Itinerary Portugal and Spain in Ten Days from Lisbon a 10-day private tour distributed by diverse cities in Portugal and Spain, with beginning and end in Portugal, perfect for those who want to get to know well the penisula Iberica and the differences between Portugal and Spain.
Portuguese culture is based on Celtic, Iberian, Hebrew, Germanic and Roman culture. The types of housing, religious manifestations, gastronomy and folklore, or even typical Portuguese sidewalks are some examples of what differentiates Portuguese culture.
On the other hand, Spanish culture is a European culture that has received many influences, having its origins in the Iberian, Celtic, Celtiberian, Latin, Visigothic, Roman Catholic and Islamic cultures. The history, the mountainous reliefs and the seas that surround it, contributed significantly to the formation of its current culture.
A very specific habit of Spain is the fact of having lunch and dinner very late. In Portugal, the lunch hour, for workers in general usually starts at 1pm or even earlier. On the other hand, in Spain, lunch time usually starts at 2:30 p.m. The same situation happens to dinner, in Spain, dine always later than in Portugal.
In Spain it is more common for people to leave work and go home to a bar to have a drink and eat tapas. Tapas are appetizers that are eaten with drinks (alcoholic or not). In some cities, when buying drinks, the bars offer tapas. In others, it is necessary to buy the tapas. Tapas mix the concept of eating with the concept of socializing. In many regions of Spain it is customary, at weekends, to go out for lunch or dinner tapas.
Day dedicated entirely to the city of Lisbon, that was practically devastated by the earthquake of 1755, the largest ever recorded in Europe, so it was necessary to design a new city with the first anti-seismic constructions, drawn with a set of straight and perpendicular streets organized around an axis the central part of Rua Augusta. In these streets were given the names of the various crafts of the time and artisans of that time among them; cobblers, corraliros, of gold.
“Baixa de Lisboa” is also known for the monumentality of its buildings, which represent a new social order that values the merchant and financial class. To test the resilience of these buildings to a new earthquake used troops marching inside buildings.
In Belem the region that personifies the epic of the Portuguese Discoveries with several monuments classified Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity by Unesco such as the Jerónimos Monastery and Torre de Belém of the Manueline style in an urban set unique in the world and also, more modern the Monument of the Discoveries and the Plaza do Imperio complete the sense of grandeur of the times of the Great Portuguese Empire.
All this in a pleasant place next to the Tagus River with green spaces and unique atmosphere with marinas and sailing clubs and still a cycle path where the pure air of the sea competes with the beauty of the view. You will not want to miss the Pastels of Bethlehem, this secret and magical recipe that makes us smile.
In Sintra, the Aristocracy even, we will discover the charm of the narrow alleys and the typical and regional products stores, letting yourself be taken to the Piriquita pastry where the famous sweets ” Queijadas de Sintra and “Travesseiros de Sintra” are waiting for you.
The choice of what palace ( or palaces ) to visit its yours, the guide will suggest that it is best for you to visit between; “Quinta da Regaleira”a palace from the XIX. although it seems to be older, with a decoration that impresses, rich in Masonic symbolism, Moorish Castle a testimony of the Islamic presence in the region, built between the 8th and 9th centuries and enlarged after the Reconquest or why not the Palaçio da Pena, a fantastical and revivalist reconstruction, to the taste of nineteenth-century romanticism, which was owed to the passion and imagination of the artist D. Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, consort of D. Maria II.
The geological formation of”Cabo da Roca”is also known among the sites as “The Snout of the Rock”. Some prefer to call it “Promontory of the Moon,” a poetic name, but one that fits the beauty of the place.With thousands of visitors every year, Roca Cape was mentioned by the Portuguese poet Camoes in “Os Lusíadas”, In his words this was the place “where the Earth ends and the sea begins”, part of the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais and from there it is possible to put on the shoes and follow the ecological rails of the Serra de Sintra.
In Cascais this ancient fisherman´s village turned into a beautiful and cosmopolitan beach resort, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, next to it there´s Estoril, famous for its casino ( largest gambling room in Europe ) and by the fact of the Yan Fleming wrote the first 007 nobel Casino Royale during the 2nd world war from here will get back to Lisbon along road “Marginal” enjoying breathtaking ocean scenery along the coast arriving in Lisbon.
Day to leave Lisbon and start our itinerary, having as first stop Fatima, the place where on May 13, 1917, three children from humble families,witness the apparition of Lady Mary who told them them to pray the rosary every day, there we will find three places of interest, where you can attend a mass; , the Chapel of the Apparitions, the first Chapel to be built immediately following the apparitions occupying a prominent place, not by size or grandeur, but yes by the location, practically in the center of the Sanctuary.
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, begun to be built in 1928 in Neo Baroque style, it houses today the tombs of the children, but also the tomb of Sister Lucia who passed away in 2005, then the Basilica of Santissima Trindade, built in 2007 with more than 8000 seats and 40,000 m² of area was designed by the Greek architect Alexandros Tombazis, a modern and quite imposing church.
In Aveiro the Portuguese Venice we suggest a trip on a “Moliceiro” boat to get to know the 3 kilometers of canals that made the support of the city itself, be it moliça (a seaweed used in agriculture and for pharmaceutical purposes), as well as Salt another of the Aveiro curiosities, today salt does not have the value of other times, especially this type of salt culture that is more time where most of the things are done by hand, here we will understand the importance of this product in the family economy of these families and get to know the salt flower better.
Another curiosity will be to know the Aveiro market a construction in wrought iron and glass very to the type of Gustavo Eiffel and to the innumerable buildings Art New all cataloged what they reveal the importance and even the wealth of this city. From Aveiro we will arrive in our accommodation in Oporto.
The Porto Baixa (Downtown) is laid out around the Avenida dos Aliados (Avenue of the Allies), the city´s focal point, where everything happens, on this thoroughfare, there is the imposing Oporto Municipal Council building.
Lello Bookstore continues to satisfy everyone from literature lovers to architecture students to “Harry Potter” fans.
Its staircase is a major attraction, the cause… JK Rowling who, despite never having spoken openly about the period she was in Portugal, was married to a Portuguese and lived in Porto at the time she started writing “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. ”
In Sao Bento’s train station 20 thousand tiles from Portuguese artist Jorge Colaco will take you a virtual trip through Portugal in the North in general, with a special emphasis on the different civilizations that have passed here and the different occupations, near we have the Oporto Cathedral, a church with a Roman-Gothic structure began to be built in the 12th century, however with several renovations in the XVII and XVIII centuries), inside it stands the medieval rosacea of the 12th century, and from outside the highlight goes to the lateral galilee, work of Nicolau Nasoni in 1736, decorated with tiles.
The Church of San Francisco built in the 12th century. initially of Romanesque architecture was transformed into Gothic style and later Baroque, three naves covered with gilded carvings, in which it is thought that were used more than 300 kilos of gold dust, another one of the curiosities of the Church the Tree of Jessé, a sculpture of polychrome wood considered one of the best in the world of its kind.
Time to visit Gaia where Port wine is being aged in hundreds of different cellars, visit one of those cellars, enjoy its atmosphere and taste this unique wine it is obligatory to know the whole process, from the vintage to the final product.
On the road again to join the paths of Santiago, first we will stop in Vigo to visit and who knows to lunch in one of the restaurants in the “Pescadería” definitely one of the most interesting Vigo attractions, check there mythical oysters from the Vigo estuary being prepared into different dishes. Locals buy the mollusks directly from the oysters sellers and taste them naturally, just with a little lemon and wine.
Then we will continue to Santiago de Compostela where we will understand why this place is so famous that it makes people from all over the world reach peace through the way of Santiago.
Time to explore the city as well; the Cathedral and its Museum, with the history of Santiago and the construction of the Cathedral; the Museu do Pobo Galego, with an exhibition of Galician archeology, architecture and culture throughout the ages; Museum of Pilgrimages and Santiago; the Galician Center for Contemporary Art, designed by the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza; and the Holy Land Museum, in the convent of St. Francis, presents the history of the Holy Land and the State of Israel.
Time to return to Portugal, leaving Santiago next stop Guimaraes, the first Portuguese capital, lets explore the city where a statue of D. Afonso Henriques (first king of Portugal) waits for us, the Guimaraes Castle, followed by São Miguel Church and Paço dos Duques de Bragança (Bragança´s House Palace). Exploring the old medieval streets that were left to tell the tale and history, ending in the the squares reign, like Sao Tiago, Toural and Oliveira, last but not least we take a little time to taste the delicious Santa Clara’s Pastry.
The must in Coimbra will be Joanine Library at the Coimbra University, an imaginable treasure with the opulence of early 17th century architecture and arts, definitely one of the most spectacular and original European libraries in Baroque style.
Here we will understand the true importance of knowledge with thousands of works which lay upon a lavish space full of beauty and exoticism, where the richness of the painted ceilings is in harmony with the balustrades and shelves made of golden leaves and wood from the tropics.
Then we will visit the Coimbra historical center that extends itself over almost the entire city, Coimbra has an urban center in its central area that has buildings dating back to the twelfth century, being one of its main riches, Baixa de Coimbra, from afar times, a space for trade and activities artisans In it is still, today, traditional stores and other more recent businesses, besides history and patrimony.
Tomar was surprisingly one of the most important cities in Europe for the Templars we started our visit by the historical center where the oldest Portuguese Synagogue is situated, its roof is supported by four columns representing the mothers of Israel: Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Leah, linked by 12 arches, symbolising the 12 tribes of Israel with four terracotta jars in the corners that serve as natural amplifiers.
At the highest point of the city, we have the Convent de Christ and the ruins of the Templar Castle it´s entrance will be made through a portico, an authentic sculpture by João and Diogo de Castilho, in the first church built by the Templar´s master Gualdim Pais, the oratorio or the Charola, a rare octagonal form, where the monks walked around praying, in the16th century the Portuguese king D. Manuel add magnified sculptures, paintings and gilded carving.
From Tomar we continue to the Alentejo where Arraiolos awaits us, known internationally for its high quality handmade carpets, and also its peculiar Romanesque-Gothic circular Castle built in the early 14th century also known as Paço dos Alcaides, surrounded by its walls , there is the ancient Church of the Savior of the sixteenth century. Arriving in Evora.
Today will be a calmer day, since we will not leave Evora, the “Temple of Diana” next to the Evora Cathedral built in the Roman´s period, we can see the magnificent aqueduct of “Agua da Prata”, outside the city walls and extend from the outskirts of the city, some of its arches are still visible inside the city, built in the 16th century to ensure the water transportation.
The Arabs built their streets and alleys in the 11th and 12th centuries, Evora was the residence of some Portuguese kings, a point of convergence of renowned artists, supported by the patronage and dynasty reigning in Portugal.The period of the discoveries was of glory to Evora creating particularly favorable conditions in the construction of numerous aristocratic mansions of the city as the Jesuit university.
However, the ex-libris will be the Church of San Francisco, especially the Bones Chapel, clothed with skulls and bones of 500 monks, attracting thousands every year and proclaiming “We bones, here we are, for yours we will wait” at the entrance of the it.
Since this is a region renowned for its cuisine and its wines, we will know a little more about this noble product, Alentejo wine has a unique profile, something that seems impossible to happen in a region of hot and dry climate making it indispensable to add water to the vine, with soils and reliefs a very sunny zone allowing the perfect maturation of the grapes, possibility of visit and tasting in a local state, another noble product is the Cork, so we can adjust a visit to a small plant where we will understand all process.
Day to return to Spain and visit Seville a city with a buzzing life in the summer even with days above 50 degrees celsius we will begin our visit to the Cathedral located at Plaza de Los Reyes, built by the Moors in the 12th century, at the time a mosque having demolished and rebuilt after the Christian Reconquest considered the biggest Gothic Cathedral in the world and the second largest Catholic Church in Spain.
The Giralda Tower a curious monument of the 12th century, with more than 100 meters in height, being the highest building of the city which allows a fabulous panoramic view.
Very close theres the Alcazar Royal Palace, the oldest royal palace still operating in Europe, headquarters of members of the Spanish Royal Family or celebrities who visit the city, having declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987, Next we will relax in the Plaza of Spain, considered the most beautiful of Seville where it had been filmed “Star Wars”, in the episode “War of the Clones,” and “Lawrence of Arabia” as headquarters of the British Army in Cairo.
For those who like bolder architecture, the Metropol Parasol, a wooden building that looks like a giant mushroom designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann .
We suggest ending the day with a flamenco show.
Leaving Seville, we will make a short stop in Faro, a very scenic city, walled with diverse monuments and historic buildings than many other cities in the Algarve, with a charming shopping area full of outdoor cafes.
Lagos with a vast history related to the sea, as a port city fortified by the Moors of North Africa and later as a center of commerce of all kind of products and exploration, during the golden era of the discoveries in the fourteenth century. Extremely influenced by this period visible in its main attractions, such as the city walls and forts, to the ornate churches.
Surrounded by some of the Algarve’s best beaches such as Dona Ana Beach just a short walk from Lagos and the sandstone cliffs a stunning backdrop for an extremely well spent day. In Lagos we suggest a boat trip to visit the grurtas in Ponta da Piedade.