The Algarve and Lisbon

Tuesday, March 2 - Friday, March 19, 2021

Enjoy an 18-day winter escape in the Algarve, southern Portugal’s sunny seaside paradise. Golden beaches, unique coastline vistas and distinctive historical towns and villages offer the visitor a wealth of visual and cultural experiences. The charming apartment hotel of Praia do Vau, on the outskirts of Portimao, will be home for 12 days and nights. From here we tour exciting sites, lounge on the beach, or simply relax in comfort on our personal sea view balcony. The program includes four escorted tours in the Algarve: Faro with its distinctive Portuguese atmosphere, wine tasting/vineyard experience, and the exciting towns of Sagres and Lagos. In addition, golf may be an option of interest to some of us. Following our time in the Algarve, we leave for Lisbon, once one of the most influential cities in Europe's evolution, today Portugal's capital. En route we visit Evora, perhaps the finest tourist destinations of central Portugal. Its 5,000 year history offers us a delightful city that exudes Portuguese charm with its vast array of classic buildings, Roman antiquities and more. Then four more days to tour in Lisbon and area. Don Kasta will be tour leader.

Price: $4,995.00 from Toronto based on double occupancy; single supplement available on request. Includes all taxes and gratuities.

BOOKING INFORMATION

March 02 - 19, 2021

$4,995 from Toronto based on double occupancy

Single supplement available on request.

BOOK TOUR

DOWNLOAD PDF OF ITINERARY

*If the tour is SOLD OUT, please contact us to be added to the waitlist.


ITINERARY

Day 1 - Tuesday, March 02: Flight from Toronto to Portugal

Direct flight from Toronto to Faro, Portugal via Air Transat.

Day 2 - Wednesday, March 03: Arrive in Portugal

Morning arrival in Faro and airport transfer to our hotel in Praia do Vao near the city of Portimao. Check in to our apartment in the Jardin do Vau, all well equipped with many amenities including: one bedroom with two single beds; living and dining room with sofa bed; bathroom with bath tub; kitchenette equipped with fridge, microwave, coffee maker, electric kettle and toaster; balcony with sun lounges, table and chairs. Other features include air conditioning, digital TV, iron and ironing board, and daily housekeeping. Settle in and a brief orientation walk of the immediate area before dinner.

Day 3 - Thursday, March 04:

A relaxing day. Time to stock the larder for lunches and snacks, and walk on the beautiful Praia do Vau. Late afternoon gathering for an aperitif and brief information session before dinner. For the golfers, we will be recommending local courses and transfer arrangements. 

Day 4 - Friday, March 05: Lagos

Excursion to Lagos, a wonderful tour where you’ll have a chance to wander back in time to the era of the Portuguese primacy in the Age of Discoveries. We visit the Church of Saint Anthony, then on to the spectacular rock formations in Ponta da Piedade. Afternoon at leisure or a quick “18” on one of the region’s classic golf courses.

Day 5 - Saturday, March 06: Portimao

A day to explore Portimão, the largest city in the western Algarve. The city’s old and once bustling fishing docks have been responsibly transformed into a scenic promenade, leading to the quaint, tree-lined plazas of the old town. Here we find pleasant pedestrian shopping streets, historic buildings and a varied selection of cafes, bars and restaurants specialising in freshly cooked seafood. A visit to the 15th century Church of Our Lady of Conception and the 17th century Jesuit site are highly recommended. 

Day 6 - Sunday, March 07: Sagres

Excursion to Sagres, the most westerly town of the Algarve and a prime destination for visitors who appreciate nature’s raw beauty. The region is noted for its massive cliffs and vast beaches, carved out through time by the huge Atlantic waves. Today, these powerful waves have drawn experienced surfers to Sagres, and this in turn has allowed the town to gain an unobtrusive, cool vibe. After lunch, off to the “end of the world” - Cape St. Vincent, the most south-westerly point of Europe. 

Day 7 - Monday, March 08: Ferragudo and environs

A morning walk to nearby Ferragudo, a lovely fishing village with Roman roots. Lined with cafes, this is the perfect spot for a breakfast coffee and pastry or a bite to eat at lunch while watching the daily catch being unloaded. Of note is the 16th century fort that protected the area from pirates. After, relax on the beach or your own balcony.

Day 8 - Tuesday, March 09: Silves and Monchique

Silves and Monchique are our destinations for today. Silves is a typical regional town with small narrow streets, whitewashed houses and an imposing church situated next to the castle that dominates the whole town. The Castle of Silves is one of the most important historical monuments in the Algarve. This fortification has the form of an irregular polygon surrounded by a strong wall and outside the main door is a bronze sculpture of King Dom Sancho I. Time for lunch then on to Monchique. This magnificent town and its surrounding area are considered by many to be one of the most peaceful places in the Algarve. The mountains offer remarkable views over the landscape and is marvellous for lovers of nature walks. 

Day 9 - Wednesday, March 10: Optional trip to Seville

A day at leisure but with a possible optional excursion to Seville. Its historic centre is dominated  by the colossal Gothic cathedral, is a superb mix of resplendent Mudéjar palaces, baroque churches and winding medieval lanes. There are many outstanding sites within this former Moorish capital.

Day 10 - Thursday, March 11: Countryside and Winery

After breakfast we tour the lovely countryside around Portimao with a visit to local winery with lunch. A stop in Alvor, a whitewashed settlement with Moorish roots, as you might tell from the Arabic name, and there’s a lattice of old streets laid out on a hillside rising up to the ruins of a Moorish fortress. Cameras anyone?

Day 11 - Friday, March 12: Faro

Today we travel to nearby Faro, the best-known city in Portugal’s deservedly famous Algarve region. Here we visit the exceptional archaeological museum and the “Bishops’ Palace,” once a Renaissance cathedral that was heavily bombed in World War II, but later restored. Then on to Estoi with its interesting Roman ruins and Albufeira, formerly a quaint fishing village subjected to Moorish influence in the 8th century. Opportunities to shop for the treasures of the area, including the famous "cataplana", a copper cooking pot, beach-inspired jewelry, local brandy, piri piri, ceramics and cork products.

Day 12 - Saturday, March 13: Personal choices

Our final day in the Algarve. One more game of golf or relax and prepare for our transfer to Lisbon.

Day 13 - Sunday, March 14: Evora

We say "Adeus" to the Algarve and as we travel north to Evora, one of Portugal's most famous tourist cities. It was of significance when it was ruled by the Romans and is on the list of “1000 Places To See Before You Die.” A late lunch before continuing on to Cascais, a lovely resort town close to Lisbon and our home on the beach for the next five nights. 

Day 14 - Monday, March 15: Lisbon

This morning a local guide leads us on a panoramic tour of Lisbon, a city best known for its colonial history, ornate architecture and tradition of  Fado music. Its postcard-perfect panorama of cobbled alleyways, ancient ruins and white-domed cathedrals present a captivating scene crafted over centuries. Visits will include the compact Alfama District, the Tower of Belem, the grand Jeronimos Monastery constructed in the early 16th century and financed with profits generated by the spice trade. The nearby stunning Monument of the Discoveries was designed to commemorate the Age of Discoveries in Portugal. After a late lunch, optional harbour boat tour or a walk through the old part of Lisbon. 

Day 15 - Tuesday, March 16: Personal Choices

A day for personal choices. A morning excursion to Fatima with its shrine, returning to Lisbon for an afternoon of individual sightseeing. Or a full day in the city to explore sights of personal interest. Your guide will assist with your arrangements.

Day 16 - Wednesday, March 17: Estorial and Sintra

Estorial and Sintra are our destinations for today. Estoril is a stylish and sophisticated resort town, situated on the beautiful Costa do Estoril coastline. This town strikes the perfect balance between Portuguese charm and outstanding tourist facilities; elegant villas, grandiose hotels and quality bars and eateries all situated in a general atmosphere of luxury with tailored gardens.
In Sintra we visit the historic center famous for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, royal palaces and castles which resulted in the classification of the town and its historic passage as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight a traditional Fado concert!

Day 17 - Thursday, March 18: Day in Cascais

Day to relax in Cascais. Enjoy the amenities of our hotel or engage in some retail therapy at the nearby shops. Tonight is our farewell dinner. 

Day 18 - Friday, March 19: Return flight to Toronto

After breakfast, transfer to the Lisbon airport for our direct flight to Toronto.

ITINERARY PDF

EXPLORE THE AREA

INCLUDED

• Direct return flight from Toronto via Air Transat to and from Portugal; • All airports taxes and fees; • 4-star accommodation in both the Algarve and Cascais; • Daily breakfast; all dinners in the Algarve and 2 dinners in Cascais; • Selected excursions in both the Algarve region and Lisbon area; • Services of Pauwels tour staff member and/or local tour escorts as required; • Lectures/presentations on selected topics of interest.

NOT INCLUDED

• Items of a personal nature; • Beverages with meals; • Travel insurance: available on request from the office.

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