An Esoteric Quest in Portugal and Galicia, Spain:

The Templars, the Camino, Saudade and the Soul of Portugal

June 4 – June 8, 2023

This June, we invite you to join the Esoteric Quest as we continue our long-running and highly-regarded exploration of the Western Tradition with an outstanding program in Portugal and along the Camino of Santiago de Compostela. Our time will be spent in lands richly endowed with little-known but compelling spiritual and esoteric history. Portugal is a country of bright sun, lush vineyards, millennia-old towns and cities, with the steady presence of the expansive Atlantic Ocean that has played such a vital part in Portuguese history.  

Our Main Conference will take place in Tomar, the legendary stronghold of the Knights Templar, with its magnificent castle, sacred convent and magical ambience. We will also address  Portugal’s fascinating Jewish and Sufi histories, introduce participants to the extraordinary modernist philosopher and poet, Fernando Pessoa, and embrace the exquisite music of Fado, ‘longing turned to melody’ as it is described, that is perhaps the most moving expression of the Portuguese soul, known as saudade.

Portugal is filled with beauty, a complex history, and deep spiritual traditions. The Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, Jews, and Christians have all left significant legacies, as have the Knights Templar. Suppressed in France and throughout most of Europe, the Templars continued in Portugal under a new guise, the Order of Christ. Their grandmaster, Prince Henry the Navigator, placed his country at the forefront of the Age of Discovery as the search began, not just for trade and empire, but for Prester John, the mythical priest king thought to rule an enlightened kingdom in the heart of Africa or Asia. In modern times, Portugal has continued to express great esoteric vitality through its many gifted painters, poets and dancers. Like other formerly imperial cultures, it is beginning to come to terms with its colonial history and honor its multicultural present. 

There will be two Pre-Conference options in and around Lisbon involving short journeys to extraordinary sites of mythic and spiritual significance. In addition, we will take a Post Conference trip along the Portuguese Way of the Camino, to the Heart of Galicia, Spain. Today, this legendary journey is an inter-spiritual pilgrimage traversed by people of all faiths or none.

As always, since our very first event in 1995, the whole experience will be imbued with our special alchemical blend of deep learning, evocative locations, exhilarating music, dance and poetry, and the warm conviviality that is so close to the the heart of the Esoteric Quests. We look forward to welcoming you to this moving and transformative experience in June.

Jeronimos Monastery

Join us!

Pre conference experience

Hermetic, Alchemical, Masonic and Sufi Lisbon

June 2 – 4, 2023

Pre conference experience

Esoteric Sintra and Quinta da Regaleira

June 2 – 4, 2023

Belem Tower

Join us!

Post conference Journey

The Portuguese Way to the Heart of Galicia

Along the Camino of Santiago de Compostela

June 8-13 or 14, 2023


About The esoteric quest

Ralph White

The Esoteric Quest is an ongoing conference and travel series engaged with the rediscovery of the lost or half-forgotten spiritual history of the West. It brings together scholars, writers, artists, and performers deeply versed in the Western Esoteric Tradition and offers some of the leading events in the world on this profound topic.

The Quest began in 1995 in Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, the Southern Bohemian mecca of alchemists, with the conference entitled “The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited” (an “esoteric Woodstock” as it was described at the time by Gnosis magazine). It has now continued for 27 years and has addressed such themes as The Italian Renaissance and the Esoteric Traditions in Florence, Italy; the Golden Age of Andalusia in Granada, Spain; the Cathars and Troubadours in 12th century Languedoc in France; and the world of Ancient Alexandria in Egypt.

The Esoteric Quest is more than a study of spiritual history. It seeks to find the relevance of these traditions to our circumstances in the present day and foster deep interest in the wisdom of different cultures and epochs. The speakers and locations are carefully chosen to offer memorable and convivial experiences that enrich our sense of wonder and open us to fresh ways of seeing the world. Its prime ingredients are high-quality learning, an evocative ambiance, and a program that includes the arts and a strong emphasis on building warm community.

Past Esoteric Quest Conferences

Quest Newsletter

Esoteric Quest Portugal

For more information, please contact Andrea Lomanto at

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