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Portugal: A Heritage of Greatness in the New Europe

Program Number: 3313RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/5/2013 - 9/20/2013;
Duration: 15 nights
Location: Portugal
Price starting at: $3,165.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 38; 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Independent since the 12th century, Portugal once divided the known world with Spain. Technological advancements and a spirit of adventure helped its great navigators open important maritime trade routes that sustained Portuguese economic and political power for more than 300 years. Rich in heritage, discover today’s Portugal -- a thriving country with optimistic perspectives on the future and its place in the “new” Europe.




Highlights

• In-depth discussions on Portugal’s traditions, art and architecture and history of colonialism.
• Expert-led visit to the Port wine caves in Porto with a sampling of authentic Porto wine.
• Attend a local folklore dance performance.



Activity Particulars

Walking on cobblestone streets; standing up to 1.5 hours at a time.




Date Specific Information

9-5-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Lisbon, 4 nights; coach to Evora, 2 nights; coach to Coimbra, 2 nights; coach to Guimaraes, 2 nights; coach to Porto, 4 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Lisbon
4 nights

Discover the historic importance of decorative tiles to Portuguese artists. Visit the Sintra National Palace, the Maritime Museum, Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower. Admire the rare tile panels of the Fronteira Palace and enjoy an evening of fado music.



Coach to Evora
2 nights

Trace the traditions and cultural influences of the Alentejo region and Vila Vicosa, seat of the Braganca Household and last residence of the Portuguese Royal Dynasty. Walk through its medieval center to the Roman Temple, the cathedral and the precious tile decorations of the University Cloister. Venture to Vila Vicosa Royal Palace and the Alcobaca Monastery. At an Alentejo farm, enjoy a wine-and-cheese tasting.



Coach to Coimbra
2 nights

At the University of Coimbra, marvel at the gold-paneled Joanina Library in Late Gothic, Manueline style and Saint Michael Chapel. Explore the Monastery of Batalha, whose construction dates from 1388, and the street market of the medieval Obidos fortress. En route to Braga, stop to visit the Roman ruins of Conimbriga.



Coach to Guimaraes
2 nights

Consider this historic importance of trade to Braga and its active university life today. Venture to the top of Sameiro Hill, stroll through the old town and enjoy a dance performance. In Guimaraes, known as the “birthplace” of Portugal, visit the Braganca ducal palace and the Alberto Sampaio Museum.



Coach to Porto
4 nights
Departure

In Portugal’s second-largest city, discuss the politics of the European Community and future promises and challenges for Portugal. Explore the Stock Exchange Palace, Sao Francisco Church and the Soares dos Reis Museum. Visit the Port wine caves in Gaia and the Quinta da Aveleda -- a lovely country house and winery where Vinho Verde is made.




Portugal

This small Iberian country has much to brag about, being home to the first modern Europeans to set sail and conquer the globe. Enjoying what would be called today super-power status in the 15th and 16th centuries, modern Portugal is a country where the past is remembered on the streets of its quiet cities, sung amid its vineyards, and toasted to in bars and restaurants.



Accommodations
Lisbon: Four-star hotel in heart of Lisbon. Evora: Four-star hotel just outside town's ancient walls of Evora, offering a tranquil views. Coimbra: Three-star hotel beside the River Mondego and 200 meters from the famous Choupal. Guimaraes: Four-star hotel a short walk from city center. Porto: Four-star hotel in city center and near the National Theatre "Sao Joao."
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Mundial
  Lisbon, Portugal 4 nights
   Hotel Dom Fernando
  Evora - The Alentejo, Portugal 2 nights
   Hotel Dona Ines
  Coimbra, Portugal 2 nights
   Hotel de Guimaraes
  Guimaraes, Portugal 2 nights
   Hotel Mercure Porto Centro
  Porto, Portugal 4 nights
 Hotel Mundial
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Mundial hotel is located right in the heart of Lisbon, in the Baixa Pombalina district, with the São Jorge castle as backdrop and a stone's throw away from Praça do Rossio square, an area with easy and quick access to the main sights of the city.
  Contact info: Largo Martim Moniz, 1100-341
Lisbon,   Portugal
phone: +351 21 884 20 00
  Room amenities: Equipped with direct dial telephone, air conditioning, heating, individual safe, hairdryer, mini-bar, bathrobe, radio, satellite TV.
  Facility amenities: Laundry Service, 24 Hours Room Service, Handicapped Rooms Available
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact program provider for special rates and reservations.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Dom Fernando
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Dom Fernando belongs to a local Portuguese chain of small but very comfortable hotels. Its location is just outside the ancient walls of Evora, offering a tranquil views of the town and at very short distance from the beautiful plains of Alentejo. The hotel includes on-site restaurant, where meals are served and a swimming pool for the after-class relaxation. Rooms are air-conditioned, most of them with a balcony, and have direct dialling phone facilities and private bath.
  Contact info: Avenida Dr. Barahona, 2
Evora,  7000 Portugal
phone: +351 -266-74-1717
web: www.grupofbarata.com
  Room amenities: air conditioned rooms, en-suite bathrooms, channel tv, safe deposit box, hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: restaurant and breakfast room, meeting rooms, room service
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Dona Ines
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel D. Inês is a modern and comfortable 3 stars, located in the city and the commercial heart of Coimbra, beside the River Mondego and 200 meters from the famous Choupal.
  Contact info: R. Abel Dias Urbano, 1
Coimbra,  3000-001 Portugal
phone: +351 239855800
web: www.hotel-dona-ines.pt
  Room amenities: The hotel has 84 rooms, all with private bath, air conditioning, telephone, radio, satellite TV with 9 channels.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, tennis court, business center with computers, wireless internet connection (at an additional charge)
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel de Guimaraes
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Short walk from Historical city center. non-smoking storey • rooms for motor disabled people • restaurant • bar • room service • Health Club • laundry service • meeting rooms • free net centre • Internet Wireless LAN • foreign exchange office
  Contact info: Rua Eduardo Manuel de Almeida
4801-901 Guimarães,   Portugal
phone: +351 -253-424-800
web: www.hotel-guimaraes.com/en/menu_new2.htm
  Room amenities: • air conditioning • cable TV with 50 channels • direct dial telephone • bathroom with telephone • Internet connection • electronic alarm-clock • mini bar • electronic private safe • hair-dryer • total soundproofing
  Facility amenities: non-smoking floors • restaurant & bar • room service • Health Club • laundry service • meeting rooms • Internet Wireless LAN • foreign exchange office
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Mercure Porto Centro
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Mercure Porto Centro is a traditional hotel which has recently been restored, belonging to a French chain of hotels with a long-standing tradition in the hospitality industry, it is well maintained providing for modern and comfortable accommodation. It is located in the centre of the historical city of Oporto, and near the National Theatre 'Sao Joao'.
  Contact info: Praca da Batalha, 116
Porto,  4049-028 Portugal
phone: +351 -22-204-3300
  Room amenities: Air-conditioned (or centrally heated) rooms, all with private bathroom, television, direct dialing.
  Facility amenities: Breakfast and dining room. Meeting rooms. Bar and Lounges.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for details.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins with lunch at the program hotel in Lisbon. Orientation is in the early evening. You will be staying at Hotel Mundial that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends after breakfast at the program hotel in Porto. You will be staying at Hotel Mercure Porto Centro the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Inter-City Trains and buses to/from Lisbon available to/ from most Portuguese and other European cities
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lisbon
  Nearest city or town:  Lisbon
  Nearest airport:  Portelas de Sacavem (Lisbon)
  Transportation to site: Taking a taxi from the airport to the hotel is your best option. A taxi ride to the hotel in Lisbon will cost you around 25 EUR.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Porto
  Nearest airport:  Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport, Porto
  Transportation from site: Taking a taxi from the hotel in Porto to the airport is your best option. A taxi ride to the airport will cost you around 25 EUR.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: U.S. Departures
(Thursday, September 5)
   
 In Transit: Flights depart the U.S.

Day 2: Arrival & Orientation in Lisbon
(Friday, September 6)
   
 Morning: Arrive in Lisbon and transfer to the program hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel restaurant until 2:00pm. Following lunch, check-in to your room.
 Afternoon: Meet your Group Leader in the hotel lobby for a brief orientation walk around the hotel area before attending a welcome and orientation meeting at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Exploration of Lisbon
(Saturday, September 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart for a guided panoramic drive of Lisbon, followed by a guided walking tour of the old quarter of Alfama, the Tower of Belém, the Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Baixa Pombalina.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Belém.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will visit Jerónimos Monastery and the Maritime Museum. We will return to the hotel by Tram.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field Lecture: Portugal through its Writers / Fado Experience
(Sunday, September 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture in a our professor's home: Portugal through its Writers- Luís de Camões, Miguel Torga, Fernando Pessoa and Nobel Prize Winner José Saramago.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Afternoon free and at leisure to stroll around Lisbon or visit its many museums.
 Dinner: Dinner & Fado Evening in a typical Portuguese Fado House.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Field Lecture: Palace of Fronteira / Sintra / Cabo da Roca
(Monday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning's guided lecture will reveal the architectural beauty and history of the Palace of the Marquis of "Fronteira and Alorna", still in the same family hands since its construction by the First Marquis in 1670. Marvel at the Italian Renaissance architectural influence and the beautiful examples of Portuguese tile and fresco decoration. The large tile panels hanging on its walls depict the battles and glorious moments of the various marquises, and the gardens are exquisitely designed. After the visit we transfer to Sintra for a group exploration of the "Palácio Nacional da Vila".
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will have some time to explore the old village of Sintra and its narrow streets. Returning to Lisbon we stop at "Cabo da Roca", the westernmost point of mainland Europe.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own. Explore the many restaurants of Lisbon.
 Evening: Enjoy the evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lisbon to Évora / Évora Old University
(Tuesday, September 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture at the hotel: This morning's lecture will focus on Portuguese civilization. Learn about the Moorish conquest, the Christian reconquest, and the origins of modern Portugal. Discuss Prince Henry "the Navigator" and the contribution of the New World discoveries to Portuguese colonial expansion and overseas territories. After lecture depart for Évora.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel upon arrival in Évora.
 Afternoon: After lunch a guided visit will introduce the Old University buildings, with their "Azulejos" (tile panels), the Roman Temple, the Cathedral, and the Chapel of Bones. After our visit enjoy some free time on your own to explore the city.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Dom Fernando
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Vila Viçosa & its Royal Palace / Wine Cellar Visit with Tasting
(Wednesday, September 11)
   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart Évora for a guided visit of the prehistoric site of Cromeleque des Almendres, then onward to the Royal Palace at Vila Viçosa, where a guided visit will introduce the last residence of the Kings of Portugal.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch visit a local wine cellar for a wine and olive oil tasting.
 Dinner: Back in Évora, enjoy time at leisure to explore the local cuisine on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Dom Fernando
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Transfer from Évora to Coimbra / Alcobaça Monastery & Óbidos / Batalha Monastery
(Thursday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: After an early breakfast in the hotel dining room check-out of your room for the departure to Coimbra.
 Morning: Departing early from Évora, we venture into the countryside and drive to Alcobaça to visit the Monastery founded by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, in 1153, and which maintained a close association with the Kings of Portugal throughout its history. We continue on to the walled Fortress village of Óbidos. Freed from the Moors in 1148, it was presented by King Dom Dinis to his young wife Dona Isabel as her wedding present.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch we continue to Batalha for a guided visit of this magnificent architectural gem. We arrive in Coimbra in the late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Dona Ines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Guided tour of Coimbra / Visit to Roman site of Conímbriga
(Friday, September 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a guided walk through Coimbra's old city center culminating with a visit to its famous 13th century University buildings, including the gold-lined Library "Biblioteca Joanina", the Graduation Hall "Sala dos Capelos", and the Chapel.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel or a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Departing Coimbra, we take a short drive to the former Roman town of Conímbriga, where a guided visit intoduces the local Museum, the archaeological site with its mosaics, and the important "Casa das Fontes" with its gravitational Roman fountain still in working order.
 Dinner: This evening dinner on your own to explore the local restaurants.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Dona Ines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Lecture on Contemporary Portugal / Guimarães
(Saturday, September 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: An Anthropological & Political Profile of Contemporary Portugal. After the lecture we depart for Guimarães.
 Lunch: We stop for lunch at a local restaurant along our route
 Afternoon: After lunch we take a drive to a village already in the north of Portugal to attend a performance by a local folklore group. Arriving in Guimarães mid-afternoon, take some time after checking in to the hotel to relax before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel de Guimaraes
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Guimarães: Birthplace of Portuguese Nation / Folklore Music & Dance
(Sunday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: After breakfast go on a sightseeing tour of Guimaraes. Later, visit the local "Museu Alberto Sampaio."
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Continue with a walking guided visit of Guimarães and its charming medieval streets.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel de Guimaraes
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Braga: Sameiro Mountain, "Bom Jesus do Monte", and the Medieval City / Drive to Porto
(Monday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: After an early breakfast at the hotel, check out and prepare for the departure to Porto.
 Morning: This morning you explore Braga, starting at the top of Sameiro Mountain where you visit "Bom Jesus do Monte" church complex affording views of the city below. Descending by coach or by funicular, continue with a guided walk exploring the old Medieval city center and the Romanesque Cathedral.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: After lunch we continue to Porto. Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic drive of Porto and a guided visit of the "Casa da Musica", the state-of-the-art Music hall and Instrument museum.
 Dinner: Enjoy some free time this evening to explore local restaurants on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mercure Porto Centro
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: "Quinta da Aveleda" / Lunch at a local restaurant
(Tuesday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the Hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning drive to the countryside around Oporto where a guided visit introduces the Gardens of "Quinta da Aveleda," a Manor House famous for its wine making.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy some time at leisure to explore Porto before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner in a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mercure Porto Centro
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: "Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis" / River Douro Cruise / Farewell Dinner
(Wednesday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the Hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a guided visit of the "Soares dos Reis" Museum, named after this famous Portuguese sculptor and housed in the "Palácio dos Carrancas" with a collection of Portuguese paintings and sculptures spanning from the 17th to the 20th century. Then enjoy a guided visit of a Port wine cellar in Gaia.
 Lunch: Transfer to the "Ribeira" (riverside) where we board a traditional "Rabelo" (a boat originally used to transport barrels of "Port" wine) for a light lunch onboard while cruising along the Douro River and enjoying the superb views of the shore.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel to attend a lecture by your study leader " Portugal facing its future in Europe – weaknesses and challenges”. Take the rest of the afternoon to relax.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the Café Guarany.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mercure Porto Centro
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: São Bento Railway Station / Stock Exchange Building
(Thursday, September 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning during a guided walking visit to São Bento Railway Station we learn about the tile panels decorating its walls. Then a guided visit of the Stock Exchange, the "Palácio da Bolsa" and Porto's main Market.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to sample some of Porto's culinary offerings.
 Afternoon: This afternoon take some time to explore the lovely city of Porto at your own pace.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mercure Porto Centro
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Departures from Porto
(Friday, September 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Porto Airport for return flights to the U.S.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Traveller's History of Portugal


Author: Ian Robertson


Description: A lively, admirably concise survey from prehistory to the present, great for travelers to Portugal who would like an overview of the country's history and culture.



Baltasar and Blimunda


Author: Jose Saramago


Description: This tale of two unlikely lovers in Inquisition-era Portugal is arguably Saramago's masterwork: a philosophically charged, intellectually rigorous historical drama which is also a captivating read.



Birds of Europe


Author: Lars Svensson


Description: Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second revised edition of this exquisite guide has been brought up to date with revised text and maps.



Eyewitness Guide Portugal


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Featuring hundreds of photographs and drawings, an excellent overview of the culture and history, and good information about where to go and what to do.



Journey to Portugal, In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture


Author: Jose Saramago


Description: Jose Saramago's richly detailed account of his journey across Portugal in 1979. He combines his vivid impressions of the Portuguese landscape and people with a dose of history, fiction and meditations.



Oceans of Wine, Madeira and the Emergence of American Trade and Taste


Author: David Hancock


Description: Hancock's unexpectedly engrossing book explores the culture of wine in Madeira and trade in 18th century America.



Portugal Map 733


Author: Michelin Travel Publications


Description: At a scale of 1:400,000, this fully indexed map also includes insets of Madeira and city maps.



Prince Henry "the Navigator," A Life


Author: Peter E. Russell


Description: A complicated, rewarding portrait, and the first biography of this empire-minded Portuguese prince in more than a hundred years.



The Taste of Conquest, The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice


Author: Michael Krondl


Description: Weaving travel and history, Michael Krondl a world where pepper, cinnamon and cloves were as valuable as gold -- and Venice, Lison and Amsterdam jockeyed for global control.





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