8-16 September 2018
9 days and 8 nights
PORTO AND LISBON
Cobblestone villages, captivating cities, medieval castles, history, trams, picture perfect fisherman’s villages, beautiful scenery, amazing food and great wine!! This country has just been voted “Best European Country to Visit 2017” Everyone in travel is talking about this small seafaring country. As I recently read and quote “Portugal has emerged from the long shadow cast by neighboring Spain, seizing the spotlight as a dynamic center for art, culture, and cuisine.”
We start our journey in Portugal’s vibrant capital Lisbon which embraces modern culture while still maintaining its unique heritage and traditions. Lisbon’s eclectic charm is a mixture of ancient, modern, bustling and peaceful – so much to discover and experience.
An absolute must is to take a ride on one of the city’s clanging, rattling, yellow trams, seemingly well past their sell-by date. They are still the best way to negotiate the sharp bends of the delightful historic quarter.
Come with me….Portugal is a ride you won’t forget!
The expected itinerary will include
- You won’t be hungry because on our first night we will have dinner at one of the best, most authentic Portuguese restaurants in Lisbon because to experience Lisbon you have to taste Lisbon. Then we tour around the city with a local showing us where it all happens. After that, we go to Belem to try the most famous tarts of Portugal.
- We will tour through the heart and soul of Lisbon’s streets and its neighborhoods.
- A cooking lesson with some delicious traditional food.
- A baking lesson learning those amazing world famous Pastel de Nata.
- We will visit the charming hilltop town of Sintra. Perched on a spectacular hillside with panoramic views towards the nearby Atlantic coast. The Royal Palace gracefully rears her head out over the trees.
- The chic coastal town of Cascais and its beautiful beaches. I had my best ever seafood rice there!!
- There will, of course, be free time to explore this fascinating city.
- During the day, one can be tempted by the chic shops in the Baixa district. A must is to seek out a tiny cafe and have a coffee and “nata”. At night Lisbon has an amazing old quarter, still following the centuries-old Phoenician street grid, so spend your time wandering through its charmingly tangled, cobbled lanes, lined with ancient bars and tiny restaurants. Many will be buzzing with the sound of “Fado” – a unique and infectious musical mix evolved from traditional folk, colonial African and Brazilian styles. You can’t leave without experiencing this melancholic music.
- Then onto Porto, North of Lisbon by train.
- The Sao Bento station is covered in elaborate tiles which tell the story of Portugal. This French Beaux-Arts structure holds 20 000 magnificent azulejo tin-glazed ceramic tiles depicting Portugal’s past.
- Porto is a coastal city set on the Douro estuary, in the northwest of Portugal known for its stately bridges and port wine. You’ll experience the riverside district, called the Ribeira, with its splendid Praca da Ribeira and its characteristic colourful tiled townhouses and fine views to the wine lodges across the river. One of the bridges was designed by Gustav Eiffel and I don’t need to tell you what else he designed and where! Free of chain stores, you’ll enjoy the tiny shops specialising in fine art, antiques, ceramics and some of the most wonderful cakes you’ll ever taste.
- A foodie local will take us on a food tour discovering the side of Porto that tourists rarely see. Real food, real people, and real passion. We’ll learn a food culture that borders on religion and the bustling food market with its colourful characters. Food tastings will be a mix of savory and sweet.
- We’ll explore the scenic Duoro River, spending a leisurely day exploring its peaceful villages and beautifully terraced wine clad valleys. Here the landscape changes to a sun-kissed Mediterranean ochre, perfect for tasting wine and enjoying a delicious lunch. A boat ride upstream will give us the overwhelming feeling of isolation in one of Europe’s most scenic and as yet undiscovered valleys.
- A city tour like no other, experiencing the culture, the people, the city and the surrounding areas. We’ll see the best views and explore the most exciting areas while we dive into the real Porto.
- A day trip to an old port and fishermen town. It’s known as the “Venice” of Portugal. Down at the beach, we discover the candy-striped beach houses which are picture perfect and you’ll think you are looking at a postcard. We’ll taste the Ovos Moles. I won’t tell you more about them now… you’ll have to wait!
Contact me if you’d like more information or availability.