Today's coach journey is approximately 65 miles and we will be travelling all day, with stops at sites like Queluz and Cascais. You will encounter winding or hilly roads as well as cobblestone streets and sidewalks.
At the hotel.
To begin our day, a historian will give a lecture on the history of Portugal. In the Middle Ages, Portugal was the vanguard of the "Age of Discovery" due to its success in maritime exploration. Navigators including Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias helped to establish Portugal as the first world power through its discoveries of India, Japan, and Brazil – the latter of which was a Portuguese colony for three centuries – and subsequent intercontinental trade. The country's economic fortune began to decline in the 17th century, culminating in Brazil's 1822 declaration of independence followed by Portugal's transition to a parliamentary monarchy. We'll then board a motorcoach and visit the Palace of Queluz. Built in the 18th century, it was used by the royal couple Pedro III and Maria I as a retreat; following Pedro's death, Maria's mental state deteriorated, and she would use the palace to hide from the outside world. Here, we'll observe the Rococo architecture and impressive gardens. We’ll then drive along the coast to the elegant town of Cascais where we'll have some time for independent exploration.
On your own to explore local cuisine in Cascais.
With our local expert, we'll get back on the motorcoach and take a panoramic ride along the coast of Lisbon, stopping at the Monument of the Discoveries to see the Belem Tower (a UNESCO World Heritage site).
We'll head to a traditional fado house, where we'll dine as we listen to a form of traditional Portuguese guitar music marked by its "saudade," or longing. In 2011, the genre was placed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. We'll have a plated meal with wine, coffee, and mineral water.
We'll return to the hotel around 10:30pm after listening to more of the fado performance. If you wish to stay for the full performance, you can take a taxi back to the hotel. Please ask your Group Leader for more details.