Jewish Presence in mountain villages

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  • Flexibility to customize your itinerary to your own preferences
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Private guide for a more personalized experience
  • Private tour is operated with just your party and a guide/driver

Can you trace your family back to Portugal?  Want to discover your ancestral roots?  Or just interested in a bit of Jewish history?  Let us put together a private tour for you that brings the ancient Jewish communities of Portugal to life.

Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors, or visit the synagogues.  Learn the ancient traditions and ways of life of your ancestors, whilst discovering the lands they called, and still call, home.

1º Day

Among churches, cruises, palaces and manor houses, the Jewish community settled with their business in the old Almedina of Obidos. In Rua Nova we can still find some traces of this presence, particularly the ancient Hebrew temple.On the way to Nazare that became world famous because of the giant waves surfed by Garret MacNamara, we stop in “sitio” of Nazare with rich history and amazing views over the Atlantic Ocean.

 Our journey continues head towards the city of Tomar, known as the headquarters of the military organization in the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar. Our visit begins in the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the oldest in the country.
By exploring the historical town’s center we stop at Republic Square to see the Manueline facade of the St. John Baptist church and the typical windows of the old buildings known as a postcard of this city.
We proceed to the Castle and Convent of the Knights Templar a world heritage site that later became the Order of Christ.
Overnight in Coimbra.

2º Day

Coimbra, known as the city of knowledge with over two thousand years of history has an historical-cultural legacy classified as a world heritage Site by Unesco. Our day begins in the Old Jewish Quarter and the church of Santa Cruz (pantheon of the first two kings of Portugal).
Now it’s time to visit one of the oldest European universities, the University of Coimbra, and its extraordinary Baroque Library, exponent of Portuguese Baroque.After lunch our sightseeing tour takes us to Seia.
Time to see a very unique place, a small village of the Caramulo mountains, where the presence of a Jewish community in the past shows us how they kept the traditions and their religion in secrecy. The visit will be guided with our friend Luís Filipe Pereira, an engineer, author of “O Leão de Judá rugiu em Lourosa de Besteiros” that will explain the legacy found around the “Big House”, in order to confirm the existence of a social complex and administrative system organized with a synagogue, court, jail and the Jewish cemetery.
Overnight in Seia.

3º Day

Enjoy the magic of simplicity and join the locals in their ancient tradition festivities (according to the time and season), and experience some of the typical Portuguese best food with local wines in this mountain villages.
We will visit the Aristides Sousa Mendes home, a Portuguese consul who save more than 30.000 lifes in the world war two.
Included on this tour is the beautiful landscapes of the glacier valleys and natural resources like oak woods and ancient chestnut groves or natural lakes. Also we visit the highest village of Portugal, Sabugueiro, land of shepherds and farmers.
Overnight in Seia.

4º Day

In this day you will meet Jews in some villages and understand how they have continued to practice their religion in secrecy for centuries and somehow kept the traditions from one generation to the next. Even today you can see records that demonstrate the existence of an ancient community of Jews and New Christians, which boosted the local economy.
Since ancient times, the Jews have been settled here. Proving it is the auction records of royal rights in the first half of the 15th century by the Jewish Solomon Navarro.
Also we will show you some old Jewish quarters where a well-organized Jewish community is associated with the wool and linen industry in this area.
To finish our day we visit a traditional weaving museum where they show you how to make the famous (cobertor de papa).
Overnight in Belmonte at Pousada Convento Nossa Senhora da Esperança.

5º day

This is a day dedicated to the historical villages in the center of Portugal nearby mountain Estrela. Chance for you to meet local Jews that still live in community and practice their religion. The old Jewish quarter, the Jewish museum depicts the history of Sephardic presence in Portugal and a memorial to the victims of the inquisition. This is truly an experience not to be missed.
We will show you also on this day the middle age stone villages that seem to be crystallized in time.
Overnight in Penha Garcia.

6º Day – Castelo Novo / Monsanto / Idanha-a-Velha / Castelo Branco.

A chance for you to meet majestic places made out of granit stone and some secular traditions where you can learn from the locals quite a few ancient arts. Monte Santo the lands of the Visigoths, the Romans and the Templars will give you a close look to a way of life that seems to be alive in each corner. Meet the houses of the Anusim with their marks on the doors and learn by the locals how they practice their religion in secrecy.
In an ancient Roman municipality (Egitania or Antanya), today, Idanha-a-velha, is time to know the most important Roman city in this area of Portugal.
To end our day we visit the famous Baroque garden with ponds, waterfalls, unique fountains and statuary in the Bishop’s Palace in Castelo Branco.
Overnight in Mountain Gardunha

7º Day

Now in Alto Alentejo, Castelo de Vide, a medieval city with a rich heritage that bears witness to the presence of different peoples and cultures.
Our visit will focus on the historical core. Discover the town’s historical center where the old Jewish quarter was located and visit the Synagogue, whose museum has several exhibition contents on the History of the Jews and the Diaspora. We visit also the workshop – Mestre Carolino museum, a Jew descendent from Toledo.At the end of the day, on the way to Évora, we stop at Marvão where the Jews cross de border to Portugal after the expulsion from Spain by the Edict of Alhambra in 1492.Évora, the “museum city”, a World Heritage Site and its unique architecture. See the Roman Temple of Evora, the bones chapel and admire whitewashed houses and religious monuments, along with the vineyards of the Alentejo. Explore in the historical center the old Jewish quarter, one of the country’s largest, which use to have two synagogues, the baths and a hospital.
Overnight in Évora

8º day

Quinta da Bacalhoa ou workshop sobre o azulejo / Lisboa.

On our way to Lisbon, experience the majestic Arrábida Natural Park and its mountains with beaches protected by green hills, with fine sand and clear waters. Considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal, the beach of Portinho da Arrábida is a prime location that offers an idyllic site.
In the afternoon , in Vila Nogueira de Azeitão , we alternatively can visit the Quinta da Bacalhôa and its palace , one of the rare examples of Renaissance civil architecture in Portugal with magnificent tile panels . The visit will be for those interested, enriched with excellent wine tasting. The journey will end in the tile art factory where, in addition to learning the techniques of manual production, you can experience the hand-crafting of traditional pieces and still create your own tile.
Overnight in Lisbon.

9º Day

Enjoy a private visit to the romantic town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important cultural and historical sites in Portugal.
Our tour you’ll begin with a visit to the National Palace of Sintra. Discover the town’s historical center with its narrow streets that lead to the Quinta da Regaleira and the Pena National Palace.
See the Pena Palace and Park, a majestic place with amazing landscapes located on Sintra Mountain. Built in the 19th century by the king consort of Queen Maria II, it is one of the most outstanding examples of Portuguese Romanticism.
Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, where the land ends and the sea begins. Admire the beautiful scenery and amazing views over the Atlantic Ocean. On the way back to Lisbon you’ll have stunning coastal views. Stop in the charming seaside villages of Cascais and Estoril.
Overnight in Lisbon

10º Day

Discover unique sites in the Portuguese capital on a private tour that takes you to the heart of Lisbon, its parks, and historic neighborhoods. Visit the Belém quarter, home to the Monument of the Discoveries marking Portugal’s Golden Age of Exploration.
Continue on to the Marques de Pombal Square, along Avenida da Liberdade, and to Rossio Station, one of the unique places that’s not to be missed. At Rossio Square you’ll see the Dona Maria II National Theater and São Domingos Church.
Admire the shops and cafés along beautiful Augusta Street, the majestic Manueline door of the Old Conception Church, and ancient Palace Square as you head to the heart of Lisbon.
In Alfama and its old Jewish quarter you’ll have a chance to explore the most ancient and traditional neighborhood of Lisbon , with its narrow streets, small squares, and typical restaurants.
From here you’ll head to Bairro Alto, another old neighborhood, and one the best known districts of the city. Take a break to enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal with local wine.
The Belém quarter is sure to be a highlight of your tour, and where you’ll see the Jeronimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, and the Monument to the Discoveries.
As the day ends, you’ll have a chance to taste a local delicacy, the pastel de Belém.
Overnight in Lisbon

[I] The tour can be tailored to specific interests.

Your Hotel in Lisbon

Your Hotel in Lisbon

Included in this tour:

  • Completely private and personalized transport
  • Private guide
  • Pick-up at your Lisbon hotel is provided
  • Free wifi
  • Bottled water
  • Personal accidents insurance
  • Liability insurance

 

Not included:Personal expenses, Any other activities, Tickets to palaces or museums, or expenses not mentioned in “what’s included”.