A passage through most pivotal civilisations, discovering medieval Portugal's history, culture, and tradition. Following the trail of the Knights Templar, we'll visit some of its most fascinating monuments along the way.
See what's planned
- Explore Tomar and its history with a local guide.
- Discover the Serra de Aires Natural Park and its magical limestone Santo António Caves.
- Take a ferry across the river Tejo to the beautiful castle of Almourol.
- Visit a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Enjoy traditional Portuguese dishes and wine in local restaurants.
- Spend an afternoon enjoying delicious Ribatejo wines at a local winery.
A unique walking tour based in the historical town of Tomar, located in the Ribatejo region of central Portugal. In the 13th century, Tomar was one of the most influential towns of the Iberian Peninsula and home to the Convento de Cristo or “Covent of Christ”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and religious headquarters of the Knights Templar. This unique tour follows the trail of the Knights Templar, visiting some of the most pivotal monuments. This tour is in an area with captivating scenery, once seen, never forgotten and is designed for lovers of history, culture, and tradition.
The Knights Templar are probably best known from the book and film “The Da Vinci Code”, but there is much more to discover about these fabled medieval warrior monks. The Templars were founded in Jerusalem in 1118. However, their heyday was connected with the founding of Portugal and the crusades against the Moors. This resulted in them being granted prime sites of castles and land primarily located around the Tomar region. Despite their fearsome, battle-hardened reputation, the Knights Templar were learned men, dedicated to protecting travellers and pilgrims of all religions, not just Christians. They were great statesmen, politically adept, economic traders and they were apparently allied with the great sailor-fraternity that had created a worldwide trading empire in Phoenician times.
It should be noted that many Portuguese explorers and royalty were Knights Templar and later Masons. Many believe that the Portuguese Knights Templar were instrumental in Portugal acquiring its transatlantic colony, Brazil.
The Ribatejo region is a beautiful, green and tranquil area. For centuries, the Ribatejo has been the heart of the wine estates, wheat growing and silk production. It is famous nowadays for The Knights Templar in addition to cattle & horse raising, giving it the reputation of the “wild west of Portugal”. We will give you an extraordinary experience of this magical and undiscovered region. Within a short distance of our hotel are wonderful abbeys, castles and other sites that link directly to the Knights Templar. The town of Tomar was the headquarters for the Order of the Knights Templar founded alongside Portugal itself. We will visit some of the most important and historical sites connected with the Knights Templar. But it will be much more than just visiting castles and abbeys. We will also show you the marvellous countryside and enjoy great food and wine. There is much to see but there will also be plenty of time to relax as well.
- Return flights from London to Lisbon
- Airport transfers
- En suite acommodation
- All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers
- Local guide in Tomar
- Dinners in local restaurants
- Wine at evening meals
- Wine tasting at a local winery
What's not included?
- Personal Expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary Tips
- Optional Excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind.
There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants.
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions or changes beyond our control. Distances, ascent/descent and timings are all approximate and refer only to the countryside walking element of each day.
Welcome to Medieval Portugal
Hotel dos Templarios
We arrive in Lisbon airport where a private coach transfer takes us to Tomar to the Hotel dos Templarios. Depending on flight times, we may have time for a short introductory walk around Tomar.
Transfer Time = 1 hour
Hotel dos Templarios
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bare in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions, attraction opening times, public transport timetables or changes beyond our control.
We spend the day in Tomar, starting with a morning introductory walk in the centre where we discover its history and monuments. The day is partly guided to give a full background to the buildings and history of Tomar.
After lunch we make our way to the impressive Convent of Christ, a UNESCO world heritage site covering 45 hectares, founded by a master of the Knights Templar, Gualdim Pais. We visit the remarkable Pegões Aqueduct, built in the 17th century with a total of 180 arches and 6km in length.
Serra de Aires Natural Park
Hotel dos Templarios
Today we visit the Serra de Aires Natural Park. This range of limestone hills is home to fantastic Santo António Caves, a geological wonder discovered in the 1950’s. We spend some time visiting these impressive caves.
In the afternoon we follow a trail down to the valley below the caves, taking us through quaint villages, shady paths and superb scenery as the valley opens out.
Hotel dos Templarios
Today is dedicated to the magnificent Tejo Valley, one of the most fertile regions of Portugal and known for its delicious wine. We’ll take a traditional boat across the River Tejo to visit Almourol Castle, a fortified castle located on an enigmatic island. Here we enjoy some of the best panoramic views of the week!
Back on dry land, we follow Tanco’s shore line towards the delightful town of Vila Nova da Barquinha, known for its incredible lush greenery and fertile land. Our walk finishes at the village’s public garden, which is also an open door gallery of modern sculptures! We'll finish the day with a visit the Templar Interpretation Centre.
Batalha and Alcobaça
Hotel dos Templarios
Today we take a trip to Batalha Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s greatest gothic masterpieces born out of a promise of gratitude for a battle that granted Portugal its independence.
After lunch we visit the 12th century Abbey of Alcobaça, a UNESCO World Heritage Site originally given to St Bernard of Clairvaux the founder of the Knights Templar and the burial site of Portugal’s most famous royal lovers, Pedro I and Ines de Castro.
North of Tomar
Hotel dos Templarios
The beautiful River Nabão is named after the ancient goddess of rivers and water. Our walk this morning follows the margins of the river north of Tomar and at times our route coincides with the Portuguese Caminho de Santiago.
Later we refresh ourselves with a visit to a nearby winery to taste some of the delicious Ribatejo wines.
Hotel dos Templarios
Today we visit Ourém, a remarkable hilltop village nestled within ancient walls topped with a dramatic castle whose origins go back to Moorish times. We are treated to a guided tour of the village and castle, after which we have time to relax in the local café and enjoy the views over the immense panoramic landscapes below.
We say our goodbyes to Tomar and head to Lisbon airport for our return flight back to the UK.
Walks & Excursions
We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.
Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
The currency in Portugal is the euro. You may wish to take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM. Credit cards may not be accepted in smaller towns and rural areas.
We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.
We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.
An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights. They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people. They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
Leaders Evening Briefing
Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.
Visiting historical sites, churches or museums are much more rewarding with a local guide. They give an insight to the local culture, language and traditions and can bring a destination alive. Many of our Adagio holidays include a knowledgeable English speaking guide on at least one of the days. Please refer to your daily itinerary to see where a guide is included.
Getting to your Holiday
We have return flights between London to Lisbon.
We include a private transfer to The Hotel dos Templarios, which will take approximately 1 hour. During the week we’ll travel by road, boat and on foot.
If you intend joining and leaving the party in Tomar, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at our hotel. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements
If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Tickets
When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements.
Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday cost. We enjoy buffet breakfasts at the hotel, usually in the Terrace dining room.
We dine in local restaurants in the evening, a perfect way to discover the Ribatejo area. Local restaurants can be simple but allow us to enjoy an authentic experience and sometimes lively atmosphere in a traditional Portuguese restaurant along with local diners and the Portuguese hospitality. Portuguese dishes are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients, and usually consist of soup, meat or fish, vegetables and potatoes. Portugal is famous for its fresh fish and usually it is caught, cooked and eaten the same day!
Lunches are not included but are usually taken as picnics brought from local shops, bakeries or cafes.
Footwear & Kit List
Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.
General Kit List
We recommend you bring the following items with you:
- Walking boots or shoes with a good sole and waterproof uppers.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers. It does rain sometimes!
- A sunhat, fleece hat and gloves… to cover all weather eventualities.
- Sun cream.
- Hand sanitiser
- Swimwear in case there is time for swimming if the hotel has a pool
- A water bottle. (see Water-to-Go below)
- A picnic knife, fork and spoon, as required.
- A simple basic first aid kit.
- A daypack to hold all the above.
- Trekking poles (if you usually walk with poles)
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Travel Document Checklist
To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:
- Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
- Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
- Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
- Holiday currency
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
- Your travel insurance details
- Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
- Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
- A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
Electricity in Portugal
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Maps & Guidebooks
Ideal Maps & Guidebooks
Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides and books which may offer you more information. Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holiday destinations. You may find the below websites, books and programmes useful.
Maps of the areas we visit (1:200 000 scale) are available locally and at specialist map shops in the UK.
Visit the Ribatejo region
The Portugal Centro Tourist Office’s website offers further information on Tomar and other towns in the area.
The Rough Guide to Portugal has several pages on Tomar and Lisbon plus lots of other in-depth information about the country.
The Knights Templar
First Templar Nation by Freddy Silva
Buried: The Knights Templar and the Holy Grail Documentary
For anyone particularly interested in maps, more details of these maps can be found at www.igeoe.pt.
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
Tel: 01684 593 146
E-mail: [email protected]
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Find out more
UTC, UTC +01:00
3hrs from UK
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Avg. Rain: 109mm
Avg. Rain: 93mm
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Avg. Rain: 66mm
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Avg. Rain: 12mm
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Avg. Rain: 111mm
Avg. Rain: 120mm
Staying Healthy on Holiday
Health Advice for Portugal
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Portugal.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus.
Dengue fever exists in Portugal; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites.
Further Health Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Adagio that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking upto 1000m.
We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public.
In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for future holidays. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your attention to any significant change.
We suggest that you may want to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.