#11 best destination in the world

Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture

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  • Vineyard divided into plots protected by walls
  • The walls are built with basalt blocks that have been weathered and broken up and stacked without mortar
  • Viticulture dates back to the 15th century
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Carmo Convent

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  • Medieval convent ruined during the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, and the destroyed Gothic Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the southern facade of the convent is the main trace of the great earthquake still visible in the old city
  • Founded in 1389 by the supreme military commander of the King

Belém Tower

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  • Known as the Tower of Saint Vincent, a 16th century fortification that served as a point of embarkation and disembarkation for Portuguese explorers, and as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon
  • Built during the height of the Portuguese Renaissance, it is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style
  • Built from lioz limestone and composed of a bastion and a 98 ft four story tower
  • Often portrayed as a symbol of Europe’s Age of Discoveries
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Quinta da Regaleira

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  • Historic center of the city of Sintra
  • Romantic style architectural palace, chapel, and park composed of lakes, grottoes, wells, and fountains
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Dom Luís I Bridge

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  • Double-deck metal arch bridge spanning the River Duoro
  • Opened in 1886

Livraria Lello

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  • One of the oldest bookstores in Portugal and frequently rated among the top bookstores in the world
  • Opened in 1881

Bom Jesus do Monte

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  • Portuguese sanctuary
  • Notable example of pilgrimage site with a monumental, Baroque stairway
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Monsanto (Idanha-a-Nova)

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  • Village of 828 inhabitants in what is popularly called, “the most Portuguese village of Portugal”
  • The earliest traces of man is from Early Stone Age at the time of the ice-ages. Later, Romans settled at the base of the mountain. Also traces from Visigoth in the early Middle Ages and even earlier Arab presence has been found in the area
  • The mountain rock is granite, which also the historic and present village is built upon in a fusion of nature and its landforms. This fusion can be seen in the uses of caves and rocks being converted into construction parts

Capela dos Ossos

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  • Small interior chapel located next to the entrance of the Church of St. Francis
  • The Chapel gets its name because the interior walls are covered and decorated with human skulls and bones
  • Built in the 16th century by a Franciscan friar who, in the Counter-Reformation spirit of that era, wanted to prod his fellow brothers into contemplation and transmit the message of life being transitory, a very common spirituality theme of the time
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Falésia Beach

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  • #13 of the top 25 beaches in the world
  • Beach flanked by a line of high cliffs in deep tones ranging from reds to whitish, in contrasting colours with the green of the pine groves above

Praia de São Rafael

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  • Small beach that has fine gold sand and crystal clear water and is backed by golden limestone cliffs
  • There are many limestone rock formations which have been eroded over a long period of time

Megalithic Monuments of Alcalar

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  • One of the oldest surviving structures in the world
  • Group of burial tombs that comprise a Calcolithic necropolis
  • During the 3rd millennium BC, a 10 hectare stretch of land, located at the end of a once navigable part of the Torre River became the centre of settlement
  • It was constructed on a hilltop along the Algarve’s limestone coastal strip, in what became known as the settlement of Alcalar
  • Around 18 different megalithic tombs were constructed in the surrounding hills, forming a necropolis using various building techniques over time

Ponta da Piedade

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  • Headland with a group of rock formations along the coastline
  • Consists of yellow-golden cliff-like rocks up to 65 feet high
  • Several grottos in Ponta da Piedade can be visited by boat
  • The location also contains a lighthouse, dating back to 1913

Pico do Arieiro

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  • 5,965 ft high island peak
  • Most days, visitors can stand and look down on the clouds
  • On a clear day it is possible to see the neighboring island of Porto Santo, 30 miles away

Costs

Number of Days: 26 days

Best Time To Fly: March-May, Sept-Oct

Airline tickets: $1,225

Seattle -> Lisbon (round trip) = $999
Lisbon -> Pico Island (round trip) = $85
Lisbon -> Madeira (round trip) = $141

Ferry/cruise tickets: $22

Passeio dos Descobrimentos -> Ponta da Piedade (round trip) = $22

Food: $29/day x 26 days = $754

Rental car: $26/day x 17 days = $442

Gas: $214

Entertainment: $44

Airbnb: $103/day x 23 days = $2,369

TOTAL: $5,070