The spectacular setting, the exuberance of colors and the warmth of the sun that shines all year round make Madeira the most beautiful of the Portuguese islands, a paradise where the dream of the perfect subtropical holiday comes true. Pearl of the Atlantic, island of eternal spring, this small volcanic land, so rich in places to discover, deserves all its nicknames and the affection of travelers and its inhabitants.1 Quinta das Cruzes.
La Quinta das Cruzes is a typical Madeirense villa, complete with garden and private chapel. It was originally the residence of João Gonçalves Zarco, the Portuguese captain who discovered Madeira, but in the 18th century it was enlarged and transformed into an elegant residence by the wealthy Lomelino family. The exhibition inside illustrates the life of the island’s aristocracy from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century in a suitably exclusive setting.
The prettiest café in the area is the Casa de Chá, in the garden of the Universe de Memórias, opposite the museum.
The Prince Charles Snack Bar, a long-standing place serving sandwiches and soups, is located opposite the São Pedro Church.2 Porto Santo
Madeira is the largest island of the archipelago of the same name, which also includes uninhabited islands – the Desert Islands (Ilhas Desertas) and the Wild Islands (Ilhas Selvagens) – and Porto Santo, located 40 km northeast of Madeira and inhabited for about 5500 people. Just 14 km long and 8 km wide, Porto Santo is very different from Madeira: arid and devoid of great reliefs, it boasts one of the most beautiful golden sand beaches in Europe – the main reason why it is worth visiting the island.3 Jardins Botânicosda Madeira.
With an area of 80,000 square meters, at a height between 150 m and 300 m above sea level, the most important botanical garden in Madeira and its collection of plants, the most exotic in all of Europe, are a unique spectacle. Filled with tourists wandering between paths and literally entranced flower beds, the botanical garden was created in the 1950s and is rightfully one of the main tourist destinations on the island.
It is the European capital located furthest to the West, as well as being the only one overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This gives the city a particular light and beautiful skies that tend to be always blue and clear. The most characteristic view of the city is certainly that of its numerous alleys crossed by the typical yellow tram, one of the symbols of the city. The houses seem to be perched on each other and the ocean breeze brings ancient stories of fishermen and sailors into the air. It is no coincidence that Vasco da Gama left Lisbon for his journey to discover the Indies.
Lisbon offers many things to do and see: in the common imagination it is a city that has always been associated with melancholy, the famous ‘saudade’, but in reality it is a very lively city full of things to see.
Located on the slope between the Castelo de Sao Jorge and the Tagus River, Alfama is the oldest district of Lisbon and this can be perceived in the facades of the houses with corroded plaster, the faded azulejos, the narrow alleys where the voices as if it were a qasbah. And Alfama really was a qasbah at the time of Arab domination, when it represented the entire city, since the Baixa area did not yet exist. Under Arab rule, Alfama had its maximum development and was the residence of nobles and merchants.
The signs of that happy and distant period remain in the noble details of the old Moorish palaces and in the numerous fountains hidden in the patios. With the subsequent development of new neighborhoods in the city, Alfama ended up being inhabited only by fishermen and longshoremen who worked at the Tagus, on the slopes of the hill where the neighborhood is located. No more noble palaces and haunts of aristocrats, but only a swarm of narrow streets and winding alleys, of stairways that lead to the miradouros, panoramic terraces overlooking the Tagus and the myriad of houses perched on each other, which more look and the more they seem to huddle together.
In these intertwining streets there is no room for modernity: no cars, no supermarkets, no trendy restaurants. Here there are only small neighborhood shops, grocery stores and casas de fado, the places where traditional Portuguese music is played, poignant and melancholic, a true expression of the soul of Lisbon. A reference point for every musician of this genre is the Museu do Fado, which is also located at Alfama and collects centuries of history of this musical tradition.
Porto is a splendid city in the north of Portugal: also called “the capital of the North”, as opposed to the more central Lisbon, it partly inherits some of its distinctive features. Porto is a real joy for the eyes, a city able to conquer from the first moment, thanks to its ups and downs, its decadent houses but with a magical atmosphere and above all thanks to the Ribeira district, from which you can admire a crazy panorama and the boats that pass under the Dom Luis I Bridge, an iron construction made by a close collaborator of Gustave Eiffel.
The city is not big and if it were not for the steep climbs you could easily walk around without difficulty. In any case, walking through the narrow alleys of the city you will have the opportunity to admire everyday life, between clothes hanging and stairways that lead to neighborhoods where time seems to have stopped.La Ribeira is the most picturesque district of Porto, and at the same time the most visited by tourists.
It lies on the banks of the Douro river, and is a succession of steep streets, houses decorated with typical azulejos and, in the most touristic area, of restaurants serving the gastronomic specialties of the area. It is a pleasure to spend time in Ribeira, sitting at a bar table or directly on the pier, watching the boats crossing the Douro River or simply contemplating the passing of the day of the localsThe Dom Luis I Bridge, icon and symbol of the city of Porto, connects the two banks of the Douro River at the Ribeira district.
Its construction began in 1881 by the hand of the engineer Theophile Seyrig, a close collaborator of Gustave Eiffel. And to tell the truth, the structure is somewhat reminiscent of Eiffel’s works, thanks to the abundant use of iron, a material so dear to the famous French architect. The Dom Luis I Bridge, in addition to an architectural element with a strong aesthetic taste, also has a certain functionality for the city of Porto, as it is open both to road traffic and, since 2003, to the city subway on the upper level.
Places You’ll See
Pick up/ Drop off points:
The offers are currently by own transport.
Our guests can choose from different diets, including vegetarian, Jain or non-vegetarian (Halal will not always be available) meals. Passengers should advise the tour representative of their preferred diet on day one. The meals are pre-set buffet, and a choice of menu is not available.
Dinners are usually provided within the hotel or restaurant. In case of medical issues or allergies you should always consult your tour representative if you are not sure of what ingredients a dish contains.
Why to choose us:
∗ Personal expenses.