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The Portuguese Palate: Lisbon, Porto & the Douro River Valley with a Chef

Tour Overview

Immerse yourself in Portugal on this 11-day of tour of curated culinary, wine, and cultural experiences with an Expert Host. From three nights in the capital city of Lisbon and the university town of Coimbra, to the Douro Valley and Porto, enjoy the diverse landscapes from south to North.

Along the way, taste regional delicacies with local chefs enhanced by the knowledge of your Expert Host. Hands-on cooking opportunities top off the wonderful day-by-day itinerary through this small country rich in history and flavor.

Premier Experiences, Premier Advantages

  • English-speaking Premier representatives

  • Unparalled Expert Host

  • Private transportation and baggage portage*

  • Purposefully small groups

  • Hand-selected, private experiences

  • Private, guided walking or panoramic city tours

  • Curated accommodation

  • Internet (where available)

  • 24/7 Premier support

Itinerary

Highlights of Lisbon

Day 1

Arrive in Lisbon airport where a private transfer will meet you after customs and escort you to your accommodations in Lisbon for the following four nights, including daily breakfast.

Enjoy your afternoon at leisure. Connect this evening for a Welcome Dinner.

Day 2

Today, become acquainted with Lisbon on a half-day guided panoramic and walking tour and experience why Lisbon is nicknamed the “White City’ as you bask in the sunshine reflected onto the city from the Tagus River. Explore iconic sites throughout the old town. Visit Belém, home to two UNESCO world heritage sites: the Tower of Belém and the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Learn about the legacy of Prince Henry the Navigator and receive detailed information on Portugal’s role as a seafaring nation on the forefront of naval exploration in the 15th and 16th century. Vasco da Gama, Pedro Alvares Cabral and Bartolomeu Dias are some of the many great explorers that will be addressed on this tour. Finish your tour with a tasting of the world famous “Pasteis de Belém,” created in the same location since 1837. The balance of day is at leisure.

Reconnect with the group for a private culinary adventure learning to cook traditional Portuguese recipes this evening with a local artisan and our expert host.

Day 3

Experience a full day meandering through some of the most mystical, romantic mountain and seaside towns a short ride away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon. Feel like royalty in Sintra — a longtime royal sanctuary with its forested landscapes studded with pastel-colored villas and palaces. View the Palácio Nacional da Pena and see why the king of fairytales, Hans Christian Anderson called Sintra “the most beautiful place in Portugal.” Visit Palacio de Queluz, considered to be the “Portuguese Versailles.” Meander the cobbled streets through the historical center of town, visit shops, take pictures of Palácio Nacional de Sintra. Stop for a visit in Estoril and Cascais, on the Portuguese Riviera. Enjoy a traditional lunch before returning to the hotel for your evening at leisure.

Highlights of Coimbra

Day 4

Today, the adventure continues from Lisbon to the amazing city of Coimbra with its preserved medieval old town and the famous University of Coimbra —one of the oldest continuously operating universities in the world. Enjoy time for lunch at a historic estate before a guided tour of the University. Stroll the magical streets and gaze upon the multitude of architectural styles, from Romanesque Old Cathedral to the Baroque University Tower. Enjoy lunch with the group before checking into your one-night accommodations. Spend the balance of your time in Coimbra at leisure.

Highlights of Douro Valley

Day 5

Continue on to the Douro Valley this morning with a stop in Viseu, Portugal. One of the best towns to visit in Portugal, Viseu is known for its hilltop old town, an ancient cathedral towering over it, the scenic cobbled alleyways, and its vast plazas. It is not just home to many architectural treasures, but is also frequented for the highly delectable Dao wine from the neighboring Dao region. Following time at leisure for exploring and lunch, continue on to your hand-selected Quinta for the following four nights, including breakfast daily. Settle into your accommodations among the rolling hills and vineyards of the Douro Valley before reconnecting with the group for traditional dinner.

Day 6

Experience the sun-drenched vineyards, captivating villages, and historical landmarks of the Douro River Valley on a full-day tour. A tour to Portugal would be incomplete without meandering through some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and experiencing some of the finest vineyards in the world.

Starting with one of the oldest and most famous estates in the Douro Valley, Quinta do Vallado, enjoy the breathtaking views of the Corgo River from the vineyard while tasting its award-winning wines and ports. Next, visit Quinta do Bomfim (or similar) — owner of such leading port houses as Graham’s, Dow’s, Ware’s, and Cockburn’s, as well as a portfolio of Douro wines. Enjoy a wine tasting and a private picnic in the vineyards to bask in the fruits of this exceptional vineyard.

Day 7

Enjoy this morning at leisure relaxing among the vines and enjoying the amenities of the Quinta. 

This afternoon, visit Nucleo Museologico Favaios, Pao e Vinho (Bread & Wine Museum) in the wine village of Favaios (or similar). Enjoy a tasting of the famous Moscatel de Favaios and visit a traditional bakery in the village of Favaios. Next, visit one of the oldest Xisto villages, Provesende (Aldeia de Xisto) and enjoy one of the best views of the Douro River from Casal de Loivos. Enjoy an olive oil tasting at a nearby mill.

Return to the Quinta for time at leisure before this evening’s Chef’s dinner.

Day 8

On your final day in the Douro Valley, meet a local prominent Viscountess and join her for a cooking class at the old kitchens. Visit the estate and learn about its history and the Viscountess family’s interesting and rich life story.  At the old kitchens and using the wood burning stoves and old iron pots you will learn how to cook an authentic local menu under the Viscountess’ guidance.  After the cooking lesson, enjoy lunch in one of the elegant dining rooms of the estate, or al fresco in the patio, and enjoy the dishes you prepared.

Return for the Chef’s dinner at the Quinta this evening.

Highlights of Porto

Day 9

Following breakfast, enjoy a half-day guided panoramic and walking tour of Porto, including the historic center that was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring sites such as the Porto Cathedral, Dom Luís Bridge, São Bento station, Lello Bookstore, and Clérigos Church. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch and shopping.

This evening, enjoy a blend of cultural, culinary, and historical experience through a Petiscos walking tour with a local expert guide.

Day 10

Experience all of Porto’s bridges on a cruise of the Douro River to see Porto’s six bridges. Coast down the peaceful waters of the Douro River by boat as you see Porto to one side and Gaia to the other, and all of Porto’s stunning bridges connecting the two cities. Quickly notice that no two bridges are alike, each with their own architecture and personality, making for stunning photo backdrops. As you sail the UNESCO river, see why this is one of the most unique ways to experience Northern Portugal. 

Late afternoon, cross the Douro River to Vila Nova de Gaia (simply ‘Gaia’ to locals) to learn firsthand why the city is world famous for its fortified Portuguese wine — port. Gaia transports you back to the 17th-century beginnings of port-wine production, when British merchants transformed wine into the post-dinner tipple of choice by adding a dash of brandy.

Learn more about the history of port at one of the most iconic, renowned port houses — Graham’s The 1890 Lodge. Grahams has called Gaia home since 1890 and the Lodge is where all their wine is aged. Enjoy a premium tasting with savory bites.

Farewell dinner this evening.

Day 11

Transfers will be provided to the Porto airport. We hope you enjoyed Portugal! 

Boa viagem!

Optional Tours 

For more exploration and adventure, we offer optional tour extensions across Madrid, Barcelona, Madeira, and the Azores, allowing guests to see even more of what this beautiful part of Europe has to offer.

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    Our Expertly Done Culinary & Wine Travel Includes:

    • EXPERTLY CURATED ITINERARIES

      Over 35 years of experience goes into planning every custom itinerary and represents a balanced blend of cultural, culinary, and wine-related experiences.

    • HAND-SELECTED EXPERT HOSTS

      Carefully selected Expert Hosts to ensure each tour is enhanced with knowledgeable, approachable insights, and hands-on cooking and/or wine tasting and education.

    • INTENTIONALLY SMALL GROUPS

      Each tour is kept intentionally small to ensure more one-on-one experiences with our Expert Hosts.

    • CAREFULLY CHOSEN ACCOMMODATIONS

      Hotels, villas, and chateaus are expertly chosen with an eye toward modern-day comfort, amenities, and location that enhance your experience.

    • ASSURANCE

      Our team is at the ready to assist you any time, for any reason while traveling — 24/7.

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