Like France, Italy and Spain… Portugal is a country of long history, art, heritage, traditions and beautiful lifestyle. This small country of 10 millions inhabitants only also offers an incredible diversity of landscapes and climates. Whether you decide to explore Porto e Norte area and Beiras region, or Lisbon with the west coast, or Alentejo, or Algarve… you will discover and appreciate different traditions and culture, but still… in having the same kind welcome of hospitable people.
Through its millennial history, when this powerful seafaring kingdom dominated the merchant routes to Africa, South America and the Orient, Portugal today boasts a fabulous architectural heritage with 14 UNESCO listed sites such as Sintra, Evora, Porto, Coimbra… but also a superb cuisine and fine wines.
LISBON, the capital of Portugal is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, located on the shores of the Atlantic. The city of seven hills features many quarters such as Baixa : the heart of the city, with its shops, banks and cafes. Chiado with theaters, bookstores and designer shops. Alfama “the highest" topped by Castelo de São Jorge, a castle built by the Moors in the 11th century.
Lisbon is plural, featuring an incredible mix of now. Vintage trolleys shivering up and down the hills match with multicolored buildings and red-tiled roofs, mosaïc sidewalks, industrial sites transformed into modern street-art living spots, without forgetting monuments (ie : Tower of Belem, Jeronimos Monastery the resting place of explorer Vasco de Gama…) and beautiful squares such as Praça do Comércio surrounded by administrative buildings that regulated the commerce, facing the Taje river. Your first visit will be the Lisboa Story Center for giving you a better understanding of the city and its history.
You will explore the narrow streets of the charming Alfama, Baixa, and Chiado districts by typical electric TukTuk. You will visit a fabulous market and lunch there, and of course taste Pasteis de Nata, these exquisite warm cream pastry!
Sintra - called the Moon Hill - is a place full of magic and mystery, where Nature and Men have combined such a perfect symbiosis that UNESCO has granted the site at the Word Heritage status. You won't miss the visit to the Castelo da Pena, unique by its architecture and style. Impressing by its size. It was the Royal Family residence…
You will like downtown Sintra, its colorful typical houses, its atmosphere… You will meet merchants, local people and you will certainly enjoy making some « souvenirs » shopping !
Evora is the capital of the Alentejo region, listed at the UNESCO World Heritage. It is one of the most preserved medieval fortified towns in Portugal. Along the walking tour through its narrow alleyways and streets you will discover its fabulous architectural heritage as well as stylish houses with dazzling white flowered terraces, openwork balconies and paved patios. Evora is also an alive students town (you will visit its historic university) and a gourmet spot !
Monsaraz is is a quaint medieval village located at the border of Spain, one of the oldest Portuguese settlements that you will explore quietly by walking. Sounds of church bells fill the cobblestone streets and alleys, and make a fairytale experience too !
CASA DA MADELENA BOUTIQUE HOTEL, CASCAIS
Welcome to Casa da Madelena, a 4-star intimate boutique-hotel of 15 rooms and suites only, all elegantly furnished with double or twin beds, and a private en-suite bathroom with tub or shower. Modern amenities include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs with international cable channels, free Wi-Fi connection, hair dryer and complimentary toiletries. We have chosen the Premium room with its queen sized bed and private terrace or direct access to the garden for solo travelers, or the suite for two people with its kingsized or twin beds.
Located in the residential area of historic Cascais, Casa da Madelena is a beautifully renovated “avant-garde" design mansion that Corinne has not only chosen for its perfect location, but also for its comfort, magnificent shaded gardens with majestic trees, well-tended lawns, and pool. Within 10 to 15 minutes is the beach, or the harbour and marina where you find charming cafés, casual restaurants and small shops offering local creations. Daily breakfast buffet is served until 10am.
HERDADE CRESTINERA LUXURY GUESTHOUSE, NEARBY EVORA
After a few days on the Lisbon coast... resting, visiting and cooking, you are now ready to explore another part of Portugal, a countryside region reputed for its food, wines, historic sites, oak trees plantations, citrus fruits and olive groves.
For your comfort, Corinne has chosen a very chic privately owned “herdade" property surrounded by hills, forests, and very preserved natural environment. Herdade Crestinera offers 7 spacious junior and master suites with en-suite bathroom (tub with shower), all located at the ground-floor, with its private terrace overlooking the olive groves and the mountains further.
The suites are luxuriously decorated with an incredible taste and attention to details, furnished with a double or twin beds, a sofa, stylish antiques and modern comfort. Waxed tile with carpets line the floors. Paintings and classic mirrors deck the walls. Elegant curtains adorn the windows. Lamps and decorative knickknacks contribute to a wellbeing atmosphere.
Amenities include air conditioning, free wifi connection, TV Lcd with satellite channels, minibar, tea and coffee “Espresso" facilities, mineral water and fresh organic fruits. In each bathroom, you will find a hairdryer, bathrobes, sleepers, and toiletry products.
Before a busy day of visits, shopping, cooking and touring, nothing's better than a good breakfast with tea, coffee or hot chocolate, bread, croissants, home-made jams, fresh fruits and juice, eggs (from the farm), etc. And after the busy day, enjoying the heated pool with its patio reminding the movie “Out of Africa".
To make your journey as comfortable as possible, you will enjoy 3 gourmet dinners at Herdade Crestinera. You will also partake a cooking class there, celebrating the traditional Portuguese cuisine run by local women cook. Class will be hands-on and taught in English.
The Portuguese cuisine is straightforward and hearty, matching fish & seaafood with meat and quality-fresh ingredients from the fertile land. Spices such as piri-piri, black pepper, vanilla, cinnamon and saffron are very used; a remembrance to the influence of Portugal's former colonial possessions. Olive oil is also the basis of the Portuguese cuisine as garlic and herbs flavor lots of dishes.
Bacalhau (codfish) is more than a traditional dish, it's a national obsession. Nicknamed "o fiel amigo" (faithful friend) codfish is traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Portugal. There are hundreds of different recipes and versions of this classic, but Bacalhau à Brás is one of the best… combining onions, chips, olives, parsley, egg and, of course, cod. From octopus salad to codfish croquettes, sautéed clams with herbs and garlic, caldo verde vegetables and chorizo soup, cataplana fish stew, chicken in the pot, custard pastry…there is a long, very long list of specialities that you will learn to cook and enjoy throughout your journey !
Portugal is a greatest wines production country, certainly one of the oldest in the world as Phoenicians probably introduced winemaking to the south, and the Romans spread vine cultivation and winemaking further upcountry as they drove out the northern Celts. Today 14 regions produce elegant reds and dry whites. You will visit the Alentejo region which covers about 1/3 of Portugal, and winemakers in the remaining 2/3 can often be heard to complain about the popularity of Alentejo wines. Évora, Redondo and Reguengos are more typical of the Alentejo, and can make smooth, harmonious, very easy-drinking reds. The white Antão Vaz is the star grape of the region, with good acidity and tropical fruit flavors.
Day 1 (Sunday): Welcome to Lisbon airport.
Transfer to Cascais. Check-in at the hotel. Resting time. Dinner and overnight.
Day 2 (Monday): Morning visit to Cascais – Afternoon resting time in Cascais
Breakfast. Morning guided walking tour to Cascais. Lunch on your own.
Afternoon resting time in Cascais.
Dinner in a gourmet restaurant in Cascais. Overnight.
Day 3 (Tuesday): Morning visit to Sintra – Afternoon resting time in Cascais
After breakfast, transfer to Sintra by private van.
Guided walking tour to this Unesco listed city, including the visit to Palacio de Pena. Lunch in Sintra.
Afternoon resting time in Cascais.
Dinner on your own in Cascais. Overnight.
Day 4 (Wednesday): Full-day in Lisbon
After breakfast, transfer to Lisbon by private van.
Food & cultural tour to Lisbon historic quarters.
Enjoy the flavors and discover the secrets of the food culture of Lisbon while exploring the city off the beaten paths and most real neighborhood in the comfort of an eco tuk, silent and zero-emission vehicle. The tour ends in a typical food market where you will enjoy a memorable tasting lunch. Afternoon guided tour to the monumental area of Belém. You will visit the emblematic Belém Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries and the Jeronimos Monastery. The last stop is at Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, where you will taste the delightful Pastéis de Belém. Transfer to Cascais.
Dinner on your own in Cascais. Overnight.
Day 5 (Thursday): Morning Cooking Class in Lisbon – Afternoon transfer to Alentejo through Arraiolos
After breakfast. Check-out. Transfer to Alentejo through Lisbon. For your comfort, luggages will be transferred directly to the Herdade Crestinera guesthouse nearby Evora.
Morning cooking class in Lisbon starting at 10am. You will experience the market tour and shopping with the chef before partaking a 3-hour hands-on class celebrating the traditional Portuguese cuisine. Lunch accompanied by wine follows the class.
Afternoon transfer by private van to Redondo through Arraiolos (wellknown for embroidered wool carpets).
Check-in at Herdade Crestinera guesthouse. Resting time.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 6 (Friday): Excursion to Evora including a visit to a cork manufacture
After breakfast, transfer to Evora (40 minutes) by private van.
Visit to the Alentejo wine museum followed by tasting. Lunch.
Afternoon guided walking tour to Evora followed by a visit to a cork manufacture in a village nearby.
Transfer to Redondo. Resting time.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 7 (Saturday): Visit to Estremoz with its alive market – Afternoon cooking class.
After breakfast, transfer to Estremoz (30 minutes) by private car or minibus.
Open-air market tour followed by lunch in a gourmet local restaurant.
Late afternoon cooking class at the resort followed by a gourmet tasting food & wine pairing dinner.
Day 8 (Sunday): Morning wine tour – Afternoon excursion to Monsaraz.
After breakfast, transfer to Reguengos.
Visit to a top-ranked winery starting by a guided tour in the vineyards, visit to cellars before enjoying wines and olive oil tasting.
Lunch at the winery.
Afternoon transfer to Monsaraz medieval village located at the border of Spain. Guided walking tour.
Transfer to Redondo. Resting time. Dinner and overnight.
Day 9 (Monday): Transfer to Lisbon airport – End of the tour.
Check-out after breakfast. Transfer to Lisbon airport (two vans for a group of 6 people). End of the tour.
US$ 4,150 per person (DBL occupancy) > Private tour for 4 to 5 people
US$ 3,300 per person (DBL occupancy) > Private tour for 6 to 7 people
Single supplement: US$ 590
All taxes & VAT included.
8-night 4-star hotel and luxury guesthouse accommodation, breakfasts included.
10 lunches and dinners in traditional and gourmet restaurants as detailed in the itinerary.
2 cooking classes followed by tasting lunch and dinner accompanied by wine.
Recipes in English.
Guided cultural (and shopping/leisure) tours in Cascais, Sintra, Lisbon, Evora, Estremoz, Monsaraz.
Visits to cultural sites as detailed in the itinerary (entrance fees included).
Half-day wine tour including wines tasting.
Markets tours and visits to local producers as detailed in the itinerary.
9-day transportation by private van, including Lisbon airport round-trip transfer.
Not included: airfare to/from your country, 1 lunch and 2 dinners in Cascais, drinks in restaurants, personal insurance, and personal expenses.
March 19-27, 2017 (sold out)
September 24 – October 1, 2017
March 18-26, 2018
September 7-15, 2018
October 9-17, 2018
Other dates can be added upon request (4 people minimum). Please contact us.