Douro Tour - Lux on Wheels

Douro tour

1st day:
Lisbon – Fátima – Coimbra – Porto (sleep)

2nd day:
Porto Tour with 
45 minutes of boat trip in Douro river (optional)
3rd day: 
Tour along Douro Valley with visit to Quinta do Seixo (Seixo Farm) or Quinta de Marrocos (Morocco Farm) (option to sleep in Porto or Douro)

Option (A)
4th day: return to Lisbon passing by Aveiro, Nazaré and Óbidos

Option (B)
4th day: Tour to Guimarães – Braga – Barcelos/Ponte de Lima – Porto (sleep)
5th day: return to Lisbon passing by Aveiro, Nazaré and Óbidos

Highlights:

  • Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary
  • Chapel of the Apparitions
  • Basilica the holy trinity
  • Coimbra University
  • Clérigos Tower
  • S.Francisco Church
  • Stock Exchange Palace
  • Monastery of Serra do Pilar

Short Description:

In this tour you’ll be able to see the main sites in the North of Portugal gathering together the catholic history and faith with the medieval architecture.

The 1st day starts in Fátima, one of the most iconic catholic places in the world. Associated with the Marian apparition, witnessed by the three shepherds in 1917, has one of the biggest sanctuaries in the world of our lady of Fátima. It is visited for thousands of pilgrims every year showing their faith. Following to Coimbra, the medieval capital of Portugal for hundred years, with the oldest university in the country, considered world heritage site by UNESCO, and with hundred years of history flowing thorough Mondego River. To finish the day, we follow to Porto where you’ll rest and prepare for the next. In the 2nd day a full Porto Tour awaits, considered the Best European Destination (by Best European Destinations Agency) in 2014 and 2017 and is one of the oldest European cities declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.

This ancient city named Portus Cale in Latin is related to the origin name of Portugal. The city, along the Douro River, presents you with the architecture of former civilizations, like the medieval D.Luis I bridge or the neo-gothic interiors of the Lello Bookshop. The Art Nouveau cafes and the 20000 tiles that decorate the São Bento Railway station make sure there’s something for everyone. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to do a boat trip along the river.

So, if you’re already amazed wait for the 3rd day, when you’ll do a tour along the Douro Valley views with a visit to Quinta do Seixo (Seixo Farm) or Quinta de Marrocos (Morocco Farm) where the Porto Wine is produced.

Don’t feel sad because it’s already the 4th, and last day, we have the solution. You can choose to come back to Lisbon passing by Aveiro, Nazaré and Óbidos or you can stay one more day and visit Guimarães, Braga, Barcelos/Ponte de Lima, sleep in Porto and in the following day come back do Lisbon passing for the same places (Aveiro, Nazaré and Óbidos).

It’s worth because Guimarães is considered the cradle of Portugal where the first king, D.Afonso Henriques was born. It’s historic centre is Word Heritage Site by UNESCO, making this one of the biggest historic places in Portugal. Braga, is one of the oldest cities in the country with roman structures all over the place. And finally, Ponte de Lima, the oldest roman village in Portugal where you can see the famous medieval bridge built by the Romans in the 1st century.

Map:

Additional Info:

  • Hotel/Apartment Pick Up;
  • Monuments entrance tickets are not included, so you can decide what you want to visit;
  • We selected some of the sites that we consider the best to fulfill your trip expectations, the tours itinerary is flexible, you can change anything or add something you wish to visit;
  • All the cars provide water for our clients;
  • Tour up to 50 people;

Places to see:

Santuário de Fátima (Sanctuary of Fátima)

The sanctuary was built near the area of Cova da Iria where Our Lady of Fátima appeared to the three shepherds in 1917. It’s one of the most important Marian sanctuaries in the world belonging to the catholic church. It was disguised with three gold roses and visited by popes Paulo VI (1967), João Paulo II (1982, 1991 and 2000), Benedict XVI (2010) and Francisco (2017).

Basílica Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary)

The building was designed by the architect Gerardus Samuel Van Krieken and continued by João Antunes, built with limestone of the area. The structure has a colonnade with 200 columns and 14 altars with 17 statues over them. It was blessed on May 13th of 1958.

Capela das aparições (Chapel of the Apparitions)

The chapel of apparitions is the principal structure of the shrine of Fátima because it was in that place that our lady appeared and talked with the shepherds. From the six apparitions, five happened in this place where, in her honor, the chapel was built, in 1919.

Basilica da Santissima Trindade (Basilica the holy trinity)

Due to the high number of pilgrims it was necessary to build a new church. In 1997 the Greek architect Alexandro Tombazis won an international contest done by the shrine to construct the new church. In 2007 the church was dedicated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone then Secretary of State of the Vatican and legate of Benedict XVI. Inside the church there’s a bronze crucifix above the altar with 3 meters and gold color symbolizing the fidelity to god and holiness.

Universidade de Coimbra (Coimbra University)

With hundreds of years is the oldest university in Portugal founded originally in Lisbon in 1290 by King Dinis and transferred to Coimbra in 1537, considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was partly rebuilt in the 17th century in Baroque and neo-classical styles. Inside you’ll find the Joanina Library from the 18th century in baroque style where Portugal’s firsts kings lived. Has nearly 300 000 medieval books and manuscripts surrounded by exotic wood and trompe-l’oleil decoration, breathtaking. Also, inside the university you can visit the chapel of Saint Miguel with some elements dated from 1517, tiles embellish the walls and some Neoclassical and Manueline art.

Mosteiro de Santa Cruz (St Cruz Monastery)

This 12th century monastery in Romanesque style with some Manueline art holds the tombs of the first two kings of Portugal, D.Afonso Henriques and Sancho I.

Catedral Sé Velha (Old Cathedral)

One of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Portugal, built after the battle of Ourique (1139) when D.Afonso Henriques declared himself King of Portugal. The first Count of Coimbra, is buried in the cathedral.  

Museu Nacional Machado de Castro (National Museum Machado de Castro)

Named in honor of the Portuguese sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro is one of the most important art museums in Portugal with the largest collection of sculpture in any national Portuguese museum along with tapestries, ceramics and paintings from the 15th to the 19th centuries.

Guimarães

Guimarães is a Portuguese city located in the District of Braga. D. Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, here conquered the sovereignty of the Portucalense County (later becoming the Kingdom of Portugal). The Castle of Guimarães – classified as a National Monument – is one of the most emblematic places in the city. This castle emerged, initially, as a monastery fortress to protect the monks who inhabited them, from the invading Moors. The local folklore says that D. Afonso Henriques was born here. Apart from the beautiful historic center, the Chapels of S.João and S. Francisco are two other must see stops in the city. The first one (S.João) was built in the XV century and has Gothic and Romanesque traits. The second (S.Francisco) dates from the XIII century, and inside you will find the supposed sink used in the baptism ceremony of D. Afonso Henriques.

One of the cultural assets of Guimarães is the Square of Oliveira (Largo da Oliveira). In this square you can find some of the historical landmarks of the city such as Nossa Senhora de Oliveira Church, Padrão do Salado the Domus Municipalis, a gothic facade building that once served as the City Hall. You may also want to stop in the Alberto Sampaio Museum that houses an important collection of sacred art, glazed tiles, silverware and sculptures from the medieval and Renaissance periods up to the 18th century.

Braga

Braga is a city in the far north of Portugal, northeast of Oporto, known for its heritage and religious events. Its cultural heritage is one of the richest in Portugal. The complex of Bom Jesus do Monte has a neoclassical church at the top of an elaborate 17-step staircase. In the city center, the medieval Braga Cathedral houses a sacred art museum and the Gothic-style Chapel of the Kings. Nearby, the impressive Archbishop’s Palace overlooks the Jardim de Santa Bárbara.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Sameiro is one of the most visited places of Marian worship in Portugal, providing a privileged view over the city of Braga. Every year it attracts many devotees, especially during the pilgrimages of the first Sunday of June and the last third of August.

Barcelos and Ponte de Lima

Barcelos is a city that holds some of the Portuguese national and regional identity references, such as the Galo de Barcelos, the Weekly Fair, Rosa Ramalho and handicrafts. The Church of Bom Jesus da Cruz, located in the parish of Barcelos, is one of the most notable examples of baroque architecture of Italian influence in the country. Here you can enjoy the northern gastronomy, especially the confectionery treats.

 Ponte de Lima is a city near Barcelos that is characterized by its medieval architecture and the surrounding area, bathed by the Lima River. It is one of the oldest villages in Portugal. In Ponte de Lima you will experiment a renowned gastronomy and an amazing historical center. The city is also famous for its natural landscapes and bike tours near the Rio Lima.

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