Portugal’s city of hills overlooks the harbor from which Vasco de Gama returned after his great voyages and the castle-topped view that greeted him awaits you. You’ll stroll seaside Cascais and visit the stunning Royal Palace in Sintra, walk the Medieval streets of Obidos, and discover Lisbon on a walking tour. You’ll also enjoy ample time at leisure. Whether you choose to explore the historic lanes of the city’s oldest neighborhoods or experience its modern fashion, dining, and culture, you’ll find Lisbon unforgettable.
- It's Included:
- Accommodations: for 3 nights in Lisbon at the Hotel Altis, or similar
- 5 meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner
- Included tours: Cascais, Sintra, Obidos, Lisbon
- Exclusive services of a resident Grand Circle Program Director
- All transfers
- Now included for 2015:
- Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on your extension and all optional tours
This morning, embark on an included excursion to Sintra and Cascais. Begin in Cascais, a one-time humble fishing village that has grown into a lively coastal resort town. Then continue to the Royal Palace in Sintra, dating back to the Middle Ages. During time on your own in Sintra, you’ll see why well-traveled English poet Lord Byron called the town “the most beautiful in the world.”
After an included lunch at a local restaurant, return to Lisbon, where the balance of your day is at leisure.
This morning, you’ll discover nearby Obidos, known as the Wedding Present Town because it was the gift of King Dinis to his young bride Isabel on their wedding day, and then was presented to each successive Queen of Portugal in turn. Declared a national monument in its entirety, the city’s white walls, azulejo tiles, and cobbled streets offer a clear glimpse of the Medieval period here. After a walking tour here, enjoy a sip of its most popular libation: ginjinha. This sour cherry liqueur is served shot style, and enjoyed all over Portugal.
After lunch on your own, return to Lisbon for leisure time to explore at your own pace
After breakfast, discover Lisbon on an included tour. Built on seven hills, Lisbon has been Portugal's capital since the 13th century, and the area around the steepest hill, Sao Jorge, was first settled by Phoenicians in the twelfth century BC. As the hills have long posed a challenge for commuters and those needing to do business about the city, Lisbon created a municipal transportation system at the end of the 19th century that featured elevadors, urban trams that worked either as funiculars or vertical lifts to accommodate the geography. Today, your Program Director will introduce you to the experience with an elevador ride.
After your included tour, the balance of the day is yours for discovery. Perhaps you’ll explore the historic Belem neighborhood. Here you'll see the 16th-century church of the Jeronimos Monastery, containing Vasco da Gama's tomb, the ornate Belem Tower, and the Monument of the Discoveries. Or spend some time in the Alfama district, and enjoy the winding alleyways where the city's Moorish heritage thrives. Enjoy lunch on your own at Lisbon's wide array of restaurants and cafes.
Tonight, cap your discoveries with an included dinner.
Today, you’ll transfer to the airport in Lisbon for your return flight home.