Portugal Food & Wine Adventure
7 Nights / 8 Days • Group Departure
The best way to experience a culture is through their food. Join a small, like-minded group on this exclusive journey. Timed to coincide with the wine harvest, this trip offers a great balance of delicious inclusions and free time.
- Tour a cheese factory and wine cellar in Arrábida
- Wine making, tour and tasting experience at Esporão Wine Estate
- Visit and tour of a cheese factory at Serra da Estrela
- Visit to the Bread Museum
- Grape harvesting experience
- Tasting and tour of Casa de Mateus
- Short Douro cruise in Porto
- Wine cellar visit and special dinner in Porto
- 7 Nights accommodation in comfortable hotels
- Daily breakfast and many dinners and lunches (as specified)
- Services of an English-speaking guide
- Transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned mini-coach
- All activities and excursions as specified
- All entrance fees
Price is per person, based on double occupancy.
October 1 – 8, 2017
Ask about private departures and other room options.
DAY 1 - Arrival Day
Arrive into Lisbon at any time today, there are no activities planned – simply check into your hotel and relax after your long flight. If you would like suggestions for where to eat or what to do, we can help. And we can arrange airport transfers as needed.
DAY 2 - Lisbon & Setúbal
Grab your daypack, your culinary adventure has truly begun! Meet your guide and the rest of the group at breakfast – then hop on your private mini-coach and learn about Lisbon as you head south, across the suspension bridge towards the Setúbal Peninsula; a picturesque region noted for its cheese and wine.
Here you’ll visit a local production facility where azeitão cheese is made. A local favourite, azeitão is a pale-coloured, cured cheese with a buttery, semi-soft consistency. You’ll not only learn more about the process of making azeitão, you’ll also have a chance to participate – by milking a sheep and making your own cheese.
After you’ve worked up a thirst, carry on to a nearby wine cellar to learn about the next most important product of the region – Moscatel wine. Here you’ll taste the Moscatel and try out the cheese from the factory you’ve just visited, before heading to the port city of Setúbal for lunch (your guide will offer suggestions, or you can explore on your own).
In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxed, scenic ride through the Arrabida National Park, where you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean as you make your way back to Lisbon for some free time. We have some excellent suggestions for dinner, depending on your interests.
DAY 3 - Lisbon to Alentejo (Évora)
After breakfast this morning you’ll check out of your hotel and head north, across the gently rolling landscape of wheat fields, cork trees, olive groves and vineyards of the Alentejo region. This is a beautiful, sunny part of Portugal, known for their agricultural production and slower pace of life. You’ll spend most of the day at one of the landmarks of the region – the Esporão Wine and Olive oil Estate. Built on top of a hill, the property is surrounded by 400 hectares of vineyards.
Here you’ll visit the wine cellar and – after tasting the wine, regional cheeses and local black pork cured meat (exlibris from Alentejo) – you’ll have the unique opportunity to be a “winemaker for a day”. Not only will you participate in the production of wine but you’ll also create a wine of your own, complete with a customized label.
After your busy morning, take advantage of the opportunity to have a very special lunch at the exquisite restaurant on the estate. A memorable experience!
Later, hop back on the comfortable mini-coach for a scenic drive towards Évora, where you’ll be staying tonight. This ancient city has a history dating back two millennia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a delightful city to wander: your guide will give you suggestions for excellent local restaurants and you’re free to explore on your own.
After the tasting, you’re off through the beautiful limestone scenery of the Gorge de la Cesse, en route to the hilltop village of Minerve. Offering dramatic views of the surrounding countryside, Minerve has a fascinating history and was the site of an important battle in the Crusades of the 11th century. Again, your Athos guide will explain the relevant history and show you the highlights.
DAY 4 - Alentejo (Évora) - Beira Region and Sierra da Estrela
After breakfast this morning, you’ll check out of the hotel before your walking tour of the historic city centre begins – learn more about Évora’s ancient past, including the Temple of Diana, the Cathedral and the main square; Praça do Giraldo.
Once you’ve explored Évora’s city centre, head up north to the region of Beira and Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain in Portugal. Your guide will suggest a spot for a lunch stop.
When you arrive at the foot of the mountain, stop to explore Castelo Novo – a network of villages close to the Spanish border. Translated as “New Castle” the ancient structure from which the area takes its name actually dates back to the twelfth century!
This gorgeously scenic region of Beira is well known for its excellent cheese production; specialities include cream and curd cheeses and are covered by strict regional designations. Here you’ll visit a local producer and sample several varieties including the Queijo Amarelo de Beira Baixa – which has been named “best cheese in the world” by international judges. Later, head to your comfortable mountain chalet for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5 - Serra da Estrela – Douro Region
You’ll check out of the hotel after breakfast and continue to explore the Beira Region and its famously delicious foods. Your first stop will be at the fascinating Bread Museum, where you have the chance to make your own bread if you wish. You’ll have a carefully prepared buffet lunch served at the museum’s restaurant, where the Chef uses only the finest local foods, including – of course – the bread, cured meats and cheese the area is known for.
After lunch, continue your journey towards the beautiful Douro region, where you’ll check in to your hotel and have some free time. Perhaps take the opportunity to relax and enjoy the excellent facilities or explore on your own. Dinner at the hotel is included.
DAY 6 - Douro Region
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading to one of the local wine estates for a unique experience: here you can participate in the wine harvest! After a short demonstration, you’ll be armed with a hat, t-shirt, scissors and a bucket and sent out to the vineyard for the morning.
The local workers will welcome the help for this important task: the harvest of the Douro grapes is a very busy time – it must be completed between the end of September and beginning of October (depending on weather conditions). In this way you’ll be pitching in to help one of Portugal’s key industries – and it’s a fun way to spend a morning.
When you’re done in the vineyards, you’ll have a delicious lunch at the estate before making your way back to the hotel to freshen up. You have free time for the rest of the day. Dinner is included at the excellent on-site restaurant (or you’re free to explore on your own if you wish).
DAY 7 - Douro Region - Porto
Check out of your hotel after breakfast, then head north towards Vila Real – halfway to Porto. This is where you’ll stop at one of Portugal’s most well-known wineries: Casa Mateus – home to delicious rosé wines but also locally known for their exceptional jams. After a brief tour, explore the informative on-site museum and beautiful gardens. When you’re finished, it’s time to taste the regional delicacies: enjoy local wine and jams produced on-site, locally cured meats and regional breads before the short drive to Porto.
Upon arrival in Porto, your guide will explain some of the local history and points of interest. At the mouth of the Douro River, this scenic city is nestled between the ravines and landscapes of the interior. An important commercial port and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the old city is full of narrow cobblestone streets, colourful houses and an exciting energy: this is where Port and Douro wines are produced and distributed.
Your guide will take you through the pretty Ribiera Quarter in the heart of the old city, where you’ll enjoy the late afternoon sun as you cruise the Douro on a traditional Rabelo boat. These vessels were once used to transport wine between the slopes of the Douro region to Porto for production and distribution – and now offer a delightfully relaxing way to see the city.
From here you’ll head to the hotel to check in. There will be time to freshen up and change: your next stop is at a local wine cellar for a tasting and short visit before a special group dinner. Enjoy spectacular views, delicious local food and wines as you discuss the highlights of your foodie adventure. This will be an unforgettable evening.
DAY 8 - Departure Day
Have breakfast at the hotel and say your good-byes – this marks the end of your tour.
You may choose to extend your trip in Porto or Lisbon; we can help with both, including excellent hotels, restaurant suggestions or excursions. If your flight is leaving from Lisbon, we can find with domestic flights or train tickets for you, just ask.
- Ask us about affordable airfares and pre- or post-stay options in Lisbon.
- If a small group departure isn’t for you, please ask about private options.
Price is per person based on two people sharing a standard room. Other room types: please inquire. Proof of insurance is mandatory; if you need to purchase trip cancellation or health insurance please inquire. For full Booking Conditions, please see thetravelsociety.com/booking-conditions/ Tour is operated by The Travel Society, Inc., 174 Spadina Ave., Suite 404, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C2, Canada; 1 (877) 926 2500; TICO Registration #1280649