Alentejo, Portugal - 7 nights
Available year round - Sunday to Sunday
Spend a week indulging in delicious Mediterranean cuisine of Portugal as you learn hands-on cooking techniques from your hostess and talented chefs. You will use the local flavors and herbs of the Alentejo. Your home for the week will be in the small medieval town of Évora which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An Active Gourmet Holidays' bestseller, this culinary holiday is one you will always remember and cherish.
You will spend your first night in Lisbon and then be transferred to your four or five star hotel located in the center of the 16th century walls of Évora. The cooking classes will take place in an ancient kitchen of a traditional farm, just outside of the Medieval 16th century wall of Évora, where your hostess lives, just 15 minutes minutes far from the main square.
For those seeking a cooking vacation where you experience the local flavours and discovering authentic Portugal, this is the holiday for you!
Day one - sunday
Upon your arrival into Lisbon airport, you will take a taxi to the centrally located hotel in Lisbon where you will check-in and have some free time before your hostess meets you in the hotel lobby at 7:30pm. The hotel is located in the heart of Lisbon if you wanted to take a walk and get acquainted with the area.
Welcome reception and dinner this evening.
Day Two - Monday
This morning, we drive to Évora, the charming UNESCO (world heritage patrimony) small town, full of Roman vestiges, medieval churches and palaces. Each street keeps the charm of the past, as a secret for you!
After lunch in a local traditional restaurant, we have the first orientation walk before the first cooking class, in a renovated but traditional kitchen,
at the courtyard of the family house, with orange and lemon trees, just outside of the Medieval 16th century wall.
Then we have our first cooking class followed by dinner: Introduction to Portuguese Gastronomy, a study in influences and seasonings.
Overnight in Évora at the chosen hotel.
Day Three - Tuesday
After breakfast our second cooking class begins: the importance of fish and olive oil in Portuguese Cuisine. Lunch is a chance to sample your own cooking. Non-cooking partners are welcome to join at the table.
This afternoon we will visit one of the wineries of the Reguengos wine area, the most popular in the south of Portugal, blending ancient and modern winemaking techniques. The grapes of this wine region include Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, tinta Roriz, and Moreto for red wines; Roupeiro, Manteudo, Perrum, Antão Vaz for the whites - as Portuguese varieties, as well Cabernet Sauvingon and Shyraz. The nearby village of S. Pedro do Corval, is a good example of the best potteries of the region.
This is also the area where we find the oldest olive grove of all Iberian Península, with olive trees older than 2000 years. A few kms away, we have Monsaraz, a medieval hilltop village, where we will have dinner after visiting, under the shadow of the 13th century castle built by King Afonso III. This is a magical place!
Day Four - Wednesday
Today's focus is on local produce: The abundance from local Farms and Ranches. This afternoon, we will tour through Évora, visiting the Cathedral (13th century), Chapel of Bones (16th century), Roman Baths and Roman Temple (1st century AD).
Évora is also a nice place for shopping. There you find jewelry, cork articles (hats, shoes, aprons, purses, bracelets, etc), tiles, wines and much more.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day Five - Thursday
Today is your day off from cooking! Today we will drive into the Northen Alentejo, and before lunch at Vila Viçosa, we will visit its Renaissance Ducal Palace, and the historical Sanctuary of Vila Viçosa, where, John IV, King of Portugal gave his crown to the Virgin Mary, and named her Queen of Portugal. Passing through the marble area we visit the historical and white town of Estremoz, enclosed within its ramparts and overlook a vast plain of gnarled olive trees and wheat fields.
Then we return back to Évora, in time for dinner, passing through a cork factory.
Day Six - Friday
This region is known for its Aromatic Herbs and wild Flowers. This morning we will use them in the dishes that the locals have passed on through generations.
Enjoy an afternoon excursion to visit the fabulous pre-historical megalithic "cromeleque dos almendros", from 4.000 years BC.
This evening, sit down to a farewell Dinner at a local Fado House. (We prefer having the farewell dinner this day since very often we have people leaving very early on Sunday, due to the flights back home.)
Day seven - saturday
Today's cooking class focuses on the flavors of the south.
After lunch enjoy a siesta and a free afternoon to do some last minute shopping. Time to pack.
Dinner at local restaurant and overnight.
Day Eight - Sunday
After breakfast we transfer back to Lisbon. If you have a very early flight on Sunday it can requires an extra charge for a special transfer.
*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus are samples and may vary according to the season
NON RESIDENTIAL MORNING OR EVENING COOKING CLASS
Take a morning or evening cooking class just outside the walls of Évora, within walking distance from the best local hotels. You will learn an appetizer, fish dish, meat dish, and dessert all accompanied by great Portuguese wines.
Your instructor learned to cook by watching her mother and aunts throughout her childhood (what better way??) and has also learned tradiitional Portuguese cuisine through classes and by cooking in the kitchen of the medieval convents. She graduated from the Escola Hoteleira de Lisboa and ran a restaurant for 15 years with 7 different chefs so has become well versed in the culinary traditions of her home country, Portugal through several different educational experiences.
Come visit this UNESCO World Heritage site and immerse yourself in the flavors of the delicious and healthy Portuguese cuisine.
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 20 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.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest Airports: Lisboa (Lisbon) Airport (one and a half hour drive)
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
FOUR STAR HOTEL PRICING
Non-Cooking Partner Reduction/US$275
Single Room Supplement/US$400
Junior Suite or Superior Room Supplement/US$625
FIVE STAR HOTEL PRICING
Non-Cooking Partner Reduction/US$275
Single Room Supplement/US$550
Suite/SPA Room/US$1250 (per room)
NON-RESIDENTIAL COOKING CLASS/US$155
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
*Transfer from Lisbon's hotel to Évora
*Transfer back to Lisbon airport on departure day (very early departure flight may incur additional charge)
*Seven (7) nights' luxury accommodations with breakfast (1 night in Lisbon at 4 Star Hotel and 6 nights' at 4 or 5 Star Hotel in Évora)
*One (1) dinner in Lisbon
*Five (5) cooking classes with accompanying meal and wine (lunch or dinner)
*Two (2) lunches in local different restaurants
*Four (4) 4 dinners in Évora in local different restaurants
*Three (3) wine tastings at 3 different wineries
*Guided tours to the Roman Temple (1st c aD), Cathedral of Évora (13th c), Bones Chapel, Palace of the Duques of Bragança, Cork Factory, Marble area, Pottery town of S. Pedro do Corval, Monsaraz medieval village and to the fabulous pre-historical site of Cromeleque dos Almendres
NON RESIDENTIAL COOKING CLASS
*Cooking Class (starter, fish dish, meat dish, dessert)
Airfare, taxi from the airport to the hotel in Lisbon (about 15€ or you can take the Metro), mini-bar, laundry and personal expenses are not included.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Cristine T., Halifax, Canada"I found AGH very easy to work with. They respond quickly and effortlessly to any questions. For my trip, I found the Alentejo beautiful, Évora enchanting, the cooking classes incredible and my host exceptional. The whole week was fabulous!"
Chef Valentina C., Las Vegas, Nevada
Christine P., Charlotte, North Carolina
"Dear Jo-Ann - My trip to Portugal was absolutely perfect! I honestly can't think of one thing that I would have changed - everything was so well done! The accomodations were beautiful, comfortable and conveniently located. The food and wine were spectacular. The cooking instruction was perfect, relaxed in an intimate setting and at a level that was easy to replicate at home. Sofia and Angela were wonderful, they made sure everything was taken care of and they allowed me to experience Portugal through the excursions, the cooking, and just getting to know them in a way that I couldn't have done on another trip. It is one of the best vacations I've ever experienced."
Jessie G. and Viren S., Falmouth, Maine
“Dear Jo-Ann - We had a truly magical time in Portugal. What a wonderful place with such interesting people! Once we were met in the hotel lobby, we had no worries and everything went smoothly--she took such very good care of us. Thanks again for a great trip and we will be in touch.”
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.