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KNIGHT TEMPLARS ROUTE (Includes tickets at 2 castles and boat trip)

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What to Expect
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Stop At: Castelo de Ourem, Estrada Nacional 356 Nossa Senhora das Misericórdias, Ourem 2490-781 Portugal

The Ourém Castle is located on top of the town of Ourém, a place conquered to Arabs by the King D.Afonso Henriques during 1136, being the first castle built between 12th and 13th centuries.

Nowadays it is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Portugal. To see it you must climb a hillside that lays across the old side of Ourém.

The story goes that its name comes from a Moorish woman, Fátima, who fell in love with a Templar knight and converted to Christianity, adopting the name of Ouerana.

Duration: 1 hour

Pass By: Medieval Town of Ourem, Portugal, Rua dos Castelos de Ourem, Ourem 2490-756 Portugal

Towns and Villages

At the top of a high hill, which was the ideal place for the building of a settlement in the old days, stands the older part of the town of Ourém, founded under the name of Abdegas. The Moorish occupation of the region from the 9th century onwards lies at the origin of the town's current name, reminding us of the story of the Moorish maiden Fátima, who converted to Christianity because of her love for the Knight Templar Gonçalo Hermingues and thereafter adopted the name of Oureana.

In 1136, the town was conquered from the Moors by Dom Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, who gave it to his daughter. Dona Teresa ordered the Castle to be built in 1178, and granted the town a charter in 1180.

The 15th century was the most crucial historical period for the town's development, when the fourth Count of Ourém, Dom Afonso, the grandson of Dom João I and Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira, settled here. Dating from that time are the reinforcement of the town's walls which still encircle the old mediaeval centre today, the Count's Palace, the Igreja da Colegiada, a church that was remodelled in the 18th century, and the Pillory.

Roughly two kilometres away, down in the valley, is the new town of Vila Nova de Ourém, built after the earthquake of 1755 and now the main residential and commercial area. During your visit to the town, make sure to sample the local cuisine, in which the highlights are the dishes cooked with lamb, kid and rabbit, whilst amongst the pastries make sure to taste the famous Bolos de Arco de Ourém. You are advised to accompany your meal with a glass or two of one of the regional wines. Grapevines are one of the oldest plantations in the region, dating back to the time before the town's actual foundation.

If you're a devout believer in the Virgin Mary, make sure to visit Fátima close by, where there is a most important shrine dedicated to Our Lady. If you're a nature lover, then we recommend that you set off to discover the Serra de Aires e dos Candeeiros, a range of hills that marks the municipality's southern border.

Stop At: Convent of Christ, Igreja do Castelo Templario, Tomar 2300-322 Portugal

The Convent of Christ

In 1983, UNESCO awarded the classification of world heritage to the Templar Castle and the Convent of the Knights of Christ in Tomar, a unique monument in the history of the western world. Built on a site that was originally used for Roman worship, this vast monumental complex illustrates seven centuries of Portugal's history and contains several important mementoes of decisive moments in the history of the western world.

Afonso Henriques, our first king, bestowed upon the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem vast tracts of land between the Mondego and Tagus rivers. Legend has it that, on reaching this region, the Knights were inspired by favourable omens to choose a hill on which to establish a castle and the name that they were to give to it: Tomar. The year was 1160 and D. Gualdim Pais, the Provincial Master of the Order of the Temple, ordered the castle to be built and the region to be settled.

The Order of the Temple was disbanded in 1314 as a result of its persecution by the French king Philip IV, the Fair. However, at the wishes of the Portuguese king D. Dinis, the members of the order, its property and privileges were all totally integrated into a new order - the Militia of the Knights of Christ in 1319. The Templars were thus able to continue their sacred mission of Chivalry in Portugal. Outwardly, the main sign marking the change was to be seen in the Order's cross, which now had straight arms instead of the curved arms of the Templar cross.

Together with Prince Henry the Navigator, the new military Order began to prepare the Portuguese nation for the great enterprise of the maritime discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Tomar Castle was by then a Convent and the headquarters of the Order, and Prince Henry was made its governor and perpetual administrator. The lay master transformed the knights into navigators whose mission it was to expand the kingdom and spread the faith through the maritime discoveries. This was why the caravels bore the Cross of the Knights of Christ on their sails, and this sign was to be carved into various stone landmarks all around the world.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Igreja de Santa Maria dos Olivais, Avenida da Horta D'El Rei, Tomar 2300-304 Portugal

Igreja de Santa Maria do Olival - Tomar


The Igreja de Santa Maria do Olival was built at the orders of the knight Gualdim Pais in the 12th century to serve as the Pantheon for the Order of the Knights Templar. Inside the church are the Gothic tombs of Gualdim Pais, Mestre Lourenço Martins and Mestre Dom Gil Martins.

The church that can now be seen by visitors dates from the 13th century and, because of its characteristics, is considered to be a classic example of Portuguese Gothic architecture. Its interior is spacious with a central nave and two side aisles lit by the large rose-window in the façade. The church has a plain and simple appearance both inside and outside, which is a typical feature of the Mendicant Orders. It is believed that its master builder also worked on the Mosteiro de Alcobaça.

At the top of its main façade is a rectangular tower that is thought to have had a tunnel connecting the church to the Castle of the Knights Templar in Tomar.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Castle of Almourol, Em1191, Vila Nova da Barquinha 2260 Portugal

Boat trip on the Tejo River to Almourol Castle

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Castle of Almourol, Em1191, Vila Nova da Barquinha 2260 Portugal

Castelo de Almourol


In the middle of the River Tejo, the enigmatic Almourol Castle is one of the most emblematic monuments of the Christian reconquest.

Situated on an island in the middle of the River Tagus, Almourol is one of the most distinctive castles in Portugal, because of its historical significance and surrounding landscape.

Its history reminds us of the Reconquest of the Portuguese territory during the Middle Ages. When the Christians arrived here in 1129, the castle already existed under the name of Almorolan, having been incorporated immediately afterwards into the land that was placed under the protection of the Knights Templar, whose Master at that time was Gualdim Pais. According to an inscription at the entrance to the castle, its reconstruction work began in 1171.

Together with the castles of Tomar, Zêzere and Cardiga, it formed part of the defensive line of fortifications along the River Tagus.

After the Order of the Knights Templar was disbanded and the need to defend the territory no longer existed, the castle lay abandoned and forgotten until it was espoused by the prevailing Romantic spirit of the 19th century and restored to its present-day appearance.

Duration: 1 hour
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Important Information
Departure Point
Traveler pickup is offered
Monday to Sunday 09H00

Times are subject to change due to local traffic conditions.

Departure starts at your hotel, accommodation, airport, station or seaport in Lisbon District...
Departure Time
9:00 AM
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Round-trip private transfer
  • Driver/guide
  • Bottled water
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Private tour
  • Transport by private vehicle
  • WiFi on board
  • Includes tickets at 2 castles
  • Boat trip
  • Entry/Admission - Castelo de Ourem
  • Entry/Admission - Convent of Christ
  • Entry/Admission - Igreja de Santa Maria dos Olivais
  • Entry/Admission - Castle of Almourol
  • Food and drinks
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Dress code is smart casual
  • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
  • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
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  • Languages Offered: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
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