Portugal on a Platter: Bucket List Trip for 2 Couples

Portugal was often the forgotten little corner of western Europe until word of the country’s beauty and diversity spread. Now it is on most travelers’ bucket list. Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe, having the same borders since 1297. With a rich and ancient heritage, it is a remarkable place to share amazing culinary experiences and outstanding wines. Here’s what you can expect on this trip for two couples …

Day 1

After arriving at the Lisbon airport, you will meet your driver in arrivals and guide you to the 5-star boutique Bairro Alto Hotel. Rehabilitated and expanded, it combines style, bohemia, and sophistication with the classic charm of a different time. The set of buildings where the Bairro Alto Hotel is located dates back to the XVIII century and it is an area of municipal interest in Lisbon – more precisely between Bairro Alto and Chiado, two of the most emblematic neighborhoods of the city.


Drop your bags and meet your tour guide, a sommelier that will provide sightseeing, cultural, and historic context while tasting some special treats and Portuguese wines along the way, in a fun, informative, and delicious format. During this tour you will visit four wine bars and a few awesome wine stores whilst learning about their origin, airing and many other curiosities about our culture. You will walk from stop to stop, along a route specially chosen to highlight the city’s history and showcase many of its focal points.



Day 2

Today you will enjoy a private tour to Sintra, a short drive from Lisbon. Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its magnificent landscapes, beautiful palaces, and incredible private estates.


Your first stop is the Quinta da Piedade, found on a hilltop of Sintra and owned by the Counts of Cadaval. The interiors of the main house are sumptuous and filled with valuable decor pieces, family memorabilia, and a cozy atmosphere. This experience allows you to gain access to some of the most exclusive private properties in Sintra and you will be greeted by the Countess herself.


Lunch is a 3-course traditional meal served in the oval dining room, where warm colors and the presence of the Countess will warm up your hearts. Before or after lunch you will also have the opportunity to wander in the backyard, where you will find romantic gardens, an old concert hall adorned with beautiful sculptures, and a greenhouse with incredible tiles. The idyllic scenery will send you on a journey back in time.


On your next stop you’ll taste the wines of Casal de Santa Maria’s wines. Famous for the expression of the unique terroir that encompasses the vineyards, planted between the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains of Sintra, the vineyards of Casalde Sta. Maria are arranged in a wonderful landscape over the sea, at the westernmost point of continental Europe. What started as a dream soon became a reality thanks to the clear vision and bold character of Baron Bodo von Bruemmer, who decided to turn the ruins of a Quinta that dated back to the 18th century into a beautiful palace. The guided tour around the estate is a complete journey through the family history, the winemaking traditions and finishes with a tasting paired with some local treats.


And as the day nears its end, after the crowds have left, you will venture to the Pena Palace. Classified as a National Monument in 1910, it ranks as the single most important site in the cultural landscape of Sintra. Sitting atop the mountain range, it is famous not only because of its Disney-like architecture and colors, but also for the luxurious interiors and surrounding forest. Visiting in exclusivity after the regular schedule is an experience not to be missed.



Day 3

Head south to Azeitão, on the coastal Setúbal Peninsula near the Arrábida Mountain and national park, where you will be visiting the famed Quinta da Bacalhôa estate. This delightful wine estate is owned by one of Portugal’s wealthiest men and art lover, Joe Berardo. Enjoy your VIP tour of the estate, with its lush vineyards and 16th-century renaissance gardens. Visit their “Azulejo” room, with the most extensive collection of antique Portuguese tile work in the country. Conclude your visit with a tasting of their best wines such as the zippy Caterina (oak-aged Chardonnay blended with the native Fernão Pires grape) and Palácio da Bacalhôa (Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot).


Following a marvelous morning in the wine country, you will head to the pretty seaside town of Sesimbra, enjoy some free time here for lunch, Sesimbra is renowned for its delicious seafood. Take a digestive stroll along the picturesque bay or soak up some rays.


Head back to Lisbon for a private Portuguese Wine Masterclass. Your sommelier will teach you about the main Portuguese wine regions and enhance your discovery experience. The tasting is accompanied by local cheeses, meats, and Portuguese aperitifs.


Perhaps later you can stroll to the Solar do Vinho do Porto, Lisbon’s 18th-century Port Wine Center. This is a favorite wine bar located in a historic mansion where you can taste hundreds of ports by the glass.



Day 4

Farewell to Lisbon! Your driver will pick you up from your hotel and head toward Porto. But first a stop in the Dão Winemaking Region. Created in 1908, this was the first demarcated region of non-liqueur wines in the country and is known as the Portuguese Burgundy. Now it includes about 20,000 hectares of vineyards. The wines produced in the Dão have an exceptional richness and complex and delicate aromas. They pair beautifully with the local gastronomy which is all about bold and delicious flavors.


Santar is a small village located in the heart of Dão with beautiful landscapes and a set of well-preserved manor houses, historical gardens, and a classified religious heritage. Touriga Nacional and Encruzado are the dominant grape varieties in the region. You will enjoy a visit and lunch at Casa de Santar. Taste your senses with Santar Vila Jardim White and Red Reserve Wines and indulge yourself with the infamous Serra da Estrela cheeses that come accompanied with the popular wheat bread baked in the firewood oven, smoked ham, regional sausage, seasonal fruit, and vegetables.


From here your driver delivers you to the Six Senses Douro Valley Hotel. The hotel sits on a hill that offers panoramic views of the stunning Douro valley.



Day 5

Today is free to enjoy the stunning grounds of the Six Senses Hotel. Housed in a 19th-century manor in a dip of the valley, this is the ultimate escape from the grind of everyday life. There is everything here for a wellness break, from gentle massages and sublime treatments at the spa to early morning yoga classes and hikes into the surrounding hills. To catch your breath, two pools make for a water-splashing playground, while ‘relaxation pods’ in the forest provide a romantic setting for quality time à deux. You can make the resort’s wine cellar for a class on its 700-bottle list of ports or wines from the Douro region or take advantage of other activities offered by this destination property. This is your day to unwind, relax and detox.



Day 6

Today you will have a visit at the infamous Quinta do Crasto and enjoy an amazing lunch and then take advantage of the Douro on Board of a Luxury Motorboat! The Douro Valley is definitively one of the most alluring wine regions in the world characterized by the steeply terraced vineyards that line the wide and winding Douro River, and the white and yellow hacienda-style wineries (called “Quintas”) that punctuate the hillsides. The main wine hubs on the river are Pinhão and Peso da Régua. The landscapes are extraordinary; spectacular vineyard terraces climb up on either side of the river like giant steps.


Situated on the right bank of the Douro River between Régua and Pinhão, Quinta do Crasto is a 135-hectare estate with 74 hectares of vineyards and one of the very best in all the Douro Valley. The earliest records mention Quinta do Crasto and its wine production date back to 1615. Quinta do Crasto today has a full range of products, from white and red Douro wines to premium Port and extra virgin olive oils. Year after year this Quinta has been distinguished for its architecture, landscape, vineyards, wines, and wine-related experiences, proving that the combination of passion and hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.


After a tour and tasting of the wines, you will take a seat at the table – outdoors if weather permits – and enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal. The menu is seasonal and showcases the best about Portuguese gastronomy in an unpretentious way.



Day 7

Depart the beautiful Douro Valley and head to Porto for a visit to this historic city. You will drop your bags at your 5-star hotel and will meet your friendly local guide for a private walking tour of Porto. Have a look at the stunning Arab room of the Stock Exchange and enjoy the blue and white tilework in the old town and the many, many bars where you can belly up for amazing Port. Visit the iconic Taylor’s for a private tasting, sampling the various Tawny ports. We highly recommend securing reservations for your farewell dinner at the 2 Michelin starred Yeatman Hotel by Chef Ricardo Costa perfectly paired with choice wines. What a way to end your journey to Portugal.



Day 8

Return to the states, beguiled by your experiences, passionate about your memories of this journey, and happily checking Portugal off your bucket list!



This 8-day/7-night trip for 2 couples includes:


  • 3 nights at Bairro Alto Hotel, Lisbon with breakfast


  • 3 nights at Six Senses Douro Valley with breakfast


  • 1 night at a 5-star hotel in Porto with breakfast


  • 5 private winery tours and premium tastings


  • 3 lunches with wine


  • 1 food and city tour/Lisbon


  • 1 wine masterclass/Lisbon


  • 1 private tour Sintra and Pena Palace


  • 1 motorboat tour on the Douro River


  • 1 Walking tour with wine/Porto



Please note: The itinerary presented is a complete trip for two couples. A third couple may be added to this trip at the cost of one half of the closing bid price. You may customize your itinerary, upgrade your accommodations, or add additional days. Work with David Bragg Travel after the auction to book and/or alter your trip. Additional costs over what is listed above are the responsibility of the buyer(s).


Restrictions: Itinerary subject to change based on availability at time of booking. Trip does not include airfare/train travel, additional meals, drinks, and transfers not specified in the itinerary. Personal expenses, tips and gratuities, travel insurance (strongly recommended) also not included. For best availability of suppliers, a minimum of three months advance notice of selected dates is required. Please contact Nashville Wine Auction staff with potential travel dates to verify supplier availability before booking flights. Trip restrictions apply, see Trip Guidelines in the Auction Rules and Reference section of the catalog.


Donated by David Bragg Travel