2024 “Discover Portugal” Luxury Cuisine & Culture Experience

Another UNIQUE “Small-Group” Cuisine & Culture Experience

“This long-overlooked sliver of a country in southwestern Europe has suddenly become the hottest travel destination around, named by several outlets as the place to visit in 2017. Offering good food, rich history, great vistas, a temperate climate, and just about the closest thing Europe has to a bargain, what’s not to love?”
Neil Swidey, The Boston Globe

Get your sense of adventure and tastebuds ready and join Nico & Belinda as they escort a small group of travellers to experience one of Europe’s oldest and fascinating cultures on their 2024 “Discover Portugal” Cuisine & Culture Experience!
If your idea of great travel experiences includes friendly locals, exotic architecture, medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities & appealingly authentic seaside villages, great wine (and Port, of course) and a generations-perfected cuisine that is fresh, authentic and full of flavours, then the Portugal experience is a must visit!
The unassuming country of Portugal is quietly taking strides into the limelight. First-time visitors are usually struck by the friendliness of the people, the affordable food and wine, and the diversity of a country that is relatively easy to travel around in just a few days. Its cities – notably Lisbon and Porto – amply showcase Portugal’s former role as a maritime superpower that ruled the waves from Brazil to East Asia.
Our “Discover Portugal Experience” will explore the country from Lisbon, one of western Europe’s sunniest and prettiest cities; to Porto, with its amazing history, medieval old town and fascinating Port history; the breathtakingly beautiful Douro Valley with its kilometres of spectacular terraced vineyards; and also some of Portugal’s most charming villages including Obidos and Aviero (the “Venice of Portugal”)! And that’s before we start exploring its food…


– 9 Days / 8 Nights –
Monday 16 September 2024 to Tuesday 24 September 2024

€5,130pp  (Double or Twin Occupancy) (~$AUD8,375pp*)
€6,480pp (Own Room) (~$AUD10,580pp*)

Booking Deadline: 01 February 2024
*ALL INCLUSIVE LAND CONTENT including 8 nights Deluxe Accommodation; Included meals daily as per itinerary; Cuisine, Wine, Port & Culture Experiences as per itinerary; Douro Valley River Cruise; All Land Transportation, All Private Guided Tours; Two English-speaking Private Group Escorts; Tour Photographer; Registered Nurse. Excludes international airfares.

*($1AUD = 0.6125EUR as at 10 January 2024 – www.wise.com/au/currency-converter)

Waitlist Available – Please email Nico at urbanprovider.com.au to be placed on our 2024 “Discover Portugal Experience” Waitlist. Should any places become available, we will let you know as soon as they become available, no later than 3 months prior to departure.

Cooking Passions “Small Group” Cuisine & Culture Tours
Cooking Passions “Small Group” Cuisine & Culture Tours are designed so you can do as little or as much as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping and eating that YOU want to experience (we’ll be happy to provide suggestions from our previous experiences).
We’ve curated and arranged all of your accommodations, land transfers, cuisine & culture experiences, private guides and most meals, so that all you have to do is pack a bag, a sense of adventure and join us on one of our delicious & exciting culinary journeys.

“Discover Portugal Experience” Highlights

About Portugal



Portugal’s History

Portugal has a rich and interesting history. It is one of Europe’s oldest nations, an ancient kingdom defended by hilltop castles and dramatic walled towns.
One of the ancient Celtic nations, Portugal history included the Romans, Moors, the “Age of Discoveries” which established Portugal as a 14th century superpower, and the last dictator in Western Europe.
Portugal was technically considered a country in 1143 after an array of power struggles and invasions, and joined the European Union in 1968. Following the lasting legacy of over four decades of Dictator António Oliveira Salazar’s harsh regime and isolationism policies, which saved Portugal from taking part in both World Wars, the revolution of 1974, which saw the overthrow of Salazar’s regime, was the starting point of Portugal’s journey to its modern day democracy.

Portugal’s People & Culture

The Portuguese people are incredibly friendly, warm and hospitable.
As a small country which shares a border with the much larger and more powerful Spain, speaking personally as a Canadian, Portugal and its people are very similar to Canadians who also live in the shadow of its larger neighbour, who at times can be loud and arrogant about their privileges and power.
The Portuguese have always held their own strong sense of identity and national pride against its larger neighbours, and are recognised as some of the friendliest, unassuming and fun-loving cultures in the world!
The Portuguese population gives rise to a number of cultural festivals that are immensely attended by fervent citizens who love to take part in the events that retell their history, express their roots, and come together as a community. The folklore is vibrant and there is often traditional music played, home-made items for sharing, and elegant artwork including their famous azulejos – the beautiful blue paintings on white tile. 

Portugal’s Cuisine

Portuguese cuisine is born from the earth & the sea. It is hearty peasant fare full of strong flavours, many charting the culinary history of the country.
There is no place in the world where seafood is more adored and masterfully prepared than on the coasts of Portugal.
Then there is its famous dried salt cod or bacalhau which changed the course of Portuguese history. When it was discovered that the beautiful white fish caught in the cold Scandinavian waters could be dried and kept for long periods, sailors were able to go on long voyages of discovery to new lands, which then opened up trade routes. So loved is bacalhau now that there are recipe books entirely devoted to it, with a range of recipes from around the country. 
From fresh fish to octopus, you will not only find it all, but you’ll taste the sea like never before. The treat for your taste buds doesn’t stop at the delicacies of the sea but continues into vegetable dishes and fantastic desserts, highlighted by its most adored and popular Portuguese Custard Tarts – Pastéis de Nata.

Portugal’s Port & Wine

Wine has been produced in Portugal’s Douro Valley for centuries. There are records of viticulture back to the time of the later Roman period.
Port is protected by European Union Designation of Origin so it can only come from grapes grown in the Douro region of Portugal – along the north east border, where the microclimate is perfect for vineyards and the region is actually the oldest protected wine region in the world.
The searing temperatures in the region meant that although the wine was made in the Douro, it had to be taken downriver to the cooler coastal climate of Portugal’s second city, Porto (known as Oporto), to be stored before shipping, and consequently became known as port. The process used makes it stronger and sweeter than normal wines, but it has to age in wooden barrels or sealed glass bottles for a number of years before it’s ready for drinking.
In a world long dominated by France, Spain, and Italy, Portugal’s wines seem finally to have emerged from the shadows. True wine aficionados may already know the secrets of Portuguese soil, but a majority of wine drinkers don’t know what they’re missing.
Centuries of economic isolation had prevented trade with countries like Spain and France, forcing Portuguese growers to perfect their own grape varieties. Portugal has more than 200 indigenous grapes, only a few of which have traveled beyond the country’s borders. And while much of the wine world has been focused on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Portugal has been developing a clutch of lesser known—yet no less impressive—wines.


2024 “Discover Portugal – Luxury Cuisine & Culture Experience” Itinerary


**(OPTIONAL) – Sintra & Cascais Visit
Pre Arrival – Saturday 14 September 2024 / Visit Sintra – Sunday 15 September 2024

**For those that would like time to visit the picturesque “fairytale castled” village of Sintra & the seaside town of Caiscais, a convenient day excursion from Lisbon, we would suggest that you arrive a couple of days earlier than the start date so you are able to include this.
We would  be happy to request any additional nights accommodations on your behalf at our hotel – Memmo Principe Real – and who are also able to arrange for an organised guided visit to these charming towns.
Pre Arrival – Saturday 14 September 2024 – Arrival into Lisbon and check in to either our hotel – MEMMO PRINCIPE REAL – or the hotel of your choice.
Pre Arrival – Sunday 15 September 2024 – We are able to arrange for you to join a guided tour to the famous village of Sintra, to visit one of the most magnificent and recognisable attractions of Portugal – the Pena Palace

Just 40 minutes and a world away from Lisbon is a land of castles and palaces. With its cool, lush hills and proximity to the Atlantic coast, Sintra is where Portuguese royals used to spend their summers. Today, the concentration of these former regal estates and equally fanciful gardens has turned this UNESCO World Heritage site into a popular day-trip destination. After seeing the 19th-century Romantic architecture, cobblestone streets, and dense forests, you’ll understand why Lord Byron once referred to the town as a “glorious Eden.”
Pena Palace exemplifies the 19th century Romanticism style of architecture and stands atop a rocky peak, which is the second highest point in Sintra Hills. The Pena Palace is richly decorated with Moorish and Manueline motifs. Enjoy panoramic views of the peaceful forests and lush gardens covered by exotic plants and flowers. The palace was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.


Caiscais is a delightful Portuguese fishing town, and is Lisbon’s most popular holiday destination. The town is situated on a beautiful coastline, and during the summer it is a bustling resort, with a buzzing holiday atmosphere. Historically, Cascais was a minor fishing village, until King Luís I (1838 – 1889) chose it as his royal summer retreat. Trailing the Portuguese nobility were the high society of Portugal, who in turn constructed lavish villas, ornate mansions and exquisite gardens. Today, Cascais is an elegant fusion of decorative 19th-century architecture, traditional Portuguese charm and outstanding tourist facilities, which together creates a magnificent holiday destination.


2024 “Discover Portugal” Cuisine & Culture Experience Itinerary

Day 1 – Monday 16 September 2024 – TOUR COMMENCES


Portugal’s capital and Europe’s second oldest capital city after Athens, continues to sit at the top of travel itineraries, and visitors usually can’t wait to sink their teeth into authentic Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts), try one of the many bacalhau dishes, and explore the Portuguese calçadas (traditional mosaic walkways). Despite the boom in tourism, Lisbon is still one of the most tranquil and affordable capitals in Europe.
Visitors can anticipate winding, narrow roads, and phenomenal lookout points – walking at night is also a treat. In Alfama, mouthwatering aromas and wistful melodies (known as fado) drift from cozy restaurants that line the narrow, cobblestone labyrinth of streets. Don’t miss Chiado, the trendy district with the oldest bookstore in the world, or boho-chic Bairro Alto, which comes alive at night. Great weather and plenty of sunlight means there’s never a bad time to visit Lisbon.
14:00pm – Check in to our Lisbon accommodation – Memmo Principe Real Hotel – ideally located in the centre of Lisbon.
Our Hotel – Memmo Principe Real Hotel, Lisbon

Tucked away in a privileged location – through a narrow street and a small tunnel – sits Memmo Príncipe Real, home to a secret sightseeing spot with breathtaking views over the city and a gateway to explore one of the most charming neighborhoods in Lisbon.
Almost levitating at the top of the hill, the 41-room property is the first five-star boutique hotel set in what is becoming the trendiest neighborhood in Lisbon and, though residential in feel, is also home to one of its best and alternative shopping areas.
Amid the charming heritage of the ancient royalty that once lived here, one finds at Memmo Príncipe Real the same limestone flooring used in historical buildings, royal palaces, and famous squares throughout the city. Here, too, is an embracing mix of contemporary and classic styles in a cosmopolitan ambience of tranquility and impeccable service that provides the visitor with a Lisbon experience that feels both timeless and authentically local.

17:00pm – Guided walking tour of Lisbon’s Bairro Alto, Chiado and Principe Real neighbourhoods to become familiar with our locale and an insight to some of the areas fascinating history.
19:00pm – Welcome Group Dinner.

AccommodationMemmo Principe Real

(Included Meals: D)

Day 2 – Tuesday 17 September 2024 – Lisbon

am – Breakfast at your leisure
10:00amPrivate Guided History Walking Tour to a few of Lisbon’s main historical attractions.
Lisbon’s 3,000 years of proud history has always been on the edge, where land meets sea and Europe meets Africa, making this a city built on exploration, conquest and adventure. From the rise and fall of a global empire, to the clutches and release of a reclusive dictatorship, from a city destroyed by earthquake, to a rebuilt cultural destination, we will experience this stunning city and its fascinating history.



Afternoon at your leisure – From relaxing with an afternoon siesta, to exploring the neighbourhood, or maybe even considering learning to make Pasteis de Nata at a Lisbon Cooking School, this afternoon allows you some free time to choose whatever might interest you.
pm – Dinner tonight will be at Lisbon’s incredible Time Out Lisboa, housed in the Mercado da Ribeira, the oldest and largest food market in Lisbon.
Transformed by Time Out magazine in 2014, Lisbon’s 122 year-old urban market is now an overwhelming foodie free-for-all of 40 food stalls, several of which are run by award-winning chefs from some of Lisbon’s Michelin-starred restaurants.
This is the first market in the world where everything has been chosen, tasted, and tested by an independent panel of journalists and critics. You’ll find everything from some of Lisbon’s finest seafood to tuna sandwich on bolo de coco (carob bread) to Henrique Sa Pessoa’s suckling pig to artisanal cheeses and charcuterie from Manteigaria Silva.

pm – Remainder of the evening at your leisure. For those that are interested, we can head up to one of Lisbon’s many “miradouros” or viewpoints for a post-dinner drink and view of the Tagus River.
Lisbon’s superb natural setting, spread across seven hills facing the Tagus River, offers a network of terraces from which to contemplate the beauty of the city. Popular with locals, day and night, everyone has their favorite and you’ll also find your own.
You’ll discover many others by chance as you wander around the narrow streets and staircases that often frame staggering vistas.

AccommodationMemmo Principe Real

(Included Meals: B)

Day 3 – Wednesday 18 September 2024 – Lisbon 

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
Following our exploration of historical Belém yesterday, we will spend this morning exploring some of Lisbon’s other famous neighbourhoods including the charming Alfama district, travelling on Lisbon’s famous Tram 28.

The Alfama is the oldest district of Lisbon, spreading on the slope between the São Jorge Castle and the Tejo river.
Much of Lisbon’s heritage is condensed into the wonderfully preserved sights of culturally rich and charming Alfama, where guests can notice some traces of both the Arabic influence and Lisbon’s fishing past.
Alfama’s narrow alleys and small squares invite you to explore its hidden corners, unique fish smells, the sounds of Fado, and fresh laundry hanging out of the windows – all of these create a friendly local community of people, who, despite having a rather humble lodging by today’s standards, remain open-minded and shine with happiness.
Afternoon at your leisure– Either enjoy some relaxing time on your Memmo Principe Real terrace with its views over Lisbon, or make your way to some of Lisbon’s other sites including:

  • Ascensor da Glória: Lisbon’s historical funiculars climb the city’s steepest hills. A funicular that has been taking passengers up and down the hill between the centre of the city (Restauradores Square) and Bairro Alto since 1885 is Ascensor da Glória. From Praça dos Restauradores, the funicular climbs up Calçada da Glória towards the Bairro Alto neighbourhood. It’s a fun ride, and in a couple of minutes you’ll be looking at Lisbon’s rooftops.


  • Further explore our neighbourhood of Chiado, nowadays a noble shopping area with all sorts of facilities and street entertainment. Here one can find theatres, bookshops, museums, restaurant, and famous Portuguese fashion houses.


  • Lisbon Botanic Gardens – An enchanting garden to escape the bustle of the city, surrounded by subtropical vegetation. It was considered one of the best botanical gardens in Europe when it was laid out in the 19th century, and its large collection of subtropical vegetation remains impressive today.
pm – Group Dinner

AccommodationMemmo Principe Real

(Included Meals: B, D)


Day 4 – Thursday 19 September 2024 – Obidos & Aveiro

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
9:00am – Check out from our Lisbon accommodation and Group Transfer to Aveiro, with visits to two picturesque Portuguese towns enroute – Óbidos & Costa Nova.
10:30am – Guided tour of the medieval town of Óbidos.

The picturesque and well preserved town was settled prior to the Romans’ arrival in the Iberian Peninsula, and the town prospered after being chosen by the royal family.
King Dinis offered it to his wife, Queen Isabel, in the 13th century, and it became part of Casa das Rainhas (Queens’ Estate), who improved and enriched it throughout the various dynasties.
Óbidos radiates Portuguese charm, from the narrow cobble streets, the quaint houses, and through to the imposing medieval castle which once guarded the region.

– Visit to the seaside village of Costa Nova and their brightly striped “haystacks“.

Costa Nova
Throughout the 19th century, Costa Nova’s traditional structures were used by fishermen as storage and shelters for seamen and the fishing boats of the nearby Aveiro Lagoon.
Over the years they have been further converted into living spaces where fishermen and their families have used them as beach houses.
14:00pm – Arrival at the village of Aveiro, also known as the “Venice of Portugal“.

Established in Roman times, Aveiro was initially known as Aviarium, meaning, “a gathering place or preserve of birds“. As a seaport, Aveiro was at its most important in the Middle Ages, up to the end of the 16th century. The gradual silting up of the River Vouga and a great winter storm of 1575, which formed a sandbar across the river mouth, led to the demise of Aveiro’s port.
As well as fishing, the town’s other major industries were based around the shallow lagoons that seperate Aveiro from the Atlantic. Here vast saltpans were formed and a salt making industry grew that still exists to this day, although not on quite the same scale. It was salt from this area that allowed the Portuguese to colonise the world on endless sea voyages, with the salt used to preserve the cod the Portuguese fished for from Canada’s Newfoundland area across to Norway’s northern waters.
Another industry based around the lagoon is that of seaweed harvesting, the produce of which is used as a natural fertiliser. Dubbed ‘The Venice of Portugal‘, the town has both canals and gondola like boats. The boats are known as barcos moliceiros and are in fact the traditional flat bottomed boats used for collecting seaweed from the lagoon.
14:00pm – Check in to our hotel – Hotel Moliceiro.
Our Hotel – Hotel Moliceiro, Aviero
This 4-star property harmoniously combines history and authenticity where Art Nouveau architecture dominates.  With a very unique style, this 49-room property defines itself with a mixture of Classic and Contemporary clearly visible. Elegantly decorated, most of them offer an overlook of the Canals of Ria de Aveiro.

Remainder of the afternoon at our leisure
19:00pm – Group Dinner at one of Aveiro’s best seafood restaurants.

AccommodationHotel Moliceiro – Aveiro

(Included Meals: B, D)

Day 5 – Friday 20 September 2024 – Portugal’s “Douro Valley”

am – Breakfast at your leisure then check out from hotel.
09:00amAveiro Canal Cruise – This morning we will take a ride on one of Aveiro’s brightly painted Moliceiro boats as we explore the canals and bridges of Aveiro with views of the town’s beautiful Art Nouveau architecture from the water.

10:00am – Group departure for the Douro Valley.

Portugal’s Douro Valley
The Douro Valley is one of the world’s best known and most spectacular wine regions.
Dating back to 1756, when it became the planet’s oldest demarcated and regulated wine-growing region, it is its stunningly imposing and breathtaking landscape of terraced vineyards which makes it one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world.
In 2001, the region was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site and introduced a new era in wine tourism.
11am to 13noon – Enroute to the Douro Valley, we will have a short visit and a lunch break in the village of Viseu.

Set on a plateau high in the hills of Beira Alta, Viseu retains a medieval feel to what was once a walled centre and has been an important crossroads since Roman times. Its hilltop centre, a walled enclave of quaint plazas and cobbled alleyways, is capped by a monumental cathedral.
14:00pm – The Douro Valley With vineyards and terraces going up and down the rolling hillsides on either side of the Douro River, the beauty of the region is considered one of Portugal’s “crowned jewels”. Before arriving at our Wine Hotel, we will visit one of the valley’s best viewpoints for an opportunity to take in the regions unique landscape.

14:30pm Arrival in the village of Peso de Régua. Check in at our hotel  Quinta do Vallado.
Remainder of the afternoon to relax on the grounds of the property.

Our Hotel – Quinta do Vallado Wine Hotel
Cousins Francisco Ferreira and João Alvares Ribeiro are the owners of the Quinta do Vallado, in the neighbourhood of Regua directly on the Corgo river.
Vallado was once counted among the landholdings of the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, who in the 19th century evinced unimaginable dynamism, extreme vision and entrepreneurial dexterity, building a veritable empire. Her descendants Francisco and João have evidently inherited her shrewd business sense, as well as a deep love of the Douro.
They have developed the Quinta do Vallado into one of the most dynamic enterprises on the Douro, built a charming and romantic country hotel next to the winery, and created a cult-wine to honour the great matriarch: Adelaide.

The 13 room boutique Wine Hotel first hosted guests in 2005 after refurbishing the original 1733 manor house which once belonged to Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira. 
The winery itself was architect-redesigned and modernised in 2009, making bold use of local materials. We have arranged for rooms in the new wing build in 2012 which includes 8 rooms, a library, a chic living room and a dining room.
This striking building has large glass windows overlooking the Corgo valley, cut-slate walls and wooden floors. The ethos is to use only Portuguese materials, products and produce (if possible from Douro or Porto) – from the slate to the toiletries to the goats’ cheese. Its restaurant features flavours and regional specialties enhanced by excellent home-grown wines. Other activities include spending time poolside, having a massage, or use one of the hotel bicycles to explore the area.

17:00pm – Private in-house guest Winery Tour and Tasting at Quinta do Vallado’s winery premises, a short walk from the hotel. The tour will take us through the process of producing port and still wines from the property including the use of the “lagardes“, in which all grapes used to produce port are crushed by teams of workers with their feet, a tradition that has continued since the 17th century.

19:30pm – For those that would like to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif, we can meet in the Quinta’s Private Lounge Room before dinner.

20:00pm – Quinta do Vallado Wine Dinner

AccommodationQuinta do Vallado

(Included Meals: B, D)

Day 6 – Saturday 21 September 2024 – Douro Valley

am – Breakfast at your leisure
9:00am – Group Departure for the charming village of Pinhão.

Encircled by terraced hillsides that produce some of the world’s best port – and some stellar table wines, too – pretty little Pinhão sits on a particularly lovely bend of the Rio Douro, about 25km upriver from Peso da Régua.
Wineries and their competing signs dominate the scene. Even the delightful train station has azulejos (hand-painted tiles) depicting the grape harvest.
10:00am – Winery Tour & Tasting at Symington’s Quinta do Bomfim estate in Pinhao, one of the Douro’s oldest and most respected vineyards.
This historic Douro estate is situated on the north bank of the Douro River adjoining the village of Pinhão, the crossroads of the Upper Douro. The visit includes the old lodge built in 1896, one of the most magnificent such structures in the Douro Valley. This vast vat and barrel cellar, with its extraordinarily complex roof-structure, has been used for over one hundred years to hold all the Port Wines from every harvest at the estate before they are taken downriver to Vila Nova de Gaia for further maturing.

Symington’s Quinta do Bomfim

‘We are rather a curious blend of nationalities; a mixture of Scottish rationality and hard work, English common sense
and Portuguese flair, emotion and romanticism.’ Paul Symington

The Symington family, with Scottish, English and Portuguese ancestry has been present in the Douro for five generations — since 1882 — and through the current generation’s great grandmother, the family’s links to the wines of the Douro span 14 generations, to the mid-17th century and to the very beginnings of the history of Port.
Symington Family Estates is an entirely family-owned and managed company and is one of the leading quality Port producers, responsible for the making of approximately 32% of all premium Port categories. Five of the family, Paul, Johnny, Rupert, Dominic and Charles work together maintaining the vineyards and making the wines of their four historic Port houses: Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s and Warre’s.
The Symington family are the only Douro producer to have made a Port in the 21st century that merited a perfect 100 points from Wine Spectator; Dow’s 2007 Vintage Port. The family’s dedication to the wines of the Douro was further recognized when Wine Spectator ranked Dow’s 2011 Vintage Port as the Nº 1 Wine of the Year in 2014.
11:15amDouro River Wine Cruise – A short walk from Quinta do Bomfim, we will board Pipadouro’s “Friendship 1” Vintage Boat for a two hour cruise along the Douro River while enjoying a glass of wine and admiring the spectacular terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley.

Pipadouro – “Friendship 1” – Gentleman’s Vintage Boat
This 66ft Wooden Yacht Classic was built in Christchurch, Southern England in 1957 at the request of the British Royal Navy. It has a double hull made of Honduras mahogany, copper riveted and is powered by two 308 HP GM engines.
“Friendship 1” had been used by the Royal Navy in the mission of transporting its Admirals in their travelling to high sea for the exchange of officers in Warships. As this is an English boat, comfort could not help but be a feature, because it was a boat of the highest patents of the Royal Navy.
Pipadouro is also proud of having a crystal Oporto Wine Decanter that is in the bar since the boat’s first mission. In 2007, it was restored with great care in order to retain its structural originality and incorporate a new security system, air conditioning, and waste treatment, enabling this 50’s Classic to be equipped with the best XXI century technology.

13:30pmDouro River “Michelin Chef” Wine Lunch – Group transfer to the wonderful DOC Restaurant which sits on the Douro in the village of Folgosa.

DOC Restaurante
DOC is the creation of Portuguese celebrity and Michelin star chef Rui Paula. DOC is an acronym for “Degustar Ousar Comunicar” (translated: “Taste, Dare, Communicate”).
It is an opportunity for Paula to showcase his creativity in utilizing products from the region, borrowing from traditional Portuguese dishes and crafting modern cuisine for his guests to enjoy. 
DOC is also an apropos name given the restaurant’s location and architecture. Sitting right at the Douro river’s edge, between Régua and Pinhão, DOC features a spectacular semi-circular landing that acts as an outdoor dining terrace and functioning boat dock. It is a perfect setting to enjoy exquisite cuisine while watching the sunset over the vineyard-covered hills. 

pm – Evening at your leisure.

AccommodationQuinta do Vallado

(Included Meals: B, L)

Day 7 – Sunday 22 September 2024 – Porto

am – Breaksfast at your leisure and check out from the hotel.
9:30am – Group transfer for the historical city of Porto.

Portugal’s second largest city opens up like a pop-up book from the Rio Douro.  Humble-yet-opulent Porto entices with its higgledy-piggledy medieval centre, divine food and wine, and charismatic locals.
With its medieval heart, contemporary buzz, magnificent gold-leaf-laced churches, and, as the author JK Rowling discovered when she lived and taught here, there is something inspirational about it that tempts you back.
Porto’s most striking characteristic is that of ‘faded grandeur’. In Europe there are very few remaining cities that can do ‘faded grandeur’ quite on the scale of Porto, you’d have to travel to Cuba or Argentina for competition. The feeling is accentuated by the mix of Baroque, Neoclassical and splash of Belle Epoque architecture in varying degrees of preservation.
11:00am – Arrival at our hotel in Porto – Caléway Hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia – where we will drop of our luggage prior to the 14pm check in time and start our exploration of this beautiful city.

Vila Nova de Gaia
Known simply as ‘Gaia’ to locals, this neighbourhood of Porto is the hub of Portugal’s port wine industry and a short walk over the beautiful Dom Luis 1 Bridge.
The village takes you back to the 17th-century beginnings of port-wine production, when British merchants transformed wine into the post-dinner tipple of choice by adding a dash of brandy. This is the real Port Wine town; it’s where the grand lodges of the historic port wine producers are strung out along the “Ribeira” or water-front with their caves, aging tanks, and tasting rooms.
Signs emblazoned with English names dominate the rooftops of lodges in the upper areas of the steep bank, while the home town producers’ modest lodges are more often found tucked into the lower slopes. They’re all here because in 1225 King Alfonso gave Vila Nova de Gaia town status, then quickly handed it off to the aristocracy because the bishops of Oporto were charging unreasonable shipping charges on the wines.
Despite the “new-sounding” name, Gaia sits on a pre-Roman hamlet. A few of the most famous port lodges include Sandeman, Cálem, Graham’s, Taylor’s and Quinta do Noval.


Our Hotel – Caleway Hotel (Vila Nova de Gaia)

Boasting some of the most amazing views of Porto, the Caléway Hotel is perfectly located near ‘Ribeira de Gaia’ at the heart of the world renowned Port Wine Cellars and its warehouses where the famous Port Wine is stored. Built on one of the most typical streets of Gaia, the Caléway Hotel is architecturally defined by two distinct areas: a vintage tastefully renovated area and a contemporary new extension, stylishly added to the old original building.
The rooms and suites of Caléway Hotel are comfortable, cosy and full of history on the Vintage Building. On the New Building some of the rooms offer views across Ribeira and the Douro river. All of the rooms are spacious and comfortable and conjure up a classic touch with contemporary design features, combined with the feeling of total relaxation enveloped within the calm sanctuary of the Hotel’s private garden.

12noon – Port Wine House Visit – Following on from our visit to the Douro Valley where we explored where the vineyards and production facilities are for Portugal’s famous Port, this afternoon we have arranged a visit and tasting at one of the oldest Port Wine Cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Ramos Pinto Cellars was founded by Adriano Ramos Pinto in 1880. Its innovative business strategy and its quality wine transformed this once small cellar into one of the most important in Porto and it was once accountable for half of the wine exported to South America.
Here we will learn Port’s fascinating voyage –  from grapes grown on the steep terraces upriver in the warm Alto Douro region until the juice arrives in Vila Nova de Gaia to be transformed into fortified wine and slowly aged in the temperate maritime climate before being tasted and shipped around the world.

15:00pm to 18:00pmPrivate Guided Walking Tour of Porto – Our 3-hour tour will walk us through the vibrant history of one of Europe’s oldest cities where we will discover some of its still hidden gems.
Sites include the charm of Porto’s old town, the beautiful azulejo-tiled clad Sao Bento Train Station and explanations of Porto’s history brought to life by one of Porto’s locals.
Please don’t hesitate in leaving the walking tour at any point if you would like to take your time to explore any specific areas of Porto that you would like. We’ll catch up with you later in the day!

Remainder of the afternoon and evening at your leisure to relax or further explore Porto. Visit one of the many Port Houses for a tasting, wander the riverfront “Ribera” area before we decide what the group would like to experience for dinner, either together or on your own.

Accommodation – Caleway Hotel, Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto)

(Included Meals: B)

Day 8 – Monday 23 September 2024 – Porto – Free Day

am – Breakfast at your leisure
FREE DAY – As our last full day in Portugal, today is an opportunity for you to explore Porto and its surroundings at your leisure. Suggestions on what to explore include:


19:00pm – Final Group Dinner

Accommodation – Caleway Hotel, Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto)

(Included Meals: B, D)


Day 9 – Tuesday 24 September 2024 – Departure

am – Breakfast at your leisure
10:00am – Following breakfast and checkout, we will say our final “adeus” (“goodbye” in Portuguese) and wish everyone well on the next part of their journeys.
For those continuing their journey by air, the Porto Airport (OPO) is only a short 20-30 minute taxi ride away from the hotel.


To secure your places, please contact Nico Moretti at urbanprovider@icloud.com or +61 424 564 106, and we will forward you a 2024 “Discover Portugal Experience Booking Form” for you to complete to secure your places.
Booking Deadline: 01 February 2024
Booking Deposit: A $AUD1900 per person non-refundable* Booking Deposit is required to secure a booking for the tour, at the time of your reservation.
The Booking Deposit is used to secure accommodations and tour services at the time of your request for places. (*We are able to refund your Booking Deposit should a replacement be found for any cancelled places.)
Please forward completed BOOKING FORM and email to Urban Provider/Cooking Passions Cooking School at urbanprovider@icloud.com.
Final Payment: Payment in full is required at least 90 days prior to departure (Final Payment Due: 16 June 2024). Payment can be made at any time before the final due date, if you prefer. Final Payment will be converted from €EUR to $AUD based on the prevailing Foreign Cash Currency Exchange rate at the time of payment. To view the Foreign Cash Currency Exchange to be used at the time of payment, please visit the Wise International Currency Exchange rates website at – https://wise.com/au/currency-converter/eur-to-aud-rate. 
We look forward to hosting you on this very special Discover Portugal – Luxury Cuisine & Culture Experience”. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate in contacting us.
Boa viagem,
Nico & Belinda Moretti