The magnificence of the Douro River is shown as opulent vines flourish on steep river terraces, and cellars whisper of ancient legends. Sail the river, escape to the villages, and explore the inimitable range of wines on tutored Masterclasses. Enjoy several days of port in Porto, and then several more with the luscious red blends found deep in the valley, all of it accompanied by Portugal’s finest food. So relax and indulge your palate, for this is the oldest demarcated wine region of them all.
Porto – Relaxing on the River
Land in Porto and you will be transferred to a five-star hotel perched above the river. Your accommodations command a glorious view over the valley, and of the historic center of Porto. Your room opens onto this view, as does the swimming pool and roof terrace, so it is peaceful up here, the river working its magical serenity. But you are also still very close to everything, as it’s only a little over five minutes to the heart of World Heritage Porto, and your private chauffeur provides you transport. Take some time to relax and admire the curves of both city and river, and adjust to the rhythm of a wine vacation after your day spent traveling.
Begin with your first steps in the old city as steps descend steeply to the waterfront, leading you past azulejo tiled facades. Church towers ascend above townhouses that slope steeply towards the river. There will be an air of indulgence, an air of a city that takes things slowly, and you cannot travel fast here. There are no roads by the river, as in the tightly-packed urban core, there is only cobbles, cafes, wine bars, and the sultry scent of the not-too-distant Atlantic. This evening, you will have reservations at DOP Restaurant. Set inside the 14th-century Palace of the Arts, the contemporary restaurant is the work of Michelin-starred Rui Paula. You will go on a premium tasting journey through classic Portuguese flavors, each dish paired with a fine Douro wine.
Porto – The Legend of Port Wine
Porto – Exploring the Heart of Porto and Vintage Port Masterclass
Douro Valley – Cruising the Douro Valley With Tasting On Board
Douro Valley – Douro Cellars and Boutique Wineries
Douro Valley – Pairing Douro Wines With Food and More
Porto – Cooking Demonstration, More Vineyards and Back to Porto
Porto – Departure
- Relax amid the World Heritage vineyards of the Douro Valley with several nights at a five-star property hidden from the world
- Delve into the secrets of port by tasting with cellar-masters in Porto’s most illustrious wine houses
- Spend a day sailing down the Douro River
- Explore the finest Douro Valley wines, including family-run vineyards that have been producing since the 18th century
- Go on a vintage port masterclass in one of the world’s most celebrated wine venues.
- Indulge on the food, with handpicked restaurant recommendations for every evening
- Discover the heart of old Porto and the cute villages of the Douro Valley
- Sample many different vintages as you enjoy private tasting sessions at the finest Douro Valley farms
This handcrafted wine tour provides an in-depth exploration of Porto and the Douro Valley. Spread across a full week, you will have time to deeply engage and appreciate why these wine regions are so special. The great Douro River is the centerpiece of this handcrafted Portuguese wine tour, the meandering work of nature that ties together experiences in Porto and remotest Douro Valley. Your tour is handcrafted with a complete range of gastronomic experiences, this also being one of Europe’s great culinary regions, along with various tutored experiences with the people who are shaping port and Douro wines.
Vineyards rise sharply from the Douro River, the terraced slopes too steep for machinery. Vines have their roots some 20 meters beneath the mountain contours, in an acidic terroir of harsh schist and granite. Growing grapes is difficult here, which is why the wines of the Douro are both revered and revolutionary. The region has been producing for over 2,000 years, and UNESCO credits the Douro as the world’s oldest demarcated wine region. In all those centuries the process has not changed, because the land is too harsh for anything but an entirely manual production of wine.
Viticulture revolution comes from the river, and it is found in port, the fortified wine that has been made in Porto since the early 17thcentury. It is also found in the rich, red blends made in three specific Douro Valley regions, the grapes being Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz (known as Tempranillo in Spain), Tinta Cau and Tinta Barroca. Wine making is an art form here, and the attention to detail makes all the difference. On this week long tour, you will explore all elements of the production, taste old vintages with winemakers and cellar-masters, and tour the highly unique vineyards. You will wander the cellars of sleepy oak barrels, inspect the grapes, pair Douro wines with food, and discover an opulent slice of the gastronomic world.
Your handcrafted tour will take several days in Porto before the rest at a wine estate deep in the Douro Valley. The river connects the two destinations, and you can travel by boat, using both sail and motor to twist deeper into the valley. Porto also provides an old-world city experience, grand architecture married with atmospheric local culture and the beautiful blue of azulejo tile facades. The Douro Valley is remote, little more than a few villages and the vineyards. Escapist and enchanting, this is a place that will provide a break from the world alongside your immersion in all the glorious red wine and cuisine.
Relax on the river when you arrive in Porto, a quick boat trip showing you the two urban sides of the Douro. Porto clusters around one side of the river, steps and slopes rising from the waterfront. To the other side is Nova de Gaia, where you will find all of the world’s famous port cellars. With three days, you can mix experiences in the city with in-depth port exploring. Visit multiple cellars, take a private vintage port masterclass, track the process from grape to production, and come to understand the legend behind the wine. Handpicked dining recommendations are provided each day, and Porto has some of the finest options in Europe, the cuisine as distinguishable as the alcohol.
Cruise down the Douro Valley half way through your trip for an ideal way to slow down your pace and admire the landscape. Check in to a boutique five-star hotel on the river, close to the historic village of Pinhao. Take several days and evenings with the wine as you tour vineyards, taste with winemakers, visit famous brands and unknown producers, and continue the journey through Douro food. Wines pair effortlessly with the cuisine, and you can indulge all the way through to a cooking demonstration and a leisurely cruise back to Porto, where your final night on tour is spent back in the city.
$4,395 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.
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