When it comes to wine, Portugal is second to none. In fact, the Douro region was the first demarcated wine region in the world. The famous terraces on its rolling mountain slopes are Unesco World Heritage Sites for good reason. Port, Vinho Verde, light reds and crisp whites ... on this experiential journey from north to south, you will taste the best, most surprising, exclusive and renowned wine regions and estates of Portugal. But there is much more on the menu: a beautiful walk in Portugal's largest protected nature reserve, desolate landscapes, authentic villages and lovely cultural towns.... In short, an experience trip to enjoy to the fullest. Has your thirst for Portugal not been quenched yet? Then extend your trip in the wine region of Lisbon. Feel free to contact us to put together your ideal trip.
DAY 1 : Departure to Porto
You arrive in Porto, where your rental car awaits you. Once you arrive at hotel you are ready to explore Porto. Get to know the historic city and the so-called port wines. Visit one of the "Armazéns", the port houses on the "other" bank of the Douro River in the district of Vila Nova da Gaia, connected to the old town by the impressive bridge Dom Luis, designed by a Belgian student of Gustave Eiffel.
DAY 2 : Porto and Port Wine
Vila Nova de Gaia is the centre of port wine. Originally the port houses were located in the city, but when the Bishop of Porto once demanded a monopoly on the proceeds, the merchants moved to the south bank of the river. Hence the numerous wineries and cellars still present today, including such big names as Taylors, Sandeman, Ramos Pinto and Porto Cruz. The "discovery" of port wine dates back to the 17th century, when English merchants wanted to trade with Portugal and therefore diluted Douro wine with brandy to prevent it from turning sour during transport by ship. Thus, it was discovered that the stronger and sweeter the wine was, the better the taste.
Day 3 : Guimarães and Vinho Verde
On the third day of your trip, you will drive to Guimarães, which was the first capital of Portugal. A pleasant and strikingly green city, Guimarães is well worth a visit: with its proud castle and the palace of the Dukes of Bragança, as well as its architectural homogeneity in the historic centre, it rightly belongs to Unesco World Heritage. Take advantage of your visit to Guimarães to taste the famous 'Vinho Verde' grown here - in Portugal's northern province. The term 'green' of the Vinho Verde indicates the early harvest where the wines are sold very young. It exists in white, red and rosé. In Santo Amaro at 4 km, is the beautiful Casa de Sezim from the 14th century. Located in a 21 ha wine estate, it offers the unique opportunity to learn about the whole process of wine production, with or without a wine tasting. After this, you will continue on to Amarante, also famous for its Vinho Verde, and a nice provincial town terraced against the idyllic banks of the Tâmega River. You will stay 2 nights in the Douro region in a hotel of your choice.
Day 4 : The Douro Valley
Portugal's most famous export product, port, comes from the steep, terraced vineyards on the mountain slopes surrounding the Douro Valley. A drive along the river is a must. Visit the traditional and beautifully located Quinta de Nossa Senhora do Carmo or the prestigious Quinta do Portal, a design by Alvaro Siza Vieira, with optional wine tasting. In the afternoon, visit the more popular Casa de Mateus, a manor house or "solar" that decorates the labels of the eponymous wine bottles and the pinnacle of Baroque architecture in Portugal. There you will explore the estate and its beautiful gardens.
Day 5 : The Dão wines
Via Lamego, you will reach the Dão wine region with light reds and fresh whites from grapes grown on granite soil. Through pleasant Viseu - definitely worth a stop! - you go to the Casa de Santar, one of the oldest wineries in the Dão region. You finish the day in the Serra da Estrela where you will stay 2 nights near Manteigas.
Day 6 : The heart of the Serra da Estrela
You continue your trip with a visit to the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela, the largest protected natural area in Portugal, with the Torre as its highest point (1993 m). With its vast plateaus and jagged rock formations, the mountain range is the ideal place for a beautiful hike. Southeast of the Serra is the Quinta dos Termos, a wine estate located in a microclimate that produces complex, highly aromatic and distinct wines. Definitely worth a visit!
Day 7 + 8 : The rich wines of the Alentejo
You will continue your journey through Castelo Branco, an ancient fortified town, towards the Serra de São Mamede Natural Park; Castelo de Vide is a quiet charming village with a 14th century castle and a wreath of whitewashed houses. From here you have a wonderful view of the vast plain of the Alentejo. Continue on to Marvão, one of the most beautiful fortified towns in Portugal, situated like an eagle's nest. Via Portalegre you will head to the magnificent city of Estremoz, where almost everything is made of marble, from the marble quarries nearby. Estremoz was the favoured residence of numerous kings and famous people such as Vasco da Gama. The remains of the royal palace were converted into one of the most famous pousadas in the country. You will stay 2 nights in one of our wine hotels. The Alentejo produces mainly red wines that are full-bodied and robust and are among the best in Portugal. The Alentejo is characterised by silence and desolate landscapes, by authentic villages and beautiful cultural towns where traditions are in perfect harmony with contemporary design: it is not without reason that the jet set and numerous personalities have found their way to this 'paradise'. Make sure to visit the atmospheric Évora with its Roman Diana temple, as well as the marble towns of Estremoz and especially Vila Viçosa or the fortified towns of Evoramonte and Arraiolos. You will visit several wine estates, each of which is unique: the Quinta do Quetzal in Vidigueira with a restaurant and beautiful views of the vineyards and a contemporary art foundation, or the Herdade do Freixo, built entirely underground, or the exclusive Adeja Mayor with not only spectacular views of the vineyards but also handsome architecture, or the Cartuxa wine estate in Évora, a former Jesuit residence.
Day 9 : Going home
You return your rental car at the airport and take your flight back home. You can also extend your trip to the interior of the Alentejo. We are happy to help you with this.
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