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Fado means fate, and to the people of Portugal, the music is as powerful as destiny itself. Fado is a Portuguese urban folk music that grew out of the streets and taverns of Lisbon in the 19th Century. It is characterized by mournful melodies and lyrics, often about the sea, neighborhoods, or the life of the poor. It is infused with sentiments of resignation, nostalgia and deep melancholy. Fado is often called “The BLUES of Portugal.”

Ensemble Iberica’s third annual trip to Portugal!

This is your chance to experience fado music in the ancient city of Lisbon along with Portugal’s top chefs and the famous wines of the Douro valley. Your hosts Ensemble Ibérica artistic director, Beau Bledsoe and world-class fado singer Nathalie Pires will be your guides as they share with you the musicians, singers and great restaurateurs that have become their friends over the years.

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Nathalie Pires

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Beau Bledsoe

Monday, June 25th: Arrival in Lisbon with transportation provided to the HOTEL do CHIADO, located in the picturesque Bairro Alto with stunning views of Sao Jorge Castle and the River Tagus. After resting up this afternoon, we will all get acquainted at a cocktail reception on the roof-top lounge, featuring the best view in all of Lisbon. Then, enjoy a three-course traditional Portuguese dinner in our private dining room. Beau will bring along his Portuguese Guitar to play and explain a little about the fado music we are here to experience. After dinner, Beau will take any hardy souls to Café Luso nearby for some late-night fado entertainment.

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Tuesday, June 26th: After breakfast (included each morning) let’s gather in the lobby as we are off to visit the MUSEO do FADO, devoted entirely to Lisbon’s urban song universe, then we are off to visit The Castle of Sao Jorge, the ancient Moorish castle overlooking the center of Lisbon and the Tagus River. Tonight we enjoy dinner and plenty of local wines at CLUBE Do FADO, before settling into a festive evening of entertainment. Dinner in Lisbon is served late. Our evening will begin at 8:30 PM and you are welcome to stay for the last fado set at 1:00 AM.

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Wednesday, June 27th: After breakfast, your morning and afternoon are at leisure. A list of popular sights and activities around Lisbon will be provided for you. Optional: late this afternoon join Beau Bledsoe and Nathalie Pires on the outdoor, roof-top lounge for Port wine & Cuban cigars followed by a late night fado house excursion with Beau and Nathalie.
Thursday, June 28th: After breakfast and a Leisurely morning, we will board our private coach for the journey to the resort town of SINTRA. A longtime royal sanctuary, its forested terrain is studded with pastel-colored villas and whimsical palaces. For tonight’s outing, Beau Bledsoe has arranged for us a very special and rare evening: fado at MESA de FRADES. This is where the best fado musicians and singers hang-out. It is the oldest and most genuine fado House in Lisbon, housed in a small unmarked 1700 century chapel. Religious scenes in Portuguese blue tile still line the walls.

Thursday, June 28th: After breakfast and a Leisurely morning, we will board our private coach for the journey to the resort town of SINTRA. A longtime royal sanctuary, its forested terrain is studded with pastel-colored villas and whimsical palaces. For tonight’s outing, Beau Bledsoe has arranged for us a very special and rare evening: fado at MESA de FRADES. This is where the best fado musicians and singers hang-out. It is the oldest and most genuine fado House in Lisbon, housed in a small unmarked 1700 century chapel. Religious scenes in Portuguese blue tile still line the walls.

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Friday, June 29th: After breakfast, we will check out of the hotel and board a large comfortable private coach for a three-hour scenic drive to Oporto. Upon arrival and check-in at the Superior Class NH Collection hotel, Lunch will be provided aboard a traditional Rabelo Boat with a scenic cruise on the Douro River. The afternoon and early evening are to be spent at your leisure. As always– Beau will have the latest news on fado music available in the area.

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Saturday, June 30th: After breakfast, we will board our private coach for a spectacular day trip through the Douro Valley, a source of the most exquisite Port Wines in the world. Our first stop will be near the town of Peso da Regua, for a visit to the VALLADO WINERY established in 1716. For lunch we will enjoy a tasting menu at one of the region’s most excellent restaurants DOC, by far the most idyllic situated restaurant in Portugal nestled along the River Douro, blending magnificent views of vineyards with lush growing vines. Chef Rui Paula uses only the finest local certified produce and uses them in innovative ways. Upon returning to Oporto, the evening is at your leisure. A list of popular sights and restaurants around Oporto will be provided for you.

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Sunday, July 1st: After breakfast, your morning and afternoon are at leisure in Oporto. Tonight we will celebrate our time together in Portugal over dinner at GRAHAM’s PORT LODGE Surrounded by 3,200 oak barrels where the Porto fine wines of Graham's are aged. The main dining room is situated in the heart of a magnificent 19th-century wine cellar, with historic pine beams, and cast iron pillars, dating back to 1890. Beau and a few local friends will share their favorite fado music with us. The view of Oporto and the River Douro as the sun sets is spectacular.

Monday, July 2nd: Travel Day. Coach transportation has been arranged to the Lisbon Marriot Hotel near the Lisbon airport for the Tuesday morning flights back home.

Price $2,995 plus airfare
Per Person/Double Occupancy.

Sunday, June 24th, departure for Lisbon (airfare not included) June, 25th arrival in Lisbon departing to US July 2nd, 2018.

Trip is strictly limited to 26 people
Use your own airfare or have us book it for you.

A $500 deposit per persons due at time of registration to confirm space on this trip, refundable until March 15th, 2018 (minus a $49 administration fee).
Deposit may be paid by check or credit card. A confirmation & invoice for your balance will be sent by E-mail.
The balance will be due by March 16th, 2018 and can be paid with your credit card supplied for the deposit.

Pay online to secure your slot or download a registration form and mail it to us.


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Please have a look at our photo album below of past trips.

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