DAY 1: ARRIVAL PORTO – PORTUGAL
Today you take your flight and arrive at the second largest city in Portugal, Porto. Upon arrival, collect your rental car from the airport and drive to your hotel. After check-in at your hotel, you will be expected in one of the most beautiful rooftop bars in the city overlooking the Douro.
The rest of the day is at your own leisure. In the evening you are expected to join a dinner in a wine restaurant.
Today you will spend the night in a hotel where each suite has its own terrace with a breath-taking view of the Douro river and the historic waterfront of Porto. You will stay here for two nights.
DAY 2 – PORTO (O)
After breakfast you will discover the old town of Porto on foot. You will see the Clérigos Church with its beautiful tower, the train station of São Bento, famous for its sumptuous azulejos, and the Sé of Porto, it’s famous cathedral. You will also visit the Church of São Francisco known for its carved gold decorations (entrance included). Next, head to the Ribeira district, a labyrinth of small winding and colourful streets in the centre, the photogenic square of the same name that opens onto the quays and offers a beautiful panorama of the River Douro and its iron bridges.
Today you will also visit one of Porto’s most famous wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, the Graham Wine Cellar, which has remained in the same family since its foundation in 1890. You will also get a tour of the different rooms of the wine cellar where the Ruby, Tawmy and Vintage collections age. Learn all about their maturing process and final flavours. At the end of the visit you will be offered a wine tasting including the premium Porto series “Six Grapes”, “Crusted” and “Quinta dos Malvedos”.
DAY 3 – PORTO – PENAFIEL- AMARANTE (O)
After breakfast, you drive to an authentic quinta, a Portuguese winery where “green wine” is made. This quinta has been producing green wine for over 300 years and is one of the main producers in this area. Here you can enjoy a wine tasting and explore the area. In 2011 this winery was awarded in the category “Architecture, parks and gardens”. With a neoclassical style construction from the early XIX century, it is known for both the architectural heritage and the parks and gardens where rare species bloom, some of which are centenarians.
After this, you will visit the photogenic Roman Amarante Bridge over the Tamego River in the wine region of the same name, Amarante. Next, visit the second winery of the day with rich stately homes and where a certain Fernão de Magalhães, better known as Magellan, was born.
Overnight in a beautiful hotel in the heart of the vineyards in the Amarante region where you will spend two nights.
DAY 4 – AMARANTE – BARCELOS- BRAGA- GUIMARÃES- AMARANTE (O)
After breakfast you will visit the region around the cities of Barcelos and Braga. A land of legends, Barcelos owes its fame in part to the red ceramic roosters that have become a true national emblem over time. In Barcelos, more than elsewhere, crafts have been king since the Middle Ages and there is a large market every Thursday. Capital of folk art, ceramicists, basket makers, sculptors, and milliners come here every week to showcase their colourful manual productions under the benevolent eye of Nossa Senhora do Terço with rich interior decorations.
Then you drive towards the city of Braga. Along the way, visit the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, recently inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here you will take the time to visit this majestic pilgrimage site. Then you will discover one of the oldest cities in Portugal, Braga. Nevertheless, it is a lively, young and dynamic city. Founded by Auguste over 2000 years ago, it was once located on one of the major Roman roads of the Iberian Peninsula and the administrative seat of the empire. Later it was designated as the capital of the Roman province of Gallaecia, now Galicia.
After visiting Braga you will drive to the city of Guimarães, long considered the birthplace of Portugal. This long history is reflected in the diversity of national monuments and historical buildings in the city. You will explore the historical centre with the lower part and the medieval streets and then the upper part to visit the palace of the dukes of Bragança and the castle. Afterwards you will drive further to Penha Park to take advantage of an exceptional view.
No wine tasting ??
Return to Amarante.
DAY 5 – AMARANTE – DOURO VALLEY- LAMEGO (B, L)
After breakfast you will visit a beautiful quinta this morning where you will be offered a guided tour. You will also discover the vineyards of this winery. Then you will be offered a wine tasting with 2 Douro wines and 2 Port wines.
At the end of the visit you will be served a typical regional lunch in the quinta’s restaurant (glass of wine included).
During the month of September (variable date depending on the year), the quinta draws up a special program for the grape harvest: harvesting the bunches and traditionally crushing the grapes with the feet (Ask us for more information).
After this you will discover the wine region higher upstream located in the Douro Valley. You will see the beautiful cultural landscape that is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then you walk on the small narrow and winding roads between the vineyards and hills.
Amarante, the Roman city, can be a great first step. Continue to the lavish 18th-century Baroque palace of Vila Real (optional, guided tour in French available on request). You can continue towards Pinhão and the terraced vineyards. Then follow the Douro to Peso da Regua, the departure point for cruises and trains. Further south of the valley, the historic centre of Lamego with its sanctuary Nossa Senhora dos Remédios is worth a visit.
Night in the heart of the Douro Valley in a typical 17th century house converted into a Wine House hotel and belonging to the famous winery. You will stay here for three nights.
DAY 6 – PINHÃO – TUA – PINHÃO – LAMEGO (O)
After breakfast you drive towards the wine estate of the Fonseca house. Quinta do Panascal is one of the main players in the design of Porto Vintage thanks to a judicious mix of different vineyards. Panascal conveys its rich and enveloping fruity character, woven on a jammed velvet weave.
You will visit this winery located in the heart of the vineyards overlooking the Tàvora river with audio guide in English. The walk, which takes about 30 minutes, ends with a wine tasting from a Vintage Porto (10-year-old Tawny).
Afterwards, board a mini cruise on the River Douro (included) from Pinhão on board a Rabelo, a small wooden boat typical of the region that once transported wine in barrels to the caves of Vila Nova de Gaia to mature there. On the boat you can enjoy a different perspective over the Douro Valley and the landscapes where the vineyards dominate. The mini cruise lasts approximately two hours.
On the program (Departure possible in the morning and in the afternoon):
- Departure of the Rabelo Boat Cruise
- Upstream navigation to the mouth of the Tua River
- Return to the Pinhão wharf
- Port of Muscat wine glass on board
DAY 7 – PORTUGUESE CHAMPAGNE TASTING – UCANHA- FAVAIOS- FOLGOSA- LAMEGO (B, L, D)
After breakfast you will visit a renowned wine cellar specializing in the production of Portuguese “champagne”. It is very close to Ucanha, a small village that separates the two regions, the Douro and the Beira, and where the fertile land of the Varosa Valley promotes the production of this wine. The natural wine cellar in the rock alone is worth a visit. At the end of your visit you will be offered a wine tasting with 4 Espumante from the house (2 classics and 2 prestigious vintages). After this, head to the village of Favaios in the heart of the Douro wine region and visit a traditional bakery to taste bread baked over a wood fire. You will also discover a wine cooperative to learn everything about the industrial production of wine from the region (Muscat) and you will get a wine tasting.
Lunch in a Quinta (rural farm) for a regional and rural lunch. In the early afternoon, visit the wine shop for a historical journey through the wine culture of the Alto Douro region followed by a wine tasting.
After lunch, drive back to your hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. At the beginning of the evening, get ready for a great dinner. Tonight you will be offered a 5-course gourmet menu between sea and land, accompanied by the selection of wines for each dish.
- Octopus Carpaccio with Parmesan tile
- Shrimps from Mozambique, mushroom and black truffle puree
- Rice “Carolino” with seafood and fish from the coast of the Azores
- “Maronês” veal fillet with Rösti-style potatoes
- Crunchy Crème Brûlée Crêpe with exotic fruit and raspberry coulis
The gourmet DOC restaurant is located in the heart of the Douro region. The chef and owner of this restaurant is one of the most brilliant chefs of his generation and lets you discover modern and innovative dishes based on regional products.
DAY 8 – PORTO AIRPORT (O)
After breakfast and depending on your flight schedule, drive back to Porto airport where you return your rental car… or extend your trip to one of the other beautiful wine regions of Portugal such as Alentejo, the Tagus Valley or why not the more unknown wine regions of Portugal? the Azores and Madeira?