From the weathered charm of historic Porto, to the cascading terraced vineyard landscapes of the Alto Douro, to the stoic legacy of medieval Guimarães – all three UNESCO World Heritage sites – Northern Portugal is a land of color, contrasts and deep-rooted traditions.

And while fine wine, world class architecture and a bevy of UNESCO world heritage sites are reason enough to dive headlong into this remarkable region, it is the fascinating personality beneath the surface which transforms the traveler fortunate enough to experience it. We’ll uncork Portugal’s magnetic personality through visits with artisan bakers and wine makers and through its weekly craft markets and artist workshops.

Many magic moments of our trip take place breaking bread with local hosts and friends. We balance out these many delicious meals with invigorating walks through trellised vineyards, through Porto’s charming urban core and along the Minho’s coastal roads.

This cultural and culinary expedition along Portugal’s backroads takes us into the heart and homes of its Northern provinces. This is the hidden world of Portugal we’re eager to share with you, our faithful family of fellow Xplorers.


Porto Behind the Tiles

Heavenly Hike in the Douro

Visit the talented winemaker of a boutique quinta
 which has been in the same family’s hands since the end of the 19th Century. Savor some of the finest port in the Douro Valley over a private lunch in the tasting room.

Visit a salt-of-the-earth baker who crafts unbelievably dense, moist & crusty bread in her turn-of-the-century wood-burning oven. Take a heavenly hike through marvelously terraced vineyards overlooking the Douro River far below. During the late September harvest season, pick grapes and share in the festive music and harvest meals of this special time of camaraderie.

Join a few of the entrepreneurs behind several re-purposed historic buildings in Porto for a local’s glimpse into the renaissance taking shape behind formerly forlorn façades. Swap stories and cultural perspectives over a home-hosted cocktail. Share lunch with a multilingual descendent of a noble family whose ancestral estate near Guimarães has been in the same family for 32 generations.


We’ll chat about your vision, goals, budget and style, then we’ll get to work planning your next dream adventure.

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