Portugal: Lisbon and the South

For Rosa

September 2017.

Dear Rosa,


I have just returned from a wonderful two-week trip to Portugal and  I am so excited to be able to design your journey through this most lovely country.  There are so many things about Portugal that surprise: the pleasant disposition of its people, the ease of driving through different landscapes, the aesthetic sensitivity and creative design sense that one sees in shops, hotels and restaurants, the feeling of safety.  This is a small, compact country with a wonderful sense of itself.



Day 1: Arrive Lisbon

Upon arrival in Lisbon (LIS), a representative will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall. You will be privately transferred to the Palacio Verride, a restored 18thcentury palace that features original azulejos and de Gournay hand painted wallpaper..


Your guide, Inês, will meet you in the hotel lobby this afternoon for a private walking tour of the city.


Fondly known as the “white city”, Lisbon is one of the only major European cities on the Atlantic Coast, which is reflected in its maritime history. The Lisbon experience consists of everything from enjoying a fresh pastry and bica (espresso), to window shopping in Chiado or watching the sunset from the old Moorish castle. The city is small, manageable, and perfect for wandering on foot.


For dinner this evening, we have reserved a table at Sea Me which serves some of the best fish in the city by being a twist between an elegant fishmongers and a refined taberna – making it the perfect introduction to Portugal.



Day 2: Lisbon-Évora – Reguengos

Your guide and driver will meet you in the hotel lobby this morning to take you to Reguengos via Évora.


In Évora you will be met by a guide who will take you on a visit to the gothic Capela dos Ossos (the Bone Chapel)– one of the city’s most known monuments.  For lunch a table has been booked at the iconic O Fialho restaurant where you will try some of the best food in the region. After lunch your guide will walk you around the city to visit the historic centre and the Greco-Roman temple, finishing with a personal visit to Palacio de Cadaval.


The driver will then drive you to your next stop: São Lourenço do Barrocal where you will be served a light supper and given a tour of this celebrated hotel which preserves the local heritage in unmistakable style.



Day 3:  Reguengos

Why not start the day with a balloon trip to see the beautiful Alentejo landscape in all its glory followed by a champagne breakfast?


Relax in the charming laid back comforts of the hotel and enjoy either an afternoon horse ride to the top of the hill or visit the nearby Herdade do Esporão where one of Portugal’s most renowned wines is produced. Spend the evening star gazing in the Alqueva Dam –the largest artificial lake in Europe, a vast mass of water reaching as far as the eye can see, surrounded by an enviable natural landscape.


Dine on the restaurant terrace tonight.



Day 4: Reguengos-Algarve

Morning at leisure to explore the hotel and its surroundings.


A 90 minute drive through the stunning landscape will take you to one of the Algarve’s ultimate secrets: Cacela Velha near the town of Tavira.


Your beautiful villa stocked and staffed will make sure you have one of the most restful experiences possible.


Seafood heaven is walking distance from the villa at Casa da Igreja. Mingle with the locals and those in the know outside the 13th Century chapel – possibly the most well positioned church in Portugal overlooking the beach and the historic small town of Cacela Velha.



Day 5: Algarve

Wake up early to visit the local markets and nearby town of Tavira before taking a fisherman’s boat to Fabrica Beach with a picnic basket.


In the late afternoon, we have organized a private cooking class for you, during which you will learn to prepare some of the country’s greatest dishes in a hands-on environment. Dishes will include an appetizer, a traditional fish stew, and a Portuguese dessert


Dinner at the villa.



Day 6: Algarve

After a day spent near the pool or on the beach, take a heavenly sail in the Ria Formosa with its eye popping salt mines. One of the most beautiful reserves in Europe, your visit will take you to Castro Marim, where you will find the best salt flower in the world.


Dinner at the villa overlooking the bay serving the freshest fish and most exquisite wine in the region.



Day 7: Algarve – Comporta

Your driver will pick you up at the villa this morning for a – hour drive to Comporta, just south of Lisbon.


Your accommodation is a high-end country retreat, located on a 17-acre estate with only 14 suites.


Comporta, a casually chic beach destination, is home to some of the best beaches in Portugal, stretching from Troia at the northern tip down to Melides in the south. Since the 1950’s, Comporta has drawn a fashionable European crowd looking to get off the grid. The landscape is wild, with miles of empty beaches, dense umbrella pine forests, cork trees and a patchwork of rice fields. Tourists will find only a handful of “formal” restaurants to choose from, scattered throughout an otherwise rural, working class community.



Day 8: Comporta-Lisbon

Transfer 1.5 hours to Lisbon Airport in time to meet your flight home.


End of services.