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Northern Portugal and Madeira

• Lisbon  • Fatima  • Oporto
• Deluxe All-Inclusive resort in Madeira
Portugal - cobblestone villages, captivating cities, a rich and unique culture, fascinating history, idyllic scenery and great food are just the beginning. On this tour we will see the lively capital city of Lisbon, explore the authentic cities in the north and enjoy a week at a Deluxe oceanfront resort on the magical island of Madeira - a lush oasis with a mild climate, dramatic seascapes and magnificent flowers that flourish only here.

We begin with an overnight in the bustling city of Lisbon, then venture north to the ancient medieval walled city of Obidos, and Nazare - a picturesque seaside village on the Atlantic coast. Next is a visit to Aveiro, dubbed the Venice of Portugal with its picturesque canals lined with moliceiros originally used to harvest seaweed, now used for canal cruising. 
Then we proceed to what many consider the highlight of northern Portugal - the picturesque city of Oporto, built into granite cliffs overlooking the beautiful river Douro. The city is a charming blend of architectural gems from several historic periods, including Roman, Gothic, Baroque, Neo-classic and Renaissance eras.  There are narrow medieval alleyways and squares, extravagant baroque churches and wide boulevards lined with stately edifices.  

In Coimbra we will see the ancient university perched high above the Mondego River before continuing to Batalha where we will visit the Batalha Monastery - one of Europe's greatest Gothic masterpieces and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will also overnight in Fatima - famous for the 1917 reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary.   
From Northern Portugal we will fly to the breathtaking island of Madeira for a delightful 7-night stay at a Deluxe oceanfront resort with touring included. We end our tour in Lisbon with a city tour and an afternoon at leisure to explore this lively and historic capital city.

Tour Highlights:

   • Walled city of Obidos / colourful fishing village of Nazare
   • Tour of Oporto and a scenic boat ride on the Rio Douro
   • Batalha Monastery - UNESCO World Heritage Site
   • Fatima - a centre of Christian pilgrimage
   • Lush Botanical Quinto Gardens do Lago
   • 2 full-day tours of the enchanting island of Madeira   
   • The historic and lively city of Lisbon

* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Lisbon - a direct flight from Toronto.
Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel. Our Welcome Dinner is this evening.
We drive along the scenic landscapes of windmills and fruit trees to the enchanting walled city of Obidos, which has some of the most well-preserved medieval architecture in Portugal. We will see the castle and main square, and then continue to the colourful fishing village of Nazare, and to Batalha to visit the Monastery of Santa Maria de Victoria - one of the best examples of original gothic architecture in Portugal. We continue to Fatima - a centre of Christian pilgrimage, famous for the shrine called the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.
We depart for Coimbra where we visit one of the world’s oldest universities, including its magnificent baroque library. We stop at Saint Clara Monastery to view the exclusive ceramic of Coimbra before continuing to Aveiro, known as the “Portuguese Venice”, where we see the graceful “moliceiros” boats with their distinctively decorated prows, and have a chance to taste the local sweets “ovos moles”. Then we proceed to Oporto - one of the oldest European cities, for a 2-night stay.
Our city tour of Oporto will show us the San Francisco Church, Palacio da Bolsa (the Chamber of Commerce) with its splendid Arabian Hall, and a port wine cellar for a demonstration and taste of the famous and revered port. We will enjoy a scenic boat trip on the beautiful Rio Douro in the afternoon.
We return to Lisbon and transfer to the airport for our flight to the magical garden island of Madeira, for a 7-night stay at our Deluxe oceanfront resort.
Today we will have a welcome orientation of Funchal including the Cathedral, a visit of the beautiful botanical gardens with their unique island species, and a tasting of the famous Madeira wine.
A day at leisure to enjoy the facilities of the hotel or explore the charming town of Funchal. This evening we will enjoy a folklore dinner with local specialties and wine.
Today’s full day tour takes us first to the Point of Sao Lourenco, where you can see both sides of the island at once. We continue to Porto de la Cruz and Guindaste to enjoy the magnificent scenic views. Then we proceed to visit the village of Santana, famous for its small houses with thatched roofs set amongst the Cathedral flowers, vines and apple orchards. We visit the island’s interior, Ribeiro Frio, and a trout farm before continuing to Mount Poiso and the village of Santo da Serra, 1400m above sea level.
A day at leisure. Your Tour Manager will be on hand for suggestions and possible optional tours.
Todays tour takes us first to Estreito de Camara de Lobos to see its wonderful vineyards. We stop at the cliffs of Cabo Girao, the third highest in the world, for an unbeatable view of Funchal, and then continue to Ribeira Brava to see the church, and Madalena do Mar to visit a banana plantation. We descend the plateau of the island to Paul da Serra - a UNESCO protected nature park, before visiting Porto Moniz and its famous natural pools hollowed out of lava. On our return to Funchal we pass the beautiful Serra de Agua Valley and Laurissilva Forest.
At leisure for last minute souvenir shopping, strolling along the sea or on the streets of Funchal, or enjoying the facilities of our resort hotel.
We enjoy a final free morning in Madeira before we fly back to Lisbon and transfer to our hotel.
Our tour of the Portuguese capital will include the Old Quarter, Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower and the monument to Henry the Navigator. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or visit one of the many museums and galleries. This evening is our Farewell Dinner.
We fly direct from Lisbon to Toronto.
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