Duration 10 Days
Start

A 10 day circuit to discover the Sephardic Heritage in Portugal.

The presence of the Jews in Portugal tells millennia of History. Its presence is part of the Portuguese Essence, Portuguese Culture and Portuguese Traditions, and is also part of Portuguese people DNA. With its own identity, the Jewish community in Portugal has always been one of the most significant in Europe in terms of numbers and social importance.
Today, we remember this past and discover in the present how this presence is a fundamental part of Portuguese identity.

There is the possibility of choosing between 4* or 5* hotels, all of them of high quality and great charm, adjusting the tour final price. There will be a full time trip leader, that will provide all the historical and cultural information. The tour will be made, with all the comfort, in a 9 seats tourist luxury vehicle. The tour is made from Lisbon, with personalized pick-up and drop-off.

Day 1:

Lisbon

Transfer from the airport to the Hotel

Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).

Day 2:

Évora/Elvas

Departure towards Évora. We will visit the city of “Évora” and its highlights. We will also visit the ancient Jewish Quarter, where the physical remains of the Jewish presence can still be found. “Évora” was, during the Middle Ages, the second most important city in Portugal and its Jewish Quarter was among the largest in Portugal. The Jewish heritage is still present, in the city and its traditions. We will visit the Inquisition Court, also known as the Palace of the Inquisitor, now transformed into a place of culture and art exhibition. It will be remembered the countless processes that existed against the “Marranos”, who transformed Judaism in Portugal into a cryptic religion with unique characteristics. We will visit the most emblematic places of a city that is a World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Free time for lunch.

The city of “Elvas”, recently nominated by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, keeps within its walls the influence of Arabs and Jews. It became, in Renaissance, the sixth most populous city in the country, in which the three monotheistic religions coexisted, giving the city a special colorful. Recently, in its historic center, one of the largest Synagogues of the Iberian Peninsula has been found, a testimony of a prosperous and numerous Jewish community. Present in the city since, at least, the middle of the Middle Ages, this community is present in the DNA of its inhabitants. The tour will allow a walk around the old Jewish Quarter.

Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).

Day 3: 

Castelo de Vide/Marvão/Castelo Branco

Departure towards “Castelo de Vide”, where will be made a tour with a local guide. We will visit the Castle, the Synagogue and the Jewish quarter. The Jewish Quarter, planted on a hillside, facing the old Medieval Castle, is located in the Historic Center.

Free time for lunch.

During the afternoon, we will visit “Marvão”. The Nobel Prize for Literature, José Saramago, wrote in “Viagem a Portugal” (1961) that “From Marvão the whole earth is seen …”. The visit to “Marvão” is unforgettable; of stunning beauty is one of the most beautiful villages in Europe. After the visit to “Marvão”, departure towards “Castelo Branco”, at Beira Baixa. The visit will begin with a tour to the Jewish quarter. There are two hundred and ninety-one doors and a very significant number of windows worked with the typical Jewish medieval motives. Sixty-three cruciform marks witness the presence of New Christians. These marks reveal a significant community that is now remembered in the House of Memory of Castelo Branco, which will also be visited, for a better understanding of the History of Judaism in the city. We will also visit the medicinal plants garden of Amato Lusitano, scientist and intellectual, a fundamental figure in the History of “Castelo Branco”.

Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).

Day 4:

Sortelha/Belmonte

During the morning we will visit the village of “Sortelha”, one of the most beautiful Portuguese villages, totally walled and breathing the essence of its antiquity. The visit through the streets and alleys of the cluster allows a return to the past and discovers the numerous Jewish community that has lived in “Sortelha” for centuries. Today, absorbed by the rest of the population, the Jewish community is present in the traditions of countless of its descendants.

Free time for lunch.

Crowned by the medieval castle, the village of “Belmonte” stands out for the beauty of its architectural tangle. The Jewish community of “Belmonte” has survived for centuries, keeping its traditions and faith hidden. The community has been reborn in our days and affirmed itself as a B’nei Anussim community. There will be a guided tour by a local guide. The visit to the Beit Eliahu Synagogue will be accompanied by one of the members of the Jewish community.

Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).

Day 5: 

Guarda/Trancoso/Porto

Throughout the morning, we will visit the city of “Guarda”, where the streets of the ancient Jewish Quarter, located inside the walled city, will be discovered. The Jewish commune of “Guarda” was, for long periods, one of the most important in Portugal and is considered one of the oldest. A visit will be made to the place where the hearings were held before the Inquisition Court. 

Free time for lunch.

In the afternoon we will continue to “Trancoso”, where a guided tour will be made by a Local Guide. The Jewish presence in Trancoso dates back to the 14th century and the marks it preserves are an interesting testimony of the strong presence that the Jewish community maintained for centuries. During the tour we will visit the House of the Black Cat or Lion of Judah, the Well of the Master, the Center of Interpretation of Isaac Cardoso for Jewish Culture, which includes the Mayan Hayim Synagogue, the most modern in the country, and the “Bandarra” House. Departure towards Oporto.

Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).

Day 6:

Oporto

Throughout the morning, we will visit Oporto’s highlights and will discover, during the visit, the places where the old Jewish Quarters were located. After, we will visit the “Palácio da Bolsa”, to understand the importance of the city from the economic point of view, until the 19th century. We will tell the stories of the New Christians descendants, that were part of the prosperous bourgeoisie of Oporto. 

Free time for lunch.

In the afternoon there will be a boat trip along the Douro River and a wine tasting with a visit to the Port wine cellars. After, there will be a guided tour to the Oporto  Synagogue “Kadoori”, by one of the members of the Jewish community. The “Work of Rescue”, which brought to daylight the “Marranismo” in Portugal, will be told.  The crypto-Judaism remained unknown for almost 500 years and is part of the unique History of the Portuguese Jews.

 Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).
 Day 7:

Coimbra/Óbidos

We will visit the University of Coimbra, a World Heritage Site, which keeps the memory of many illustrious members of the Portuguese Jewish community. The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities in Europe and a true ex-libris. We will visit the historic Jewish Quarters, the Palace of Inquisition and the old squares where the condemned penitents were submitted to the “autos-de-fé”, the final step in the Inquisition Process. It will be possible to understand the History of the Jewish community in the 1500’s.

Free time for lunch.

Departure towards “Óbidos”. “Óbidos” is a medieval walled village, where we will explore the old Jewish quarter physical marks and the medieval Synagogue building. It will be offered a “ginjinha”, a very typical local traditional liquor.

Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).

Day 8: 

Tomar/Lisboa

Departure towards Tomar, where we will visit the Convent of Christ, World Heritage, and the Historic Center of the city, which houses the oldest Synagogue in Portugal. We will also visit the “Convento de Cristo”, UNESCO Heritage Site and a magnificent Templar building.

Free time for lunch.

In Lisbon, we will visit the most monumental district of the city, the Belém Quarter. We will visit the “Jerónimos” Monastery, the “Belém” Tower, the “Padrão dos Descobrimentos”and will taste the famous “Pastéis de Belém”.

Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).

Day 9: 

Lisboa/Sintra/Cascais/Estoril

During the morning, visit to the historical sites in Lisbon where were located the Jewish communities and “Almocavares” (cemeteries). The Portuguese Capital had the biggest Jewish Community in Europe, that occupied a considerable part of the present historical city. The fascinating Quarters of Alfama, Chiado, Baixa, Bairro Alto and Graça will be discovered gradually, following the History of the oldest city in Europe.

Free time for lunch.

During the afternoon we will visit the town of Sintra, a World Heritage Site. The tour begins at Pena Palace, Sintra ex-libris and the highest exponent of European Romanticism. Afterwards, we will stroll through the old Jewish Quarter, which, despite the absence of physical marks, retains its traditional aspects, and is still the heart of commerce and handicrafts of Sintra. The tour continues with the visit to “Guincho”, “Boca do Inferno” and Cascais. We will make a stop at the Tamariz beach, in Estoril, to learn about the history of the Jewish refugees, who used Portugal as a gateway during World War II.

Accommodation in a 4* or 5* Hotel (according to the chosen program).

Day 10: 

Lisbon

Transfer from the hotel to the airport

INCLUDES:

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Tourist Luxury Transportation

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Professional Tourism Driver/Guide

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Pick-up and Drop-off.

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Accommodation in 4* or 5* hotels

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 Entrance Tickets

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Gastronomic Tastings

Accommodation in 4* or 5* hotels (or similar) and breakfast included.

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Not included: Plane ticket and meals.

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We recommend: comfortable footwear and clothing.

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Starting from Lisbon.