Lisbon, Alfama, Baixa, Belem, Chiado, Alenquer, Obidos, Alentejo, Evora, Arraioles, Estremoz, Belmonte, Trancoso, Porto
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Iconic vineyards, gorgeous villages, port cellars, UNESCO World Heritage wine regions, and gastronomic delicacies are all yours on the ultimate Portugal food and wine tour with a one-week journey through the majestic landscapes and the flavors. There will be Lisbon and Obidos, the very best of Alentejo, and then the Douro Valley and Porto. From Michelin dining to a wine spa there are many luxury highlights, but you will remember the tiny backstreet secrets just as much.
Lisbon – History and Culinary Tour of the Capital
Lisbon enchants from first glance as grand townhouses stretch out through the center with plazas finding their way onto almost every street corner. Before you lies the Tagus River, while on either side of you the hills will rise and you will see tightly packed clusters of colorful buildings. Touch down this morning and check into a hotel in Alfama, where the winding lanes hold their history with pride. After some time to freshen up, you will start exploring, first up the hill to Castelo de Sao Jorge, and then to the clanging bells of Se Cathedral.
Broad boulevards fill Baixa, your next stop, where you will learn the Lisbon love for espresso and glamorous cafes. Renovated after an earthquake, Praca do Comercio is one of Iberia’s great squares, a symbol of design and indulgence. Tucked into its western corner, you will find a wine tasting room and opportunity to compare iconic wines from Portugal’s different regions. This should leave you ready for a local lunch that can also be enjoyed on the square.
Belem is home to Lisbon’s most famous attractions, notably Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower, and it is also where pastel de nata, or pastel de Belem as it was originally known, comes from. Come here in the afternoon and visit the patisserie that invented the snack. By now you will be tired, so you can retire to Chiado, a lively old neighborhood packed with wine bars and tapas-style food joints. After the journey and a day of exploring, Chiado is where you sit back and watch Lisbon unfold with a glass in hand.
Lisbon – Gastronomic Secrets and a Fairytale Ride Through Obidos
Vineyards swathe the plains outside of Lisbon, jutting up against the coast and tumbling beneath the castles. These are the vineyards that were acquired by notaries like the Marquis of Pombal and various Portuguese kings, and the vines that introduced Portuguese wine to the rest of the world. Rolling across the sun-baked hills of Alenquer, Quinta da Chocapalha is where you will begin today’s tasting, enjoying the history of the recently renovated cellar. Further across the hill is Quinta do Gradil, where the estate’s most excellent wines are paired with five beautiful courses of traditional Portuguese fare. Casa das Gaeiras is a place to then rest from the morning’s indulgence, gazing across the gardens and feasting on the estate’s history.
After all of this wine tasting, you will probably be in a state of lethargy, which is not a problem because the medieval village of Obidos is best when you have completely slowed down. Here you will find mazy streets of whitewashed houses, a fairytale setting made complete by the horse carriage that takes you around. Superbly preserved in its 12th-century state, Obidos is a vestige of a long-gone era. You will be effortlessly transported back in time, clip-clopping around the village before a toast of Obidos ginjinha. The evening will be left free in Lisbon, and your guide will inform you about the four Michelin-starred chefs who have food stalls in Time Out Lisbon.
Evora – A Wine Spa and the Many Vineyards of Alentejo
The sultry scent of fermenting grapes will greet you in Alentejo while forests of cork punctuate the vineyards and villages cling to their hilltop perch. This region produces more wine than any other in Portugal, and its reputation has soared over the last 20 years to now be known for quality along with quantity. At L’AND Vineyards you will have a private wine course including a tour of the cellar and estate, plus a tasting of varietals synonymous with the region. While yesterday’s wines were marked by an old-world opulence, those from Alentejo are more accessible, and there is a greater variety of flavors on the palate. L’AND Vineyards also has a spa where you can literally bathe in the grapes after a wine massage.
Entirely rested and very relaxed, you will enjoy late lunch courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Michael Laffan. His creations are contemporary, using raw Alentejo ingredients in styles unheard of before. By late afternoon, you will be rolling into Evora, where two millennia of history proudly unfolds through a UNESCO World Heritage center. You will see the Temple of Diana with its Roman columns and mysterious tales, and then the Loios Church and Evora Cathedral, two of the most beautiful architectural works anywhere in Portugal. And then the Chapel of Bones, where skeletons fill the cloisters and skulls provide a macabre atmosphere. This is a lovely city to walk around without a map, checking out the eclectic architecture, choosing your dinner from one of many small home-style restaurants.
Arraiolos to Estremoz – Exploring More of the Alentejo Region
It will be all about Alentejo wine today, on a private tour that weaves across the plains and into the mountains. The flavors reflect the region’s atmosphere and heritage as the bold red wines feel just right against the Moorish castles that hang sporadically on the rooftops. As you explore more of Alentejo, you will find that the accessible early flavors of yesterday hide the bolder tastes of tradition. Monta da Ravasqueira is a great example of this, one of the region’s oldest estates and a throwback to early production methods, so you will find the wines to be vastly different from the new-world L’AND. After your tasting, you can take a gourmet picnic into the vines, dining with a beautiful view across rural Portugal.
Many of Alentejo’s modern wines are blends, but at Monta da Ravasqueira you can drink the single varietals. Monte Seis Reis is similar, enabling you to distinguish Portugal’s native grapes. After this second vineyard stop, you will wind into Estremoz, a dazzling old city along the frontier with Spain. There will be time to stroll across the old town at your leisure, perhaps with coffee at a castle and photographs down streets that are constructed entirely from marble. Eat locally tonight in a home kitchen that will serve up specialties that you will struggle to find outside of Alentejo, including dogfish in cilantro sauce and black pig stew. This cuisine is very distinct from Lisbon and has more in common with the Spanish region Extremadura.
Douro Valley – A Gastronomic Frontier Land
The gastronomic journey will continue over the hills and along the Spanish frontier to Belmonte. A castle dominates the town here, providing endless views into two nations. Listen to the sound when your shoes meet the cobbles and hear dramatic historical tales from your local guide. Trancoso also illustrates the region’s frontier past with a fortified village suggestive of quarrels that took place across rural Iberia. But while Spain and Portugal may have rivaled over the land, the people have a similar dedication to fine cured food. For lunch, you can take a cold lunch of cheeses and hams on Trancoso’s small main square, with the aged jamona particular highlight.
Winding further north, you will enter the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley vineyards. A steeply terraced landscape surrounds the Douro River, with vineyards clustered onto small squares of flat land. Making wine is difficult here as everything must be done by hand as the vineyards are too steep for modern machinery. Plots are small, and there is a real skill to marrying grapes from vines receiving different levels of sun and light. Attention to detail is essential, and that is one of the reasons Douro introduced a DOC system. It was the first region in the world to introduce quality standards, a system subsequently copied by France and Spain. Arrive at a Douro vineyard, and you can taste this overarching quality from the start.
Vines must be hardy to survive here as their roots stretch over ten meters down into the terroir, which contributes to a richness and boldness of flavor. Settle into Quinta da Pacheca and feast your senses on different wines with the winemaker or cellar master opening up past vintages. You will be staying in a vineyard for the evening at a country retreat with expansive views over the river. You can stroll into a nearby village or relax by the water before dinner is served in the vineyard’s restaurant. It will be an indulgent affair, with multiple courses designed around the wine.
Porto – A Rabelo Cruise and the Famous Douro Wines
Small wooden vessels have cruised the Douro for centuries to transport grapes and wine barrels to Porto. These are called rabelos, and the boats evoke the romance of a long-gone era. A rabelois the only way to enter Porto on a Portuguese food and wine tour as it is slower than the bigger cruise ships, but you can dock at vineyards on your route, and there is a beauty to the languid pace. Drift through the landscape and dine as you go, eating on the shaded deck as the guide points out famous estates you pass through, like Quinta das Carvalhas. Slowly you wind towards Porto’s bridges, crossing beneath their iconic frames before docking beside a port cellar.
Porto’s port is actually located in Vila Nova de Gaia. More than three centuries ago the cellars were banished from Porto, sent across the river as they were taking up too much space. They did not move more than a mile, and now they dominate the landscape along the river’s southern bank. You will be staying on this side of the river but will dine in Porto, where the traditional recipes have been updated by another of the country’s Michelin-starred chefs. Tonight, your meal will be heavily influenced by port and by seafood with thick sauces and liberal use of nuts and fruit. The restaurant is one of the country’s finest and a superb example of regional flavor for a fitting final dinner on this one-week tour of celebratory moments.
Porto – Private Port Tasting with Gourmet Lunch: Departure
Spend some time exploring Porto this morning as you wander the steep maze-like streets to Se cathedral and Stock Exchange Palace. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s best-preserved urban centers, Porto is a lovely place to walk without a map. When you get lost, you can just walk downhill, orientating yourself against the bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia and you will be back at your waterfront hotel in no time.
Later this morning you cross the river by paddle boat and take a private tour of a port cellar. Musty fragrances fill the actual cellar, where endless corridors of barrels proudly display their year of production. Back upstairs, in a light and airy tasting room, you can get to know different ports. Taste your way through different ruby ports, including vintage and late-bottled vintages. Compare the flavors with the nutty, caramel tones of a tawny port with your guide likely to open a number of older ports so that you can compare vintages. This will be followed by a gourmet lunch overlooking the River Douro with more cuisine from the north of Portugal and a number of dishes that can be finished with a light glass of port. You will be transferred to the airport later in the afternoon.
- Sink your senses into the Douro Valley’s old-world vineyards, where the estates and production are little changed since the 18thcentury
- Explore Lisbon’s gastronomic secrets, including the place where pastel de natapastries were invented
- Luxuriate in a wine spa before a food and wine pairing
- Cruise along the Douro River in a traditional rabelo, a vessel used to transport wine barrels up and down the river
- Enjoy a private port tasting with lunch at one of Porto’s famous cellars
- Admire the rich wines and hearty foods of Alentejo, a region that forms the backbone of Portuguese cuisine
- Take a leisurely journey across the Iberian mountains, stopping at vineyards and villages around Arraiolos, Estremoz, Belmonte, and Trancoso
- Discover Lisbon’s wine bars and pair each glass with a local delicacy
- Ride a horse and carriage through the medieval town of Obidos, with little stops to get involved with local gastronomy
- Expert dining reservations help you explore the old and new worlds, from quaint village restaurants to iconic city favorites
Handcrafted to overwhelm your senses, this one-week tour is a feast of both new and old-world flavors. Portugal may have only recently become a hot travel destination, but its culinary tradition is long and proud. Endless sunny days meet with wild mountains and a cooling Atlantic breeze. While Spain and France hog the culinary limelight, Portugal’s cuisine remains very much a mystery to outsiders. Authenticity has been preserved, and you can truly savor regional diversity. On this handcrafted tour, you will experience the flavors of Lisbon, Obidos, Alentejo, and Douro.
Prepare your senses and jump into a feast beginning with a day spent exploring Lisbon by the glass. Wander the old neighborhoods first and find where the pastel de nata was invented, and then hit the wine bars of Chiado for a cultural experience accompanied by Lisbon’s little culinary treats. Spend the next day out of the city to visit a couple of country estates before an afternoon spent riding a horse and carriage through Obidos. The following day will be all about Alentejo with a wine spa and lots of tastings followed by the Chapel of Bones and the secrets of Evora. Out here the food changes, with lots of ham and cheese to go with the wine for a different combination.
A lovely route will take you north to wind up and down Iberia’s frontier and through the grand villages of yesteryear. Cross forests of cork to Arraiolos before arriving in the terroir-driven hills of Estremoz. Indulge in Belmonte and Trancoso as the road twists north to the Douro Valley, yet another of the UNESCO World Heritage sites on your tour. Visit vineyards closed to the public, taste with winemakers and cellar masters, dine at Michelin-starred village restaurants, and sample your way through the mountains. Most the places you will visit are far from the road and nowhere near the beaten track, usually requiring invitations and reservations many months in advance. But alongside those experiences, you will also sample the very local customs with lunches at village cafes and aromas from home kitchens.
Next, you will discover the Douro Valley on a rabelo, the traditional wooden vessel used to transport wine barrels up and down the river. It will be the perfect way to arrive at a vineyard and the only means for a wine connoisseur to make the journey into Porto. Azulejo tiles mark the facades as you will spend an evening in the old city with a Michelin-starred dinner showcasing the distinctive flavors of northern Portugal. You will then end this one-week Portuguese food and wine tour with a private port tasting and gourmet lunch at one of the world’s most famous port cellars. It will be a fitting conclusion to your tour as it will be exclusive and exquisite while overflowing with flavors that usually go under the radar. Don’t take just our word for it - consider reading some of our travelers’ reviews of Portugal.
$3,845 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.92 stars based on 637 reviews
"We fit a lot in this trip thanks to the good planning."
Reviewed By Candi L.
"[Our travel planner] customized our itinerary to fit our...
Reviewed By Srinivas G.
"We didn't need to think about ground transportation or...
Reviewed By Tim Z.
"The agency was focused on making sure we were safe and...
Reviewed By Suzanne C.
"Guides they found were highly knowledgeable and absolutely...
Reviewed By Deborah L.
"[The travel company] didn't miss a thing and planned a...
Reviewed By Karen M.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era