This full-day private tour will take you through Lisbon, Estoril, Cascais, Sintra, Obidos, Batalha, and Fatima.
Cross the central Marques de Pombal square and go down by the XVII century boulevard called Liberdade avenue to the popular Restauradores and Rossio squares; it’s been the heart of Lisbon since Roman times, and the Pombaline downtown which has been the main shopping area there for more than 2000 years.
The majestic waterfront Comercio square, facing the extraordinary estuary of the river, once the welcome gate to seafarer and caravels.
The tour ontinues along the riverside by the harbour with sights of one of the world’s leading cruise destinations. On the way to Belem, the most monumental and historical quarter, we pass by Belem palace, official residence of the President of Portugal. Stop at Belem tower – icon of the Age of Discovery (stop for photos, drinks and toilettes).
Close by is Jeronimos Monastery, magnificent example of the Manueline style, the most impressive symbol of Portugal’s power and wealth during the age of discovery (stop to see the church).
We leave Lisbon passing by the scenic harbour and the estuary of the river and its shore. The Estoril coast, incorporating holiday hotspots offers great beaches and a choice of historic sights.
Cosmopolitan seaside town of Carcavelos is popular for its long stretch of sandy beach and its XVII century fortress – the biggest in Tagus river.
Other beaches on Estoril’s include Parede. Waters here are rich in iodine and have therapeutic qualities. Around Sao Pedro, Sao Joao and Santo Antonio do Estoril the beach scene gets more cliff like, but there are small beach bays with aristocratic palaces, manor houses and deluxe villas, a safe haven of exiled kings and politicians.
The cosmopolitan casino town of Estoril boats pretty Tamariz beach which is good for bathing and the biggest casino in Europe, its gardens, cafes and esplanade.
Cascais fishing port swiftly expanded into an elegant cosmopolitan coastal resort. Once the stop of navigators like Columbus and Vasco da Gama. From the harbour there’s a nice view of Estoril bay and one can watch he typical fishing boats unloading the catch, a flash marina and a castle.
Drive across the luxuriant Sintra Mountain and its gardens – ‘The Glorious Eden’ – by twisted roads bordered by several plants, its mystical hills dotted with fairytale palaces and extravagant villas that have bewitched visitors for centuries.
Sintra’s historical town centre is a listed UNESCO world heritage site. It is made up of a charming maze of steep, narrow streets lined with fine examples of old palatial homes hiding behind lichen-covered walls, while local pastry shops provide the famous Sintra ‘queijadas’ (cheese pastries), ‘travesseiros’ (egg and almond pastries) and local wine. The town is also full of shops that carry many of the local crafts like pottery, ceramics and lace.
Travel northwards through the countryside by a landscape of vineyards, cork trees, pine and eucalyptus forests. Beautiful Portuguese typical homes with laid out gardens and an outlook of windmills topping the hills, make us feel we left the big city.
We step back in time when we arrive at the stunning and very ancient walled town called Obidos. A medieval city surrounded by the walls of the castle with picturesque narrow streets, whitewashed houses, iron balconies, flower pots in every window.
Inhabited by the Romans and the Arabs, this was the dwelling palce of the Portuguese court for more than 500 years. We’ll walk through the feudal streets up to the main square close to the highest castle-tower, from where you can enjoy a nice view over the countryside and Obidos. Walking the ramparts, visitors can enjoy view of windmills, vineyards and surrounding farmlands.
Time to visit the many handicraft shops and wine taverns with the local liqueur ‘Ginginha’. Just walk around the let the streets lead you into the steep alleyways and colourfully framed houses.
Continue to XIV century Batalha Monastery, the supreme achievement of gothic architecture in Portugal. You should not miss the Royal Pantheon with the tombs of the Portuguese ‘Conquerers of the Sea’ – the so-called ‘magnificent generation’, the remarkable Manueline cloister, the chapter house with guards keeping watch by the tomb of two unknown soldiers and the Unfinished Chapels with an incomparable Manueline portal.
Finally Fatima – the center of Christian faith and a local of world’s pilgrimage. See the chapel on the place where Our Lady appeared to the shepherds, the Basilica and the vast square wher epeople crawl on their knees towards the heart of the shrine, in an impressive sign of faith and devotion, lighting a candle, praying and making a vow to Our Lady or fulfilling a promise. Religious services can be attended.