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Come to Portugal, a country of arts, history, and gastronomy, where you can immerse yourself into the culture through the food that you eat and the people you meet. You will discover and appreciate different traditions and culture, but you will see the same kind of welcome from the hospitable people. There will be a whole world full of superb cuisine and fine wines for the discerning appetites!
The maximum participants in the group is 7.
You will stay at two different accommodations during your vacation which are Casa da Madelena in Cascais and Herdade Crestinera luxury guesthouse near Evora.
Casa da Madelena is a four-star intimate boutique-hotel of 15 rooms and suites only, all elegantly furnished with double or twin beds, and a private en-suite bathroom with tub or shower. Modern amenities include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs with international cable channels, free Wi-Fi connection, hair dryer, and complimentary toiletries.
You will have the premium room with its queen-sized bed and private terrace (or direct access to the garden for solo travelers), or the suite for two people with its king-sized or twin beds. Located in the residential area of historic Cascais, Casa da Madelena is a beautifully renovated avant-garde design mansion that Corinne has not only chosen for its perfect location, but also for its comfort, magnificent shaded gardens with majestic trees, well-tended lawns, and pool.
Within 10 to 15 minutes is the beach, or the harbor and marina where you will find charming cafes, casual restaurants, and small shops offering local creations. Daily breakfast buffet is served until 10 a.m.
For the rest of your stay, you will be accommodated at Herdade Crestinera luxury guesthouse, nearby Evora. After a few days on the Lisbon coast spent resting, visiting, and cooking, you are now ready to explore another part of Portugal, a countryside region reputed for its food, wines, historic sites, oak trees plantations, citrus fruits, and olive groves.
For your comfort, Corinne has chosen a very chic privately owned “herdade" property surrounded by hills, forests, and very preserved natural environment. Herdade Crestinera offers seven spacious junior and master suites with en-suite bathroom (tub with shower), all located at the ground-floor, with its private terrace overlooking the olive groves and the mountains further.
The suites are luxuriously decorated with an incredible taste and attention to details, furnished with a double or twin beds, a sofa, stylish antiques, and modern comfort. Waxed tile with carpets line the floors, paintings and classic mirrors deck the walls, elegant curtains adorn the windows, and to top it all off, lamps and decorative knickknacks contribute to a well-being atmosphere.
Amenities include air conditioning, free Wi-Fi connection, LCD TV with satellite channels, minibar, tea and coffee (espresso) facilities, mineral water, and fresh organic fruits. In each bathroom, you will find a hairdryer, bathrobes, sleepers, and toiletry products.
Before a busy day of visits, shopping, cooking, and touring, nothing's better than a good breakfast with tea, coffee or hot chocolate, bread, croissants, home-made jams, fresh fruits and juice, eggs (from the farm), and etc. And after the busy day, you may enjoy the heated pool with its patio.
To make your journey as comfortable as possible, you will enjoy three gourmet dinners at Herdade Crestinera. You will also partake a cooking class there, celebrating the traditional Portuguese cuisine run by local women cook. Class will be hands-on and taught in English.
This "Heritage of Portugal" tour combines the Western seaside and the Alentejo countryside, featuring the city of Lisbon, the sea resort of Cascais, the UNESCO small towns of Evora and Sintra, and the Alentejo which is well known for its vineyards, olive groves, and cork manufactures that you will visit by walking and by electric tuktuk.
Each step of the tour will celebrate the best of Portugal's food and wine through hands-on classes and tastings. You will be invited to gourmet dinners at traditional and Michelin-ranked restaurants. The tour also combines cultural tours to UNESCO sites such as Sintra and Evora.
The program starts in the coastal town of Cascais located 19 miles outside of Lisbon, a fishing village that gained recognition by the royal family who established a vacation home there during the 19th century and early 20th century, perfect for combining relaxation and visits to Lisbon, Sintra, and Evora. It continues to Alentejo region where the tour ends.
The Portuguese cuisine is straightforward and hearty, matching fish and seafood with meat and quality-fresh ingredients from the fertile land. Spices such as piri-piri, black pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, and saffron are often used, which is a remembrance to the influence of Portugal's former colonial possessions. Olive oil is also the basis of the Portuguese cuisine as garlic and herbs flavor lots of dishes.
Bacalhau (codfish) is more than a traditional dish, it's a national obsession. Nicknamed "o fiel amigo" (faithful friend), codfish is traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Portugal. There are hundreds of different recipes and versions of this classic, but Bacalhau à Brás is one of the best, combining onions, chips, olives, parsley, eggs, and, of course, cod.
From octopus salad to codfish croquettes, sautéed clams with herbs and garlic, caldo verde vegetables and chorizo soup, cataplana fish stew, chicken in the pot, custard pastry, there is a very long list of specialties that you will learn to cook and enjoy throughout your journey.
Portugal is one of the greatest wine production countries, certainly one of the oldest in the world as Phoenicians probably introduced wine-making to the south, and the Romans spread vine cultivation and wine-making further upcountry as they drove out the northern Celts.
Today, 14 regions produce elegant reds and dry whites. You will visit the Alentejo region which covers about one third of Portugal. Winemakers in the remaining two thirds can often be heard to complain about the popularity of Alentejo wines.
Évora, Redondo, and Reguengos are more typical of the Alentejo, and can make smooth, harmonious, very easy-drinking reds. The white Antão Vaz is the star grape of the region, with good acidity and tropical fruit flavors.
You will arrive and be picked up at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). You will then be transferred to Cascais. Check-in at the hotel for some resting time and dinner.
The day begins with a delicious breakfast, followed by a morning guided walking tour of Cascais. Lunch will be on your own. There will be an afternoon resting time for you in Cascais.
Dinner will be in a gourmet restaurant in Cascais.
After breakfast, you will transfer to Sintra in a private van. There will be a guided walking tour to this Unesco listed city, including the visit to Palacio de Pena. You will have lunch in Sintra and then go back to Cascais for your resting time. Dinner will be on your own in Cascais.
You will spend a full day in Lisbon. The day starts with breakfast and then you will transfer to Lisbon in a private van. There will be a food and cultural tour to Lisbon's historic quarters. Enjoy the flavors and discover the secrets of the food culture of Lisbon while exploring the city off the beaten paths and the most real neighborhood in the comfort of an eco-tuk, which is a silent and zero-emission vehicle.
The tour ends in a typical food market where you will enjoy a memorable tasting lunch. An afternoon guided tour to the monumental area of Belém is scheduled today. You will visit the emblematic Belém Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries, and the Jeronimos Monastery. The last stop is at Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, where you will taste the delightful Pastéis de Belém. After that, you till transfer back to Cascais. Dinner will be on your own in Cascais.
After breakfast, check-out of the hotel and transfer to Alentejo through Lisbon. For your comfort, your luggage will be transferred directly to the Herdade Crestinera guesthouse nearby Evora.
The morning cooking class in Lisbon will be starting at 10:00 a.m. You will experience the market tour and shopping with the chef before partaking a three-hour hands-on class celebrating the traditional Portuguese cuisine. You will have lunch accompanied by wine, after the class.
In the afternoon, you will transfer in a private van to Redondo through Arraiolos (well-known for embroidered wool carpets). You will check-in at Herdade Crestinera guesthouse for resting time and dinner.
After breakfast, you will transfer to Evora (40 minutes) by private van. There will be a visit to the Alentejo wine museum followed by tasting and lunch. You will go on an afternoon guided walking tour to Evora, followed by a visit to a cork manufacturer in a village nearby. Then, you will transfer back to Redondo for resting time dinner.
After breakfast, you will transfer to Estremoz (30 minutes) in a private car or minibus. You will stop by at an open-air market for a tour, followed by lunch in a gourmet local restaurant. A late afternoon cooking class will be held at the resort, followed by a gourmet food tasting and wine pairing dinner.
After breakfast, you will transfer to Reguengos. Then, there will be a visit to a top-ranked winery starting by a guided tour in the vineyards, a visit to cellars before enjoying wines, and an olive oil tasting. You will have lunch at the winery. In the afternoon, you will transfer to Monsaraz, a medieval village located at the border of Spain, for a guided walking tour. Then, you will transfer back to Redondo for resting time dinner.
You will check-out after breakfast and then transfer to Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS).
Born in Paris and raised in the Loire Valley, Corinne has spent many years in the USA, working first for Hasbro Milton Bradley (Massachusetts and Rhode Island), and partnering with Birmingham Associates in Boston, then. Within her long professional career, Corinne has organized and guided numerous VIP tours and press trips worldwide. She has an extensive knowledge in France history, food, wine, and gastronomy, in general. She is the creator, owner, and director of Lifestyle Vacations France, and the founder of Paris-based Antilope Productions company and Côté Loisirs TV France.
This holiday will take place mainly in Cascais and Lisbon, Portugal. Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, located on the shores of the Atlantic. The city of seven hills features many quarters such as Baixa, which is the heart of the city, with its shops, banks, and cafes; Chiado with theaters, bookstores, and designer shops; and Alfama “the highest" when topped by Castelo de São Jorge, a castle built by the Moors in the 11th century.
Lisbon is plural, featuring an incredible mix of now. Vintage trolleys shivering up and down the hills match with multicolored buildings and red-tiled roofs, mosaic sidewalks, industrial sites transformed into modern street-art living spots, without forgetting monuments such as the Tower of Belem and Jeronimos Monastery (the resting place of explorer Vasco de Gama), and beautiful squares such as Praça do Comércio, surrounded by administrative buildings that regulate the commerce, facing the Taje river.
Your first visit will be the Lisboa Story Center to give you a better understanding of the city and its history. You will explore the narrow streets of the charming Alfama, Baixa, and Chiado districts by typical electric tuk tuk. You will visit a fabulous market and lunch there, and of course taste Pasteis de Nata, which are exquisite warm cream pastries. Some of the best places you will visit include Sintra, Evora, and Monsaraz.
Sintra, called the Moon Hill, is a place full of magic and mystery, where nature and men have combined such a perfect symbiosis that UNESCO has granted the site the World Heritage status. Don't miss the visit to the Castelo da Pena, unique by its architecture and style, impressive by its size, and it was the royal family's residence. You will like downtown Sintra, with its colorful typical houses and its atmosphere. You will meet merchants and local people and you will certainly enjoy shopping for souvenirs.
Evora is the capital of the Alentejo region, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the most preserved medieval fortified towns in Portugal. Along the walking tour, through its narrow alleyways and streets, you will discover its fabulous architectural heritage as well as stylish houses with dazzling white flowered terraces, openwork balconies, and paved patios. Evora is also alive with students and you will also visit its historic university and a gourmet spot.
Monsaraz is a quaint medieval village located at the border of Spain, one of the oldest Portuguese settlements that you will explore quietly by walking. Sounds of church bells fill the cobblestone streets and alleys, making it a fairy tale-like experience for you.
The price of the package includes daily breakfast and all meals and drinks as mentioned in the itinerary.
Please book your flight to arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Lifestyle Vacations will pick you up from the airport.
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