4 months ago
Overall, a great trip, even for someone who has creaky knees and who enjoys private time. We had a congenial group and a gem of a tour director, Adrianna. She's bright, knowledgeable, efficient, well organized and was generally a delight. Our driver, Nuno, is a charming man who not incidentally is a very skillful driver, negotiating those urban streets and mountainous roads with finesse.
I would definitely concur with reviewers who recommend that you seriously evaluate your abilities before considering this trip. There are lots of stairs, and plenty of cobblestones, sometimes wet and slippery. If I knew then what I know now, I don't know if I would have booked it, but I'm certainly glad that I did.
Whenever you take a group tour, you do it with the understanding that you have to go with the flow. I've visited more churches, cathedrals, museums and vineyards than I can count. Nevertheless, I was blown away by the Tile Museum, St Jeronimo's monastery and the Duoro Valley wine tour. The Fado dinner was also a highlight. Meals throughout were excellent with plenty of wine and good conversation.
My only disappointment, and something I noted in my evaluation, was the time spent in Figurea da Foz. Many enjoyed "dinner with locals" but I did not. I found the meal, a codfish casserole, to be bland and the conversation with the hosts even more so.
In my opinion Figurera da Foz could be eliminated completely. In Porto, the wine tour takes a full day, leaving only one day to explore the city itself. That is not nearly enough. It's a gleaming, modern, waterfront city. I would urge anyone considering this tour to add an extra day in Porto. There is so much there to do and see, you need at least an extra day to do a minimal amount.