- Take a guided food tour of Porto
- Visit wineries in the Douro Valley and enjoy tasting flights of Port
- Learn about regional olive oil and how it's made
- Explore the sights in Braga and the stunning Viana do Castelo
|Day 1||Arrive in Porto||Porto|
|Day 2||Get to Know Porto & Food Tour||Porto|
|Day 3||Into the Douro Valley||Peso de Régua|
|Day 4||Travel to Viana do Castelo||Viana do Castelo|
|Day 5||Depart Porto|
Day 1: Arrive in Porto
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Porto's airport, you will be met by a driver who will transfer you to the hotel where you'll spend your first night.
Take some time to rest, then head out into town for some exploration. If you're looking for some recommendations on where to dine for your first meal here, ask your specialist, who will be more than happy to point you to some local favorites.
Day 2: Get to Know Porto & Food Tour
Today is a great introduction to Porto! After breakfast at the hotel, you'll join a half-day tour of the city with a local guide. This excursion will lead you through the most important landmarks of Portugal’s second most populous city as you travel from place to place in a comfortable private vehicle.
Your guide will explain the rich history of this city, also called Invicta (the Unbeaten City), with stories of heroes and battles, as you make your way to the trendiest and most cultural area of town. Here you'll explore Boavista Avenue, one of the city's most important streets, and Foz, home to some of the most revered museums and modern local treasures.
Next, you'll head to the city center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — to admire the most renowned Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical 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, to name a few.
After visiting the imposing Porto Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, you'll finish the tour along the banks of the immense Douro River with views of Ribeira Plaza and the D. Luís Bridge.
But that's not all: you'll also visit a small scale canning factory, which produces gourmet-quality tinned fishes. What makes this purveyor unique is its hand-made processing techniques, which have been used here for the last century. Tinned fish isn’t only a delicacy in Portugal; it's a traditional way of life that continues to adapt to the times.
In the evening, after you've had some time to rest, it's time for another tour — this time centered on the city's exciting food scene. This is your chance to get off the well-worn tourist path for a side of Porto that most travelers rarely see. You'll be welcomed by local families in their small, authentic restaurants, cafés, and bars as you taste a range of traditional dishes, local pastries, and, of course, Portuguese wines.
Day 3: Into the Douro Valley
After you enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel, you'll be picked up for a full-day private excursion to discover the enchanting Douro Valley, Portugal's stunning northern wine region. Depending on your interests, you can customize your day based on how you'd like to explore the valley.
If you're interested in the region's famed wineries, prepare to spend some time tasting. At one of the valley's best vineyards, you'll learn all about history, flavor profiles, and production processes of the local varietals, including Port; you'll then sip and savor wines in a tasting. If Port's not your thing, your specialist will tailor your tour to the area's superb blends and table wines.
You can also visit a local olive oil producer, as olive oil is also one of the most regarded products in the region; learn about harvesting the fruit, pressing techniques, and of course, sample the goods! Once you've excited your appetite, you can tuck into a delicious lunch at a typical Portuguese restaurant, paired with stellar wines from the valley.
If nature calls, explore the incredible outdoors on a leisurely boat trip, then stop to take in the magnificent views of the river from above; there are myriad viewpoints from which you can look out onto the valley, so be sure to bring your camera! Tonight your specialist can help arrange a great dinner before you spend the night among the beautiful landscapes by the Douro river.
Day 4: Travel to Viana do Castelo
In the morning, you'll be picked up at your hotel for the drive north to the beautiful town of Viana do Castelo. En route, you'll stop in Braga for a self-guided afternoon in Portugal’s third-largest city.
Braga is an elegant town laced with ancient narrow lanes closed to vehicles, strewn with plazas and a splendid array of baroque churches. The constant chiming of bells is a reminder of the city's age-old devotion to the spiritual world. Braga’s upscale old center is packed with lively cafés and trim boutiques, some excellent restaurants and low-key bars catering to students from the Universidade do Minho.
After enjoying Braga, you will head to the jewel of the Costa Verde: Viana do Castelo, which features a gorgeous medieval city center, a serene riverfront, and access to a string of lovely beaches just outside the city. The old quarter in town showcases leafy 19th-century boulevards and narrow lanes crowded with Manueline manors and rococo palaces, all dramatically presided over by the pearly white, neo-Byzantine Santa Luzia church on the hilltop high above the town. The town’s setting by the Rio Lima estuary also makes Viana a handy base for exploring the lower Lima valley.
Spend the day strolling through the city, luxuriating on coastal sands, or simply lingering over a coffee or glass of wine at a picturesque café. For dinner, head to one of the city's great restaurants; your specialist will be happy to recommend some great eateries.
Day 5: Depart Porto
It's time to say goodbye to Portugal!
Depending on the time of your flight, you may be able to squeeze in one more walk through the streets of Porto or perhaps pick up some last-minute souvenirs. At the designated time, you'll be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your departure onwards.