Wine tour Authentic and Enchanting Central Portugal

Wine tour Authentic and Enchanting Central Portugal

Uncover three wine regions with stunning wines and ancient history, savour exceptional lunches & dinners with wine pairing during a tour of the wine regions of Lisbon / Tejo, Dão and Douro.

Tour Highlights

Availability:

This is a bespoke gastronomic tour, available throughout the year. Minimum number of guests is two. The itinerary can be altered to suit your flight schedule and duration desired. To check availability for specific dates, please get in touch.

Pricing:

The price for an 8 days (7 nights) tour: Euro 1.425, per person sharing a double room.

Inclusions:

  • 1 night accommodation 4 star hotel Lisbon
  • 1 night accommodation exclusive hotel/manor house Lisbon’s wine region / Tejo
  • 2 nights’ accommodation exclusive palace hotel/winery Dão wine region
  • 2 nights’ accommodation exclusive hotel / winery Douro Valley/Portugal
  • 1 night accommodation 5 star hotel Porto
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 1 restaurant dinner in Lisbon – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 private guided tour & tasting & lunch at winery Tejo – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 restaurant dinner Tejo – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 lunch at palace /winery/hotel Dão, with lunch – including wines and soft drinks, followed by a tour of the palace/gardens/winery
  • 1 private guided tour & tasting at winery Dão, with lunch – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 dinner at palace /winery/hotel Dão – including wines and soft drinks,
  • 1 private guided tour & tasting at winery Douro Valley, with dinner – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 private guided tour & tasting at winery Douro Valley with lunch – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 restaurant dinner Porto – including wines and soft drinks

Not included:

  • Air fare
  • Car rental
  • Travel insurance

Overview

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, enchants its visitors with its laid-back but seductive culture. On the one hand this is a metropolis with a large array of imposing squares and grand buildings. On the other hand, the majority of the individual neighbourhoods have each kept their own village-like character. When exploring this city it is best to fall into its Mediterranean rhythm, which is regularly peppered with African and Latin American influences. If you stray off the tourist track, then the city becomes a trove of unexpected treasures. 

The Portuguese capital has always been one of the best places in Europe for seafood, however, it was not until fairly recently that one can eat these and other delectable dishes in chic modern surroundings. Nowadays restaurants range from the old-fashioned to the trendy and stylish – in the latter category a younger generations of chefs has become celebrated for inventive Portuguese cuisineSurely there are excellent Portuguese wines served in the restaurants, bars and enotecas, like those from wine regions close to the city.

Lisbon’s leading wine region, Tejo, has a lot going for it. Tejo stretches along both sides of the Tejo (Tagus) river, north of Lisbon. It is a land of rolling hills and wide plains – this is Portugal’s agricultural heartland with olive groves, paddy fields and extensive vineyards. The best vineyards are grown in the sandy soils at a good distance from the fertile floodplains of the Tejo river. The region is also known for its vegetables and fruits, producing, amongst other things, tasty irregular shaped tomatoes and beans of various shapes and hues.

There are fascinating beautiful historic towns like Tomar, Santarém and Golegã. Life in this authentic region is unspoiled and unhurried, there are no crowds. There are good restaurants, where the restaurateurs take pride in serving dishes like Cabritinho no Forno (baby kid from the oven), Perdiz de Escabeche (partridge escabeche), or Carpaccio de Polvo (octopus carpaccio). The necessary accompaniments to any Tejo meal are its wines. Portugal has hundreds of exciting, relatively unexplored indigenous grape varieties. In this region there are bold reds made of local grapes such as Trincadeira and Castelão, which are sometimes blended with international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. White wines vary from easygoing to complex, with Fernão Pires and Arinto as favoured white wine grapes. In Tejo, as in other Portuguese regions, great wines are now being made.

The granitic Dão wine region in central Portugal has been the favourite wine region for many Portuguese for a long time, it is seen as their equivalent to Burgundy. In the past some wines may not have been appealing to all, but these days this lovely region produces some fantastic wines which are universally acclaimed. The vines are grown at relatively high altitudes between 200 and 400 meters’, allowing for good acidity in the wines. There are also high mountains and forests, there is still a lot of photogenic wild nature here. Moreover, the landscape is dotted with medieval villages and historic palaces, often originally used as hunting lodges by the Portuguese nobility. There are beautiful historic cites too, like Viseu and Castelo Branco.

The Dão wine region is certainly worth a detour: the wines have never been better, and there is a healthy reliance on indigenous grape varieties. A real good white wine from Dão made from the local Encruzado grape can rival a fine white from Burgundy in France. Then reds made with the Baga or Alfrocheiro varietal deliver serious, full-bodied reds of character, with good acidity. Combining the wines with local food, one can have great gastronomic experiences. Local specialities like roast suckling pig, Serra de Estrela cheeses and the local corn bread are delicious.

The Douro Valley wine region, where the unspoiled rural countryside becomes increasingly dramatic, 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 magnificent vistas. The steep hillsides are covered from top to bottom with terraced vineyards – so steep that to this day grapes can only be handpicked.

Whilst the Valley is historically famous as the producer of fortified port wines, for the last 15 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 these 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 neighbouring 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. 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; leading wine magazines like Decanter and Wine Spectator have given high marks to a number of Douro table wines. The Bordelaise have been moving in, buying vineyards or setting up joint ventures with some of the local estates. Last but not least. matters green like organic agriculture and sustainability are becoming increasingly important.

Our wine tour ends in the handsome old city of Porto, set on the banks of the Douro River. There is much to see in this charming city; the large UNESCO heritage listed historic center is still largely intact, and well renovated these days. The are some grandiose baroque monuments and truly outstanding art galleries like the Serralves museum, as well some striking modern architecture – world-famous architect Rem Koolhaas’ stunning concert hall Casa de Música for example. For centuries, Porto has been the center of the port wine trade; charming historic port lodges abound in the Gaia district of the city. As in any good wine growing culture, excellent food is prevalent. Classic seafood dishes such as Polvo a Lagareiro (octopus with baked potatoes), Seabass with Asparagus or meat dishes like succulent roast kid and slow cooked Porco Bísaro (pork from pigs fed only on chestnuts) served with forest mushrooms, are being revisited with originality and finesse. Restaurants here can delight even the most experienced food lover.

Your Itinerary

  • Arrival Lisbon, check in hotel
  • Time to unwind – you may wish to get a feel for Lisbon, or would like have a rest after the flight.
  • Dinner in the old town, in a celebrated local restaurant renowned for great Portuguese cuisine mostly based on recipes from the coastal areas around Lisbon. Think fresh fish and seafood but also lamb and game. There will be a three-course meal which will be paired with good Portuguese wines.
  • Breakfast at leisure
  • Drive into Lisbon’s wine region, Tejo, in northerly direction, just one hour’s drive.
  • Visit to the Quinta (manor house) of one of the region’s finest wineries. There will be a tour of the imposing Quinta, gardens and winery of this excellent wine producer, which will be followed by a wine tasting with a light local lunch.
  • From the winery it is just short drive to the delightful historic and authentic Portuguese town of Golegã.
  • Check in hotel, a an elegant and intimate 4 star hotel set in an 18th century manor house, in the centre of town. Time to relax, and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
  • Dinner at the restaurant of the hotel – it has one of the best restaurants of the region. The food will be paired with local wines.
  • Breakfast at leisure
  • A beautiful 2-hours’ drive in northerly direction, to the very picturesque Dão wine region.
  • Arrival at the palace hotel cum winery where you will be staying two nights. This is a splendid baroque palace, a real find. The palace has been fully restored to its original splendour; it has splendid baroque gardens too. The setting within the landscape may remind you of Tuscany, but then without the tourists.
  • Lunch at the palace, with the dishes paired by various wines from the estate. After lunch there will be tour of the palace and its gardens.
  • Free time to unwind by the pool, or to explore the estate further.
  • Dinner on your own – the village at walking distance has some nice eateries.
  • Breakfast at leisure
  • Visit to one of the best wineries in Dão, close to your hotel.
  • It is a lovely historic place with a striking renaissance-style manor house, nicely set in the landscape. The 17th century buildings, while preserving the original features of its architecture, also contain an excellent modern wine making operation. 
  • The winery here produces outstanding red wines, with wonderfully ripe fruit helped by judicious use of new oak. Wines have received high accolades from domestic and international wine journalists. The tour of the Quinta will be followed by a wine tasting of their signature wines, accompanied by some local dishes, serving as a light lunch – there is a good and authentic restaurant on site.
  • Return to the hotel, with more time to relax and enjoy the splendid surroundings.
  • Dinner at the charming restaurant of your hotel/winery.
  • Breakfast at leisure
  • In the morning: time to enjoy the splendid surroundings. Lunch on your own.
  • Depart for the Douro valley, in the morning or afternoon.
  • Check in at the charming winery cum hotel in Douro valley. The hotel is set on a large estate, views to the countryside and the Douro river are just splendid, but the landscape is quite different from the Dão region.
  • At the end of the afternoon there will be a tour of the winery adjacent to your hotel followed by a comparative wine tasting. Some wines here have lovely freshness; others have depth, texture and complexity.
  • Tasting will be followed by dinner. Here you can enjoy tasty country dishes which may feature local produce like cold cured meats, game on the spit, chestnuts and wild mushrooms. The food will be paired with the wines from this excellent family owned estate table wines as well as port wines.
  • Breakfast at leisure.
  • Visit to one of the best wineries in the Douro sub region Baixa Corgo. It is a lovely historic place with a beautiful manor house typical for the region. The early 18th century buildings, while preserving the original Baroque features of its architecture, also contain an excellent modern wine making operation. Here some impressive but unshowy contemporary architecture combines skilfully with the 18th century architecture and the sublime Douro vineyard landscape.
  • Wines are superb too, receiving frequently high accolades from domestic and international wine journalists, including those working for Wine Spectator. The tour of the Quinta will be followed by a wine tasting of their signature wines, accompanied by some local delicious food, serving as a light lunch.
  • After lunch it is back to our hotel where there will be some time for relaxation.
  • Dinner on your own. There are many good restaurants nearby.
  • Breakfast at leisure.
  • Departure for Porto, a 2 hours’ drive.
  • Check in at Porto hotel. After check in, you will have some free time to explore Porto
  • In the evening, 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. Each dish served will be accompanied by a matching wine, as you’ve come accustomed to. 
  • After breakfast the program ends.

Accommodation – Lisbon
Accommodation for one night in Lisbon is in a charming 4-star hotel. The hotel is situated in an imposing historic building dating from the early 20th century which has been recently refurbished in a calm but chic modern style.

The hotel successfully blends traditional Portuguese charm with modern design.  All the rooms have parquet floors, air-conditioning and are very comfortable. Some rooms have their own private terrace.

The hotel is located in a quiet area in the heart of Lisbon.

Accommodation – Lisbon’s wine region / Tejo
You will be staying 1 night at an intimate and charming 4 star boutique hotel in the heart of the beautiful and historic city of Golegã, just over an hour’s drive from Lisbon. The hotel is located in an 18th century manor house, lovingly transformed by its current owners into an intimate and elegant venue. The manor house has a central but quiet location. There are 25 rooms, each of which is tastefully furnished and equipped with air conditioning.

The property has spacious gardens and terraces, with spectacular views over the countryside. The hotel has a good restaurant, and a nice spa and swimming pool too.

Accommodation – Dão wine region
You will be staying 2 nights at an intimate 4 star boutique hotel cum winery in the heart of the beautiful county side of the Dão wine region, just 3 hours’ drive north of Lisbon and 2 hours south of Porto.

The house is set in a splendid Baroque place, surrounded by botanical gardens, a Baroque garden and vineyards. It may be one the most beautiful palaces in all Portugal. In 2009, the building was converted into a hotel with around 30 rooms. Rooms offer elegant accommodation with contemporary comfort, with air conditioning. The restaurant is one of the region’s best. An outdoor pool is shaded by citrus and olive trees. The old winery of the palace has been reorganised, the palace produces wonderful wines these days.

Accommodation – Douro valley
You will stay 2 nights at a working winery cum hotel 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, with 15 rooms. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, decorated with charming period details. The overall design feels light and uncluttered.  

The property, situated within an estate of around 200 acres, has spacious gardens and terraces allowing for wonderful views over the Douro River, vineyards and mountains. Wines made at this property have been receiving critical acclaim regularly.

Accommodation – Porto
You will stay one night in a charming 5-star hotel located in the heart of the old town of Porto, within walking distance from some of Porto’s most notable monuments.

The heart of the hotel is set within a historic building of Renaissance origin, renovated and converted into elegant accommodation. Guestrooms are very comfortable, with original details like granite walls and hard wooden floors. There is air conditioning. Rooms have views to the charming old town of Porto. This hotel offers all the amenities one would expect from a very good hotel.

There are many direct flights into Lisbon and Porto from many cities in Europe. However, it may be easier to fly into Lisbon airport, and depart via Porto. For trans-Atlantic flights, it may be easiest to connect in Lisbon. Paladares Travel does not offer flights. We suggest you to book directly with one of the many companies offering such services. The itinerary of our wine tour can be altered to suit your flight schedule and duration desired.

In order to get to the various wineries and venues taking part in the tour, you would need to rent a car or arrange for a private car service. Kindly note in Lisbon or Porto a rental car is not necessary, taxi are ubiquitous and not expensive. Please note the pricing on our website does not include transportation, since the cost is largely dependent on the number of people requiring such service.

Of course, we would be happy to organise a bespoke car service or rent a car on your behalf. If you would like Paladares Travel to assist you with transport options, please let us know.

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Paladares Travel

Paladares Travel is an international travel company specializing in travelling in Portugal and Spain. In these two countries we curate bespoke culinary & wine travel experiences with a sense of place.

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