For years Portugal has only been known to wine drinkers for its rich sweet red wines, fortified with brandy, from the Douro Valley. These are known as Port to English speakers, after the city of Porto from where they are shipped. However these days there are many fine white and red table wines being made throughout this small country. It is sparsely populated outside the major cities with its magnificently beautiful interior dotted with small villages, many with a mediaeval air.
Modern Portugal is blessed with a splendid new highway system paid for with loans from the European Union. This means you can travel between its two major cities of Porto and Lisbon in three hours and the entire length of the country in six hours. Portugal was an important part of the Roman Empire and there are many vestiges remaining to be explored in small towns like Evora.
Join wine personality Steve Thurlow as he leads a 13 day excursion of discovery and enjoyment.
In September each year as the grape harvest comes to a conclusion, it is still hot during the day and pleasantly warm in the evening for dining outside. Portugal has many modern hotels that are recent conversions and renovations of historic buildings. We will stay in several.
Our trip will see us staying in five luxury 4 and 5 star hotels as we make our way from Lisbon, first eastward and then northwards through the interior to Porto and the Douro Valley in the north.
Towards the conclusion of the tour, we will naturally spend time tasting the famous, often expensive and exclusive Port wines in the historic lodges (where the wines are matured) in Porto, as well as visiting several quintas or wineries in the Douro Valley where the grapes are grown and the wines made before being shipped to Porto for maturation.
In mid-September you can expect lots of warm sunny days. In the Alentejo region near Evora daily highs are typically 28-30°C and overnight lows are 16-18°C. On September 7, 2017 the high was 33°C. It is usually a little cooler at that time of the year in my part of Canada.
Dining outside in the evening is very pleasant, swimming pools at hotels are still popular and most of us will be dressed in shorts and T-shirts for visiting wineries. There will be time, as usual on my tours, for individual exploration, finding wine bars and restaurants in the cities and small towns we will visit as well as shopping and relaxing by the pool or wandering in the narrow streets and rural markets.
Detailed itinerary here: http://www.stevethurlow.com/ToursPortugal.html#itinerary