Seen Paris and London? How about mixing up your European adventures with the lovely country of Portugal. Its laid-back vibe, great coastline and medieval monuments attract more than 7 million visitors annually. Though small, the country has a lot to offer, from its rich cuisine and historical city squares, to the pristine beaches of Algarve and verdant vineyards of the Douro River Valley.
Anselmo Goncalves is our go-to guide in Portugal and Spain. He has been guiding private tours for individuals, families and small groups for 15 years. Our clients just rave about him! Join Anselmo on one of his popular day tours through Lisbon/Sintra or Sintra/Obidos. He also offers multi-day trips that celebrate wine in Oporto and Douro, and religious-themed tours in Fatima and Santiago de Compostela. Read on for some samples:
FULL DAY TOUR – 08HRS – SINTRA+CASCAIS
We leave Lisbon to Sintra, taking the main road, and arrive at Pena Palace. After the visit, we come to Sintra’s old city centre, where you can visit the 14th century former Royal Palace, or walk through the city’s narrow streets at your own pace. If time permits, we can stop at the Quinta ad Regaleira, an estate from the late 19th century. It consists of a Romanesque palace and chapel, with luxuriant vegetation laid on terraces with statues, lakes, grottoes and wells. A place full of symbols related to alchemy, masonry, the Knights Templar and the Rosicrucians. Then we will drive to the seaside along the Atlantic Ocean. The last stop will be in Cascais, a former fishing village, where you can enjoy a walk through the elegant and charming town center. Leaving Cascais, we will drive by the fashionable Estoril along the scenic ocean road.
FULL DAY TOUR – 09HRS – NORTH OF LISBON – OBIDOS+NAZARE+BATALHA+FATIMA
We will leave Lisbon around 9-9:30 AM along the scenic countryside road to visit the medieval village of Obidos. After the visit, we will drive to Nazare, a scenic fishing village, where we will stop for lunch. Afterwards, we drive to Batalha, a 14th century monastery and a known masterpiece of Portuguese gothic architecture. From Batalha, we drive up to Fatima, a world-famous religious and pilgrimage site. From Fatima, we drive back to Lisbon to be back at your hotel by 6PM.
But don’t just take our word for it! Read our client Carla K’s Review:
Portugal was a great idea — many thanks! Never would have thought of it but it was perfect for our trip. I recommend Anselmo without reservation to your clients who can afford him. Superb guide. Our route was excellent. Porto is well known and stunningly beautiful, but we were glad to see Coimbro and especially Tomar, which not only had the 500 year old hidden synagogue but on top of the hill, the medieval headquarters of the Knights Templar, beautifully preserved and almost empty of tourists. Included within it is a replica of the Temple of the Dome in Jerusalem, slathered in Brazilian gold. We poked around up and down the hills of Lisbon and got out to see Belem using the tram. We rode the old funicular, came upon a band concert on a hilltop with view of castle, and had a fabulous room at our hotel. I ate the best fish I have ever eaten anywhere at a Lisbon restaurant called An Peixte. Exquisite. We also stumbled on a newly renovated old fruit and vegetable market there where top chefs have the equivalent of food stands with small plates — truly delicious. I think that was a 3 lunch day, but we were so active that neither of us gained any weight. We ended our Portugal trip with two nights in Sintra where there was a lot to do and the converted palace run by Tivoli was lovely, very grand and great service. It was a bit of a walk from town on a steep cobblestoned road with a lot of curves —- probably just at the edge of what I could do and not for your less mobile folks. Sintra is charming and the castle there probably inspired most of Walt Disney’s creations. Anselmo also showed us Cascais and we had a grand farewell dinner with him by the sea.
Or how about a multi-day cruise down the picturesque Douro River? https://wittravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/cruising-on-portugals-douro-river/
Call your agent at Willamette Intl Travel to chat more about Portugal and Anselmo! 503-224-0180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.