Follow the riveting trail of the Knights Templar on a 3-day history tour from Lisbon. Learn the story of the Templars and their impact on Portugal in scenic locations such as the bohemian village of Sintra. Go to Tomar and the Almourol Castle.
What to Expect
Travel back to the Middle Ages and learn the story of the Knights Templar in Portugal on a 3-day history tour from Lisbon. Discover how they arrived in Portugal at the time of Countess Teresa (mother of the 1st Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques), and the part they played in the birth of the nation. Visit some of Portugal’s most beautiful villages close to the capital, including the whimsical palaces and castles of Sintra, and the important fortress of Almourol Castle. See stunning examples of Manueline architecture, and much more.
Day 1: Lisbon - Almourol - Tomar
Your journey begins with a visit to one of the most representative monuments of the Knights Templar at Almourol Castle. Located on a small island in the River Tagus, the fortress is one of Europe’s most emblematic monuments with regards to the Templars. It was part of the defensive line controlled by the Knights Templar, and a stronghold used during the Portuguese Reconquista.
Continue to the Convent of Tomar to discover the headquarters of the Knights Templar in one of Portugal’s most beautiful buildings. Marvel at the imposing bulwark of the castle, and see the Charola, considered the best preserved Templar church. Gaze at the enigmatic Manueline window and main cloister to see a masterpiece of the European Renaissance. Then, visit the Church of St. John the Baptist (the Matrix church of Tomar) to look at the renovations of King Manuel, a former governor of the Order. Next, go to the Church of Santa Maria dos Olivais to admire a fine example of Gothic architecture that served as the pantheon for the Grand Masters of the Order, and a template for the churches. Check into your hotel in Tomar for the night.
Day 2: Tomar - Dornes - Batalha - Alcobaça - Sintra
Today you will go to the pretty village of Dornes on the banks of the River Tagus. Tour the Templar Tower, also known as the “Tower of Dornes.” Then, go to the Centro Interpretação Batalha Aljubarrota (CIBA) to learn more about the Battle of Aljubarrota. Re-live one of the most important battles of medieval Europe, and discover its impact on Portuguese unity and identity. Hear about the canonical religious master in the Order of Christ, Lopo Dias de Sousa, and how he proved a defining and fundamental figure during this period.
Next, go to the Monastery of Alcobaça to see the church that contains one of the largest Cistercian abbeys in Europe. Admire an architectural masterpiece built on the orders of Afonso Henriques (the founding King of Portugal), and charged to Saint Bernardo de Claraval, principal abbot in the Cistercian order and a great mentor in the Order of the Knights Templar. Transfer to Sintra to check into your hotel for the night.
Day 3: Sintra - Lisbon
Start you final day at the beautiful Quinta da Regaleira, and see a leading example of the Romantic architectural style. Experience one of the most mysterious places in Portugal. Learn some of the secrets of the enchanting surroundings, replete with neo-Templar symbols such as the initiation well. Return to Lisbon via the Tower of Belém, and see the Portuguese monument to the “Age of Discoveries.” Then, go to the National Navy Museum to learn more about Portugal’s maritime adventures. Hear about great explorers, such as Prince Henry the Navigator, and about the part King Manuel played in the discovery of new worlds.
- Transportation by air-conditioned bus or minivan, as per the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast in the following hotels (or similar): Hotel dos Templários (Tomar); Hotel Tivoli Sintra (Sintra)
- Entrance to the following monuments: Castelo de Almourol; Castelo e Convento de Tomar; Igreja de São Joao Baptista; Igreja Santa Maria dos Olivais; Torre Templaria de Dornes; CIBA (Centro Interpretação Batalha Aljubarrota); Quinta da Regaleira; Torre Belem; Museu da Marinha
What's Not Included
- Other expenses not mentioned in "what's included"
- Porterage fees at hotels
- Meals (lunch, dinner)
- Entrance fees other than those mentioned in "what's included"
Know Before You Go
• Tours depart Lisbon at 09:00 on Day 1
• Tours start on Thursdays (on guaranteed dates)
• Tours are held in Portuguese, English, Spanish, and French