ACE Cultural Tours

Nestled in a crown of pine-crested hills, the Portuguese town of Sintra beguiled the country’s rulers and visitors with its captivating European Romantic architecture and lush gardens.Tuesday, 15 May 2018

By National Geographic Traveller The Collection

Nestled in a crown of pine-crested hills, the Portuguese town of Sintra beguiled the country’s rulers and visitors with its captivating European Romantic architecture and lush gardens. The UNESCO-listed town has witnessed centuries of Portuguese history, reflected today in its breathtaking monuments.

Portugal’s cultural depth and architectural splendour feature prominently throughout ACE’s exploration of some of its most important centres. Beginning in the Baroque city of Porto, the route has been specially designed to immerse groups in the richness of Portugal’s architectural and historical heritage.

Tour guests stay in the five-star Pestana Vintage Hotel in Porto, whose location in the UNESCOlisted riverside quarter never fails to enchant, before moving to Guimarães, the ‘cradle of Portugal’, where the medieval castle testifies to the kingdom’s changing fortunes from the 10th to the 15th century. The city’s austere 15th-century Ducal Palace betrays a Burgundian influence, but the rich interior, with Flemish tapestries, Chinese porcelain and Persian carpets, speaks of Portugal’s trading success and the luxurious tastes of the country’s later rulers.

Further south, the group will explore the ancient university town of Coimbra, with its leaning medieval houses or ‘sobrado’ and discover one of the world’s most enthralling libraries, the Biblioteca Joanina. Set within 12 hectares of stately gardens, the romantic five-star Quinta das Lágrimas hotel, itself a former palace dating to the 18th century, is perfectly suited for discovering Coimbra.

One of the oldest cities in the world, travellers will take a day to discover Lisbon’s historical, archaeological and architectural treasures, including the city’s arresting castle, and stay in the boutique five-star Pousada de Lisboa hotel.

Privileged access and exclusive visits allow for a unique experience. The tour directors — all experts in their field — are chosen not only for their specialist knowledge but also for their ability to communicate their passion and enthusiasm to others.

Don’t miss

Explore Baroque palaces and gardens across Portugal with expert archaeologist, Christopher Catling

NEED TO KNOW

KEY FACILITIES

• Accommodation provided
• Tours with expert archaeologist
• Specialist knowledge and lectures
• Small group sizes

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aceculturaltours.co.uk

T: +44 1223 841055

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ace@aceculturaltours.co.uk

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