Seven-Day Getaway to Portugal March 18 - 25, 2019

Portugal's remoteness from the capitals of Europe and its close relationship to the sea have contributed to her unique cultural traditions. Visitors will discover a land blessed with a lush fertile countryside, antique villages, fairy-tale castles, fine wine, magnificent palaces, elegant gardens-qualities that have helped to make Portugal Travel and Leisure's destination of the year for 2017. Yet, despite these distinctions, Portugal remains one of the least-known nations in Europe. Through such great explorers as Prince Henry the Navigator and Vasco de Gama, Portugal inspired and led the European discovery of the world. Her Golden Age lasted well over 100 years. But then, like a Sleeping Beauty, she receded from the world stage, enclosed and apart.

In this generous two-city getaway, we'll explore her rich history and her surprisingly vibrant contemporary life. Our journey begins with the cultural wealth of Lisbon. Our panoramic tour will discover many broad boulevards, parks, and cultural monuments, including the Jeronimos Monastery, that befit one of the great world capitals. The beautiful palaces of Sintra and Ajuda are also jewels in Portugal's crown. During our stay in Lisbon, we'll enjoy dinner in one of the city's Fado houses, where we'll discover Portugal's soul revealed in her music. After three nights in Lisbon, we'll head north. Central Portugal holds many delightful surprises, including the great university town of Coimbra and the Douro River Valley. Our journey culminates with three nights in northern Portugal in the cultural capital of Porto with its medieval cathedrals, Renaissance guild halls, and Art Deco gardens. Highlights include Braga Castle, the religious sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, and the 10th-century Castle of Guimaraes. Throughout the tour, to complement a superb cultural introduction, we'll discover the delectable Portuguese cuisine and its renowned wines. The accommodations in Lisbon and Porto feature well-located five-star properties.

With round-trip international airfare included, a welcome and farewell dinner, full breakfasts daily, two additional dinners, two lunches, and full sightseeing, this seven-day getaway is an excellent travel bargain.