Portugal - Adventures in Food, Wine & History
March 15 - 23, 2014
Professors Timothy Walker '86 and Daniela Melo will be your trip leaders on our first sponsored trip to Portugal. Daniela was born and raised in Portugal. The couple are both professors at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and Connecticut College.
This small-group experience will accommodate a maximum of 12 travelers. The program is designed especially for travelers who enjoy excellent food and wine. We have created a travel itinerary that will showcase the best of Portuguese cuisine and winemaking in various regions of the country.
- Late morning: Participants arrive to Hotel (Albergaria Nossa Senhora do Monte).
- Lunch for early arrivals at Restaurante Pitéu (Largo da Graça).
- Welcome Talk & Historic Lisbon Orientation (Hotel)
- Walking Tour of Lisbon (Graça, Alfama, Sé, Praça do Comércio).
- Dinner - Historic Restaurant "Martinho da Arcada” (1782); taxis back to hotel.
- Depart for Belem - Café at Pastéis de Belém.
- Museu dos Coches; Mosteiro dos Jerónimos; Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
- Lunch in Belem - Restaurant "Feitoria” (Michelin-rated; 1 star).
- Afternoon - Torre de Belém; Minibus to Lisbon, Praça da Figueira.
- Continue Walking Tour of Lisbon - Rossio; Chiado, Largo do Carmo; Elevador da Glória.
- Dinner - Cervejaria Trindade (Bairro Alto); Taxis to Hotel.
- Transfer to Évora (en route: Cromeleque dos Almendres) (Hotel: Pousada dos Lóios).
- Morning - Évora Walking Tour (Cathedral, Mouraria, Universidade de Évora).
- Lunch (typical tavern) - Restaurante "Quarta-Feira".
- Afternoon - Walking Tour (Igreja de São Francisco, Capela dos Ossos, Praça Giraldo).
- Late Afternoon - Free Time for shopping or exploring in Évora.
- Dinner (typical restaurant) - "Grêmio" or "Adega do Alentejo".
- Morning free time in Évora; Depart for Reguengos de Monsaraz.
- Vineyard and Lunch (w/ matched wines) - Esporão Estate; Reguengos de Monsaraz.
- Depart for Monsaraz - Stop at Megalithic site "Rocha dos Namorados” & Ceramics.
- Monsaraz - Castle & Walking Tour; Knights Templar's Chapel; late afternoon free time.
- Dinner at tavern - Restaurante Lumumba (al fresco balcony).
(Late return to Évora).
- Transfer to Coimbra via Tomar.
- Visit Convento do Cristo, Tomar.
- Lunch - Restaurante "Tia Alice".
- Stop at monastery - Mosteiro da Batalha (Battle of Aljubarrota, 1385).
- Hotel - Pousada Quinta das Lágrimas, Coimbra.
- Concert of Fado Music (depending on availability).
- Dinner - Restaurante O Trovador (Largo da Sé Velha, Coimbra).
- Walking Tour of Coimbra; Universidade; Sala Nobre & Biblioteca; Sé, Santa Cruz.
- Lunch - Restaurante Zé Manel dos Ossos.
- Afternoon - Conímbriga (Roman Site).
- Transfer to Douro Valley and Dinner - Restaurante Castas e Pratos in Peso da Régua.
- Hotel - Rustic Casa da Cimeira in Douro Valley.
- Douro River Valley; Minibus scenic drive to Pinhão.
- Visit to portwine production town of Pinhão.
- Boat trip on the Douro River - traditional Barco do Rabelo (10:45 a.m.).
- Portwine Vineyard Tour & Lunch (w/ matched wines) - Quinta do Portal.
- Transfer to Porto - Hotel Infante Sagres.
- Dinner - Restaurante Boca do Lobo (in hotel). (Optional: Café Majestic)
- Morning - Walking Tour of Porto (City Center)
- Lunch - Restaurante Chez Lapin.
- Afternoon - Portwine Cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia.
- Depart for Lisbon - return to Hotel Albergaria Nossa Senhora do Monte.
- Farewell Dinner - Restaurante Via Graça or Restaurante Chapitó.
- Transfers to Airport (Lisbon) & return flights to USA
A few important notes - Portugal is a beautiful but rugged, hilly land, and we will be doing a lot of walking in steep medieval cobblestone streets & rustic landscapes (even climbing the stone stairs of castle ramparts for great views!). Good walking shoes are a must, as is a basic level of fitness.
In addition, Spring in Portugal is unpredictable and can vary remarkably in late March from region to region – brilliant sun and sudden showers are both possible at this time of year (March 2011 & 2012 were gorgeous!). Temperatures can range from high 70s in the sunny south to low 40s in the north during the day; nights are chilly. Rain, while unlikely to be frequent, is a constant possibility.
As with any travel program, pack comfortable clothes that can be layered and appropriate gear in case of rain.
Meals taken at vineyards and some restaurants will include special wine tastings, with various courses accompanied by wines especially selected by the sommelier.
Restaurants and hotels have been chosen for their quality, comfort & the unique experience they provide. While some changes in the itinerary may be necessary, quality will be maintained.