With the vast Atlantic to the west, crystalline rivers to the North, soaring mountains to the east: Porto is spectacularly placed to offer fresh, mouthwatering ingredients. There are delectable fish and seafood, succulent rare breed meats, artisan charcuterie, and vibrant fruits, nuts and vegetables bursting with flavor. Beyond its signature dishes, Porto serves the traditional cuisine of some of the most remote villages of the Northern region, where rural families have a gift for transforming frugal foods into soulful feasts.
This seven-day tour will be a wonderful whirlwind for your senses, tantalizing your tastebuds with Northern Portugal’s premiere ingredients, along with a rich understanding of the region’s gastronomic heritage.
You’ll take in panoramic views of the Douro Valley. Choose idyllic produce in vast organic orchards for a private cooking class in a 17th century estate. Learn the mysteries of a village’s four-cornered loaf from one of the oldest bakers in the region. Savor the perfectly juicy suckling pig of Bairrada and taste hundreds of exceptional Portuguese wines from across the entire North and Central regions.
Catavino will ensure every single detail is accounted for. So sit back, relax and enjoy one of the most luxurious and memorable 7 day tour of your life!
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!
Private Transfer from Porto International Airport to Hotel in Porto (1 per couple). Arrival and check in at 4* hotel in Porto.
Set in a renovated 18th century palace, this polished, cozy hotel located just a stone’s throw from Porto’s main historical attractions. See the colorful tiles aligning the city streets, intricately laid cobblestone and majestic monuments. Meander down narrow alleys filled with mouthwatering aromas of grilled fish, wooden port casks and roasted chestnuts. Porto is a romantic city, a place where ancient buildings and centuries old cafes line the streets beckoning you to discover! At 7:30pm, your English speaking driver and Ryan Opaz, Catavino’s CEO, will meet you in the hotel lobby before leaving for dinner.
Gabriella Opaz, co-author of the book that inspired this tour, will be greeting you upon your arrival to one of the best restaurants in Porto! Here, every gastronomic moment is exclusively designed for you in a light, family-style environment to ease you into your adventure. The main culinary feature will be Arroz de Tamboril (monkfish rice). This rich, aromatic comfort food is brimming with shrimp and chunks of fresh fish nestled in a savory tomato broth. It’s one of the many incredible dishes you’ll be introduced to this evening.
Not only that, but tonight will be your initial induction into Portuguese wine, including rare and unique wines from Catavino’s private cellar!
After check out, meet your driver at the lobby and depart to the Douro Valley, land of Port wine and endless gastronomic delicacies.
En route, stop at the picturesque town of Amarante for a brief walking tour of its historic homes adorned with enchanting wood and wrought iron balconies. Despite the architectural eye candy, pastries are the purpose of our visit! Birthplace to some of the best pastries of the North, discover one of the rarest treats — the Bolo de São Gonçalo. During the the Festival of São Gonçalo (held on the first Saturday of June), locals whip up their famous, phallic-shaped Bolo de São Gonçalo to incite marriage and fertility.
Your tour continues towards Mirandela, where you’ll savor the regional delicacy, Posta Mirandesa. The thick, juicy veal steak on your plate comes from calves raised in the Trás-os-Montes, where this breed roams freely throughout the countryside, feeding on wild grass and herbs.
After lunch, check into your newly renovated five-star hotel in the Douro Valley. This 18th-century wine lodge, on the banks of the River Douro was converted into a hotel by port makers for whom it had long been part of their estate. Its wisteria-clad stone walls house 50 rooms including four new master suites and a shop specializing in the best wines of the region.
Dinner tonight is served at a quaint restaurant tucked away in the mountainous town of Ervedosa – easy to pass if you blink! The menu focuses on family recipes, such as the wood oven roasted cabrito (goat), prepared in households across the region for centuries.
Recognized for its Moscatel wine, bucolic Favaios is part of the Douro wine-growing region. In addition to breathtaking landscapes, archaeological landmarks, stately homes and religious monuments, Favaios is home to an artisan bread heritage that can only be experienced with a visit to the village! Here, we’ll start our day with a comprehensive tour of the Bread & Wine Museum located in a stately 18th century baroque building.
Leaving the lessons of the museum behind, you’ll get up-close and personal with one of the few remaining artisanal bakers of Favaios. Here, you’ll participate in a bread-making workshop that unravels the mysteries of this village’s four-cornered loaf.
Lunch is served at a homestyle restaurant facing the TUA River, where you will enjoy fried river fish with “escabeche” sauce.
Following lunch, relax on a one hour private rabelo boat cruise on the Douro River. The Rabelo boat is a traditional Portuguese cargo boat that for centuries was used to transport people and goods (wine barrels) along the Douro River (weather permitting).
Dinner this evening will be hosted in the hotel where you can taste regional dishes with a subtle twist, such as crispy suckling pig belly with beef carpaccio to fresh codfish sautéed with Portuguese potatoes (until you try them, you have no idea what you’re missing), eggs, olives and roasted peppers.
Meet your driver and Catavino guide in the lobby to set-off towards Lamego.
Immerse yourself in the rich history, traditions, culinary and wine culture of Douro with a personalized workshop on authentic Portuguese cooking and wine. Your teacher and host today is a Viscountess, who will take you on a stroll through the olive groves and organic gardens on her beautiful estate in the countryside. You will pick some of the freshest ingredients of the season, and return to the spacious and welcoming estate kitchen to create an entire Portuguese menu under the Viscountess’ guidance. Aided by her trusted assistant (and cousin), the Countess employs a traditional approach to cooking, combined with a taste for simple yet deliciously rich ingredients that showcase the region’s gastronomical treasures. At the conclusion of the cooking lesson lunch is served in the elegant dining room, or al fresco in the patio, where you will enjoy the dishes you have helped prepare. Duration 3 hours.
A short ride takes you to a winery established in 1716 and one of the oldest and most famous Quintas in the Douro Valley. It once belonged to the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, and still belongs to her descendents. For almost 200 years, the main activity of this quinta was the production of Porto wines, which were commercialized by the Ferreira Port House (belonging to the Ferreira family). Enjoy a premium wine tasting at their old house balcony.
Dinner is served in an award winning restaurant, set on one of the most scenic wine routes in the country featuring, Mozambique shrimp and mushrooms with a black truffle purée and “Maronesa” tenderloin beef (veal) with foie gras and a rösti potato filet. Housed in a contemporary space with an elegant wooden deck overlooking the river, the views couldn’t be more exceptional.
Your tour will start at a beautiful Manor House in Lousada with more than 500 years of history. Learn how to make your own Jam and Liquors with fruit collected straight off the land in their private orchard. This workshop is a fabulous introduction to the range and depth of flavors that the Douro has to offer. From learning the value of truly fresh ingredients to age old secrets to making Portuguese jams, these hands on sessions are a wonderful introduction as to why the Portuguese are mad about their produce.
Lunch will be served at the Manor House, where you’ll explore the savory flavors of Arroz de Pato á Antiga (duck rice) for lunch. This signature dish of Braga combines smoked meats, rice and shredded duck in an earthenware dish. It’s rich, sumptuous and heavenly.
Tonight is your night to explore Porto on your own. If you’re keen for some suggestions on where to dine, we’re happy to oblige. Otherwise, let your stomach be your guide!
Meet the driver in the lobby and depart towards Portugal’s little Venice, Aveiro.
Located just south of Porto, you’ll tour the salt flats of Aveiro. These flats have been in existence well before the founding of Portugal, providing the country its prime ingredient for Bacalhau (salted cod). They are also home to some of the gourmet salts gracing top restaurants around the world.
Lunch today will be grilled fresh fish at a local restaurant located in São Jacinto. Though grilled fish is in general beloved by the Portuguese, sardines definitely reign supreme. They’re incredibly tasty and perfect to savor over a thick nutty piece of broa (cornbread).
On the way back to Porto, make a quick stop at Ovar to dip into something sweet, such as Pão de Ló de Ovar, this Portuguese sponge cake can range from gooey to spongy depending on the humidity and “fluff” infused, but we’ll let you be the judge!
After lunch you’ll return to Porto.
Dinner tonight will be slightly spicy, savory and oh so sumptuous! Allow us to introduce you to Portugal’s churrasco. A whole chicken will be butterflied open and put in a typical marinade mixture of olive oil, white wine, garlic, bay leaf, lemon juice and paprika. After soaking up the delicious flavors, it’s placed on a rotating spit over a flaming hot coal pit, basted with more sauce and served with a touch of piri-piri (hot sauce) and a cold pint of beer!
11am to 1pm – Meet your Catavino guide in the hotel lobby for your walking food tour. This three hour adventure will take you through the winding streets of Old Town Porto. You’ll visit numerous hidden little nooks and crannies in search of the perfect sandwich. From the famous Francesinha to the juicy Pernil com Queijo, the sandwich is the unspoken gourmet delicacy of the region.
Free time to explore Porto on your own, but we highly suggest taking a quick tour of the Port wine lodges on the opposite side of the river. The caves, as the Portuguese call them, is where Port has been blended and matured for centuries, all of them in Vila Nova de Gaia. Walk across the two-tier Dom Luis I bridge, with Catavino’s Port Lodge Map in hand, to expand your gustatory senses.
Around 7:30pm, meet your driver at the hotel lobby and leave towards restaurant.
Farewell dinner! No goodbye dinner is complete in Portugal without mountains of seafood! Chunky shrimp, juicy crab and heaps of mouthwatering lobster will be awaiting you upon arrival. We’ll even have a special guest to bring rare wines to complete the experience!
Breakfast is included at your hotel this morning. Checkout is until 12pm
Private transfer by Deluxe Mercedes Sedan from hotel to Porto International Airport (1 per couple).
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