Portugal stands somewhat alone in Europe, separated from everyone by its border with Spain. It‘s a small country, but it offers so much: a spectacular Atlantic coastline dotted with classic and historic fishing villages such as Nazare; majestic mountain ranges and dense forests; and vineyards as far as the eye can see alongside quaint, picturesque hamlets in the Doro Valley.READ MORE
History, monumental architecture, and religious and secular art all find expression in churches and monasteries, both ancient and modern. 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.Close this
We will meet at the airport to begin our tour at about noon time with sightseeing Lisbon.
Portugal‘s capital city sits astride the Tejo River estuary on the Atlantic coast. Lisbon, like Rome, is built upon seven hills.
The most famous hill is the Alfama, upon which the old city is built, as is Lisbon‘s ancient Jewish quarter.
We will visit the district of Belem (Portuguese for Bethlehem), a quarter built on the waterfront and where Vasco da Gama is buried. We will see the Tower of Belem and the monument to the explorers of Portugal. We will climb to the heights of St. George’s Castle overlooking the city and then descend via the winding alleyways of the ancient Alfama district, which also includes the Juderia (the Jewish Quarter). Overnight: Lisbon.
Today we will leave Lisbon for the charming town of Sintra, which offers fascinating architecture and a number of interesting museums, beautiful gardens and impressive palaces.READ MORE
Sintra in Portuguese means pink, and indeed this small town is all pink. Originally it was built as a summer palace for the kings of Portugal. We will see the unique palace with the huge chimneys above its kitchen. We will continue along the coast to the westernmost point of Europe, Cabo de Rocca, and continue to Cascais, the most prestigious resort town in Portugal, and see the “Devil’s throat.At the conclusion of this day full of experiences, we will return to our hotel in Lisbonl to prepare for Shabbat.Close this
After Shabbat services and lunch, we will take a walking tour of the area near our hotel. After Sabbat, we will go to a typical Fado folklore show. Overnight: Lisbon.
After breakfast we leave Lisbon and travel to Evora, the former capital of Portugal. In the walled city, which has been declared a cultural heritage site by UNESCO, we will find ruins including the oldest Roman Temple in Portugal.READ MORE
A Jewish community was once concentrated in the Juderia district and to this day remains can be found dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as symbols from the Inquisition period, when many “Marranos” were burned at the stake. This city was the headquarters of the Inquisition of Portugal.
We will continue to the small town of Castello de Vida .bordering Spain . Most of the town’s fame comes from the most impressive Juderia (Jewish Quarter) in Portugal. It contains the oldest synagogue in Portugal, now recently restored. In the synagogue there is a display showing the integration of Jews in the town’s famous textile industry and in various other industries. Here, the President of Portugal, Mario Suarez, apologized to the Jewish people for the terrible injustice and murder his people have committed. We will walk through paved alleys and hear about the community that lived here in the past and how they came to accept Christianity by royal decree. We will also see the fortress that gave the city its name. At the end of the tour we will drive to Marvao, the city of the hilltop citadel, and from there we’ll continue to the town of Castelo Branco- visit the Bishop’s Palace gardens-these gardens are one of the most original examples of the Baroque in Portugal. Overnight: Castelo Branco.
After breakfast we will head to Belmonte, built around a fortress from the 13th century. The town preserves the history of the Jews well – to such an extent that it is also home to a community former Marranos who, after 500 years without Jewish tradition, decided to return to Judaism in the 1980s.READ MORE
We will tour the city and visit the Jewish Museum, which presents a fascinating display of Jewish life during the period of the Inquisition. There is also an exceptional display dedicated to Jewish life in the Marrano villages. After visiting the museum, we will stop at the local synagogue, Beit Eliahu. We will continue to Vilar Formoso on the Portuguese-Spanish border. Here we will visit the new museum which tells the story of Aristidesde Sousa Mendesand the Jewish refugees during WWII. At the end of the visit we will go to Guarda, to visit the Jewish Quarter, to see the engravings of various shapes on the door frames of the Marranos. Overnight: Guarda.Close this
After breakfast, we will go to Trancoso which was an important and noble Jewish center in the Middle Ages. We will visit the Synagogue and the Jewish Museum.READ MORE
We continue to Porto where we will take a tour of the city: we will see the old train station, the town hall, the Stock Exchange building. In the Jewish part of the tour we will visit the Jewish Museum, the Synagogue named after the well- known philanthropist Kadori. Here a small community of Jews operates alongside many Bnei Annusim who have begun to return to Judaism in recent years. We will take a cruise on an “antique” riverboat under the bridges.Close this
After breakfast, we will drive to Bussaco forest, a natural reserve near Coimbra that is mostly a wild forest. The royal family of Portugal had built a summer palace here that still exists today.READ MORE
We will visit Coimbra, a beautiful city built on a cliff and surrounded by a river. We will visit the local University, the oldest in Portugal and King Joao’s library built in the baroque style and containing about 300,000 ancient books. Next we will drive to the old town of Tomar and visit there the ancient Synagogue built in 1430 and named after Rabbi Avraham Zacuto, an astronomer and mathematician after whom a crater on the moon was named. We will stroll through the quiet streets of the town, between ancient buildings and conservation sites, and see the impressive 12th century fortress – a Templar monastery that dominates the city. Overnight: Tomar.Close this
We start the day early to go to Alcobaca, here the UNESCO-recognized centerpiece of the 12th-century Alcobaça Monastery was one of Portugal’s first Gothic buildings. We will tell the story of the Jewish queen of Portugal.READ MORE
We will continue to the charming town of Óbidos, given as a wedding gift by the king of Portugal to his beloved queen in the 15th century. We will tour the fortress city between the walls and gates where the special and authentic character of a fortress town in Portugal is preserved. In 1951 the castle and the entire village were classified as national monuments and, in 2007, it was voted one of the seven wonders of Portugal.
Our fascinating trip to Portugal is coming to its end. We will go to the Lisbon airport to fly back home.
First class and 5* hotels on b/b basis (Kosher products)
Entrance fees as per the itinerary
Comfortable air conditioned touring coach
Kosher supplies for making sandwiches for lunch
Kosher dinners at local Kosher restaurants. Kosher vegetarian fish dinners at hotels- supervised by Avi
Tips for local service providers
Professional experienced English-speaking guide- Mr Avi Feldman
International flights and taxes
Travel & Health Insurance
Tip for our Tour Guide (Recommended: $5 per person per day)
There may be changes to the order of places visited. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary.
The tour organizers have no control over airline services such as seating, special meal requests, changes in departure times or delays. These remain the sole responsibility of the airline company.
Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.
Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.
It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.
A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 60 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.
• 60 working days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
• 30-59 working days prior to departure 25% of total per passenger
• 15-29 days prior to departure: 50% of total per passenger
• Less than 30 working days prior to departure: 100% of total – no refund
• We strongly recommend purchasing Travel insurance