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Wine Tour Portugal - 7 days Roundtrip tour > Porto

Portugal started to export its wines to Rome during the Roman Empire. Modern exports developed with trade to England after the Methuen Treaty in 1703. From this commerce a wide variety of wines started to be grown in Portugal. And, in 1758, the first wine-producing region of the world, the Região Demarcada do Douro was created under the orientation of Marquis of Pombal, in the Douro Valley. Portugal has two wine producing regions protected by UNESCO as World Heritage: the Douro Valley Wine Region (Douro Vinhateiro) and Pico Island Wine Region (Ilha do Pico Vinhateira). Portugal has a large variety of native breeds, producing a very wide variety of different wines with distinctive personality.

 

DAY 01 – PORTO PRECIOUS NECTAR - route: Airport > Porto [30kms]

Arrival at Porto Airport. Porto is the second most important city in Portugal and has always played a very important role in the country development. A granite city in a sloppy hill from the Ribeira till the cathedral with an Atlantic climate describes this romantic city, with its narrow streets in the center and wide avenues to the sea. Sightseeing of the city, passing by the downtown, the Porto city hall, Clérigos Tower and the River side, so called Ribeira, classified of World Heritage by Unesco. Time for 50 minutes cruise in the river Douro along the river banks, where one can appreciate the splendorous views to the city of Porto, its bridges and the port wine cellars. Stop in Gaia for a visit to the famous Port wine cellars, just across the river in Gaia, where one can see the production, storage and taste the Port wine in its varieties: white, red, tawny, ruby, vintage and LBV. Dinner and overnight in Porto.

DAY 02 – THE UNIQUE MINHO GREEN WINE & DOURO - route: Porto > Guimarães > Penafiel > Douro> Lamego [87kms]

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for visit of the beautiful and historical city of Guimarães, filled with palaces and medieval streets, also classified as World Heritage by Unesco. Time to walk in the city centre, passing by the Srª da Oliveira church, the old quarters, the castle and the Ducal palace, famous by its French architecture with its numerous chimneys. Time for a visit of this enchanting palace, also official house of the President of the Republic on its visits to the North of the Country. Departure to Penafiel for a visit to Quinta da Avelada estate, which are famous for the green wines. Lunch in a local restaurant. Visit the estate and its beautiful gardens and main house. Aveleda is a family owned company with over 300 years of existence and whose priority is the production of quality wines, renowned throughout the world. Exit to the Douro valley passing by the town of Amarante, famous for its pastry and the granite houses in the center, as well as the S. Gonçalo church and bridge crossing the river Tâmega. Continue to the Douro valley, visiting the Castelinho estate in the city of Régua, in the heart of the Douro, region. This estate is located close to the city and was one of the first in this city to bottle and export Port wine directly for already for 30 years as a wine cooperative. Off to the city of Lamego, where one can find the several monuments especially the N. Srª Remédios sanctuary, a pilgrimage site dedicated to the Virgin, with an 18th-century church rising at the top of an imposing double stairway formed by 686 stone steps and nine terraces decorated with different Baroque sculptures. Dinner and overnight in Lamego.

DAY 03 – INLAND SIGHTS - route: Lamego > Viseu > Guarda > Covilhã > Portalegre > Évora [425kms]

Breakfast at the hotel and exit for the city of Viseu, with a stop at Stop at Raposeira wine cellars were the famous sparkling wine type is produced. Time to visit the wine cellars in long tunnels in order to keep the sparkling wine cold all year long. Continue to Murganheira wine cellars were the famous wine is kept in tunnels of blue granite rock, inside the mountains, for at least in a period of 10 years. Then they are rebottled a few weeks later, after they are placed upside down, in order to separate the wine from the sediments. Continue to Viseu the city of Viriathus, the man who led the Lusitanos against the Romans centurions during part of the 2nd c. B.C. In this square one can find also the Grão Vasco museum with its unique Portuguese painting collection and the Misericórdia church, an elegant church with a white Rocaille façade (18th century). Continue to the inland of Portugal and to the Estrela Mountain, with its higher point at 2000 meters from the sea level. Stop in the city of Guarda, the highest town in Portugal as it is located at 1056 meters above the sea level. The name of this city comes from the Visigoth village named Ward. It was founded as a city by charter of King Sancho I in 1199, in order to serve as administrative center of trade and also as defence to the border from the surrounding kingdoms. The diocese of Guarda is also one of the most important catholic marks in the inland. Departure to Covilhã, passing by the village of Belmonte. This 12thC. village is famous for two main reasons: one is because the Navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral, the discover of Brazil, was born here; the other reason is due to its Jewish community, always resistant to the 16thC. intolerance imposed by the Catholic kings and King Manuel which forced them to convert to Catholicism. Some fled to the new world, others were converted and continue to have its traditions within the family, and others cut their connection to the outside world and isolate themselves in remote area of the country. To mention the castle of Belmonte from the 12thC. and the Cabrais house granite house. Arrival in Covilhã and time for lunch in a local restaurant with its flavours from the mountain of Serra da Estrela. After lunch, departure to Portalegre region, in the north of Alentejo. From the 12th C. there are passages who mention this region as a passage area (porto) which was very green and pleasant (alegre). This is how we get the name Portalegre. The first charter was given in 1259 by the King Afonso III and from then on it become very important to defend the border against any invasion. Time for a sightseeing of the center of the town and the castle walls and the keep tower are from the medieval times, form the 13th C. Continue to Évora, the enchanting city in the Alentejo region, classified as World Heritage by Unesco. Dinner and overnight in Évora.

DAY 04 – ALENTEJO WARM WINES - route: Évora > Azeitão > Lisboa [150kms]

Breakfast at the hotel and walking visit of the center of Évora, starting by the cathedral built between 1280 and 1340. Inside one can find several styles from the Manueline, the outstanding main chapel in baroque and the pipe organ and choir stalls from the renaissance (around 1566). Visit the St. Francis church, built between the end of the 15th and the early 16th centuries in mixed Gothic-Manueline styles. The wide nave is a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture and contains many chapels decorated in Baroque style, including the Chapel of the Bones, totally covered with human bones. Continue to Herdade do Esporão estate where one of the more famous Alentejo wine and olive oil is produced. The exceptional conditions of light and the hot sun of Alentejo, together with the humid Atlantic breezes coming from the Northwest, combined with the unique schistose and volcanic nature of the soil constitute the origin for the outstanding character of the wines from “Esporão” estate. Time for a visit to the wine estate followed of a wine taste. Time for lunch in a local restaurant with the home made dishes from Alentejo. After lunch departure to Lisbon stopping at Azeitão, in the heart of the Arrabida Mountain, for a visit to the J.M.Fonseca estate. This wine estate has been producing wines for more then 200 years, and it is famous for producing white, red, rose, sparkling and fortified wines. One of the most famous is the muscatels wines which are a must in the region. Arrival in the capital of Portugal, the seven hills and enchanting city of Lisbon, passing by the 25 April Bridge overlooking the river Tagus and the downtown and monumental Lisbon. Dinner and overnight in Lisboa.

DAY 05 – LISBOA SIGHTS - route: Lisboa > Sintra > Colares > Batalha > Coimbra [270kms]

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for a visit of the enchanting and friendly city of the seven hills, Lisbon. Sightseeing tour of Lisbon, starting by the downtown “baixa” with its Pombaline streets, the Rossio square and Lisbon’s cathedral till Belém quarters, where the famous World Heritage monuments related with the Portuguese discoveries from the 15th and 16th centuries are situated. Visit the Jerónimos Monastery, the jewel of the Manueline style, which was started on the orders of Manuel I to commemorate Vasco da Gama's successful return from India. The monastery construction began in 1502 and took 50 years to complete. In Jerónimos magnificent cloister many important events took place as the joining of Portugal and Spain in the EU, as well as the Lisbon Treaty. Continue for sights at the Belém Tower and Monument to the Discoveries. The Belém Tower from 16th century was built both as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon and as part of a defense system of the entrance of the Tagus River and the Jerónimos Monastery, which was necessary to protect Lisbon, with influence of the Moorish decorative in Manueline style. The monument to the discoveries built in 1940 in a shape of a prow of a ship which bears the figures of the most important people of the discoveries era. Continue to Sintra and Time for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch visit in Sintra the Town Palace 14thc. started to be built by King Dinis I, being the King John I in 1415 that sponsored the major part of the building. With King Manuel I the palace suffered new additions with Gothic-Renaissance style in Mudéjar and tiles influence – the Manueline style. The Sintra Mountain Range, one of the largest forests in the Lisbon area is also a major tourist attraction. Continue to Colares village for a visit to the Adega de Colares wine cellars, which was founded in 1931 to gather all the wine production in the region. In the main cellars building one can see the 15.000 tons oak barrels on each side of the wine cellars. The Colares wine is still today produced with the traditional wine production which made it famous in the region. Continue in direction of Coimbra, stopping in the in the world heritage Batalha Monastery to be considered This town was founded by King D. João I of Portugal, together with the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória na Batalha, to pay homage to the Portuguese victory at the Battle of Aljubarrota (August 14, 1385) that put an end to the 1383-1385 crisis between Portugal and the Castellan army. Time to visit this beautiful monument, in particular the unfinished chapels which are the must see of the visit. Exit in direction of the ancient university students’ city of Coimbra. Dinner and overnight in Coimbra. DAY 06 – BEIRAS CITIES - route: Coimbra > Bairrada > Aveiro > Porto [140kms] Breakfast at the hotel and exit for a visit Coimbra, the former capital of the country during the first dynasty period (14th century) and home to the University of Coimbra, the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world and one of the oldest in Europe (from the year 1290). Start by the must see of the city – the university. Visit the Joanine library and the Doctorate room where thousands of students received their degree, in particular many important Portuguese politicians, presidents and writers. Walk down, passing by the old fortified Cathedral from the 12th century and the “quebra-costas” street with a very hig inclination. Visit also the Sta Cruz church (12th century), located in the city centre and important by its Manueline main portico. Continue to the Bairrada’s heart for a visit to the Aliança wine cellars. This estate was founded in 1927, by 11 associates in Sangalhos, in the Bairrada´s Delimited Region. Here one can find regional red and white wines, Portuguese brandies and sparkling wines. Time for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, exit to visit Aveiro with its river channels and boats in the center which connects to the sea. It is known as the city of the river channels and the sweet eggs pastry, as well as its salt mines. Visit Aveiro cathedral (15thc.) and the Convento de Jesus (now known as the City Museum "Santa Joana"), built in the 15th century, which contains the tomb of the daughter of Afonso V, St. Joana, who died in 1490 and was beatified in 1673. Departure to the “capital of the North” Porto, also called “Invicta” due to its inviolability and faithfulness to the kingdom. This area used to be called “Portus Calle” meaning safe harbor or safe passage, giving the city of Porto which also gave name to Portugal. A granite city in a sloppy hill from the Ribeira to the cathedral with an Atlantic climate describes this romantic city, with its narrow streets in the center and wide avenues to the sea. Dinner and overnight in Porto.

DAY 07 – PORTO DOWNTOWN & SEA - route: Porto > Airport [25kms]

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for a walk in downtown Porto, passing by the Santa Catarina commercial street and the “bolhão” market, existing since 1839 and famous by the products it sells: meat, fish, fruits, flowers, etc, and still widely used by the locals. Continue to the Atlantic Ocean front, passing by the scenic road along the river Douro, admiring the manor houses from “foz”, the river mouth area, and the Atlantic sidewalk used for jogging, roller-skating, biking, etc. According to flight schedule, transfer to Porto Airport.

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