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Long weekend Porto and Douro Valley: wine, food and city

4 days
PortugalPortoDouro wine regionDouro Valley
  • Explore Porto’s outstanding urban landscape, host to an UNESCO Heritage listed historical city centre and splendid modern architecture
  • Sample great port wines in an authentic port lodge
  • Discover the joys of fine Portuguese cuisine, modern as well as traditional
  • Taste excellent port and table wines at exclusive Douro Valley wine estates
  • Enjoy the magnificent countryside of the Douro Valley, possibly Europe’s most spectacular wine region
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Porto and Douro Valley

The handsome old city of Porto, set on the banks of the Douro River, has a lot to offer the discerning visitor.

There is much to see in this fascinating city; the large UNESCO heritage listed medieval center is still largely intact. The city, adorned with some grandiose baroque monuments and outstanding art galleries like the Serralves museum, offers as well some striking modern architecture – world-famous architect Rem Koolhaas’ stunning concert hall Casa de Musica for example.

For centuries, Porto has been the center of the port wine trade; historic port lodges abound in the Gaia district of the city. Some of these lodges have beautiful azulejo tiled tasting rooms, where one can enjoy various styles of port wines. The city’s wine bars and restaurants, where both the stunning Douro table wines as well as port wines are served, are also never far away. As in any good wine growing culture, excellent food is also prevalent, and Porto’s gastronomical resources are rapidly getting well deserved acclaim.

One of the most beautiful wine regions in the world

From Porto, follow the Douro river inland and you will discover a rural paradise with magnificent countryside:the Douro Valley. This area in particular may be Europe’s most spectacular wine region, offering the visitor stunning scenery.

The deep gorge that the Douro has carved through soft slatey soils allows for dramatic vistas. The steep hillsides are covered from top to bottom with terraced vineyards. They are so steep that to this day grapes can only be handpicked.

Superior wines

Whilst the valley is historically famous as the producer of port wines, for the last 10 years some of Europe’s best unfortified table wines have also been made here. The best wine estates make both port and table wines and, in a few instances, the estate owners take their table wines more seriously than their port wines.

The vineyards are mostly planted with the local varieties like Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Amarella.
Reflecting the dramatic variations in both the orientation and altitude of the land, the characters of the wines produced in neighboring vineyards can be quite different. The style of the wines also varies enormously depending on the provenance of the grapes and the intentions of the winemaker – from Burgundian to schistose solidity.

There is a real air of excitement in the Douro Valley about this extraordinary terrain’s ability to express itself in such a diverse range of wine.

It is no wonder that the leading wine magazines like Decanter and Wine Spectator have given high marks to a number of Douro table wines. Even the Bordelaise have been moving in, buying vineyards or setting up joint ventures with some of the local estates.

What to expect from us

With our unusual “Long weekend Porto & Douro: food & wine & city” you will discover some of Porto’s culinary and cultural delights; you will also taste some of the best wines at spectacular wineries in the Douro Valley. This 4 days / 3 nights experience is perfect for discerning travelers seeking fine wines, delectable cuisine and exclusive accommodation

Porto
You will stay in a stylish 4-star hotel in the heart of the charming and historic center of Porto. It is sophisticatedly decorated, to a high specification. The rooms of this hotel have all the facilities you would expect, including air-conditioning.

Most of Porto’s major monuments, as well as Porto’s famous classic cafes and coffee houses, are within walking distance of the hotel.

Douro Valley
You will be staying at a working winery in the heart of the Douro Valley.

The 18th century quinta (manor house), the centre of the winery, has been extensively restored and turned into an intimate and exclusive hotel. The quinta is located on a slope, allowing for the most spectacular views over the countryside. There are 11 comfortable rooms, each of which is tastefully furnished and is air conditioned.

The property, situated within a 400 acre estate, has spacious gardens and terraces as well as a large swimming pool.

Dates 2017:

  • Our gastronomic breaks are available throughout the year, except the month of August
  • Minimum number of guests 2
  • To check availability for specific dates, please get in touch

The price for a 4 days (3 nights) gastronomic break:

  • Euro 595 pro person
  • 145 Euro single room supplement

What is included:

  • 2 nights accommodation 4-star hotel Porto
  • 1 night accommodation exclusive winery/hotel
  • 3 breakfasts
  • 1 tours & tasting at a portlodge
  • 1 tours & tasting at winery
  • 2 restaurant dinners – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 dinner at winery – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 restaurant lunch Amarante – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 tour Casa da Musica Porto

There are many direct flights into Porto airport from Europe. For trans-atlantic flights, it may be easiest to connect in Lisbon.

In order to get to the various venues in Porto, some of them are walking distance, others are an easy taxi ride away.

The Douro Valley is around 1,5 / 2 hours east of Porto by car. Hiring a car is a good option if you enjoy driving in beautiful countryside. It is easy too to get to Douro Valley by train from Porto, it is a beautiful train ride, trains run regularly. The local travel in Douro can be organised by local taxis (taxis are relatively inexpensive) or by organizing a transfer service for you.

If you would like Paladares Travel to assist with car rental services or to organize transportation, please let us know. Kindly note the pricing on our website does not include transportation, since the cost is largely dependent on the number of people requiring such service.

Paladares Travel does not offer flights. We suggest you to book directly with one the many companies offering such services.

If you wish to book your flights directly, we kindly refer you to http://www.flytap.nl, the website of TAP Portugal. TAP Portugal is Portugal’s national airline; they are known for their reliability and good level of service. TAP has frequent connections to various cities in Portugal, from Amsterdam, Brussels and London.

Alternatively there are many other companies offering flights. Booking early can be very advantageous

Please find below an outline of the proposed gastronomic holiday. Kindly note that this holiday is available all year round for a minimum of 2 people, with the exception of the month of August.

If you wish you can have your long weekend  fully escorted by an English and Portuguese speaking guide. We can also organise local transfers and transport.

It may be possible to commence the itinerary  any day of the week. Your stay can be easily extended.

Day 1 Thursday
  • Arrival at Porto hotel.
  • Welcome drinks at the hotel.
  • Dinner at a stylish Portuguese restaurant, acclaimed for its modern and innovative Portuguese cuisine, as well as its excellent wine list. It is a great place to sample some of the region’s finest produce, in both food and drink.
    The restaurant is within easy walking distance from your hotel.
  • Each dish served will be accompanied by a matching wine.
Day 2 Friday
  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Tour of Casa da Musica, the spectacular concert hall designed by world famous architect Rem Koolhaas.
  • Visit an authentic & atmospheric port lodge, including a tour of the building, then a tasting of some of their signature port wines.
  • (Alternative to morning tours and tasting: a cooking class in the kitchen of working restaurant with a great chef, and then lunch)
  • After the port tasting enjoy a free afternoon on your own.
  • Dinner at a fine restaurant in the smart Foz area of Porto, close to the beach.
    Here you will enjoy the chef’s tasting menu – dishes are light and refined and may include typical specialities like pumpkin with ”alheira’” sausage, turbot fillet from the oven in a sauce with clams, or veal in a pistacio crust with wild mushrooms. The dishes will be accompanied by matching wines.
Day 3 Saturday
  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Check out hotel.
  • Depart for the Douro valley.
  • Arrival and check-in at your hotel in the heart of the Douro valley; this is an exclusive hotel situated in the heart of a wine estate, with great views over the surrounding vineyards and river.
  • At the end of the afternoon there will be a tour of the winery followed by a comparative wine tasting and dinner. Here you will enjoy tasty country dishes which may feature local produce like game on the spit, cold cured meats, chestnuts and wild mushrooms. The food will be paired with the wines from this top-estate.
Day 4 Sunday
  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Check-out of the hotel.
  • Depart for the town of Amarante, located halfway between Porto and the Douro valley. This is a charming medieval town situated on the banks of a tributary of the Douro river.
  • Farewell lunch in a historic palace in the heart of the old the city, which now houses a fantastic Michelin starred restaurant. The restaurant selves Portugese Food with a French twist, using ingredients from the Douro / Minho regions.
  • Depart for Porto city / Porto airport.
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