Tours Portugal - Meridian Discovery
Tour of Lisbon
Leaving the Parque Eduardo VII (Eduardo VII Park), we will go to the city centre to see the main squares and avenues of the historic centre. We will visit places like Avenida da Liberdade (Liberty Avenue), Praça do Rossio (Rossio Square), Praça Marquês de Pombal (Marques de Pombal Square) and Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square). Following the course of the Tagus River, we will go towards Belém, the area where the monuments reminiscent of the golden age of the Portuguese discoveries can be found. We will visit the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) and the Mosteiro dos Jerônimos (Jerônimos Monastery). The tour continues through the famous Torre de Belém (Belem Tower), a fortress located in the Tagus estuary. Our last stop will be in Alfama, a picturesque neighborhood of Arab origin, and considered the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and Europe.
Tour of Sintra
This tour is ideal for all those who want to know the best of Sintra. We will begin the tour with the departure from the city of Lisbon, in search of discovering the magic and splendor of Sintra.
Sintra, the village of the enchanted mountain range that will leave you dazzled by all its natural beauty and by the traditional village, full of wonderful monuments that have marked the history of Portugal. In all its historical monuments you can find a mixture of various architectural styles. Sintra was the chosen place of residence for the kings of Portugal leaving us with this wonderful heritage.
In this tour we highlight to visit in Sintra the Palácio de Seteais (Seteais Palace), the Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle/Castle of the Moors), the Quinta da Regaleira (Regaleira Farm), the Palácio da Pena (Pena Palace) and the famous "Piriquita" confectionery that is a must to taste the delicious regional sweets like the Travesseiros de Sintra and the famous Queijadinhas de Sintra.
We will also pass by the historic centre, where there are cobbled streets filled with traditional shops and cafés, all in the architectural style of the Palácio Nacional (National Palace). The great variety of fascinating historical monuments and wonderful landscapes have made Sintra one of the best tourist destinations. In Cabo da Roca (Cape Rosa), where Luís Vaz de Camões makes reference in the book Os Lusíadas, "Where the land ends and the sea begins", this is the westernmost point of the European continent. Let yourself be dazzled by the beautiful landscape with the ravines and the huge control lighthouse.
In this tour there is still time to visit Cascais, where you will have the opportunity to observe the wild dunes and the indomitable sea of Praia do Guincho (Guincho beach) that is considered by many the Portuguese Riviera. During your visit to Cascais and Estoril, you can easily feel the glamour and charisma of this region. Before arriving in Lisbon and to finish the tour, we classify the largest and oldest Casino of Europa - Casino Estoril as an obligatory stop.
Tour of Évora
Back in Lisbon we go to Arraiolos, a small village in Alentejo, located about 20 km northwest of Évora. We visit the castle (14th century) and the church of Senhor dos Passos (rebuilt in the 19th century).
We'll also visit the famous Tapetes de Arraiolos (Arraiolos Rugs). Arraiolos carpets are embroidered wool carpets, with stitch of the same name on a jute, cotton or linen canvas. Knowledge transmitted from generation to generation.
Évora was conquered from the Moors by Geraldo ''No Fear'' in 1166 and during the Middle Ages was one of the most prosperous cities in the Kingdom, especially during the Avis Dynasty (1385-1580). We will then visit the Templo de Diana (Temple of Diana) also known as Templo Romano (Roman Temple), in Évora, which is one of the most grandiose and best preserved Roman temples in the whole Iberian Peninsula, having been considered World Heritage by UNESCO in 1986. It is the ex-libris of the city of Évora. The Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) was built in the 17th century on the initiative of three Franciscan friars whose aim was to convey the message of the transience and fragility of human life. This message is clearly passed on to the visitors at the entrance, through the warning: Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos. (“We bones that here are, for yours await", or, more poetically, "We bones you see in this poor state for you and yours do sit and wait".)
Catedral de Évora (Évora Cathedral) was founded in 1186 and consecrated in 1204, the Sé Catedral de Évora (Sé Cathedral of Évora), dedicated to Santa Maria (Saint Mary). It is considered the largest medieval cathedral in the country, and an incomparable example of Roman-Gothic transitional architecture. A primitive temple built between 1186 and the first years of the 13th century was followed by the grandiose monument that exists today, essentially the result of two remarkable campaigns of the Middle Ages.
Tour of Arrábida
Leaving to south, we pass through the Ponte 25 de Abril (25th April bridge) towards Azeitão, where we'll visit the village and the José Maria da Fonseca cellars with an offer of Moscatel wine tasting. We continue our journey through the beautiful Serra da Arrábida (Arrábida Mountains). Arriving in Setúbal we suggest a stop for lunch and a visit to the Forte de São Filipe (Fort of São Filipe). We continue towards Palmela to visit the Palmela Castle, finishing the tour by passing through the Vasco da Gama Bridge, enjoying the view over the Tagus River.
In Vila Fresca de Azeitão (Fresca de Azeitão village), known for its excellent wine and the famous Moscatel de Setúbal, you will have the opportunity to accompany its production method, ending with a wine tasting. This village is also sought by the tiles produced in a traditional way and painted by hand, where we have a brief description of the process of shaping the clay and its painting. To finish this visit in a "sweet" way, delight yourself with a Torta de Azeitão (Azeitão Pie), typical of the region. Besides the famous Azeitão pies, a typical dessert made from egg with a slight taste of lemon and cinnamon, we can also delight ourselves and acquire another product representative of the region: the traditional and famous Queijo de Azeitão (Azeitão Cheese), made from sheep's milk, which is very appreciated for its unparalleled flavour.
In Serra da Arrábida (Arrábida Mountains) you can enjoy a wonderful view over the Atlantic Ocean and over the beautiful Tróia Peninsula, a sandy tongue that stretches across the Sado estuary. The whole area is protected by its diversity of fauna and flora and by its well-known white and fine sandy beach with transparent and luminous waters, such as Figueirinha Beach, in Portinho da Arrábida. On the slopes of the Arrábida, we still find an old Franciscan monastery, the Convento da Nossa Senhora da Arrábida (Convent of Nossa Senhora da Arrábida). In the heart of the Natural Park of Serra da Arrábida we arrive at Figueirinha Beach, owner of a unique natural beauty. It is very appreciated by families for presenting a calm sea, emerging a long sandbank at low tide, ideal for children. Close to this beach is a wooded area that is frequented mainly in summer for picnics. You can also enjoy a breathtaking view of Troia and Portinho da Arrábida.
Setúbal was born from the river and the sea, existing since Roman times. We find numerous remains since the Neolithic period and the Phoenician and Greek civilizations. It's a fishing, port and industrial area, where we can visit the Fort of São Filipe and enjoy a delicious lunch with the typical gastronomy of the city: fresh fish, seafood or the traditional fried cuttlefish. A connection point with Tróia by sea, this trip takes about 30 minutes. The castle of São Filipe, often called fort or fortress, dates back to the 17th century and played a tactical role in strengthening the Portuguese coast's line of defence, battered by pirates from northern Europe and Africa. It currently functions as an Inn with a baroque chapel covered with tiles dating from 1736. From the walls of the fort there is one of the most privileged panoramic views of the city and the bay.
Tour of Porto
The city of Porto is known as the Cidade Invicta (Uncoquered/Invincible City). It is the city that gave Portugal its name - from very early on (200 BC), when it was called Portos Cale, later becoming the capital of the County Portucalense. It is also known worldwide for its wine, its bridges and contemporary and ancient architecture. Its historic centre is classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. Its beautiful monuments and historic buildings, such as the imposing Sé or the Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, offering a harmonious synthesis of ancient and contemporary attractions.
On the opposite bank of the river, Vila Nova de Gaia has superb landscapes over the world famous Caves do Vinho do Porto (Port Wine Cellars), the main centre of production of Port wine, where it is elaborated and matured and where it is possible to taste the different varieties. Also on this side, if you prefer, you can also opt for a cruise through the Douro.
In Ribeira we visit Praça da Ribeira (Ribeira square), popularly known as Praça do Cubo (Cubo square); Rua da Fonte Taurina (Fonte Taurina street), one of the oldest streets in the city; Muro dos Bacalhoeiros (Wall of Bacalhoeiros) and Casa do Infante (House of the Prince), where Infante D. Henrique is believed to have been born, in 1394. We will also visit the primitive Igreja de São Francisco (Church of São Francisco), in Porto, which began in 1223, but the current temple was only to be built around 1400O. The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) began to be built in October 1842, with a mixture of architectural styles; the building presents in all its splendour, traces of the neoclassical eighteenth-century,Tuscan architecture, as well as the English neo-Paladian. Originally as Estação Central do Porto (Porto's Central Station), it's a railway interface that serves the city of Porto, in Portugal; although it entered service on 7th November of 1896, it wasn't until 5th October of 1916 that the official inauguration took place.
Igreja de Santa Clara (Church of Saint Clara) is a Catholic temple located in the parish of Sé. In its interior, we can find one of the best examples of art of the golden carving of the Johannine Baroque. Built next to the most visible section of the Muralhas Fernandinas (Fernandinas Walls), the Church of Santa Clara was completed in 1457. The Ponte Luís I (Luís I Bridge) is a bridge in metallic structure with two decks, built between 1881 and 1888, connecting the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia (north and south bank, respectively) separated by the Rio Douro (Douro River). You will have a wonderful panoramic view of the city of Porto. The Foz do Rio Douro (Mouth of the Douro River) is where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is a tourist area, where you can enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean combined with a beautiful and romantic seaside promenade. It is known for being inhabited by the upper class of the city despite its markedly interclassist character.
The Gastronomic Tour, a special tour, unique and out of the usual tourist circuits so that you can have an authentic vision of our Gastronomic Portugal. This is a tour for those who want to know Portugal in another manner, with its nooks and crannies, tasting a little of the best in every corner.
Through the wine routes of Portugal we can take excellent walks and get to know a pleasure perfected over time. In fact, it is known that, at least at the time of the Roman Empire, the wine was already widely cultivated in Portugal. Its production went through many phases over time, but it is worth highlighting the date of 1756, when the Marquês de Pombal created the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro (Upper Douro Wine General Agriculture Company), with the function of delimiting the 1st demarcated region of the world, registering the vineyards and classifying the wines according to their quality.
Green Wine Route
Starting from the north, we have the Green Wine Route from Minho to Douro. The green, which gives the name to the wine, is the predominant colour in the region, punctuated, however, by historical cities, such as Braga or Guimarães and other smaller ones, but full of charm by the rivers that surround them. This is the case of Amarante, Viana do Castelo, Barcelos, Ponte de Lima and others. It's a rural tourism area, with manor houses whose vineyards are worth visiting to see how the trellis vineyard grows, the granaries and a surprising landscape that gives origin to light, young and fresh wines.
Alvarinho Green Wine Route
The sub-region of Monção e Melgaço, next to the Minho river, is part of the Green Wine Route, but it is the birthplace of the reputed Alvarinho caste, the most appreciated variety of green wine. For this reason the Alvarinho wine has its own route, with these cities as capitals. At Solar do Alvarinho, in Melgaço or at Paço do Alvarinho, in Monção, you can taste the wine and taste or buy other products from the region.
Porto Wine Route
The Porto Wine Route takes place on slopes of great scenic beauty with the Douro River flowing down between mountains. Such beauty and uniqueness conquered for the region of Alto Douro Vinhateiro (Alto Douro vineyard) the title of World Heritage. The route also includes the region of the Parque Arqueológico de Foz Coa (Archaeological Park of Foz Coa), another nucleus of the World Heritage. It encompasses cities full of heritage and tradition, such as Vila Real and Lamego, but what most distinguishes the Douro valley is the immensity of wine producing farms, many of them dedicated to wine tourism. It is therefore possible to spend the night in these tourist units, do wine tastings and participate in wine-making work, with special emphasis on the grape harvest. Along the same route, excellent table wines are produced today: the white, red and rosé wines of the Douro, in the same vineyards that produce Porto wine.
In the centre of Portugal, the Bairrada Route is located on a coastline near Aveiro or Figueira da Foz beach, but also covers the area of Coimbra, a city classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. In this region there are some of the oldest and most reputable national hot springs, with spas and health programs. The Bairrada piglet, an ex-libris of the national gastronomy, is particularly appreciated in the company of the good wines of the region, namely the sparkling wines of which Bairrada was one of the first producing regions in Portugal.
Wine Route of the Setúbal Peninsula
It is another region of great beauty, already to the south of the Tagus river, where the Serra da Arrábida (Arrábida Mountains) are profiled with its Parque Natural (Natural Park) and the Reserva Natural (Natural Reserve) of the Estuário do Sado (Sado Estuary), known for its friendly dolphins. The beautiful beaches of Sesimbra or Portinho da Arrábida, north of Sado, are contrasted with the enormous sands of the Tróia Peninsula, already on the south side. If Setúbal is the main city with a historical centre that deserves a visit on foot, Palmela and Vila Nogueira de Azeitão are the capitals of the Route, with wineries and farms to visit. In this region is born the Moscatel de Setúbal wine, one of the most reputable in Portugal.
Alentejo Wine Route
The Alentejo Wine Route stretches across the plains of the region, marked by heat, except in the extreme north near the Serra de S. Mamede. Here is one of the most beautiful villages in the Alentejo, Marvão, between walls, as well as another further south, Monsaraz, this on the edge of the Alqueva. Borba, Redondo, Reguengos or Vidigueira are names of lands and wines with a long tradition. The capital of the region, Évora, owes its World Heritage classification to the variety and beauty of its heritage, but the whole region deserves a visit to enjoy a unique landscape, made up of rolling fields, cork oaks and lakes that mirror the blue sky and the soul of a region where the strength of the earth conquers us.