- Immerse yourself in Porto's vibrant culinary scene with a walking food tour
- Discover the fantastical hilltop palaces of Sintra
- Hear live fado music in Lisbon's atmospheric Bairro Alto
- Go hiking & wine tasting on the slopes of Mount Etna
- Stroll through the exquisite Greek ruins of Agrigento
|Day 1||Arrive in Porto, Afternoon Food Tour||Porto|
|Day 2||Tour Historic Porto, Join a Portuguese Cooking Class||Porto|
|Day 3||Day Trip to the Douro Valley, Wine Tasting & River Cruise||Porto|
|Day 4||Transfer to Lisbon via Coimbra||Lisbon|
|Day 5||Get to Know Lisbon with a Local, Evening of Fado||Lisbon|
|Day 6||Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril||Lisbon|
|Day 7||Fly to Sicily, Explore Palermo||Palermo|
|Day 8||Day Trip to Cefalù & Sicily's Best Beaches||Palermo|
|Day 9||Transfer to Agrigento, Discover the Valley of the Temples||Agrigento|
|Day 10||Transfer to Catania via Villa Romana del Casale||Catania|
|Day 11||Mount Etna Half-Day Tour & Wine Experience||Catania|
|Day 12||Day Trip to Syracuse, Ortigia & Noto||Catania|
|Day 13||Depart Catania|
Day 1: Arrive in Porto, Afternoon Food TourWelcome to Porto! Upon arrival, you'll be met at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel in the city center. Spend the rest of the afternoon settling in, or head out to learn more about Porto and its cuisine with a walking tour of the historic downtown. Guided by a local expert guide, this small-group excursion offers a first-hand look at the culinary renaissance that the city is experiencing, including the rebirth of specialty food shops and new restaurants that are adopting old methods.
You'll take part in several distinct tasting locations that harken back to an era of simple, quality products and recipes created by people who love what they do. Learn about these family-owned businesses and why they are an integral part of what makes gastronomy in Porto so unique. Furthermore, you'll witness the revival of Portuguese cuisine while you explore local restaurants, cafés, and stores offering the best of Porto.
Day 2: Tour Historic Porto, Join a Portuguese Cooking ClassExplore more of Porto today with a private tour, learning about the city's history, heroes, and battles as you make your way through the trendiest and most cultural areas of town. Start in the UNESCO-listed city center to admire renowned monuments and sites, including the São Bento Railway Station, Clerigos Tower, Church of St. Francis, Lello Bookshop, Sta. Catarina Street, Majestic Café, and Bolhão Market. After visiting Porto Cathedral, you'll finish the tour along the banks of the Douro River for views over the city from the Miradouro da Vitória.
Day 3: Day Trip to the Douro Valley, Wine Tasting & River CruiseToday your private driver will be waiting to whisk you into the mountains and valleys of the famous Douro Valley wine region, where you'll visit traditional wineries accompanied by your expert guide. After a wine tasting, you'll enjoy a traditional lunch at one of the valley's famous quintas (estates).
After lunch, it's time to hop aboard a riverboat for an hour-long cruise down the tranquil Douro River. Relax and admire the beautiful scenery of the valley and the rolling hills along the riverbanks. At the end of the day, your guide will return you to Porto, where you can spend the evening at leisure in the city's lively Ribeira area.
Day 4: Transfer to Lisbon via Coimbra
Today, after breakfast and check-out, you'll meet your driver for the transfer south to Lisbon. About halfway through the trip, stop to spend some time exploring Coimbra. This medieval capital of Portugal wears its weighty importance in Portuguese history with dignity and pride, witnessed by its multicolored collage of buildings that span nearly a millennium. The historic core cascades down a hillside to create a lovely setting along the east bank of the Rio Mondego.
Upon arrival, you'll meet with a local guide for a private tour of the city. The 13th-century University of Coimbra remains the star attraction, with a tremendous amount of history and knowledge accumulated within its walls. A must-see is the Baroque library, home to an incredible collection of over 200,000 books stored in carved and gilded bookshelves. The Chapel of Saint Michael next door is also worth the visit, and make sure to take a stroll through the atmospheric medieval streets of the historic center before getting back on the road and continuing to Lisbon.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Get to Know Lisbon with a Local, Evening of FadoFirst things first, you’ll get your bearings on a privately guided tour of the city’s most happening neighborhoods as you hop on board an iconic tram and head into Bairro Alto. Continue onto Chiado and discover a cultural enclave where the great writers and philosophers of the 20th century used to gather to hone their ideas. Next up is the picture-perfect neighborhood of Alfama. Here, you’ll get a feel for traditional Lisbon with its narrow cobblestoned streets and the stunning 12th-century Sé de Lisboa Cathedral.
After spending some time getting to know Lisbon, your private guide will give you recommendations for lunch or dinner and you will have the rest of the day to explore one of Europe's coolest cities at your own pace. In the evening, you’ll head back into the Bairro Alto and enjoy a night at one of the city’s best fado restaurants, where good food, the perfect setting, and the melancholic tones of traditional fado music come together for a truly authentic night out.
Day 6: Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
After breakfast, your private driver will pick you up to start today's adventure in Sintra. Located just half an hour east of the city, this resort town in the Sintra Mountains is known for its forested hills, upscale villas, and Moorish palaces. Start with a visit to the Palacio Nacional da Pena (Pena Palace). This 19th-century romanticist castle mixes Moorish and Portuguese late-Gothic architectural styles with distinct features like gargoyles, ornate battlements, and colorful terraces.
After touring the palace you'll have a break for lunch, at which point you can also stroll through the historic village of Sintra and do some shopping and/or sightseeing. Then it's off to Sintra Cascais Natural Park. Some can't-miss locales in this area include the dramatic coastal cliffs of the Cabo de Roca, the wide and inviting Guincho Beach (a popular surf spot), and the glamorous towns of Cascais and Estoril. After the tour, a private transfer will take you back to your hotel in Lisbon.
Day 7: Fly to Sicily, Explore PalermoIt's time to bid Portugal farewell as you make your way to the Lisbon airport this morning to catch your flight to Palermo, where a private driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Get settled, then meet your guide for a private half-day tour of the Sicilian capital.
Day 8: Day Trip to Cefalù & Sicily's Best BeachesStart your morning with a scenic one-hour train ride along the coast to Cefalù, a historic port town. You can start a self-guided tour in the city center at the Lavatoio Medievale, a 16th-century washhouse that utilizes running water from the River Cefalino in its stone basins. Nearby is the Porta Pescara, a gate to Cefalù Beach featuring great views of the coast. Perhaps take a walk to the old harbor and stroll the seaside promenade; the city's Lungomare Beach is also a popular destination.
You should definitely visit the 17th-century Bastione di Capo Marchiafava, one of many old defensive fortresses located along the coast. The view from the top of the Bastione is a real treat. Nearby you'll find the Norman-Arabic Duomo Basilica Cattedrale (Cefalù Cathedral) which dates to the 12th century. And if there's time, climb the Rocca, the promontory above the city. A steep staircase winds through city walls before emerging onto a rocky outcrop with stunning views of the city and ocean. Stop at a beachside bar for an aperitivo before catching the train back to Palermo.
Day 9: Transfer to Agrigento, Discover the Valley of the Temples
After breakfast, a private transfer will take you south to Agrigento. Upon arrival, you'll have the rest of the day to explore the city and its popular UNESCO-listed archaeological site, the Valley of the Temples. Meet with your guide to walk through the well-preserved Greek temples and the ancient city of Akragas with the option to spend time at the popular archaeological museum.
Along the way, you'll stop to marvel at the temples of Hera, Concordia, and Herakles as your expert guide reveals historical insight that brings the ruins to life. You'll also learn how these ridge-top temples once served as beacons for homecoming sailors. After the tour, the rest of the day is free for you to explore at your leisure.
Day 10: Transfer to Catania via Villa Romana del CasaleIn the morning, your private driver will pick you up to take you east to Catania, located on the beautiful Ionian Sea. On your way, you'll stop for a private tour of the UNESCO-listed Villa Romana del Casale. Discover some of the world's best-preserved and varied Roman mosaics as you explore the grounds of this ancient Roman villa. Incredibly luxurious and built on a vast scale, Villa Romana del Casale was probably made for a member of ancient Rome’s elite.
After the visit, continue to Catania to get checked into your hotel then head out for a guided stroll. See the city through the eyes of a local as your knowledgeable guide shares fascinating stories and introduces you to historic landmarks, many dating back as far as the 8th century BCE. Discover highlights like the Piazza Duomo, Pescheria, Castello Ursino, Piazza San Francesco, Via Teatro Greco, Piazza Dante, and the Piazza San Placido. As evening falls, you can uncover the secrets of Italian family recipes with a private cooking class in a local home—complete with dinner and a selection of local wines.
Day 11: Mount Etna Half-Day Tour & Wine ExperienceAfter breakfast, your guide will pick you up from your hotel to start today's adventure to Mount Etna, Sicily's iconic active volcano. Start with a hike accompanied by an expert naturalist guide. Along the route, you'll discover craters, ancient lava flows, and breathtaking landscapes. You'll even have the chance to head underground and explore a lava cave with helmets and torches.
After scaling Mount Etna, discover the famous wine of the region, notable for its distinct characteristics bestowed by the fertile, mineral-rich soils surrounding the volcano. Taste a selection of local wines, and enjoy a typical Sicilian lunch made with local products.