New Quest: Portugal

Castle of Almourol, photo from Wikimedia Commons.
On the tour we will ride a boat to visit this castle on an island in a river.

Join us and a small cohort of adventurers to set out across the landscape of Portugal and visit places you have only imagined!  New Quest: Portugal is the first of the New Quest Tours, operated by I, Like You Tours and designed to bring fantasy creatives into real settings that can enrich and inform their campaigns, stories, and art. Although they were designed for them, the tours are open to all who want to visit the kinds of places you love in fantasy books, games, and art.

Why start with Portugal? From paleolithic times onward, Portugal was settled, sometimes conquered, by wave after wave of different peoples. That richness of history and cultures, including countless battles, left behind a landscape of memories, some spread out, some layered one on another, reaching back in time. Tales and legends linger in these places, of heroes and lovers, devils and witches. Portugal is a magical place and is also considered one of the friendliest and safest countries in the world.

On this New Quest Tour, we will visit ancient megaliths, experience remnants of Celtic culture thousands of years old, visit Roman ruins, tour a famous monastery founded in 1386 to fulfill a promise King John I made to the Virgin Mary, enter a magnificent Templar castle in Tomar that is famous for its elaborately decorated rotunda church designed after the legendary Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, and step into a chapel built in the 1500s, lined with real bones and skulls.

Inside of the rotunda church in Tomar. Photo by Jez Timms.

We’ll visit two unique villages that feel lost in time. At the tour’s end we’ll spend two nights in a palace built for a king but turned into a hotel soon after when he was assassinated in Lisbon.  On the same property we will walk in a walled forest that was tended by monks for over one thousand years and was considered so sacred that Pope Urban VIII banned women from setting foot inside and ordered the excommunication of anyone who damaged a tree. On the final evening we’ll be entertained by Drusuna, a pagan ritual folk band whose music and performance is steeped in the deep history of Portugal.

Detail of the village of Monsanto, photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Along the way, you’ll meet wonderful people, taste local wine and authentic specialties, witness the celebration of a regional holiday, and see beautiful rural countryside where old ways are still practiced. Be sure to bring your camera, your sketchbooks, and your notebooks—this tour will awaken your muse and kindle your imagination.

The tour happens from November 9th to the 17th, 2019 and costs just under $2000, not including airfare. June 6th is the deadline for signups. To learn more and receive a description of the full itinerary and a link for signing up, send an email to nancy@newquesttours.com. You can also get in touch in the comments below or at https://www.facebook.com/newquesttours/.

We are also on Twitter at @newquesttours1

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