We've written about gender-exclusive travel before, including the company Women's Travel Club (tel. 800/480-4448; www.womenstravelclub.com), founded by Phyllis Stoller. There are still some spots left for the club's trip to Lisbon and the Algarve over the Thanksgiving holiday, November 20-26. The land-only price is $1,299 based on double occupancy (single supplement is available for an additional $300), but you can add airfare upon booking. Round-trip fare from Newark to Lisbon, for example, is estimated at about $402, plus taxes and fuel surcharge. A $400 deposit is required and the travel club mails you insurance when you book. You'll have excellent accommodations for five nights, and it covers most of your meals, entrance fees where applicable, taxes and service charges, room share arrangements, and, let's not forget, the expertise of the travel club guides. In November, the weather in Lisbon and the Algarve, which is the southernmost portion of mainland Portugal, is in the mid 50s to low 60s.
You'll stay at the recently renovated Hotel Mundial, located in downtown Lisbon and close to Rossio Square and Tagus River, along with the city's shopping, theaters, monuments, and other attractions. On the first day you will tour Evora, a UNESCO world heritage site and pass through the Alentejo wine region and onto the Algarve. The four-star hotel there, Dom Pedro, is close to the Marina Vilamouro. You'll drive down the coastline and witness its cliffs, grottos and other rock formations, and visit Lagos, Monchique Mountain and Silves, the former Moorish capital of the Algarve. Cathedrals, mosques, baroque architecture and other visual attractions abound. Other destinations include a ride to Moorish Spain -- the Giralda at the Cathedral of Seville -- and Loule, a market town, which you'll hit on Saturday, just in time. The entire trip wraps up in Lisbon, where you'll be treated to a half-day tour of the city.
If you're not a member, you can join up on booking -- it's $35 for one year and $65 for two. Stoller says you can book "very close" up to the departure date. When you go to the site to book, don't be confused by the $1,399 price for land only and $325 for single supplement. Stoller has graciously extended the early bird prices we've advertised here--$1,299 for land only and $300 for single supplement -- exclusively to Frommers.com readers.
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