Private luxury food and wine tour, exploring the southern Portuguese Coastline

The beautiful coastal region of Algarve in Portugal is well known for its dramatic, ochre cliff and golden sand beaches, for its world-class luxury golf resorts, and its sensational sunshine and relaxing Atlantic breezes. Darling fishing villages abound with narrow cobblestoned streets; whitewashed houses adorned in purple and fuchsia bougainvillea, and quaint terracotta rooftops. But apart from these sublime attractions, the Algarve is also a lesser-known haven for high-end food and wine lovers. The region is home to some of the best Michelin starred restaurants in Europe, boutique wine estates, and gourmet producers ranging from artisan cheese to oysters. The balmy atmosphere is charged with the ripe aroma of orange blossom, wild thyme, jasmine, and fig trees.

The subzones of the Algarve- the coast, the Barrocal countryside, and the rolling northern hills offer a diverse kaleidoscope of landscapes and a treasure trove of great food. You will find warm lagoons rich with seafood; Porco Preto- acorn fed black pork, queijo da cabra (goat’s cheese), honey, chestnuts, and cherries in the hilly and verdant mountain forests of Monchique; almonds, dates, pomegranates, oranges, avocado groves, and of course vineyards in the sunny interior. The ancient Phoenicians introduced vines in Portugal when they set up trading posts along the coast. However, it was under the Romans that winemaking thrived. Under Moorish rule, which lasted until the 13th century, major irrigation infrastructure was put in place to cultivate the region’s olive, fig and almond plantations.

Interestingly, the Arab influence can especially be found in Portuguese vocabulary related to food and agriculture. Even the name Algarve itself comes from the Arabic Al Gharb. On this tour, you will see some fascinating vestiges from Portugal’s Roman and Moorish past, including mosaics, villas, and castles.

Your journey begins in the bustling, cute town of Faro, where you will be swept away by chauffeured Mercedes to the Algarve’s best and most chic address- Vila Joya, your luxurious and secluded retreat for the trip. You have some extraordinary experiences in store! You will relax on a privately chartered yacht cruise, with lunch on an island and an oyster tasting. This is so fun and memorable! With a friendly chef, explore markets and learn how to prepare a traditional cataplana lunch on a private cooking class. You will taste mouth-watering, succulent, fresh seafood like clams (ameijoas), sardines, octopus, bacalhau (cod that is sun-dried in salt and then soaked), baby cuttlefish (choquinhos) and carabineiros (large red prawns)- most often simply grilled with olive oil, flor de sal and lemon. Another local specialty you will try is spicy chicken piri piri (a recipe actually brought to Portugal from Mozambique). And as always on our tours, you will visit terrific wine estates on private tours, enjoying the top range of their flagship “vinho.” This delightful, short vacation, which can be easily combined with other regions in Portugal or Southern Spain, is an excellent mix of luxury, pampering, healthy food, and surprising wines. Contact us for more information!

Algarve Wine Tours Highlights:

  • Luxury private wine tours
  • Top Michelin starred dining
  • Private Catamaran Cruise
  • Algarve "Cataplana" cooking class with a market tour
  • Oyster Tasting
  • Mercedes with private English speaking professional chauffeur

Below is a suggested Itinerary for your private Algarve Wine Tours

  1. Faro airport - Albufeira Coast

    Bem Vindo ao Algarve, Michelin Starred lunch over the ocean

    Gourmet dining at Vila Joya
    • Luxury 5* Vila Joya, Albufeira coast
    • Michelin starred welcome lunch with chef's menu and wine pairings
    • Private Chauffeured Mercedes

    Your driver will meet you this morning at Faro airport (Lisbon airport is also viable), and your short but unforgettable gourmet tour now begins! You will head straight to your villa-style luxury hotel to settle in. This tiny, elegant Moorish style palace is perched right over the ocean with lush gardens and palm trees, making this quiet and very private address feel like an oasis. After freshening up in your room or their fabulous spa, get ready for an incredible, two Michelin starred, wine-soaked lunch right on the terrace with sea views. Austrian chef Dieter Koschina has been working at Vila Joya for almost three decades, having secured his first star in ’95 and the second star in ’99 (indeed he was the first chef in Portugal to get 2 Michelin stars). Sit back, let him tickle your taste buds, and enjoy this experience to the max! The afternoon then is yours at leisure to catch up on jet lag, relax, perhaps go for a swim at the pool or the beach, and enjoy the hotel facilities. Welcome to the Algarve!

  2. Albufeira Coast - Lagoa - Estômbar - Silves - Albufeira Coast

    Wine Experience in Algarve- Farmhouse Lunch and Wine Blending

    Quinta dos Vales
    Quinta dos Vales
    • Luxury 5* Vila Joya, Albufeira coast
    • Full breakfast, Private winery farmhouse lunch, Michelin starred tasting menu with wines
    • Private Chauffeured Mercedes

    Today will be a fascinating introduction to the wines of Algarve. Your driver will pick you up in the late morning (giving you a chance to sleep in and enjoy a nice breakfast), and you will head first to Morgado do Quintão, a sweet little boutique wine estate dating back to the early 1800’s. After a private tour, sit down to a pleasant, farmhouse table next to their Negramole planted vineyard under a 2000-year-old tree. You will savor a traditional three-course Algarvian lunch paired with their estate wines. Sunshine, birds singing, vineyard views, and delicious food and wine- bliss! The wine fun continues at the next estate, Quinta dos Vales, where you will create your wine blend with the winemaker!
    This premium wine estate lauded as being the best winery in Algarve is famous for its wines and for its beautiful property, which is home to an impressive art and sculpture collection. You can admire the multitude of sculptures in their extensive gardens. We have something very entertaining planned for you- a private bottle blending workshop. The winemaker will guide you through the basics, from choosing grape varietals, to what you need to be looking for in a wine blend, and to finally executing the assemblage. You have the unique opportunity today to tailor a wine to your own preferences, bottle the wine yourself, label it with your own custom-designed label, and seal it with a cork yourself. This is a neat and very creative experience, and you will leave the Algarve with your handmade wine!

    Before heading back to your luxury sanctuary this afternoon, stretch your legs and get some fresh air in nearby Silves. This fortified Moorish hamlet is one of the prettiest villages in the Algarve and the perfect place to enjoy a stroll after a wonderful day of wine tasting. You will have free time to explore the cafe-lined cobblestoned streets, the Gothic cathedral, the ancient walls, and the medieval castle. Before dinner tonight, you will have time to freshen up and relax at the resort.

    You can dress up tonight if you like (formal dress is optional) for a fancy, glamorous dinner at Two Michelin starred ocean, aptly named for its mesmerizing ocean view. A VIP table will be reserved for you, and you’ll be pampered with their four-course, gourmet tasting menu with super-premium wine pairings. This is the good life! Your driver will take you back after dinner.

  3. Albufeira Coast - Faro - Estoi - Albufeira Coast

    Market Tour, Cataplana Cooking and Roman Mosaics

    Albufeira town, Algarve
    Albufeira town, Algarve
    • Luxury 5* Vila Joya, Albufeira coast
    • Full breakfast, Cooking class lunch with wines, Michelin starred tasting menu dinner with wine pairings
    • Private Chauffeured Mercedes

    Thanks to the astonishingly good weather, the ample coastline and the varying landscapes, the Algarve has some of the freshest, naturally organic fruit and vegetables, and most abundant seafood in Europe. And the raw materials are a pleasure to shop for and cook with. Today your driver will take you to Faro, a vibrant, modern city with a pristine old town, where you will meet your private chef host for the morning. The first stop is the colorful market, with a spectacular seafood selection. You will shop with your chef to pick up the ingredients for your cooking class today. You will be cooking with a Cataplana, a copper, clam-shaped cooking vessel used frequently in the Algarvian kitchen. You can make a fish-based one, or free-range chicken (chicken is extremely popular in Portugal!) or octopus and sweet potato, another classic flavor combo. But first, a quick peek around the old town (called the Vila-Adentro) and a pre-class aperitif! Your private class then will take place in a professional chef’s studio, and you can sip zippy wine while you cook.

    After an engaging hands-on class, sit down to the fruit of your efforts for lunch, and then you will have free time to check out the cidade velha for another glass or 2 of wine, a stroll, a coffee, etc. Check out the storks in the cathedral bell tower, and if you can stomach the macabre, visit the Capela dos Ossos chapel, behind the gorgeous Igreja do Carmo church. This chapel houses the ghoulish skulls and bones of over 1200 Carmletine monks and is a creepy but very intriguing visit.

    On the way back to Vila Joya, we have another short but fascinating stop for you nearby in the cute village of Estoi- to see one of the best-preserved Roman mosaics in Portugal. The Ruínas Romanas de Milreu are on a property dating back to the 1st century, where a luxurious villa with a temple and a bathhouse were built a century or two later. Today we can still see the ancient mosaics of the bathing complex (thermae) with marine scenes of fish, squid, and whales. Have a quick look and a short, worthwhile visit to their tiny museum and relax with an end of afternoon cocktail at the Palácio do Visconde de Estoi. This historic, pink palace, converted into a Portuguese Pousada hotel, has delightful gardens that you can visit before having a drink, and then head back to Vila Joya.
    Freshen up, perhaps go for a swim or have a massage. Your driver will then collect you to take you to a gourmet hotspot tonight in Sesmarias- Bon Bon. This is one of the newer and very exciting Michelin starred eateries in the Algarve. You will indulge in chef Louis Anjos’ Essence tasting menu served on their atmospheric terrace, with top-class Portuguese wine pairings. Transfer back to the hotel after a very memorable evening.

  4. Albufeira Coast - Ria Formosa - Albufeira Coast

    Private Catamaran Cruise in Ria Formosa Natural Park, Lunch on an Island

    Private catamaran boat
    Private catamaran boat
    • Luxury 5* Vila Joya, Albufeira coast
    • Full breakfast, lunch with wines
    • Private Chauffeured Mercedes

    Fresh air, exquisite coastal scenery, and seafood are all on the menu today. Don’t forget the camera! Your driver will take you back east, this time stopping at the pier of Ria Formosa. This is the gateway to the natural park of Ria Formosa, an unspoiled and protected coastal lagoon rich with birdlife (including flamingos, our fave), seafood nurseries, and incredible beaches. Called one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, this area is truly paradise! You will meet your captain at the pier and spend a thoroughly relaxing morning on a private catamaran cruise. The boat is equipped with snorkeling equipment, paddleboards, wine, and snacks, and you will have a private skipper and hostess. Spend a few hours enjoying the boat, views, and the water.

    Stop for lunch then on an island! Your environmentally-friendly, solar-powered restaurant is the only structure on this literal desert island, surrounded by turquoise water, white dunes, and a deep blue sky. Relax at a casual, nautical-themed table taking in the views, and enjoy dishes like charcoal-grilled fish, octopus salad, oven-roasted sheep’s cheese, and rice with razor clams- served with excellent Portuguese wine of course. After lunch, your catamaran cruise will continue with stops in more secret beaches and an oyster tasting with wine before finally bringing you back to the pier to meet your driver. What a day!
    Free evening back at the resort to dine in or head out. We highly recommend Al Quimia (25 min taxi) as well as Henrique Leis in Almancil (half-hour taxi). You could also enjoy a private dinner in Vila Joya’s wine cellar!

  5. Albufeira Coast - Albernoa - Vidigueira - Albufeira Coast

    Fine Wine Tasting in Southern Alentejo

    algrave - herdade-da-malhadinha
    Herdade da Malhadinha winery
    • Luxury 5* Vila Joya, Albufeira coast
    • Full breakfast, Gourmet Lunch with wine pairings
    • Private Chauffeured Mercedes

    Explore a bit further afield today and head to the Southern Alentejo. This dreamy region, north of Algarve, is known for its cork forests, beautiful medieval villages, and timeless “out of Africa” landscapes. It is also home to some of Portugal’s best wines, many of which you will savor this morning and afternoon. Your first visit is at the whimsical Herdade da Malhadinha Nova estate, comprised of a luxury hotel, winery, and gastronomic restaurant. Taste their range of Arinto, Malhadinha White, Aragonez, Malhadinha Red, late harvest wines after a private tour. Follow then with a gourmet lunch overlooking the bucolic countryside of olive groves and vineyards. You will have a chance to taste more of the estate wines at lunch, such as their delicious Monte da Peceguina Rosé and their Verdelho.

    After lunch, drive north to the Vidigueira area, to one of the country’s most celebrated wineries- Cortes de Cima. This sub-region is blessed with 3,000 hours of annual sunshine and benefits from cooling Atlantic breezes, resulting in perfect winemaking conditions. This wine estate was established in the late ’80s by a Danish -American couple and has become one of the most highly respected, award-winning properties in the Alentejo in a few short decades. Your hosts will lead you on an educational and relaxing wine lovers tour of their property, culminating in an al fresco private tasting of 6 of their best wines overlooking the vines. You might enjoy a “sesta” (nap) on the way back to the coast this afternoon. The evening is free to rest, pack, and get a last swim or spa treatment before your trip concludes tomorrow.

  6. Albufeira Coast - Faro or Lisbon airport

    Boa Viagem! Safe journey onwards

    Boa Viagem!
    Boa Viagem!
    • none
    • Full Breakfast
    • Private Chauffeured Mercedes

    Your elegant chauffeur will transfer you by comfortable Mercedes to Faro or Lisbon airport for your outbound flight. If you would like to extend this trip to discover the gems of Northern Portugal, contact us for more information! We hope you had a fantastic time on this luxury food and wine adventure in the Algarve!

More information

If you would like us to customize an exclusive, luxury tour for you, get in touch with us and let us know your travel plans. We offer luxury food and wine tours for private groups of minimum 2 guests. All of our private, chauffeured tours are available year round upon request.

Contact us for your personalized quote!
Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

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