Jewish Journey to Portugal: Exclusive Small Group Tour

The history of the Jews in Portugal reaches back over 2000 years and is directly related to Sephardi history, a Jewish ethnic division that represents communities that originated in the Iberian Peninsula
  • Duration

    7 days / 5 nights
  • Highlights

    Porto, Trancoso, Belmonte, Tomar, Lisbon
  • Notes

    Air Included
    Single Supplement: $1,557
  • Activity Level

    Moderate

  • Tailor Made

    This tour can be booked privately

Only  $3,442
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Jewish Journey to Portugal: Exclusive Small Group Tour 7 Days7D5 Nights5N

Located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal holds a surprise for every tourist. It is one of the most fascinating countries in Europe.

Jewish populations have existed in the area even before the country was established, back to the Roman era. At the height of Jewish culture in Portugal there were more than 150 Jewish communities throughout the nation. Every major town had a Judiaria (Jewish quarter) with its own institutions and places of worship. With the banning of Judaism in 1496, these communities ended, as Jews were forced to convert to Christianity or leave Portugal.

At present there are some 750 Jews living in Portugal, mostly in Lisbon. You will meet some of them.

Land only option is available. $700 credit will apply.

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What can you expect as part of your tour?

  • Round Trip Air from Newark to Portugal
  • Tours and meals as per the itinerary
  • Licensed English speaking guide
  • Deluxe motor coach and entrance fees
  • Douro river cruise in Porto
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Day

1

Thursday, November 08

Depart New York, EWR Airport

Late afternoon departure from Newark (EWR) airport to Porto. Enjoy a direct flight on the newest Dreamliner plane.

Day

2

Friday, November 09

Porto

11:00 am Meet your guide at the hotel and start a sightseeing tour of Porto. Discover this charming port city in northern Portugal, on the Douro River and its history. Porto had a vibrant Jewish community before the establishment of the Portuguese kingdom in 1143. When Portugal ousted its Jews in 1497, Jewish communal life in Porto was reduced to underground Marrano activities… In 1927, the congregation Mekor Ḥayyim was organized. In 1929, the imposing Kadoorie Synagogue was erected, housing both the congregation and an affiliated seminary for religious studies. Shabbat services with the member of the community followed by a kosher dinner.

Overnight at the Infante de Sagres Hotel.

Overnight:Porto (B, D).

Day

3

Saturday, November 10

Porto

After breakfast, attend morning Services at the Synagogue. In the afternoon, meet your guide and start a walking tour of the old city, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1996. Visit the Cathedral, dazzling in its mixture of romantic and baroque elements, before descending to the Ribeira area where we find the characteristic quays restored in their ancient stone. Porto was well known among the Jewish traders during the Middle Ages and today there are remains of what was once a typical Jewish Quarter in the Middle Ages. Enjoy an afternoon sun-set cruise on the Douro river.
Dinner on your own

Overnight at Infante de Sagres Hotel.

Overnight:Porto (B).

Day

4

Sunday, November 11

Porto - Trancoso - Belmonte

Visit the well-preserved Casa do Gato Negro adorned with emblems of the Lion of Judah and the Gates of Jerusalem. The Isaac Cardoso Center for Jewish Interpretation along with a new synagogue called Beit Mayim Hayim are located here. Meet Mr. José Levi, a Jewish archaeologist who will share his knowledge about Jewish life in this region on a walking tour.
After lunch on your own, continue to Belmonte to the Jewish Museum with a rich collection of objects once owned by crypto-Jewish families in the area. Continue to the 13th century convent for check-in at the Pousada de Belmonte.

In the evening, brief cooking demonstration with the Chief before Kosher-style dinner.

Overnight:Belmonte (B, D).

Day

5

Monday, November 12

Belmonte - Tomar - Lisbon

After you visit the Jewish quarter and Bet Eliahu Synagogue of Belmonte, depart to Tomar. Upon arrival to one of the oldest towns in Portugal, visit the 15th century Synagogue, now the Abraão Zacuto Museum located on what was once Rua da Judiaria. This is a significant reminder of one of the greatest Sephardic Jewish communities, now classified as a national monument. This structure houses Jewish gravestones, the cornerstones of the 13th Century Synagogue of Belmonte and the 14th Century Lisbon Synagogue and other remains of Tomar´s medieval Jewish community.

Continue to Lisbon for a brief orientation tour of the city, monuments, and architecture.

Night Porto Bay Liberdade Hotel .

Overnight:Lisbon (B).

Day

6

Tuesday, November 13

Lisbon

After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of the Jewish Lisbon. A large Jewish community flourished here in the area of the Rua da Judiaria. As the community grew. a new Judiaria Pequena formed in the 13th century near what is today the central Praça do Comércio. Continue to Rossio square, the bustling historic hub of downtown Lisbon and site of a Jewish memorial. Visit the Chiado area – a district of theaters, old-style cafes, and art Evening - visit Lisbon’s main Synagogue Shaare Tikva, built in the early 20th century as Jews of Portuguese descent returned to Portugal from Gibraltar and North Africa.

Return to your hotel for dinner (or nearby restaurant).

Overnight:Lisbon (B, D).

Day

7

Wednesday, November 14

Departure

Private departure transfer to the airport for your return flight to Newark (EWR) OR extend your stay to Algarve, Madeira or even Spain...
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Where you will rest you head...

Superior Room

5 STARS

About the hotel: The Altis Grand Hotel is a landmark in Lisbon with a prime location within walking distance of the Avenida Liberdade (Liberty Avenue) and Lisbon's picturesque districts.i

Superior Room

5 STARS

About the hotel: The Pousada Convento de Belmonte originates from the recovery of the old Convent of Nossa Senhora da Esperança. It’s a place that relaxes the soul, where you can gaze at the view and enjoy the tastiest cuisine.

Standard Room

5 STARS

About the hotel: Hotel Infante Sagres, member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” is a truly unique hotel located in the heart of Porto’s historical district, two steps away from the city’s UNESCO World Heritage area.

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