Arrive in Lisbon and stay overnight for one day, pick up rental car in the morning and drive to Batalha, visiting Sintra on the way. The airport is only 25 mins away from downtown so it's easy to pick a hotel. We plan to experience nightlife at the docks firsthand so chose a hotel that's close by.
This city holds a special place in the hearts of all the Portuguese. Rich in its history and is the oldest seat of learning in Portugal with a University founded on the 13th of August in 1290 by King Dinis. This makes it one of the oldest in the world.
The Sé Velho was originally built in the 12th Century and is one of the best examples of Romanesque churches in Portugal. The Sé Nova was built at the turn of the 16th Century by the Jesuits to demonstrate their growing strength within the country.
In the city there are many churches that are also worth visiting, especially from the 12th Century.
In a tradition from the distant past, the students by wearing colour ribbons which they attach to their gowns, indicate to which faculty to whom they belong. Every year in May when the academic year ends they ceremonially burn these ribbons and a enthusiastic celebration takes place. This event is called, "Queima das Fitas". The students also reflect their optimistic attitude to life and culture by singing a lighter and happier version of their very special traditional songs that are generally referred to as "Fados da Coimbra".
Amarante is a beautiful town on the river Tamega, a tributary of the Douro. You can enjoy sitting by the river for a picnic lunch and watching the innumerable yellow wagtails and women washing long carpets in the river and stretching them out to dry.
An interesting monument in Amarante is the Bridge on the River Tâmega, built on the XIII century. An other ancient monument of notable interest is the convent of São Gonçalo, tied up to an ancient popular tradition: on the first Saturday of June takes place a pilgrimage in honour of the Saint, patron of the fiancés .During the party the fiancés give one another some typical sweetmeat as a present. In the old times the girls went to beg the Saint to find them a husband! Actually they do it now too!
The Region of Douro starts approximately one hundred kilometres east of Porto, to the border with Spain. It covers approximately 250,000 hectares, of which 40,000 are under vine.
The Port vineyards are planted along the steep, spectacular hills overlooking the River Douro and its tributaries. Generations of men and women have toiled tirelessly to build terraces into the rock face (an essential element for supporting the vines on these slopes) that created an impressive landscape of unequalled beauty where stifling hot, dry summers are followed by harsh, wet winters.