Home to delicious seafood, shellfish, European fruits and wild nuts Northern Portugal is the ideal place for your next foodie adventure. In Portugal you have the chance to taste the famous “bacalhau” (salted and dried codfish) that features on every traditional Portuguese menu as well as many of the freshest fruits found in the Portuguese orchards.
THE FLYING PICKERS – TOURS IN PORTUGAL
PORTO FOOD EXPERIENCE
Begin by sampling the famous Port wine. This delicious food tour is more than a culinary experience, it’s a love letter to Porto highlighting the city’s history, architecture and culture every step of the way! It’s a rare opportunity to tantalize your tastebuds with northern Portuguese flavors, explore narrow cobble streets and meet the locals that bring Porto’s gastronomy to life.
What makes northern Portuguese cuisine? Fish and seafood are wonderfully fresh! Fat juicy sardines (sardinhas) and mouthwatering mackerel of various kinds grace brightly colored plates. Perfectly grilled octopus (polvo) is drenched in olive oil and flavorful clams are typically served with coriander (ameijoas à Bulhão Pato). As in the rest of Portugal, the absolute greatest treat, and greatest honour for a guest, is salt cod, codfish, bacalhãu. There’s also a delicous rare-breed beef from long-horned mountain cattle such as Arouquêsa from mountains to the south-east, and Mirandesa, from Trás-os-Montes, north of the Douro wine region. You’ll taste porco bísaro, which makes smoky and savory charcuterie, delicious craft beers and a wide range of Portuguese wine. Let’s not forget Porto’s carts filled with freshly harvest vegetables, fruits, herbs and nuts! If you’re looking for vegetarian options, there are plenty to experience!
So grab a pair of sturdy shoes, a healthy appetite and a desire to savor some amazing Portuguese flavors, because this is not a tour to miss.
10 food tastings exploring the vast diversity, and rich history, of Portuguese food
Visit a 100 year-old open-air-market brimming with grandmother recipes
Meander through the windy cobblestone alleys while learning about Porto’s textured past.
TIME: 3 HOURS
WHAT YOU NEED: A COMFORTABLE PAIR OF SHOES
OLIVE PICKING IN PORTUGAL TOUR
Meeting in Porto we travel to the heart of the Duoro countryside where we will visit some of the productive Portuguese olive farms. Everyday in November and sometimes throughout December you will find people climbing trees with buckets in their hands in Alto Minho region, northern Portugal. Often we would stop and watch the different methods; some climbed the trees and bashed the higher branches with sticks allowing the olives to fall onto tarpaulins arranged around the base of the trunk, others cut the upper branches and let them fall to the ground before hand-stripping the olives onto the tarpaulins or straight into buckets. Others still used sticks to beat the fallen branches or used a special tool rather like a wooden claw or rake to rip the olives off the branches.
The worldwide production of olive oil is dominated by those countries surrounding the Mediterranean and despite its relatively small size Portugal manages to rank as the world’s 8th largest producer of olive oil at around 50,000 tons. It is somewhat overshadowed by its larger neighbour Spain which enjoys the number one position with an annual production of 1.4 million tons.
There are seven varieties of olives in Portugal with the most prolific being the Galega a small dark brownish black olive. Galega olive trees are mainly grown for their oil however they also make delicious table olives. The olives have a sweet delicate fruity flavor in contrast to the green rich fleshy Spanish Manzanilla olives or the dark smooth meaty taste of Greek Kalamata olives.
When picking olives for pressing timing is key if you want to achieve the right balance between oil content and acidity (the darker the olive the higher the oil content but also the higher the acidity) so one afternoon we tentatively harvested olives from one tree by sawing off branches and ripping off the olives by hand into buckets. Needless to say the wastage was high. Once we had collected the olives into buckets we spread them out on our balcony and painstakingly removed all the leaves and twigs. This took hours. Heavy rain showers then washed the olives clean. The next step was to find out where to take the olives for pressing. I was not looking forward to the next part – separating out the leaves and twigs. We loaded the buckets of olives onto the trailer and took them next door to Carolina’s yard with its large flat drying area typical of the quintas in this area.
TIME: 10AM – 6PM
WHAT YOU NEED: A COMFORTABLE PAIR OF SHOES AND GLOVES
VINEYARD TOUR PORTUGAL: GRAPE PICKING AND WINE EXPERIENCE
The Douro Valley is by far one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world and a incredible destination for a romantic getaway. It’s not only where the two godly nectars of the North—Port and Douro wines—are produced, it’s the perfect embodiment of Portuguese ingenuity. The Douro is rightly considered a wonder of Nature, a testament to its contrasts and contours. On its journey, the rushing river has sculpted a meandering path of folded hills and valleys draped in terraced vineyards—a vertiginous vertical landscape of astounding beauty.
On this full day tour, you’ll not only savor traditional, homemade foods from this breathtaking region, but you’ll taste a wide range of Premium Douro wines from world-renowned producers. Familiar and personalized, this tour is perfect for anyone who appreciates spectacular gastronomy is a picturesque region.
DURATION: 5 DAYS
COST: €599 PER PERSON
PORTUGUESE FRUIT TRAIL: FRUIT PICKING TOUR IN PORTUGAL
Four days touring Northern Portugals vineyards heavy with juicy, ripe grapes. Seven days tasting a wide array of world class Portuguese wines under the warm golden rays of autumn. Seven days savoring mouthwatering cuisine crafted from fresh ingredients taken directly from the stunning landscape of Northern Portugal.
For one entire week, you’ll feel the grapes in the palm of your hand, smell the rocky soils beneath your feet, and hear the rush of the Douro River as you experience your first Portuguese Harvest. Do not miss this opportunity!
You’ll take in the panoramic views of the Douro Valley. Touch the moss covered trees of Vinho Verde. Meandor the hand-laid cobblestone streets of Porto. Savor the perfectly juicy suckling pig of the Bairrada. Bask in the wildflower and dolomite fields of the Alentejo and taste hundreds of exceptional Portuguese wines from across the entire North and Central regions.
TIME: 5 DAYS
COST: €499 PER PERSON