PORTUGAL FOOD & WINE ADVENTURE
In our “Portugal Food and Wine Adventure” itinerary, you will experience a 12-day adventure of some of Portugal‘s most interesting destinations for food and wine lovers. These include Lisbon, the Alentejo wine region, Porto, and the Douro Valley. This 12-day itinerary allows you to enjoy four different “tastes” of this amazing country in absolute luxury.
Bacalhau (salted cod), sumptuous sausages, elegant red and crisp white wines, rich desserts, flavorful cheeses, the freshest seafood, and spicy chicken dishes. These are just a taste of what’s in store for you on your Portugal Food & Wine Adventure! Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and cradled by Spain to the East, Portugal has a lot to offer. Its friendly people, fascinating history, world-class foods, wines, and luxurious hotels will have you immediately falling in love with this tiny, welcoming country.
Portugal is one of Europe’s least known, but most exciting, countries for food and wine experiences. Geographically small, Portugal has a surprising variety of landscapes. There are the terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley. Then, you have miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and the rural inland which stretches towards Spain. Subsequently, all of these contribute to creating a number of unique microclimates that allow for a multitude of culinary and wine experiences in a small amount of space.
LISBON – 3 NIGHTS
Bem-Vindo a Portugal! The first stop on your Portugal Food & Wine Adventure will be magnificent Lisbon. Located on seven picturesque hillsides overlooking the Rio Tejo, the city boasts a postcard-perfect panorama. It is filled with cobbled alleyways, ancient ruins, red rooftops, a spectacular bridge, cathedrals along a bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Your private driver will pick you up from the Lisbon airport and accompany you to your centrally located 4 or 5-star hotel. While in Portugal’s most vibrant city, you’ll have the opportunity to acquaint yourself with the Portuguese lifestyle and cuisine with a number of fun and interesting activities:
- A Welcome Cooking Class and Dinner in Portugues Style. You will start your adventure by learning about Portugal’s most important element, it’s cuisine! In the late afternoon, your private driver will pick you up and accompany you to meet your host (a local chef!) for your first night in Portugal. Together with him, you’ll learn all the secrets of some of the most traditional Portuguese recipes. In this cooking class, the chef will teach you how to prepare a traditional Portuguese meal. This consists of fish dishes, meat dishes, and dessert in a hands-on experience! Fresh ingredients are the basis of Portuguese cuisine. You will use fresh ingredients such as vegetables, fish, shellfish, and meat. You then will marry these with delicious Portuguese olive oils, cheeses, and cured sausages. Following your class, you’ll sit down to a full meal that you have created! Following dinner, your private driver will accompany you to your hotel.
- A Private Tour of the Highlights of Lisbon including stops at historic and traditional food shops and markets. Today you’ll embark on a half-day tour starting at the bustling heart of Lisbon. First, you will visit the Baixa district was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake. It has beautiful cobbled streets, named after the artisans who traded in the area. You can’t miss the famous Elevator de Santa Justa, a remarkable iron elevator built in the late 19th century and designed by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, a student of Gustave Eiffel. Then, you will go to the Alfama district, the unmistakable soul of the capital city. This district is adorned with steep winding alleys, hidden landmark churches, echoes of tunes of fado music, and stunning views of the Tagus River. In Moorish times this was an upper-class residential area. The earthquake brought down many of its mansions (and post-Moorish churches) and the district reverted to a working-class, “fisherfolk” quarter. Afterward, continue to the Castle of St. Jorge, formerly a Moorish citadel. Here you can see Lisbon sprawling along the banks of the Tagus River estuary. From the city’s hills, you can look toward the Atlantic, and let your thoughts run free. During the day, your guide will also navigate you through one of Lisbon’s many bustling food markets. He/she will point out the seasonal products and explain how they are utilized in the Portuguese kitchen. Along the way, you’ll also stop at some of Lisbon’s historic food shops. These include a sweet stop at a 19th-century factory converted into a pastry shop for a gourmet treat. Pastéis de Belem is delicious custard tarts typical of this neighborhood of Lisbon).
- A Private Day Trip and Tour to Cascais and Sintra with Cooking Lesson and Lunch. This morning you’ll start your day by meeting your private chauffeur. The first stop is Cascais. Formerly a quaint fishing village, it became a popular resort favored by European nobility and kings in the early 20th century. Today it is a colorful cosmopolitan town with elegant pedestrian streets, luxuriant villas, fashionable shops, restaurants, and bars. Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy a private guided tour to the local market accompanied by your chef. Following your market tour, you’ll enjoy a private cooking lesson at a charming noble house facing the sea. Then, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labors with a delicious lunch. Finally, continue to beautiful Sintra. This extraordinary town has a surreal mixture of history and fantasy, protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Your expert guide will lead you on a private guided tour of the historical center and visit the colorful Pena Palace. Afterward, you will return to your hotel in Lisbon in the early evening.
EVORÀ – 2 NIGHTS
Today you’ll head to the next destination on your Portugal Food & Wine Adventure. Head inland to the rural countryside of Portugal and your lovely 5* spa hotel. Evorà is a World Heritage Site that embodies the charm of authentic Portugal. Located in the center of the Alentejo region, it is the perfect base for exploring the treasures of central Portugal.
Before you reach your hotel, your private driver will help you choose a restaurant inside the village for lunch. Afterward, you will meet your local guide for a Private Tour of the City and its Surroundings. Evorà’s history dates back to Roman times. On your tour, you’ll see the city’s Roman temple, the beautiful architecture from the town’s golden age in the 15th century, the charming cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses. Along the way, your guide will explain the history and culture of this interesting town. Eventually, you will arrive at your hotel and have the evening free to enjoy and relax on your own.
- The next day you will enjoy a Discovery of the Alentejo wine region. The Alentejo region of southern central Portugal is a rural inland area consisting of rolling hills and plains. Hence, it is sometimes referred to as the “Tuscany of Portugal”. ts economy is primarily based on agriculture. Its sparsely populated wide open spaces are dominated by farms, wineries, olive groves, and cork forests. The area is also known as the ‘breadbasket of Portugal’ due to the amount and variety of food and wine produced here. The typically Mediterranean landscape of the Alentejo makes it the ideal place for growing grapevines and olive trees destined for high-quality production. Your private driver will accompany you to one of the region’s most respected wineries. Here you will enjoy a tour of the property and tastings of their wines. Afterward, enjoy a delicious lunch of specialties of Alentejo cuisine. The Alentejo is known for its honest cooking, fresh products, traditional recipes, and influences of the old past. In the afternoon you will visit another family-owned winery where you will discover more about the local wines and traditions. During the day, you’ll also visit one of the Alentejo’s famed olive producers for a tour and tasting. The region produces 70% of the country’s oil, and it is considered amongst the highest quality oils in the world. Your driver will then accompany you back to your hotel.
PORTO – 4 NIGHTS
The next stop on your Portugal Food & Wine Adventure will be the lovely riverside city of Oporto, also known as Porto. Along the way, on your private transfer, you’ll visit some of the most charming spots of central-Portugal:
- Start your journey in Óbidos, a medieval village from the XII century, inside the castle walls, where you can find a lot of handcraft stores mixed with churches and charming guest houses. This village is also known for its chocolate and cherry liquor. Next, you’ll head north along Atlantic West Coast, where you will see the biggest pine tree forest in Portugal right before arriving in Nazaré, a fisherman’s village and a famous surf spot. Here fish is king and you’ll have a chance to wander through the fish market before enjoying a delicious fresh seafood lunch. Your last stop will be Aveiro, a city on the west coast of Portugal set along a lagoon. It’s distinguished by its canals navigated by colorful boats (barcos moliceiros), traditionally used to harvest seaweed. Not far from its core, known for art nouveau buildings, is the Cathedral of Aveiro, with its prominent bell tower. The Museu de Aveiro, housed in a former convent, has a lavish tomb made of marble.
After this full day of exploring the central coast of Portugal, it’s on to charming Porto. Bella Vita has a wonderful selection of 4 and 5-star elegant hotels for you to choose from. During your stay in Porto, we will arrange the following special experiences:
- Our favorite way to start any trip to Porto is with our Private Half-Day Walking Tour of the city. Porto was made for exploring on foot and today. Therefore, you’ll do just that. Taking in the city’s historic center with its network of alleys, tile-fronted churches, and varied monuments. Porto was designated a World Heritage Site in 1996. Overlooking the Douro River, it was the Romans who give the city the name Portus, or port, in the 1st century BC. With your private guide, visit some of the city’s key historic sites. Begin with the neighborhood of Praça da Ribeira with winding, cobbled streets. Then, Porto’s main thoroughfare, the architecturally impressive Avenida dos Aliados. Next, the beautiful São Bento railway station, whose walls tell the history of Portugal through more than 20,000 tiles. Afterward, São Francisco church, a fine example of Baroque ornamentation. Lastly, the historic Livraria Lello bookstore said to have inspired JK Rowling!
- An Evening Porto Petiscos Tour. Together with your local guide, you’ll walk through the city discovering hidden streets and food spots, sampling Portuguese ‘petiscos’ (like Spanish tapas) and a variety of wines along the way. As you move from place to place, you’ll gain further insight into Portuguese culture and local lifestyle. You’ll start with savory dishes and move on to finish with some of Porto’s most delicious sweets. We guarantee that you won’t need dinner after this tour!
- No trip to Porto would be complete without a Private Port Lodges of Porto Tour and Tasting. Across the Douro river, facing Porto, you’ll visit the city of Gaia, home of more than 60 Port wine lodges. You will enjoy a guided visit and tasting at the19th-century Graham’s port cellar. Then, you’ll have reservations for lunch at the acclaimed on-site restaurant Vinum. Following lunch, you’ll visit a second port lodge, Real Companhia Velha. This is an older traditional lodge dating back to 1756, for an exclusive visit and tastings. These Port wine lodges are two of the most iconic producers in Douro Valley.
- A Portuguese Market Tour and Traditional Cooking Class. Accompanied by your local private guide, you’ll discover the secrets of Portugal’s many unique ingredients and cooking techniques. After a trip to the market, you’ll create (and then enjoy!) a full Portuguese meal, all accompanied by the country’s delicious wines.
DOURO VALLEY – 2 NIGHTS
It’s time to move on to the next destination of your Luxurious Portugal tour, the beautiful Douro Valley. Here you will stay in one of the country’s most elegant and splendorous hotels. During your stay in the Douro Valley, you will enjoy the following special experiences. You’ll have a private driver accompany you inland, through the lush Portuguese countryside, to your luxurious 5* spa hotel overlooking the Douro Valley and hillsides. During your stay, you’ll be immersed in the vineyards, above the winding Douro river, a perfect way to end your adventure!
- A Full Day Tour of the Douro Valley Wine Region with a Private Winery Lunch and Private Rabelo Boat Ride. Your private driver will accompany you to explore the vineyards and ‘quintas’ of this scenic valley that looks over the Douro River. You’ll discover the history and unique processes that go into making the wine as well as enjoy tastings onsite of the wineries’ best vintages. Following your sumptuous lunch at one of the region’s most emblematic ‘quintas’, you’ll board a private rabelo riverboat for a panoramic and relaxing cruise.
On the day of your departure, your private driver will take you to the Porto Airport for your flight home or elsewhere.
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your Portugal Wine and Food Adventure. A few days on the Azore Islands or lush Madeira? Or perhaps, a visit to the sun-kissed shores of the Algarve coast? Why not add this itinerary to a tour of Spain or Morocco? The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish.