Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Porto and Douro Valley, Portugal - 5 nights
Available year round 

 

Your foodie and wine adventure in Portugal is a wonderful mix of sightseeing, cooking classes, guided tours and wine tastings. During your stay you will enjoy luxury accommodations in two locations. This itinerary offers the true foodie an experience like no other. You  will be taken on an enchanting boat ride on the scenic Douro River which is a wonderful way to discover this beautiful Valley. 


Step inside the Portuguese culture through its food. The program includes three cooking classes at different locations with different chefs, which is a unique way to learn about the true Portuguese cuisine.Two of your cooking classes take place at wine estates whereas the other class includes a market visit with your chef followed by a class in a restaurant specializing in seafood.You will also have a guided walking tour through the historic center of Porto and discover the important city of Lamego, as well as having a guided visit to the Palace of Mateus and its breathtaking gardens. 

 

Welcome to Portugal!

 

Bom apetite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITINERARY 

 

Day one 

 
Morning arrival at Porto Airport

 

Meeting with driver/guide at the Arrivals area of the airport. You will be picked up in a Mercedes Class E car or equivalent (for 2 participants). (Luggage limit of 2 large standard suitcases and 1 carry-on). For a larger group of 3 to 6 persons you will be picked up in a Viano Van

 

General Vehicle characteristics

Luxury leather seats  
Power charging outlets
Rear climate control 
Tinted rear windows
Complimentary WiFi internet 
Complimentary bottled water (1 per pax)


Transfer to the hotel in Porto city center and check into your 4 star hotel. (hotels are based on availability, please inquire about upgrades to 5 star hotels)

 

NOTE: Early check-in before 4:00pm is not included at the hotels (baggage may be stored at reception if room is not ready at arrival time).

 

Enjoy the rest of the day on your own and overnight in your accommodation.

 

Day Two 


Breakfast at the hotel

 

8:15am Meeting with the driver/guide at the hotel. You will enjoy a panoramic Porto sightseeing tour through the seaside on the way to the fishing port town of Matosinhos

 

On the right side of the river Douro, the city of Porto is the second largest of Portugal and one of the oldest and most beautiful towns of Europe. You can appreciate the beauty of this city in a tour of Porto. Beginning by the castle Castelo do Queijo, passing by the gardens of the Montevideu avenue, to the beaches of Foz, the Ribeira square and its bars and its street cafés in the riverbank of Douro. Discover the modern architecture of Porto’s modern district, with the Vodafone building and Casa da Musica by Rem Koolhaas. 

 

9:00am Market shopping experience and cooking class with a local chef in Matosinhos (included)

 

NOTE: Only Tuesdays to Fridays

Meet our local Chef that will take you for a shopping experience in the fresh fish market of Matosinhos. Matosinhos is a neighboring town of Porto and is the biggest discharging-port of the famous Portuguese sardine. At the market you will buy the ingredients for preparing lunch, including some fresh fish and seafood. Our chef will teach you the how to choose the freshest fish!

 

Our cooking lesson and lunch will be at a nearby restaurant specialized in fish and seafood. Preparation of lunch will include the most delicate dainties of the sea: the different shellfish, the coast shrimp and the stuffed spider crab, and a fresh seabass fish to cook. The Vinho Verde wine, light, fresh and with light acidity, from the neighboring wine region of Minho, is the ideal match to this delicate food.

 

Example of the menu:

Seafood as first course:

Stuffed spider crab
Barnacles
Coast shrimp (typical)
Weaver’s quill
Shrimp

Fish as second course:

Sea bass in the oven

Dessert and Beverages:

Apple dessert, Porto style
Vinho Verde wines, mineral water, coffee
 

 

In the afternoon, transfer to Porto 

 

Porto walk & taste tour by the historic city center, with the driver/guide (included) 

 

This unforgettable guided tour will walk you through the Historic Center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Property. As you amble leisurely along the ancient streets and medieval lanes you will visit some of the most important monuments of Porto such as the S. Bento train station, a true neoclassic jewel, the Clérigos Church and the Cathedral. In the busting and colorful markets and unique typical shops and cafés you will discover the authentic heart of Porto, in its people. You will enjoy the stops we have arranged in charming locations so that you can nibble on traditional specialties: cheeses, cured hams and sausage, breads, red wine, gourmet canned fish such as mackerel and sardine eggs caviar, Portuguese sparkling wine. 

 

Evening and dinner on your own and overnight in your accommodation.  

  

Day three

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out

9:30am meeting with the driver/guide at the hotel and transfer towards the Douro. 

 

Check-in at the 4 Star Pacheca Wine Estate and hotel – 4* 

  

Guided visit and cooking experience with lunch at the Quinta da Pacheca wine estate (included)

 

The Quinta da Pacheca (wine estate) has a history that goes back until the 15th century. The vineyards have an average age superior of 40 years and the wine estate keeps the tradition of winemaking of Douro and Port wines. The welcoming includes the familiarization with the history of the estate and its environment. The typical cellar of the house includes granite-treading tanks (lagares) that are still used for winemaking today during September/October.  

 

A guided visit in English to the Quinta with wine tasting:

 

In this unique experience you will go into the kitchen with a local chef and have a first-hand immersion with the ingredients, the secrets and techniques on prepareing a genuine Douro meal, in an informal and casual ambience - with a glass of Port wine to open the taste buds of course!

 

Afterwards, enjoy the lunch you prepared and paired with Douro wines from the estate.

 

Free time in the afternoon and dinner on your own and overnight in your accommodation 

 

Day Four 

 

Breakfast at the hotel

 

9:00am meeting with the driver/guide at the hotel and transfer to Lamego. Guided visit with the driver/guide to Lamego, the monumental town of Douro Valley.

 

Roughly 12 kilometres (8 miles) from the banks of the Douro, Lamego a very ancient city, enjoyed a period of great prosperity in the eighteenth century when the city produced the so-called "fine wine" that later gave rise to the world famous Port Wine. Remaining as evidence of these mediaeval times are the castle, on the hill overlooking the city, the Cathedral and the small church of Santa Maria de Almacave. Particularly impressive are the Church of the Convent of Santa Cruz, offering a delightful view over the city and the sumptuous and monumental baroque shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, in the form of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, who, from her lofty position some 600 metres above the town, responds to the appeals of distressed worshippers by granting them a remedy for their afflictions.

 

NOTE: No entrance in monuments are included

 

Transfer to the exclusive Gricha wine estate

 

Cooking lesson and traditional Douro lunch at the Gricha Wine Estate, from Churchill’s (included)

 

Gricha is home to the distinguished Churchill’s Port and Douro wines, which have achieved numerous accolades during the last decades and today rank among the world’s most prestigious wines.

 

After your reception by the Gricha staff you will go on a private tour visiting the vineyards and the historic lodge built in 1852, with its unique granite lagares, explaining the importance of the terroir and different grape varieties and style of wines.  A visit to the Gricha Fountain from which the property took its name is also part of the tour.

 

The charm of Gricha continues at the table, for lunch, where the best regional dishes and desserts go together with Churchill’s wines.

 

Weather permitting, the Patio das Laranjeiras is the perfect setting for lunch under the orange trees. Should the weather not allow you to sit outside, then the perfect alternative is to lunch inside the caseiros kitchen with its traditional beamed ceilings and original stone oven.

 

The cuisine is based on traditional dishes from the Douro region and the North of Portugal. The cook looks forward to impressing you with her mouth-watering dishes!

 

The visit will end with an exclusive Port and/or Douro wine tasting.

 

In the afternoon, transfer to the Mateus Palace

 

Guided visit to Palace of Mateus and its magnificent gardens (included)

 

Also known as the Solar de Mateus, and famously depicted on bottles of Mateus rosé wine, the palace epitomizes the flamboyance of Baroque architecture in Portugal. This baroque re-creation was built in the early 18th century, probably by Nicolau Nasoni, for António José Botelho Mourão, whose descendants still live here, but visitors can tour the gardens and part of the house. Its granite wings shelter a forecourt dominated by an ornate balustrade stairway and overlooked by rooftop statues. Behind the palace is an Alice in Wonderland type garden of tiny box hedges, prim statues and a fragrant cypress tunnel. Inside the house, you can visit a few rooms, heavy with velvet drapes and period furnishing.

 

Transfer back to the hotel

 

Dinner on your own and overnight in your accommodation

 

Day five 

Breakfast at the hotel followed by an 11:30am meeting with the driver/guide with transfer to the Bomfim wine estate

 

12:00pm  Visit with wine tasting followed by a picnic lunch at Quinta do Bomfim, Symington’s family vineyard in Pinhão (included)

 

Symington’s Quinta do Bonfim Visitor Centre is located in the heart of the world’s oldest demarcated wine region, a place of outstanding beauty. The vineyard is entirely family-owned and managed. The Symington family’s presence here over many generations translates into a profound knowledge of the land as well as a long term vision. 

 

Five members of the Symington family personally run this Quinta and several others that they own in the region. 

 

The incomparable heritage of this private family vineyard is tangible and you will experience it while visiting the winery, the vineyards, and the old wine cellar and when you taste the wines. The story of the family and of Bomfim, is one and the same and is inseparable from the rich legacy.

 

Guests will arrive at the estate and walk to a small house with magnificent scenic views of the Douro river and vineyards. Here light picnic style lunch will be served, weather permitting on the outside terrace.

 

Example of menu:

Portuguese cheese (Nisa, terrincho, mature serra)
Traditional sausage with sesame seeds
Chicken and mushroom quiche
Salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot and rocket)
Assorted bread
Fruit
Walnut cake
1 bottle of Altano white wine per 2 people
A glass of Dow’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port

 

After lunch, a tour to the winery, followed by a tasting of 3 wines on the terrace overlooking the Douro river.

 

3:00pm transfer to the Pinhão riverquay

3:15pm Private Douro river cruise in a typical Rabelo boat (50 minutes)

 

One of the most interesting ways to discover the Douro Valley is in an enchanting cruise. The boat is a replica of a traditional Rabelo boat that, for centuries, carried casks of young wine from the Douro Valley downriver to the lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia. From there one can see some of the mythical Quintas producing great wines and part of this unique landscape.

 

This particular route of the cruise will take you upstream, to an area far from the roads, so the tranquillity and pure nature of the Douro are richer.

 

4:05pm Arrive back at Pinhão, and some free time to visit this small town and its tile covered train station.

 

As a free option instead of staying in the little town of Pinhao the driver-guide can take you on a scenic route in the Douro Valley stopping in lookout points with spectacular views and transfer bact to the hotel around 5.30 pm

 

Free time for dinner on your own and overnight in your accommodation

 

Day six 


Breakfast at the hotel and check-out by 12:00pm

 

Meeting with the local driver and transfer to Porto 

 

Note: Depending on hotel, the ride the to airport is 1 1/2 to 2 hours

 

Arrive in Porto

 

 

 

*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  

 

  

GROUP SIZE

 

A minimum of 2 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.)

 

 

 

HOW TO ARRIVE

 

Closest Airports: Oporto (Porto) Airport - 1 1/2 to 2 hours from hotel

 

*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.

 

 

 

BOOKING INFORMATION

 

2019 Fees Per Person

 

Double Room/US$3275
Single Supplement/Please inquire

  

*Please inquire about lower pricing for 4 or more persons


*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation

Deposit

After availability is confirmed, a 30% non-refundable deposit 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.

2019 Dates

Available upon request for 2 or more persons. 

Included

 

*Organization of the program as described
*Private transfers as per program in either car or Van depending on total number of participants and luggage
*English speaking driver/guide
*Five (5) nights’ accommodation in two different 4 star hotels with breakfast (standard rooms)
*Porto walk tour with the driver/guide: Includes 2 stops for local tastings
*Market visit and cooking experience with lunch in Matosinhos with fresh fish and seafood
*Visit to Lamego with a driver/guide
*One (1) cooking lesson with lunch at a Douro estate (Pacheca)
*One (1) cooking lesson with lunch at a Douro estate (Gricha)
*Guided visit with Port tasting and picnic style lunch at the Bomfim wine estate
*Guided visit to the Mateus Palace
*Guided visit to the town of Lamego
*Private Douro river cruise on a Rabelo boat replica (50 minutes)

 

Not included:

 

*Airfare
*Travel insurance
*Upgrades to 5 star hotels
*Entrances to monuments
*Meals (besides those mentioned as included above)
*Personal expenses
*Extra options
*Early check-in or late check-out
*Baggage service
*Tips (clients' discretion)

 


For further inquiries or to register, click here.

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CANCELLATION POLICY


 

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

 

 

 

CLIENT REMARKS

 

Furnished upon request.

 

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MAP*

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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COOKING IN THE DORDOGNE

"It was an absolutely marvelous week. The accommodations were superb. I loved the course, the host, and the Chambre d'Hote which is a lovely country house equipped with everything one could possibly need. I was incredibly pleased to when dealing with AGH. All in all, a fantastic experience that I hope to be able to repeat, perhaps in Italy next time." Anita D., Encinitas, California

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