Day 1 – Arrival at Lisbon airport . Group meet and assisted by our guide. Proceed to Montemor-o-Novo. This town is the birth place of “Saint John of God” (1495-1550), Patron Saint of Hospitals and the Sick. Dom Manuel I was very fond of the town and its former castle was the largest in Portugal. There are still many buildings within the town reflecting the Manueline style of architecture. To the north we will find the small town of Arraiolos with its prominent 14th century castle and 16th century church. This town has made its name from as early as the 17th century with its superb quality handmade carpets and rugs depicting historic and religious events or attractive floral designs. Next stop it will be Évora city, important town considered in its whole as World Patrimony. Overnight in Évora.

Day 2 – On this day we will start our journey by visiting Monsaraz. Perched on the top of a hill, this little known small town called Monsaraz is a “jewel in the crown” of the Alentejo. It is small walled group of dwellings that carefully preserve most of their original charm by retaining the old exteriors and the original quaint slated streets. To the north of Monsaraz is the town of Redondo set in the heart of the wine district. The beautiful Arabic sounding name of Alandroal betrays the town’s cultural roots. Its origins are proudly emblazoned on the city coat of arms, which shows that it belongs to the Order of Aviz. The town Vila Viçosa is mainly famous as a result of becoming in earlier times the favourite home of the House of the Duques de Bragança. There are a number of other interesting buildings in the town including the 14th century chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição with a Gothic image of the Virgin Mary, the castle, the Convento das Chagas de Cristo which lies besides the palace is now a comfortable and attractive Pousada. Estremoz city will be our last stop. The 13th century castle that dominates the town has been greatly restored since its semi-destruction in 1689 when the stored gun-powder exploded. The high tower named Torre das Três Coroas is the dominate feature of this town. Reaching to the height of 27 metres and was initially constructed in 1258 and subsequently improved. Rising from above the castle walls it is named after the period in which it was built. Also, today within the walls is a fine Pousada built on the ruins of the old palace named and named after Queen Dona Isabel de Aragon. Overnight in Estremoz.

Day 3 – Further north you will arrive to Portalegre and then Marvão. Located on an escarpment only a few miles from Spain, this tranquil town is completely surrounded by walls dating from the 13th to the 17th century. Afterwards you will pass by the small town of Castelo de Vide with its medieval synagogue and the Gothic quarter. To the northwest is the town of Nisa that acts as a contrast to Castelo de Vide as the streets are in comparison open and un-crowded by the local buildings. The Templars constructed this present version of the town as its original site that was destroyed by invading vandals whom invaded Portugal from the north. Overnight in Castelo Branco.

Day 4 – Those who visit Castelo Branco may observe two distinct areas: the ancient medieval town, with its steep and narrow streets where many Manueline doorways can still be admired, and a great modern zone, characteristic of a developing city. To the northeast of Castelo Branco is the village of Idanha-a-Velha, a modest village with a rich historical background and surrounded by massively thick roman walls. The restored 16th century church built on its own ruins dates as far back as to the 4th century. In the middle of the village square stands a 17th century pillory. Nearby are the ruins of a tower “Torre das Templários” underneath which are the ruins of a roman temple dedicated to the god Venus. Still further to the north of Castelo Branco is the fascinating village of Monsanto. Many of the buildings have been built out of granite stone and there are occasional small houses constructed between massive boulders in the tight narrow granite cobbled streets. Added interest is provided by several large, emblazoned houses, Manueline doorways and the house where the doctor and author Fernando Namora lived, practised and found inspiration for his novel ‘Fragments of a Doctor’s Life’. Those who feel energetic enough to make the climb up to the castle are rewarded with one of the most stunning views in the region. The bold knights of the Christian reconquest were buried in hollowed out rocks in this stronghold. Continues towards to Penamacor – situated on a fortified summit, between the rivers Ceife and Taliscas, the 573 metre castle dominates the landscape. Next stop it will be Belmonte with it’s 13th century castle and than Sortelha that used to be part of the important defensive line of frontier castles, mostly erected or rebuilt on ‘castro’ sites of the ancient Iberian civilisations. The castle entrance is through a Gothic doorway, above which there is a balcony (Varanda de Pilatos) with apertures through which the medieval guards would hurl all kinds of missiles, such as boiling oil, at their attackers and finally we will end our visit with Sabugal city and its castle. Overnight in Guarda.

Day 5 – Further north you will find Almeida town. This town to the northeast of Guarda is surrounded in a well preserved 12 star-shaped fortified walls built in the 17th century and designed by Antoine Deville. Also, to the northeast of Guarda is the town of Pinhel that originally acted as the control point in the 13th century to a series of defending rural fortresses built by King Dinis to protect his kingdom from the constant threat of invasion from Spain. Afterwards visit to Castelo Rodrigo, located at 810 metres height, on a fortified round summit of a hill and its murals involving the historical village. Return to Guarda and you will spend some time visiting this city. Overnight in Guarda.

Day 6 – Leaving Guarda and driving north we will arrive to the walled town of Trancoso which still retains much of its medieval atmosphere, a past full of Portuguese heritage. At about 24 kilometres (15 miles) from Trancoso, the ancient village of Marialva (probably founded in the 11th century), now unfortunately in ruins and abandoned, had a glorious past and its lost grandeur can be guessed by the granite walls, a 15th-century pillory and fragments of stone carvings. Located in the extreme south of the Douro region, just off the main road connecting Guarda with Lamego, Sernancelhe is a picturesque little town originally founded on the banks of the river Távora in the 10th century. Built by the Knights of Malta, the town’s ruined castle is worth visiting for its eye-catching battlemented Casa do Padre (Priest’s Residence) situated at its feet. The town of Aguiar da Beira, founded in 1120, preserves the ruins of its ancient castle, remains of the fortified walls and the romanesque chapel of Our Lady of the Castle at the highest zone, whereas a curious architectural combination at the foot of the hill gathers within the same site the Fonte Ameada (battlemented fountain, of Arab construction, with an arched door leading to the diving pool), the 15th-century Clock Tower and a Manueline pillory, among noble manors and humble houses made of granite. Overnight in Celourico da Beira.

Day 7 – In the morning you will visit the town of Celorico da Beira with its ruins of a 10th century castle and its fame for being a centre for the famous mountain made from the milk of ewes. Than drive to Linhares – located in a cliff northeast of the Serra da Estrela it dominates the Mondego Valley. From the original castle only the walls and towers remain, but, it´s still a very nice place to visit, and, the village is well preserved and seem´s to have stopped in time. Buried deep in the Açor mountain, which is full of breathtaking views, springs and pasture land, the historical village of Piódão is reminiscent of a crib because of the harmonious way in which its houses are arranged in the form of an amphitheatre. A historical village that has never actually played a major part in the history of Portugal, Piódão has become famous more recently because of its scenic setting in the heart of the Açor mountain. Such beauty is more than sufficient reason for visiting the village. On your way to Coimbra you will pass by villages such as Gouveia, Avô, Coja, Arganil and Lousã. Overnight in Coimbra.

Day 8 – Today you will start your day by visiting Coimbra. Rich in its history and with one of the oldest university in the world, you should not miss the university chapel and its baroque library, or you’ll regret it forever! In its city centre you’ll wander among old roman ruins, romanesque cathedrals and manueline churches at the same time you stroll across its commercial busy area. It is not easy to distinguish here the limit between the old metropolis and the modern city. Driving southbound you can visit Ourém. This medieval village is very connected with all the history of Portugal. It was on the XV century with Alphonse IV, count of Ourém that the village became more important. The castle of Ourém, sometimes called the Fatima Castle, is located on top of an isolated mountain that rises out of a vineyard-filled valley in central Portugal. A prodigious mountain spring, together with the high ground, has provided a natural site for fortification since prehistoric times. Afterwards we will continue to Tomar. Tomar is an interesting town situated in a large and beautiful valley on the banks of the river Nabão in the centre of Portugal. Its twisting medieval cobbled streets and abundance of ancient monuments link it closely to the Knights Templar and one of the most important chapters of Portuguese history. The town of Tomar in Portugal was the headquarters first of the Templars, and later of the Order of Christ. The castle, known as the Convento de Cristo, still exists today, and is well worth a visit. Overnight in Tomar.

Day 9 – With its whitewashed houses and narrow cobbled streets, Constância is one of the prettiest towns in the Tagus Valley. Once a Roman town, it is conveniently situated at the confluence of the Zêzere and Tagus rivers. A few kilometres west of Constância stands the much-photographed Castle of Almourol. Occupying an island in the middle of the River Tagus, it was a roman fortress rebuilt in 1171 by Gualdim Pais, Grand Master of the Templars and builder of Tomar. The castle is also said to be haunted on moonlit nights by the ghost of a Moorish prince who died for the love of his captor’s daughter. Set in the magnificent scenery of the Natural Park of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros, the town of Torres Novas is full of charm, with lively streets and many fine churches overlooked by its 12th century castle with eleven towers. After the visit you will continue your journey to Lisbon. Overnight in a Lisbon hotel.

Day 10 – Spend some time visiting the capital of Portugal in the morning and after lunch, transfer to Lisbon airport to take the plane back home.