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23928
Portugal

Winter in Portugal: Rich History & Culture from Cascais to Lisbon for Women Only

From the beautiful coastal Cascais to the modern city of Lisbon, trace the history of Portugal on this special learning adventure just for women during the quieter winter months.
Program No. 23928RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,799
Portugal

Winter in Portugal: Rich History & Culture from Cascais to Lisbon for Women Only

From the beautiful coastal Cascais to the modern city of Lisbon, trace the history of Portugal on this special learning adventure just for women during the quieter winter months.
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,799
Program No. 23928 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Nestled along the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is home to colorful cities. With other fascinating women, discover the the coastal area of Lisbon during the quieter winter months, where the weather is mild. Trace the history of Portugal as you explore the quaint countryside and more modern city of Lisbon, and learn how the former fishing village of Cascais transformed into a royal residence and popular port. Local experts will introduce you to the very best of traditional cuisine, artworks and historic places as you bond with women who are as interested in the culture of Portugal as you are.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Savor the traditional cuisine of Portugal as you join other women for a morning at a local farmer’s market and a cooking demonstration.
  • Explore the Gulbenkian Foundation – one of the most exclusive private art collections in Europe.
  • Learn the history of the Mafra Royal Palace and Monastery, built by King John V in the 18th century and now a National Monument.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Eyewitness Guide Portugal
by Eyewitness Guides
A compact, visual travel guide to the country featuring hundreds of photographs and drawings, an excellent overview of the culture and history of Portugal and good information about where to go and what to do. With many excellent regional, local and neighborhood maps.
Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945
by Neill Lochery
Despite Portugal's neutrality during WWII, the city of Lisbon endured untold amounts of pressure, propaganda and espionage from both the Allies and the Axis powers. Lochery's well-researched chronicle is sheathed in a cloak-and-dagger atmosphere as he uncovers sordid and fascinating accounts of the backstage role the Portuguese capital played in the conflict that raged on all sides.
Portugal Map
by Michelin
At a scale of 1:400,000, this fully indexed map also includes insets of Madeira and city maps.
The Book of Disquiet
by Fernando Pessoa
When the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa died in 1935, he left behind a trunk full of unpublished writings. Culled from those unclassifiable papers, this book is a unique collection of short, aphoristic paragraphs comprising the "autobiography" of Bernardo Soares, one of Pessoa's many alternate selves (he called them "heteronyms"). Part intimate diary, part prose poetry, part descriptive narrative, this melancholic masterpiece is captivatingly translated by Richard Zenith.
Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empirer
by Roger Crowley
This epic narrative history by bestselling author Roger Crowley (City of Fortune, MED185) chronicles the rise of Portugal as the small nation forged a dominant share in the global spice trade. His cast of characters (the ambitious King Manuel I, marauding governors and intrepid seamen) built a trade monopoly with the ferocity of a holy crusade, forever shifting Europe's center of power from the Mediterranean to Western Europe.
Small Memories
by Jose Saramago
In this contemplative memoir, the Portuguese Nobel laureate recalls a childhood both dark and magical, split between the growing city of Lisbon and the tiny village of Azinhaga.
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
by Jose Saramago
This nuanced novel, written in Saramago's smooth style, follows Ricardo Reis, one of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa's invented characters, around the rainy streets of Lisbon. Pessoa has just died, and Saramago builds his plot around the premise that characters live on nine months after their author's demise
Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook
by Clara De MacEdo Vitorino
A handy pocket phrasebook for Portuguese basics, covering pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
DK Eyewitness Top Ten Lisbon
by Tomas Tranaeus
A compact illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions.
A Traveller's History of Portugal
by Ian Robertson
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
by Jose Saramago
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.
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8 days
7 nights
14 meals
6 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Lisbon, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Cascais
D
Vila Gale Cascais

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After checking in to the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. Orientation: 6:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, our meal will include a complimentary glass of wine and mineral water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Portugal’s History, Tile Factory, Mafra, Cape Roca
Cascais
B,L
Vila Gale Cascais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 68 miles (110 km), approximately 2.5 hours throughout the day. Walking up to 2 miles, standing at field trip sites; cobblestones, many steps inside monastery, staircases without railings, no elevator.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as cold cuts, cereal, yogurt, fruit, bread and pastries, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will be joined by a historian who will give us a presentation on the history of Portugal and its people. Portugal was among the earliest of global empires in what is known as the Age of Discoveries thanks to its navigators and explorers. The empire lasted in some form for almost 600 years until Portugal ceded Macau to China in 1999. Though a little more than 10 million people call Portugal home today, Portuguese is the sixth most natively spoken language around the world due to past colonization, especially in Brazil. Next, we will drive to a tile factory to learn everything about the process of making homemade tiles. We’ll then ride on to Mafra in the Lisbon countryside.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Mafra, we will have a plated meal with beverage choices of a glass of wine, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: With our Group Leader, we will visit and explore the Palacio de Mafra, an architectural project designed to be a convent, palace, and basilica. This building houses one of the most important libraries in Europe, as it boasts a large diversity of thematic collections from the 15th to 18th centuries representing different fields of knowledge. We will return to Cascais along the coast with a stop at Guincho to see Cape Roca, the westernmost point of Europe.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
About Contemporary Portugal, Belém
Cascais
B,L,D
Vila Gale Cascais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 31 miles (50 km), approximately 1.5 hours throughout the day. Walking up to 2 miles, standing at field trip sites.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: A historian will join us at the hotel for a lecture on contemporary Portugal, the Salazar regime, and the activities of spies and refugees in Lisbon, Cascais, and Estoril during World War II. We’ll then depart by motorcoach for Belém. This district to the southwest was originally the shipyard and dock area and the embarkation point for voyages in the 15th century that led to so many discoveries. The great wealth derived from Portuguese colonies supported the construction of exceptional edifices we see today. We will set out on an expert-led walking field trip featuring the Jeronimos Church and the Coaches Museum. At the church, we’ll learn more about Portugal’s Age of Discovery. Explorers Vasco de Gama and Luis de Camoes are both entombed in Jeronimos. The Museu Nacional dos Coches — National Coach Museum — preserves one of the finest collections in Europe of royal coaches built during the Baroque period. We’ll learn about these magnificent vehicles, the artisans who made them, and the distinguished riders they served. After the field trip, we will walk to the Navy Museum for lunch.

Lunch: In the canteen of the Navy Museum, we’ll choose a main dish and dessert with beverage choices of wine or beer, soft drink, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our exploration of the Belem area, stopping at the Monument to the Navigators to learn about Henry the Navigator, and admire the tower of Belém. Returning to the hotel, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Portuguese Food Workshop, Sintra
Cascais
B,L
Vila Gale Cascais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles (9 km), approximately 3/4 hour to/from Sintra. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; some cobblestones in Cascais, some steep slopes, many steps at Pena Palace, no handrails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll set out with our Group Leader on a short ride to the weekly market in the center of Cascais where we’ll have some time for independent exploration. We’ll then walk to a nearby location for a chef-led demonstration on Portuguese foods. We’ll observe the chef at work and lend a helping hand in making today’s lunch.

Lunch: At the workshop, we’ll have the meal we helped prepare.

Afternoon: Next, we will board a motorcoach and drive to Sintra for a field trip to Palacio Nacional da Pena — Pena Palace, the Sixth Wonder of Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the UNESCO inscription: “In the 19th century Sintra became the first centre of European Romantic architecture. Ferdinand II turned a ruined monastery into a castle where this new sensitivity was displayed in the use of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance elements and in the creation of a park blending local and exotic species of trees. Other fine dwellings, built along the same lines in the surrounding serra, created a unique combination of parks and gardens which influenced the development of landscape architecture throughout Europe.” Built from the remains of a monastery in the Romanticist style between 1836 and 1854, this colorful palace that once served as a royal summer residence stands atop the second highest point in the Sintra hills. From the palace, we will take a short ride to the town center for a self-directed exploration in the old village of Sintra with its narrow streets. We’ll then ride back to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to have what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Companhia das Lezírias, Gulbenkian Foundation
Cascais
B,L,D
Vila Gale Cascais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 50 miles (80 km), approximately 1.5 hours each way. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; walking and standing in museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride into the rural countryside to Companhia das Lezírias, a traditional Portuguese farmstead where olive and cork trees grow, wine is produced, and Lusitano thoroughbred horses are bred and raised. We’ll meet a local expert who will accompany us on a ride through the farm to observe and learn about everything grown here. We’ll also taste some of the local wine.

Lunch: At Companhia das Lezírias we’ll have a buffet meal with beverage choices of wine, coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian — Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation — founded in 1956 as a bequest from the eponymous British-Armenian philanthropist who lived in Portugal from 1942 until his death in 1955. Its purpose is to improve the quality of life through art, charity, science, and education. The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian holds one of the most important international private art collections that we’ll learn about as a local expert leads our exploration.

Dinner: We will visit a private residence to share a light dinner with a local family.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
7
Lisbon Old Town, Free Time, Fado Performance
Cascais
B,D
Vila Gale Cascais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 25 miles (40 km), approximately 1/2 hour. Walking up to 2 miles; cobblestones, some steep slopes in. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: With a local expert, we’ll head out in the motorcoach on a panoramic drive through Lisbon before getting off and walking through the old town and city center. We’ll learn about the aftermath of the massive 1755 earthquake and how the city evolved as we observe the characteristics of different areas.

Lunch: On your own to have the local cuisine of your choice.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will accompany those who wish to return to the hotel in Cascais by motorcoach. Those who wish to stay on in Lisbon and return independently are welcome to do so.

Dinner: We will rendezvous at the hotel and go to a fado restaurant in Cascais for a plated 3-course meal with beverage choices of wine, coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner. As we dine, we’ll experience a performance of fado, recognized by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This multicultural synthesis of music, poetry, and dance is usually performed by a singer with guitars and sometimes other instruments.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: See your program’s Transportation Information regarding transfers. Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet, flight times permitting. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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