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    Historical Portugal: Trail of the Knights Templar

    On this historical tour, we follow in the trail of the Knights Templar. Having arrived in Portugal in the time of Countess Teresa, the mother of Portugal’s first king, Afonso Henriques, the Knights Templar were present at many of the landmark moments in the history of Portugal, ranging from its foundation as a nation and the construction of its identity through to the period of maritime discoveries. The Order’s cross remains until today the symbol of the Portuguese Navy and Air Force. We shall be visiting monuments, reliving past events and speaking of the figures that began it all!

    DEPARTURES

    Various Thursday Departures from April to October, 2019

    Included:
    • 2 nights accommodation on a buffet breakfast basis at 4-star hotels or similar
    • Pick Up at central Lisbon Hotel
    • Guided Tour
    • Transport by air-conditioned bus or minivan, as per detailed itinerary
    • Entry into the following monuments: Convent of Christ (Tomar), Quinta da Regaleira (Sintra), Belém Tower (Lisbon) and Museu da Marinha (Lisbon)
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    Not Included:
    • Expenses other than detailed above, porter fees at hotels, lunches, or dinners, personal expenses, entrances other than those mentioned

    PRICING DETAILS

    Click Book Online above for 2019 pricing!
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    • All prices are per person
    • Triple occupancy available upon request
    • The tour departs at 9:00 am from the terminal at Marquês de Pombal (Lisbon) and includes free pick up at selected hotels in Lisbon
    • Children 0-5 years old are free; children 6-10 years old rates on request
    • City tax not included (paid directly at the hotel)
    • Drinks are not included with meals unless specified
    • Itineraries and arranged sightseeing are subject to change at any time due to unforeseen circumstances. Every effort will be made to operate tours as planned, but alterations may occur after the final itinerary has been issued

    Trail of the Knights Templar
    Lisbon > Almourol > Tomar > Dornes > Batalha > Alcobaça > Sintra > Lisbon

    ITINERARY

    DAY 1: LISBON > ALMOUROL > TOMAR

    Leaving Lisbon, we set off for one of the most representative monuments of the Knights Templar in Portugal: Almourol Castle. Located on a small island in the river Tagus, this is one of Europe’s most emblematic monuments. We then proceed onwards in the direction of the Castle and Convent of Tomar — the Order’s own headquarters. This is undoubtedly one of the finest architectonic works in existence in Portugal. Here, we encounter the Castle with its imposing bulwark, the Charola — considered the most well preserved Templar church with a centralized layout — the enigmatic Manueline window and the main cloister, a masterpiece of the European Renaissance. We then get the opportunity to visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, the matrix church of Tomar, with its original structure subject to renovation on the orders of King Manuel, a former governor of the Order. This thus proves a monument very much in the Manueline style We then move onto the Church of Santa Maria dos Olivais. This fine example of Gothic architecture served both as the pantheon for the grand masters of the Order and a template for churches built throughout the Portuguese empire

    DAY 2: TOMAR > FORNES > BATALHA > ALCOBACA > SINTRA

    We first set off for the pretty setting of Dornes, located alongside the river Tagus. Here, we tour the Templar Tower, also known as the Tower of Dornes. We then follow this with a visit to CIBA – the Battle of Aljubarrota Interpretation Centre. This provides the opportunity to “relive” one of the most important battles of Medieval Europe and decisive to Portuguese unity and identity. Lopo Dias de Sousa, a canonical religious master in the Order of Christ, proved a defining and fundamental figure in this period of history. We then advance to the Monastery of Alcobaça with its church containing one of the largest Cistercian abbeys in Europe. This architectural masterpiece was built on the orders of Afonso Henriques, the founding king of Portugal, and entrusted to Saint Bernardo de Claraval, principal abbot in the Cistercian order and a great mentor and driver in the Order of the Knights Templar. We then depart in the direction of Sintra. Meals: B

    DAY 3: SINTRA > LISBON

    We begin the day with a visit to Quinta da Regaleira, a leading example of the Romantic architectural style and one of the most esoteric and mysterious places in Portugal. We reveal a few of the secrets of these enchanting surroundings replete with neo-Templar symbols such as the initiation well. We then take in the Tower of Belém, the Portuguese monument that symbolizes the era of the Discoveries and the National Navy Museum. We here get the chance to see into, with the help of two of the governors of the Order of Christ, Prince Henry the Navigator and King Manuel, what was certainly the most splendid period in the history of Portugal that, as the Poet himself affirmed, gave new worlds to the World. End of services. Meals: B