Discover Portugal's lesser-visited treasures on this luxury 10-day tour. Begin by road-tripping to a remote corner of the Douro Valley to taste fine wines and uncover the region's prehistoric rock art. Next, continue to rural Alentejo for stargazing in Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve and a hot-air balloon ride over the UNESCO-listed town of Évora. The trip ends in peaceful Comporta on the Atlantic coast, where you'll sail the Arrábida Marine Reserve and ride horses along the rugged coastline.


  • Discover fine wines and prehistoric rock art in the lush Douro Valley
  • Float over the UNESCO-listed town of Évora in a hot-air balloon
  • Spend an evening stargazing in Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve
  • Charter a luxury boat to explore the Arrábida Marine Reserve
  • Ride through Comporta's wild forests and beaches on horseback

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Porto, Scenic Drive Along the Douro Valley Douro Valley
Day 2 Archaeology, Wine Tasting & Lunch in the Greater Côa Valley Douro Valley
Day 3 Traditional Portuguese Cooking Class Douro Valley
Day 4 Scenic Drive to Alentejo Alentejo
Day 5 Alentejo Jeep Tour with Winery Visit Alentejo
Day 6 Hot-Air Balloon Over Évora, Dark Sky Reserve Stargazing Alentejo
Day 7 Drive to Comporta, Explore the Hotel & Beach Town Comporta
Day 8 Arrábida Marine Reserve Boat Trip Comporta
Day 9 Horseback Riding with Picnic Lunch Comporta
Day 10 Drive to Lisbon, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Porto, Scenic Drive Along the Douro Valley

Drive along the Douro River to Casa do Rio Wine Hotel, nestled among organic vineyards on the Quinta do Vallado

Welcome to Portugal! Touch down in Porto, the country's second-largest city, and pick up your rental car to begin your road trip. Start with a 1.5-hour drive into the mountains and valleys of the famous Douro Valley wine region. Sections snake alongside the Douro River, surrounded by terraced vineyards and olive farms dotted with family-run quintas (estates). 

Stop off at sweeping viewpoints and riverside cafés to enjoy the views; the town of Amarante is a favorite for its iconic bridge and streets lined with cute cafés. Eventually, you'll reach the boutique retreat, Casa do Rio Wine Hotel, set in the organic vineyards of the acclaimed wine estate Quinta do Vallado. This remote property is nestled near Villa Nova de Foz Côa on the Spanish border and was designed by renowned architect Francisco Vieira de Campos. 

The property blends into the terraced landscape, made of wood and suspended over a gorge above the Douro River. Settle into your peaceful room, which features floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to a private balcony. Soak up the views and head down to the infinity pool, which overlooks the river, for a swim. The hotel also offers boat and Jeep tours, as well as walking trails, bikes, and standup paddleboards to explore the area. 

Day 2: Archaeology, Wine Tasting & Lunch in the Greater Côa Valley

Tour the lush Greater Côa Valley for wineries and archaeological history

Today, you're free to delve into the history of the Greater Côa Valley independently. This lush region is known for its remote beauty, offering rolling countryside dotted with vineyards. Stop for wine tasting and a picnic lunch at Quinta da Vinea, which has been run by the same family since the 19th century and uses sustainable viticulture techniques to produce its signature wines. 

The Côa Valley is also famed for its collection of prehistoric rock engravings and paintings, which depict animals, people, and abstract figures. These are believed to have been created by early humans during the Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, making them thousands of years old.

Uncover this history at the Côa Valley Archaeological Park, which was established to protect and showcase these ancient rock art sites. The park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998, recognizing its cultural significance and the insights it provides into the lives and cultures of prehistoric people. Peruse the various engravings that give an insight into the lives and traditions of people who once inhabited the region. 

Day 3: Traditional Portuguese Cooking Class

Take advantage of your hotel's 5 pm wine tasting session

Get a taste of Portugal this morning with a private cooking class. Join a top local chef who'll teach you the essentials of sustainable food preservation used in the region, such as pickling and salting. Create typical local dishes using locally sourced fish, olives, and produce, then feast on your creations. 

The rest of the day is yours to enjoy the Douro Valley. Chill out at your resort with a leisurely bike ride around the vineyards or a kayaking trip along the river. Relish panoramic valley views from the wooden deck of your hotel or head to the spa for a pamper session, indulging in a massage and detox in the sauna, followed by a soak in the Jacuzzi. Take advantage of the hotel's daily wine-tasting session at 5 pm, where you can sample a variety of bottles from award-winning Quinta do Vallado.

Day 4: Scenic Drive to Alentejo

Drive from the Douro Valley to Alentejo, passing quaint towns like Monsaraz

Say goodbye to the Douro Valley this morning as you five hours south and into the Alentejo, Portugal's largest region. Alentejo's fertile landscape is carpeted with vineyards, cork plantations, olive groves, and wheat fields. Among the rural splendors, you'll find medieval towns like Monsaraz, which are surrounded by imposing walls and topped with a castle. São Lourenço do Barrocal, your chic hotel, lies in the shadow of Monsaraz, surrounded by unblemished countryside.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing at your hotel, a whitewashed former farmhouse that's been in the same family for over 200 years. The property has a selection of barns converted into luxurious rooms and cottages by renowned architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. Room highlights include traditional red floor tiles and wooden shutters combined with modern comforts like underfloor heating. 

Windows look out over the 1,927-acre (780 ha) estate, which you can explore on foot, bike, or horseback. Discover olive groves, vegetable gardens, a pool, and a vineyard where you can enjoy a wine-tasting session. Head to the spa for a decadent massage; try the signature Barrocal Purifying Massage, delivered with herbs grown on the estate. End the day with some farm-to-fork dining at the on-site restaurant. 

Plan your trip to Portugal
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Alentejo Jeep Tour with Winery Visit

Learn about the cork production process on a Jeep safari

Uncover the rural wonders of the Alentejo today on a private Jeep safari. Head out with a local guide to experience the beauty of the countryside, bumping through forests of cork and holm oak trees, where Iberian black pigs snuffle for acorns and farmers harvest cork. You'll learn the story of an English family that planted roots in the Alentejo in the 19th century and discover the secrets of olive oil and cork production. 

Continue to nearby vineyards, where you'll learn about the production process, from vine to bottle, and hear about how the Alentejo region's clay-lime soils and climate combine to produce award-winning varieties. Taste everything from syrah and Alicante Bouschet to Touriga Nacional and Aragonez. Return to your hotel afterward for a peaceful evening. 

Day 6: Hot-Air Balloon Over Évora, Dark Sky Reserve Stargazing

Spot distant planets and constellations in Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve

Start the day with a private hot-air balloon flight over the city of Évora, which is encircled by 14th-century walls and protected by UNESCO for its well-preserved mix of Moorish architecture. Soak up bird's-eye views of Évora's ancient cobbled streets, looking out for the spires of the town's impressive 12th-century cathedral, then fly over the patchwork countryside, passing the archaeological site Cromeleque dos Almendres, a set of hulking megalithic monuments.

Spend a free afternoon at your hotel, lazing by the pool or rambling through the olive groves. Tonight, you'll embark upon a private stargazing trip in the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve, the first reserve of this kind in the world. Your guide will teach you about the area's pristine skies—low light pollution in the Alentejo means the region enjoys an average of 286 nights of clear sky a year. 

Start with a guided tour of the Dark Sky Reserve's astrophotography exhibition, then continue to the observatory in the village of Cumeada. Here, you'll have the chance to explore the celestial sphere with your naked eye, binoculars, and state-of-the-art telescopes. Let your guide point out twinkling constellations, distant planets, and the shiny smear of the Milky Way.

Day 7: Drive to Comporta, Explore the Hotel & Beach Town

Check into Sublime Comporta's traditional cabanas

This morning, take a scenic drive two hours east to the Atlantic coast, stopping to admire the Alqueva Dam, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. The final leg of the journey takes you through the Alentejo Litoral region to the beach town of Comporta. The surrounding area is a mass of dunes and beaches, fragrant forests of pine and cork trees, and irrigated rice fields that flourish in shades of green in the summer. 

Much of the area is privately owned by the Espirito Santos family and protected by a nature reserve on the Sado Estuary, where over 200 bird species flock, including flamingoes and Comporta's signature storks. This means the area has retained its natural peace and beauty, with few hotels and tourist crowds. You'll stay at the Sublime Comporta, which lies on 42 acres (17 ha) of forest and fields just minutes from the beach. 

Check into your room, which is made from wood and inspired by the traditional cabanas of local fishermen and farmers. Each has high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and wooden decks, while villas feature fireplaces and a private pool. You'll find a further four pools spread around the estate, including a heated pool in the Sublime Spa, where you can enjoy a range of treatments. Indulge in the signature Our Land session, which includes a rice scrub and massage using handcrafted ceramic pots.

Day 8: Arrábida Marine Reserve Boat Trip

Sail the crystal clear waters of Arrábida Marine Reserve

Explore Comporta's idyllic coastline today on a private boat. Join your skipper to sail along the Arrábida Marine Reserve, which stretches along the rugged Setúbal peninsula. Take in views of deserted golden beaches backed by wave-worn cliffs covered in rare Mediterranean plants, and look out for an array of seabirds as you sail.  

Your skipper will tailor the experience to your wishes, stopping at isolated coves where you can sunbathe, swim in azure waters, and have leisurely picnics. Drop anchor in supreme snorkeling spots where you can glimpse colorful fish and marine creatures. Sip cocktails as you sit on deck, zipping across the surface of the Atlantic. Back on land, return to your hotel for a restful evening. 

Day 9: Horseback Riding with Picnic Lunch

Go for a peaceful trot or an exhilarating gallop along the Atlantic coast

Saddle up for today's private horseback tour of Comporta's windswept beaches and remote countryside trails. Your guide will take you through fields of swaying rice and forests filled with towering pines, eventually crossing rolling dunes to the soft-sand beaches of the Atlantic coast. Canter across the honey-hued sands, hearing the waves crash against the shore. 

Spend the rest of the day as you please. Head into the village of Comporta to shop for souvenirs in its cobblestone streets, or take the complimentary hotel shuttle to Praia do Carvalhal for some relaxation. If you're still feeling active, take advantage of Sublime's yoga classes, tennis courts, and e-bikes. End the day with a meal at the on-site Sem Porta, where you can dine on Portuguese dishes made with produce grown in the resort's organic garden.

Day 10: Drive to Lisbon, Depart

Drive to Lisbon in time for your onward flight

Today, your luxury Portugal escape comes to an end. Enjoy a final one-hour drive north to Lisbon, where you'll drop off your rental car in time to board your homebound flight. Safe travels!

More Great Portugal Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Portugal? Check out these other Portugal itineraries, explore different ways to spend 10 days in Portugal in luxury, or discover the best time to visit Portugal.


Map of Off-the-Beaten-Path Luxury in Portugal: Douro Valley, Alentejo & Comporta - 10 Days
Map of Off-the-Beaten-Path Luxury in Portugal: Douro Valley, Alentejo & Comporta - 10 Days