Portugal with George Mendes

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Insider's Portugal

The cultural and culinary best of Portugal with George Mendes and his inner circle of Michelin-starred chefs

May 19 - 25, 2023

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7 Days, 6 Nights

The best of Lisbon, Douro Valley, Porto

Price from


per person based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

We will contact you if and as space becomes available.

It’s love at first note as you sit awestruck by authentic Fado. The singer’s lament rises as you sip a delicate Alvarinho and look back on your day. You began—in Lisbon’s most storied historic quarter—rolling dough and learning the nuances behind traditional Portuguese pastries. And now this performance, and this feast—they resonate with joy and longing, and you dream fearlessly about the days ahead: a leisurely rabelo boat ride through the fabled Douro Valley, fresh-off-the-boat seafood in a dockside Porto tavern, carafes of some of the finest wines you’ve never heard of. All this in the company of the best Portuguese chef in America. This is true Portugal—a rare insider’s experience.

You’re joined by Chef George Mendes, the creator of some of the most notable Portuguese-inspired restaurants in the United States. His former restaurant, Aldea, is still the only Portuguese restaurant in the United States to have earned a coveted Michelin star. This is your opportunity to experience Portugal alongside a noted chef and cookbook author who’s excited to share his Portugal with us on this deliciously personal trip—equal parts knowledge and passion—as we explore Portugal’s traditions and flavors.

If you want to venture into iconic Portugal, and do it with exclusive access, this is the trip for you. Meet acclaimed local winemakers and artists. Eat the best street foods, and at top regional kitchens. Catch a sunset while sipping a world-class wine. And eat, drink and cook alongside three different Michelin-starred chefs.

Go Deeper

Meet local Michelin-starred chefs and winemakers, musicians and artisans


With ageless traditions in the kitchen, in fields and vineyards, with George Mendes


Traditional meals in country villages, the best street foods and local flavors


The story behind azulejo tiles, Fado music, oak-aged ports and crisp vinho verde wines

3 Reasons to Travel with George Mendes

Portuguese food is not just a passion for George Mendes—it’s literally in his DNA. He’s a first-generation American born to Portuguese farmers who've passed down time-tested traditions and dishes, some of which you can find in his cookbook My Portugal: Recipes & Stories.

Celebration of Heritage

George grew up learning how to make salt cod in the garage of his family home, enjoying the simplicity of homemade Portuguese meals. It’s what catapulted him into a decades-long career sharing the story of his family’s cuisine in fresh and innovative ways.

Portugal is Love

George has many loves—family, training for marathons, cooking—but it's Portugal that inspires him to wax poetic, with photos and recipes that capture his passion for Portuguese cuisine and culture. We can’t wait to experience that deep connection with George.

Renaissance Man

George mastered French cooking techniques during his stint at Alain Passard’s L’Arpège in Paris. Yet it’s his childhood memories of cooking arroz de tomate with his mother on Sunday afternoons that motivates him to create new dishes for his acclaimed menus.

Your Experience

“The freshness and quality of the seafood that we have in the Portuguese waters is just mind-blowing.”
George Mendes

Lisbon, Douro Valley, Porto

“I just love telling my story, my background with traditional Portuguese dishes.”
George Mendes

Day by Day

Day 1

Welcome to Lisbon! We’ll breathe in the salt air and take in the atmosphere of the Portuguese capital’s unforgettable pastel buildings. Travel is the great educator—and for Portugal, we begin by immersing ourselves in learning local traditions. First, we wander through the historic district of Belém, stopping at a local factory whose bakers have followed an ancient recipe of delectable custard tarts from the monks of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos since 1837.  After peering at the bakers, we walk to a test kitchen and try our hands at making our own Pastel de Natal, sampling along the way of course.  

Our welcome dinner tonight is a special treat: a local feast with local vintages and an unforgettable live Fado performance, where we revel in what’s been the “soul of Portuguese music” for two centuries.

Day 1 Highlights

  • Explore Belém district
  • Pastry lesson
  • Welcome dinner & Fado performance
  • Stay at H10 Duque de Loulé in Lisbon

Day 2

Today, we travel like acclaimed and curious chefs. Joining our entourage is George’s friend, Henrique Sá Pessoa of Michelin-starred Alma, and we wander outside the city limits to an enchanting and modest wine estate for a truly incredible tasting and lunch experience. Here, we dive deep into the local food renaissance and sit down for a scratch-to-table lunch, while savoring the story of every local ingredient. Seated in the rustic confines of the former barn, we’ll witness these two master chefs collaborate on a meal for the ages as we sip some of the most compelling reds in the region.

After this sprawling feast, we return to Lisbon for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. Tonight is yours to celebrate and harness the electric buzz of the city.  We’ll see you at breakfast.

Day 2 Highlights

  • Wine tour
  • Estate lunch with Henrique Sá Pessoa
  • Evening on own
  • Stay at H10 Duque de Loulé in Lisbon

Day 3

Today we move into the world’s most scenic wine region, stopping along the way to peek through two windows of traditional rural life. One hour from Lisbon, we’re greeted by the orange terra-cotta rooftops of the village of Óbidos, a town with Roman roots and a medieval layout with horse carriages and bookshops along its cobbled lanes. We’re here to sip the country’s best ginja, a traditional sour cherry liqueur.

Next, we drift east toward the Douro Valley and stop at Quinta das Bágeiras for a private tasting and a typical Portuguese, leitão. Here, we meet winemaker, Mário Sérgio, and hear the story of his family and his unique approach to native varietals. His family has been making wine for at least five generations, but only started bottling their own brand in 1989. 

After a rustic lunch replete with vegetables grown just feet away, our Douro Odyssey continues—our next stop (after checking into our hotel) is Quinta Do Panascal, one of the region’s most revered vineyards and porthouses. Here, we’re treated to a home-cooked meal and a vast array of their flagship wines. Our senses nearly overloaded, we’ll make the short drive to our breathtaking riverside accommodations. 

Day 3 Highlights

  • Sip ginja in medieval Óbidos
  • Winery visit with Mário Sérgio
  • Dinner at Porthouse
  • Overnight at Vintage House in Douro Valley

Day 4

We’ve sampled Portugal’s history, impeccable wines, and culinary classics. Today our connection with the region’s roots go deeper—and more literal—on a fun day of creating, learning and celebrating with George.

First, we’ll visit a local orchard as private guests of Rui Cardoso, a local legend when it comes to both viticulture and pomology. After a private talk and tour, we wander to the dock to assume the life of an 18th-century Portuguese trader and hop aboard a flat-bottomed Rabelo boat for an amazing cruise down the river. It’s a timeless experience—sit back, listen to local accordion players as you’re treated to a light, crisp and exquisite tapas-style picnic lunch.

After a few blissful hours on the river, we return to our hotel and ready ourselves for another unique dining experience. Tonight, we meet George’s friend, Michelin-starred chef, Rui Paula at one of his restaurants, where we will once again witness a unique collaboration between two incredible chefs.

Day 4 Highlights

  • Orchard Visit
  • Rabelo boat ride
  • Dinner with George and Rui
  • Overnight at Vintage House in Douro Valley

Day 5

Our Portuguese adventure moves along with the Rio Douro, to the charming seaside city of Porto. En route it’s gorgeous gardens, vineyards that stretch for miles—and tinned fish! This is a major moment for George as Portuguese seafood literally runs in his family, and his knowledge and presence will surely elevate today’s wanderings. 

In Matosinhos, a classic industrial neighborhood on Porto’s outskirts, we’ll have an exclusive look at legendary cannery Pinhais & Cia, specialists in sardines since 1920. The best local catch, the freshness ingredients, homemade secret recipes perfected for generations—this is the pinnacle of artisanal tinned fish in Portugal. 

After lunch on Matosinhos’ seafront, we’ll arrive in central Porto and ride tuk-tuks through the city’s narrow, cobbled alleyways while taking note of which neighborhoods, markets, and cafes to visit in our free time.

Dinner tonight is on your own, but George will tell you can’t go wrong with bacalhau (cod), Bulhão Pato-style clams, and other traditional Porto seafood dishes.

Day 5 Highlights

  • Transfer to Porto
  • Pinhais & Cia sardine cannery
  • Tuk tuk tour of Porto
  • Overnight at Hotel Infante Sagres in Porto

Day 6

The morning is yours to explore—sit by the sea, shop for mementos, or people-watch in the UNESCO World Heritage Ribeira District. 

We reconvene in the late morning  with a tour through the streets of Old Town, ducking into small cafes, tascas (taverns), and colorful food markets. We’ll rub elbows with local merchants  and decipher the tales told of Porto’s ceramic azulejo tiles adorning churches and subway station walls. 

In the afternoon, we’ll gather for a farewell tasting at W&J Graham’s, its 19th-century cellars stocked with 3,000 barrels of gently aging wines. We’ll toast our time together with George over vintage ports and then we’ll float back to our hotel and freshen up for our last dinner together. 

Guests of Chef Vasco Coelho Santos at the iconic Semea, we’ll savor every local and creative course with views over Porto and the Douro River. 

Day 6 Highlights

  • Porto walking tour
  • Tapas lunch
  • Farewell dinner
  • Overnight at Hotel Infante Sagres in Porto

Day 7

After our final breakfast at the hotel, we bid farewell to George and our fellow travelers—hearts and spirits full of all things Portugal. Then it’s off to the airport. Until next time! Obrigada e adeus, Portugal!

Day 7 Highlights

  • Transfer to airport

Where We Sleep

A boutique hotel in the center of Lisbon, a riverside escape in the vineyards of the Douro Valley, and the lap of luxury in Porto's old town—our accommodations reflect the very best of Portugal

H10 Duque de Loulé


Located in a historic building in the center of Lisbon, this exclusive boutique hotel has been painstakingly renovated and decorated by interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán. Its remarkable 18th-century facade has been preserved, while its interior design is a fusion of traditional and contemporary elements. This four-star hotel features the à la carte Azul e Branco Restaurant, the Equestre Bar/Library, and the Limão Chill-Out Terrace, boasting impressive views overlooking Lisbon and the Tagus Estuary.

Vintage House

Douro Valley

Located in Pinhão, this riverside hotel lies in the heart of Douro Valley’s Demarcated Wine Region and is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Take in the unique landscape from your balcony, enjoy lunch on the terrace, take a dip in the river-view pool, enjoy a meal in the award-winning Rabelo Restaurant, or sip a glass of port in the Library Bar while recounting the day’s adventures until the wee hours.

Hotel Infante Sagres


Prepare to sleep, eat, and daydream in Porto’s most prestigious city-center address. Hotel Infante Sagres has been a meeting place for the city’s élite and the choice for discerning travelers and international celebrities for over half a century. This legendary grande dame of Portuguese hotels reopened its doors in 2018 after extensive renovation to restore its wealth of ornate detail while adding a dash of New World glamour. It features exquisite ironwork, carved wooden details, and magnificent stained glass panels from the workshop of Ricardo Leone.

I really loved the special touches, the level of the food and accommodations.
Fran M.
I loved the friendliness of the people, their relaxed way of life and the pride in their long history of cooking passed down through generations.
Rushika S.
Jennifer M.

Book Portugal with George Mendes

Number of Travelers


Reserve your spot today with a $1,500 per-person deposit plus room supplements (if relevant). Full payment is due 180 days prior to your trip departure date. We’ll email you a reminder. If your trip departs in less than 180 days, we’ll collect full payment either 30 days from when we receive your deposit, or 60 days prior to your trip departure date, whichever is sooner. For details read our Deposit FAQs


per person based on double occupancy

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That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.

  1. What does the price include?

    Six nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.

  3. Where does the trip start and end?

    We start at the H10 Duque de Loule in Lisbon, Portugal. The closest airport is Lisbon’s Portela Airport (LIS). We recommend arriving one day early to ensure you’re at our starting point on time. On our last day, the closest airport is Francisco Sa Carnerio Airport (OPO) in Porto, Portugal. Your flight home should be scheduled to depart at 12:30pm or later from OPO airport.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    Private US citizens are not required to have a visa for stays in Portugal of under 90 days. Just bring a valid US passport. For citizens of other countries, please check with the Portuguese embassy or consulate for information and requirements.

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is a $1,500 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. These spots are extremely limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. Do I need Travel Insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs; if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit.

  9. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before January 19, 2023 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after January 20, 2023 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after March 20, 2023 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details). Please note that for guests who are transferring trips or traveling on rescheduled trip dates, your cancelation terms will vary from the above, and are generally non-refundable. Please refer to your correspondence from our Customer Experience team for specific details.

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