DISCOVER JEWISH PORTUGAL In Association with: JEWIS RENAISSANCE
Sunday 4th - 11th May 2014 - An 8 day 7 night trip from Porto This Tour through Sephardic Portugal begins in Porto and ends in Lisbon. Experience this beautiful diverse country with its spectacular Atlantic coastline, rolling wheat fields, silver olive trees, vineyards as far as the eye can see, stony outcrops crowned by ancient castles, and white-washed villages, that once sheltered Jewish communities. The Jewish presence in Iberia has existed long before Portugal itself became a country. The contribution of Portuguese Jews to the arts, philosophy, commerce and sciences helped create the rich cultural heritage of this nation. Our unique tour focuses on places of Jewish interest, as well as the fascinating people who continue to contribute to Portuguese society. These descendants of the Inquisition, often referred to as Marranos, are now known as the B’nai Anusim (Children of Oppression). Forced to convert during those awful days, many secretly, and over the centuries, retained their precious Jewish practices, as well as pride in their true heritage. Combine all this with an entire population that is discovering its Jewish roots, and renewing Jewish life in this beautiful land. Then add warm hospitality, fine wine and great food – and you'll discover a Portugal you never knew existed.
From Sunday, May 4th 2014 - RyanAir flight recommended from Stansted 9.25 am lands Porto 11. 45 am - As we have cancelled the 2 day trip option it is likely that the first night will be in PORTO and second night in Belmonte - giving people an opportunity to spend extra nights before organised trip
After arrival at Porto we meet our guide and board our coach that takes us to OPORTO for city tour Synagogue visit, old Medieval Jewish quarter together with kosher Port tasting and river cruise if time allows before returning those returning home on day 2 of trip for flight home from Porto airport. Overnight at Holiday Inn 4* Porto with dinner included
Monday after breakfast we visit Trancosa and hear about further converses and further evidence of the miracle of Jewish survival since inquisition times and view the modern Synagogue built in their memory recently. Proceed then to BELMONTE Our Guide & Historian PAOLO SCHEFFER of Lisbon Explorer explains the violent end and Unlikely Renaissance of Portugese Jewry we visit Belmonte Synagogue Beit Eliyahu & Jewish museum, its Juderia quarter and medieval castle. We meet the local community the descendants of of Marannos Converso Jews who remain and have their own Rabbi now before we head for our exquisite Pousada on hillside above Belmonte, for a kosher BBQ by the pool.
Tuesday Drive to Coimbra via Bucaco Forest, city tour of Coimbra visiting their famous library & University— overnight at Hotel Curia Palace Coimbra - Curia 4* with dinner
Wednesday we drive to Tomar, one of the oldest and most charming towns in Portugal. Visit the 15th Century Synagogue, now the Museum Luso-Hebraico Abraão Zacuto located on what was once Rua da Judiaria. We then travel to discover Castelo de Vide. By the 14th century a large Jewish community existed here. The Judiaria ran from the castle gate, down to the village fountain (Fonte da Vila) and on to the Rua Nova - Overnight Hotel Sol E Serra 3* that has a nice swimming pool with dinner at the hotel.
Thursday After breakfast we leave for Évora, via Portagem & Marvao an ancient city of narrow streets, unforgettable monuments and white, sun washed houses, is the finest example of a city of the golden age of Portugal: a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. Visiting Evora Library and University and then retiring to the Hotel Ma’r de ar Muralhas 4* with dinner
Friday On the way to LISBON we visit the delightful Sintra castle and Royal Castle within the peaks of a pine forest. Then we check in to our Lisbon Hotel then start a panoramic tour of Lisbon to discover the variety of heritage and styles making this one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals. We visit the Alfama Quarter, nestled between the grand Castle and the river Tagus, one of the city’s oldest areas and where a large Jewish Community lived in the Rua da Judiaria. Staying at the 5* Hotel Altis. Walk to the Lisbon’s Synagogue Shaare Tikva for Kabalat Shabbat. Shabbat dinner will be served for the group near the Synagogue.
Saturday morning free to enable those who want to attend Synagogue services [kosher lunch needs to be requested] Afternoon 2.30pm meet your guide in the hotel and start a Lisbon walking tour to Chiado district, the cultural and commercial centre of the capital. Panoramic night tour before our Final night dinner that includes a FADO show.
Final day SUNDAY free to relax in the city before transfer to Airport for recommended Tap Portugal flight back from Lisbon to Heathrow at 20.10 lands at 22.50
Price per person in a double or twin room £995 per person Single room supplement is £195. The tour includes: All hotel fees on B & B basis plus one additional meal per day Friday night kosher meal all tours coach and guide throughout including all museum fees but not airfares. To reserve a place a £300 deposit required for full trip and when 20 people confirm interest and pay deposit the trip will proceed and we will tell people which flights to book.