Itinerary as following :
Day 1. Lisbon Airport – Lisbon
Day 2. Lisbon – Sintra – Cascais – Lisbon
Day 3. Lisbon – Silves – Tavira
Day 4. Tavira
Day 5. Tavira – Faro – Albufeira – Mértola
Day 6. Mértola – Beja – Lisbon
Day 7. Lisbon Airport
TOUR QUOTATION CONDITIONS & TERMS – 4**** HOTELS :
– Hotel : 4**** very good Hotels based on Bed & breakfast
– Meals : Half Board board Halal ( Halal Dinner ) Lunch will be indicated to Clients for Halal Food
– Transportation Private Car / Coach : Program from Day 1 from the Airport until the tour finishes on Day 7 at the Airport
– Taxes : All City Transportation Tourism Taxes & Person Tourist taxes
– Private Official GPG Guide : Program from Day 1 until the tour finishes Muslim Guide will be at the clients disposal during the full tour 24/7 and overnight at the same hotel as clients.
– Prayer : Facilities & Mosque and Muslim community visits and encounters during the full stay
– Entrances Fees : Included all sight visits mentioned in program
– Not included : Lunches / Tips / Private Insurances and any other personal expenses
All Tours start at the indicated date at 1pm afternoon – Clients who arrive a day earlier due to flight issues ( meaning 1 day before the tour day starts ) after informing us we will charge a 1 time additional supplement which includes the Hotel overnight & breakfast and Transfer from Airport to the Hotel .
TOUR QUOTATION CONDITIONS & TERMS :
LAND ARRANGEMENT ONLY / 4**** HOTELS / HALAL HALF BOARD / ALL ENTREES & VISITS / MUSLIM GUIDE / PRIVATE GROUP TRANSPORTATION
Important :“ We always accommodate our clients in 4**** Hotels , however depending on the season when the prices are high we keep the right to accommodate them in 3*** or to mix to avoid any sub charge to the clients due to the high season “
MONTHLY REGULAR GUARANTEED ARRIVAL
ITINERARY : THE ISLAMIC EMIRATE OF PORTUGAL – 7 Days & 6 Nights
“ THE DISCOVERY OF THE ISLAMIC SOUL AND HERITAGE OF ISLAMIC PORTUGAL / GHARB AL ANDALUS “
SPIRITUAL HERITAGE TOUR TO ISLAMIC PORTUGAL / GHARB AL ANDALUS
“ WORLD ISLAMIC HERITAGE TAKES YOU BACK
THROUGHOUT HISTORY TO DISCOVER THE SECRET SPIRITUAL ISLAMIC HERITAGE OF GHARB AL ANDALUS ISLAMIC PORTUGAL “
DAY 1 LISBON AIRPORT – LISBON
Meals : Exclusive Halal Half-board arrangements.
Sightseeing :After arrival at Lisbon International Airport we will start our journey throughout the beautiful scenery of Lisbon – Panoramic Tour of the city to the most beautiful spots of this beautiful City – Panoramic Tour through “ Alfama ‘ & ” Baixa “ District – Free time for leisure and pleasure .. along the Atlantic sea Lisbon Port , we will visit the grand Mosque & Islamic Center of Lisbon for our prayers and a meet and greet with the local community before we continue our journey..
After our prayers we will continue our journey while narrowing the Historical story where it all began…how Islam entered Portugal.. the story of the Great Muslim conqueror “ Sayiduna Tariq Ibnu Ziyad ” ‘ Sayiduna Musa Ibnu Nussair ” and the many Emirs who passed through centuries this immense beautiful land , we will enjoy a beautiful Panoramic stop at the feet of the old historical city while viewing the beautiful Muslim Castle at the top of the mountain overviewing Lisbon – As mentioned above, standing looking to the top of ” Castelo de São Jorge’s / The Emirs Palace” many towers, overlooking the river Tagus, one can truly appreciate the beauty of the landscape and the majestic architecture of a city inspired by two proud traditions. The castle was first built in the 6th century and reconstructed a number of times since. Under the rule of the Muslims, it was used as a residence for the Muslim Emir royal family, and later, once recaptured by the Christians, it was used to defend Lisbon from a possible counter-attack by the Moors, following fortifications undertaken by King Alfonso Henriques.
.Lisbon is a Islamic heritage destination, mainly due to its Islamic history and heritage. Lisabona, as the Moors of North Africa called it, came under Muslim rule in 714 AD, and lasted almost 500 years. After its recapture by the Christians in 1147, it would eventually flourish as the capital of a vast Portuguese Empire, drawing merchants to the city from around the world, who bought gold, silk and other precious commodities to trade. Sadly, this period of opulence was not to last, when in 1755 a devastating earthquake struck, destroying vast areas of the city. For this reason, little actually remains of Lisbon’s Islamic past, and many of the historical sites that can be visited today, have had some form of restoration work carried out.
Due to its location on the outer edge of the Empire (it was referred to as Gharb al-Andalus- West of Andalus), there are numerous compelling, historical sites that are worth visiting, some of which hint at the city’s hidden Islamic past. Enjoy and visit all city highlights: Pracio del Comercio – Torre de Belém – Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta for shopping and leisure. Visit to the largest Mosque of Portugal and the first Mosque in the Iberian Peninsula after the fall of Granada in 1492 – Dinner & Overnight in Lisbon.
DAY 2 LISBON – SINTRA – CASCAIS – LISBON
Meals : Exclusive Halal Half-board arrangements.
Sightseeing : This Morning we will bring a visit to the beautiful Muslim City of ” Sintra ” .. The city of Sintra’s rich Islamic heritage has made it one of the greatest cities in the western world during medieval times. A privileged vantage point looking out over the Atlantic coastline, the floodplain and the Sintra Hills, the millennium-old Moorish Castle, founded under Islamic rule, occupied a then strategic position for defending both the surrounding territory and the maritime access routes to the city of Lisbon. The artefacts found on this site identify how, in between the walls and their adjoining areas, there lived a population in an area now named the Islamic Quarter.
The silos, structures carved into the rocks, may be encountered both inside and outside the fortification and were used to conserve certain foodstuffs such as cereals.
The Muslims lived here almost 500 years from 714 through to 1147, when Sintra was handed over to Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, following the conquest of the cities of Lisbon and Santarém. Strategically and as a means of defending these lands, the running of the town of Sintra and its immediate hinterlands was bestowed on Gualdim Pais, a master in the Knights Templar, who received a charter in 1154.
With the settlement of a Christian population in the Moorish Castle, the Islamic Quarter began to disappear and give way to a Medieval town with its occupation ongoing through to the 15th century. At that time, the site was steadily subject to abandonment given that, with the conflicts between the Moors and Christians long over, the population no longer felt the need to seek shelter within the vicinity of the fortification. This Medieval town included the Church of São Pedro de Canaferrim, built between the two rings of walls.
Already into the 19th century, and in keeping with the Romantic spirit prevailing in that period, King Ferdinand II undertook restoration work on the castle, breathing new life into the medieval imaginary surrounding this site. These renovation works damaged part of the Christian burial grounds of the Church and, for this reason, the order was given to build a tomb to house the bones found there. Given the inability to distinguish whether these were Christian or Moorish human remains, the tomb bears the inscription: “What man brought together, only God may separate”.
The castle has been undergoing archaeological excavation ever since 1976 and has returned countless discoveries as regards the history of this site and its many inhabitants.
In 1995, UNESCO classified the Sintra Cultural Landscape as World Heritage with the Moorish Castle representing a fundamental component.
In 2000, Parques de Sintra took over the management of this national monument. Henceforth, a series of refurbishment and improvement works have taken place, including the 2009 establishment of an Archaeological Research Field in order to deepen and convey knowledge about the human occupations of the castle, its phases of construction and living quarters.
Today, the Historical Interpretation Centre of the Moorish Castle, installed in the Church of São Pedro de Canaferrim, most probably build on the fundaments of a Muslim Mosque tells the stories of this succession of overlapping peoples that lived here, from the Neolithic period through to the Middle Ages, through the archaeological finds and a wide range of interactive tools.
After breakfast, Transfer to the beautiful Moorish Mountain city of Sintra, City tour starting with a sightseeing tour to the most beautiful historical surroundings to discover the Historical Islamic Kingdom of Sintra which is built at the top of a mountain range near the Atlantic Ocean. Sintra has many things travellers love exotic mystery, interesting history, beautiful vistas, unspoiled mountains and friendly people.. In the afternoon we will depart to the beautiful coastal city of Cascais. Panoramic Tour of Marina de Cascais e Fortaleza da Cidadela, Cascais a Estoril Promenade, Boca do Inferno. Free time for shopping. Overnight and Dinner in Lisbon
DAY 3 LISBON – SILVES – TAVIRA
Meals :Exclusive Halal Half-board arrangements.
Sightseeing : After breakfast panoramic Tour through the beautiful South western landscapes of South Portugal and Algarve ” Ard Al Burtuqal ” the land of the Oranges… today we will bring a visit to the Islamic Kingdom of Silves & The Islamic Kingdom of Tavira ….. A beautiful discovery tour of the Islamic Kingdom of Silves & Tavira, once two great Islamic authorities in the southern part of Portugal during the Islamic reign… also known as ” Gharb Al Andalus ” the West of Al Andalus ..
When the Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, the Algarve was occupied by the romanized Visigoths. They secured the Catholic religion in Portugal and built the first churches. Portugal was one of the first Catholic countries in Europe. While the Visigoths were ruling Portugal, the Prophet Mohammed (pbu) (7th century) proclaimed the Islamic religion in Saudi Arabia. The Islam spread rapidly to North Africa. Not much later, Islamic armies crossed the Strait of Gibraltar in 711 and started to conquer the Iberian Peninsula. The Muslim rule in the Algarve lasted for more than 500 years (711-1250). Nowadays you can still see many influences of the Muslims in the Algarve. The Muslims introduced many new plants and trees to the Algarve. Examples are almond trees, carob trees, fig trees, pomegranates and the first orange trees. The Arabs also gave the Algarve its name: Al-Gharb. This means ‘the west’, as it was the westernmost possession of their empire.
In the Portuguese language there are more than 1000 words of Arabic origin. In general, the names of Portuguese towns which begin with the prefixes ‘Al’, ‘Ben‘ and ‘Ode‘ come from the Arabic language. Examples are Albufeira, Alvor, Almancil, Benafim, Bensafrim, Odeceixe and Odeáxere. The old irrigation techniques, the white washed houses, and the typical chimneys also have a strong mark of Arabian influence.
The Caliphate of Cordoba, to which the Algarve belonged, fell in the 11th century. Thus, the Algarve became an independent Muslim Kingdom with Silves as its capital. In the town of Silves you can still find a castle that is actually one of the best preserved Muslim fortifications in Portugal.
DAY 4 TAVIRA
Meals : Exclusive Halal Half-board arrangements.
Sightseeing :After breakfast we will start our amazing discovery tour of ” Tavira “.. – TAVIRA, Portugal – While converting the 16th-century Convento da Graça into a luxury hotel, developers ran into an unexpected problem that canceled plans for a basement spa and pool. Beneath the old convent and the defensive walls of the ancient coastal city, the excavations uncovered a cobbled street and foundations of a dozen homes built more than 700 years ago by the Arab Muslims who then ruled much of Portugal.
Instead of the pool, there’s now a small museum under the hotel bar. Walkways allow visitors to wander above what remains of the medieval Moorish neighborhood.
Like the streets of Tavira, the full extent of Portugal’s Muslim heritage has long been forgotten or ignored.
Much of Portugal lived under Islamic rule for over 500 years from the early 8th century, when North African invaders overturned the Germanic kingdoms that had held sway over the Iberian Peninsula since the fall of the Roman Empire.
The Portuguese reconquista gradually forced the Arabs south, driving them from their last strongholds along the Algarve coast in 1249. In the neighboring Spanish region of Andalusia, the Emirate of Granada would hold out for another 250 years.
While seven centuries of Muslim rule in Andalusia produced architectural treasures like the Giralda in Seville, Córdoba’s Great Mosque and the Alhambra palace in Granada, the Islamic period in Portugal left few major monuments. The Andalusian cities developed as major centers of Islamic culture to rival Damascus or Marrakesh, but Portugal was always on the outer edge of the Muslim world and its frontier rulers invested little in grandiose construction.
But in recent years there’s been a renewal of interest in Portugal’s Muslim legacy.
Tavira has opened a huge large museum of Muslim culture and also in the nearby city of Silves – capital of the medieval Muslim kingdom of the Algarve in southern Portugal –
We will be narrowing the beautiful historical stories of this Kingdom while we bring visits to the Alcazar “ Royal Palace ruins of the Emir Palace ” of Tavira, Visit to the Old Historical and main central Mosque of Tavira ( converted to a church during the inquisition , Pego do Inferno a small lagoon with a green-Mediterranean water : legend has it that Pego do Inferno is connected to the Gilão River and the River Guadiana with tunnels. A beautiful visit to this Lost Islamic Kingdom rich of Islamic History and Muslim roots – Free Afternoon for Shopping & Leisure Overnight and Dinner in Tavira.
DAY 5 TAVIRA– FARO – ALBUFEIRA – MÉRTOLA
Meals : Exclusive Halal Half-board arrangements.
Sightseeing : After breakfast we will continue our Journey with a beautiful visit to the coastal villages of Faro & Albufeira.
Albufeira’s & Faro’s gleaming Muslim Moorish-style white houses with their minaret-like chimneys set in the hillside cascading down to the clear waters of the Atlantic had us captivated. Like the thousands of tourists who visit the resort every year, we were entrapped in the town’s Muslim Moorish charm. In the same fashion as many other visitors, we had come not only to enjoy its mild climate and fine sandy beaches but, perhaps, more so, to relax in its modern abodes with their appealing Muslim-inspired architecture, and to stroll in its labyrinthine narrow streets edged by attractive structures with an oriental aura.
A once picturesque fishing town with sandstone cliffs rimming a roomy beach, it has been developed in the last few decades into the tourist capital of Algarve – Portugal’s leading resort area. Its North African-style buildings and lush countryside, first developed by the Muslim, complement its soothing sun and sand. They add romance and intrigue to the pleasures of a sojourn in this modern southern Portuguese resort impregnated with the atmosphere of the East.
The Muslim silhouettes of Albufeira seen from its upper heights have inspired painters, photographers and poets. One of the last cities to fall to the Portuguese Reconquista, it has retained much of its original charms. In the picturesque Algarve, only the neighboring historic town of Silves surpasses it in conjuring up the Moors and their legends. This city is associated with conquering desert men and the capital of southern Portugal during the Muslim Moorish era. A beautiful visit to this Lost Islamic Kingdom rich of Islamic History and Muslim roots – Free Afternoon for Shopping & Leisure Overnight and Dinner in Mértola.
DAY 6 MÉRTOLA – BEJA – LISBON
Meals :Exclusive Halal Half-board arrangements.
Sightseeing :After our breakfast we will start our discovery tour of the Islamic Kingdom City of Mértola …. It is one of the least populated municipalities of Portugal, and with the town sitting atop a hill above the Guadiana river, there’s a natural feeling of peace and splendour. Of course, with the town developed around the hill, there is some walking up a steep-ish road to get to the main sites…Sitting on the side of the hill overlooking the river can be found the former masjid. This rectangular white building has a vast history, including its Roman foundations. However, the main architectural layout is retained from its time as a mosque built in the mid 12-13th Centuries. It remained as such for approx. 500 years and even when it was converted into a church, the Mihrab was not destroyed. Due to its remaining Islamic features and the reinforced academic knowledge now shared in local heritage sites, the locals refer to it as a Mosque too. When we entered the church for the first time, the staff was very friendly and without any prompt told us that we were welcome to pray inside if we wished. This made for a nice change as it can often be awkward to find a place to pray in a non-Muslim environment or space. It is certainly a huge contrast to the way Muslims are treated at the Grand Mosque of Cordoba or Sevilla in Spain.
Whilst inside the Mosque have a good nose-around, go up-close to see the remaining decorative details of the Mihrab and take note of the horseshoe arched doorways. These are typical of Moorish architecture. Just up the cobbled road (approx. a 10 min walk) from the mosque is a dedicated museum on Islamic art. A custom-renovated building was designed to house Muslim Historical locally unearthed artefacts such as pottery, jewellery and a number of funerary stones with Arabic inscriptions.
The town of Mertola is built on small hills which is the hallmark of the area. The Guadiana River gently flows at the bottom of the town. Now, the town is known for preserving one of the best sites from the Muslim era in the whole of Portugal. Alcacova (Alcazaba) is part of the Mertola Museum and it is situated at Rua Elias Garcia. A replica showing how people lived in Mertola is built next to the ruins of the Almohad Neighbourhood.
Most of the houses during the Muslim period would have a weaving workshop. This is where grandmothers, mothers and daughters would make blankets for the family use.Kitchen was an important part of the family life during the Muslim period. Kitchen was another important element of a Muslim household. Most of the time, it would have two spaces. One space would be used for cooking and second for storage. In the storage area of the kitchen, large water pots were used to store the water.While Europe was suffering with the hygiene problems, the Muslim houses would have a latrine, linked with the sewer. It just shows that al-Andalus (Spain and Portugal) had better standards of living and they were much more advanced in technology and other aspects of life as compared to rest of Europe – This area was the part of the Almohad Neighbourhood, all of the houses would have, a kitchen, a storage room, main hall and one or two rooms next to it.
Mertola was conquered by Sancho II of Portugal in 1238. Then Mertola was given to the Knights of the Order of Santiago after the conquest.
The Islamic heritage in Portugal has left decisive marks on the country’s development over time. Great figures of Al Andalus had a deep connection to Portugal, such as ” Emir Al-Mutamid, ” the poet king born in Beja, who became king of the Taifa of Seville; Ibn Qasi, a native of Silves, who rose to power in the most important cities of the Garb at the time, Mértola and Silves, and whose temporary alliance with King Afonso Henriques allowed opposition to the Almoravids; Ibn Ammar, poet born in Silves, who became vizier in Seville; Ibn Muqana, important Arab poet born in Alcabideche.
Time has erased the marks of the Islamic presence but traces of the Muslims have remained throughout the country, from architecture to town planning, toponymy, language, culture and legends. The enchanted Moors are one of the most dazzling examples of popular Portuguese sentimentality, rooted in the Islamic legacy.
There are countless places that combine history and heritage rich in memories evoking the Islamic presence and which give Portugal a distinctive identity to enjoy the mystique of Al Andalus, which we invite you to discover – Transfer to Lisbon Overnight and Diner in Lisbon.
DAY 7 LISBON AIRPORT
Meals : Breakfast only arrangements.
Sightseeing : After breakfast, Transfer to Lisbon International Airport for your return flight.