An enchanting journey through history and the vines

Portugal is a fabulous destination for food and wine lovers, offering a varied range of captivating landscapes (from cork forests, to wild coastline, to steep terraced vineyards); stunning historic villages like Belmonte, Évora, Sintra and Óbidos; and world class wineries. This Portuguese Wine Odyssey vacation brings you to the fine wine regions of the Alentejo and the Douro Valley, with additional wine tasting in the historic port wine lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia and at the quaint Loja do Vinho in Sintra. Some highlights of the tour include a romantic Rabelo cruise along the Douro River, 4X4 tours through the vineyards, tasting rare vintage Port wines in Oporto, and fine dining at some of Portugal’s best restaurants including the Bull& Bear (run by Portugal’s leading chef, Miguel Castro e Silva) and Tavares Rico (an ornate and gilded affair in Lisbon, dating back to the 1700´s).

You begin the tour in the atmospheric city of Oporto, visiting the famed lodges of Ramos Pinto and Grahams, before carrying on the Douro valley. Your base will be the Vintage House, majestically perched right on the river. Visit boutique estates like Quinta da Pacheca as well as more famous wineries like Quinta do Crasto, and head south towards the Alentejo. Enroute, you’ll stop off in the charming village of Trancoso for a surprisingly stylish wine tasting lunch and Belmonte, where you will sleep a night in the enchanting Pousada. The next leg of the trip includes a few days in Alentejo taking in VIP visits to top estates like Esporão, and emerging stars like Monte Seis Reis and Monte da Ravasqueira (both with stunning properties). You’ll stay outside the Unesco heritage town of Évora, in an elegantly renovated convent, now a luxury spa hotel. On your way to Lisbon, you’ll visit the fairy tale village of Óbidos and a Disney-esque castle in Sintra. Your tour concludes in Lisbon with a farewell wine tasting gourmet dinner at the city’s greatest restaurant, Tavares Rico.

On this wine tasting tour, you’ll taste a variety of native Portuguese grape varietals such as (red)- Aragonês (Spain´s Tempranillo grape, also called Tinta Roriz in the north), Tinto Cão (high quality red), Bastardo (humorously named grape cultivated in the Douro and other regions), Castelão Frances (also called "Tricadeira Preta" and "Periquita" in the Ribatejo), Touriga Francesa (one of the most widely grown port grapes), Touriga Nacional (one of the nation’s "Noble" grapes); and (white) Antao Vaz (zippy white used widely in the Alentejo), Alvarinho (said to be a possible cousin to Spain´s "Albariño), Esgana Cão (another humorous name, this means "Dog Strangler"!), Fernão Pires (aromatic grape that resembles Muscat), Roupeiro (high quality grape, also known as Codéga"), and Vioshinho (a lesser known white grape of the Douro valley. Dining is always an important focus on our tours and you’ll enjoy a range of carefully selected restaurants, from cozy and authentic little winemaker’s haunts to refined and high end establishments. This is the ultimate Portuguese wine odyssey! Contact us for more info if you want to visit Portugal’s wine country on a luxurious private tour.

Highlights:

  • Private Wine Tour of Portugal with Driver
  • Personalized Wine Tasting Tours of Alentejo, Sintra, Douro, Port....
  • Great food experiences in Portugal
  • Sightseeing in Oporto, Belmonte, Trancoso, Evora, Obidos, Lisbon and more
  • Private wine cruise on the Douro river
  • Luxury hotels in the Portuguese wine country
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Below is a suggested Day By Day Itinerary for your private Portuguese Wine Odyssey


Day One - Oporto and Port Wine Lodges

Rabelo Boats in Oporto

Rabelo Boats in Oporto

This morning, when you arrive to Oporto´s international airport, you will rendezvous with your charming chauffeur who will be your private driver guide for the duration of this tour. Drive into Oporto, crossing the river and heading into Vila Nova de Gaia. This is where the famous Port Wine Lodges are located and you have a fantastic day ahead, with private tours and tastings to look forward to. Begin your tour with a visit to Graham’s lodge, one of our personal favorites. This classic Anglo- Portuguese lodge is also one of the most impressive, with extensive ageing cellars and thousands of casks. On a private tour of the property, you’ll learn all about how Port is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, and about how the lodges functioned as storehouses (they still do), while the wine is actually made in the Douro valley.

Finish your visit with a tasting of Vintage Ports from single “Quintas” (the highest quality), to includes wines like Malvedos, Bonfim and some gorgeous Tawny Ports such as Graham´s 30 year old Tawny. Lunch is next and you will be ready to sit down and relax over a tasting menu at the quaint Dom Tonho restaurant. This restaurant is an institution, and you will rub elbows with as many locals as tourists, who flock here. After lunch, enjoy one more Port wine lodge tour, for example at the beautiful Ramos Pinto. They have an excellent wine museum where you can see the creative port wine ads they used from the 19th century into the 1950´s. In the late afternoon, your driver will drop you off at your comfortable spa hotel, to settle in and enjoy a free evening. For a classy dinner tonight, try Foz Velha, highly recommended.

Overnight: 5* Spa Hotel, Oporto

Meals Included in Price: Lunch with wines, welcome bottle of wine in room

Transfers: Oporto airport- touring- hotel


Day Two - Private Tour of Oporto & Gourmet Lunch

Seafood

Gourmet Dining

You will have a chance to sleep in this morning to catch up from jet lag, and enjoy the hotel’s gym and spa if you like. In the late morning, your private art guide and driver will meet you in the lobby, and you’ll head into the historic center to explore this ancient city. Some highlights of your Oporto tour include a visit to the Lello book shop (one of the most beautiful in Europe), the Arabian salon at the historic Stock Exchange and the Igreja de São Francisco (a grandiose church that must not be missed). This afternoon you drive to the beautiful Douro valley, but first you’ll stop for a fantastic lunch in Oporto.

Arrive to the world famous Bull & Bear restaurant where you’ll tasted refined & creative Portuguese cuisine paired with thoughtfully selected wines, on a special chef’s tasting menu. Following a long and relaxed wine lunch, your driver will transfer you to the Douro Valley, about two hour’s drive. You’ll arrive to Pinhão in the early evening and check in to the hotel, whose location could not be any more perfect. Your room will overlook the river, and tonight you could pop into their wine shop, have an aperitif at the old world bar and enjoy dinner in the romantic dining room. Welcome to the gorgeous Douro Valley!

Overnight: 4* Historic Hotel, Douro Valley

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Lunch with wines

Transfers: Douro valley Touring- Rabelo Cruise


Day Three - Douro Valley Wine Tour & Rabelo Cruise

Grapes at Harvest

Grapes at Harvest

Today’s activities are some of the major highlights of this wine odyssey. You will discover the breathtaking Douro Valley, stopping in a boutique wine estate for a tour and tasting, and sailing down the Douro river in your own private Rabelo boat while you sip on chilled white port. Begin the day when your driver transfers you from Pinhão to Peso da Régua to the family run Quinta da Pacheca estate. While the owners have an aristocratic background, they could not be friendlier and you will receive a very warm welcome. Some of their vineyards are right on site, and you’ll learn about the grapes they cultivate, and the wines they produce, both dry wines and port wines. After a tour of the pretty Quinta, historic wine cellar and grape treading “Lagar”, you’ll sit down for a tasting of five of their wines. Nibble on homemade breads and delicious local cheeses while you taste wines and learn more about the Douro region.

Carry on to a sit down lunch nearby at the trendy Douro In restaurant, with great views right over the river. Taste local dishes like “Míscaros do Monte” (sautéed wild mushrooms), “Joelho Porco Assado” (roast pork loin) and a naughty chocolate dessert. The next part of the afternoon will be spent relaxing on your private Rabelo boat. These Rabelos are replicas of the 17th and 18th century boats that the wine companies used to transport the port downstream to Oporto where it would be stored before shipping to international markets. Enjoy your cruise, with some wine onboard and a friendly English speaking skipper. In the late afternoon, your boat will drop you off at the dock, steps from your hotel. The rest of the evening is at leisure.

Overnight: 4* Historic Hotel, Douro Valley

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Lunch with wines

Transfers: Douro valley Touring- Rabelo Cruise


Day Four - Wine Tasting- Lunch in Trancoso and on to Belmonte

Jewish Heritage in Belmonte

Jewish Heritage in Belmonte

This morning you will visit one of the most prestigious Douro producers, Quinta do Crasto. Run by the Roquette family, this winery makes frankly amazing wines. Wine Spectator, Robert Parker and international wine critics like Jancis Robinson concur and the Quinta do Crasto wines are consistently award winners. You’ll tour the estate with a member of this famous family and enjoy a private tasting of their flagship wines, as well as a surprise wine not widely available. This is your last morning in the Douro valley as the next stop is Belmonte. But first, head to Trancoso for lunch. This small charming village is totally off the beaten path, and yet one restaurant consistently attracts wine lovers- the Área Benta (“Blessed Area”).

You’ll have a traditional Portuguese lunch served in a stylish and contemporary setting, with dishes such as Arroz de Pato (Rice with duck), Cabrito Assado com castañas (roast kid with chestnuts) and Requeijão com Doce de Abóbora (delicious cheese with preserves). After a convivial lunch, you could get in a digestive walk around the fortified village of Trancoso, with its medieval cobblestoned streets. At your leisure, carry on to your hotel in the historic town of Belmonte, another hour’s drive. This is a very pleasant stop enroute to Alentejo, and guests of Jewish heritage will be interested to find out that Belmonte is one of Portugal’s last surviving Jewish communities (which dates back to the 12th century) and was only “rediscovered” in the last 20 years.

You can visit the Jewish museum and the beautiful castle which dates back to the 13th century (although it was last refurbished into a manor house for Pedro Álvares Cabral, the Portuguese navigator who discovered Brazil). Your hotel is thoroughly delightful and the restaurant is excellent. Enjoy!

Overnight: 4* Historic Hotel, Belmonte

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Lunch with wines

Transfers: Douro Valley- Trancoso- Belmonte


Day Five - Alentejo Wine Touring

Ancient Tower in Estremoz

Ancient Tower in Estremoz

This morning you head south to the Alentejo wine region, one of our favorite wine regions in the world. Characterized by its cork forests, Moorish castles and bold, “monster” wines, the Alentejo is supremely enjoyable. From Belmonte, drive to Estremoz, one of the oldest towns in the region. Your first winery visit today is at the Monte Seis Reis estate, a newish, highly successful company founded by packing mogul Helder de Almeida. Enjoy a private tour of their vast estate and taste their superb single varietal wines like the Boa Memória Branco (made with the native Antão Vaz grape) and their elegant blends like the Monte Seis Reis Reserva. Lunch is next right in Estremoz in a charming converted wine cellar. Try local delicacies like the “Porco Preto” (black pig), dogfish in a cilantro sauce, roast pork with plums, monkfish with clams, etc.

You’ll have some free time in Estremoz to explore on your own, and we highly suggest you have a coffee in the beautiful Pousada. Your next wine estate today is the lovely Monte da Ravasqueira winery, also one of the major horse stud farms in Portugal. Located near the ancient carpet weaving town of Arraiolos, Monte da Ravasquiera is a treat to visit. They have 11 single vineyards, and cultivate arrange of grapes including (red)- Aragone (Tempranillo), Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Touriga Franca, Alfrocheiro, Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot; and (white) Viogner, Chardonnay, Antão Vaz and Arinto. Taste the range including the special Monte da Ravasqueira Vinha das Romãs. In the late afternoon, arrive to your luxury spa resort, outside the historic city of Évora. Relax and enjoy the facilities, and definitely have dinner at the hotel’s restaurant (it’s one of the best in the region).

Overnight: 5* Spa Hotel, Évora

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Lunch with wines

Transfers: Belmonte- Estremoz- Arraiolos- Évora


Day Six - Visit Esporão winery- private tour of Évora

Your historic hotel, Évora

Your historic hotel, Évora

Your driver will arrive in the late morning today, allowing you a few hours to enjoy the spa, go for a walk, have a swim, sleep in and have a long leisurely breakfast in the beautiful vaulted dining room. Today is your last winery visit in the Alentejo and you will visit the pioneering Esporão, one of Portugal’s finest and most innovative wine companies. The property is beautiful, and driving up the cellars you’ll pass by hundreds of olive groves (Esporão are one of the best olive oil producers in the country as well). Australian flying winemaker David Baverstock has been the head winemaker here for years, and was one of the first to recognize the potential for single varietal wines made with native Portuguese grapes. Esporão make different ranges of wines including the Monte Velho wines at the lower end and the Esporão Private Selection Garrafeira range at the highest end. You’ll get the chance to try six of their best wines, along with their olive oils.

You have a fabulous tasting menu lunch to look forward to next, paired with various estate wines. The food here is great, and the views are reminiscent of the African Savannah, quite romantic. After lunch, pop into nearby Monsaraz, a charming village a few minutes drive, for a digestive walk. Monsaraz is one of the most photographed villages of the Alentejo and known for its whitewashed houses, charming narrow lanes and great views. The second part of the day today will be spent touring Évora with your own private guide. This city dates back to Ancient Roman times, as its 2nd century temple dedicated to the goddess Diana testifies. The whole historic center is now protected by Unesco and designated a world heritage city. With your guide, you’ll see the best of the city including its prettiest squares, churches, and gardens. The spooky bone chapel will be a quirky visit, definitely unforgettable. Transfer to your hotel after your tour, for a free evening.

Overnight: 5* Spa Hotel, Évora

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Lunch with wines

Transfers: Alentejo touring


Day Seven - Évora to Óbidos- Wine Pairing Dinner

Évora

Charming Óbidos

Enjoy a late start today to enjoy the hotel’s luxurious facilities and at your preferred time, your driver guide will collect you and transfer you from the Alentejo, west to the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll be spending the day in picturesque Óbidos, with the entire day at leisure as a mid tour break. But first, stop in Nazaré for lunch. This traditional fishing village has some of the best seafood on the Atlantic, in unpretentious little fish shacks lining the wide sandy beach. Nazaré is without a doubt the most scenic coastal village in Portugal, and you’ll love the spectacular views of the Atlantic and the colorful historic center of town. Women wearing traditional folkloric dress sell souvenirs and street food on the boardwalk, and there is a great atmospheric in this little village. Enjoy lunch on your own and carry on to Óbidos next for the rest of the day and evening.

Óbidos is a very pretty fortified hill top town with a magnificently preserved castle and a beautiful medieval cluster of ancient houses adorned with flowers and hanging bougainvillea. Stroll thorough the jumble of historic streets in the old town, have a glass of wine at the castle (now converted into a Pousada hotel). If you happen to be taking this tour in February, then we can time it so that you are in Óbidos for their famous chocolate festival. Check in to your hotel, a darling boutique hotel built into the ancient wall. The rooms are simple but very cute, and the location is perfect. Tonight you will enjoy a gourmet dinner here at the hotel, paired with excellent local wines. Óbidos is best appreciated at night when the castle is lit up, enjoy!

Overnight: 4* Historic Hotel, Óbidos

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Dinner with wines

Transfers: Amarante- Lisbon (possibility to stop enroute)


Day Eight - Wine Tasting in Sintra- on to Lisbon

Wine Tasting

Your charming wine merchant host in Sintra

From picturesque Óbidos you will drive south towards Lisbon, stopping in Sintra for a tour and wine tasting. Lord Byron lived in Sintra, a wealthy town in the lush hills northwest of Lisbon, and famously called it "Paradise in Earth". It is certainly one of Portugal’s loveliest towns, full of villas and palaces, ancient “Azulejos” (blue and white tilework), and some amazing attractions like the Pena Palace (an Alice in Wonderland whimsical castle) and the dramatic ruins of the Moorish castle. Begin your visit with a private guided tour of the Pálacio do Pena, what a striking place! Drive into the village itself next to the tiny Loja do Vinho where your gregarious hosts will conduct a Portuguese wine tasting for you, paired with cheeses. You’ll try wines from regions such as Azeitão, Vinho Verde and Ribatejo.

After lunch, enjoy free time in Sintra to go shopping (there are some excellent ceramic shops here), grab a more substantial bite to eat, and do more sightseeing on your own. In the late afternoon, your driver will take you into Lisbon, Portugal’s romantic capital city. Check into your luxurious hotel, a converted 19th century manor house and the rest of the evening is yours. For something fun, we suggest you take in a Fado show, Portugal’s version of the jazzy blues. You’ll have our many recommendations in your keepsake itinerary to choose from.

Overnight: 5* Historic Hotel, Lisbon

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Cheese and wine tasting

Transfers: Óbidos- Sintra- Lisbon


Day Nine - Private tour of Lisbon & Farewell dinner

Lisbon’s Trams

Lisbon’s Trams

Sleep in or enjoy a late breakfast at this wonderful hotel, the best on the tour. Mid morning, your private guide and driver will meet you in reception and you’ll enjoy a panoramic tour of Lisbon’s best sights. Begin with a drive down to the captivating Belem Tower followed with a short tour of the Saint Jeronimo Monastery (absolutely stunning!). Next you will drive to the Moorish castle, and the rest of the tour continues by foot. Admire Lisbon´s red roofed palaces and the Tagus river in the background, from up above at the castle. Have a coffee or aperitif while taking in the great views.

Lunch is on your own, and we recommend you eat at one of the quaint taverns near the castle. You’ll have our tips on best bets, and on other sightseeing ideas this afternoon. The rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight, dress to impress as your farewell dinner is at one of Lisbon’s swankiest and most elegant restaurants. Arrive to Tavares Rico, a Lisbon institution, and enjoy the chef’s tasting menu paired with great wines. This is a very special place to conclude your Portuguese wine odyssey tour.

Overnight:5* Historic Hotel, Lisbon

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, Farewell dinner with wines

Transfers: Lisbon Touring- one way dinner transfer


Day Ten - Depart Lisbon

Lisbon Fort

St. George Fort, Lisbon

This morning at your preferred time, your driver will take you to Lisbon’s international airport. We hope you have had a superb time on tour with us in Portugal and we look forward to seeing you again.

Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast

Transfers: Lisbon hotel- airport


Customer Testimonial:

“We are very happy to tell you and Mario that our vacation was simply wonderful, the best vacation either of us has ever taken. First and foremost, Fernando was an absolute GEM! We both feel that Fernando added something very special to our vacation. From the moment he picked us up at the airport to the moment we had to say goodbye, Fernando was a true professional and a fantastic ambassador for the Portuguese people. We went for the port, but fell in love with the country, the people, the history, the table wine, and the food (Laura is going through Bacalhau withdrawal and we are desperately trying to locate Serra cheese in Arizona!!!). We look forward to working with you again on our next trip to Portugal, hopefully in the next year. Muito obrigado e ate a proxima!”

Jeffrey & Laura Karp, Arizona, USA


What's Included:

  • Accommodation for 9 nights in luxurious 5* Hotels
  • Private Airport Transfers and all transfers as per the itinerary by luxury Mercedes E and English speaking chauffeur
  • 9 Full breakfasts
  • Seven ultra high quality lunches with tasting menus and wine pairings
  • Two exceptional dinners with wine pairings
  • Bottle of Portuguese wine in your room upon arrival
  • 7 VIP Wine Lodge and Winery Visits with Premium Wine Tastings of best wines
  • Tastings of Cru Wines and Personalized Wine Sheets
  • Private guided walking tour of Lisbon with art guide
  • Private guided walking tour of Évora with art guide
  • Rabelo River Cruise on Douro
  • 1 keepsake itinerary with maps and ample information on Portugal, food and wine, and all locations visited
  • Gourmet Gift
  • Welcome bottle of wine in room
  • All Local taxes

What's Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Meals and Drinks not Specified
  • Personal Expenses such as Telephone, Minibar, etc
  • Tips and Gratuities (Guides, Restaurants, etc)
  • Travel Insurance (Strongly recommended)
  • Cancellation Insurance

Prices:

This is a SAMPLE TOUR ITINERARY. Please note that our private chauffeured luxury tours are totally customized to your needs and price varies according to the number of people in your group (please note tours require minimum 2 guests), specific suppliers included, number of services included,specific dates, transport type etc. Contact us today for more information and we would be delighted to get started on a tailor made detailed itinerary with pricing for you.

  • Final price depends on chosen style of accommodation and dining. Please contact us with your group size (minimum 2 guests, no maximum group size), travel dates and preferences and we will send you custom pricing.
  • Discounts available for larger groups
  • Please note that our tours are available upon demand for PRIVATE GROUPS and are not scheduled tours for mixed groups.

More Information:

All of our tours are available year round upon request for your private group of minimum 2 people. We organize unforgettable packages in Portugal that include wine and adventure touring. If you would like us to customize a private high-end tour of Portugal for you

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