PORTUGAL - HIDDEN TREASURES

9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

Description

Nestled along the Iberian Peninsula's Atlantic Coast, Portugal beckons with its sea-faring past, charming old towns, quaint coastal villages, and distinctive diversity. Here you will experience exquisite churches carved in "lace" to its endless olive groves, flowering almond trees, and sweet Port wines. Remnants of former civilizations are abundant from foreigners who conquered and were conquered here including Romans, Moors and Jews. Together, their influences inter-mix with attributes of countries linked by Portuguese exploration across the globe. From the country's diverse landscapes, coastal splendors, old world towns and vibrant cities to its delectable gastronomy, gracious people, and time-honored history, Portugal will indulge all of your senses.

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA 
Depart the US bound for Portugal on an overnight flight. 

Day 2 Arrive Lisbon, Portugal 
Arrive at Lisbon Airport and be greeted by your Central Holidays tour director for transfer to your hotel. Spread across picturesque hillsides that overlook the River Tejo, Lisbon offers a myriad of delights as Portugal's star attraction, yet with a fraction of the fuss of other European capitals. Cathedrals, regal monasteries and charming museums are all part of the colorful cityscape, but the real delights of discovery lie in its people, touring its sites, and Lisbon's lovely and old-world backstreets. Dinner is on your own tonight, offering you the opportunity to venture along on your own pace and take in the acclaimed gastronomy of Portugal. 

Day 3 Lisbon - City Tour 
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a full day visit of Lisbon, including the opportunity to explore the city center, the old quarter of Alfama, as well as the Belem quarter and its monuments including Jeronimos Monastery, the Belem Tower, and the Monument to the Discoveries. This city, the capital of Portugal, is a legendary city with more than 20 centuries of history. Voyages of discovery turned Lisbon into one of the world's greatest ports and the base of an empire that stretched from Brazil in the West to India in the East. This monumental city features typical tile covered building facades and narrow winding streets. Tonight your welcome to Portugal features a flavorful dinner of local favorites and an unforgettable Fado show, a part of our Cultural Discovery Series. Meaning "destiny or fate," fado is the urban folk music of Portugal. It thrives today in the country's bars, taverns and fado houses for everyone to relish as a global melodic symbol of Portuguese culture and tradition. Sit back and feel free to linger over some port wine and take-in the soulful passion of Portugal via its musical tradition of fado that is sure to stir the passion in you! (B,D) 

Day 4 Lisbon - Tour of Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais and Estoril 
Power up with breakfast at your hotel, and then embark on a full day tour of Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril. Your first stop on this fascinating day's adventures is the historic town of Sintra, where a walking tour takes you to delve into the village's treasures and includes a tour of the Palacio Nacional de Sintra. Next it's on to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Continental Europe where you can sample a Portuguese liquor called Ginjinha. Your day's activities take you along to the famous resort of Cascais and the cosmopolitan coastal village of Estoril. (B)

Day 5 Lisbon 
Today is yours to explore at leisure or embark on a captivating optional excursion to bidos, Batalha, Ftima, and Nazare. Take in the spectacular views of bidos, a breathtaking medieval walled village. Explore the magnificent Gothic Monastery in Batalha, celebrated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the famous pilgrimage center of Ftima to view one of most famous Marian shrines in the world. Some four million people visit Ftima each year, drawn by apparitions of the Virgin Mary reported by three local shepherd children in 1917. Afterwards we will stroll through the picturesque fisherman's village of Nazare. (B)

Day 6 Lisbon - Tour of Coimbra/Porto 
After breakfast at your hotel, depart to Porto, making a stop along the way to visit the university town of Coimbra and its outstanding library. Porto, the world's port wine capital, beckons with her winding streets, old town and is the country's second largest city. The city is a colorful mix of medieval architecture, bell towers, extravagant baroque churches and stately buildings. Porto's old town is the Ribeira district, a Unesco World Heritage Site where tripeiros (Porto residents) mingle before old shop fronts, on village style plazas and in the old houses of commerce where Roman ruins lurk beneath the foundations. Tonight dinner will be served at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 7 Porto - City Tour & Wine Tasting 
This morning start your day with breakfast at your hotel. Next your day's activities include a full day tour of Porto and the Minho Province. In Porto, visit of the Stock Exchange, St. Francis Church and Port Wine Cellars with the delicious opportunity to sample port during wine tasting experience - Cultural Discovery Series. This afternoon, visit of Guimares, the first capital of Portugal and Braga. Return to Porto where you will have an evening on your own to delve into the magic of Portugal's Porto. Consider a night out in the medieval quarter facing the river that boasts the city's liveliest restaurants and bars. (B)

Day 8 Porto 
After breakfast in your hotel, enjoy a day at leisure or embark on an optional tour to the Douro Valley, home to the vineyards where Port Wine and Portugal's most outstanding red table wines are produced. Here you will love the spectacular scenery where verdant hills and valleys, and colorful fields dotted by almond trees meet the vast Douro River and its tributaries. Tonight you will savor a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 9 Porto to USA or extend your stay with an optional Santiago de Compostela extension
Depart your hotel and transfer to Porto Airport for your return flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA EXTENSION

Day 9 Porto/Santiago de Compostela 
Today we will have a scenic drive and travel over the border to Northwest Spain from Porto to Santiago de Compostela, a well-trodden pilgrimage route since the early Middle Ages. Santiago de Compostela is one of Spain's most beautiful and magical cities, and an exceptionally good reason for any traveler, pilgrim or not, to make their way to Spain's northwestern corner. Medieval pilgrims walked the Way of St. James for months to arrive at Santiago Cathedral, home of the relics of St. James. (B)

Day 10 Santiago de Compostela - City Tour 
After breakfast, embark on an exciting half day tour of Santiago, including visits to Plaza del Obradoiro, the town's acclaimed Cathedral with her stately Romanesque sculptures, multi-tiered bell towers, porticoes, and cloisters. See where so many pilgrims have laid their hands on the pillar just inside the doorway to rest their weary bones that a groove has been worn in the stone. Afterwards we will enjoy a walking tour of the old town. (B)

Day 11 Santiago de Compostela to USA 
After breakfast transfer to Porto or Santiago Airport for your return flight home. (B)
B - Breakfast, D - Dinner
 
 

Includes

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 10 included meals consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts and 3 dinners. Wine and water included with dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows:
    Full day tour of Lisbon, full day tour to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais and Estoril with Portuguese liquor tasting, a tour of Coimbra, and a full day tour of Porto with wine tasting. Optional tours available
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompass cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy, social systems and interaction with locals
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival to Lisbon
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport
OPTIONAL SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 2 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City tour of Santiago de Compostela including its cathedral.
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport