Bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal, one of Europe’s best kept secrets is a wonderful alternative to the over-populated regions of Europe. Influenced over the years by many different cultures, each has left its thumbprint on history and traditions, making Portugal a truly interesting destination.
There is a long, long list of things visitors can do while visiting Portugal.
Follow the legacy of Portuguese Jewry through good times and bad. On arrival in Lisbon you will be immediately transferred to Evora, capital of Alentejo. This enchanting town prides itself on its crowning jewel, the Roman Temple of Evora dating from the first century. Next is the huge San Francisco Church housing the unusual Chapel of Bones. There are no signs to mark the Jewish Quarter, but it truly existed. There is nothing left in the Old Jewish Quarter other than the Rua de la Judaria in the medieval Alfama district.Take a short stroll through the narrow labyrinth style streets connected to the main square. Pass the hilltop village of Marvao on your way to Castelo de Vide where a sea of red-roofed houses clings to the hillside. At the edge of the Jewish Quarter you will find the 13th century Synagogue, the oldest in Portugal.
Travelling through the rugged landscape we come to the village of Belmonte, home to a crypto-Jewish community who after being banned by the Inquisition practiced their religion secretly. Welcoming their first Rabbi in 1993, many Jewish families still live in the Jewish Quarter. Travelling via Guarda and Tancoso we reach Lamego and visit one of the farms in the famed Douro Valley before leaving for Porto.
See the Cathedral and Stock Exchange of Porto followed by a tasting of this rich bodied wine. Journey through Portuguese Rome stopping to view the regal staircase of the Sanctuary of Bon Jesus do Monte. Focusing our sights on the village of Guimaraes, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the well preserved town centre. Travelling along the coast we pass Aveiro with its colored boats, Bucaco with its lush flora and fauna arriving in the university city of Coimbra. In Tomar we stop to see the synagogue on our way to Batalha and its monastery. Of special interest is the quaint fishing village of Nazare. Pause at the spell binding monastery in Alcobaca where King D. Pedro and D. Ines de Castro were laid to rest. We are now on our way to the world renowned sanctuary of Fatima to take part in the evening Candle Procession.
Encased in mediaeval walls, the fortified town of Obidos is our next stop. Just 100 Kms. north of Lisbon, its beautifully blue tiled chapel is the focal point of the town. Closer to Lisbon is the resort town of Sintra with its hidden mansions and palaces decorating the landscape. Without a doubt the strikingly colourful Pena Palace is a unique structure. As we get closer to Lisbon we pass the seaside resorts of Cascais and Estoril. Back in Lisbon we visit St. Georges Castle overlooking the city center and the Tagus River. This mediaeval Moorish castle built in the mid 11th century once home to the Kings of Portugal can be seen from any viewpoint in the city. Definitely a must see is the Monument to the Discoveries commemorating the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. Other attractions include the Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery.
Explore the rich history of Portugal preserved in its monuments and museums, churches and homes. Everywhere you look there are constant reminders of the uniqueness of Portugal whether in its cuisine, its picture perfect landscape, its rich assortment of museums, its historical sites, its shopping streets, its achingly beautiful Fado music or its sweet port wines. There is a lot to see. You might have to come back again to finish your touring.Portugal is waiting to be discovered. Come with us and experience Portugal.
We just returned from Israel on an IBMT Bar Mitzvah Tour for our three grandsons. We had enough family members to warrant our own bus. After checking out many tour companies we went with IBMT and all of us were glad we did. The hotels were fabulous and the rooms allotted even more so. From the INBAL in Jerusalem, KFAR BLUM in the Galilee, the SHERATON in Tel Aviv, to the ROYAL BEACH in Eilat we couldn’t have asked for more. Our meals were equally excellent. Beginning with a welcome reception ...
We recently returned from a IBMT Tour for our son’s Bar Mitzvah and we all agree that it was the best vacation that we have taken to date. The tour was well organized and the staff were friendly and very knowledgeable. The events that they include in the tour include everything “must see” in Israel and activities that will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. The tour allows for activities for all ages and accommodates anyone who wants to do more or less than they have planned. It is ...
To Ornan and IBMT Tours staff,
We just got back from tour with IBMT for our Bat Mitzvah Tour in Israel.
We are so glad we have chosen the right company for our tour as I can’t express my words of how wonderful this tour company was, starting before we left, the personal service they showed here back home and later the service in Israel with our great tour guide Natalie who was so informative on every place we went and what we saw. It was so wonderful to listen to a ...
The visit to Israel was better than advertised. All of us had an awesome and inspiring vacation or as I call it, an education. Danny is one of the nicest and smartest men I have had the pleasure of meeting. He made the trip so special and I cannot imagine any other person showing us Israel but Danny.
Hotels were great but for Eilat, but no big deal. Food in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv restaurants were delicious. Sheila in Tel Aviv was extraordinary. Dinners at hotels just “so so”. Loved Mitzpe ...
Thank you very much for the IBMT Bat Mitzvah tour we just completed. We had a fabulous time & there were lots of special little parts from the tour that contributed to that. The different experiences for dinner were very special, and I liked the variety of different types of sites/attractions. Our tour guide Natalie was excellent, and I heard good things from the other group about their guide Liat.
9 Days Holyland Tour
Sara / Ornan,
I had a fabulous time on this tour and highly recommend it to anyone interested. We had an especially knowledgeable guide with us Doron Hoffman who as a history major added so much more information and had a great demeanor. I was part of an international group and made some new friends.
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