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Winter Culinary Holiday in Portugal

Local farmers, bakers, and artisans open their doors to share ancient traditions and the comfort of slow cooking around the fireplace. Immerse into the most genuine side of the Algarve in a charming and intimate atmosphere, the winter season with its unique products and rituals. The citrus harvest, the artisanal distillation of "Medronho" firewater, and the art of cooking and gathering by the fireplace inspire this four-night retreat.

Meet the instructors

Matteo, João, Jose, & 2 More…
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  • Experience organic citrus harvesting
  • Carnival baking class with a wood-fired oven
  • Enjoy a Medronho fruit brandy night distillation
  • Visit the Silves food market and its cobbled streets
  • 3 daily meals and all beverages will be provided
  • 4 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner


5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Group size: 2-8 participants
Airport transfer available:
Seville Airport (US$235 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Faro Airport (US$118 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Lisbon Portela Airport (US$235 per person)
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  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Terrace
  • Bicycle rental
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet
  • Outdoor shower

The bed-and-breakfast that will host the five-day culinary vacation is called Gato Preto de Silves and is immersed in rural Algarve, offering independent cabins located in a beautiful and luxurious garden. Each cabin offers an ensuite bathroom and private terraces with far-reaching views over the orange groves. Comfortable beds, heating, and a fully equipped kitchenette complete the cabin furniture.

Solo travelers can choose to book shared options in one of the cabins or private accommodation in the annex. Algarve Food Experience usually has many solo travelers on their retreats! Families with children over 14 years old are welcome. There is one garden cabin ideal for a family that can host up to four people (2 adults and 2 children).

Luxury private house: Amaryllis

  • Ideal for families or 2 to 3 friends sharing.
  • Single beds (90 centimeters wide)

Garden cabin: Old Portugal

  • Perfect for couples
  • Double bed (160 centimeters wide)

Garden cabin: Moorish Silves

  • Perfect for couples or 2 to 3 friends sharing.
  • Single beds (90 centimeters wide)

The Smokeroom studio

  • For exigent solo travelers or 2 persons sharing.
  • Double bed (160 centimeters)


Day 1: Welcome to the Algarve discovery menu

After checking and setting in your accommodation, a welcome dinner will take you to a world of new flavors and refined combinations of vinegars, sauces, and delicious finger food.

Day 2: The citrus farm

João will introduce you to the fascinating world of citrus farming and will open his door to share a day full of picking, cooking, and chatting around the fire of his 100-year-old family house.

Day 3: Baking carnival cakes in a real wood-fired oven

After a morning spent visiting Silves food market and its cobbled streets, you will dive into a hands-on workshop in a real bakery, learning how to cook the most traditional pastries of a typical Algarvian carnival.

Day 4: The secrets of Medronho distillation

A local family living in the highlands of the Algarve for five generations opens the door of his distillery to share the magic of the famous fruit brandy, "Medronho".

Day 5: Farewell breakfast/brunch

Time to say goodbye; a little secret awaits you!

Included excursions

  • A guided tour of an organic citrus farm with a cooking workshop held on-site around the fireplace
  • A guided tour of Silves market and its cobbled streets with cultural insights on local history and traditions
  • A guided walk in the highlands to discover the beauty of the wildest part of the region followed by a distillation workshop


Matteo Rovetti

João Rocha

Jose Bruno




The hosting bed-and-breakfast is located in the heart of the Silves countryside, right in the center of the Algarve, 15 minutes driving from the famous Seven Hanging Valleys. The daily workshops and activities will take place in the unspoiled inland Algarve, in Silves Council, a medieval town with a great past and influences from the Moorish Kingdom still alive.

Today, the oranges and small citrus produced in this area are considered some of the best in the world, due to their sweetness and incredible juice rate. During winter, farmers and artisans dedicate their time to preparing delicious jams and distilling the most iconic fruit brandy of the region, the "Medronho".



  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Terrace


Breakfasts with fresh orange juice are included every morning and enjoyed at the bed-and-breakfast on a beautiful terrace with far-reaching views over the orange groves. Brunches or lunches are provided every day with grilled fish and meat paired with several drink options, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Dinners following workshops or cooking classes will be enjoyed all together with local farmers or artisans with a traditional three-course menu. Vegetarian or vegan options are available to book for an extra cost during the reservation process on this platform.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

You can experience a caves tour by boat or kayaking for an extra 20 EUR per person. For more information, please send an inquiry.

What's included

  • Fruit brandy distillation workshop
  • Orange harvesting with citrus jams and chutneys cookery class
  • Bakery class with a wood-fired oven in a real bakery
  • Silves' market tour with history and culture insights
  • 3 meals per day
  • All drinks during meals daily
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Group transfers to activities' locations and workshops

What's not included

  • Drinks outside meals
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Professional photobook of workshops and cookery classes
  • Vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free dietary options (available for an extra 235 USD per person; all meals' menus will be changed accordingly)
  • Extra night before or after the retreat (77 USD per person)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airport

It is possible to book the transfer from/to the Faro Airport (FAO) as an extra from the reservation page. Pricing is 118 USD for two ways (pick-up and drop off the day of check-out). Algarve Food Experience will try to arrange a group transfer with other participants in order to share the 118 USD cost among participants when it's possible. It will depend on arrival times and airports.

Airport: Seville Airport Airport transfer available: Seville Airport (US$235 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Faro Airport Airport transfer available: Faro Airport (US$118 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport Airport transfer available: Lisbon Portela Airport (US$235 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.
5 days / 4 nights
from --
Extension options

Staying for an extra night or two before or after the retreat is possible with the following additional costs:

  • 1 extra night: 77 USD per person
  • 2 extra nights: 153 USD per person

For more information, please send an inquiry.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Monday January 23, 2023
(5 days / 4 nights)

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