Come spend 8 days with us on a Portugal Wine Tour. Portugal is one of Europe’s last great countries for wine, history and culture. We are going to have an amazing trip with 3 nights in Porto and 4 nights at various wine hotels in the Douro Valley, Portugal’s premier wine growing region.
Our trip begins in Porto, where oddly enough JK Rowling worked as an English teacher in the 90’s and started writing the Harry Potter books. We will see several landmarks that made deep impressions on her work such as the Lello bookshop, a Gothic Revival style bookstore and possible inspiration for Hogwart’s and the Majestic cafe, where she was said to have written much of the book. Another interesting similarity are the Portuguese caped university students that look eerily similar to the caped students of Hogwarts.
Porto was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (in 1996), which is no surprise once see all the architectural gems this city has to offer, São Bento railway station, Se Catedral, and Cais da Ribeira to name a few.
After Porto, we head to Portuguese wine country, also another World Heritage Site. The Douro valley is perhaps one of the most awe inspiring and beautiful wine growing regions in the world. The region is full of grape growing terraced hills with the Douro river flowing between them. There is no mistake that douro means golden in Portuguese. We will spend 4 days here among the 100+ vineyards drinking in the culture at some of the most exclusive Quintas (wine estates) in the region.
Our trip begins in Porto (sometimes written as Oporto), a decidedly different city in feel from bohemian Lisbon. Porto sits on the Douro river and has been dominated by many rulers and and has a long and bloody history like much of Europe.
On your first day in Porto, we will explore the local area on foot with trips to the famous Sao Bento railway station, which is decorated in gorgeous blue tiles that depict famous battles of Portugal, a walk along the Ribeira, Porto’s riverside, and a stop for Portugal’s famous petiscos, or tapas.
After breakfast, we have a free morning to explore Porto on foot before one of our favorite excursions begins, the Porto food tour. You truly have not experienced a city without knowing it’s food and drink. This tour promises to deliver a side of Porto that wanderers rarely see.
Make sure you are hungry as we have set up 10 tastings, a perfect balance of sweet and savory, an amazing visit to a Portuguese food market called Bolhão. Plus we are going to walk all over the city an you are going to learn so much as Porto’s history and it’s rivalry between Lisbon, yes, it’s a big deal.
After the food tour, you can have more free time to explore before dinner. You can return back to the hotel, explore more on your own or join your guide for a glass of Portuguese green wine. Trust me, it’s delicious.
Today for something different, we are going on an urban art tour of Porto. Porto is teeming with tons of street art, Mr Dheo, Chei Crew, Hazul, Costah, Colectivo Rua, Godmess, SEM, Daniel Eime, Frederico Draw, Vhils, Miguel Januário, David Pintor are only some names from a series of beautiful artists that you can see. We are going to scour the city streets in search of these amazing pieces of art and learn more about the history of this fascinating city.
In the afternoon, we are off to the Douro valley, one of Portugal’s premier wine growing regions where we start our 4 days of wine tastings and vineyard tours. There are many ways to get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a World Heritage Site: by road, by train, or even by helicopter, we luckily have our own car and have the flexibility of going where the winding river takes us.
Douro is quite an eye opener and you will want to stop and take photos every 3 minutes. We will incorporate as many miradouras (viewpoints) as we can. These are usually on the top of hills and show the valley and river below in such stunning fashion.
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Wine Tasting
Over the next two days we have plans to visit a number of local wine estates called Quintas. We will be staying at different wine hotels each night, having breakfast and going out in the late morning for wine tastings. Some of the wine hotels have trails through their vineyards where you can walk around (highly recommended). There are so many options for wine, we have listed out some of the most popular in the region. These are all subject to availability during our visit.
We also will take a river cruise of this region, so you can see it’s beautiful from the golden waters. This is expected to be one of the highlights of the trip.
Meals: (2) Breakfasts/(2) Lunches/(2) Dinners/(2)Wine Tastings
This is our last day in Douro and after breakfast and checking out another miradouras, we are off back to Porto. Since this is the last full day in Portugal and we have not yet tried Port wine, we are off across the river to the famous port cellars where we have a choice of a handful of port wine makers.
Port is a sweet, red, fortified wine made in Portugal. Port is most commonly enjoyed as a dessert wine because of the sweetness. There are 3 distinct styles of Port: ruby, tawny, and white. Port is not everyone’s preference but we think you shouldn’t make up your mind completely until you have tried something in the very place it was made. Do not forget to buy any bottle of Port from makers you loved, these will be some of the best prices around.
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Port Wine Tasting
Our trip comes to an end today and depending on your flight, you may have time to explore more of Porto before we drive to the airport. I hope you have enjoyed your 7 days in Portugal
Megan went to Portugal in 2017 and immediately knew it would be a great location for a wine trip. She was taken by it’s charm, blue tiled buildings and large quantities of wine.
This small group trip to Portugal is designed for active wanderers. There will be lots of walking and travel by rental cars on the Portugal road system, which is very safe. There will also be large amounts of alcohol consumed on this trip. If you have questions about physical specifics of this trip, please contact me. Tour prices are based on accommodation (3-4 star hotels/guest houses), a personal American tour guide for duration of the trip. All trips will have an orientation (in person if geography suffices) or Skype if it doesn’t, for all guests approximately 3 weeks before departure. Emails and phone numbers of other tour group members will be exchanged with consent.
Please see our Portugal Wine Tour FAQ.
The price of this trip includes:
The price of this trip excludes:
Subject to Change. All Portugal wine tours are subject to change as travel is as unpredictable, so please note, that some parts of the trip may be altered to account for holidays, closed venues and weather related events.
Deposit Requirement: 10% deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking can not be guaranteed without a deposit.
Deposits can be paid by check, Paypal or credit card. All credit cards are processed through Stripe.
Trip Costs: This trip must be paid in full prior to 4 months start of trip. If trip fees are not paid within this time frame, trip deposits will be forfeited. The date to pay this trip in full is December 1, 2017.
Refund Policy: There is a 10% non-refundable fee per person on all received cancellation requests, regardless of the period when the cancellation is submitted. This trip is only 50% refundable if the request is made before December 1, 2017. If cancellation request is made after, no refund will be issued. This is due to the strict booking policies for desired hotels & excursions in Portugal.
We apologize for any inconvenience of this policy. You can however, transfer your reservation to another willing participant in the event you need to cancel. Just notify us if this is the case.
Tour Cancellations: Big Fat World Tours reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason and will notify each guest as soon as possible. All deposits and monies paid will be refunded 100% in such an event. Big Fat World Tours can not reimburse you for any flights booked for this trip. This is 100% the responsibility of the traveler. We recommend using World Nomads for travel insurance.
These policies are strictly enforced due to logistical partners in country and reservations made with local hotels and providers.
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