja de São Francisco, the remnants of the city walls and a few 15th-century houses.
Breakfast. Panoramic sightseeing tour of Porto, considered World Heritage city. We admire the Cathedral, Stock Exchange building and Santa Clara church. In the afternoon, possibility of an optional visit to a famous winery with tasting of its world-famous "port wine".
Overnight in Porto.
Breakfast. Departure to Coimbra. City seat of one of the oldest universities in Europe and the birthplace of Fado. Free time. Then to Fatima. Center of the Christian Faith and World Pilgrimage Sanctuary with its impressive Basilica and the Cova da Iria place where the Virgin Mary appeared. The Chapel of the Apparitions, heart of the sanctuary, with the tombs of the three shepherds, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. At night possibility to attend the procession of the candles.
Accommodation and overnight in Fatima.
Coimbra served as Portugal’s capital during the First Dynasty (12th Century) and remains home to the University of Coimbra, the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world and one of the oldest in Europe. The city contains important archeological remains of structures dating from the time when it was the Roman town of Aeminium. In the Late Middle-Ages, declining as the political center of the Kingdom of Portugal, Coimbra began to evolve into a major cultural center with the foundation of the University of Coimbra in 1290. Today this impressive university is still one of the world's most illustrious and the city's biggest attraction. On another square nearby is the historic Santa Cruz Monastery, containing the tombs of Portugal's first two kings.
Fátima is a city in Portugal famous for the religious visions that took place there in 1917. Fátima is a place of pilgrimage for many Catholics in commemoration of the apparition of the Virgin to three young shepherds in Cova da Iria. The Marian shrine in Fátima attracts a large number of Catholics, and every year pilgrims fill the country road that leads to the shrine with crowds that approach one million on May 13 and October 13, the significant dates of Fatima apparitions. The gigantic neoclassical style basilica contains the tombs of the three seers, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who died in 1919 and 1920, and Lúcia dos Santos who died in 2005.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to the Batalha Monastery, a masterpiece of Gothic and Manueline style considered a World Heritage place by UNESCO. Continue to the picturesque fishing town of Nazaré. Free time and continue to Alcobaça (World Heritage) visit the XII C. church and admire the tombs of Pedro and Inés de Castro and then to Lisbon. Accommodation. Optional night tour to attend a show of Fado, typical Portuguese song and music.
Overnight in Lisbon.
A small town amidst the hills of the Leiria area, Batalha is known for its magnificent monastery, one of Europe’s greatest Gothic masterpieces, now honored with UNESCO World Heritage status. It was built to celebrate the Portuguese victory over the Castillians in the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, thus keeping a vow made by King João I to the Virgin Mary prior to the momentous conflict. The exterior possesses countless pinnacles, buttresses and openwork balustrades above Gothic and Flamboyant windows, while the front portal is decorated with statues of the apostles in intricate Gothic style.
Today, Nazaré is Portugal's most famous fishing village, having always drawn visitors to its beach and truly colorful life. Many locals still wear their characteristic traditional costumes -- the fishermen have check shirts and trousers, and the women wear several layers of petticoats. Located on the Atlantic coast, Nazaré’s long sandy beaches are considered by some to be among the best beaches of Portugal and are very popular with tourists in the summer. The town consists of three sections: A Praia, along the beach; O Sítio, an old town atop a cliff; and Pederneira, an old hilltop town.
Alcobaça is a city in Leiria District, Portugal. The city grew along the valleys of the rivers Alcoa and Baça, from which it derives its name. The city of Alcobaça became notable after the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, decided to build there a church to celebrate the conquest of Santarém to the Moors, in 1147. The church later evolved into the Monastery of Alcobaça, one of the most magnificent gothic monuments in the country. In the church are the tombs of King Peter I and his murdered mistress Inês de Castro. Over the centuries this monastery had an important role on Portuguese culture.
Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that faces the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city. Lisbon enchants travelers with its white bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy going charm that makes it a popular year round destination. The city of Lisbon is rich in architecture; Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Traditional Portuguese, Modern and Post-Modern constructions can be found all over the city. The monument to Christ the King (Cristo Rei) stands with open arms overlooking the whole city.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning sightseeing tour of the ancient Olissipo, drive through its main squares and avenues, Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, Coach Museum, Monument to the Discoverers, Marquis of Pombal Square, Liberty Avenue. Afternoon at leisure for you to catch the nostalgic corners of Alfama Quarter, the old city gathered next to its Castle, with old buildings nested in narrow twisting “Ruas” full of colour housing the genuine “tabernas” where Fado sounds as a missing past.
Departure to Caceres considered as World Heritage place because of the city’s blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. Walk through its Plaza Mayor and the Old Town with its famous Medieval Quarter. Continue to Madrid where your tour ends.
We can assist you with your transfer to the airport or add some more nights to your hotel and enjoy Madrid or maybe join another tour that will let you enjoy Spain a little bit longer.
The tour includes :
The tour does NOT include:
20% of total tour cost due at the time of booking
80% or balance no later than 35 days prior to tour departure date
i) 5% of the trip price if it is produced between 10 and 15 days before the departure.
ii) 15% of the trip price, if it occurs from 10 to 3 days prior to the departure.
iii) 25% of the trip price, if it occurs within 48 hours prior to the departure.
The above times are based on local time of the destination where the tour is provided. In order to provide enough time for processing cancellation, guests need to add 3 business days to the above timeframes. An administration fees of 15% on any monies to be refunded to the client will be charged prior to refund.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover the losses incurred in case of cancellation. For information on available plans or to purchase travel insurance, please visit www.palacetours.com/insurance.
What are the passport/visa requirements for travel to Spain and Portugal?
Please ensure that your passport has at least three blank pages and that it is valid for at least six months beyond your departure date from Spain. Please check with your local embassy regarding visa requirements.
What type of clothing is recommended based on the local weather conditions?
As most of the tours are during the spring, when the weather is warm, leisure style clothing is recommended. Please bring along a jacket or coat for chilly evenings and windy days, and sun protection for warm afternoons. Comfortable walking shoes are a must.
What kind of cuisine is served?
Meals are buffet-style with a good variety of fresh local fare, and there are always vegetarian options available. If you have any special requests, we will try our best to accommodate them; please advise Palace Tours upon booking, and also advise your guide upon arrival.
Is the tour accessible to wheelchairs / physical challenges?
Please know that not all hotels/sights are wheelchair accessible; please check with us at the time of booking. Wheelchairs for sightseeing excursions can be made available upon request; kindly advise our office as soon as possible.
What is the maximum group size on the tour?
Excursions utilize a deluxe air-conditioned coach, which can seat a maximum of 40 passengers, however the average number of passengers on any given tour is 25-30.
What happens during the “panoramic tour”?
For the panoramic city tours, clients remain seated on the coach and are driven around the popular city sights.
How much should I expect to tip?
Tipping is not mandatory, and is left to the sole discretion of the traveler. This is a decision that should be made based on your enjoyment of the journey and the service; however the customary gratuity is around 10%.
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