Portugal awaits you today! This morning you will travel south to the city of Porto, known as the Jewel of the North. Porto is the second most important city in Portugal, and it is also a UNESCO Heritage site. En route to Porto, we will visit Vila Nova de Gaia, a lovely town just across the Douro River famous for lodges -- the traditional storage caves for Port wine. You will visit one of the best producers of Port wine in the world and then have an awesome lunch overlooking the river and the city. You will then head to Porto, where you can tour the city with a great local guide and take a river cruise. In the late afternoon, you will have time to soak in the lively atmosphere of Porto’s city center and pay a visit to Lello, one of the oldest bookshops in Portugal and the inspiration for Harry Potter’s library in Hogwarts. Sleep in Porto (Pestana Hotel or similar).
We will say adeus to Porto this morning and drive south to visit Coimbra and Obidos. Coimbra is known as Portugal’s most intellectual city and is home to its oldest University, Universidade de Coimbra -- a public university dating back to the 13th century. After a guided tour of this famous university, you will reach the charming city of Obidos in the afternoon. With its tiny alleys, quaint white houses, and bright flowers, Obidos is a truly enchanting place. You will have time to explore on your own before we head to Lisbon for the evening. Sleep in Lisbon (Sofitel Liberdade or similar).
Lisbon is well known for its dynamic character, culinary delights (you must try bacalhau!) and mesmerizing Fado music. We'll start our day with the city's most important sights including Jeronimos Monastery, the Castelo de Sao Jorge, and we'll take time to walk the enchanting streets of Alfama, Lisbon's oldest district. Tonight, you will experience Fado -- a form of ballad characterized by soulful tunes and lyrics, usually about the sea, love or desperation. The rhythm and tones of the music are deeply connected with the character of the people and capture the atmosphere and beauty of a city -- something that can't be fully explained if not experienced first-hand. Sleep in Lisbon (Sofitel Liberdade or similar).
For those travelers wanting to end their trip today, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure.
For those travelers wanting to stay an additional night in Lisbon, we will visit the impressive UNESCO World Heritage site of Palacio de Pena in Sintra today. This romantic castle is an architectural masterpiece that was built to host the friends of King Ferdinand II. The gardens that surround the castle are arguably the most beautiful of Portugal and inspired Richard Strauss to create a few of his masterpieces. In the afternoon we will journey to Cascais, a former fishing village that grew up to be an elegant beach town. Sleep in Lisbon (Sofitel Liberdade or similar).
If you stayed an extra night, today you will be transferred to the airport for your departure.
3- night Extension Price: $1,595 USD per person (double occupancy, min. 6)
4- night Extension Price: $1,975 USD per person (double occupancy, min. 6)