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Santarem, Tomar, Obidos - full day
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Program
We leave Lisbon towards North through Estremadura province enjoying a landscape of vineyards, cork trees, pine
and eucalyptus forests. We arrive to Santarem for a sightseeing of this ancient city, inhabited by ancient people
and so full of legends. It’s the capital of Ribatejo province and bullfights in Portugal. Ribatejo is also renowned for
both its red and white wine. Santarem was once called the Portuguese Gothic capital, due to several churches,
monasteries and convents; the centre of the city still keeps a few traces of the old days. At the entrance of the
historic center, stop at the XIII century “Milagres" church, known for a small crystal flask in the sacristy that is
said to contain the blood of Christ, according to a 13th century legend. Indeed the architectural highlight of Santarem
is the early 15th century Igreja de Graca.
There's a choice of good value cafes and restaurants, many around the Rua Capelo e Ivens and Rua Dr Jaime Figueiredo
behind the market, leading to the Portas do Sol. An old Moorish castle, overlooking the river, is one of the best spots
of Santarém. Also, Cabacas Tower is 22 metres high. From the top of the tower we can enjoy a beautiful sight of all
the Historical Centre of Santarém.
Santarem, Tomar, Obidos tours

Proceed to Tomar, famous for the convent of Christ and castle, one of the best, if not the best well-preserved temples of the Knight
Templars - stop for a visit. World Heritage to UNESCO, this is the highlight of the town. Special attention must be given to the main
facade of the church, to the "Charola", a chapel inspired in eastern architecture, and above all to the Manueline window, considered
the top of that Portuguese style. But even the cloisters and the functional area of the convent deserve your attention. Sightseeing of this
millenarian city, famous for its churches, synagogues, castles and festivals. The old quarters preserve much of their traditional charm,
with whitewashed, terraced cottages lining narrow cobbled streets that frame the convent above. Tomar is charmingly situated just north
of the lower Tagus river, on its tributary, the Nabao, in the fertile Ribatejo landscape of central Portugal. The little Rio Nabao divides
this attractive small town into a west end and an east end, with the old center around the Praça da República west of the river and a
lovely park on a sandbank in the river.

Continue to the beautiful and very ancient walled town called Obidos. A medieval city surrounded by the walls of the castle with picturesque
narrow streets, whitewashed houses, iron balconies, flower pots in every window. Inhabited by Romans and Arabs, this was the dwelling
place of the Portuguese court for more than 500 years. We’ll walk through the feudal streets up to the main square close to the highest castle-
tower, from where you can enjoy a nice view over the countryside and Obidos. Walking the ramparts, visitors can enjoy views of windmills,
vineyards and surrounding farmlands. Time to visit the many handicraft shops and wine taverns with the local liqueur “Ginginha”. Just walk
around and let the streets lead you into the steep alleyways with colourfully framed houses.
 
Santarem excursion and day trips
 
...Santarém has 3 000 years of History embedded in its hills. Famous among Romans, Visigoths, Muslims
and finally becoming Santarém, following the reconquest of the town by the Portuguese, when it acquired
the title of "forever Noble and Loyal". The Igreja do Santíssimo Milagre contains a treasure explained by
a 13th century legend. It is said that holy water being used by a priest to persuade a husband to refrain
from beating his spouse, suddenly turned into blood. The small glass vial, which rests in the church to this
day, is said to contain the blood of Christ. Santarém is an important bullfighting center. Bullfighting is like a
final exam, after long years of hard work when the Ribatejan excels himself with audacity, courage, gallantry
and chivalry...
 
 
…Tomar was founded as head-quarters of the Knights Templar in Portugal in the 12th century and contains some
of the most significant Templar monuments in Europe. Tomar was especially important in the 15th century when
it was a centre of Portuguese overseas expansion under Henry the Navigator, the Grand Master of the Order of
Christ, successor organization to the Templars in Portugal. The organization existed for approximately two
centuries in the Middle Ages. It was founded in the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096, to ensure the safety of
the many Europeans who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem after its conquest. After they were suppressed, they
were transformed in Portugal into the Order of Christ, which played and important role in the maritime expansion…
Tomar tours
 
Obidos sightseeing tours
 
...Perched on a hill rising out of an agricultural plain, Óbidos is one of Portugal’s picturesque gems. From
its lofty centre one gazes upon expanses of vineyards speckled with whirling windmills and terracotta-
roofed homesteads. Nearer, narrow cobbled streets, lined typically with whitewashed, bougainvillaea-
draped houses, wind up to the walled interior. The region was the westernmost limit of the Roman
Empire. Under Portuguese rule, Obidos flourished into a major trading port. Every Portuguese queen
was given Obidos as a wedding present. Obidos continues to be a popular destination during the summer,
when tourists jam the streets to explore the city’s medieval charm....
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