New Year’s 2019 in Portugal:

Historic Lisbon & the Island Paradise of Madeira

December 29, 2019 to January 7, 2020

10 days for $1798*

Hosted by José Catalán and Lance Wilson

Included features:

  • Deluxe and superior first class hotels in Lisbon and Madeira

  • Full breakfast daily

  • Full day excursion of Sintra, Cascais &  Estoril Coast with lunch

  • Half day excursion of Lisbon & Monuments

  • Half day excursion Funchal & Monte

  • Full West Madeira & Porto Moniz with lunch

  • Airport transfers in Lisbon and Madeira

Options:

  • LIMITED OFFER: Round trip economy class on British Airways from Phoenix and TAP Air Portugal for $2049 including airline taxes and fees; upgrade to premium economy British Airways flights between Phoenix and Lisbon for only $445 more round trip; upgrade to business class with flat beds for $2599* more round trip. Other cities are available.

  • Fado New Year’s Eve Dinner and Show $149* including transfers

  • Half day excursion Cultural Funchal in Madeira $89

  • Hotel accommodation upgrades to deluxe rooms and junior suites

*Per person, double, subject to change and availability. 

What Frommer’s Travel Guide says about Lisbon and Madeira:

Lisbon

“Bathed in pure Atlantic light, crowned by the storybook St. George's Castle and straddling seven hills, Lisbon is one of Europe's most visually striking capitals. Looks aside, the city will surely win you over with its genuine friendliness and blissfully laid-back pace. At once nostalgic and progressive, Lisbon's charm shines through in everyday life. Listen to the mournful Fado songs in the Moorish Alfama's alleys; indulge in custard tarts in gilded Art Nouveau patisseries.”

The Island of Madeira

“The island's craggy spires and precipices of umber-dark basalt end with a sheer drop into the blue water of the Atlantic Ocean, which is so deep near Madeira that large sperm whales often come close to the shore. If you stand on the sea-swept balcony of Cabo Girão, one of the world's highest ocean cliffs (1935 ft. above sea level), you'll easily realize the island's Edenlike quality, which inspired Luís Vaz de Camões, the Portuguese national poet, to say Madeira lies "at the end of the world."

 
 

Day by day itinerary

Sunday, December 29 – Welcome to Portugal!

On our optional flights from Phoenix on British Airway departing the evening of Saturday, December 28 and arriving the afternoon of December 29. Other US cities are available.

Our Hosts in Portugal will meet us at the airport for our private transfer to our hotel.  When you arrive in Lisbon the capital of Portugal and Europe's second-oldest capital, you will understand why everyone talks about its special light. The almost constant presence of sunshine and the close relation with the River Tejo transforms the Portuguese capital into a mirror of infinite colors - highlighting the city’s unique architecture and beauty. There are so many things to see and do in Lisbon that you will be happy to lose yourself in the streets as you walk through Lisbon you will find streets filled with heritage monuments, belvederes with breathtaking views, and the narrow typical streets of the old neighborhoods where the city was first developed. The modern side of the city also captivates with architectural masterpieces.  At night, the options are endless.  You can discover more about the soul of the city a a “Fado” house or visit the bohemian bars and riverside clubs at Bairo Alto and Santos.

December weather in Lisbon is mostly sunny about 60F in the daytime and 48F at night.

The 5-Star Pestana Palace Hotel December 29 to January 2 - A member of “The Leading Hotels of the World.” Our hotel for the next four nights is the 194-room Pestana Palace located in a 19th century palace in a residential area of Lisbon. Its gardens, filled with a variety of plants and subtropical trees, are classified as "National Monument.” The hotel is located near some of the most important monuments of the city, such as Centro Cultural de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. In the Palace building we can find the chapel, the hotel's reception, salons, bar and the Valle Flôr restaurant, all profusely decorated, with French-inspired details. The private quarters of the Marquises have been turned into beautiful and spacious suites. Here, likewise, works of art decorate the walls, complemented by elegant antique furniture and by luxury sofas. Pestana Palace ranks among the most luxurious and refined hotels in the world.

Monday, December 30 – Included full-day private tour of Sintra, Cascais and Estoril  (B, L)

Since most of the important monuments of Lisbon are closed on Monday, we have arranged a full-day journey exploring the World Heritage Site of Sintra where hundreds of years of history and culture await you. The first stop will be a short walk in the old city center where you'll find yourself surrounded by old houses now converted into small quaint handicraft shops and traditional pastry shops. Driving around the mountain we will pass amazing Portuguese Royal Palaces, chalets, and aristocratic residences in the most incredible combination of architectural styles, colors, and shapes that you will find in Portugal. After a lunch break in one of the many traditional restaurants and browsing through hundreds of years of history it will be time to relax by driving to the town of Cascais. Once a small fishing village, the town of Cascais managed to maintain its seafaring traditions combined with the aristocratic and royal presences of the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Walking by its animated town center you'll find the cosmopolitan life side by side with the Atlantic. We return to Lisbon in the late afternoon for a relaxing evening at our luxurious hotel or in this vibrant city.

Tuesday, December 31 Included half-day private tour of Lisbon. In today included half-day tour you to discover Lisbon, capital of Portugal, colonized by many civilizations along the centuries: Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors and finally the Portuguese after 1147. This city is linked with the heroic deeds of the Portuguese maritime exploration, in the 15th and 16th centuries. This was the Age of Discoveries and the Golden Era of Portugal, transforming Lisbon into the opulent center of a vast empire. Part of the wealth from these expeditions was used to build magnificent monuments in a unique Portuguese style such as the extravagant Manueline architectural style best typified in Jerónimos Monastery. Some of these monuments can still be seen, especially in the area of Belém, was used to build magnificent monuments in a unique Portuguese style: the architectural style, best typified in Jerónimos Monastery. Some of these monuments can still be seen, especially in the area of Belém. But Lisbon has more than just monuments! We will visit also the traditional commerce zones of the city, with their 18th century buildings: the Downtown and the Chiado. In short, our tour includes all the best that Lisbon has to offer! This afternoon you are free to relax at our hotel enjoying the many amenities and prepare for tonight’s celebration beginning with a private cocktail pre-dinner gathering and an optional Fado Show and dinner.

Optional New Year’s Eve Fado show and dinner ($149* including transfers) Most likely, you have already heard of Fado, the national song style of Portugal. Fado means fate and it's always sung with emotion and well-known Portuguese Singers that sing in great events all over the world. The singers, both male and female, have voices capable of transmitting the feeling and soul of the song being performed. It is so intense that you don't even need to understand Portuguese to understand the song theme. Fado usually is about sorrow, longing for  a  lost  love,  tragedy, fate and destiny, love and jealousy, criticizes society, and also talks about the daily  life -- a lady selling  flowers on the street, fisherman coming back from fishing, country and city life.

Wednesday, January 1 - Free day in Lisbon or optional sightseeing to Fatima Shrine. Today, you’ll have a free day to relax and enjoy the amenities at our hotel, explore Lisbon on your own or discover the region such as an optional tour to the Catholic shrine of Fatima and the UNESCO-listed holy convent of Batalha only 1 1/2 – hours from Lisbon. Afterwards, you’ll discover the romantic medieval village of Óbidos before relaxing in the delightful seaside resort of Nazaré and explore the medieval village of Obidos. 

Thursday, January 2 – Fly to Funchal, Madeira “The Garden Paradise Island”                                 

This morning our hosts will drive us to the airport for our 1 1/2-hour non-stop flight to Madeira. Upon arrival, our Virtuoso hosts will provide transfers to our hotel. Madeira is one of the two main islands which compose the archipelago under the same name. Madeira is a Portuguese territory on the Atlantic Ocean around 310 miles from the African Coast and 620 miles from mainland Europe. The archipelago was discovered by Portuguese explorers in 1418 and given the name of Madeira (meaning wood), due to the abundance of vegetation. Beyond Madeira Island, the archipelago includes also the Island of Porto Santo and the uninhabited islands Selvagens and Desertas.

The island combines different attractions, such as nature, mountain, and the main city of Funchal is famous for its friendly people and exceptional natural beauty. Madeira’s natural environment includes the Laurissilva Forest, a subtropical rainforest which once covered the whole island, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Many national products like its Madeira wine and embroidery have lasted for centuries. Madeira has a mild and pleasant sub-tropical climate of about 65F in winter.

Our hotel for the next four nights is the 5-Star Pestana Grand, one of the best hotels in Funchal. It sits upon the Ponta da Cruz cliff with a view of the ocean and Cabo Girão. It is only 30 minutes on foot from Formosa beach and has direct access to Promenade do Lido, the famous promenade in Madeira. Surrounded by magnificent gardens is the island’s largest outdoor saltwater swimming pool with views of the sea. The hotel has a Spa with Jacuzzi, sauna, gym, Turkish bath, and a panoramic indoor swimming pool. For dining, guests can enjoy four restaurants.

Friday, January 3rd – Included half day tour of Funchal and Monte Toboggans. On our included tour our guides will show us the best areas of Madeira’s capital Funchal and   the   nearby Monte. The   tour   will   start   at   the   local   market with flower sellers wearing the bright traditional customs, fruits, and vegetables stands around a central patio and. At the bottom of the stairs, you will find the fish market, where, among other species caught in this part of  the  Atlantic,  you  will  see  the  amazing  scabard  fish  (peixe-espada). The road will then take us to Monte where we have the opportunity to enjoy the shade of its big sycamores, walk through the gardens, and climb the stairs to the Church of Our Lady of the Monte. The best way to get back down to Funchal is by taking one of the exciting “Monte Toboggans.” The Toboggans first originated in the early 19th century as Funchal´s first means of downhill public transportation. Made primarily out of wicker and wood these toboggans are driven by two men (carreiros) dressed in white with straw hats and black rubber boots that are used as brakes. Afterwards we visit a winery where we will sample the various types of the world famous Madeira wine. In the afternoon we return to our hotel to enjoy sightseeing on your own or the many amenities of our hotel. Afternoon and Evening free.

Saturday, January 4 – Included full day West Madeira & Porto Moniz tour with lunch, Today we have an included full-day West Madeira - Porto Moniz tour discoving the variety of Natural sites that the Island has to offer. We leave Funchal along the costal road towards the small fishing village of Câmara de Lobos famous for being the inspiration of some many of Winston Churchill's paintings. 

After this first stop there will be time to make a detour and visit the most famous Cape of Madeira: the Cabo Girão, the highest promontory in Europe and the second highest in the world at close to 2000 feet. A short break will allow us to visit this pleasant seaside village before going up to Serra de Água and as far as Encumeada. From here we join S. Vicente crossing the amazing and unique laurisilva forest, protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Arriving at the coast, we head towards Porto Moniz along the road that has been carved through rocks and is a testament to human persistence and will to conquer the land. Once in Porto Moniz, we will enjoy pleasant lunch in a local restaurant by the natural pools. On the way back to Funchal, we head toward Paúl da Serra, a 4600-feet high plateau and descend towards the coast to Ponta do Sol, Ribeira Brava and take the motorway road homeward to Funchal arriving in the late afternoon.  Evening free.

Sunday, January 5th – Free day or optional half-day tour of cultural Funchal. A free day to enjoy Funchal on your own or take the optional Cultural Funchal tour. At the historical center of the city of Funchal, you find government buildings and stately 18th century houses with iron balconies overlooking the harbor that attracted early settlers in the 15th century. In the old town you’ll find the main monuments and attractions as well as the ancient fishermen’s houses, some now turned into lively restaurants. Among the main monuments are the Museum of Natural History, the oldest museum in the Madeira Archipelago. You will also visit the Blandy wineries, where you will enjoy a wine tasting. Afternoon and evening are free to enjoy Madeira on your own, shop or relax in the spa or pools of our luxurious hotel.   

Monday, January 6 - Return to Lisbon  Our hosts will transfer us to the airport for our 1 ½-hour non-stop flight to Lisbon. On arrival we will be transferred to the TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto Hotel, conveniently located next to the terminal and minutes away from several bus stops which will take you anywhere in Lisbon for last minute shopping and sightseeing.

Tuesday, January 7 – Fly home or extend your holiday in Morocco or Europe. After breakfast at our hotel, our local hosts will transfer us to the airport for our optional British Airways flights home arriving in the US that same evening.

Optional extensions in Europe or Morocco are available.

Boa Viagem!    

For information and reservations please email SeasideJourneys@earthlink.net

Our exclusive 360 Group Choice Protection Plan

Cancellation, medical & emergency evacuation

Not age-related

Included coverage:

  • Pre-existing condition exclusion waiver if purchased within 14 days of deposit *

  • First Payer emergency medical and dental expenses up to $25,000

  • Trip Delay $1000

  • Baggage Delay $250 / Baggage and Personal Effects $1,500

  • Emergency Medical Evacuation / Repatriation $150,000

Sample trip cancellation and medical insurance sample costs:

    $1 - $500

    $501 - $1000  

$1001 - $1500

$1501 - $2000

$2001 - $3000

$3,001 - $4,000

$4,001 - $5,000

$5,001 - $6,000

$6,001 - $7,000

$7,001 - $8,000

$8,001 - $9,000

  $9,001 - $10,000

$ 50

$ 75

$ 105

$ 137

$ 187

$ 248

$ 313

$ 373

$ 435

$ 498

$ 559

$ 621

* This is a partial description of benefits. Pre-existing Look Back Period 60 days. Benefits and rates are per person. Rates are subject to change. Certain conditions, exclusions, and limitations apply as set out in the Travel Insurance Certificate. Please refer to the applicable Travel Insurance Certificate for full details. Claims are assessed based on documentation submitted at time of clam).  Insurance is non-refundable.

Deposit Policy: A deposit of $300.00 per person is required to secure a confirmed reservation.Air seats are limited; airfares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until full payment of air is received. The final balance is due no later than 90 days prior to departure. Promotions may have different payment terms. Please refer to the offer as specified on the invoice. All reservations are subject to cancellation and/or cancellation charges if payments are not received by the due date.

 

Cancellation Policy: If received in writing by August 29, 2019: $200.00 per person; 120-60 days prior to time of departure: 50% of Full Fare; 59-30 days prior to time of departure: 75% of Full Fare; 29-0 days prior to time of departure: 100% of Full Fare. Trip cancellation, medical and emergency evacuation insurance for medical reasons is available and highly recommended.

Services Provided by Airlines: Airlines reserve the right to change routing from each gateway city. Air fares are subject to availability and change until ticketed.  Once confirmed airline tickets must be purchased within 48 hours and are non-refundable.  Insurance is highly recommended.

Responsibility: All arrangements are under the direction of tour companies and hotels. Protravel International Inc. and the agents selling these tours act only as agents for owners or contractors providing means of transportation or other services which are offered or provided. Under such foregoing circumstances the tour company hotels and Protravel International Inc. and its agents shall not become liable or responsible in any way in connection with such means of transportation or other services or any loss, injury, damage or delay to or in respect to any person, their luggage or other property however caused or arising. Schedules outlined are offered and accepted on the express condition that the dates and itineraries may be changed, be it flights, bus, hotels, vessels, sightseeing or special features if felt beneficial. No responsibility shall be assumed for loss or additional expense incurred due to circumstances beyond their control. The right is reserved to withdraw any tour (in which case refund will be made) and to make any alterations in the itinerary as may be necessary or desirable and to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of any tour at any time. The carriers are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time passengers are not on their conveyance. All rates are based upon current tariffs, taxes, surcharges, etc., and are subject to the adjustment to changes prior departure.

For information and reservations please email SeasideJourneys@earthlink.net

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