Experience the culture, history and cuisine of Portugal with an 11-day tour of Porto, the Douro Valley, Coimbra and Lisbon. Begin your journey in Porto by enjoying a food tour and days learning about port wine production at local wineries. After making new friends along the way you’ll spend four nights in the Douro Valley gaining an inside view of life there from a local whose family has been in the wine industry for generations. Get on board a private sailboat to cruise down the Douro River while taking in breathtaking views. In Lisbon prepare to learn how to cook like a true Portuguese by attending a popular cooking school then top off your time here with an evening of Fado music at one of its historic houses. By the end, you won’t just feel like you know these regions better but like they are part of your home away from home!
Day 1 Overnight MO House, Porto, Portugal
After touching down in Portugal, you will be welcomed to your accommodation for the next three nights – MO House. This newly renovated guesthouse is located centrally and we will have exclusive use of it throughout our stay. To kickstart our adventure in Portuguese food and wine, we have a dinner planned at a local restaurant where we can savor traditional dishes with delicious wines from the region.
Day 2 Overnight MO House, Porto, Portugal
We will kick off the day in Portugal with a walk of discovery, combining history, food and wine. Through Porto we shall explore local specialty stores which have been integral in shaping the city’s gastronomy. Alongside owners, we will find out how port wine gained its name and why it forms such a unique part of Portuguese cuisine. After indulging in this historic route through taste buds, there is still plenty more to see as we take time to bask in the highlights of Porto. A few of the must sees are the Lello Bookstore, consistently named one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores in the world, the Sé Cathedral with its beautiful stained-glass rose window and the São Bento Railway Station with its 20,000+ painted blue and white tile panels (known as azulejos) that highlight the history of Portugal. After seeing the sites, you’ll have the remainder of the day to enjoy Porto as you’d like.
Day 3 Overnight MO House, Porto, Portugal
We’ll kick off the day with a remarkable stroll south across Dom Luís I Bridge, which links Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. This eye-catching bridge bears striking similarities with Gustave Eiffel’s iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris. We will then embark on a Rabelo boat for a scenic voyage between the banks of these two cities and marvel at the spectacular Douro River and Porto. Afterwards, we will explore two of Vila Nova de Gaia’s port cellars for an exclusive tour and tasting experience. Here, you will learn about the unique distinction between ordinary wine and port wine, as well as the timeless story behind Porto and why barrels of it have been delivered downriver to this area over many centuries to be preserved here. After our second tasting, it will be time for dinner, where we’ll enjoy a private meal at one of the port caves, learning more about this unique wine and enjoying Portuguese cuisine.
Day 4 Overnight at Casa Cimeira, Douro Valley, Portugal
This morning we will check out of the hotel and be chauffeured to the picturesque Douro Valley, which has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. We’ll be heading to Casa Cimeira, a comfortable guest house set amidst lush vineyards and stunning scenery. Once there we’ll have time to revel in the spectacular views of the Douro River before making our way to Quinta do Bom Retire, Ramos Pinto. This Quinta is one of the oldest in the area – purchased back in 1919 by Ramos Pinto – and lies within the Torto valley at Cima Corgo’s centre. Here they produce a much-lauded Tawny Port Wine: 20 Years Old Quinta do Bom Retiro. As this winery is not normally open for visitors, we will enjoy an exclusive private visit to the estate and introductory tasting of Port and Douro wines, followed by a private dinner, accompanied by premium port and wines, prepared just for our group. What a perfect introduction to the Douro Valley.
Day 5 Overnight at Casa Cimeira, Douro Valley, Portugal
Our first activity of the day will be a tour and tasting at Mateus Nicolau de Almeida in the Douro Valley. Afterwards, we’ll get to indulge in an exceptional lunch with spectacular views courtesy of João Nicolau de Almeida & Filhos’ Quinta do Monte Xisto. Situated on a noteworthy schist outcrop overlooking both the Douro and Côa rivers, João discovered this unique area was perfect for producing an exclusive wine proudly bearing its name. With assistance from his children, Mateus and João, they began cultivating 10 hectares organically. Nowadays, their venture unites two generations of winemakers together in an unforgettable way – making it all the more exciting that this estate is not often open to outsiders like us! We’ll enjoy getting to know the owners and learning more about the family’s history in the winemaking industry. After another special day in the Douro Valley, we’ll transfer back to our hotel where you’ll have the rest of the evening free to do as you choose.
Day 6 Overnight at Casa Cimeira, Douro Valley, Portugal
We will begin our outing with a journey by coach to Quinta dos Murças. Here we will explore the vineyards and gain knowledge about the terroir of the region, as well as how the different grape varietals and wines are affected by it. Afterwards, there will be a tour followed by a tasting of their wines and then lunch at the winery. Spanning 155 hectares on 3.2 kilometres along the bank of river, Quinta dos Murças is renowned for its verticality and vast range of regional grapes varieties among its terraces, streams, olive groves and vineyards. The first records indicating this property date back to 1770 and have changed hands numerous times until 1943 when Manuel Pinto de Azevedo began managing it until 2008 when Esporão group acquired it from his descendants. Once we’ve soaked in the stunning views, it’s time to explore the Douro Valley from a new angle. Get ready to cruise downriver on our private boat and arrive at our next destination – Quinta do Noval. Originally noted back in 1715, this incredible vineyard was owned by António José da Silva and his family until 1993. Since then it has been under the management of AXA Millésimes, based in the beautiful Cima Corgo area of Pinhão. As one of only a handful of traditional Port Wine exporters with their own label, Quinta do Noval are particularly renowned for their Nacional Vintage – even being considered as one of Wine Spectator’s 12 best wines created in the last century! The grapes come from a small parcel untouched by the plague of phylloxera, a unique case in the region and all of Europe. We’ll enjoy a visit and tour of this historical winery before sitting down for dinner where we’ll enjoy our meal accompanied by some of the Quinta’s wines.
Day 7 Overnight at Casa Cimeira, Douro Valley, Portugal
The days have been hectic and it’s finally time to kick back and appreciate the luxurious amenities of our guesthouse. Feel free to snooze in or enjoy lounging by the pool. Later, we will depart on an excursion of the nearby vineyards and winery which has welcomed us for these last few nights. In honor of our stay, we’ll share dinner with other guests at the guesthouse and savor local port wine while being fully immersed in this tranquil valley.
Day 8 Overnight My Story Tejo Hotel, Lisbon
As we bid our farewells to the Douro Valley, our next stop is the vibrant city of Lisbon. But before we get there, a visit to beautiful Coimbra awaits us! This UNESCO World Heritage Site used to be Portugal’s historical capital and is now renowned for being home to the University of Coimbra. Our local guide will transport us on an extraordinary journey through time with their electric tuk tuk, allowing us glimpses into Coimbra’s greatest treasures – from its 1139-built cathedral and serene Santa Clara Monastery, to its ancient town centre. Once our tour concludes, lunch at a charming restaurant nearby will follow as we make our way towards Lisbon. Upon arrival in Lisbon and checking into the hotel you’ll have the rest of the evening free to explore this stunning city as you please!
Day 9 Overnight My Story Tejo Hotel, Lisbon
In the morning and early afternoon of your time in Lisbon, you can explore the city in whichever way you choose. Maybe take a visit to São Jorge Castle or National Azulejo Museum, go shopping, or stroll along the river. Then later on, we’ll be participating in something unique – Fado! This Portuguese style of music is renowned for its emotionality and singing about life’s struggles. To experience it for ourselves, we’ll visit Adega Machado in Barrio Alto neighborhood – a historic Fado House founded back in 1937! We will enjoy an hour of authentic Fado song with some Portuguese wine. After the performance wraps up, we’ll spend the rest of the night at a cooking school learning how to prepare traditional Portuguese cuisine. It’ll be an evening full of fun and relaxation as we try out Portugal’s culinary culture over delicious wine and our own creations!
Day 10 Overnight My Story Tejo Hotel, Lisbon
Leaving the city behind us, we venture to the stunning destination of Sintra. Nestled in the picturesque Serra de Sintra and with its cooling climate, it has long attracted Portugal’s nobility to construct their luxurious palaces and gardens. Now is your chance to explore Europe’s most impressive Romanticism architectural style sites during a 4WD jeep ride. To start, you’ll have an exterior view of the renowned Pena Palace before our drive towards the seacoast. Here you can take lunch by the sea and admire even more breathtaking vistas; depending on weather conditions, you may opt for an enchanting stroll along walking paths instead. Once we wrap up our day at Sintra, we will head back to Lisbon where there’ll be some free time until our group meets again.We’ll board our private boat and set sail on our exclusive farewell dinner cruise. We’ll sip drinks and share a typical Portuguese Petiscos meal while watching the sites of Lisbon glide by. After watching the sunset, we’ll toast to this beautiful country, the friends we’ve met and the lasting memories we’ve made along the way.
Day 11 Overnight My Story Tejo Hotel, Lisbon
Now that our journey is coming to a close, it’s time to check out. After your last meal in this amazing country, you’ll be transported to the airport as per your flight itinerary.
Local English-speaking guides at sites and wineries.
10 breakfasts, 4 lunches (wine included), 8 dinners (wine included)