Delectable Portugal in Historic Évora

The Alentejo Region stretches from the Tagus River at Lisbon south to the Algarve. Its terracotta earth is covered in wheat fields and bordered by rows of olive trees marching up and down the rolling hills like Roman centurions. Dotting the hillsides, white washed villages and towns appear, crowned by castles. The ancients left their megaliths, the Romans their aqueducts, the Portuguese a wealth of architecture from Gothic to Baroque. Some of the ancient arts and crafts are still practiced in this region today.In the Alentejo, the cooking and wine-making reflect the region’s rich culinary traditions. In the spring, the Alentejo is carpeted in wildflowers. In the summer, wheat, oats, and sunflowers blanket the fields, and in the autumn, the air is filled with the smell of grapes and olives ripening. This stunning area covers a third of Portugal, but yet is home to only seven percent of the country’s population. And in the heart of this unspoiled countryside is the charming capital town of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The elegant town is considered a museum city, shaped as it is by more than 20 centuries of history. It was once the residence of Portuguese kings in the 15th century, the beginning of the town’s golden age


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Bill & Cindy
Michigan
When we arrived Lisbon we had a day to acclimate before beginning our activities. On Day 2 we went on a private tour to Sintra and Cascais. Our tour guide Elsa was very knowledgeable and personable. She did an outstanding job! On Day 3 we were shuttled to Evora to begin our 6 day cooking class. We were introduced to Sofia and had an excellent lunch while she explained the itinerary to us. Throughout the next 6 days she was our chef teaching us Portuguese cooking as well as our tour guide through numerous adventures. Sofia and here assistants Maria and Genevieve were a joy to work and play with. Sofia was an outstanding chef and a very knowledgable tour guide. She made us feel very welcome and almost like family. At the end of the cooking class we then traveled to Barcelona for 4 more days of fun and adventure. We had an excellent tour guide for the first day of our stay to get the lay of the land and then spent the rest of the time concentrating on the places and things we wanted to see more of.

Trip Details

Your 5 cooking classes will be at the cooking atelier of the lovely Sofia, your guide and instructor. Portuguese cuisine is simple, characterized by a rich variety of regional dishes. Gathering herbs and produce from the local markets and pairing them with timeless recipes, cooks of all levels can roll up their sleeves in the kitchen and prepare a variety of succulent Mediterranean dishes influenced by this historic region. Olive oil, garlic, cilantro, parsley, onions, bayleaf, paprika, pepper, rosemary, leek, spinach, lamb, pork, codfish, seabass and dogfish are some of our main ingredients. Your classes will focus on Portuguese home cooking and will include:

  • An introduction to Portuguese seasonings and traditions
  • Fish and olive oil in Portuguese cuisine
  • Local produce from the Alentejo
  • Aromatic herbs in Portuguese cooking


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Itinerary

Depending on the season and dates booked, order of activities is subject to change.

Day One

A street in Evora, Portugal

  • Pickup from Lisbon hotel or airport and depart for the small town of Evora, where your home for the week is located. This small town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of Roman vestiges, as well as medieval churches and palaces. Every street in Evora’s center retains a historic charm.
  • Lunch in a local traditional restaurant.
  • In the afternoon, experience your first cooking class in Sofia’s renovated but traditional kitchen, which is located in a 19th century family house that has a beautiful courtyard with orange and lemon trees. The class will be an introduction to Portuguese gastronomy, and a study in influences and seasonings.
  • Dinner to follow based on your efforts.
  • Overnight.

A view of the Portuguese countryside


Day Two

  • After breakfast, begin your second cooking class. During your lesson you will focus on the importance of fish and olive oil in Portuguese cuisine.
  • Today’s lunch is based on your culinary efforts!
  • This afternoon enjoy a visit to a local wine estate, blending ancient and modern winemaking techniques. The grapes of this wine region include Periquita, Trincadeira, Tinta Roriz and Moreto reds and Roupeiro, Manteudo, Perrum, Rabo de Ovelha for the whites – all Portuguese varieties, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
  • Stop in the nearby village of S. Pedro do Corval, a popular local pottery place full of small factories.
  • Tonight, dine under the shadow of the 13th century castle built by King Afonso III in the thousand-year-old village of Monsaraz.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight.

Cooking class in Evora, Portugal


Day Three

  • Breakfast.
  • Today’s culinary class will concentrate on local produce, an abundance from local farms and ranches.
  • This afternoon, tour Évora and visit the famous cathedral, Chapel of Bones from the 16th century, and the Roman Baths and Temple from the 1st century.
  • After a walking tour, time at leisure to explore and shop on your own. The town is rich in jewelry, items made from cork (hats, shoes, aprons, purses, bracelets, etc.), tiles, and much more.
  • Dinner on your own (Sofia will make suggestions).
  • Return to the hotel on your own and overnight.

Bread soup in Portugal


Day Four

  • Cooks, this is your day off! Today you will drive into the northern Alentejo and before lunch at Vila Viçosa, visit its Renaissance Ducal Palace and the historical Sancturay of Vila Vicosa, where John IV, King of Portugal, gave his crown to the Virgin Mary and named her Queen of Portugal.
  • Passing through part of Alentejo known for its marble, stop in the historical and white town of Estremoz, enclosed within its ramparts and overlooking a vast plain of gnarled olive trees and wheat fields. You will also stop at a cork factory.
  • Once back in Evora, time for dinner on your own and overnight.

Cooking class in Evora


Day Five

  • Breakfast followed by your fourth cooking class.
  • This region is known for its aromatic herbs and wild flowers. This morning you will use them in dishes that the locals have passed on through generations. Lunch to follow.
  • Enjoy an afternoon excursion to several traditional villages, and visit the fabulous pre-historical megalithic “cromeleque dos almendres” from 4000 BC.
  • This evening, sit down to a farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant. (The farewell dinner is tonight as some choose to leave very early on Sunday).
  • Overnight.

Cooking class in Evora


Day Six

  • Breakfast.
  • Your last class focuses on the flavors of the South.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Enjoy a siesta and a free afternoon to stroll, or go shopping one last time.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Portuguese pastry


Day Seven

  • After breakfast, departure transfer to Lisbon (center or airport).

Depending on the season and dates booked, order of activities is subject to change.

Day One

A street in Evora, Portugal

  • Pickup from Lisbon hotel or airport and depart for the small town of Evora, where your home for the week is located. This small town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of Roman vestiges, as well as medieval churches and palaces. Every street in Evora’s center retains a historic charm.
  • Lunch in a local traditional restaurant.
  • In the afternoon, experience your first cooking class in Sofia’s renovated but traditional kitchen, which is located in a 19th century family house that has a beautiful courtyard with orange and lemon trees. The class will be an introduction to Portuguese gastronomy, and a study in influences and seasonings.
  • Dinner to follow based on your efforts.
  • Overnight.

A view of the Portuguese countryside


Day Two

  • After breakfast, begin your second cooking class. During your lesson you will focus on the importance of fish and olive oil in Portuguese cuisine.
  • Today’s lunch is based on your culinary efforts!
  • This afternoon enjoy a visit to a local wine estate, blending ancient and modern winemaking techniques. The grapes of this wine region include Periquita, Trincadeira, Tinta Roriz and Moreto reds and Roupeiro, Manteudo, Perrum, Rabo de Ovelha for the whites – all Portuguese varieties, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
  • Stop in the nearby village of S. Pedro do Corval, a popular local pottery place full of small factories.
  • Tonight, dine under the shadow of the 13th century castle built by King Afonso III in the thousand-year-old village of Monsaraz.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight.

Cooking class in Evora, Portugal


Day Three

  • Breakfast.
  • Today’s culinary class will concentrate on local produce, an abundance from local farms and ranches.
  • This afternoon, tour Évora and visit the famous cathedral, Chapel of Bones from the 16th century, and the Roman Baths and Temple from the 1st century.
  • After a walking tour, time at leisure to explore and shop on your own. The town is rich in jewelry, items made from cork (hats, shoes, aprons, purses, bracelets, etc.), tiles, and much more.
  • Dinner on your own (Sofia will make suggestions).
  • Return to the hotel on your own and overnight.

Bread soup in Portugal


Day Four

  • Cooks, this is your day off! Today you will drive into the northern Alentejo and before lunch at Vila Viçosa, visit its Renaissance Ducal Palace and the historical Sancturay of Vila Vicosa, where John IV, King of Portugal, gave his crown to the Virgin Mary and named her Queen of Portugal.
  • Passing through part of Alentejo known for its marble, stop in the historical and white town of Estremoz, enclosed within its ramparts and overlooking a vast plain of gnarled olive trees and wheat fields. You will also stop at a cork factory.
  • Once back in Evora, time for dinner on your own and overnight.

Cooking class in Evora


Day Five

  • Breakfast followed by your transfer to Lisbon (center or airport).

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation in superior room at the 4* Mar de Ar Murlhas (or similar)

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 5 lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Local wine included with all included meals

Classes & Instructors

Your 5 cooking classes will be at the cooking atelier of the lovely Sofia, your guide and instructor. Portuguese cuisine is simple, characterized by a rich variety of regional dishes. Gathering herbs and produce from the local markets and pairing them with timeless recipes, cooks of all levels can roll up their sleeves in the kitchen and prepare a variety of succulent Mediterranean dishes influenced by this historic region. Olive oil, garlic, cilantro, parsley, onions, bayleaf, paprika, pepper, rosemary, leek, spinach, lamb, pork, codfish, seabass and dogfish are some of our main ingredients. Your classes will focus on Portuguese home cooking and will include:

  • An introduction to Portuguese seasonings and traditions
  • Fish and olive oil in Portuguese cuisine
  • Local produce from the Alentejo
  • Aromatic herbs in Portuguese cooking

Excursions

  • Visit to a local wine estate and to Monsaraz
  • Guided visit of Evora
  • Marble and cork area, including Vila Viçosa in northern Alentejo and Estremoz
  • Visit to the megalithic cromeleque

Transfer Details

  • Roundtrip transfers from Lisbon (airport, train staiton, or city center). Please do not arrive after 4 pm or plan to depart Evora before 9 am. (Late and early transfer will necessitate a special transfer at a cost of 150 Euros.)

Included in the 4-Night Trip

Accommodations

4 nights accommodation in superior room at the 4* Mar de Ar Murlhas (or similar)

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 4 lunches
  • 2 dinners
  • Local wine included with all included meals

Classes & Instructors

Your 3 cooking classes will be at the cooking atelier of the lovely Sofia, your guide and instructor. Portuguese cuisine is simple, characterized by a rich variety of regional dishes. Gathering herbs and produce from the local markets and pairing them with timeless recipes, cooks of all levels can roll up their sleeves in the kitchen and prepare a variety of succulent Mediterranean dishes influenced by this historic region. Olive oil, garlic, cilantro, parsley, onions, bayleaf, paprika, pepper, rosemary, leek, spinach, lamb, pork, codfish, seabass and dogfish are some of our main ingredients. Your classes will focus on Portuguese home cooking and will include:

  • An introduction to Portuguese seasonings and traditions
  • Fish and olive oil in Portuguese cuisine
  • Local produce from the Alentejo

Excursions

  • Visit to a local wine estate and to Monsaraz
  • Guided visit of Evora
  • Marble and cork area, including Vila Viçosa in northern Alentejo and Estremoz

Transfer Details

  • Roundtrip transfers from Lisbon (airport, train staiton, or city center). Please do not arrive after 4 pm or plan to depart Evora before 9 am. (Late and early transfer will necessitate a special transfer at a cost of 150 Euros.)

Accommodation Information

The charming 4-star Hotel M’ar de Ar Muralhas is located in the heart of historic Evora, just a short walk from the world-famous Giraldo Square. The expansive hotel features more than 90 rooms total, all with modern amenities including Internet. The property itself is beautiful, with an outdoor pool, gardens, restaurant, and views of the town’s walls. Your stay will be in a 4* superior room with balcony. If this hotel is unavailable, we have other preferred 4* centrally-located hotels that we also use, depending on the specific dates booked.

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You can also upgrade to the chic M’ar de Ar Aqueduto. The hotel is in the center of Evora and was originally a palace of the Sepulveda family, whose magnificent chapel and vaulted ceilings were preserved in the hotel, as were three Manueline windows on the main façade. The hotel features modern decor, exceptional service, and all the modern comforts. The upgrade cost is based on an upgrade to a superior room.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

6-night Program
US$3200 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$400 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Add US$190 per person to upgrade to 5* Hotel

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Pricing for 1 person: please inquire.

Single supplement in 5* hotel: $600


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks.
Itinerary generally starts on a Monday, but other start dates may be possible.

† Join a week others have already confirmed.

2019
April 29-May 5 (sold out)
May 6-12 (sold out)
May 13-19 (sold out)
May 20-26 (sold out)
May 27-June 2
June 3-9
June 10-16
June 17-23
June 24-30
July 1-7
July 8-14
July 15-21
July 22-28
July 29-August 4
August 5-11
August 12-18
August 19-25
August 26-September 1
September 2-8
September 9-15
September 16-22
September 23-29
September 30-October 6
October 7-13†
October 14-20
October 21-27
October 28-November 3
November 4-10
November 11-17
November 18-24
November 25-December 1
December 2-8
December 9-15
December 16-22
December 23-29

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

4-night Program
US$2200 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$275 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Add US$130 per person to upgrade to 5* hotel

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Pricing for 1 person: please inquire.

Single supplement at 5* hotel: $400


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks year round.

Itinerary generally starts on a Monday, but other start dates may be possible, please inquire.

2019
February 4-8
February 11-15
February 18-22
February 25-March 1
March 4-8
March 11-15
March 18-22
March 25-29
April 1-5
April 8-12
April 15-19
April 22-26
April 29-May 3
May 6-10
May 13-17
May 20-24
May 27-31
June 3-7
June 10-14
June 17-21
June 24-28
July 1-5
July 8-12
July 15-19
July 22-26
July 29-August 2
August 5-9
August 12-16
August 19-23
August 26-30
September 2-6
September 9-13
September 16-21
September 23-27
September 30-October 4
October 7-11
October 14-18
October 21-25
October 28-November 1
November 4-8
November 11-15
November 18-22
November 25-29
December 2-6
December 9-13
December 16-20
December 23-27

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Bill & Cindy
Michigan
When we arrived Lisbon we had a day to acclimate before beginning our activities. On Day 2 we went on a private tour to Sintra and Cascais. Our tour guide Elsa was very knowledgeable and personable. She did an outstanding job! On Day 3 we were shuttled to Evora to begin our 6 day cooking class. We were introduced to Sofia and had an excellent lunch while she explained the itinerary to us. Throughout the next 6 days she was our chef teaching us Portuguese cooking as well as our tour guide through numerous adventures. Sofia and here assistants Maria and Genevieve were a joy to work and play with. Sofia was an outstanding chef and a very knowledgable tour guide. She made us feel very welcome and almost like family. At the end of the cooking class we then traveled to Barcelona for 4 more days of fun and adventure. We had an excellent tour guide for the first day of our stay to get the lay of the land and then spent the rest of the time concentrating on the places and things we wanted to see more of.
We gave this trip 5 stars
Jacque & Chuck
New Jersey
Trip taken May 2018
Our host Sofia was outstanding.
We gave this trip 5 stars
Christine & Stephen
California
Trip taken April 2018
Sophia treated us to a full immersion cultural experience in addition to introducing us to the wonderful food and wine of Portugal. Every moment was a new revelation. I am sure we will go back to Portugal because we met such fine people who were so generous with their time and knowledge.
No rating given with this review
My experience with Delectable Portugal exceeded all expectations. My group felt special from the moment we arrived until the morning we left. The Refugio da Vila was charming and clean. The staff was friendly. Sofia was a gracious hostess and her afternoon excursions were like being with a well informed girlfriend. She accommodated our every wish. Pedro, our chef, and his kitchen staff, was earnest In his desire to make our cooking experience fun. We went home with dozens of Portuguese dishes. He truly loves traditional Portuguese cooking and tried to convey that to us. Gayle S., IL
No rating given with this review
We enjoyed the Portugal adventure with Sophia. Only negative was the excess use of olive oil and garlic (our standards). ... This was our third adventure with The International Kitchen and it didn't let us down. We now consider Lisbon as one of the special cities in the world. Trent, CA
No rating given with this review
We were taken care of as if we were the only people to go there. There was lots of cooking which we wanted and the side trips were well put together. We were able to cook for the owner's family, which was a big event; we even ate with them. Also the staff was the best. To make it even better we joined the staff for their Christmas party. In addition we took side trips in Lisboa. There is much to see and after all you are there. This is one of the few places we would go back. Robert, IN
No rating given with this review
We thoroughly enjoyed our experience in Portugal. Our host, Sofia, was absolutely wonderful doing everything conceivable to make our time in Portugal fantastic. Her explanations of the history of Portugal on our tours was enlightening. Our accommodations were fabulous.... Beverly & Murray, Canada
No rating given with this review
It was our distinct pleasure to be schooled by our Chef/ Guide, Sofia, in cooking traditional Alentejo fare in her 19th century home and kitchen, and to travel with her through the region. She provided the passion and knowledge of one who lives in the area and knows its nuances, a perspective that allowed us to see and experience more than we would have, travelling on our own. Sofia is a warm and generous person often going out of her way to add to recipe requests (like making Portuguese custard tarts) and tailoring the itinerary to the interests of her guests (Evora is rich in layers of history). Sofia has given us many memories to treasure, not the least of which is her courtyard, lined with lemon trees for use in her recipes. Obrigado, Obrigada, Sofia, for making our culinary adventure an exceptional journey. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] Adequate and accurate. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Yes, the response to a question was always prompt and informed. To enhance the experience, I might offer fully developed recipes as opposed to an ingredient list with the need to scribe the recipe at the same time that you are cooking it. Valerie M., Canada
No rating given with this review
Our hostess was exceptional very knowledgeable in her cooking skills as well as her historical information. She made us feel like family. One day I was ill and Sophia make sure I was well taken care of with George translating for me at the pharmacy as well. The excursions exceeded my expectations, there was a really good variety and I very much enjoyed our driver George as well. Nancy P., TX
No rating given with this review
Sofia is superb. Best experience ever. She should have a tv show. Roger, OH