You can find how Jewish heritage and culture have contributed to the evolution of art, philosophy, and commerce in the Iberian Peninsula for nearly a millennium during your 7-day Portugal tour. You can follow in the footsteps of Portugal’s Jewish communities to trace history through the cities and towns, across the valleys and the hillsides to uncover remnants of synagogues concealed from public view since the beginnings of the Inquisition.
Lisbon – Introductory Tour of the Old City
Lisbon is a city of historical wealth and decadent culture. The capital of Portugal has withstood the tests of time and display the connection to the greater world through the Golden Years of Exploration. Colorful houses overlook the River Tejo as fishing boats trawl the waters for the day’s fresh catch. Sunny, yellow funiculars traverse the hillsides beside the antique stone staircase that leads to marvelous terraced viewpoints known as miradouros. Your flight will land at Lisbon Portela Airport, where your private transfer will greet you upon arrival as the sea breeze carries the aroma of the sweet freshwater.
Verdant trees frame the golden bricks of Castelo de São Jorge as the red-tiled bricks top the pearlescent homes and glow beneath the spreading sunlight. The aroma of freshly grilled octopus dressed with lemon wafts over the cobblestone streets of the labyrinthine Old Quarter. The layout of the district resembles the packed, narrow lanes of an Arab Kasbah. Small archways hover above the avenues that lead to stone terraces that offer views of the castle. After settling into the comforts of your luxurious hotel, your guide will meet you in the lobby eager to take you on a private, introductory tour of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
The Baixa neighborhood is often referred to as the commercial center of the city as parallel streets lead to the Praça do Comércio. A lemon meringue colored façade frames the lavish 18th-century square that is embellished with mosaic cobblestone. The plaza once acted as the final farewell to those departing the Lisbon by boat and retains the ambiance of the gateway to the city as a statue of famous 15th-century figures adorn the Triumphal Arch, including a glowing figure of Vasco de Gama. The angular streets were constructed in the 18th century by decree of Prime Minister Dom Jose I Marques de Pombal. Your guide will lead you along the open lanes to the Bank of Portugal, where the original Jewish Quarter was constructed between the 13th and 14th centuries.
Lisbon – Explore History and Culture at Leisure
Marvao – Half-Day Tour of Tomar before Discovering Marvao
Belmonte – Unique History and Jewish Culture
Porto – Visit Churches, Museums, and Synagogues
Porto – Scenic Wine Tasting along the Douro River Valley
Porto – Depart for Home
- Discover an original stone from the 14th-century Great Synagogue of Lisbon amongst the remains of the Jewish Quarter in the town of Tomar
- Experience the revitalized Jewish community in Belmonte, who practiced Crypto-Judaism from the 15th century until the 20th-century fall of Salazar
- Find ancient Hebrew inscriptions in the 15th-century synagogue in Marvao, which now contains the Luso-Hebraico Abraham Zacuto Museum
- Follow in the footsteps of the former Jewish Quarters of Porto while discovering the preserved streets and structures of the gorgeous City
- Visit a church connected to the Knights Templar, which stood close to a historical synagogue
- Revel in the cultural roots that connect the Jewish tradition with the fruit of the vine by indulging in celebrated flavors with a Douro Valley Wine tour
- Delight in an introductory exploration of Lisbon’s historical neighborhoods while in search for remnants of past and present Jewish communities
Combine the texture of Portuguese history with the traditions of the Jewish community during your 7-day tour that will focus on the history of Judaism in Portugal. From the mathematician who helped guide Vasco de Gama to the discernable figure captured in the 16th-century portrait painted by Grao Vasco, the Jewish community has played an important role in the formation of Portugal’s past and present. Your journey will begin with your arrival at Lisbon Portela Airport where your private transfer will greet you upon arrival and escort you to your luxurious hotel in the heart of the historical city center.
Wake the next morning and set out on a private guided tour and an encompassing introduction of the city’s vibrant neighborhoods set beneath the dramatic walls of St. Jorge’s Castle. The next day will be at your leisure to enjoy the remarkable beauty and history of Lisbon at your preferred pace. Visit the Museum of National Antique Art to view the country’s national gallery or explore Church of São Roque to compare the grandeur of architecture that spans the history of the city. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel the following day to escort you to the charming town of Tomar for a half-day tour of the Knights Templar’s monastery and the Jewish museum that is located inside a preserved synagogue. Continue to the town of Marvao to enjoy the panoramic views and the old cobbled streets set between the Castelo Marvao and the Castelo de Vide.
Travel next to the village of Belmonte to meet with the local community who hid their traditions from the government since the Inquisition, only stepping into the light after the Salazar regime of the 20th century. Enjoy the enchanting ambiance of the town for the remainder of the day at your leisure, and the next day transfer to the city of Porto, located along the banks of the Douro River. Relish a half-day tour through the old streets and the beautiful churches that stand over what was once Jewish Quarters. Throughout your tour, you will visit stores, markets, and restaurants connected to the contemporary Jewish community.
Venture next into the Douro River Valley to embrace the traditions of winemaking to sample varieties of Port and other varietals that thrive in the region along with the cultivation of the vine in Jewish ritual before returning to Port. Conclude as your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport for your flight home.
$1,395 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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