DAY 1 LISBON
On arrival at Lisbon Airport your private chauffeur will be waiting for you and will transfer you in a luxury vehicle to your 5-star luxury Lisbon hotel. Your unique accommodation was once a 19th-century Palace and is set in a beautiful sub-tropical garden nestled on a hilltop overlooking the Tagus River. Your hotel is situated in the prestigious diplomatic district of Lisbon and your relaxing haven is just a 10minute taxi ride out of the bustling city. The Count of Valencas, in 1883, transformed this once residential building into a Palace with the help of the best artists from that time. He built the tower and transformed the huge green area at the back of the Palace into a magnificent garden, giving the right balance of architecture to the Palace. In 1988 the Palace was turned into a 5* Luxury Hotel and during the process of renovation from Palace to hotel, artists worked hard to keep the original design. It is now a clear example of the 19th century Portuguese society and maintains some beautiful stained glass windows, classic furniture and the fine Portuguese porcelain Vista Alegre, founded in 1824. We are sure you will be tired after your journey, but a short siesta is the answer before you start to get acquainted with this fabulous city.
If San Francisco had a sister, it would be Lisbon. Both cities have twin bridges and famously foggy weather. Both are situated on the best natural harbours on the west coast of their respective continents. Both have trolleys rattling up and down their steep hills past characteristic buildings. And both have survived horrific earthquakes. In 1755, an estimated 9.0 earthquake levelled two-thirds of Lisbon. Within a month, a new city was designed, and downtown Lisbon was rebuilt on a progressive grid plan, with broad boulevards and square squares. Today, Lisbon is a charming mix of old and new. Bird-stained statues mark grand plazas, taxis screech around cobbled corners and the hip and trendy hang out in Art Nouveau cafes. Just like it did during the days of Magellan and Vasco da Gama, the city continues to welcome ships into its large port. Even today, Lisbon still feels like Europe's gateway to the world.
You may like to relax into your tranquil surroundings this afternoon and lounge around the outdoor pool, make use of the hotels spa facilities, revitalize in the sauna with its aromatic oils and natural essences or take a relaxing massage.
You may wish to dine this evening at your hotel which offers elegant modern Portuguese cuisine. If you would like to head out then we can recommend many restaurants in Lisbon for you to discover some local Portuguese cuisine this evening. However you prefer, a romantic candlelit dinner for two will surely be the perfect start to your tour! We will be delighted to make prior reservations for you.
In a Nutshell: Private chauffeured transfer from Lisbon Airport
DAY 2 LISBON
This morning, after breakfast, your experienced, Officially Licensed guide will be waiting at your hotel to take you on a Private Gourmet and Historical Tour of Lisbon. Your private visit will start with the Moorish St Georges Castle, renamed after conquering the Moors, where you will be able to take in the impressive views over the sea. Within the walls of the Castle you will stop at a friendly Cafe for your first Portuguese tasting of the day where you may like to try Ginginha, the famous Portuguese Cherry Liqueur, have a glass of Portugal's famous fortified wine Port or join Portugal's strong cafe culture with an aromatic coffee.
Leading down from the castle to the river, you will then cross the Alfama, Lisbon's salty sailors quarter. Its tangled street plan is one of the few parts of Lisbon to survive the big quake, making the Alfama a cobbled playground of Old World color. Urban-jungle roads are squeezed into a maze of confusing alleys, designed to frustrate invaders trying to get up to the castle. What was defensive then is atmospheric now. Gnarled houses snuggle together in their romantic shabbiness; the air drips with laundry and the smell of clams and raw fish. Onward now to the Baixa and Chiado districts where there are many well-known cafes to enjoy another stop for a coffee and a typical Portuguese cake before heading to Rossio, passing by the famous Santa Justa elevator, where you will hear about the only tea produced in Europe, grown in the Atlantic Island of Sao Miguel, in the Azores. You will be visiting a specialized gourmet locale stocked with authentic local delights such as the typical Bacalhau (dried, salted cod), exclusive wines, traditional sweets, chorizo sausages and much more. A taste of the authentic dried salted cod is a must!
From here you will head to Praca do Comercio - Commerce Square - a vast waterfront place, where the royal palace stood until the 1755 Great Earthquake. Here you will sample authentic Portuguese Beer and taste the delicious cod cakes. Your tour of Lisbon would not be complete without including Vinho Verde do Minho (the famous green wine of Minho) and you will able to enjoy a glass accompanied with Azeitao cheese, spicy chorizo sausage and delicious bread.
During your private tour of Lisbon you will of course visit some of the best photo spots of the city at the beautiful Miradouros or viewpoints. Lisbon's beautifully scenic waterfront location on a series of hills seduces anyone into pausing for contemplation, making it highly romantic and a perfect chance to capture that special keepsake of the two of you. Maybe the charming terrace of the Miradouro de Santa Luzia will be YOUR place as you look over the terracota rooftops of Alfama and the river, or,Miradouro do Castelo de Sao Jorge atop Lisbon's tallest hill offering a most complete view of the city.
Your private guide will provide you with many personalized suggestions for further sightseeing in Lisbon for the rest of your day but you will surely appreciate a relax at your Lisbon hotel first. This evening you are set for a fabulous Fado experience, Portugal's national music. You will dine at an authentic, elegant Portuguese Fado restaurant in Lisbon's picturesque Bairro Alto. Founded in 1931 this institution in Lisbon has entertained prime ministers and presidents. The show is composed of Fado Sessions until 2am so you can stay as long as you wish, although most of our guests leave around 11pm.
In a Nutshell: Private Guided Gourmet and Historical Tour of Lisbon, Fado Evening, Overnight Lisbon
DAY 3 SINTRA & CASCAIS
After breakfast this morning, you will be leaving Lisbon behind. Your private chauffeur will be waiting and you will first leave for Sintra. Sintra is a gorgeous little mountain city, home to the one and only "Palacio da Pena" (Pena Palace), the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal. The Pena Palace is the most extraordinary palace in Portugal, built in the 1840s for Queen Maria II by her husband and rivaling the castles of Ludwig of Bavaria. You will have a private guided visit to the Palace and then free time to stroll in the gardens. The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxuriant gardens with over five hundred different species of trees originating from the four corners of the earth.
Your chauffeur will then take you to Cascais - an old fishing-town, now considered a high-end district. Here we have arranged for a delicious and elegant typically Portuguese lunch with wine at a prestigious local restaurant with great views.
After such a delicious meal you will surely wish to stretch your legs, strolling the cobblestone sidewalks of this quaint and pretty place, admiring the traditional tile-work on the buildings and maybe indulging in some shopping at designer boutiques.
Onward now to Evora, laid out over a gently sloping hill rising out of the huge Alentejo plain. On arrival you will head to the outskirts of town, to check in to your elegant 5* spa hotel. The building is an old convent that has been renovated and turned into a 5* luxury hotel. It was originally built and funded by one of the kings in Portugal as a place to come to escape Lisbon and have some quiet time. Nowadays, it is a superbly renovated hotel and spa with all the comforts you may desire so, after check in, we suggest a relaxing afternoon and evening - perhaps a visit to the spa and a wonderful massage followed by dinner this evening at your beautiful hotel.
In a Nutshell: Chauffeured transportation, Elegant lunch with wine, Private guided visit to Palacio da Pena in Sintra, Overnight in a renovated convent now a luxury 5* spa hotel in Evora
DAY 4 EVORA
This morning, after breakfast, your officially licensed private guide will meet you at your hotel to take you into Evora on a walking tour of its historical center. Evora has a proud, rich and imposing past. It guards its historic centre with a vast outer wall and represents a valuable cultural legacy that UNESCO has classified World Heritage. The Romans were here, leaving their 1st century Temple behind, but so were the Moors who occupied the narrow streets with quaint small white washed houses. Later the Christians garnished the town with squares, churches and a different lifestyle.
You will visit the enigmatic church of St. Francis and its unique Chapel of the Bones. Then head through the narrow streets of the old town reaching the Giraldo square where the Inquisition once had its headquarters - the former Court of the Inquisition still displays the Holy cross with the sword and olive branch. You will also explore the millennium old Roman Temple and the 12th century cathedral.
Along the way you will also enjoy some local food and wine tastings and a visit to the century old university courtyard. In the 16th century Evora thrived with culture and tradition in its university as much as it still does today and you will soon understand why Evora was once the second most important city of Portugal.
The rest of your afternoon is free, but perhaps you may wish to return to your hotel. Why not relax around the outdoor pool and enjoy a cocktail at the poolside bar,indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, unwind in the jacuzzi or stroll in the gardens.
Then later this afternoon your hotel provides a fascinating tour for guests to learn of the old convent building of the XV century, plus, later on, with their sommelier you can try the nectars from their collection of wines!
In a Nutshell: Private guided tour of historic Evora, Overnight Evora
DAY 5 ALGARVE
Today, after a leisurely breakfast, you will be leaving the Alentejo region behind and heading to The Algarve. Your private chauffeur will be waiting to transfer you in comfort, but we couldn't let you leave the area though without visiting one of the best wine estates in the region first:
This late morning you will be having a private tour to one of the best known wineries from Portugal's Alentejo wine region. The history of the estate goes back 700 years with the boundaries first being established in 1267. The winery, however, is more recent, beginning in the 1970s, and has now become one of the most dynamic and forward thinking wineries in Portugal. The story of the winery begins in 1973 when Joaquim Bandeira and Dr. Jose Alfredo Parreira Holtreman Roquette bought the estate and began their ambitious winemaking venture. The last 25 years have seen major investment, innovation and the launching of new products apart from wine such as high quality olive oils, cheese and vinegars. Australian David Baverstock is their famous flying winemaker who makes many single varietal wines with native Portuguese grapes (a technique proven so successful in new world wines).
The modern winery today boasts three historic monuments on its estate: a medieval Tower, the Bow and the Chapel (all declared national heritage monuments) and recently restored by the owners. You will enjoy a fascinating visit of the estate, the historic monuments, the vineyards and of course the atmospheric cellars, followed with a tasting of their best wines and olive oils. What better place to enjoy lunch today than in their very bright and airy restaurant that features in the prestigious Michelin Guide. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves your creative and modern tasting menu will be accompanied with wines from the estate, as well as a chance to taste a selection of their olive oils.
Sit back and relax then as your chauffeur transfers you to The Algarve to check in to your fantastic 5* Resort Hotel and Spa. This relaxing haven enjoys a prime location facing the beach and the marina.The resort boasts varios swimming pools, spa facilities and gardens that are decorated with plants, shrubs and trees from five continents and surround the private saltwater lake filling the scenery with color and scent.
After checking into your hotel you may like to take a walk out this afternoon to the nearby Marina or take advantage of the relaxing hotel spa with its indoor treatment pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna and Turkish Bath. There are also several treatment rooms, beauty rooms and relaxation areas should you wish to have a well-being massage, for example. Enjoy your beautiful hotel and take some time now to relax for a couple of days!
In a Nutshell: Private guided tour of a top Alentejo winery, Tasting lunch with local wines and olive oil tastings, Private chauffeured transportation, Overnight in a fantastic 5* Resort Hotel and Spa in The Algarve
DAY 6 ALGARVE
Today, after breakfast, you have a free day in The Algarve and you may like to hit the fairway and swing and putt to your hearts delight. Considered one of the best golf destinations in Europe, the Algarve is without doubt a golfers paradise and your hotel provides a shuttle service to nearby golf courses, available on request.
One of the regions oldest golf courses, the Oceanico Old Course, was designed by Frank Pennink and opened in 1969. The Old Course is set in a pine wood and the tree-lined holes and abundance of woodland give it the distinctly English feel that the course is famous for.
Opened in 1990 and designed by Joseph Lee, the 18-holes at Laguna Golf Course have been laid out over level ground and take the player around and over a lake. It has open fairways with very few trees to present difficulties but there are lots of water hazards with strategically placed bunkers.
Opened in the year 2000 the Millennium Golf Course lies alongside its older sister the Laguna Course and they share the same Clubhouse. Martin Hawtree has extended his original concept of the original 27 Holes by adding another 9 and created two individual distinctive courses with these new holes wandering amongst a parkland of pine trees.
Pinhal Golf Course was opened in 1976 and is laid out through the pine tree forest. The outward nine holes wander through holiday villas that line the fairways and the back nine run gently uphill providing occasional sea views. Ponds and a stream come into play on five holes but are not serious threats to your game.
The important championship Victoria Golf Course, designed by Arnold Palmer, was inaugurated in 2004. This 6.560 meter course is one of the longest 18 hole golf courses in Portugal and has hosted the Portuguese Masters since 2007. It is laid out over virtually flat terrain and includes a series of constructed mounds specially landscaped to emulate the outline of inland hills on the horizon. A series of beautiful lakes and waterfalls also helps to provide an attractive background whilst playing the course.
The 27-hole Vila Sol Golf Course opened in 1991 and its main claim to fame is that in 1992 it hosted the Portuguese Open. The fairways stretch along a generous valley and the architects have carefully maintained the original nature of this undulating terrain by keeping changes when necessary to a minimum so as to preserve the natural state of the countryside. The course is divided into three circuits of nine holes, Prime, Challenge, and Prestige.
In a Nutshell: Free day in The Algarve (for a round of golf maybe?), Overnight The Algarve
DAY 7 ALGARVE
Today is totally free to do as you wish. Enjoy a swim in one of the gorgeous pools; take time out for a luxurious massage; sip a delicious Portuguese wine on the terrace while taking in the magnificent views; delight in a long and wine filled luncheon, perhaps finished with a fine Portuguese Port - just relax and enjoy yourselves! Alternatively, we will be delighted to provide a private chauffeur for you today so that you can discover more of The Algarve at your leisure:
Faro, the capital of The Algarve is full of history and culture. Surprisingly for a city, it retains its peaceful ambience and traditional charm that is centered around the pretty walled Old Town and area surrounding the marina. Faro Cathedral originates from the 13th/14th centuries and may not look very grand from the outside, but inside is another story with intricate gilded carving, decorated tiles (azulejos) and works of art that are well worth seeing. The Museu Municipal is housed in a former 16th-century convent that is worth visiting for its beautiful Renaissance cloister alone. The Museum traces the city's cultural heritage and the permanent collection, arranged chronologically, spans prehistory and the Roman, Moorish, and medieval periods, plus the 18th and 19th centuries. Away from the main tourist route Igreja do Carmo, with its twin bell towers, is well worth a visit too. This 18th-century church features the earliest example of Rococo architecture in the Algarve and probably the strangest sight of Faro, the Capela Dos Ossos, the bone chapel. The bones of overcrowded cemeteries were stored in the small chapel and were incorporated into the designs of the chapel, with skulls lining the walls!
Lagoa is both a town (cidade) and a municipality (concelho) and one of the agricultural centers of the western Algarve. Lagoa town is situated inland, a few miles away from the coast, with tourist hot spots nearby like Carvoeiro and Ferragudo. On the coast near Carvoeiro you will find some of the most beautiful beaches of the entire Algarve, small sandy bays on both sides protected by steep limestone rocks. The rugged rock formations of yellow limestone and the grottos and caves shaped by the sea and the erosion over thousands of years can be explored by boat or walking on top of the cliffs. In the Lagoa municipality you will find the village of Porches which is well known for its ceramic artworks. Here, there are many shops offering a large variety of handmade tiles (azulejos) and pottery. Lagoa is the Algarvian center of viniculture with the surrounding area being the most important wine-growing region of the Algarve. The fishing industry, vineyards, and the traditional agricultural produce were the principal sources of income for the area until the 1970s, when tourism became the main driver of the areas development and the building of modern infrastructures. North of Lagoa you may like to visit Silves, known for its reddish colored medieval castle overlooking the medieval town. Silves was one of the most important centers of the Muslim occupation of the Algarve. After the reconquist of the Algarve in 1249 it became a Christian bastion and nowadays its from here that the best cork in the world comes from!
Alternatively, drive west along the coast line that winds through neighborhoods of lovely villas, sometimes remote beaches and beautiful cliff top views. Stop in Lagos, for example, with its historic past and links with the glorious Portuguese Discoveries of the 15th century. It is one of the most attractive towns in the Algarve, and delightful to stroll around with its Roman remains, a 15th-century slave market, a beautiful 18th-century church, Igreja de Santo Antonio and a lively modern marina.
In a Nutshell: Free day in The Algarve, Overnight Algarve
DAY 8 DEPARTURE
After breakfast this morning you will be checking out of your unforgettable hotel and your chauffeur will be waiting to transfer you to Faro Airport for your onward journey.
We very much hope you will join us for this luxury food, wine & relaxation tour!
In a Nutshell: Private chauffeured transfer to Faro Airport
If your flight is from Lisbon we can happily arrange for a chauffeured transfer to Lisbon Airport for you.
It may be that you would like to continue your trip and head to Spain, which of course we will be delighted to custom-build your personal itinerary - please advise.
Your tour includes:
Accommodation for two (2) nights in a 5* luxury hotel in Lisbon (river-view room, double occupancy)
Accommodation for two (2) nights in a 5* restored convent hotel in Evora (deluxe room, double occupancy)
Accommodation for three (3) nights at a luxury 5* resort spa hotel in The Algarve (deluxe room, double occupancy)
Seven (7) full breakfasts
Chauffeured transfers in a luxury vehicle, as indicated in the itinerary
All the private guided tours, cultural visits,tastings and meals as indicated in the itinerary
Online Personal Travel Webpage including daily itinerary, general local information, details of places of interest, suggestions for restaurant reservations, and your free time, etc.
Handy elegant Personal Travel Journal, which includes the extended information from your Personal Travel Website, that you can take with you as you go and keep as a souvenir to look back on.
24/7 Back Office Assistance
Your tour does not include:
Meals and drinks not stated in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as telephone, minibar, etc.
Tips and gratuities at restaurants etc. at your discretion, NOT obligatory
Travel Insurance may be included in your quotation on request. We strongly recommend you to take out separate cancellation insurance.
Please note our tours are available for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY and are not scheduled mixed group tours. Price is available upon request and varies depending on the number of guests and time of year. Feel free to contact us for your personal quote