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NEW for September 2024: Textiles and Fine Craft 
This tour celebrates the historic and contemporary achievements
of two creative fields that for centuries brought fame to Portugal and
are witnessing a modern renaissance.

Burel Factory spun yarn.jpg
FRESS woodworking tools.jpg

A tour unlike any other


September 17-26: Textiles and Fine Craft in Portugal

September 13-16: Wine Architecture + Gastronomy Pre-tour Option 

  •  Includes leading international textile event hosted in Portugal; 

  • Exclusive behind the scenes visit at Portugal's leading art and textile museum;  

  • Exclusive atelier visits with creators and design mavens. 

  • Introducing charming, local specialty museums, cooperatives, and industries discovered by Culture Viewfinder in lesser known regions of the country.

All Culture Viewfinder programs provide:

An immersive cultural journey for travelers who never thought they would take a tour. 

​        Exceptional attention to detail 

        Small groups 

        Atmospheric 4* hotels 

        Extraordinary cultural, culinary and wine experiences




September 17-26, 2024


Bookings confirmed prior to January 1, 2024 will

lock in current pricing. Don't be disappointed as

space is limited and available on a first come first served basis.

Tour Includes:


9 nights at 4* hotels, standard rooms unless

otherwise indicated.

        1 night Porto

        2 nights Guimarᾶes

        2 nights Serra d'Estrela

        1 night Alentejo

        2 nights Lisbon

Note: For those who wish to arrive in Porto a day

early to acclimatize to the time change, and/or see additional sights in Porto, a small number of hotel rooms have been booked September 16 at a  discounted rate. Please confirm your interest and book through our logistics partners Ellison Travel + Tours.

Breakfast included every day at the hotels


Lunches (8) everyday September 18-25 inclusive, 2-course prix-fixe with beverage unless otherwise indicated.



5 dinners, 3 course prix-fixe with beverage unless otherwise indicated

            1 Porto

            1 Guimarᾶes

            2 Serra da Estrela

            1 Lisbon


  • September 17 

  • Meet and Greet at Hotel,Taxi/uber, central  Historic District Walking Tour, studio    visit Bolhao District (Porto), Port Lodge tour + tasting, dinner, Vila Nova de Gaia, taxi/uber to  hotel.

  • September 18

  • Coach to the Leça da Palmeira Coast (Casa de Chà, Tidal Pools); lunch at the Matoshinos Port; visit to Serralves museum; coach commute one hour north, settle into hotel. Walk to dinner.       September 19

  • walk to Contextile International Exhibit, walk to lunch, free time afternoon and evening

  • September 20

  • morning and lunch in Guimarᾶes, coach departs for Serra da Estrela after lunch, (3 hours), settle into the hotel.  Dinner at the  hotel.

  • September 21 

  • coach departs 9:30am for the textile factory +  shop in Manteigas, then a brief visit to a remarkable Stone House, followed by lunch at  our hotel. Afternoon at the hotel.

  • Dinner at the Panoramic Hotel via coach, then return by coach to the hotel. 

  • September 22

  • 8:30am Coach departs Serra da Estrela for Alentejo Province, organic winery visit, lunch nearby, then Museum of Decorative Arts, check into the hotel, walking distance to the Roman Ruins, additional cultural destinations and  central restaurants. Free-time evening.

  • September 23

  • Coach departs 8:30am for Lisbon. Visit the National Tile Museum followed by lunch at MAAT (Museum of Art Architecture and Technology).

  • Our Introduction to Lisbon Walking Tour guide   will meet us at MAAT and distribute the Whispers Sound System. Coach departs for central Lisbon.  Coach will deliver us to the hotel to check in. Free-time evening.

  • Option: Time and energy permitting,  the team leader suggests an afternoon visit to Jardim Bordallo Pinheiro - wonderful large scale wild + whimsical works by Portugal's most famous ceramic artist. Uber.

  • September 24

  • Taxis/ubers to Alfama district to exquisite   artisan workshops; then a delicious regional lunch followed by private visit to Studio Babled, then free-time afternoon/evening

  • September 25

  • (Coach required half day only) Coach departs  9:45 to Gulbenkian museum; 12:30 to Mouraria for lunch followed by visits to 2 concept stores    by the country's leading cultural retailer. Free-time afternoon. Meet at the restaurant or gather at the hotel Taxis/uber to the Farewell Dinner. 

  • September 26

  • tour concludes after breakfast. Independant check-out and transport.


Visits and Admissions

Included--Admission fees and private tours of 3

major museums, 2 architectural landmarks, plus the Alfama Artisan Workshops, and the Alentejo Decorative Arts Museum.

2 expertly guided, custom walking tours:

Introduction to Lisbon, and Introduction to Central Historic Porto--Whispers Sound System provided for both. 

PLUS Exclusive visits to a significant design factory,

2 private design studios and private tour of  2

concept stores  created by the country's leading cultural retailer.



September 17: Mantegaria Porto, for an exquisite custard tart (included) + a shot of Port or espresso (not included).

September 20: Journey to Serra Da Estrela: bottled water included and washroom breaks enroute. Rest Stop beverages/snacks (not included). 

September 22: Journey to Alentejo: bottled water included and washroom breaks enroute. Rest Stop beverages/snacks (not included). 

September 24: Gelato Therapy 1 scoop gelato in cup  or cone (included). Optional visit to Mercado Ribeira (cocktails, snacks, dinner not included)

Estimated Tour Cost:

Advertised Land only costs listed below are

guaranteed if Booking is confirmed and deposit received prior to January 2024 

$5395.00CAD/pp Double Occupancy

$1245.00CAD Single Supplement


Porto Early-Bird overnight stay September 16, 2024

$395.CAD/per room Double Occupancy

$375.CAD/per room Single Occupancy


  • Terms of Payment will be arranged through our logistics partners Ellison Travel + Tours, via EFT, Visa or Mastercard.

  • All pricing is in Canadian dollars.

  • Credit card payments from international registrants are converted directly to  your local currency by your credit card company. 

  • Deposit $1200.00 at time of booking

  • Balance due by June 4, 2024

Not Included

  • International airfare

  • Passport, visa (New for 2024), photos,    government processing fees

  • Luggage handling 

  • Incidentals

  • Additional taxes, fuel surcharges or service charges levied by the governments or our suppliers



  • Manulife Travel Insurance (coverage available for Canadian residents who have a valid provincial health card—includes emergency medical coverall, cancellation and interruption, limited baggage insurance—see policy for terms and conditions. Ask our agents at Ellison Travel & Tours for details.


Cancellation Penalties

  • All payments received by Ellison Travel & Tours  are 100% non-refundable (speak to our Ellison Agent regarding refunds resulting from Government imposed travel bans or cancellation due to COVID 19)

  • $40.00 service fee for NSF transactions

  • Please note that there are no changes to the itinerary or number of travellers.

Booking is Open Now!

To book please contact:

Melissa Zinga + Emily Bilyea

Ellison Travel + Tours

4-1930 Hyde Park Road,
N6H 5L9 London, ON



Direct link:

For info and updates, subscribe to the Culture Viewfinder mailing list here

Please Note:

An average/moderate level of fitness is required 

to enjoy this tour. Trip activities include walking, sometimes on uneven ground, climbing stairs, mounting and dismounting from the coach.There are some extended travel times due to the distance between some of our destinations--but the travel days are all part of the adventure and provide an opportunity to witness life in the rural regions.

For your own safety, as well as the other passengers and the communities we visit, we require that all travellers on this journey be fully vaccinated against COVID 19 at least two weeks prior to departure.

Tour Itinerary 

All Culture Viewfinder Inc. itineraries, and augmented travel information are the exclusive intellectual property of Culture Viewfinder Inc. and protected by Copywrite. They are not be copied, distributed, or used without the written permission of Culture Viewfinder Inc.


All registered tour participants will receive further detailed itineraries and supplemental travel information prior to the commencement of their tour. 

Day 1 based in Porto                   

The program starts Tuesday, September 17 in Porto at Hotel Vincci Porto, a modern hotel located in Porto's emblematic and beautifully refurbished historic Fish Market building. Enjoy the comfort of this well appointed hotel, the excellent restaurant and the spectacular view of the Douro River from Rooftop Terrace Bar.

NOTE: Registrants have the option to arrive a day early to acclimatize to the time change and/or to visit additional attractions in Porto on their own. A number of rooms have been pre-booked at a discounted rate for this early-bird night. If you wish to secure one of these rooms, we suggest that you confirm this when you book your tour with Culture Viewfinder's logistics partner Ellison travel + Tours  before January 1, 2024 as these rooms are available on a first come first served basis.


Day 1  Central Porto (Tuesday, September 17)            D

The tour kicks off at 12:30 with a meet and greet at the hotel's Rooftop Terrace. Meet our Introduction to Porto walking tour guide and distribution of the Whispers Sound System. Depart via taxi/uber to Porto's central the historic district. Whispers Sound System provided by and returned to the guide post-tour.

The tour then moves uptown to the Bolhau District via taxi/uber where we meet internationally acclaimed industrial designer Gabriel Tan at his studio to learn the background behind his move to Porto from Singapore and his unique Origin Series works that fosters collaborations between international designers and Portuguese artisans.

Next is a short walk to the renovated historic Bolhau Market and a pit-stop at Mantegaria Porto for a not-to-be missed famous Nata custard tart pit-stop, and if time permits, a visit to GUR the retail studio of Cecilia Esteves a Porto-based textile designer and printmaker

The group returns very briefly to the hotel via taxi/uber before gathering in the hotel lobby at 4:30pm

Depart via taxi/uber at 4:45 sharp to Vila Nova de Gaia, the historic home of Porto's famed Port purveyors, included is  a tour of the legendary Graham’s Port Lodge followed by a Port Wine Tasting at Graham’s Cellars.

The evening is capped with a Welcome Dinner at the Uva by Calem located in a beautiful modernist glass and steel pavilion at the water's edge in Gaia.

Enjoy a walk along the Boardwalk, visit a wine or port bar or return to the hotel via taxi/uber.


Day 2 Leça da Palmeira Coast, Matosinhos and Guimarᾶes                                                                                           BL

Breakfast at the hotel                                                                 

Please have all luggage packed and deposited at reception by 8:15am and before breakfast.

Depart by coach at 9:15am for the Leça da Palmeira coast north of Porto.

The day starts with a guided tour of the Boa Nova Casa da Chá (Tea House), and  the nearby  Tidal Pools, two iconic early works by Alvaro Siza Vieria, Portugal’s most renowned architect located a few blocks apart. Then on to the famous Matosinhos Port for a fresh fish and seafood lunch extraordinaire.

Depart by coach directly after lunch for the Serralves Museum, considered amongst the top ten contemporary art museums in the world. After a brief introduction to the history of the museum and the current featured exhibitions, grab a map of the 10 acre site and enjoy a 90 minute self-directed tour of the museum, the sculpture gardens, The Pink House, Museum shop, and the grounds.

Meet the coach at the appointed time at the museum entry gates as the tour moves out of town to our next destination.

Arrive at our destination (1 hour north-east of Porto), known for its historic textile and shoe manufacturing, and home to Contextile, an outstanding International Textile  Biennale featuring contemporary textile exhibitions, workshops, and commissioned public artworks--hosted at multiple venues across the city's central district.

Settle into our very centrally located hotel and relax.

Tomorrow will be dedicated to the Contextile Biennale. 

Free-time Dinner. Our hotel is very centrally located near numerous restaurants and cafes.

Day 3    Guimarᾶes                                                                           BD

Breakfast at the hotel

10:00am Start the day at the Biennale's International Juried Exhibition, where you will also receive your Biennale Passport (pass providing entry to all exhibits and site map). 

Free-time lunch

After lunch enjoy a Self-Directed afternoon to visit a variety of Biennale exhibitions or explore the town, followed by Dinner at Taberna Trovador.

Day 4

Biennale (am), pm depart for Serra da Estrela  BLD

Breakfast at the hotel

Please have all luggage packed and deposited at reception before breakfast.

Free-time morning: attend an additional Biennale exhibitions or a workshop or explore the town.

Meet for lunch at Casa Amarela at the appointed time as the coach departing for the Serra da Estrela Mountains directly from the restaurant. 

Our destination is a picturesque mountain town, home to an innovative textile factory and two boutique hotels founded by creative entrepreneurs who rescued the about to be shuttered historic factory and rejuvenated the town by attracting a young workforce, thus allowing the primary school and hospital to remain open. The Serra da Estrela Mountains are the highest elevation in Portugal and include a National Park and unusual rock formations making it a remarkable national landmark.

Our hotel for two nights is a 4*  modern, Scandanavian inspired mountain lodge perched 1500 feet above the town. We  settle into our rooms, enjoy a swim in the indoor pool + sauna, or relax on the patio, or in the lounge (included)--beverages extra, or book a SPA treatment (must be pre-booked by June 30, additional cost required).

8:30 Dinner in the excellent hotel restaurant.

Day 5, Serra da Estrela                                                                BDL

Today is a more leisurely day, with a tour of the textile factory in the valley and as well as the surrounding mountain landscape. 

Breakfast at the hotel

Coach departs at 9:30am descending into the town for a tour of the textile factory, followed by a visit to the factory shop.

Enroute to lunch we stop briefly at a fascinating ancient stone house close to our hotel.

Lunch will be casual (soup, salads, sandwiches) at our hotel.

Afternoon Options:

Participate in a 1.5-2 hour medium-level hike exploring the national park from the ski-lodge, lead by one of the hotel staff members (included), or return to the hotel for an afternoon of R+R at the hotel--swim/sauna (included), or a pre-booked spa treatment and/or drinks in the lounge (additional cost). The bus will return to collect the hikers at the ski-hotel in time for Tea at the Panoramic Hotel.

Self serve Afternoon Tea.

8:00pm Dinner and a brief visit at the supurb 5* Panorama Hotel. Return transport via coach.

Day 6 Southbound to Alentejo                      BLD

Breakfast at the hotel

Please have all luggage packed and deposited at reception before breakfast.

Coach departs early (8:00am) to Alentejo province, Portugal's 'Breadbasket', abundant with Cork Oak trees, excellent wine and exemplary cultural attractions. Our destination is an incredible organic and sustainable winery for a tour and tasting, followed by lunch at a Michelin listed restaurant in the nearby town.

In the afternoon we start with a visit to a charming local Decorative Arts Museum (entry included), then the coach will take us to our hotel to check-in. The hotel is located in a restored Palace, has an outdoor swimming pool, three excellent restaurants and is walking distance to restaurants and a lovely cultural square that includes a small Roman Ruin, a Miradouro (scenic photo-op) and a selection of contemporary museums clustered near the square (entry fees not included).

Free-time Afternoon, Dinner and evening.

Day 7 Lisbon                                                                                      BL

Breakfast at the hotel

Please have all luggage packed and deposited at reception before breakfast.

Coach departs for Lisbon at 8:30am

and arrives at the national Tile Museum at approximately 10:30am for a 90 minute self-directed tour of this four-storey gem filled with historic and contemporary exhibitions, followed by lunch at the restaurant at MAAT (the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) that features regional Portuguese cuisine. A gentle walk to the roof top Miradouro (photo op) is a must with a remarkable view of the Tajus River and beautiful suspension bridge.

Our Introduction to Lisbon Walking Tour guide will meet us at the museum and distribute the Whispers Sound System. Depart by coach for the Rossio District in central Lisbon. After the tour, the coach will deliver us to the hotel to check-in for 3 nights. Whispers Sound System to be returned to the guide enroute to the hotel.


Free-time for the remainder of afternoon and dinner to explore Lisbon neighbourhoods, sights, shops and restaurants of your choice.

OR ....

Join the tour leader for a visit to Jardim Bordallo Pineiro, an eye popping homage to Portugal's legendary wild and fanciful early 20th Century ceramics artist. Note: this visit is a fun way to familiarize yourself with Pineiro's work, as references and connections to him are made at other Lisbon destinations the tour visits.

Day 8 Lisbon                                                                                      BL

Breakfast at the hotel

9:30am departure by taxi/uber (coaches are not permitted in the historical Alfama District), to a former Palace, now Decorative Arts Foundation, for a tour of their unique artisan workshops specializing in the finest 16th Century woodworking, marquetry, decorative metal, textiles and bookbinding techniques.

Afterwards, take advantage of the Miradouro--scenic photo-op across the street before we depart by taxi/uber for our delicious regional lunch at Taberna Albricoque.

Taxi a short distance to the private studio of internationally acclaimed glass and furniture designer Emmanuel Babled, where we will meet the designer, view his work and hear about his latest project in Tanzania. Two floors up the designer has funded a design incubator for new design businesses utilizing historic Portuguese materials and techniques.

Pit Stop right downstairs at the incredible Gelato Therapy (one scoop included).

Free-time for the balance of the afternoon and dinner. 

DINNER NOTE: the tour leader will arrange to be at TIME-OUT Mercado Ribeira--the first and best of Lisbon's food halls featuring stalls by many of Lisbon’s finest chefs and unique shops--in the early eveing. We will grab a table with shared seating. Tour members are welcome to join in while they peruse the market stalls for drinks, snacks, or dinner (not incuded). Alternatively upstairs there is a classic Portuguese restaurant Pap Açorda with table service OR venture by taxi east along the river where there are numerous seafood restaurants. 

The Mercado is steps away from Lisbon's only architectural bookstore, as well as EDP Headquarters (Portugal's Electricity Utility) designed by Aires Mateus Arquitectos and well worth a visit (exterior only). 

Day 9                                                                                                   BLD

Breakfast at the hotel

Culture Viewfinder has been invited to bring this tour group for a rare and exclusive behind the scenes visit at the iconic Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Museum and Gardens.

Depart 9:45 by coach for this storied museum considered to be Portugal's leading institution for art and textiles. Experience a Culture Viewfinder Exclusive: a custom visit behind the scenes with a senior curator as our guide. In addition, the Gulbenkian grounds The include two museum buildings and 10 acres of gardens, an amphitheatre and restaurant. The original museum building--Portugal's first modernist building, completed in 1969 by a trio of architects (Ruy D'Athougia, Alberto Pessoa and Pedro Cid)--houses  permanent displays of benefactor Calouste Gulbenkian's extensive personal collection of ancient near and middle eastern textiles and ceramics, plus selections from his outstanding 19th/20th Century art and furnishings. In addition, the museum hosts several  excellent temporary international exhibitions throughout the year.

Coach departs the museum at 1:00pm

Changing gears we head to the diverse Intendente neighbourhood for lunch at the lovely Intendente Square.  After lunch we are steps from the  flagship store of A Vida Portuguesa (A Portuguese Life), and around the corner from their new concept store DEPOZITO (Deposit) a collaboration between A Vida Portuguesa and Portugal Manual, a crafts co-operative. Our group will receive an exclusive guided tour of both stores and learn about the creation of this unusual company and their innovative initiatives to raise awareness of historic Portuguese designers, Brands, and fine craft. This retail enterprise has single-handedly rejuvenated numerous industries and created programs for the transmission of disappearing heritage craft skills to a new generation. 

Free-time for the balance of the afternoon. 

**Options: follow the Culture Viewfinder guide to Chiado and Baixa design shops and galleries, (plus the article about Intendente provided by Culture Viewfinder), or head off on your own.

Meet in the hotel lobby at 8:00pm to taxi/uber to our 8:30pm Farewell Dinner at a fun, intimate restaurant tucked away in Bairro Alto District.

Group Photos

Free-time evening or return to the hotel by taxi/uber.

Note: the restaurant is a short walk from Mantegaria Lisbon (famous Nata custard tarts) and/or the lovely Rooftop Terrace (cocktails) at the Bairro Alto Hotel.

Day 10                                                                                                       B

Breakfast at the hotel

independent check-out and departure (tour commitment ends).

Note: if there is sufficient advance interest, Culture Viewfinder will look into booking an additional night at the hotel in Lisbon at a favourable rate.

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