Portugal, a vastly underestimated country for its unadulterated beauty, diverse gastronomy and some of the warmest people you will find anywhere in the world. Strong statement? Maybe, but over the last decade, we have taken numerous trips across the long meandering coastline and have yet to find someone unwilling to lend a helping hand, extend a warm smile or simply say ‘hello’. It is this level of kindness and consideration that has quickly made Portugal one of our favorite countries in the world.
Portugal not only lays claim to founding the very first wine producing regions in the world, the Douro, but also having one of the most diverse collections of native grapes in the world. From light, effervescent white Vinho Verde wines in the north, to intense flavor driven still and fortified wines in the Douro, and from sweet and unctuous dessert wines in Setubal to spicy, rich reds in the Alentejo, there really is no one “flavor” that encompasses Portugal. Consider this your vinous playground. Equally true, we can consider Portugal a culinary patchwork of texture, flavor and aroma when considering regional dishes such as: Cozido à Portuguesa, Caldo Verde or Bacalhau Assado, not to mention the vast amount of regional cheeses, breads and seafood.
Hence, while crafting your vacation, allow us to guide you to the heart of Portuguese wine and cuisine. Whether you’re enjoying a guided wine tasting with the country’s top winemakers in sun-kissed vineyards, taking a petiscos tour of a dynamic city like Lisbon or Porto, visiting a cheese house in Estremadura, learning how to make an authentic Francesinha with local chefs, shopping in some of the world’s best food markets or fine dining in Michelin-starred restaurants, we will find the perfect tour for you. We’ve also searched for culinary experiences that will introduce you to the fascinating art, history, culture and people of this unique country. So buckle up… it’s going to be one hell of a ride!
Find more info on the different regions and cities of Portugal below, along with links to which tours and experiences we recommend in each destination. If you need a customized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us!
In the last few years, Lisbon has been vigorously reinventing its classic Portuguese cuisine with a new,
refined flair. Whilst there are still plenty of mom and pop tascas and tabernas serving the classics, several new high-end gourmet-style versions have been opening in vast numbers throughout the downtown and other affluent neighborhoods. Not only that but wine-bars have been flourishing across the city, catering to the still niche market. Gourmet stores are also mushrooming in downtown Lisbon, reigniting the tradition of Portuguese canned fish, sweet jams and preserved fruits by repackaging them in colorful, artistic new containers and selling them at higher prices. Ethnic restaurants from former colonies have become more popular in recent years, especially Brazilian, Goan and African cuisines. Sushi has become the “in-fashion” food of the moment, with many new highly-acclaimed Japanese restaurants applying fusion with local Portuguese fish and ingredients. Typical wine and food tours of Lisbon might include day trips from Lisbon to the Setubal wine region, a petisco tour of Lisbon itself, or a guided walk around hidden gourmet markets followed by cooking classes.
For details on specific tours & experiences, head to the following page:
Meet the passionate people crafting old-school Portuguese food deep inside Lisbon’s traditional neighborhoods. Visit the traditional hole-in-the-wall bakeries famed for their...Learn More
Your relaxing day trip to Azeitão and Palmela in the region of Setubal, will not only only take you to...Learn More
Just south of Lisbon, across the Tagus River estuary, you’ll visit the extraordinary villages of Sesimbra and Azeitão, renown for...Learn More
Atlantic to the west, rivers to the north, mountains to the east: Porto is spectacularly placed to garner ingredients. There is wonderful fish and seafood, rare breed meats, stunning charcuterie, fruit, nuts and vegetables. Porto has its signature dishes, but it also serves the traditional cuisine of all the northern regions, copious cooking for rural, manual workers, heavy on potatoes, rice and bread – yes, all at once. Alongside tradition, modern cooking has recently come to Porto – a little later and slower to take off than Lisbon’s culinary revolution, but now rapidly gaining pace. Every month brings another new restaurant serving sensibly modest portions on beautifully arranged plates, still based on those great ingredients, with traditional themes tweaked. Blink, and a new bar appears, selling wine by the glass and petiscos – Portugal’s answer to tapas. The Japanese have also spotted that fresh fish – there’s good sushi to be had in Porto.
Geographically-speaking Porto is perfectly situated in the very heart of wine country, and from hence is the ideal starting point for day trips, or longer excursions to the wine regions of Vinho Verde, Douro and the Dão. Here you will be able to partake in guided wine tastings, inspect the workings of the local wineries and see the grapes being grown and harvested on the vines in the vineyards themselves.
For more info on tours in Porto and Northern Portugal, head to the following pages:
This delicious food tour is more than a culinary experience, it’s a love letter to Porto highlighting the city’s history, architecture and...Learn More
Eager to taste a wide range of spectacular Port wine with a Knight of the Port Wine Brotherhood? Are you...Learn More
Catavino's Harvest Tour showcases the world renowned wine regions of Central and Northern Portugal with us as your guides!...Learn More
The Douro Valley is by far one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world and a incredible destination...Learn More
The Algarve is incredibly rich in culture and diversity, especially if you’re looking for a surfing, trekking or simple food friendly experience. The entire region contains over 100 beaches that are unique and brimming with biodiversity. For the nature lovers, you can choose from over 30 hiking trails including: the Ria Formosa, Monchique mountain, Caldeirão mountains and Sagres cape. For golf aficionados there are over 30 courses dotted throughout the region, not to mention enough restaurants to keep the gourmand satiated.
The Alentejo and Algarve’s gastronomy, east to west, would be best described as a rustic twist to Mediterranean, and very much from sun, earth and ocean. Traditional Algarvio’s insist on using the region’s infinite nutrient resources and demand fresh, honest and unpretentious ingredients that you can smell, feel, taste and cook with the guidance of a local expert. Allow our tour guides to inform you on the history and culture of the stable Portuguese food, ‘bacalao’ (salt fish), alongside freshly caught fish and seafood. Experience exotic lands while touring sacks of curries from India, piri piri and rich spices from Africa. In the Algarve’s city of Guia, as per locals, is where some of the best ‘frango piri piri’ (spicy grilled chicken) got its fame, although it originated in Africa during the colonization period. Romans left their mark with olives, and olive oil and cheese production, of which you will find a dizzying selection. Enjoy the Celtic carry over of meat preservation with the savory ‘linguiça’ and ‘chouriço’ (cured sausages first marinated with herbs, wine and red spices), or the popular stew sausage known as ‘alheira’ (pork free garlic sausage). Moorish influences have prolonged throughout the region, with grilling of meats and fish, strong uses of herbs: garlic, mint, thyme, cilantro, and spices: cumin, paprika, saffron – the list is long, very long. A large variety of nuts: almonds, pine nuts, as well as many varieties of fruits: oranges, figs, pomegranates and exotic varieties of berries are also part of this culinary mashup, and enjoyed fresh, and where possible dried to keep during winter months. Staples such as rice, grains and beans also make a mark in both savory and sweet dishes. And we’re not done, yet. The region, and country, also appears to have a strange obsession with yogurt, every variety and possible flavor combination imaginable seems available; belief exists this too may be carry over of Moorish influences. To enjoy a gourmet food or market tour with our guides is to walk through an exotic land very rarely visited if on your own.
For more info on tours in Southern Portugal, head to the following pages:
Although this southernmost region of Portugal has developed a reputation for its warm climate, beaches, golf, surfing and welcoming...Learn More
Eating seafood in Portugal is not merely a meal, it’s an experience! From the bustling cities to the tiniest...Learn More
The Algarve is incredibly rich in culture and diversity, especially if you’re looking for a surfing, trekking or simple...Learn More
Just an hour from Lisbon, this one day food and wine tour of the Alentejo will satiate your senses...Learn More
When we think of Portugal, places like Lisbon, Nazaré, and the Algarve usually come to mind. Most people, however, are completely unaware there exists beautiful islands off the coast of the Portugal that are teeming with a rolling seaside cliffs, lush forests, waterfalls, lagoons, rich culture, iconic wines and, best of all, incredible and uncrowded surf. Welcome to the Azores and Madeira.
The nine islands of volcanic nature that form the archipelago of the Azores are situated in the Atlantic North one third of the distance between Europe and North America with the latitudes 37º and 40º N and longitude 25º and 31º W, located close to the north Atlantic ridge on a group of tectonic faults that separate the European plaque from the American.
Madeira is a breathtaking island in the middle of the Atlantic, just 400km north of Tenerife. And as it graces the top of a shield volcano, which rises 6000 meters from the bottom of the ocean (1865 metres stands above sea level), this popular Portuguese island has a very unique landscape. For those who adore phenomenal fortified wines, grilled skewered meats, lush vegetation, exotic produce, gorgeous seaside attractions and sunset cruises, this is the place for you!
You know that ever-so-frequent moment when your mind starts drifting to a tropical island filled with swaying palm trees, soaring cliffs...Learn More
If you’re craving a vivacious botanical garden of volcanic soil where shoots permeate from even the smallest of surfaces, you’ll adore...Learn More
The Azores is a lush, green archipelago of nine very distinct islands that was discovered and settled by the Portuguese in...Learn More