May 17-27, 2020
Only 2 rooms left, single or double occupancy
With an optional extension to the Algarve:
4 days/3 nights
$1150 based on double occupancy
($995 single supplement)
$125 additional night including airport transfer based on double occupancy. $175 additional night single occupancy
• 10 breakfasts,
• 4 lunches (wine included)
• 8 dinners (wine included)
• Transfers from Porto airport on arrival and to Lisbon airport on departure
• All accommodations from start to end of tour
• All transportation during the tour (air-conditioned bus or minivans)
• All included group activities, wine tastings, entry fees as per itinerary
• A full-time Two Dog Travel tour director with you and available 24/7
• A local professional bi-lingual guide for most activities
• All local guide, driver and restaurant tips are included per itinerary
What's not included
• Airfare, airport taxes and other transportation to and from the pickup location
• Personal charges such as laundry, telephone calls, rooms service, mini-bar, souvenirs
• Private excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
• Gratuities for chambermaids or personal porters
• Gratuities for your Tour Dog Travel tour director (at your discretion)
Tour Director - Jan Blanchard
The tour begins in Porto at 7 pm on May 17, 2019. Your flight should arrive no later than 5:00 pm. The tour ends after breakfast in Lisbon on May 27, 2019 .
Day 1 - Overnight at MO House, Bed and Breakfast, Porto - D
Welcome to Portugal! After your arrival at the Porto Airport you will be met by a driver and transferred to your newly renovated, centrally located guesthouse and our home for the next three nights. We will be the exclusive guests at MO House during our stay. We kick off our Portugal Food and Wine adventure with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant where we will enjoy our first taste of Portuguese cuisine and, of course, Portuguese wine.
Day 2 - Overnight at MO House, Bed and Breakfast, Porto - B, L (food tour)
Our first full day in Portugal will begin with history, food and wine. We’ll enjoy a fun walking tour of Porto where we will learn about the foods and wines of Portugal from a historic perspective until present day. We’ll visit some of the highlights of the city as well as some off the beaten tourist path locally-owned specialty food stores. We’ll meet the owners and find out why they are an integral part of what makes gastronomy in Porto so unique. As we taste our way through Porto, we will begin to understand how port wine got its name and the important part it plays in Porto cuisine. After the food tour we’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some of the highlights of Porto. A few of the must sees are the Lello Bookstore, consistently named one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores in the world, the Sé Cathedral with its beautiful stained-glass rose window and the São Bento Railway Station with its 20,000+ painted blue and white tile panels (known as azulejos) that highlight the history of Portugal. After seeing the sites, you’ll have the remainder of the day to enjoy Porto as you’d like.
Day 3 - Overnight at MO House, Bed and Breakfast, Porto - B, D
After a free morning to spend as you choose, we’ll begin by walking south across the amazing Dom Luís I Bridge, connecting Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. If the bridge looks a bit familar, it could be because it was designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the mastermind behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Today we’ll start by seeing the city from a different vantage point as we float between the river banks of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in a typical Rabelo boat and discover the beauty of Douro River and the city of Porto. After our relaxing cruise, we’ll visit a couple of the port caves of Vila Nova de Gaia where we’ll have a private tour and tasting. We’ll begin to better understand the different between a regular wine and a port wine, we’ll learn the history of Porto and why for centuries they have brought the barrels of port down the Douro river to be stored and aged here. After our second tasting it will be time for dinner, where we’ll enjoy a private meal at one of the port caves, learning more about this unique wine and enjoying the Portuguese cuisine.
Day 4 - Overnight at Quinta do Portal, Douro Valley - B, D
After a leisurely morning and breakfast we will check out of the hotel and be driven to the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After enjoying the amazing scenery of the valley we’ll arrive at Quinta do Portal, a boutique winery where we will call home for the next four nights. Casas das Pipas, the lodge where we will stay, has been awarded the Prémio da Chave (Green Key Prize) and is surrounded by the vineyards from which the best wines of the company are made. We’ll have some free time to settle in before transferring to Quinta do Bom Retire, Ramos Pinto, our first winery visit of the Douro Valley. Acquired in 1919 by Ramos Pinto and located in the heart of the Cima Corgo, river Torto valley, the Quinta do Bom Retiro is one of the oldest and most romantic quintas of the Douro. Here is produced one of the most acclaimed Tawny Port Wines, the 20 Years Old Quinta do Bom Retiro. As this winery is not normally open for visitors, we will enjoy an exclusive private visit to the estate and introductory tasting of Port and Douro wines, followed by a private dinner, accompanied by premium port and wines, prepared just for our group. What a perfect introduction to the Douro Valley.
Day 5 - Overnight at Quinta do Portal, Douro Valley - B, L
After breakfast we’ll enjoy visiting another area of the Douro Valley as we transfer to Mateus Nicolau de Almeida. Here we’ll enjoy a tour and tasting, followed by lunch in the vineyard at Quinta do Monte Xisto in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, from the family project João Nicolau de Almeida & Filhos. Located on a striking schist (xisto) outcrop overlooking the rivers Douro and Côa, João Nicolau de Almeida identified Quinta do Monte Xisto as an extraordinary and unusual site for the production of the wine of that name. With the help of his sons, Mateus and João, he began planting 10 hectares of 100% organically cultivated vineyards. This family project brings together the perspectives and technical expertise of two generations of winemakers to thrilling effect. In keeping with the unique and exclusive program for the Douro portion of this tour, Quinta do Monte Xisto is not usually open to visitors so our lunch will be exclusively for us outside by the vines. We’ll enjoy getting to know the owners and learning more about the family’s history in the winemaking industry. After another special day in the Douro Valley, we’ll transfer back to our hotel where you’ll have the rest of the evening free to do as you choose.
Day 6 - Overnight at Quinta do Portal, Douro Valley - B, L, D
After breakfast we will be transferred by coach to Quinta dos Murças. We begin with a walk through the vineyards where we’ll learn about the terroir of the area and its influence on the different grape varietals and wines. After our walk we’ll enjoy a tour and tasting of the Quinta dos Murças wines, followed by lunch at the winery. Quinta dos Murças covers 155 hectares, along 3.2 kilometres of the river’s right bank. Impressive in its verticality, it boasts dozens of regional grape varieties and enjoys a unique landscape, where steep slopes, terraces, streams, vineyards and olive groves overlap. The first written reference to Quinta dos Murças dates back to 1770. The Quinta was sold from family to family, and from company to company, until 1943, when Manuel Pinto de Azevedo took over the running of the Quinta, which he did until 2008, when the Esporão group bought the property from his great-grandchildren. After relaxing a bit and enjoying the scenery, it will be time to see the Douro Valley from a different perspective. We’ll board our private boat to cruise down the river to our next stop, the incredible Quinta do Noval. First referenced in 1715, Quinta do Noval was bought in 1894 by António José da Silva, remaining in the hands of his descendants until 1993, when AXA Millésimes acquired it. The Quinta do Noval is the only traditional Port Wine exporter with the name of its vineyard, enjoying a prime location in the heart of the Douro Valley, Cima Corgo, Pinhão. Of the wines produced here, the most famous is the Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage, the world’s most highly prized Port which was elected by Wine Spectator, as one of the 12 best wines of the XXth century. The grapes come from a small parcel untouched by the plague of phylloxera, a unique case in the region and all of Europe. We’ll enjoy a visit and tour of this historical winery before sitting down for dinner where we’ll enjoy our meal accompanied by some of the Quinta’s wines.
Day 7 - Overnight at Quinta do Portal, Douro Valley - B, D
After staying busy for many days, it’s time to stop, relax and enjoy the facilities and beautiful surroundings of our boutique hotel. You may choose to sleep late and lounge by the pool, or perhaps you’ll use one of the hotel bikes to explore the countryside, stopping at a small winery just a few minutes down the road for an additional visit and tasting. After our free time, we’ll enjoy a tour and tasting of the winery where we’ve called home these past few nights, Quinta do Portal. We will tour the winery and storage facility after which we’ll taste some of their wines and possibly have a chance to try making our own blend. After our tour and tasting we’ll spend our last evening in the valley with dinner at the Quinta do Portal restaurant. The signature cuisine of Chef Milton Ferreira uses regional and local ingredients combined with the wines from the Quinta to give the food its own identity. It's a perfect end to our time in the Douro Valley.
Day 8 - Overnight in Lisbon - B, L
After checking out of our Douro Valley hotel we’ll begin our journey to Lisbon. On our way we’ll make a stop to visit the historic town of Coimbra, the former capital of Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coimbra is a preserved medieval town and home to the University of Coimbra, where one may see students dressed in its traditional black capes with black cassocks. We’ll meet our local guide and enjoy a unique way of touring this beautiful city, by electric tuk tuk! A few of the sites we’ll see are the Coimbra Cathedral built in 1139, the medieval town and the Santa Clara Monastery. After the tour we’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant before completing our drive to Lisbon. Upon arrival in Lisbon and checking into the hotel you’ll have the rest of the evening free to explore Lisbon as you choose.
Day 9 - Overnight in Lisbon - B, D
After breakfast we’ll meet our local chef and begin an
exploration of Lisbon. We’ll walk along some of the most typical neighbourhoods (bairros), with extremely narrow and steep streets, many of them covered in cobblestones, where neighbours greet each other calling their first names. Then we'll get down to the business of cooking with a visit to a local market where we will shop for ingredients. After we've collected what we need we'll go to the chef's cooking school and learn to create some of the amazing foods we've been enjoying these past 8 days and, of course, .we'll sit down to enjoy our creations at a lunch accompanied by Portuguese wine, After the meal, you’ll have a free afternoon to enjoy Lisbon as you’d like. Perhaps you’ll choose to visit the São Jorge Castle or the National Azulejo Museum. Or maybe you’re interested in doing some shopping or strolling along the river. After your afternoon of leisure, we’ll meet back up for the quintessential Lisbon evening as we enjoy dinner and a Fado show. Originating in Lisbon, Fado is generally known for its expressive nature as the singer usually sings of the harsh realities of life. We’ll walk through the neighborhood of Mouraria, the birth place of Fado Music, and where the first Fado singer known lived her sad life in a whorehouse frequented by sailors. We’ll enjoy the dinner and show in the very place where she lived. This unique experience will be the perfect ending to our first full day in Lisbon.
Day 10 - Overnight in Lisbon - B, D
Today we’ll spend outside the city as we visit the beautiful town of Sintra, set amidst the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra. Because of its hilly and cooler client, this area attracted the nobility and elite of Portugal to build their extravagent palaces and gardens. Here we’ll see some of Europe’s finest example of the colourful Romanticism style of architecture. We’ll visit the area in 4WD jeeps and have the opportunity to enjoy some of the natural scenery of the park. We’ll begin with a guided tour of the famous, whimsical Pena Palace before driving through the forest toward the coast. Here we’ll stop and give you time for lunch before enjoying more beautiful views. Depending on the weather, we may spend some time walking the paths of the area and enjoying the views by foot. After our day in Sintra, we’ll drive back to Lisbon where you’ll have a bit of free time before we meet again as a group. We’re in for a relaxing evening as we see Lisbon from a different perspective. We’ll board our private boat and set sail on our exclusive farewell dinner cruise. We’ll sip drinks and share a typical Portuguese Petiscos meal while watching the sites of Lisbon glide by. After watching the sunset, we’ll toast to this beautiful country, the friends we’ve met and the lasting memories we’ve made along the way.
Day 11 - B
Unfortunately, it’s time to leave this beautiful country. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport according to your flight schedule. If you signed up for the Algarve extension, you will be transferred to our private villa on the Algarve coast.