Itinerary for Portugal (Outline follows; details are at bottom)
Day 1: Depart for Lisbon.
Day 2: Arrive Lisbon airport Drive to Évora. Tour Évora.
Day 3: Tour neighboring parts of Alentejo, including the rug-making town of
Arraiolos and the walled town of Estremoz.
Day 4: Drive to Óbidos. A full day's drive with stops along the way in Coruche (where
the O Coruja café is
lined with tile panels showing bulls from the region) and the ceramic-making town of Caldas
da Rainha (lunch at fine restaurant owned by young couple from Belgium, Restaurante Comme Chez Nous, Rua de Camőes 39),
Day 5: Tour Óbidos. (Visit San Francisco vinyard in Bombarral and the seacoast
town of Peniche).
Day 6: Drive to Sintra and visit Sintra Palace. Take hilly Serra de Sintra roads
to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost land of continental Europe. Drive to Guincho near Cascais, on the Lisbon Coast. Stay
at the Forteleza (fortress) do Guincho Hotel. Rooms have ocean view and balcony.
Day 7: Drive to Lisbon Airport. Return rental car. Taxi to Lisbon. Tour Lisbon.
Day 8: Tour Lisbon.
Day 9: Depart Lisbon.
Hotel in Évora: Pousada dos Loios
Telephone from US: 011.351.2126.96.36.199.
Fax from US: 011.351.2188.8.131.52.
Rate: Euros 177 per room.
"Originally a 15th century monastery, the simple rooms in this elegant pousada were
converted from the monks' cells. Adjacent to the remains of a Roman temple of Diana." Source: Dorling Kindersley Guide.
"In the heart of historic centre of Évora, a city classified by UNESCO as World Heritage,
stands the Lóios Pousada, originally a convent and one of Évora's most precious architectural buildings. Staying at the Évora
Pousada is reliving history itself in each stone, each glance and each object." Source: Pousada website.
Hotel in Óbidos: Pousada do Castelo
Telephone from US: 011.351.2184.108.40.206 (This is the new number.)
Fax from US: 011.351.2220.127.116.11
Rate: Euros 195 per room.
"The novelist Graham Greene stayed in this stunning pousada, converted from a 15th
century royal castle." Source: Dorling Kindersley Guide.
"Within the centuries-old beautiful castle walls that encircle the village of Óbidos,
this Pousada was the first one to be adapted and restored from a historical monument, itself a monument of national importance.
Óbidos is a first rate tourist attraction, known for its typical white houses with blue trim, flowered windows, narrow streets
and steps paved with beautiful stone." Source: Pousada website.
Hotel in Guincho: Fortelaza do Guincho
Telephone from US: 011.351.214.87.04.91
Fax from US: 011.351.214.87.04.31
Rate: Euros 235 per room.
"Perched on a clifftop overlooking the ocean, this atmospheric hotel with arched
ceilings and medieval decor was once a fortress. The magnificent sandy beach of Guincho is backed by sand dunes with clumps
of umbrella pines, and a small fort [our hotel] stands perched on the rocks above the sea. Atlantic breakers rolling in make
this a paradise for experienced windsurfers and surfers, but beware of the strong undercurrent." Source: Dorling Kindersley Guide.
Dinner reservation at near-by Porto de Santa María, one of the best fish restaurant
in the Iberian Peninsula. 011.318.104.22.168.39 (closed Monday)
Hotel in Lisbon: Hotel Le Meridien Lisbon
Telephone from US: 001.322.214.171.124.00
Fax from US: 001.351.213.89.05.05
Address: RUA CASTILHO 149, LISBON PORTUGAL 1070
Euros 155 per room.
Le Meridien was recommended for two main reasons: (i) not extremely expensive and
(ii) from the high floors, ask for a room with views over La Alfama and Castelo de San Jorge. The neighborhood is very quiet
and you will be close to the main commercial areas of Lisbon. It's a modern hotel but the views are good; you can't be
in your hotel room much in a city like Lisbon. Ask them also to make a reservation for dinner at Gambrinus, the most famous
(and one of the most expensive) restaurants in Lisbon. We did not have a chance to try it.