Art and Palaces in Lisbon
6 days from £689 per person*
*based on sharing on a twin/double basis and a minimum of 40 paying passengers
Lisbon is a wonderful and attractive city with differing districts to explore. It has two sites listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, Belem and Jeronimos Monastery, and is rich in architecture from Romanesque to Postmodern. There are museums to suit all interests and several parks and gardens to explore with easy access by the various modes of transport including metro, buses, trams and funiculars from where you can get wonderful city views. Within easy reach of the city there are a number of interesting places to visit including Evora, Mafra, the Rococco Queluz Palace and to Sintra National Palace.
Fly to Lisbon. On arrival you will be met by your guide / tour manager and coach, and transferred to your hotel. Dinner is included in the hotel this evening.
Full day in Lisbon visiting the highlights of the city, including the Cathedral, Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, Fronteira Palace and the Tile Museum. Lisbon’s ancient cathedral was built by Portugal’s first king on the site of an old mosque in 1150 From outside it resembles a medieval fortress, while inside it appears predominantly Romanesque, with a Gothic choir and ambulatory. The Jeronimos Monastery is the most impressive symbol of Portugal’s power and wealth during the Age of Discovery. The cloisters are magnificent, each column differently carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs. The Fronteira Palace, built in 1640, contains splendid rooms with 17th and 18th century decorative tiles, frescoed panels and oil paintings and is well known for its stunning formal gardens with even more tiles, statuary and fountains. The collection at the Tile Museum is the only one of its kind in the world, and contains a splendid array of tiles from as early as the 15th century. The highlight of the museum is a blue and white composition of 1300 tiles, 23m in length, of Lisbon’s cityscape made in 1738. Dinner at leisure.
Half day guided tour of Mafra Palace. The words “massive,” “monumental,” “gigantic,” “colossal,” and “vast” fail to describe the scale of Mafra’s Baroque royal palace. The grandiose monument was built in 1717 to celebrate the birth of a daughter to King João V and includes a convent and a basilica. Our guided tour will take us from the king’s apartments at one end, through the splendid baroque library, the domed basilica, to the queen’s apartments at the other end, some 250m (820ft) away. The rooms are furnished with exceptional pieces of 18th century furniture and paintings. Most magnificent of all is the library, one of the finest in Europe, decorated with precious marble and exotic wood. It contains 35,000 volumes, including the precious first editions of a trilingual Bible from 1514, and the earliest edition of Homer in Greek. We will return to Lisbon this afternoon for independent visits and dinner at leisure.
After breakfast we head to Evora, one of Portugal’s finest and most delightful towns. It is a true open-air museum with a large number of wonderfully preserved monuments and buildings of public interest that led UNESCO to protect it as a World Heritage Site. We will have a guided tour to ensure we do not miss the Temple, Cathedral & its Gothic cloisters. We will also visit The Church of São Francisco, famed for the Chapel of Bones. We return to Lisbon for dinner at leisure.
Today we will visit Quelez and Sintra for guided tours of the Quelez Palace and the Sintra National Palace. The Versailles-like palace in Quelez is the country’s finest example of Rococo architecture. The pink palace is located in a cobbled square, with a statue of Queen Maria I and the former Royal Guard building facing it. One of the highlights inside is the grandiose but elegant Throne Room and the Music Room. The beautiful formal gardens overlooked by the Rococo façades are adorned with elaborate statues and fountains with themes of classical mythology. The National Palace at Sintra, dates from the 14th century and its two gigantic conical chimneys are the town’s most recognizable landmarks, while the rest of the building is a combination of the Moorish, Gothic and Manueline styles. Inside it possesses what is said to be the most extensive collection of Mudejar Azulejos in the world, and several exceptional rooms. The Sala dos Brasões (“Coat-of-Arms Room”) stands out for its domed ceiling and for its walls lined with 18th-century tiled panels. The former banquet hall also has a magnificent ceiling, divided into octagonal panels decorated with swans painted in the 17th century. Return to Lisbon for dinner at leisure.
This morning we visit the Gulbenkian Museum for a highlights tour and some free time. The museum is one of Europe’s unsung treasures. It houses a magnificent collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Asian and European art and is one of the worlds finest private art collections, amassed over a period of 40 years by oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian. Of the many highlights is a gold Egyptian mummy mask, an exquisite 2700-year-old alabaster bowl, a series of bronze cats and other priceless treasures in the Egyptian section, Hellenic coins and a 2400-year-old Attic, rare pieces of Chinese porcelain, Japanese prints, and rich 16th and 17th century Persian tapestries. Also with a European art section are pieces by Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Monet, Van Dyck, Ghirlandaio, Rogier Van der Weyden and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The collection of works by René Lalique (1860-1945) is quite exceptional for the quality of the jewellery and other objects, particularly the glass, which, because of its quality and consistency is considered to be quite unique. Time for lunch before the return coach transfer to Lisbon airport for the return flight and coach transfer from the airport to the original pick up points.
The exact order of excursions is subject to change.
HF Hotel Fenix Urban
The modern 4 * HF Hotel Fenix Urban is located near El Corte Inglés and Eduardo Park, with easy routes to all parts of the city. (A metro station is just a minutes walk from the hotel). All rooms offer comfortable en-suite facilities as well as air conditioning, tv, telephone. The hotel also has a bar, restaurant and a terrace with excellent city views.
• Return flights from selected UK airports
• 5 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
• Dinner on the first night
• Guided tour of Lisbon
• Half day excursion to Mafra with entrance to the Palace
• Guided tour of Evora with entrance to the Cathedral, cloisters and Chapel of Bones
• Guided excursion to Quelez and Sintra to visit the Palaces
• Local guides / tour manager whilst in Portugal
What’s not included
• Single supplement
• Travel insurance
Any of our tours can be tailored to suit your particular groups requirements.
For further details please contact one of the team on 01225 764205 or firstname.lastname@example.org