Travel through the beautiful plains, mountains and beaches of Southern Portugal. Admire impressive and remarkable viewpoints overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. See the region’s most beautiful landmarks, including Ponta da Piedade, Cabo Sao Vincente’s beautiful cliffs and the UNESCO listed city of Evora!
One day spent discovering the town of Évora, a mosaic of culture, history and traditions. Leaving Lisbon, we cross the bridge over the river Tagus and head through a beautiful and bucolic landscape of olive trees, cork oak trees and vineyards before arriving at Évora – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the narrow streets of this whitewashed town, we walk back through time visiting some of Évora’s most important monuments: the Roman Temple, the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral, Saint Francis Church with its “Chapel of Bones” and the University. At the market, we see and feel the richness of the products applied in preparing one of the most elaborate and best-appreciated gastronomies of Portugal. Throughout the visit, we also get to admire the diversity and authenticity of local handicrafts with cork, ceramic and copper objects. Free time for lunch. In the afternoon, there is free time to better discover this city. Our suggestion: gourmet standard wine, cheese and olive oil.
Breakfast at the hotel. Part of the morning provides further leisure time in Évora before then driving southward passing Beja where the highest tower in any Portuguese medieval castle dominates the town and the region. Crossing the low mountain range, we enter the Algarve. Alongside fields of orange trees, we arrive in Silves, the renowned town dominated by its red sandstone castle dating back mainly to Moorish times and by the memories of its former cork industry. We continue onto the golden sands of the Algarve passing Praia da Rocha en route to Lagos. Meals: B
Breakfast at the hotel. The Algarve has the call of the sea that led to the discovery of the New World. We halt in Ponta da Piedade to admire the magnificent views over the Atlantic Ocean and cliffs whose shapes have been sculpted by the erosive action of both the sea and time. Continuing onto Sagres, a fishing port, for a visit to the fortress that was the mythical “navigation school” forever linked to the presence of Prince Henry the Navigator during the first days of Atlantic navigation and the discovery of the African coast. Proceeding along the cliffs to Cabo de São Vincente, the most southwestern point on mainland Europe. The city of Lagos, a cosmopolitan town with a marina and fishing port and home to some of the most delicious Algarve dishes, such as the fish and shellfish cooked in a cataplana copper pan, – and not forgetting the fine sweets such as the famous marzipan, almond and fig cakes. Return to the hotel, where an afternoon at leisure invites you to take a dip in the warm sea. Meals: B
A last look at the water while travelling along the coast before bidding farewell to the Algarve. The return trip to Lisbon takes you through the city of Setúbal, a major port and industrial centre on the north bank of the Sado estuary. Then comes a scenic route over the Arrábida Mountain Range, an area preserved as a Natural Park, with amazing scenery and unique vegetation at the gates of Lisbon and incorporating sweeping views of the Tróia Peninsula. Crossing the Tagus River bridge, we arrive in Lisbon. Meals: B