This luxurious gay journey ventures through one of Europe’s oldest and westernmost nations with a focus on food and wine. We’ll spend time with locals that range from an esteemed Countess to hard-working fishwives. We get to know LGBT-welcoming Lisbon over several days on a private tram ride, by speedboat, and in a famous food market. If you’re up for a challenge, and want to see more of Portugal, you can even start your visit with our Azores Islands Adventure (it ends the day this tour begins).
DEPARTURES & PRICES:
• Sip the country's famous wines and ports in the Douro Valley
• Try your hand, er, feet at grape stomping
• Learn to cook Portuguese cuisine with ‘The Countess’
• Taste local life with the fishwives of Nazaré
• Stroll Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Experience a speedboat tour of Lisbon's coast
• Enjoy a private tram ride – with pastries – through historic Lisbon
• Attend Queer Lisboa – the city’s beloved film festival
Olá, and welcome to Porto! Look for your Out Adventures rep after collecting your luggage at the airport, then transfer to the hotel. All we’ve planned today is our Group Meeting at 4pm, followed by a Welcome Dinner at DOP. Run by the awarded Chef Rui Paula and located in the historic city centre, the restaurant focuses on classic Portuguese cuisine.
Delve into Portugal’s second largest city. We’ll visit Cais da Ribeira (a riverside promenade), monuments like the 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, and St Francis Church. This afternoon, challenge yourself to climb Porto’s iconic bridge: the Ponte da Arrábida. When it opened in 1963, it had the longest concrete arch bridge span in the world. Today, the climb makes it a top attraction. You’ll be kitted out with proper gear, strapped to a safety line, and make your way up to admire the Douro River views. There are no plans tonight, though we’ll arrange an optional group dinner.
Off to wine country! Located 97km/60mi from Porto, Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to about 600,000 acres of vineyards that produce equal volumes of wine and port. We’ll visit a family-run winery, peruse the property, and – depending on the harvest – possibly roll up our pant legs and stomp some grapes in an authentic lagar. This afternoon, unwind with a refreshing Port Tonic as we cruise aboard a traditional ‘rabelo’ boat. Our day ends with check-in at our hotel, and we have no evening plans aside from an optional group dinner.
Get ready to cook with ‘The Countess’ at her estate. Savour stories of her family’s rich history. Try working with ancient cookware on wood-burning stoves. After the lesson, lunch will be served in one of the dining rooms or al fresco on the patio. This afternoon we’ll visit a winery for a 2-hour hike with excellent valley views, then hit Pinhão port to admire the train station’s glazed tilework. Enjoy the night on your own, or join an optional dinner.
Bid the valley farewell – we’re off to the fishing village of Nazaré. Meet ‘fishwives’ in the market, learn to prepare the fish, then take it to the beach to dry in the sun. After a fresh seafood lunch in a village restaurant, Lisbon awaits – our home base for the second half of the tour. Join an optional dinner, or find yourself some traditional Portuguese chicken to feast on.
A walking tour introduces us to Lisbon through sights, sounds, food and wine. Visit historic districts (Mouraria, Graça, Old Town, Alfama and Campo de Ourique), popular tourist spots, and lesser known places loved by locals. Then admire the coastline from an epic speedboat ride In the afternoon. Look out for São Jorge Castle, the Alfama, the Christ the King statue, 25th of April Bridge, and Lisbon Cathedral. Enjoy dinner on your own or with our optional group.
The resort town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its Romantic monuments. Visit a former Royal residence, stroll the narrow streets, and shop for handicrafts. Sintra is also famous for Marzipan, so track down some of this almond-based delicacy. Back in Lisbon, enjoy a private ride aboard an iconic yellow city tram. We’ll devour Pasteis de Nata – Portugal’s flagship custard tarts – with a glass of port as we ride the rails. A traditional dinner ends the day.
Today we visit the Time Out Market, one of Europe’s largest food markets. Everything has been chosen, tasted and tested by an independent panel of experts (Time Out’s own esteemed journalists and critics). Nothing sold rates less than 4/5 stars, making it one-stop shopping for the best food in Lisbon, and a perfect place to stop for lunch. Then freshen up for Queer Lisboa, the city’s renowned film festival. We don’t know what films we’ll see (stay tuned), but this is Lisbon’s oldest film festival. It’s internationally recognized for quality programming and activities, along with high profile guests.
Today we explore Arrabida Natural Park, its beaches, hills and views. The tour begins in Azeitão village, where delicious pastries and traditional atmosphere await, before we embark on a three-hour hike. We’ll stop at Portinho da Arrábida beach for lunch, then head back to Lisbon. Enjoy some downtime this afternoon, or pick up some last-minute souvenirs, before our Farewell Dinner at Restaurant Tagide. It serves local dishes with international flare.
As the last day of our tour, there is nothing planned. Please confirm departure transfers with your trip leader, and safe travels home.
• Arrival & departure transfers to/from Out Adventures’ joining/finishing point hotel
• Breakfast daily, and other meals mentioned in itinerary (lunches and dinners include wine, beer, or soft drinks)
• Private VIP transport with bottled water onboard
• Expert local English-speaking guides
• Hotel porterage
• Gratuities to guides and drivers
• Queer Lisboa Film Festival tickets
• International airfare
• Other activities, meals and extra costs at hotels not mentioned
• Travel insurance is mandatory for all travellers. Visit www.outadventures.com/insurance for more details.
• Incidental gratuities (more info will come in trip documents)
• Items of a personal nature
• Visa fees
Out Adventures is all about good times with likeminded guys. Whatever's on the itinerary - from fireside camping to five-star decadence - our goal is to make the experience magical. We're also committed to supporting the communities we visit by hiring local guides, staying at locally-owned accommodations when possible, and celebrating local cuisine. It all adds up to a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.
VISA: If your passport is from the USA, Canada, Britain, or Australia, you don't need a visa. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the traveller's responsibility. For more info, click here.
CULTURE SHOCK: Portugal is a highly-developed Western nation - one of Europe's oldest, in fact. Crime rates are low and the nation is generally safe, but beware of pickpockets and petty theft anywhere that's popular with tourists. It's best to leave valuables at home or in your hotel room.
LOCAL LGBT SCENE: Portugal offers some of the best LGBT rights in the world. It was the eighth country to legalize same-sex marriage, same-sex couples can adopt children, and the nation offers straightforward reassignment surgery and name-change procedures for transgender people.
Lisbon and Porto have thriving gay scenes with annual pride parades. Lisbon's nightlife centres around the Bairro Alto (Upper District), and the capital is home to one of Europe's biggest queer film festivals. You can also find bars, clubs and beaches in smaller towns.
WEATHER: Portugal is one of Europe's warmer countries, so temperatures, crowds, and hotel prices can be unbearable in the summer. That makes spring or fall (April/May and September/October) a splendid time to visit.
REQUIRED VACCINATIONS: The WHO suggests immunization against Hepatitis A and B, rabies, and influenza before visiting Portugal. If visiting the Azores or Madeira Islands from a country infected with Yellow Fever, a vaccination certificate is required. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult with your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as we cannot provide vaccination recommendations.
ELECTRICITY: F-type sockets. Visit https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/portugal for more info.
CONNECTIVITY: All of our hotels will have Wi-Fi access. Feel free to check email and post away on social media.
Our Welcome Dinner, Farewell Dinner, and breakfast daily and a few lunches are included on this tour.
Dinners: 3 course meal - with ½ bottle of wine, 2 glasses of beer or soft drinks, mineral water, tea/coffee
Lunch: 2 course meal - with 1 glass wine, 1 glasses of beer or soft drinks, mineral water, tea/coffee
Hotel Teatro Porto
R. de Sá da Bandeira 84
Standard check-in time is between 2PM and 3PM. We are unable to arrange early check ins, however you are able to store your luggage and explore the central area near the hotel while you wait. If you would like a guaranteed early check-in, you will need to reserve a pre-tour night of accommodation.
Brown's Central Hotel
Rua da Assunção nº75
If you are happy with services throughout your trip, a tip is recommended. Tipping details will be provided in your final trip documentation, however we recommend budgeting approximately $150-$200 USD.
The local currency is the European Euro (EUR). Use local currency for small purchases, however credit cards are accepted at most upscale restaurants and hotels.
NOTE: We recommend carrying approximately $400 USD to be used in case of an emergency, or if your credit/ATM cards are placed on hold. This should be in addition to any spending money.
Most Out Adventures entail carrying your own luggage on occasion. And while you'll never schlep far, things can quickly get costlier than a celebrity breakup if you don't keep your baggage under 20kg/44lb thanks to costly surcharges on domestic flights. You should also bring something smaller for day trips to carry water, your camera, and any souvenirs you find along the way.
The following packing list is a guideline, not gospel. Our Out Adventure Specialists are happy to answer any specific questions about how much or little to bring.
- Passport/Visas/Flight Itineraries/Travel Insurance
- Pre-trip packet
- Credit/ATM card
General Personal Items:
- Eye mask/ear plugs
- Smartphone/camera/tablet/charging cords/International travel plug.
- Luggage lock
- Personal Wipes
- Guidebook/Phrase book/Reading material
- Protection for your devices from water
- Travel-size towel
- Walking shoes
- 'Nice' shoes for dinners
- 'Nice' pants for dinners
- Short-sleeved shirts
- Long-sleeved shirts
- 'Nice' shirts for dinners
- Light jacket for cool evenings
- Waterproof jacket/poncho
- Small Umbrella
- Refillable water bottle(s)
- Small First aid kit including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, zinc oxide tape and small scissors, blister pads, diarrhea tablets, dioralyte rehydration packs
- Personal Medication
- High protection sunscreen/lip balm
- Insect repellent/bite cream/antihistamine
- Antibacterial gel/wipes
- Toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste & deodorant
We love when groups of friends join us on an OUT Adventure, whether you're celebrating a major milestone, or you just love to travel together. However, since we have travellers that will be flying solo, or as a couple, we would love your help ensuring everybody feels welcome and has an epic time. Here are some ways you can give us a hand, while also getting to know and befriending your fellow travellers:
Sit with (and get to know) different people at different meals
Mix up walking partners on excursions
Invite solo travellers to join you for an optional excursion or meal
Enjoy inside jokes in privacy, or let the group in on the secret ;)
If you'd rather relish an exclusive escape with just your own party, we also offer private departures. This is a great way to create and manage your own holiday guest list, while possibly saving money as well. Please contact one of our Adventure Specialists if you're interested in a customized quote.
For everybody's peace of mind, medical travel insurance is required on all Out Adventures tours. At a minimum, your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, with a minimum medical coverage of US $50,000.
For more details, visit www.outadventures.com/insurance.
All Out Adventures guests must have a good level of health. All tours, regardless of activity level, involve uneven steps, stairs, walking tours, and you will be required to carry your own luggage from time to time. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate individuals with limited mobility unless they are willing to absorb the cost of a private guide/assistant which varies by country and is only possible on a case by case basis. It is also your responsibility to advise Out Adventures of any pre-existing medical conditions that may increase the risk of you requiring medical attention, or that may affect the normal conduct of the tour and the enjoyment of the tour by other participants.
Below is a breakdown of our Physical Rating guide.
1 - Relaxing
- Very little or no hiking
- Light activities such as walking, bike tours, paddling or swimming are completely optional
- Low altitude
- Suitable for all fitness levels
2 - Light
- Light walking and hiking (2 hours or less per day and at low altitude)
- Light activities such as bike tours, paddling or swimming are completely optional
- Suitable for most fitness levels
3 - Average
- Light walking and hiking (3 hours or less per day, rarely at high altitude)
- Some activities such as biking, paddling or swimming. Active days are mixed with relaxed days
- Suitable for an average fitness level
4 - Demanding
- Walking, hiking is a component of the tour (can range from 2 hours to 6 hours per day, at various altitudes)
- Activities such as biking, paddling or swimming may be mixed in
- Suitable for a good fitness level
5 - Challenging
- Walking, hiking, biking, paddling or kayaking are the vast majority of the trip (can range from 2 hours to 8 hours per day, generally at high altitude)
- Activities will likely happen day after day with limited rest days
- Suitable for above average fitness level