An Extraordinary Trip to Portugal - Apr 20 - May 1, 2022

Traveler: Brigette B. - Local specialist: Karin Eckhard

First and foremost, accolades to kimkim, Espiritu Travel, and Karin Eckhard for planning my family’s trip to Portugal; it was extraordinary. We are still reminiscing about the culture, food, and people of Portugal. Karin did an incredible job developing our very thoughtful and organized trip plans.

The tours and private transfers that Karin arranged were above outstanding. Our tour guides and private transfers were prompt, professional, and very personable. Our tour guides were extremely... read more

First and foremost, accolades to kimkim, Espiritu Travel, and Karin Eckhard for planning my family’s trip to Portugal; it was extraordinary. We are still reminiscing about the culture, food, and people of Portugal. Karin did an incredible job developing our very thoughtful and organized trip plans.

The tours and private transfers that Karin arranged were above outstanding. Our tour guides and private transfers were prompt, professional, and very personable. Our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable about the various parts of Portugal that we visited and each one made our experience a true five-star delight: Porto (Sergio, Pedro), Douro Valley (Nelson), Aveiro (Marta), Coimbra (Marta), Tomar (Marta), Lisbon (Marta), Sintra (Nuno), Cascais (Nuno), Evora (Miguel), and other various locations in the Alentejo Region (Miguel, Joanna) and the Algarve (Pedro).

The hotel accommodations that Karin arranged were beyond expectation. The beauty and quaintness of Infante Sagres Hotel in Porto made us feel like we stepped back in history. Corpo Santo Hotel in Lisbon enveloped us in a part of history pampered by the staff and remarkable amenities. The M’ar de ar Aqueduto in Evora was classic and serene offering an exceptional gastronomy experience. The Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort was a beautiful, ocean paradise.

Special shout out to Marta for taking us to several quaint cafes off the beaten path that were special to her.

Karin was accessible throughout our trip. Her messages were timely and she assisted us with restaurant reservations on a number of occasions. She made us feel like VIPs. We are already talking about our next trip, and we will definitely want Karin to be our point person. We are also highly recommending kimkim, Espiritu Travel, and Karin to family, friends, and coworkers.

Obrigada!!!

Hotel Reviews

Infante Sagres

Porto

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Hotel Review

The beauty and quaintness of Infante Sagres made us feel like we stepped back in history. Excellent breakfast and very lovely staff.

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M'ar de Ar Aqueduto

Évora

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The M'ar de Ar Aqueduto hotel was classic and serene offering an exceptional gastronomy experience. The spa was great and the hotel grounds are beautiful.

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M'ar de Ar Aqueduto

Évora

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Hotel Review

The M'ar de Ar Aqueduto hotel was classic and serene offering an exceptional gastronomy experience. The spa was great and the hotel grounds are beautiful.

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Activity Reviews

Privately Guided Tour of Porto

Porto

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Embarking on our first full day in Portugal we met our lovely guide, Pedro, and immediately delved into Porto’s history through a walking tour. Pedro was warm and patient, adjusting the pace of our tour as necessary to help accommodate the elderly. He was extremely knowledgeable about Porto’s history, and he answered all of our questions along the way. Engaging in conversation was a breeze and very insightful. We truly felt Pedro went above and beyond. We highly recommend this tour!

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Porto Culinary Experience

Porto

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Shortly after arriving to Portugal, we met with Sergio for a walking culinary experience. Sergio was very personable and knowledgeable about Portuguese cuisine (cod, sardines, traditional dishes, and pastries) and wine. Sergio guided us through the city center experiencing great dishes, cafes, and restaurants along the way, then he led us off the beaten path to experience more local treasures. This tour was an excellent way to begin our Porto experience!

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Private Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Lisbon

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Our excursion to Sintra and Cascais with our amazing guide, Nuno, was pretty magical. The Quinta da Regaleira that we visited in Sintra was like something out of a fanciful novel. Every bit of it was picturesque and at the risk of sounding corny, exploring the grounds was full of wonder. Nuno then took us to Restaurante da Adraga, the best beach-side, seafood restaurant we’ve ever been to. The food, wine, dessert, and service were top notch. After lunch, Nuno made sure we had an opportunity to visit and enjoy the shops and sights of Cascais. To top off our experience, this particular day was Freedom Day. Sharing in that moment with Nuno was a heart-warming experience. We feel blessed to have such wonderful and vivid memories of this day.

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Private Transfer {{start_location}} to {{end_location}}, via Tomar & Knights Templar

Portugal

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If you have a curiosity or enthusiasm for the Middle Ages, Tomar is a place that transports you to the period of the Knights Templar. Here, in Tomar, we visited the Castle of the Knights Templar. This site is an architectural marvel, and we were graciously allowed time to really take in the expanse of the castle and its grounds. Moments were powerful, serene, and haunting. A must-see for any history buff!

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Guided Visit of Aveiro with Tuk-Tuk & Boat Tour

Portugal

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The day in Aveiro and Costa Nova with Marta was a treat! Marta is an incredibly knowledgeable guide with a well-rounded repertoire of places to visit and things to try. First, we spent the morning and early afternoon touring Aveiro, learning about the city’s large array of Art Nouveau buildings as well as its history as a once, major exporter of sea salts. We viewed the active salt flats via tuk-tuk and visited local shops by foot to collect a variety of local salts, canned fish, and egg yolk treats. Perfect for culinary aficionados or home cooks! We also enjoyed a boat tour on the canals of Aveiro where we learned that many of the guides are indeed local fishermen. It was a charming city. After Aveiro, Marta took us to dine in another town called Costa Nova. Here we enjoyed a fresh and delicious seafood lunch at Canastra do Fidalgo. Conversation with Marta was intriguing. We felt like we understood Portugal and way-of-life in the country much more holistically through her insights.

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Explore Alentejo -Jeep Safari through a Cork Fork & Visit to a Olive Oil Estate

Portugal

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Now into the wild: the safari cork tour was a quiet diversion from our city excursions, as we made our journey south to the Alentejo Region. Our safari’s guide, Joanna, was both personable and quite knowledgeable about the lands that produced cork and wine. Always interested in understanding origination, production, and distribution, our visit to a cork factory after our safari tour was appreciated. One of us is now happily awaiting a unique piece of cork furniture directly from Cortiçarte. Our primary guide in Alentejo/Evora was Miguel. Miguel was outstanding! He truly went above and beyond to maximize our experiences in the region with care, consideration, and kindness. Amongst the most enjoyable of the experiences that we shared in the Alentejo was our visit to the small olive orchard, the Monte da Oliveira Velha estate, where Amor é Cego is produced. There, our hosts João and family warmly greeted us and shared the history of the estate before welcoming us to their table for an olive oil tasting and lunch. This experience was truly special.

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Private Transfer Airport to Hotel

Porto

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Get to Know Lisbon

Lisbon

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Evening of Fado

Lisbon

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Private Transfer Évora to Lisbon Airport

Évora

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Algarve Sunset Experience

Portugal

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There was no better way to end an amazing trip to Portugal than with an Algarve sunset experience guided by Pedro! Pedro was very personable, courteous, and possessed a wealth of knowledge of the Algarve. En route to St. Vincent Cape of Sagres via a 4WD jeep, Pedro took us to see some of the most picturesque views of beaches and breathtaking landscapes, particularly Cordoama Viewpoint! Pedro planned our experience perfectly giving us plenty of time to take in these views along the way. Our trip concluded at St. Vincent Cape of Sagres where we witnessed the most captivating sunset while enjoying great wine and bread with chorizo.

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Day Excursion to Douro Valley, Wine Tasting & River Cruise

Porto

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Our day started with meeting our incredible tour guide, Nelson, who guided us on our day excursion to Douro Valley. He filled us with the history of Douro Valley; Portuguese history and culture; and, insight on the vineyards' planting, harvesting, and production. One of the highlights of our tour was our lunch at Toca da Raposa, a quaint, family-owned restaurant that featured an excellent menu and wine selection. The wine tasting at Quinta da Pacheca was a charming experience, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

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Karin Eckhard profile photo
Karin Eckhard, local specialist, responded to this review:

Brigette & family, this review leaves me almost leaves me without words. It truly was a pleasure working with you and your family to create this fantastic trip Thank you so much for taking this much time to give reviews not only for the overall trip but all the services we don't often get this complete review. I will be forwarding this message to all the guides you had during your trip. I hope to help you great another amazing trip in the future. Warmest and sincerest regards, Karin :-)