It is said that one should eat to live and not live to eat. But in Portugal, the line between the two becomes blurred. Eating fresh, whole, seasonal and locally sourced may be ultra-trendy these days, but in Portugal, good eating is a deeply engrained part of lifestyle and culture. On this luxurious seven day tour, you’ll not only explore the rich cheeses, meats and desserts of Portugal, but you’ll also receive several hand’s on culinary workshops and food tours with top chef’s based in Lisbon, not to mention day trips to some of the most beautiful villages in Portugal. For anyone who adores food, wine and culture, this Portuguese Culinary Experience was made for you.
This trip was our first group travel and won’t be our last! Extremely well organized and the personal contacts you shared with us gave us a view of Portugal and their wines that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. To the entire Catavino Team, job well done!
Welcome to Lisbon, a vibrant, multicultural and exciting city that’s just waiting for you to explore it! Lounging across seven hills, Lisbon basks on the edge of one of the world’s biggest natural harbors, exuding a kind of lazy, majestic beauty. The city is a heady mix of medieval and modern, old world and new, where you are as likely to hear rhythmic Angolan beats as the mournful Fado, and dancing the Samba is part of the experience. Today, your Deluxe Mercedes Sedan with English Speaking driver will pick you up at the airport and whisk you away to your Boutique Hotel where you’ll have the afternoon and evening at leisure to explore Lisbon’s cafe’s, wine bars and delicious restaurants! Check out our Lisbon Gourmet Guide for more suggestions this evening.
Today is dedicated to the sumptuous cheese, wine and brandy of Portugal. This morning, meet your driver, guide and foodie expert in hotel lobby and depart for Cartaxo where you’ll meet an artisan goat cheese maker who will not only teach you how to make traditional Portuguese goat cheese, but you’ll taste several of his products and learn how to make “manja” an ancient regional dish that we’ll taste at lunch alongside charcoal grilled sardines. This gentleman is a gastronomer, a book author, and a true foodie filled with fabulous knowledge and stories to share. After lunch we will deliver you back to your hotel where you’ll enjoy part of the afternoon free to explore at leisure. Come evening, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby where you’ll embark on a tuk tuk transfer to the dock to enjoy a private sunset cruise along the river in a traditional sailboat. While relaxing with a glass of wine in hand, you’ll nibble on a delicious assortment of cheeses, cured meats, breads, olives, fruits. After the cruise a tuk tuk will be at the dock to take you to dinner at a cozy little restaurant offering a delicious home-cooked meal.
If you love tasting your way through a city, then today is your day! This morning, meet your foodie guide in the hotel lobby for a 3.5 hour walking food tour through the winding streets of Alfama, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and Baixa. Dipping in and out of the windy cobbled streets, you’ll taste a wide range of Portugal’s street food while being given cultural and historical context along the way. From the international famous “pastel de nata” (custard tart) to “ginjinha” (sour cherry liqueur)in a chocolate cup you will be tasting everything the Portuguese living in Lisbon enjoy. This tour should replace lunch; hence, you’ll be give you time in the Baixa to do a bit of shopping or to visit some of the sights. Come afternoon, you’ll meet a pastry chef in their private kitchen for a hand’s on workshop covering three very traditional sweet recipes invented by the nuns centuries ago. Dinner will be on your own, assuming you still have room, to either relax or to savor traditional Açorda.
Today you’re off to the gorgeous coastal town of Ericeira, where you’ll learn about Portuguese sea urchin. Tucked with the rocky caves, sea urchin farmers will teach you the cultural and gastronomic importance of this tiny little creature, along with invaluable tips for harvesting them. Weather permitting, head into the water to pick them yourself, learn how to open them and taste the uni roe straight from the sea. This fabulously hand’s on workshop will be followed by a delicious seafood feast at a restaurant overlooking the ocean where you will be able to taste an array of scrumptious local seafood. After lunch take a short stroll through this lovely fishing village and enjoy the sun and ocean breeze. Depart in the direction of Lisbon, but en route we’ll make a stop at an organic farm where you’ll learn the backstory of the Portuguese penchant for growing flavorful vegetables. During the visit, you’ll be joined by the farm’s chef to pick some vegetables for your mid afternoon snack/dinner. This meal will be plentiful, rich and delicious allowing you the evening to explore Lisbon’s wide variety of cocktail bars and “petisco” (small plates) restaurants.
This morning, head out for a private tour of the market with a local chef. During your tour, “forage” for fresh ingredients you’ll use to in several traditional Portuguese dishes (meat, fish and seafood) you’ll make in the chef’s home. Here, you’ll also savor lunch with wines that the chef has especially paired with your meal. After lunch, head on your second tour, but this time, dedicated exclusively to wine. Your wine expert will lead you on an amazing wine tasting tour through the offbeat areas of Lisbon, where you’ll visit several wine stores and wine bars for a privately guided wine workshop. Afterwards, you’re driver will depart with you to Aldeia da Mata Pequena, a beautiful and charming village where you’ll bask in countryside of Portugal.
This morning, the local cook will meet you at your charming chalet for a rustic cooking class using a wood burning oven to make a handful of delicious “petiscos” that you’ll enjoy over lunch. After lunch, stroll through the village and the surrounding sights on your own or visit a nearby vineyard (walking distance) for a visit and private tasting. In the late afternoon, your driver will meet you in the village to take you to Mafra where you will visit the magnificent royal palace, boasting of one of the most revered libraries in Portugal containing well-over 36.000 volumes! Following the museum visit, you’ll enjoy a private and exclusive farewell dinner at a private estate! Dinner will be served al fresco under the trees overlooking the garden where appetizers of fresh cheeses alongside local fruits and herbs, rustic sourdough bread, charcuterie and other delicacies will be served, prior to the main course of succulent suckling pig with crispy crackling paired with a variety of light and refreshing white wines. This evening will be absolutely unforgettable! After dinner, you’ll head back to Lisbon to check back into your Boutique Hotel.
This morning, your private driver will take you to the airport. However should you want to extend your stay, we’re more than happy to help you with your travel plans to the Algarve, the Azores or even a side trip to Spain!
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