Portugal: Active Seniors 55+ Small Group Jewish Heritage Tour

9 days / 7 nights

$2,450 per person

(land only based on double occupancy) | June 18-26, 2017

In this Custom Small Group Jewish Heritage Tour of Portugal you will have the opportunity to explore traces of Jewish communities throughout Portugal with an intimate group of like-minded travelers. On your comprehensive journey through Portugal you will visit Lisbon, Sintra, Belém, Crato, Marvão, Castelo de Vide, Belmonte, and Tomar. Explore the captivating Jewish Heritage of the Western European country of Portugal in this exceptional guaranteed tour. Even meet the Crypto-Jews of Belmonte who have continued to practice Jewish ritual in secret for over 500 years. Enjoy the luxury and intimacy of this incredible tour.

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9 days | 7 nights | 7 touring days

Tour includes:

  • Arrival and departure group transfers for those arriving on TAP 206 and departing TAP 207
  • First class hotels
    • June 19-22 Lisbon Heritage Avenida da Liberdade
    • June 22-23 Crato Pousada Santa Maria Flor da Rosa
    • June 23-25 Belmonte Pousada Convento de Belmonte
    • June 25-26 Lisbon Heritage Avenida da Liberdade
  • 7 days touring with English-speaking Tour guide in a luxury air-conditioned tour bus
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
    • Breakfast daily
    • 2 lunches
    • 4 dinners
  • Gil Travel Packet

Tour does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Meals not mentioned as being included
  • Beverages at meals
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cost of personal items
  • Tips to guide/driver and Hotel staff

Please read the terms and conditions for this tour.

  • A minimum of 15 participants required for tour operation
  • The tour accommodates a maximum of 20 participants

Please fill out the form below for Susan to contact you with more information

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Day 1 - Sunday, June 18
Departure for Portugal

Recommended flight to Lisbon: Tap Portuguese Airlines 206 departing at 6:05pm

Day 2 - Monday, June 19
Arrival in Lisbon, Portugal
lisbon old city rooftop, blue sky

Lisbon Old City

Arrive at the Lisbon International Airport at 5:55am. Transfer to our hotel (for those arriving on TAP 206) in the center of the city. For those arriving on other carriers, we can book a transfer at an extra cost for you or you can take a taxi to our hotel. Check in is about 2pm so we might have breakfast and leave for an orientation tour of the city.

Lisbon is, without doubt, a charming capital city. Singular monuments scatter themselves through an urban landscape unlike any other, and beautiful viewpoints open up extraordinary views over the river Tagus.

The afternoon is on your own and to rest before our welcome dinner at Tágide Restaurant with a superb view over the city.

Overnight in Lisbon including dinner

Heritage Avenida da Liberdade Boutique Hotel

Day 3 - Tuesday, June 20

Our tour will be focused on Lisbon’s Jewish past. It is believed that Jewish life began here not long before Lisbon fell to the Moors in the 8th century.

lisbon rossio square fountain night

Rossio Square Fountain

From high up on Castelo São Jorge we will see the true individuality of the city of Lisbon with its steep slopes and overlapping historical pasts.  A new Judiaria Pequena formed in the 13th century near what is today the central square of Praça do Comércio. The Teatro Nacional D. Maria II in Rossio Square was the site of the court of the Inquisition. Lisbon’s main Synagogue Shaare Tikva was built in the early 20th century as Jews of Portuguese descent returned to Portugal from Gibraltar and North Africa.

Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day on your own.

Overnight in Lisbon including breakfast

Heritage Avenida da Liberdade Boutique Hotel

Day 4 - Wednesday, June 21
Sintra, Belém

Drive along the Atlantic Coast through Cascais up to Sintra. Due its artistic, botanical and historic richness, the Sintra landscape is part of the UNESCO list.

sintra palace, yellow facade, red towers

Sintra Palace

The Jewish Quarter of Sintra, where the Jews lived and mixed at Court before the forced conversions of 1497, is still visible today. After lunch on your own return to Lisbon to enjoy a scenic visit of Belém.

Tour the Belém Tower which was commissioned in the 15th century by King John II to be both part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus River and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. Tour the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos which is considered to be one of the finest examples of Manueline architecture. Then visit the Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument.  Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day on your own.

Overnight in Lisbon including breakfast and lunch

Heritage Avenida da Liberdade Boutique Hotel

Day 5 - Thursday, June 22
Évora, Crato
Monastery of Santa Maria Flor da Rosa, crato, courtyard

Monastery of Santa Maria Flor da Rosa
By Sacavem1, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Drive through Alentejo to Évora, an ancient city from the golden age of Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986. One of the largest Jewish communities existed here up to the 15th century. The building that once housed the synagogue and the surrounding Judiaria is in the historic quarter.

After lunch at a traditional restaurant, depart to Crato. According to tradition, Crato was recaptured from the Moors in 1160, the year that King Sancho II bequeathed these lands to the Knights of Malta. We will be spending the night in the Monastery of Santa Maria Flor da Rosa that has been renovated into a comfortable hotel.  This is a place where history blends with legend, transporting us back to the roots of the Portuguese kingdom.

Overnight in Crato  including breakfast and lunch

Pousada Santa Maria Flor da Rosa

Day 6 - Friday, June 23
Marvão, Castelo de Vide
marvao castle site


Take a walking tour of Marvão, an impressive fortress town that served as an entry point to the thousands of Jews who fled Spain in the 14th and 15th centuries.  Head to Castelo de Vide and explore the remains of a large Jewish community that existed here in the 14th century. A Medieval Synagogue stands at the corner of the Rua da Judiaria and Rua da Fonte. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Castelo de Vide and see the original 14th-century stone ark for the Torah. Here we will learn how Jewish and Christian cultures coexisted even after the Edict of Expulsion.  Departure to Belmonte, check in to your historic hotel. Later transfer to the Bet Eliahu Synagogue for Kabbalat Shabbat Service, then return to your hotel and enjoy a Shabbat dinner.

Overnight in Belmonte including breakfast and dinner

Pousada Convento de Belmonte

Day 7 - Saturday, June 24
Synagogue Bet Eliahu

Synagogue Bet Eliahu
By Bricking, via Wikimedia Commons

Begin the day with a walking tour through Belmonte and a visit to the Jewish Museum and other museums and monuments. In the 20th century a significant community of Cryptic Jews, also called Marranos, was discovered in Belmonte.  Shortly after that Temple Bet Eliahu was built.  Enjoy lunch in Trancoso where Jewish merchants first settled in the 12th century. Visit Casa do Gato Negro, a house that used to belong to the Rabbi of this community. The town of Trancoso has recently begun honoring its Jewish heritage with the establishment of the Isaac Cardoso Center for Jewish Interpretation and a new synagogue called Beit Mayim Hayim – “the House of Living Waters.” The mezuzah affixed to the entrance of this synagogue is the first mezuzah to enter this village for hundreds of years. Return to Belmonte and enjoy time on your own.

Overnight in Belmonte including breakfast and dinner

Pousada Convento de Belmonte

Day 8 - Sunday, June 25
Convento de Cristo , round templar church

Convento de Cristo
By Alvesgaspar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Depart to Tomar for a tour of the Abraão Zacuto Museum, which in the 15th century was a Synagogue. This significant reminder of one of the greatest Sephardic Jewish communities classified as a National monument. This ancient Synagogue turned Museum houses Jewish gravestones, and the cornerstones of the 13th Century Synagogue of Belmonte, the 14th Century Lisbon Synagogue and various remains of Tomar’s medieval Jewish community. Visit Convento de Cristo which once served as the headquarters of the Order, which promoted the Portuguese Age of Discoveries. Depart to Lisbon, check in to your city center hotel and enjoy some free time to explore on your own. Tonight for dinner you will have an authentic Fado experience at a fantastic restaurant in Lisbon

Overnight in Lisbon including breakfast and dinner

Heritage Avenida da Liberdade Boutique Hotel

Day 9 - Monday, June 26
Lisbon including breakfast

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Recommended flight TAP 207 departing from Lisbon at 12:45PM and arriving at Newark at 3:50PM today.

The exact order of sightseeing each day is subject to change due to weather and operational conditions.

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Dates: June 18-26, 2017

Rates: per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 15 participants

Per person double occupancy: $2,450.00
Single room supplement: $470.00
* Note: All rates are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and are based on current exchange rate of 1.11 (as of July 2016)


4-Star HotelHeritage Avenida da Liberdade Boutique HotelPousada Santa Maria Flor da RosaPousada Convento de Belmonte
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