Tour description

Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

This luxury wine tour of Portugal, Spain & France is ideal for the wine lover who wants to experience the best wine regions in the warm and scenic countries of south-western Europe. In 11 days visit an array of prestigious wineries in the wine regions of Porto, Douro Valley, Ribera de Duero, La Rioja and Bordeaux. This wine tour is chauffeur driven so that you can make the most of your fantastic winery visits and wine tastings! En route you will also have time to taste regional foods; with local lunches, fine dining options and a fun pintxos-hopping tour in the glamorous food capital of San Sebastian. Staying in 5* hand-selected hotels, relax in luxury and comfort, surrounded by beautiful vineyards. Discover the differences between regional grape varietals and perhaps decide upon a favourite (or three!) Discover the scenic beauty of the wine regions of Portugal, Spain & France on this delicious and relaxing tour.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

On arrival at Porto airport our chauffeur will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel, an elegant 5* wine hotel and spa, in Vila Nova de Gaia in the midst of the Port Wine Lodges. Port houses have aged their wines in Vila Nova de Gaia for over three centuries and today over fifty wine companies are based in its narrow, twisting streets. Here, the ageing and blending of most of the world’s supply of Port wine takes place beneath a sea of red roofs emblazoned with some of the most famous names in wine-making. Many of the oldest Port firms were founded by British merchant families and are owned by their successors to this day. Your hotel descends from a family who entered the Port trade in 1838, and were among the most distinguished and enterprising of the Port families. Their descendants maintain this tradition as owners of three of the most famous Port companies. A representative of Gourmand Breaks will meet you at your hotel for a welcome drink and together you will discuss your Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France itinerary. Apart from having available, prior to travel, your Online Personal Travel Webpage, you will be handed your printed Personal Travel Journals containing all your tour itinerary details and plenty of suggestions for restaurants and free time activities.

Relax for the rest of the day and enjoy the dramatic view across the River Douro from your balcony. You may like to use the luxury spa facilities of the hotel with its large indoor pool and hot tub or sit around the outdoor pool offering panoramic views of Porto. You may like to have dinner at your hotel tonight, but if not, we have many suggestions for delicious Portuguese restaurants for this evening.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured Porto airport transfer. Overnight in an elegant 5* wine hotel and spa in Porto.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

So begins the Portuguese wine portion of your tour today. You are booked for a guided visit to one of the oldest Port houses; established over three centuries ago in 1692! For many, it is the archetypal Port house and its wines the quintessential Ports. It is dedicated entirely to the production of Port wine and in particular to its finest styles. The history of the firm is in many ways the history of the Port trade itself. Since its foundation the company has remained independent. Now, well into its fourth century, it has thrived and prospered, establishing itself as one of the world’s most respected historic wine houses. You will enjoy a private guided tour of the Wine Lodge concluded with a delightful tasting of some of their best ports.

You will then head to the Gaia riverfront, the meeting point for traders and fishermen since medieval times; it was here they crossed the river to sell the products from the Upper Douro. Your next visit will be to another fantastic Port Wine Lodge that combines tradition and modernity. The building dates back to the 18th century and was restored in 1881 with the expansion of the Port wine trade. After your tour of the premises, you will discover some of their best Ports followed by a delicious lunch accompanied by river views. After lunch, why not take a stroll over the Dom Luis Bridge, an unmistakable icon of Porto, to the Ribeira district or to discover more of the old town? We have many suggestions for further sightseeing for this afternoon, or alternatively, you may wish to return to your hotel and enjoy relaxing in the pool and spa.

Tour in a nutshell: Tours & tastings at 2 prestigious Port wine lodges. Lunch with wines. Overnight Porto.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

This morning our private chauffeur will be waiting to transfer you to the beautiful Portuguese Douro Valley. First, you will be making a wonderful visit to a very special and world famous winery. Sitting in a privileged location in the Douro demarcated region, this quinta is famous for its sophisticated wines as well as for the dramatic views. This single vineyard property dates as far back as the early seventeenth century, long before the Douro became the world’s first demarcated wine region in 1756. At the winery you will have a full private visit of the vineyards (with exceptional views of the River Douro) and cellars, followed by a tasting of their wines and ports. You will also lunch here, your meal accompanied by the quinta’s top wines from the aperitif through to dessert.

After lunch your chauffeur will take you to another great quinta in the fantastic Douro Valley where you will enjoy a private visit to another of our favourite wineries. This family run winery has a small production (for Douro standards), but offers great wines and even better views. A relatively young winery, its first harvest took place in 2007. After the private tour you will enjoy a tasting of their great wines. Finally, you will arrive at Pinhao in the heart of the Douro Valley, considered one the most spectacular wine regions of the world. You will check into your hotel, a charming 5-star property which was once a Port winery, with a privileged location overlooking the Douro river. Why not relax on the terrace and sip a glass of port as you look out over the river?

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Guided visits to two prestigious wineries with tastings of their finest wines and lunch at one. Overnight in a charming 5-star riverside hotel in the Douro Valley.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

Your Wine Lovers Tour continues this morning to a prestigious Douro Valley winery, situated close to your hotel, just 15 minutes walk along the river. You will have a guided tour of the winery and cellars where they age their wines and ports. Most port houses make their port in the Douro but store and bottle it in Vila Nova da Gaia, in Porto. With 55 hectares of land planted to vines, they produce approximately 85,000 litres of Port and 200,000 litres of wine every year. They are fortunate in having a great diversity of vineyards which not only run along the banks of the River Douro, but also climb up to 400 metres above sea level. You will see the whole port and wine making process from the vineyard to the final bottle and be able to see both wine and port making processes side by side. Your visit here will conclude with a tasting of 3 of their DOC wines and 3 Ports. After your visit and tasting you will be served lunch, an authentic 3 course meal, accompanied with wines/ports and, weather permitting, served on the terrace overlooking the river.

After lunch you will return to Pinhao, where you are booked on an afternoon small group Rabelo boat cruise along the Douro River. On your cruise up the river you can really absorb the beauty of the area, and imagine how Port wine was once carried downriver from Douro to the lodges in Porto. We can OPTIONALLY arrange for you to have a privately skippered cruise. Sip white port whilst taking in the views of the vineyards and colonial style Quintas. On your return, why not take a walk beside the Douro River or visit the iconic train station, just behind your hotel?

Tour in a nutshell: Guided winery tour with wine tasting followed by a delicious lunch with wines. Rabelo boat cruise on the Douro River. Overnight Douro Valley.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

Today, after a relaxing breakfast, your Wine Lovers Tour crosses the border from Portugal into Spain! Our chauffeur will transfer you to the Ribera del Duero wine region, renowned for its prestigious wineries and beautifully full-bodied Tempranillos. On arrival, you will check into a very special winery and hotel, set like a jewel among the string of exclusive wine estates found along the Duero river. If the heart of the estate is the winery, its soul is the ancient 12th-century abbey, a beloved and carefully restored Spanish cultural heritage site. The hotel that has now emerged from within the cloistered Romanesque-Baroque abbey walls is a refined 5-star setting where guests will enjoy privacy of the privileged, the lap of luxury and the heart of the history.

Take some time to settle into this wonderful hotel where later you will have a full private visit to their lovely winery. Located at the heart of the Spanish winegrowing Golden Mile, this winery owns over 200 hectares of vineyard and is one of Spain’s most modern wineries. After your unforgettable visit, you will have a pleasure to enjoy a full tasting of their best wines. The rest of your day is free to explore your luxury hotel, the monastery and surrounding grounds. The exquisite hotel spa is a true gem, worth spending a whole afternoon. A reservation can be made for you in the hotel’s superb restaurant for this evening.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer. Private guided tour of your hotel prestigious winery with sampling of their wines to follow. Overnight in a refined 5* winery hotel in Ribera del Duero wine country.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

Your next wine region to explore is beautiful La Rioja, but before moving on, you will be visiting another famous winery of Ribera del Duero, one that has links to three generations of winemakers and is family owned with an impressive range of wines. Currently, they have 200 hectares of their own vineyards, planted and grafted with the excellent clone recovered from their oldest hundred year old vines. After a wonderful winery tour and exclusive wine tastings you will stop for lunch. Authentic local dishes await you at a 16th Century mill restaurant, famous for “asados” (roasts) and local fresh produce; hearty food which blends perfectly with the local grape varieties.

After lunch you will continue your journey and on arrival to La Rioja wine country you will check in to your exceptional luxury 5* Hotel, a magnificent building designed by Frank Gehry. Like the Guggenheim Museum, in Bilbao, the building designed by Gehry is covered with titanium. In this case, however, the architect wanted to infuse his work with the signature colors of the wine producing owners: pink like the wine, gold like the mesh on the bottles and silver like the bottle top. Relax for the rest of the day and perhaps you may wish to use the spa facilities prior to dinner either at a local restaurant or indeed, at your fantastic 5* hotel.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Ribera del Duero winery visit and exclusive wine tastings. Overnight in a 5* wine & spa hotel in La Rioja.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

Your Wine Lovers Tour starts in the birthplace of La Rioja wine. Your first winery tour is of a famous and unique, family run winery (NB: **this winery will not confirm a private visit and there is, therefore, a small possibility that there could be other people in your visit group). Proud of being old-fashioned, they still construct their own barrels on site and do not expect to see modern sophisticated machinery there, it is all done traditionally – and the wines are truly outstanding. If there is one bodega experienced in producing white wine, it is here, where they age white wines in oak for as long as they do reds. You’ll have an excellent tour of the facilities finalised with a tasting of their main wines.

Continuing, you will make a “contrast” tour of a nearby modern style Bodega, founded some 20 years ago by a lovely Catalan couple. Well aware of the significant number of excellent traditional wineries in la Rioja, their objective was to create superb, high expression red wines in a modern style. The owners of the winery also produce incredibly high quality extra virgin olive oils in the Emporda region and in Mallorca, which you will also have an opportunity to sample. After this fantastic morning of sampling the best Riojas, our chauffeur will take you to a nearby scenic village. Here you will enjoy a relaxing Riojan country fare lunch, accompanied by more wines from the region, of course. On the way back to your hotel, our chauffeur will detour at a couple of other prestigious wineries, where you will be able to taste further Rioja styles, to round off this truly memorable and complete wine lovers day in Spain!

Tour in a nutshell: Guided visits to 2 prestigious wineries with sampling of their wines. Wine tastings at other prestigious wineries. Overnight in La Rioja wine country.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

This morning you will be visiting your hotel’s winery, founded in 1860 and one of the first in the region to use French wine-making techniques. Marques de Riscal was the pioneer of La Rioja wines, as he revolutionized the existing wine culture by importing French technology and a vision defined by Bordeaux. After a tour of the vineyard and cellar with the house oenologist, you will have a tasting of some of the vineyard’s best wines and be able to appreciate yourselves how the Bordeaux roots, together with respect to the local grapes, result in excellent reds, like for example Marques de Riscal, Rioja Baron de Chirel 2005, a silky coupage Tempranillo with 15% Cabernet.

Next on the agenda is San Sebastian, where on arrival you will check in to your historic luxury 5* hotel, located right in the center of town on the bank of the Urumea river. This early evening your officially licensed guide will meet you at your hotel and together you will experience a private food, wine & cultural tour of San Sebastian. Your guide will show you the most interesting parts of the city where you will be privileged not only to go to the best bars, frequented by local foodies, but also to sample the specialties of each place, accompanied by the best Txakoli wine. Although tapas were invented in Andalucia they became perfected in San Sebastian and here are known as pinchos (written in Basque as pintxos). Each bar is bursting with so many different and creative pinchos that Spanish tradition suggests having one or two tapas and a wine in one bar and moving on to the next!

Tour in a nutshell: La Rioja winery visit and tastings. Chauffeured transportation. San Sebastian private guided tour with tapas hopping. Overnight in an historic 5* luxury hotel in San Sebastian.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

Your Wine Lovers Tour journeys today into France, to one of its most eminent wine regions; Bordeaux. Bordeaux has 57 appellations, around 7,000 wine-producing chateaux and 13,000 wine growers! About 75 to 80 percent of Bordeaux’s wines are red, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which give vigor, tannin and excellent cellaring qualities, and Merlot which brings a softness and suppleness. White wines are produced mostly from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and sometimes also Muscatel. Your first winery is located in the beautiful little village of Bages. Purchased by the late Jean-Charles Cazes, the chateau is currently under the watch of his grandson and great-grandson. They have retained a number of the older oak fermentation vats used between the early 1900’s and 1975. You will have a full tour of the facilities followed by a sampling of their best wines.

Stop for a typical French lunch on our recommendation this afternoon, before heading to a chateau that produces Grand Cru wines. You will visit the ancient cellars and production facilities prior to having a wine tasting. Their efforts range from increasingly organic vineyard management and slow natural fermentation of the grapes to ageing the wine in superb underground cellars. You will then head to your chateau hotel nestled in the rural landscape among vineyards. It is a relaxing haven of peace in a gorgeous setting, in the winery grounds, the building is like a palace! We will, of course, provide you with our restaurant recommendations in your Wine Lovers Tour personal travel website.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Guided tour to 2 prestigious Bordeaux wineries. Overnight in a romantic chateau hotel in the Bordeaux wine region of France.



Another French winery to see today is your hotel’s very own, and one of the oldest wine estates in Bordeaux having harvested its 700th vintage in 2006! The Chateau has a fascinating past and takes its name from the first French Pope, known as the Avignon Pope, who was presented with the estate in the 1300s. The vineyards cover 80 acres, producing marvelous concentrated and full-bodied reds. The whites have undertones of honey, apricots and melons with a refreshing vibrancy. At the end of your private VIP tour you will enjoy a very special tasting with the winery sommelier who will introduce you to their great wines. After this amazing experience you will surely agree that the wine industry has a lot for which to thank the Avignon Popes!

Afterwards you are free to do as you choose. Maybe you would like to take a taxi to visit the town of Bordeaux itself. Bordeaux is both a city and a large region in southwest France bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The sweeping Garonne River divides the city into the left and right banks. The panoramic view of Bordeaux from the river is breathtaking and elegant. Enjoying the climate of Northern California, this UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 350 classified historic buildings is also part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela and centre to the world’s most spectacular wines and food. Begin with a stroll through the Place de la Comedie, which sits atop the ancient Roman forum. Admire the beautiful Grand Theatre, built in the late 1700s and now a venue for opera and events. Over the next few hours, take in all the sights including the striking Place de la Bourse, the impressive Grosse Cloche, and the ethereal 11th century Cathedrale Saint-Andre.

Tour in a nutshell: Private guided visit to your hotel’s prestigious winery with a sampling of their best wines. Overnight Bordeaux.


Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

This is the last day of your Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France! After checking out of your hotel, our chauffeur will be waiting to transfer you to Bordeaux airport for your onward journey.

We do hope you will join us for this very exciting tour, to discover some of the best wine regions in Portugal, Spain and France, as well as eating delicious regional food and experiencing local culture. No doubt it will be an incredible experience!

Tour in a nutshell: Private chauffeured transfer to Bordeaux airport.

Tour quotation

Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France Quote Request

We are excited that you are considering joining us on one of our fabulous custom-built tours of Spain, Portugal, SW France and/or Italy! Please fill in the form below and we will happily provide you with a non-committal initial quote for the sample tour itinerary chosen.

In case you would prefer us to build a personal tour proposal for you from scratch, please e-mail us at [email protected] and we will be delighted to start working with you on your personal and very special travel itinerary with us.

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Wine Lovers Tour of Portugal, Spain & France

Tour in a Nutshell

Fine wineries: Porto, Douro Valley, Ribera del Duero, Rioja & Bordeaux

Authentic local food experiences & top wine tastings

Gourmet tour in San Sebastian & a Douro Valley river cruise

Relax in comfort on this chauffeured tour

11 days/10 nights, luxury 5* hand selected hotels

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