PALACES, CONVENTS, KINGS & QUEENS | SELF DRIVE - 9 days

Guimarães · Braga · Oporto · Aveiro · Buçaco · Coimbra · Fátima · Tomar · Abrantes · Crato · Vila Viçosa · Évora · Sintra · Cascais · Estoril · Lisbon

Palaces, Castles, Monasteries and hotels full of charm. Landscapes and places of great beauty, a warm and welcoming population, perfect ingredients for a pleasant trip, driving a car at your own pace through the roads of Portugal

PALACES, CONVENTS, KINGS & QUEENS | SELF DRIVE - 9 days

Guimarães · Braga · Oporto · Aveiro · Buçaco · Coimbra · Fátima · Tomar · Abrantes · Crato · Vila Viçosa · Évora · Sintra · Cascais · Estoril · Lisbon

A welcoming and cosy country, with beautiful cities full of history, scenic landscapes in the Alentejo or the river Douro Valley, referencial hotels and palaces or castles, and the liberty of travelling at your own pace, driving a comfortable car!
Upon arrival at the airport of Oporto pick-up the rental car and start your journey to Guimarães, for check-in at the Historic Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães, with its origin in the ninth century. We suggest going down to the city center, or take advantage to appreciate the infrastructures of the hotel and its lovely gardens.
Drive down to the city to visit Guimarães, the "Cradle of the Nation", where D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal was born. The historic center classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, is one of the best preserved in Europe. Continue to Braga, the city of the Archbishops, with a great number of churches, of which we highlight the old Cathedral and the baroque Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, with its majestic staircase and a beautiful view over the city. Enjoy lunch in one of the typical downtown restaurants. In the afternoon, take the highway directly to Oporto, the second largest city in Portugal. Try to leave the car in one of the many public parks in the center and take a walking tour of the city, passing through the most emblematic monuments and tourist attractions, from Avenida dos Aliados to Ribeira. Take a "Rabelo" boat tour and visit the well-known Port Wine cellars. Dinne in Oporto or return for dinner in Guimarães.
Check out and leave to Aveiro, one of the most beautiful cities of the coast, often called the Portuguese Venice thanks to the canals that cross the city, where colorful “Moliceiro” boats slowly glide. Cross the demarcated region of Bairrada, visit the forest of Bussaco with the Palace that was once a royal hunting house and one of the most beautiful romantic palaces. Enjoy lunch in Mealhada, in one of the local restaurants, where the main dish is the famous piglet called "Leitão à Bairrada". In the afternoon, drive to Coimbra, a student city with one of the oldest universities in Europe. Drive to the top to visit the university, and then go to the south bank of the Mondego River to check-in at Quinta das Lágrimas 5 *, a palace that witnessed the most romantic tragedy in Portugal's history, between king Pedro I and Inês de Castro.
Continue to the interior of Portugal, making a first stop in Fátima to visit the Marian Sanctuary. Continue on to Tomar and visit the Convent of Christ, home of the Templars, later called Order of Christ, of crucial importance in the time of the Maritime Discoveries. Continue the journey, passing by Abrantes to the south bank of the river Tagus, until you reach Flor da Rosa, a small town in Alentejo province, where you will find the Pousada Flor da Rosa, a convent/castle connected to the reconquest of Portugal from the Moors.

Today you continue towards south, and in Alter do Chão you have the possibility to visit Alter do Chão stud farm (except Mondays), founded by King Dom João V in 1736, with all the elegance of the famous Lusitano horses. Continue to Évora, the main town in the Alentejo. Stroll through its historic center, surrounded by a wide belt of walls, a valuable cultural heritage and a World Heritage Site. The city, of strong Arab influence, rests on two millennia of history. Enjoy lunch and learn some of the secrets of Alentejo cuisine. In the afternoon continue the crossing of the vast Alentejo plain, now towards east, passing by Lisbon, until you reach Sintra, the most romantic Portuguese village, where all fairy tales, kings, queens and princesses have a perfect framework.
Sintra is one of the most beautiful and romantic places, full of magic and mystery. Also called "Mount of the Moon", is part of UNESCO "Cultural Landscape and World Heritage" places. Free day to visit the various palaces, stroll through the historic center and enjoy your time.
Drive to the coast, passing by Cabo da Roca - the westernmost point of the European continent - and Guincho beach, to the village of Cascais for a stop. Enjoy the beauty of this little town by the ocean and have lunch in one of the many local restaurants. In the afternoon, continue along the coast, passing Estoril, until you arrive in Lisbon, to the monumental district of Belém. Stop to discover the Monument to the Discoveries, the Tower of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery. Be sure to taste the famous "Pastéis de Belém", delicious custard tarts. Head to the city center to return the rental car (maybe you prefer to stop first at your hotel to drop off your luggage and then take a taxi to the hotel).
Now without a car, walk through the historical center of the capital of Portugal, take tram nr. 28 to go up to S. Jorge Castle and "loose yourself" in the alleyways of Alfama. This evening we suggest going to a “Fado” restaurant for a nice dinner and to listen to people sing the traditional Portuguese songs. Accommodation.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Lisbon airport for your return flight. Thank you for traveling with us and enjoy your flight home!

SERVICES INCLUDED
8 nights accommodation in 5 * hotels and Pousadas in a double room
Daily buffet breakfast
Rental car from 1st to 7th day "Premium" (Mercedes C CDI, or similar) with unlimited mileage
Collision insurance (CDW) and theft (LW)
*Other cars available*
Private Transfer to Lisbon Airport
All hotel taxes (except city taxes, when applicable)



SELF-DRIVE
Departures 2019:
Daily from 1 apr to 1 dec (on request)

HOTELS RESERVED OR SIMILAR

GUIMARÃES: Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães
COIMBRA: Hotel Quinta das Lágrimas 5*
CRATO: Pousada Mosteiro do Crato
SINTRA: Hotel Palácio de Seteais 5*
LISBON: Pousada de Lisboa 5*

Note: We may also quote other categories or type of hotels
Price per person:

Please consult your Travel Agent

MORE INFORMATION?
Please contact us: reservas@longitude9.com