Book a 2018 holiday before 14 August and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Immerse yourself in Portugal's alluring Alentejo region, a land of cork groves, wineries and timeless villages. Visit sleepy hamlets, medieval castles and old wine estates before exploring historic Lisbon.
Fly to Lisbon and transfer to your hotel in Évora, one of Portugal's best-preserved medieval towns, for overnight. Enjoy the rest of the day free to get acquainted with this university town in the heart of the Alentejo region. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
After breakfast enjoy a guided tour of Évora. Stroll the winding lanes of the old centre, ringed by 14th century walls and see the picturesque town square and remarkable Roman Temple, a stunningly preserved ensemble of 14 Corinthian columns. From here, head to nearby Ardega Cartuxa Winery to tour its cellars and enjoy a wine tasting accompanied by delicious local cheeses, sausages and other delicacies. Then, continue to the carpet-making village of Arraiolos. Explore the alleyways of whitewashed cottages and visit a workshop to see the skilled needleworkers embroidering their famous, richly patterned wool rugs. Lastly, admire the 12th century castle at Evoramonte before arriving in Alter do Chão, your base for four nights.
This morning travel through cork groves and fields to Portalegre, set beneath the São Mamede mountains of northern Alentejo. Discover the cobbled lanes and Baroque architecture of this lovely town and admire its palaces decorated with wrought iron balconies and 'azulejo' tiles. Travel to the atmospheric town of Castelo de Vide and enjoy free time for lunch before visiting Marvão, a walled town topped by one of Portugal's finest castles. Later, ascend to the Pico da Serra São Mamede viewpoint, the highest point in the Alentejo, to admire the spectacular views before returning for dinner at your Alter do Chão hotel.
Relax over breakfast and depart for the beautiful town of Vila Vicosa, once a retreat of Portugal's nobles and royals. Admire the town's tree-lined avenues and Terreiro do Paço square, home to a fine Ducal Palace. Take a guided tour of this stately building, once home to the Bragança nobles and which in 1683, was the birthplace of Catherine of Bragança, later to become the Queen of England as wife of Charles II. Next, see the ruined fortress at Juromenha and head for Elvas, a delightful walled town near the Spanish border. Discover its cobbled streets and churches and later, visit the castle of Campo Maior. Check out its towers and ramparts and then return to Alter do Chão.
This morning visit the prestigious wine estate near the town of Reguengos de Monsaraz. Enjoy a fascinating tour of the winery, where wines are fermented in clay amphorae as in Roman times. Sample some wines and then, after a light lunch in Monsaraz, continue to the hamlet of São Pedro do Corval, known for its hand-painted pottery. Watch the potters crafting pots and plates and perhaps buy souvenirs before returning to Alter do Chão for dinner.
Check out of your hotel this morning and enjoy the views as you drive through Alentejo's plains and villages to Lisbon. Sprawled across seven hills around the Tagus River, Portugal's capital is a laid-back blend of Gothic cathedrals, grand architecture and 18th century squares, juxtaposed with the steep, cobbled lanes of the Alfama district. On a sightseeing tour, focus on the Belém neighbourhood, the city's natural harbour whose monuments recall Lisbon's golden age of maritime power. See the Belém Tower, Monument to the Discoveries and Jerónimos Monastery and admire the striking Expo 98 site. After free time for lunch, continue with a tour of old Lisbon before dinner at your hotel tonight.
Spend today as you wish, perhaps delving into the hilly, traditional Alfama quarter, browsing the shops in the chic Chiado district, visiting the city's Rossio Square, or many museums showcasing medieval and modern art and Lisbon's maritime history. This evening enjoy dinner at the splendid Cervejaria Trindade, the country's oldest beerhouse, in the colourful Bairro Alto district.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for-like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating unforgettable holidays since 1994. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.