The Essence of Portugal


12 days





Group Size:


2023 Set Departure Dates
Oct 29, 2023 – Nov 9, 2023

Not seeing dates that work for you? Want to take this trip with your own private group? All of our tours can be customized and adapted into private and small group tours! Send us a message on our Custom Tours page for more info!

The Essence of Portugal - 12 days

Embark on a journey through the enchanting beauty of old-world Portugal, where culture, wine, music, food, architecture, and traditions come together to create a mesmerizing tapestry of experiences. Our exclusive tour will take you on an unforgettable adventure that will leave you captivated and in awe.

We’ll start off in the vibrant capital of Lisbon, and end in the elegant city of Porto, with plenty of hidden gems in between. Get ready to discover the unexplored corners of this beautiful country that are often overlooked by tourists.

From culinary tours and magical Fado music to the rugged coastline of Alentejo, rustic medieval villages, fairytale castles, and intimate wine tastings, there’s no shortage of opportunities to experience the authentic essence of Portugal. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even walk a suspension bridge and participate in hands-on activities like culinary and creative workshops.

With a private driver and guide, we will explore Portugal’s hidden treasures. And for those who want to get even closer to the sea, you’ll have the chance to hop aboard a sailboat or two.

This captivating journey will immerse you deeply into the true Portugal – one of the most charming, welcoming, and tradition-rich countries in Europe. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


Lisbon > Evora > Alentejo > Coimbra > Duoro > Porto

Welcome to beautiful Lisbon, the gateway to the enchanting country of Portugal! 
As soon as you step off your flight at Lisbon Airport, your driver will be eagerly awaiting your arrival to whisk you away to your hotel and start your adventure.
But that’s not all – later this afternoon, get ready to set sail on a private boat for an unforgettable sunset experience along the stunning Tagus river. From Torre de Belem to Terreiro do Paco, you’ll soak up the incredible views of this lively capital city as the sun slowly dips below the iconic bridge.
And who better to guide you through this magical journey than our enthusiastic and experienced skippers, who will share their insider knowledge of Lisbon and point out all the must-see landmarks along the way.
But let’s not forget about the delicious Portuguese cuisine! A mouth-watering dinner of local appetizers will be served onboard as you sail into the sunset.
Meals included:  Dinner on board the boat.  Portuguese appetizers will be served.
Special notes for sailing: 
To make sure you’re comfortable during this experience, we recommend wearing comfortable clothes and sport shoes, and bringing along a warm coat and sunglasses, just in case. Don’t worry about the cold though – we have cozy blankets on board to keep you snug. And for your safety, we’ll be serving alcohol in moderation.
Please note that this sailing experience is not wheelchair accessible and is subject to favorable weather conditions. So, get ready to be swept away by the beauty and charm of Lisbon, Portugal!

Lisbon Local Food & Cultural Experience – Half-day

Are you ready for an immersive and mouth-watering adventure through the vibrant city of Lisbon? This morning, you’ll have the opportunity to dive headfirst into the rich food, culture, and traditions of this fascinating destination on an interactive tasting tour, led by a local expert.
As we wander through the culturally and gastronomically significant neighborhoods and landmarks of Lisbon, you’ll gain a deep understanding of what makes this city so unique. And the best part? At each stop on the tour, you’ll get to indulge in a new and delicious Portuguese delicacy, tantalizing your taste buds like never before.
After the food tour, you have the option to explore the city on your own or join us for a hands-on experience to bake your very own Pastéis de Nata. These scrumptious pastries have become an iconic symbol of Lisbon around the world, and now it’s your turn to master the art of making them.
In this Pastéis de Nata Workshop, you’ll not only learn about the origins of these delectable pastries but also the key techniques to bake them to perfection. And of course, you’ll get to savor your creations as well!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch (food tour)

A Private Tour to Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, and Belém.

Today we explore one of the most enchanting towns in the area – Sintra, just a short drive from Lisbon. Sintra is a place straight out of a fairy tale, with its charming village streets, botanical gardens, and enchanting palaces.
We’ll be driving through the forested landscape of the National Park of Sintra-Cascais, with panoramic views of the Moorish Castle and the elegant Palácio da Pena. You’ll get to visit the extraordinary, vibrantly painted National Palace, and then wander through Sintra’s historic center, trying traditional cakes and sweets along the way.
For lunch, we’ll indulge in a lavish picnic served in the Pena Palace Gardens, next to Countess D’Édla’s chalet, which has been a tradition since she and King D. Fernando II lived in the Palace.
After lunch, we’ll take a leisurely drive along the coastline, admiring the vivid greens and blues of the pine-clad cliffs and wild beaches, stopping at some of the better-known coastal highlights on the way back to Lisbon.
Back in Lisbon, we’ll explore Belem, located on the riverfront where many of the ships that mapped the world during the Age of Discovery departed from. Admire the monuments here, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a reminder of the journeys made during the 16th century and the trade routes that opened up as a result of colonization into Brazil, and parts of Africa and Asia.
And, of course, there will be time for another sweet treat with a visit to the very first patisserie where the Pastéis de Belém factory is still located.
In the evening, get ready to experience Fado, the raw and emotional music genre so integral to the Portuguese experience that it’s recognized by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. We’ll be heading into a traditional Fado neighborhood, alive with mystery, romance, and tradition.
During the show, your guide will explain what the song is about, describing the lyrics and other information about Fado so you can really get a true taste of the tradition as dinner is served. It’s set to be a memorable night, one that is sure to leave a lasting impression and connect you to the essence of Portuguese culture.
Note: The Fado show at the restaurant is not private, so the atmosphere will be lively. Fado shows usually start at 8:30/9 pm, and to avoid the noise during the show, we will arrive at least 30 minutes in advance.
Meals included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cooking up Traditions in Evora

Welcome to the Alentejo, a place that feels like a secret hideaway, waiting to be discovered by you. It’s Portugal’s largest and most captivating region, yet still relatively unknown to many travelers. Imagine breathtaking landscapes of rolling hillsides adorned with vineyards, cork and olive trees, a wild and untamed coastline, and delightful medieval villages adorned with whitewashed buildings.
But that’s not all, as we venture into the historic town of Evora, we will have the chance to meet Sofia, a passionate local cook who will show us the secrets of traditional Alentejo cooking. Using only the freshest local ingredients, many of which she has sourced from her very own farm, Sofia will guide us through the preparation of a typical Alentejo meal. From hearty stews to succulent seafood dishes, this is a culinary experience that you won’t forget anytime soon.
After the cooking class, the rest of the day is yours to explore and soak up the vibrant culture and laid-back atmosphere of the Alentejo region. So, why not wander the charming streets of Evora, discover hidden gems and ancient wonders or simply relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.
This is a day filled with authentic local experiences and unforgettable moments.
Meals included:  Breakfast, Lunch

Ceramics, Lakes and Medieval Villages

Get ready to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of handmade ceramics as we head to the charming village of Sao Pedro do Corval, home to the largest pottery center in Portugal. The locals have been creating unique handicrafts here for centuries, using the area’s exceptional clay deposits that date back to prehistoric times. Don’t miss this opportunity to take home a special piece of Portugal.
Next up, we’ll make our way to the breathtaking Alqueva Lake for a leisurely boat ride and a picnic lunch. With its vast biodiversity, river beaches, and stunning views, Alqueva Lake is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe.
After lunch, we’ll head to Monsaraz, a medieval village perched high on a hilltop with a stunning castle on its edge. As we stroll through the narrow, winding streets of this historic village, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to a different era. 
Don’t miss the chance to see the cromlechs, including the Lovers’ Stone, which surrounds the peak of Monsaraz, dominating the otherwise flat, olive grove scattered landscape in every direction.
As the day winds down, you’ll return to your hotel with plenty of time to unwind before dinner. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Alentejo region.
Meals included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wine Tasting and Lunch

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable day in Estremoz, one of Alentejo’s dazzling “white cities.” Our destination is a stunning 17th century Manor House where we’ll spend the day indulging in a wine tasting experience and savoring a delectable lunch.
This Manor House is a true gem, boasting original Joanine Baroque architecture that will leave you breathless. And let’s not forget about the wine – this Estate has been producing wine for over 150 years, making it one of the most renowned wineries in the region.
You’ll have the opportunity to explore the winery cellar, which has been meticulously restored and expanded over the years while still retaining the traditional marble presses from the 19th century. In fact, the winery still uses the age-old technique of grape treading to produce their world-class wines.
After a day filled with luxury and relaxation, you’ll have the evening to yourself back at the hotel. Enjoy your free time and indulge in a delicious dinner at your leisure.
Meals included:  Breakfast, Lunch

Ribatejo Region – Discover Portugal Off the Beaten Track

Today we venture deep into the heart of Portugal, a lesser-known gem waiting to be discovered.
Our first stop will be in the charming town of Amieira, where a guide will lead you on an easy hiking trail along the riverfront. You’ll cross a dizzying suspension bridge with breathtaking views of the Tagus River, perfect for birdwatching.
As we continue our journey, we’ll pass by the incredible Oliveira do Mouchão, believed to be the oldest olive tree in the world at a staggering 3,350 years old!
Our lunch stop will be at Casa Chef Victor Felisberto, where traditional Portuguese comfort food meets high-quality ingredients, ensuring a delicious and satisfying meal.
After lunch, we’ll head to the nearby Olive Oil Estate of Bom Sucesso, where we’ll explore the gardens, olive groves, and old mill before indulging in an olive oil tasting.
At the end of the day, your driver will take you to your accommodation in Lousã where you can relax and enjoy some downtime before dinner. Get ready to discover the hidden treasures of Portugal!
Meals included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Discover the Beauty of a Traditional Schist Village

Let’s step back in time as we venture into the stunning mountainous region of Serra da Lousã to experience a truly authentic Schist Village. This charming place is a peaceful haven of winding streets and traditional architecture, providing a rare glimpse into a simpler way of life.
You’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on with a rural bread and cheese workshop, learning the traditional methods of making typical corn and rye bread (Broa) and local goat cheese, just like the villagers did in the old days.
The products you prepare will then become part of a delicious lunch made entirely from locally sourced ingredients. Expect appetizers, a hearty soup with cabbage and beans, “Chanfana” with boiled potatoes and collards, varied drinks, a regional dessert, coffee, and honey liqueur.
Lunch will be served al fresco, in a covered area in the village, where you’ll enjoy the warm and wonderful hospitality of the locals. 
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Coimbra Cultural Tour, Bairrada Top Winery and Porto Food Journey

Get ready for a full day of adventure as we explore the vibrant and historic city of Porto, stopping in Coimbra and the Bairrada Wine Region for a winery visit and tasting.
Our first stop is in the city of students, Coimbra. Explore the 13th Century University, where Portuguese kings once resided, admiring the baroque details, elegant courtyard, halls, and library.
Next, we’ll visit a winery in the Bairrada Region, where you can savor wines perfectly paired with local delicacies. But we’re not done yet! Our final destination is the lively city of Porto.
Once checked in to your hotel, we will embark on a unique culinary journey. 
We’ll be uncovering all the secrets of Porto’s culinary delicacies on a journey to explore everything food-related. Our tour will take us to explore the colorful backstreets cluttered with taverns, port cellars, food markets and tapas bars just waiting to be discovered. 
Porto is a charming city, full of architectural gems and a buzzing atmosphere providing a great backdrop for your culinary tour.
Bom apetite!
Meals included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Douro Wine Culture & Rabelo Experience

Today is filled with wonder and wine as we escape the hustle and bustle of Porto to discover the picturesque Douro Valley. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Douro Valley is renowned for its stunning landscapes and, of course, its famous port wine.
Our adventure begins with a trip to Tua pier where we’ll board a traditional Rabelo boat that will take us on a leisurely cruise to the stunning ‘Quinta’ wine estate. Here, we’ll have the pleasure of a private tour and a delectable lunch overlooking the sparkling Douro River.
We’ll be personally welcomed by a member of the family that owns this estate, who will take us on a detailed tour of the vineyards, cellars, and the Quinta itself. You’ll have an opportunity to taste the exquisite wines that have made the Douro Valley famous worldwide.
The lunch will be served in the manor house or outside on the terrace, (weather permitting), and we’ll be treated to locally sourced ingredients that perfectly complement the wine.
Throughout the day, we’ll learn about, and taste, the region’s traditional winemaking techniques, the cultivation process, and the unique conditions that make the more than 30 varieties of grapes planted at the Quinta so special.
As the sun begins to set, we’ll return to the comfort of our hotel in Porto, relaxed and with a deeper appreciation for the rich history and flavors of the Douro Valley.
Meals included:  Breakfast, Lunch

Prepare for a day full of creativity and culture! After breakfast, you can either spend the day exploring the charming city of Porto on your own or immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind experience with a hands-on tile painting workshop.
Portugal is famous for its beautiful hand-painted blue tiles, known as azulejos, that decorate the city’s buildings. During this workshop, you’ll get to learn about the history and cultural significance of these tiles and even get to paint your own using traditional techniques. Not only will you have a blast creating your unique tile, but you’ll also be supporting a non-profit project that aims to catalog all of the tiles in Porto to preserve them.
After the workshop, your tile will be fired in a ceramic oven and delivered to your hotel the next day, ready for you to take home as a precious souvenir of your trip.
As a grand finale, we will visit Graham’s Cellar for a premium port tasting and a wine-paired farewell dinner. You’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Douro River and the city of Porto while sipping on the finest port wine and savoring a delicious meal. It’s the perfect way to end our journey together in this magical city.
Meals included:  Breakfast, Dinner
Although our Portugal adventure must come to a close, the unforgettable experiences and moments we shared will forever be ingrained in our hearts and minds. 
As we bid farewell, you will be seamlessly transported to the airport in comfort and style, ready to embark on your journey home. Cherish the memories, until we meet again!

Meals included: Breakfast (depending on the time of your flight breakfast may not be available)


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