Experience the best of Portugal as you explore its capital city, coastal villages, and remote islands. Marvel at the geothermal wonders of the Furnas Valley, and take in the beauty of the twin lakes of Sete Cidades. Tour the grand capital of Portugal, Lisbon. Get swept away by the melancholy sounds of Fado and visit the fairy-tale town of Sintra. Explore thermal pools, colourful botanical gardens and the lush green landscapes of Portugal’s Natural Parks and thrill with a walk on a glass sidewalk. Relax and enjoy multi-night stays on the Azorean island of St. Michael and sunny Madeira, the “Pearl of the Atlantic.
|May 19, 2024||from $4,579 CAD||Per Person|
|1||Sun May 19||Lisbon|
|2||Mon May 20||Lisbon|
|3||Tue May 21||Lisbon|
|4||Wed May 22||St. Michael, Azores|
|5||Thu May 23||St. Michael, Azores|
|6||Fri May 24||St. Michael, Azores|
|7||Sat May 25||St. Michael, Azores|
|8||Sun May 26||Madeira|
|9||Mon May 27||Madeira|
|10||Tue May 28||Madeira|
|11||Wed May 29||Madeira|
|12||Thu May 30||Lisbon, Portugal|
|13||Fri May 31||Lisbon, Portugal|
Day 1 – Lisbon
Your adventure opens in Lisbon where Old World traditions blend seamlessly with modern ways. Experience Portuguese cuisine, regional wines and folkloric entertainment among colourful buildings and winding pathways. Tonight, meet your fellow travellers at a welcome dinner.
Day 2 – Lisbon
Set out on a tour of Lisbon and uncover some of the city’s most famous sights. Travel to Belem where the age of Portuguese Maritime Discoveries comes to life at the Monument to the Discoveries and the Tower of Belem (UNESCO). Travel to Sintra (UNESCO), the summer residence of Portuguese royalty and visit the National Palace. Enjoy some free time for lunch on your own and explore this storybook town at your own pace. This evening, over Portuguese cuisine and wine, listen to local artists perform the traditional Fado (UNESCO).
Day 3 – Lisbon
Today is free for you to explore Lisbon on your own. Traditional neighborhoods such as Alfama, a vibrant culinary scene and a myriad of famous miradouros (viewpoints) beckon a leisurely visit. If you would prefer to explore Portugal’s famed Riviera you may choose to join your Tour Manager in the late afternoon for a unique optional tour that transports you to the coastal towns of Cascais and Estoril.
Day 4 – St. Michael, Azores
To the Azores! Fly to St. Michael, the largest of the 9 volcanic islands that form the Azores archipelago. On a brief walking tour of Ponta Delgada’s town centre, see the Portas da Cidade (the City Gates), and several of the main architectural sights that make up this unique island capital. Enjoy dinner this evening at a local restaurant featuring traditional Azorean cuisine.
Day 5 – St. Michael, Azores
Start the day with a visit to a 150-year old family run ceramic factory where we will learn about the process of creating traditional Portuguese pottery. Then, it’s your choice! Take a stroll through the natural beauty of Terra Nostra Botanical Park -OR- rest and relax in the park’s thermal water pool.* In Furnas Valley, experience a cozido das Furnas lunch, cooked in the heat of the volcanic earth. After lunch let the green, lush beauty of Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Natural Park surround you as you stroll through the natural landscape and take in the watermills so typical of this place. Then head to the verdant pastures of a tea plantation, one of two in Europe, and delve into its cultivation methods and trade history before heading back to Ponta Delgada. The evening is yours to do as you please.
Day 6 – St. Michael, Azores
Make the most of a day at leisure. Perhaps you will take an optional whale watching adventure and cruise over the waves with an expert biologist followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Regardless of your Azorean activities during the day, gather in the late afternoon to explore a local pineapple plantation and learn more about this species introduced to the island by Portuguese navigators. Then, enjoy a cocktail and dinner in one of the best family-run restaurants of Ponta Delgada.
Day 7 – St. Michael, Azores
Today visit the iconic Sete Cidades volcanic crater and peer down at its twin lakes. The lakes appear to be different colours – one blue (reflecting the sky) and the other green (reflecting the ground). Learn about the stories and legends associated with the two lakes before journeying to a boutique, family-run winery where the volcanic soil plays a key role in the end product. After, travel to the quaint town of Ribeira Grande where we will have time free time for lunch. End your full day of touring with a visit to Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Nature Reserve, where watermills and nature create a lush, otherworldly setting.
Day 8 – Madeira
Fly to Madeira, the “Pearl of the Atlantic.” After our afternoon arrival, we will embark on a walking tour of the capital city of Funchal, to get our first glimpse at the quaint old town and some of its main sights. Then, discover the Madeira Botanical Gardens as you make your way through a terraced landscape of more than 2,000 exotic plants.
Day 9 – Madeira
Explore the Lavradores market, a hub of exotic fruits, flowers and a traditional fish market. The local culture comes to life here! A tasting at a Madeira wine lodge teaches you about the famous Madeira wine. Head to the colourful Santa Maria Street, where vibrant murals and brightly painted doors liven the streets and the many cafes tempt you to linger over lunch on your own. A free afternoon provides more time to explore or to relax and enjoy your hotel’s garden, pool and spa. Gather again this evening for a traditional espetada dinner, feasting on local cuisine cooked over an open fire amidst a backdrop of folk dancers and lively music.
Day 10 – Madeira
Begin your day with a tour that will take you to Câmara de Lobos, a traditional village on a picture-perfect bay which served as a special retreat for Sir Winston Churchill. It was here that Madeira’s natural beauty captivated him and inspired many paintings of the village. Drive along mountain roads, passing banana plantations and vineyards en route to the world’s second-highest cliff, Cabo Girão where you can walk on the highest glass skywalk in Europe. Continue to a sugar mill and learn about the importance of sugar cane production to the island in the15th century. Sample local specialties made at the mill before leaving for the lively fishing village of Porto Moniz. Here enjoy free time for a swim* (weather permitting) in the natural volcanic rock pools before returning to Funchal.
Day 11 – Madeira
The day is yours to explore independently. Or, perhaps you will embark on a full day optional tour of the island. Start with an easy trek along the island’s levadas,** and learn about this unique watering system. Then travel to a Quinta for a lunch with views of the Atlantic. End with a visit to the traditional A-frame houses of Santana, a reminder of the island’s farming past.
Day 12 – Lisbon
Board your flight and return to the metropolitan energy of Lisbon. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Later, bid “adeus” to Portugal during a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 13 – Lisbon
Depart for home with Portugal in your heart as your tour ends today.
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