#16 best destination in the world

Madeira

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  • Archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, in a region known as Macaronesia, west of Morocco
  • Madeira is geographically located in the African Tectonic Plate, even though the archipelago is culturally, economically and politically European
  • Considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Age of Discovery
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Alfama

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  • Oldest district in Lisbon
  • Originally inhabited by fishermen and the poor, and its condition as the neighborhood of the poor continues to this day
  • The great 1755 Lisbon earthquake did not destroy the Alfama, preserving its narrow streets and small squares

Praça do Comércio

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  • Square commonly known as Terreiro do Paço (English: Palace Yard), because it was the location of the Paços da Ribeira (Royal Ribeira Palace) until it was destroyed by the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake
  • After the earthquake, the square was completely remodeled as part of the rebuilding of the Pombaline Downtown
  • Built during the Kingdom of Portugal from 1750 to 1777

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

Jerónimos Monastery

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  • Former monastery constructed starting in 1501
  • Secularized by the state and ownership transferred to a charitable institution in 1833
  • Prominent example of Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture
  • 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

Sintra

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  • Subregion of Lisbon known for its 19th century Romantic architectural monuments
  • The municipality is dotted with royal retreats, estates, and medieval castles
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Convent of Christ (Tomar)

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  • Former Roman Catholic convent in Tomar
  • Originally a Templar stronghold in the 12th century
  • In the 14th century, it was turned into the Knights of the Order of Christ, which supported Portugal’s maritime discoveries
  • 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

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

Costs

Number of Days: 22 days

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

Airline tickets: $546

Seattle -> Lisbon (round trip) = $488
Lisbon -> Madeira (round trip) = $58

Food: $27/day x 22 days = $594

Rental car: $38/day x 9 days = $342

Gas: $216

Entertainment: $53

Airbnb: $93/day x 20 days = $1,860

TOTAL: $3,611