Our 2021 tour to Portugal is based in the popular resort of Cascias which has become the summertime playground for the people of Lisbon. Situated at the mouth of the River Tagus and the Atlantic, with 3 golden bays, winding lanes, small museums, cool gardens, shiny marina and pedestrianised old town makes it the perfect base for our Lisbon Explorer.
The large 4 star+ Hotel Vila Gale Cascais is set in a great seafront location a short walk from the Marina and the historic town centre. All of the en-suite bedrooms are spacious with full facilities including air conditioning, TV and hairdryer. The hotel offers a restaurant, two bars and an outdoor swimming pool and gardens. There is also a health club, offering spa treatments and a sauna.
Tuesday This morning you are collected from your front door and taken to the Club Class coach for the early morning drive to the south coast and Plymouth/Portsmouth for the afternoon sailing with Brittany Ferries. Once on board there will be time to settle into your cabin and familiarise yourself with the ships facilities prior to departure. Meals on board are not included in the tour price.
Wednesday A morning at sea before a midday arrival in the Spanish port of Santander, there will be a little free time to explore this picturesque coastal resort before we travel through the Picos De Europa Mountains on our journey to reach our overnight hotel, the Europa Centro in Palencia. There will be time to settle in and relax before dinner this evening which is accompanied by wine.
Thursday After breakfast we join the coach for our journey to our resort, Cascais. We enter Portugal and make a break for lunch at the ancient hill town of Gaurda. We enjoy the scenery en route to the Atlantic coast, arriving at our seafront hotel in time for dinner.
Friday This morning we are joined by a guide as we travel to Lisbon. Set on seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus, Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since the 13th century. It is a city famous for its majestic architecture, old wooden trams, Moorish features and more than 20 centuries of history. Following disastrous earthquakes in the 18th century, Lisbon was rebuilt by the Marquês de Pombal, who created an elegant city with wide boulevards and a great riverfront and square, Praça do Comércio. Today there are distinct modern and ancient sections to enjoy, combining great shopping areas with culture and sightseeing in the Old Town, built on the city’s terraced hillsides. After an informative morning we say goodbye to our guide as we explore this wonderful city at leisure.
Saturday After breakfast our guide will meet us for a full day step-on guided tour, starting with a morning visit to Óbidos. As pristine as it is picturesque, Óbidos remains a perfectly photogenic jumble of cobblestone alleyways, whitewashed churches, colourful houses and dazzling tiles, all embraced within the protective walls of a 12th century castle. In the afternoon we visit the charming town of Sintra. The whole town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to its 19th century romantic architecture. The town still retains much of its medieval layout, with labyrinthine streets, steps and arcades.
Sunday Today is at leisure, providing us with the perfect opportunity to explore Cascais’ winding lanes and the local museums, or to simply relax on one of the three beaches.
Monday This morning we visit Queluz Palace and Gardens, designated a National Monument in 1910. The National Palace of Queluz and its historical gardens are a remarkable example of the harmonious link between landscape and architecture. After our visit we return to our hotel to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Tuesday Today we retrace our route back to the Spanish border and on to our overnight hotel, the 4 star Abba Hotel Fonseca in the university city of Salamanca. We arrive with plenty of time to relax before dinner
Wednesday This morning we enjoy a guided walking tour of Salamanca, exploring the magnificent ‘Golden City’ and learning some of the wonderful history behind the cathedrals, plaza and interesting, ancient graffiti adorning the walls. We make our way to Santander in the afternoon to catch our evening ferry to England. We arrive in our home areas late evening a great Portuguese escape.
Fenn Holidays Ltd, Whittlesey Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AG