Itinerary Highlights
    • Spend a week exploring Portugal off the beaten track
    • Visit Roman remains, medieval villages and magnificent monasteries
    • Sample amphora wine on an estate in Reguengos de Monsaraz
    • Gaze at the stars in a spectacular dark sky reserve

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What if we told you that during this week-long trip, you’ll land in Lisbon but won’t ever visit it? That’s because beyond the capital, Porto and The Algarve, there’s another side of Portugal that deserves just as much celebration.

This trip begins in Evora, the UNESCO World Heritage site full of fascinating monuments and surprising architecture, which you’ll explore with a private guide. You’ll then spend two nights in the nearby village of Monsaraz beside beautiful Lake Alqueva, where days are spent wine tasting and nights mean gazing at the stars in this spectacular Dark Sky Reserve. Next up are two days to enjoy the rugged landscapes of the Serra da Estrela as you learn about the region’s turbulent history while touring its mountain villages.
In Belmonte, you can visit one of Europe’s best small museums, while elsewhere, chapels, fortresses and Roman remains are evidence of the country’s gripping past. Your last stop is Alvados, where you’ll visit the magnificent monasteries of Batalha and Alcobaça, both shining examples of the country’s mingling architectural styles. With an electric hire car as your mode of transport, you can explore these breathtaking landscapes and hidden gems at your own pace. We’ll choose hotels that will help you to connect with your surroundings, each one designed to complement and reflect its environment. And if you need anything while you’re away, our on-site Concierge is always available to help with queries and recommendations.


Everything is 100% tailored to you


Your week in central Portugal begins with a morning flight to Lisbon, which takes two hours and 45 minutes. When you land, collect your electric hire car and head towards Monsaraz, about two hours away. This medieval village in the Alentejo region is a great base for visiting nearby attractions such as the historic city of Evora, which you'll explore this afternoon with a private guide. This UNESCO World Heritage site is surrounded by ramparts and filled with fascinating religious buildings.

The Templo de Diana, its most famous monument, is your first stop, followed by the spectacular Basilica Sé Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Assunçao, which illustrates the transition between Romanesque and Gothic styles. In the Church of St. Francis, you'll find the 16th-century Chapel of Bones; true to its name, it's decorated with bones and human skulls. Spooky.

You'll spend two nights in Monsaraz with a view of the Alqueva reservoir. Take a stroll between the olive trees or cool off in the swimming pool before a delicious dinner of local produce. This evening is your first opportunity to gaze at the stars in this designated Dark Sky Reserve, certified as a Starlight Tourism Destination.



Today you’ll head to a wine estate in the Reguengos de Monsaraz appellation. Here, the vines are interspersed with olive, orange and almond trees, and the estate takes an organic approach, producing some interesting wines such as an amphora wine. A private guide will show you the property’s wine-making facilities and nearby historical monuments, including the 15th-century Torre do Esporao, before you settle down to a spectacular meal on site, complete with a wine and olive oil tasting.

This afternoon is yours to spend at your leisure, whether that means taking a dip in the pool or indulging in a treatment at the hotel’s spa. We can also arrange for you to take a cruise on Lake Alqueva. When the sky darkens, devote some time to the wonders of astronomy, which you can do from the comfort of your hotel room. In this region free of light pollution, it’s possible to experience the magic of the night sky like never before.



It takes just over three hours to reach the ancient settlement of Belmonte, your next stop on this week-long Portuguese road trip. While you’re here, you’ll stay in a large modern villa on the slope of a hillside, which offers panoramic views of the valley and morning mist. To help you unwind, there’s a beautiful swimming pool and a massage service on offer, along with yoga classes to help you tune into the relaxed atmosphere of the place.



This region showcases both Portugal’s natural beauty and fascinating history. In Belmonte, you’ll find the medieval castle flanked by the remains of a paleo-Christian church, but the village is famous as the home of the last Marrano Jewish community in Portugal, dating back to the 13th century. The Jews in Belmonte continued to practice Judaism in secret after being forced to convert to Christianity, and are also known as Crypto-Jews. You can learn more about this community at the Jewish Museum of Belmonte, named by The Telegraph as one of Europe’s 50 best small museums. Nearby is the village of Sortelha, built on a Roman camp and home to a medieval fortress and centre, along with the 16th-century Manueline pillory (a wooden frame in which the head and hands are locked for the purpose of public punishment). In Castello Novo, about a 30-minute drive from Belmonte, you’ll find another pillory and some beautiful buildings, such as the castle and Igreja Matriz. The pillory of Idanha-a-Velha, meanwhile, can be found not far from the main parish church. This modest little village also has Roman roots, home to Roman walls, a cathedral and chapels.



This morning you’ll drive on to Alvados in the Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros, about two hours away. You’ll spend two nights here on the village outskirts in a hotel nestled in nature. Take in the scenery from the terrace or swimming pool, or spend the afternoon exploring your beautiful surroundings. You can hire a bike or electric bike from your hotel, or head out on foot or even horseback.



After a delicious breakfast at your hotel this morning, we’ll arm you with tickets to the majestic Batalha monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed building which combines Manueline and Gothic styles. Construction began in the 14th century and took over a century. On the subject of monastic wonders, the Alcobaça Monastery is one of the finest examples of the Portuguese Gothic style, which is a reason to visit in itself. It’s also home to the tombs of King Pedro I and Inês de Castro, two magnificent sculptures that tell a devastating love story. Look out for the Last Judgement depicted on Inêz’s tomb, along with the striking Wheel of Fortune on the king’s tomb. If you have time when you’ve finished exploring, head to the Medieval town of Óbidos to sample some giinja (cherry liqueur).



Your road trip in Portugal has sadly come to an end. Today, you'll drive one-and-a-half hours back to Lisbon airport to return your hire car and board your flight back to the UK

A la carte


Spend two hours cruising on one of Europe’s largest reservoirs in a motorboat, guided by an expert skipper who knows all the best spots. Lake Alqueva took ten years to complete and covers 97 square miles. Though the lake and dam are artificial, nature has taken hold. Alqueva’s banks are frequented by eagles, kites, wild boars and lynx. Black bass, zander, pike and carp can be found swimming in its waters, while nearby restaurants serve up crawfish as a local speciality. When you’re not spotting wildlife, simply soak up your picturesque surroundings in this special part of the world.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £1,800 to £2,700 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £2,300 per person.
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