Follow fascinating routes to discover history

Come and discover the heart of Portugal by following its four itineraries which include three of Portugal’s most important monuments classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Monastery of Alcobaça, The Convent of Christ, and the Monastery of Batalha. Linked to key episodes in Portuguese history, these exquisite monuments combine various architectural styles. The oldest, the Monastery of Alcobaça, was founded by Portugal’s first king for the Order of Cistercians, which played an essential role in Portugal’s agricultural and cultural development. The Convent of Christ – where one still senses the mystique of the Knights Templar – is located next to the castle built in 1160 by the Military Order, which chose Tomar as the bastion for defense and expansion of the territory conquered from the Moors. The Monastery of Batalha – a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture – affirms Portuguese independence from the powerful Kingdom of Castille.

There’s far more to discover in this region. The “Treasure of the Templars” route is the ideal two-day itinerary for those who enjoy chivalric romances. Starting in Tomar, a sacred geographical center for the Knights Templar, this itinerary will introduce you to their symbols – in the Church of Santa Maria do Olival, where initiation ceremonies were held, or the Round Church of the Convent of Christ, where the knights used to hear mass. Travel through the region and visit the Castle of Almourol, perched on a rocky island in the middle of the river Tagus, or visit the Tower of Dornes, a rare example of military architecture.

Surrender to the power of local legends, myths, and mysteries in the “Paths of the Faith” that will take you to Fatima – one of the world’s most important sanctuaries dedicated to the Virgin Mary built next to the site where three child shepherds saw Our Lady. You’ll find a genuine medieval setting in the town of Óbidos, and in Ourém, learn about the legend of the Moorish princess who fell in love with a Christian knight and changed her name from Fatima to Oureana.

Between the sea and the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park, you can sense the power of the “4 Elements”, the name of the third itinerary. The elements of water, air, fire, and earth have created fascinating landscapes that include footprints of the planet’s oldest inhabitants – the dinosaurs, and beautiful grottoes, such as Mira de Aire, Santo António, and Alvados, where you can appreciate the beauty of the interior of the earth in this huge chalk massif.

“The Grail Quest” will fire your imagination, inspired by the search for the sacred chalice by the Knights of the Round Table. This epic quest penetrates into the heart of Portugal, transforming Tomar into the meeting point of these intrepid heroes, their castle into the New Jerusalem, and the “Charola” (Round church) into Solomon’s Temple.

Follow these suggestions at your own pace – and surrender to the thrill of discovery.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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