LISBON IN TILES WITH TWO OPTIONS FOR AFTERNOON
Discover the history of making tiles or “azulejos” in Lisbon. Lisbon’s artisans having been making tiles since the 13th century. The first tiles were blue and white, then yellow and green. First, they were simple geometric shapes used to cover blank spaces on walls. Later, they became more ornate, decorating church altars and depicting Portuguese history and culture. Today, they decorate restaurants, bars, railway stations, palaces, and homes. Every tourist brings home one or two tiles as souvenirs.
Our journey begins in the Alfama district, one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods. As you wander the cobbled streets, you will notice that almost every wall on every house, gallery, and café is decorated with colorful tiles. Blue and white designs adorn the area churches. Our visit continues at the National Tile Museum, the former Mother of God Monastery. The collection features tiles from the 15th century until the present. The permanent exhibition shows the materials used in the making of the tiles and the techniques used in their manufacture. You will see the baroque church with its blue and white tiles and gold altar and ceiling. On the roof of the monastery is a large tile panel depicting Lisbon before the 1755 earthquake that destroyed most of the city. There are also several temporary exhibitions showing more modern tile styles.
Afternoon Option 1:
Cross the river and head to the village of Vila Nogueira de Azeitao, where we will first visit the Quinta Bacalhoa Palace, gardens, and winery. This palace contains many beautiful tile panels and the winery contains many delicious bottles of wine, which we will sample. Our journey will end in a tile factory, where you will watch the artisans make and decorate the tiles, then make one of your own.
Afternoon Option 2:
Visit the town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will visit the Sintra National Palace, known as the Castle of Moors, which dates to the 8th century. As we wander through its ornate rooms, we will see many different styles and techniques of tile art. Our afternoon will continue through the beautiful town of Sintra. Our journey ends at the Constance Piriquita Factory, where we will enjoy Sintra’s delicacies – travesseiros, a puff pastry filled with almond cream, or queijadas, a sweet cake made of cheese, eggs, milk, and sugar.
Our tour can be tailored to specific interests.
Personal expenses, other activities, and tickets to museums and palaces are not included in the tour price.
Each additional person (Max. 7 persons)
- Completely private and personalized transport
- Your own designated guide
- Free wifi and bottled water
- Pick-up at your Lisbon hotel is provided
- Tiles workshop in Azeitão
- Personal accidents insurance
- Liability insurance
Any other activities, tickets to palaces or museums, or expenses not mentioned in what’s included.