I'm curious...do you have a few days on your calendar that are completely blank with nothing scheduled? I've got the cure for that - ten glorious days you'll never forget!
After a few (several) hours flying across the Atlantic, you'll enjoy a leisurely first day by recovering from your journey at your hotel in Evora, a refurbished 15th century convent. Relax in your modern suite or at the spa, wander the ancient olive groves and let your body adjust to Portuguese time.
On Day 2, get to know the 2000 year old city of Evora on a private guided tour, exploring the largest cathedral in Portugal and architectural wonders ranging from Gothic to Neoclassical. End the history-packed morning with a tasting of local wines in a former gothic water reservoir, now your hotel’s wine cellar. Once night falls, meet your astronomer guide for an evening of stargazing among the stunning dolmens, a megalithic landmark.
After breakfast on Day 3, meet your driver to transfer east to the Portuguese capital of Lisboa. After you’ve settled into your hotel, spend the evening getting to know the city through its food. Your local host will take you to fantastic bars and taverns to try petiscos, the Portuguese cousin of tapas, along with plenty of delicious wine or beer.
Continue on Day 4 to explore glorious Lisboa with your guide, visiting the city’s old quarter, famous neighborhoods, the Castle of Saint Jorge and the Belem Tower. Cap off your introduction to Portugal’s crowning jewel with a traditional dinner and a fado performance. The dark, soulful music is representative of the nation’s complex, but beautiful, roots.
On the morning of your fifth day, your driver will take you to magical Sintra, where you will tour the magnificent Palacio da Pena and rustic Convento dos Capuxos with your private guide. Next, head to Cascais, a former fishing town and, now, vacation destination for artists and European nobility, to enjoy the sea air and breathtaking views. Your day will come to an end with a stroll around charming Estoril before transferring back to Lisboa.
Day 6 you'll venture out of Lisboa to visit magical Tomar, one of Portugal’s most historic cities. Its Templar Castle and Christ Convent became the national headquarters of the Templar Knights in the middle ages, and later was at the forefront of the Order of Christ. Tomar also has a fascinating Jewish history, which you will explore with your guide along with the sanctuary of Fatima. After a traditional local lunch, head north to the Douro Valley to check into your gorgeous hotel.
Spend Day 7 visiting two family-owned wineries where you will get a taste of the best of the region. The first winery provides stunning views over the valley, which you will enjoy during the wine tasting and wine-paired lunch on the terrace. Next, move onto the second winery where you have a full tour and wine tasting, and the emphasis on comfort and the spirit of family will make you feel right at home.
An exciting Day 8 lies ahead when you say goodbye to the Douro Valley and move onto Portugal’s “second city,” Porto. Spend the day learning about Porto’s cultural treasures and history. You will visit the remarkable 13th century St. Francis Church, the Romanesque cathedral, the Neoclassical Stock Exchange and the striking Lello Bookstore, which served as the inspiration for Hogwarts’ design in JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books. In the evening, enjoy a glass of wine at your hotel overlooking the Douro river and glittering Porto.
Today on Day 9 you will get to know locals-only Porto on a lifestyle tour of the city with your host, a member of one of the most renowned families in the port wine world. She will take you to hidden gems all around the city, including sea-side spots and excellent cafés and restaurants. After you know Porto like the back of your hand, experience it from a different point of view: by boat. On your private cruise along the Douro you will indulge in a fabulous dinner with local wine, taking in views of the colorful city.
And now it is time to go home. Meet your driver for a private transfer to the airport to catch your departing flight. Boa viagem!
What a lovely getaway from the everyday. Your ten days doesn't have to look exactly like this. We'll customize it to suit you your activity level, your Portugal dream vacation, your level of luxury, your travel companions and their wish list too. It all begins with a conversation - a 'discovery session' as I like to call it.
'til next week.
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Contact: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES - Juliet Weller, Founder