ITINERARY: Portugal for the Curious Jet-Setter
(Will be available in Mandarin by April 26th, 2017)
Day 1, Friday: Lisbon
Get ready for an unforgettable afternoon! We’ll start off with a fun and flavorful walking tour where we’ll visit colorful neighborhoods, medieval castles and much more. As we’re exploring the city, we’ll also discover the magic of the famed green wine, rich Portuguese coffee, magical “natas” and cod croquettes. We’ll end the afternoon on an elegant terrace as we watch the sky come alive with a beautiful summer sunset. Later we’ll enjoy a five-course dinner with a wine pairing at one of Lisbon’s most popular gourmet restaurants. Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 2, Saturday: Lisbon
We'll start today with a guided tour (in Mandarin) of one of the Europe’s most impressive private art collections: The Gulbenkian. After our visit, we’ll have a four-course lunch fit for a king in Lisbon’s most beautiful palace.
Afterwards, we'll have a mini photography workshop with a professional photographer. Then we’ll visit some of Lisbon's most stunning places as we use our newly acquired photography skills.
Later in the afternoon we'll meet for a crash course on two local favorites: cheese and wine. National cheese expert and, local food advocate, Pedro, will take us on a gastronomical journey as he introduces our palate to some of Portugal's most sought-after treasures. We’ll also have a quick introduction to the grape varieties that we’ll encounter later this week. Dinner and wine pairing with a local family. Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 3, Sunday: Vila Viçosa and Evora
After breakfast, we’ll leave for an unforgettable multiday adventure to the Alentejo region, recently named Europe’s "new Tuscany".
Our first stop will be in the UNESCO medieval town of Evora, where you'll use your new photography skills as we tour a well-preserved Roman temple and an early Gothic cathedral. Afterwards we'll have a quick and fun workshop on the grape varieties, soil and climate conditions of the Alentejo region. Then we'll have a typical lunch at a popular local eatery before visiting our first vineyard, where you'll meet Alexandre who will give us a private tour of his family's winery. We'll end our visit with an extraordinary wine tasting curated and explained by Alexandre himself. Afterwards, we'll travel to one of the most romantic towns in the country, Vila Viçosa. Here you'll explore this elegant little village, learn about the fascinating world of marble, visit an ancient castle and cathedral, relax with an array of spa treatments. To end the day, we'll enjoy a five-course dinner and wine pairing at an aspiring Michelin-starred restaurant. Overnight in Vila Viçosa.
Day 4, Monday: Estremoz and Vila Viçosa
After a luxurious country breakfast at our hotel, we'll head over to one of the region's best family-owned vineyards. Owner and master winemaker Luis will teach us what their family's been doing for generations at this time of the year: hand picking the best grapes and starting the fermentation process the old fashioned way! After you've stomped on as many grapes as you can manage, we'll have a blind wine tasting followed by an elegant traditional lunch prepared on site by the amazing and well-known Paulo. Then we'll return to our hotel in Vila Viçosa, where you'll have a free evening to enjoy as you wish. Dinner on your own (suggestions provided). Overnight in Vila Viçosa.
Day 5, Tuesday: Estremoz and Monforte
After breakfast, we'll visit the 300 hundred-year-old property that was a gift from King Dom Pedro to his beloved mistress, Dona Maria. We'll tour this internationally-known winery and enjoy a wine tasting with the famous Isabel, the family member who inherited this breathtaking property. Afterwards we'll drive over to a luxurious wine resort. Here we'll have a beautiful gourmet lunch, prepared by the well-known chef, Filipe. Afterwards, you'll have the chance to take a local cooking class, swim, rest, explore ancient Roman ruins, read a book or go horseback riding. Dinner on your own. Suggestions provided. Overnight in Monforte, Alentejo
Day 6, Wednesday: Sagres, Lagos and Faro
After breakfast we'll head south to the world-famous Algarve, where you'll marvel at the drastic "end of the world" seaside cliffs, unspoiled golden sand beaches, crystal clear water and quaint fishing villages in Salema, Sagres and Lagos. Here you'll have the opportunity to enjoy the beach or relax at the spa. Lunch on your own. Suggestions provided. Late afternoon, we’ll meet to take a private three-hour sunset wine and appetizers cruise aboard a stunning catamaran where we'll meet and chat with regional food expert and chef Maria. Afterwards we’ll continue celebrating with a beautiful local dinner with wine pairing. Overnight in Lagos.
Day 7, Thursday: Sagres, Lagos and Faro
Today, after breakfast, you'll have the chance to continue exploring this breathtaking area of the Iberian Peninsula. You'll have plenty of time to spend at the beach, shopping or engaging in cultural activities. Lunch and dinner on your own. Suggestions will be provided. Overnight in Lagos.
Day 8, Friday: Baixo Alentejo and Lisbon
After breakfast this morning, on our drive back to Lisbon, we'll stop by picturesque vineyard and country home for a curated wine tasting and unforgettable "Michelinsque" lunch. You'll be enchanted by the property, its owners and their fascinating philosophy on life: fazer da vida uma festa (make life a party!) Once we arrive in Lisbon, you are free to enjoy the evening as you wish. Dinner on your own. Suggestions will be provided.
Day 9, Saturday: Lisbon/Sintra/Estoril/Cascais
After breakfast, we'll head to the majestic town of Sintra, designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. This masterpiece is filled with breath-taking castles, winding roads, and amazing cheese tarts. We'll enjoy a lovely bon voyage lunch together in one of the region’s most noteworthy restaurants before heading over to the picturesque villages of Estoril and Cascais for a late afternoon stroll, and a bit of people watching in the most upscale area of greater Lisbon. We’ll celebrate our last night together with a fun late night dinner and traditional Fado show.
Day 10, Sunday: Lisbon
Breakfast at the hotel. This is the end of our program. Bon Voyage!