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Our Pre-Michelin Guide Spain and Portugal 2016 SuperChef Series by Gourmand Breaks – An insight into the world of some of the current Michelin star chefs in Spain and Portugal – is well underway. We previously showcased the current Michelin 2 star restaurants in Portugal (there are only 3): Belcanto, Ocean and Vila Joya.

There are currently no Michelin 3 star restaurants in Portugal so on now to the Michelin 1 star restaurants in Portugal.  There are just 11 Michelin 1 Star restaurants in Portugal (at the moment) and we’ve already showcased: The Yeatman, Casa da Calçada and Fortaleza do Guincho.

Now we’re heading to the capital and a German chef who is no stranger to the Michelin starred restaurant World :

Joachim Koerper

Joachim Koerper – has worked in the grand luxury hotels of Europe and renowned Michelin star restaurants, cooking for celebrities and politicians. In the 70’s he travelled southern Europe and became a master chef of Mediterranean cuisine. Since November 2004 he has been the Executive Chef and  partner of the restaurant Eleven in Lisbon.

Eleven (Lisboa) – set on Lisbon’s highest hilltop Eleven is an elegant restaurant combining discreet luxuriousness, an intimate ambience and a charming view over Lisbon, the River Tagus and the Serra da Arrábida. Eleven opened in 2004 and just one year after opening it was awarded with a Michelin star. Elaborate and visually pleasing cuisine of fresh and natural ingredients are emphasised with the use of many local products.  To be enjoyed on one of our Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours :-)

Eleven dish

Experience Portugal’s growing gastronomy and fantastic wine regions on a Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tour to include Portugal.  An ever-increasing destination choice with our guests Portugal can easily be combined with Spain  for a two-center vacation giving you the chance to indulge in the Best Michelin Starred Restaurants in Spain and Portugal.

It’s Michelin season once again and the Michelin Guide to Spain and Portugal 2016 is fast approaching !! We’ll keep you updated with the results of the NEW Michelin Starred Restaurants in Spain and Portugal Guide when announced on November 25th!

In the meantime, over the next few weeks we’ll be showcasing some of the Best Michelin starred Chefs in Spain and Portugal  with our own Pre-Michelin Guide Spain and Portugal 2016 SuperChef Series by Gourmand Breaks – An insight into the world of some of the current Michelin star chefs in Spain and Portugal!

This year we’re starting in Portugal where surprisingly there are no Michelin 3 star restaurants (yet!). First off, and in no particular order, a Portuguese chef who last year obtained his Second Michelin Star and is shooting for that 3rd Michelin star in 2016:

Belcanto - Lisboa

José Avillez –  is the first Portuguese chef to obtain the Michelin 2 Star Restaurant honor in Portugal. He currently has 5 restaurants in Lisbon – Belcanto, Cantinho do Avillez, Mini Bar, Café Lisboa and Pizzaria Lisboa,  1 restaurant in Oporto – Cantinho do Avillez, a take-away service called JA at Home and a wine range called JA Wines bearing his signature: JA Red, JA White and JA Rosé.

Belcanto, Lisbon  –  acclaimed the best restaurant in Portugal, is the flagship restaurant by the young talented chef José Avillez. It opened in 2011 in the Chiado district of Lisbon, Portugal. Within a year Belcanto was awarded its first Michelin star and in 2014 received its second for the 2015 Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal. Belcanto is the first restaurant in Lisbon to obtain this Michelin 2 Star restaurant distinction. Original modern Portuguese cuisine, inspired by El Bulli, great service in an elegant setting with beautifully presented food and a fantastic selection of Portuguese wines – this is Belcanto.  To be enjoyed on one of our Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours :)

Belcanto has also been elected one of the best 100 restaurants in the world by the prestigious Restaurant Magazine and currently stands at 91st place on  “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List”.

A dish by José Avillez at Belcanto © Vasco Célio

A dish by José Avillez at Belcanto © Vasco Célio

Experience Portugal’s growing gastronomy and fantastic wine regions on a Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tour to include Portugal.  An ever-increasing destination choice with our guests Portugal can easily be combined with Spain  for a two-center vacation giving you the chance to indulge in the Best Michelin Starred Restaurants in Spain and Portugal.

Are you passing through Lisbon on your Portuguese Vacation?  Do you have free time to explore on shore while your Cruise is docked for the day?  If so, we would be delighted to welcome you on a Private Gourmet and Historical Tour of the city with our Officially Licensed Guide.

Here’s what can you expect on a Gourmand Breaks Day Tour in Lisbon:

Your experienced, Officially Licensed guide, will be waiting at your hotel, or will meet you from your cruise ship, to take you on a Private Gourmet and Historical Tour of the city.  You will be introduced to the Portuguese culture, cuisine and its incredible mix of Mediterranean tradition and exotic influences from all corners of the World.  Get ready to see the sights and excite your taste-buds!

You will start with Lisbon’s great Cafés and Portugal’s strong café-culture. You will have the chance to take a look at delicious and exotic products, from dried, salted Bacalhau to sausages, hams and cheeses. Learn the history of Portugal’s famous fortified wine, Port, and then try some with the delicious Azeitao cheese.  Discover the local sweets and pastries and sample the famous custard tart, Pastéis de Belém.  Hear about the only tea produced in Europe that is grown in the Atlantic Island of Sao Miguel, in the Azores.  

Try some Portuguese Beer in the beautiful Rossio Central Station and finally make a visit to the Moorish St George’s Castle, renamed after the Moors were conquered in the late 14th century.

After taking in the impressive views over the sea, you will venture on down from the castle to the river, crossing the Alfama, Lisbon’s salty sailors’ quarter.   Its tangled street plan is one of the few aspects of Lisbon to survive the big quake, making the Alfama a cobbled playground of Old World color.  Urban-jungle roads are squeezed into a maze of confusing alleys, designed to frustrate invaders on their quest to get to the castle.  What was defensive then is atmospheric now.  Gnarled houses snuggle together in their romantic shabbiness; the air drips with laundry and the smell of clams and raw fish fill the air.You will pass by some interesting wine shops on your journey where arrangements have been made for you to taste not only the very special famous ports from Douro, but also Portuguese wines, such as Vinho Verde de Minho (the famous green wine of Minho).

Port Wine, Portugal

 

Our Gourmet and Historic Tour of Lisbon features in many of our Portuguese tours.  Join us in Lisbon as part of your Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tour of Portugal, as a combination with Spain or as a Luxury Shore Excursion. 

 

You may also like to read  “If Lisbon had a Sister ……”

Cruise ships are, today, bigger and better than before, so it’s no surprise that cruise vacations are more popular than ever!  Whether your cruise vacation in Europe is with MSC, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Crystal or Costa Cruises, the chances are you’ll be docking in Spain and/or Portugal!  Make the most of your free time in port with a Luxury Private Offshore Excursion!

Port of Barcelona

Whether you’re meeting your cruise ship in Lisbon and want to spend a few days, pre-cruise, before setting sail, in the Portuguese capital, or you’ve got 10 hours to kill in Cadiz, Malaga or Barcelona and want to stretch your sea legs on land, we’ve got a luxury private shore excursion for you!

Our excellent officially licensed guide and/or chauffeur will meet you off your Mediterranean cruise ship and take you on a private guided tour to discover the best of your European port destination.

Make the most of your limited time in port by visiting historical and cultural sites and immerse yourself in the local life with gourmet food and wine tastings.  Here’s a few ideas for some private luxury offshore excursions in Spain and Portugal:

Barcelona Port, no 4 worldwide, is Europe and the Mediterranean’s leading cruise port  with 2.6 million passengers embarking or disembarking in 2013.

In Barcelona, on your luxury private shore excursion, you can marvel at Gaudi’s inspiring architecture or feast on delicious tapas in a shaded pavement cafe; explore the city’s many churches and cathedrals or hit the shops for a shot of Catalan style. With our excellent officially licensed guide beat the queues to savor the wild and wonderful cathedral, Sagrada Família, Gaudi’s unfinished symphony, discover La Boqueria Market, explore the Gothic Quarter and indulge in Gourmet Tastings e-route before a delicious delicatessen lunch.

 

Malaga Port, on the Costa del Sol receives around 900,000 passengers who dock in or embark on cruises in Picasso’s city each year.

In Málaga, on your luxury private shore excursion, you can visit nearby Granada to see the world-famous Alhambra Palace, a masterpiece of Moorish art.  Learn about this fascinating city with our officially licensed guide who will take you through Grand Granada on a private tour.

 

Cadiz Port, gateway to the South of Spain, received a total of just over 370,000 passengers in 2013 on cruise liners and regular shipping lines (to/from the Canary Isles).

In Cadiz, on your luxury private shore excursion,  you can visit Seville,  a beautiful area with a wonderfully joyous atmosphere, where flamenco, bullfighting and fiesta are a way of life. Explore the old city to admire the Cathedral and Giralda Tower, the orange scented Barrio de Sant Cruz and do as the locals and enjoy a fun tapas hopping lunch.

 

Lisbon Port is the departure port for many European cruise itineraries, with over 250,000 cruise passengers passing through the Portuguese capital each year.

Lap up the Portuguese life in Lisbon, on your luxury private shore excursion,  with a great private tour of the history, sights, food and wine of Portugal’s capital city.  Hear of the terrible earthquake in 1755 that brought the city to its knees and how if Lisbon had a sister it would be San Francisco.  Visit the fantastic St Georges’ castle and the salty sefarers district of Alfama, indulge in Portuguese and try the famous Port Wine.

If you are planning a cruise in Europe around Spain and/or Portugal why not see if you can squeeze the most out of your day in dock  by joining us for your day shore excursion to Lisbon, Barcelona, Seville or Granada .  Our local officially licensed guides are true experts who, love to show off their cities and, promise to take you off the beaten track to see a different side of these enchanting cities.

Alternatively, if you have a few days free pre-cruise, before embarking on your cruise, or after desembarking, after your cruise, make the most of the city with a private short break such as our Lisbon Getaway Tour or our Barcelona Food and Wine Tour.

  • Lisbon is the Capital City of Portugal.
  • Lisbon is situated on the north bank of the estuary of the Tagus (Tejo) River.
  • The Country Dialing Code is 00 351 and Lisbon’s Area Code is 21.
  • The Moorish castle, now called São Jorge (St. George) was built in honor of the English alliance of 1386.
  • The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) long, making it the longest bridge in Europe.
  • The world record for the largest dining table was set when some 15,000 people were served lunch on the Vasco da Gama bridge as part of the inauguration celebrations. Construction began in 1995 and the bridge was opened to traffic in 1998, in time for Expo 98.
  • The Tagus is Iberia’s largest river and its estuary at Lisbon, which is up to 14km wide, is thought to be big enough to hold all the warships in the world.
  • Lisbon was struck by an immense earthquake (approx.  9.0 magnitude) on the 1st of November, 1755.  It was followed by a tsunami and fires that brought the city to rubble! The tremors were felt as far away as Scotland and Norway!
  • The Alfama area of Lisbon is the city’s oldest district and was the only area of Lisbon to survive, relatively unscathed, in the 1755 quake.
  • Fado (fate in Portuguese) is a music genre that originates in urban Lisbon. It’s a type of mournful and heart-touching folk music sung by the common people. The music genre was recently added to the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
  • Lisbon’s trams were originally called “americanos” and the first operational route was inaugurated on 17th November 1873.
  • Lisbon is also known as “the town of seven hills” which are comprised of the seven hills: Castelo, Graca, Monte, Penha de Franca, S.Pedro de Alcantara, Santa Catarina and Estrela.
  • ‘Sport Lisboa e Benfica’ or simply, Benfica, holds the Guinness World record, since 2006, for the most widely supported football club in the World.
  • The Santa Engrácia church is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the church that took the longest time to construct:  started in the 17th century, the last dome was completed  in 1966.

 

 More about Portugal: Some fascinating facts about Portugal

Visit Lisbon and Portugal on one of our private Portuguese Culture, Food and Wine Tours to see the wonderful historic treasures and fascinating culture of this country, taste port wine, local foods and much, much more!

If San Francisco had a sister, it would be Lisbon. Both cities have twin bridges and famously foggy weather. Both are situated on the best natural harbors on the west coast of their respective continents. Both have trolleys rattling up and down their steep hills past characteristic buildings. And both have survived horrific earthquakes. In 1755, an estimated 9.0 earthquake leveled two-thirds of Lisbon. Within a month, a new city was designed, and downtown Lisbon was rebuilt on a progressive grid plan, with broad boulevards, including the cosmopolitan Avenida da Liberdade, and square squares.

Today, Lisbon is a charming mix of old and new. Bird-stained statues mark grand plazas, taxis screech around cobbled corners and the hip and trendy hang out in Art Nouveau cafes. Just like it did during the days of Magellan and Vasco da Gama, the city continues to welcome ships into its large port. Even today, Lisbon still feels like Europe’s gateway to the world.

Get ready to excite your taste buds in Lisbon with Mediterranean tradition and exotic influences from all over the World. Enjoy Lisbon’s great Cafés and experience delicious and exotic products, from dried, salted Bacalhau to sausages, hams and cheeses. Learn the history of Portugal’s famous fortified wine, Port, and then try some with delicious Azeitao cheese. Taste the very special famous ports from the Douro valley and Portuguese wines, such as Vinho Verde de Minho (the famous green wine of Minho).

Visit the Moorish St George’s Castle and take in the impressive views over the sea. Venture on down from the castle to the river, crossing the Alfama, Lisbon’s salty sailors’ quarter. Its tangled street plan is one of the few aspects of Lisbon to survive the big quake, making the Alfama a cobbled playground of Old World color. Urban-jungle roads are squeezed into a maze of confusing alleys, designed to frustrate invaders on their quest to get to the castle. What was defensive then, is atmospheric now. Gnarled houses snuggle together in their romantic shabbiness; the air drips with laundry and the smell of clams and raw fish.

Take the chance to listen to some Fado, Portugal’s national music. In the picturesque Bairro Alto you will be able to dine at an authentic Portuguese Fado restaurant.

More about Portuguese Food 

Discover some of our customized food and wine tours to the most beautiful regions of Spain, Portugal and S.W France

Food, Wine & Cultural Tours of Spain, Portugal & S.W France

Our travel agency creates private and high-end wine, culinary and cultural tours in Europe. We understand that everyone’s idea of the perfect package is unique which is why we work with you to customize your unforgettable experience – with an emphasis on a personal touch.
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