Author - Sergio Costa

New ways to visit the Douro Valley & More!

For our Instagram followers, when we said we had plans for the Douro Valley, we meant it! And if you are not following us there, what are you waiting for? Look for @portugalevtours on Instagram, or you can find us here.

 

Today’s news is a doubleheader, therefore we have two major announcements:

 

Number one: We are debuting Vouchers for our trips!

As times are uncertain and it is still unclear when we will be able to resume our trips, we are announcing the voucher option for our best-selling experiences:

  • Douro Valley
  • Douro Valley – Wine and Stars
  • Wine, Cheese, and Animals – Serra da Estrela

You can buy it now, and you will have two years to redeem the voucher – or get a full refund. You will have the option to enjoy – or gift – these experiences, for a discount price.

 

Number two: Free online experiences through zoom!

We know that you are craving going out and traveling. Perhaps coming to the Douro Valley was already a part of your plans. With our interactive Douro Valley experience, you can have a 1h master class about Port Wine and discuss some other particularities about the region, the wine, food pairing, you name it!

These sessions are free and will happen on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 18h GMT (Lisbon time). Invite your friends and family, get a glass of wine ready, and let’s enjoy each other company!

Please refer to our other blog post for more instructions on how to request a zoom meeting!

 

More surprises are being prepared, so stay tuned!

Sérgio.

Online Zoom Experience – Instructions

The online experiences will happen every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 18h00 / 6 PM GMT (Lisbon / London time zone) and will be performed in English.

 

Before joining:

  1. Ensure that you are comfortable;
  2. Grab a bottle of wine – Porto Wine or not – and have it next to you;
  3. One screen per household (phone / tablet / computer / TV);
  4. Make sure your internet connection is stable – a reliable connection is more important than a fast one.

 

How to join:

  1. Install the zoom app on your phone/tablet/computer;
  2. Choose your date (Monday, Wednesday or Friday);
  3. Send an email to info@portugalevtours.com requesting the access link to that session;
  4. When the time comes, log in using the provided link.
  5. More dates and schedules can be offered. Just make a request for it!
  6. Limited to 10 participants per session, to ensure a quality experience!

 

During the experience:

  1. I encourage you to keep your camera on, but the microphone muted;
  2. Interactions can be done by unmuting your microphone and asking questions directly, using the emojis, or even the chat.
  3. These rules and guidelines will be mentioned at the beginning of each session.

 

It’s simple and straightforward!

 

I hope to see you soon!

Sérgio.

coronavirus

Covid-19 & Cancellations policy update

In light of the recent outbreak of the new coronavirus – Covid-19 – we would first like to reassure all customers and travelers that Portugal, despite having 41 confirmed cases as of March 10th, is still one of the safest countries to visit.

We are currently monitoring the situation in Portugal and the World, and following the recommendations of the DGS – the Portuguese health organization responsible for monitoring the new coronavirus dynamics.

As of today, events that will gather more than 5000 persons on outdoor spaces, 1000 persons indoors or 150 persons in “hot zones” are postponed or canceled. However, both the DGS and Portugal’s Tourism Office see no reason to cancel day tours, experiences or excursions. Out of an abundance of caution, drastic measures are being taken by the government, municipalities and large companies, to prevent further infections and in an attempt to break the contagion chain.


Update 1 – March 11th

Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The pandemic status means that the mere strategy of containing the proliferation of the disease would no longer be enough. The classification means that a recurring transmission is taking place in different parts of the world and simultaneously. The Portuguese citizens who do not comply with the isolation requested by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) to halt the transmission of the new coronavirus from China (Covid-19) risk incurring a crime of spreading the disease, whose prison sentence can be up to five years.

Taking into account the current situation, still of low risk in our country, and in accordance with our standard cancellation policy, since we have not yet received guidelines regarding the cessation of our activity, we appeal to the common sense of all, to adopt the proper preventive hygiene measures during our travels. If you do not feel comfortable traveling, please do not put at risk other passengers who may share the same tour.


We repeat the warnings and procedures put in place by the DGS:

  • Any person currently in Portugal and not feeling well should be proactive and remain isolated until properly tested;
  • Do not go to the hospital! If you are sick, you will increase the risk of contagion; if you are not, you are putting yourself at risk.
  • Call the SNS 24 number – +351 808 24 24 24 and report your symptoms if you suspect to be infected.
  • Masks are useless for the general public – currently, only doctors and nurses tending to the sick should wear them. Otherwise, they are worthless and can pose an even greater danger than not wearing them.
  • The best way to avoid the disease is to use proper hygiene – cough/sneeze to your elbow; use disposable tissues; wash hands regularly with soap and avoid touching your face; avoid touching doorknobs and railings; keep a 1-meter minimum distance from other persons.

 

Given the current situation and as cautionary measures:

  • Experiences outside of Portugal are canceled until further notice;
  • Transfers are still performed but only within Portugal or from Portugal to other destinations;
  • Experiences and Transfers to large events (such as the Fátima Apparitions) are canceled.

 

Lastly, as the situation develops, we would like to update our cancellation policy:

Any cancellation due to the new coronavirus – either directly or indirectly, is eligible for a full refund.

These situations include, but are not limited to:

  • Becoming infected or quarantined;
  • Not allowed traveling for medical reasons;
  • Border closure.

For the first two cases, a medical statement is required to issue a refund.

Otherwise, the standard cancellation policy will apply. Cancellations:

  • More than 7 days before the experience begins – full refund;
  • Within 7 days of the day of the experience – 30% value will no longer be refunded – cancellation fee;
  • The day of the experience or no-show – the total amount of the experience is due.

This post will be updated as new information becomes available.

 

We wish all the travelers safe trips and we hope to have you soon and in good health!

Douro
Pinhão from Ventozelo

The Douro Boom!

The Douro Boom!

Last year, Portugal EV Tours started its tours and experiences with only two small and high-quality vineyards: Quinta do Tedo and Quinta do Monte Travesso. Our bet in providing value to our customers as well as to our partners paid off and this year we have many more vineyards joining us in our quest for unique Experiences, sustainability and Electrification of the Douro Valley! It’s a true Douro Boom!

New Vineyards

For 2019, we welcome new vineyards to bring electrifying and exclusive experiences in the Douro Valley!

  • Quinta Seara D’Ordens
  • Quinta de Tourais
  • Quinta da Marka
  • Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo and their Restaurant “Conceitus”
  • Quinta do Seixo
  • Quinta de La Rosa and their Restaurant “Cozinha da Clara”
  • Quinta do Ventozelo
  • Quinta do Panascal
  • Quinta da Roeda and Pic-Nic at the Vineyard
  • Quinta do Vallado

Having a bigger offer with different vineyards means we are able to provide a new tour concept: Your Personal Douro! You can now choose where you want to go, the wine tastings of your choice, the lunch of your preference, the activities you care the most, with access to our discounted prices, with our partners (going live this week!).

New Services

You can also enjoy our private Transfer services since some of these vineyards have accommodations! Most of these vineyards are under 1h30 away from Porto and a private transfer will certainly be your best option to get there! During the travel, you can enjoy bottled water, cookies, Wifi and charge your mobile devices with our USB outlets.

Exclusive Tours and Visits

Lastly, we are in the process of creating a new and exclusive program with Quinta do Ventozelo. This big (400ha!) vineyard will soon be open to visits and is considered to be “the Douro in a Vineyard”. With this program, we will start in Porto, in the Gran Cruz Hotel, take you to the Adega Cooperativa de Alijó and finally have lunch and enjoy the afternoon at Quinta do Ventozelo. Keep your eyes peeled for more details soon!

Novelties for 2019!

Novelties for 2019!

We skipped the January blog post because we were hard at work to provide you the best Experiences for 2019!

2019 will mark our first expansion towards a new region, contrasting with the Douro Valley. We are talking about Alentejo!

In late 2018 and early 2019 we partnered with accommodations in Évora:

Madrugada is a rural tourism just on the outskirts of Évora that has 5 bedrooms and a whole lot of land surrounding it! At Madrugada, you can enjoy intimate contact with nature and the environment. You will wake up to perfect sunrises or enjoy the reddest and oranges sunsets of Alentejo; you can take a stroll through the olive orchards, have a picnic in an open field, enjoy contact with farm animals… The night is also magical and you will enjoy some of the clearest skies in all Portugal. The best part: its just 5min away from the centre of Évora and its beautiful monuments!

Heaven Inn is the only 5-star hostel in Évora and supported by the tourism of Portugal. It is located at walking distance from the centre of Évora, and some of the main touristic attractions: Praça do Giraldo, Bones Chappel, Évora Cathedral, Roman Temple, just to name a few. It has one of the best balconies in all of Évora, overlooking the city and its rooftops. A very modern hostel that still keeps all the traditional elements from Alentejo!

Lastly, we like to show you the best and unknown places to visit, always from the perspective of a local. That’s why we also partnered with Vagar Walking Tours! Mélanie and Diane will show you the best places and in and around Évora, and also other interesting cities in Alentejo: Arraiolos and the famous tapestries; Monsaraz and its castle, just to name a few!

With our new partners, you are now able to arrive in or tour around Évora and Alentejo in a modern, luxurious and environmental-friendly Tesla!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With the arrival of December, we entered the full holiday season 2018! And even at a time when weather may seem less inviting for outdoor activities, it’s the perfect time to visit the Christmas Villages!
These are small villages, historical and full of charm, decorated to the spirit of the season. Besides the decoration, the possibility to taste some typical products is a great bonus!
Here is a selection of most iconic Christmas Villages:

Santa Maria da Feira: Perlim.

This northern Portuguese city holds a party at Quinta do Castelo. With many activities for children and adults, surely you will enjoy good times and hours of fun. It is a short journey from Porto, about 30min by car.

Óbidos

Óbidos is in itself one of the biggest Portuguese attractions. It was described by the historian José Hermano de Saraiva as “the showcase of Portugal”. In addition to the traditional Obidos ginga, we can enjoy other traditional sweets. The walk along the wall and the historic village, with stops to visit the citadel and the Mother Church with altar painted by Josefa D’Óbidos is mandatory!
To visit Óbidos requires a full day trip. It’s a 2.30h drive from Porto. It is recommended to start in the morning, have lunch in Fatima and spend the afternoon in Óbidos.

Cabeça

What is a Christmas village without the snow? Located in the heart of Serra da Estrela, Cabeça is a small preserved village, where cars do not circulate. During the holiday season the whole village is decorated with natural materials, coming from the region. The whole village turns into a Christmas museum, with several houses opening their doors where we can see the traditional life of a small, isolated village. And of course, with the added charm of having snow!

Consult us to create your plan of visit to these magnificent places!
Happy Holidays!

Fall & Winter Programs

Fall & Winter Programs

Time to turn a new leaf and present our Fall & Winter Douro Programs!

Another harvest season has ended, and now it’s time for the wines to rest and mature. But that doesn’t mean activity in the Douro Valley will dwindle down or there aren’t new and exciting things to do during autumn and winter!

To kick things off, in November, we will have the olives harvest and the production of olive oil. This liquid gold was considered a deluxe product. With our carefully crafted program, you will learn everything regarding the olives and olive oil industry!

The colder months of December and January are more inviting to perform gastronomical tours! Strong, heavy and satisfying typical Douro meals can be experienced at local restaurants, bakeries and butcher shops! We can explore two routes, either north – Favaios, Pinhão, and Lamego; or south, to Serra da Estrela, the highest point in Portugal.

Our first hint of Spring will arrive mid-February when the almond trees start to blossom. Our almond tree tour will take us to the Douro Superior, near the border with Spain. There we will experience the floral snow covering the landscape and unravel the legend of the Douro almond trees.

Tours Douro

Douro Harvest

The Douro Harvest season is a time of great activity. The grapes become ripe and people are out in the terraces, picking them to make the great Douro and Port wines. The activity is such that, from a distance, people resemble ants working along the hills.

Immediately after picking, the grapes go into the “lagares”, where foot treading is still practiced and gives the wines their special taste and aroma.

With our Douro Harvest experience, you can participate in the foot treading – “Lagarada” in Portuguese, and know that you helped make great wines! We start by discovering the history of the region and the vinification processes with a visit to the Douro Museum. Then, you will enjoy a traditional lunch either at the Museum or the Quinta. Once on location, you will witness the harvest happening and can even choose to participate in the foot treading!

This year, weather conditions are pushing for a late harvest, beginning in the second week of September. Be sure to book now your Experience and engage in the most iconic activity of the Douro!

Tours Douro

Electrifying the Douro

Portugal EV Tours mission is to provide unique, genuine and unforgettable experiences. We are also developing a charging network in the Douro Valley!

Do you know what “Range Anxiety” is? It’s the fear you’ll run out of electricity when driving an electric vehicle. However, electricity is the most ubiquitous source of energy!

Modern gasoline cars have a range of 500 to 700km. More than enough to enable long-distance travel. And when we are low on gasoline, we can rest assured that we have a gas station nearby. The infrastructure is already in place.

With an electric vehicle, with ranges of around 200 to 300km, you will need to “fill up” more often. Also, you need to know where you can recharge your EV. So, the EV range is still low, compared to gasoline and diesel cars, and the charging infrastructure isn’t great (yet). Any electrical outlet will provide you with some energy. How fast you recharge depends on several factors, but if you are not using your car, you can leave it charging. A regular outlet provides 10km of range every hour – for our Model X. A 3-phase outlet provides 45km every hour and a charging station provides up to 70km every hour. Finally, fast chargers like the Supercharger network provide 250km every 30min!

With Portugal EV Tours, we aim to develop a network of charging hook-ups, so that you can visit the Douro Valley using an EV. We already succeeded in installing a public charging station in the village of Tabuaço and some of our partners will receive Tesla High Power connectors, enabling their customers to top up their EVs during a visit!

Tours Douro
Tours Douro

Welcome!

Welcome to Portugal EV Tours’ first blog post!

When we started this project we had a simple vision: show the Douro from the perspective of people who live, work and have an attachment to the Douro Valley region.

We also want to do it in a way that would preserve and protect the region for future generations. We will showcase the best, unknown places and persons of the Douro.

With a large emphasis on sustainability, we chose to be bold on our sustainability premise. We perform all our tours wanted using an electric vehicle. The Tesla Model X was the only vehicle that would fit our purpose: It is fully electric, can carry up to (in our case) 5 passengers, has great range and fast recharging capabilities. Also, it is more spacious than any other vehicle in the category. You will discover hidden storage spaces throughout the vehicle. Being electric means there is no engine noise. Therefore you can truly appreciate the region and its quietness while reducing stress associated with a car travel.

Our private experiences invite you to the region and to explore it through the eyes of the locals. The life, the landscape, the gastronomy, everything comes together in our experiences.

Stay tuned in our blog to catch up on the latest tours and special events we will be announcing!