Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Option: Group Day Cooking Classes)
Lousada, Portugal - 6 nights
Available year round


Portugal is an amazing country with so much to offer: wonderful wines, including the famous Ports, a vast selection of cheeses, the very best in cuisine, ancient villages with cobblestone streets and best of all, the people. Portugal was by far one of my best European experiences. We were amazed at the diversity of the landscapes, the history and beauty of the people in this very small, but very abundant country. 


Here you will learn about the famous Port wines as well as using them in your cooking lessons. Stay in cozy accommodations and enjoy excursions where you will be immersed in this wonderful country, visiting renowned points of interest and getting a true feel for this secret of a country.






The Manor House dates back to the XIV century and has remained in the same family since then. It is one of the few architectural examples that have survived in the region.


The baroque chapel with a “Manueline” style window is a unique example of that period in the region. The main façade of the manor house, the Maltese cross, and the cross of the order of Christ of the Portuguese Crusades, are some of the hidden features of the history of this house.


Just 30 minutes away from Oporto airport, the Manour House has a lodging capacity for 30 people, and it is composed of a main house, the patio house, wine cellar/gallery, 5 hectares of vinyards, swimming pools, herbs plantation, gardens and the Eira's House.





DAY ONE - Monday


Upon your arrival you will be transferred to the Cooking School - Manor House, by private bus. Enjoy free time before a welcome reception tour to the house with dinner.




DAY TWO - Tuesday


Breakfast. Today your first lesson will begin with an introduction to Port Wine. You will learn about:



 Taste & Aroma
Judging a Port's age:
Young Vintage
Mature Vintage

10-15 year old vintage port
Older Vintage port
Old Tawny ports
10 year old Tawnies
20 year old Tawnies

30 and 40 year old Tawnies 
Late bottled vintage port
How to decant port
Matching port and food
Port & desserts


After lunch you will take a guided tour to the city of Guimarães, 10 minutes from the Manour House. We will visit the historic centre of Guimarães which was classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, on the 13th December of 2001.


The Palace of the Dukes of Bragança


This majestic stately home was built in the 15th century at the order of the illegitimate son of King D. João 1, Afonso, who was to become the Duke of Bragança. He lived here with his second wife Constança de Noronha. It is a unique example on the Iberian peninsula of a fortified house influenced by the manorial architecture of Northern Europe, typified by the steeply inclined roofs and cylindrical chimneys.


Dinner this evening at the Cooking School.


DAY THREE - Wednesday



After breakfast, your second cooking lesson begins and today you will learn about: Portuguese Cuisine and Sweet desserts.


‘Barrigas de freiras’ (Nuns’ Bellies), the sweet yolk ‘ovos-moles’, ‘dons rodrigos’ and Santa Clara pastries are heavenly sweets certain to win you over.




What about the famous Belém pastries, whose recipe remains a closely guarded secret, or the ‘Abade de Priscos Pudim’, a 14th century legacy from one of the best Portuguese cooks, or the ‘toucinho-do-céu’ (lard-from-heaven), prodigious in its spices!


The convents would enter into great rivalries to see which could produce the best sweets and desserts with results best described as divine! The ‘Sericaia de Elvas’, based on a recipe brought back by a 16th century Portuguese governor of India or the Madeira sugarcane cake, a wonderful island invention that combined cane with European spices, are just a couple of other examples of the Portuguese taste for all that is good and sweet.


Lunch consists of your creations. This afternoon you will visit the Aveleda Vineyards


The Vinho Verde Region is one of the most extensive European Wine Regions, situated in the North of Portugal between the Minho and Douro rivers, and limited on the Eastern side by the mountains of Marão and Gerês, which detain the moist winds from the Atlantic. The Atlantic climate and the granites soil are the main factors that give the Vinho Verde its highly appreciated characteristics: a young, fresh wine, with low alcoholic graduation and a slight fruity aroma. From the 300.000.000 litres of wine produced annually in this Region, Quinta da Aveleda produces and bottles about 10 million.


Aveleda Vineyards


The Tasting Room. Your visit will not be complete without tasting the high quality and freshness of the wines from Quinta da Aveleda. From the lovely balcony you may see the mountains surrounding the valley of river Sousa while enjoying your favourite wine.


Dinner this evening at Cooking School.


DAY FOUR - Thursday



Today the focus is on the traditional dishes of the house, the flavours of the north of Portugal. Leisure time and free afternoon in the pool. Dinner at the Cooking School.


The national cuisine creates the perfect introduction to the Portuguese art of fine living. Portuguese gastronomy blends the oceans, aromatic herbs and spices with all the fruits and secrets of convent recipes.




DAY FIVE - Friday


Breakfast and Cooking Lesson with Portuguese cheeses and olive oils.


Portuguese cheeses


Take our invitation and come and try one of the most genuine of Portuguese products - the cheeses!


You are certain to be impressed by the quality and variety of cheeses produced across the length and breadth of Portugal. Whether made from sheep’s, cow’s or goat’s milk, Portuguese cheeses attract great appreciation.


Savour the buttery soft Serra da Estrela cheese, or a semi-soft Nisa cheese, along with a good glass of wine for an unforgettable taste experience. The cheeses of Azeitão, of Serpa and Terrincho go particularly well with a glass of port. Just one possible combination in the many ideal marriages between the cheeses and wines of Portugal. With a slightly sharper flavour come the cheeses of Beira Baixa and Pico, normally served as desserts or entrées. And any fondue made from São Jorge cheese, that when entire weigh in at between 8 and 12 kilos, is unforgettable.


After enjoying the lunch you prepare, this afternoon we will do Guided tour to Porto City. Discover Oporto, a historic and lively city.


Oporto is a riverside city of narrow streets and lively traditions. A World Heritage site, Oporto is an historic city with rare architectural value. The medieval town tumbles down to the river Douro, with tight, twisting streets leading into Renaissance squares, and discover Baroque monuments.


You’ll find superb views of the city from inside the convent at Serra do Pilar, looking out over the iron bridges of the industrial age, with the Cais da Ribeira district providing the perfect backdrop for views of the stunning D. Luís Bridge.


In the Gaia wine cellars, taste the Port and learn about the stages involved in its production. Old traditions highlight the symbiosis between river, land and this wine, too precious to be fully appreciated alone.


Tonight's dinner will be at Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art


The restaurant /cafeteria, located in the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, has a splendid view over the Park. Its terrace allows visitors to enjoy their meal whilst taking full advantage of the magnificent natural surroundings.


DAY SIX - Saturday

Breakfast and departure to the Douro Valley Region. For lunch we will go for a gourmet picnic, in a traditional boat on the Douro River (weather permitting).


Wine has been produced by traditional landholders in the Alto Douro region for some 2,000 years. Since the 18th century, its main product, port wine, has been world famous for its quality. This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty that reflects its technological, social and economic evolution.


In 1756, the Alto Douro Wine Region became the world’s first demarcated area. Between Barqueiros and Barca d’Alva the wild valley slopes were tamed by terraces of Port vines. This impressive landscaping is now designated as a World Heritage Site and is well worth closer inspection.


The Alto Douro Region has been producing wine for nearly two thousand years and its landscape has been molded by human activities. The components of the Alto Douro landscape are representative of the full range of activities association with winemaking – terraces, quintas (wine-producing farm complexes), villages, chapels, and roads. The cultural landscape of the Alto Douro is an outstanding example of a traditional European wine-producing region, reflecting the evolution of this human activity over time.


Farewell Dinner at the Cooking School, recreating the ambience of an aristocratic family in the 18th century with Port Wine.



DAY SEVEN - Sunday

After breakfast, private transfer back to the airport.






A minimum of 3 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.


(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour,  not to how many persons you must have in your  party. Please inquire.)






Closest Airport of Porto is the Francisco Sá Carneiro (OPO) and is 30 minutes from the location of the Manour House and 60 minutes to arrive to the Douro Valley.




2014 Fees Per Person

Double Room/US$3350
*No single supplement


*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation


After availability is confirmed, a non-refundable deposit of US$1000 per person and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.

2014 Dates

Available year round.


*One (1) introductory lesson about Port Wine
*Three (3) cooking lessons
*All meals with wines
*Six (6) nights' accommodation
*Transfers to and from Oporto airport
*English speaking guide
*All wine tastings


Not Included: Airfare, insurance, additional excursions not outlined in itineraries, personal expenses (extra   wines, alcoholic beverages and purchases), phone calls, faxes, laundry services, passport and visa fees and in most cases, tips and gratuities (unless otherwise noted on specific itinerary).


For further inquiries or to register, click here.

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Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.



References furnished upon request

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This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE



*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.

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“This was the experience of a lifetime.  It was more than a culinary excursion, it was an unforgettable life experience from learning new cuisine to finding serenity in olive country.  I was introduced to a wonderful world of Spanish cuisine and the down-to-earth lifestyle that defines Andalusia.  I cannot wait to go back!” - Opal H., Northport, Alabama

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