Heritage is our legacy from the past, with which we live today and pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. These sites belong to all people in the world, irrespective of the territory where they are located. UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This tour visits all the places, in Portugal, classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, in total, 11 different locations with this distinction: Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, Sintra, Évora, Alcobaça, Batalha, Tomar, Porto, Douro Wine Region, Foz Côa and Guimarães.
Day 1: Welcome to Portugal
A tour guide will be waiting for you at Lisbon International Airport to welcome you and to escort you to the hotel.
Day 2: Lisbon
The tour begins at the Marquês de Pombal Square, you cross the Avenida da Liberdade and head down to the Baixa Pombalina which was rebuilt in classical style after the 1755 earthquake. As you arrive in Belém (Bethlehem in English), not far from the Tagus riverbank, you can contemplate two emblematic monuments, the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. Both monuments are a tribute to the Portuguese Age of Discovery and World Heritage Sites classified by UNESCO. Both were built in the XVI century, the golden age of the Lusitanian Nation. The tower symbolically stands at the precise point where the Restelo Beach use to be; the departure point of ships and caravels on their expeditions to discover the oceans and new worlds. The Jerónimos Monastery’s construction begun in 1502 and took 50 years to be completed. This monument is generally referred to as “the jewel" of the Manuelino style and as the ultimate symbol of the Portuguese Age of Discovery. The Manuelino style, is an innovative style that synthesizes aspects of Late Gothic architecture with influences of Spanish Plateresque style, downtown Italian and Flemish elements and marks the transition from Late Gothic. It includes architectural elements of the late Gothic and Renaissance, associated with Christianity and the natural symbols of the king making it unique and worthy of admiration. In Belém there’s still time to savour the famous Pastel de Belém, pastries that have been in production since 1837. To tour continues passing through the Commerce Square (Palace Square) all the way to Rossio, the Lisbon Cathedral, Carmo Convent and the National Museum of Ancient Art. Accommodation in Lisbon.
Day 3: Obidos, Alcobaca and Batalha
From Lisbon you travel north, heading for Porto, and on the way you visit the cities of Óbidos, Alcobaça and Batalha. Your 1st visit is to the delightful town of Óbidos, located on a hill and still encircled by a fortified wall. The well-preserved mediaeval look of its’ streets, squares, walls and its’ massive Moorish castle, rebuilt by the King D. Dinis, have turned the picturesque village into a preferred tourist attraction in Portugal. A visit to the city of Alcobaça is next. The city of Alcobaça became notable after the 1st King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, decided to build there a church, the biggest in Portugal at the time, to celebrate the conquest of Santarém from the Moors, in 1147. The church later evolved into the Monastery of Alcobaça. The construction begun in 1178 and was completed in 1252. The finished church and monastery were the first truly Gothic buildings in Portugal and are also one of the first foundations of the Cistercian Order in Portugal. Due to its’ artistic and historical importance, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1989. Before driving to Porto, we visit the Monastery of Batalha, in the town of Batalha. One of the best and most original examples of Late Gothic architecture in Portugal, intermingled with the Manueline style. The monastery was built to thank the Virgin Mary for the Portuguese victory over the Castilians in the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, fulfilling a promise of King Dom João I. Then drive to the city of Porto. Accommodation in Porto.
Day 4: Porto
Following breakfast at the hotel, a private guided tour of the most typical streets in Porto. The tour begins in front of the Porto City Hall, from there you go on to visit the city’s most emblematic monuments with a grand ending at the Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the other side of the Douro River, with a special treat… A toast… with the famous Port wine! In a colourful urban landscape, with many centuries of history, you will tread through peculiar places, get to know the most picturesque corners and witness the magnificence of the great architectural symbols of the “Invicta” city, like the Cathedral, the neo-Classical Stock Exchange Palace, the Cathedral Neighbourhood and the Church of St. Francisco, all top exponents of Baroque art. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a cruise on the Douro River, of 50 minutes duration, giving you a totally different perspective of the city’s beauty as you slowly travel up the river and under the six bridges that cross it, followed by visits to Serralves Museum, The House of Music and the city beaches. Return to selected hotel in Porto.
Day 5: Braga and Guimarães
The Minho is considered to be the greenest region in Portugal. This tour will take you to Braga and Guimarães. In Braga, you marvel at the majesty of the Cathedral of Braga and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus with its’ monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116metres (381 feet). The present sanctuary’s construction began in 1722. Guimarães, also known as the "The Cradle City", was the first capital of Portugal, is referred to as the birthplace of the Portuguese nationality and is also the birthplace of Afonso I of Portugal, the first Portuguese King. In Guimarães, we visit the Palace of the Dukes, the Guimarães Castle and its’ historic centre, declared a World Heritage Site in 2001 by UNESCO due to its’ Middle Age historical monuments. Accommodation in Porto.
Day 6: Douro Wine Region
In the morning you depart from Porto heading northeast, our destination being Régua, located in the Douro Wine Region. The Douro Wine Region was considered, in March 2010, the World’s 7th Best Sustainable Tourism Destination by National Geographic and is also the oldest demarked region in the world. This trip will take more or less 90 minutes. On arrival we make a brief pause, to allow you to take in the charisma of the region, before heading for Pinhão travelling on one of the most enchanting routes in Portugal, alongside the Douro Rivers’ left riverbank. In the small town of Pinhão we pay a visit to what used to be the old railway station, now a store and museum with a display of unique items representing the great viticulture traditions of this region followed by a visit to the current railway station, adjacent the old one, well known for its’ 24 tile panels portraying the Douro landscapes and aspects of the vintage. The tour then takes you to two wine producing estates so you can fully understand the way of life of these people and be enlightened on the current and former production processes. An educational experience that reveals secrets and allows you to taste the extraordinary wines produced in this region. Accommodation in a selected hotel in the Douro Wine Region.
Day 7: Upper Douro Region
After breakfast you head for the village of S. Joao da Pesqueira, considered as the "heart of the Douro Wine Region" and possessor of probably the most stunning belvedere of the entire Douro region; a place that goes by the name of the Saviour of the World. In Foz Côa we pay a visit to Quinta de Ervamoira, an estate situated within the Archaeological Park of Foz Côa, a park classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A visit to the estates’ private museum, displaying archaeological findings that allow us to learn more about the history of the estate and its’ wines is also included. The stone engravings of Foz Coa, a rare concentration of rock art dating from the Upper Palaeolithic Period (22,000 to 10,000 BC), one of the oldest records of human activity recordings in the world will be the last attraction for the day. Return trip to Régua with accommodation in selected hotel in the Douro wine Region.
Day 8: Coimbra and Tomar
Coimbra, also known as the city of the students, began to evolve into a major cultural centre with the foundation of the University of Coimbra in 1290. The university, one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world, attracts visitors from around the world due to its monumental buildings and history. In Coimbra you visit the university, the library and church of Santa Clara. The town of Tomar was born within the walls of the Convent of Christ. The Convent of Christ was constructed under the orders of Gualdim de Pais in 1162, the fourth grand master of the Templar Knights and still preserves memories of the Templar monks and Knights as well as the heir of their office, the Order of Christ, which made this building their Headquarters. Tomar is one of Portugal's historical jewels and more significantly was the last Templar town to be commissioned for construction. Tomar was especially important in the 15th century when it was a centre of the Portuguese overseas expansion under Henry The Navigator, Grand Master of the Order of Christ, the successor organization to the Templars in Portugal. Accommodation in Lisbon at selected hotel.
Day 9: Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca
Sintra is a beautiful romantic village at the base of the Sintra Mountain Range, whose unique characteristics have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the “Cultural Landscape of Sintra” – i.e., both the natural and built heritage of the village and mountain range are considered. In the XIX century, Sintra was the first focus of the European Romantic architecture. The guided tour includes a visit to the National Palace of Sintra, the only example of medieval royal palaces in Portugal; an ex-líbris of the village; the beautiful landscape of the Park, followed by a drive to the regional wine cellar of Colares where you can taste the unique regional wine just before arriving at Cabo da Roca; the westernmost point of mainland Europe. The return to Lisbon hotel is made driving alongside the coast, passing through the towns of Cascais and Estoril. Accommodation in selected hotel in Lisbon.
Day 10: Alentejo
After breakfast at the hotel, you head for the typical landscapes of the Alentejo where, in the midst of the golden plains, the Romans founded Évora, a city with a history dating back more than two millennia. Évora was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 due to its well-preserved historic centre still partially enclosed by medieval walls, the unique atmosphere in the old city streets filled with restaurants, craft shops and a number of monuments dating from various historical periods, among them a Roman Temple, the XV century Lóios Convent and Church (now converted into a luxury inn) and the Cathedral built in 1186, along with homes that display brilliant white arches and wrought iron balconies. Despite the town’s historical interest, the university brought a new life to it. In the morning you will also visit the Roman Temple (referred to as the Temple of Diana), the Church of S. Francisco and the Bones Chapel. In the afternoon, we head to Elvas, the new World Heritage of Portugal since 2012. Return to Lisbon and accommodation at selected hotel in Lisbon.
Day 11: Returning Home
Transfer from the hotel to the Lisbon International Airport.
Prices per Person in Double Room:
|World Heritage Tour
||Min 6 Pax
||4 to 5 Pax
||2 to 3 Pax
The price includes:
- 10 nights in a double room with breakfast buffet.
- Private Transfers Airport / Hotel / Airport of Oporto.
- Modern and comfortable car, mini-bus or bus.
- Private tour driver/guide throughout the whole tour.
- Visits, entrances and activities mentioned in the tour description.
The price does not include:
- Flights to and from Portugal.
- Personal expenses.