Discovering Portugal As a Local with Madrid and Beyond

January 18, 2022 by Perrie Hartz

Photo Courtesy of Madrid & Beyond


Founded in 1999 by former history professor Nigel Hack, Madrid & Beyond is one of the most highly-regarded travel agencies in Spain and Portugal. Specializing in authentic and immersive experiences, this full-service DMC uses its extensive network of expert guides, local tastemakers and luxury hospitality connections to craft exceptional bespoke itineraries for the most discerning travelers who are looking to discover the true spirit of Spain and Portugal.


Photo Courtesy of Diego Garcia of Unsplash


Exploring Portugal

Madrid & Beyond’s trip itineraries extend beyond Spain into the small yet stunning country of Portugal. Lying along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula in southwest Europe, Portugal has an intriguing geographical and cultural blend of both Northern Europe and Mediterranean influences.


City lovers can immerse themselves in the vibrant coastal capital city of Lisbon, where an in-the-know local guide offers private walking tours through the incredible pastel colored, centuries-old buildings and winding alleyways of the old city, and the equally-historic, culturally rich neighborhood of Mouraria, the birthplace of Fado music, where you can sample local cuisine at hidden gem restaurants and learn about the incredibly dynamic yet laid-back culture of Portugal’s liveliest city.


You’ll also have the chance to meet with other local experts in design, fashion, and art, and through Madrid & Beyond’s extensive connections, you’ll enjoy behind-the-scenes private access to galleries, showrooms, ateliers, and more.


Photo Courtesy of Lucas Miguel of Unsplash


Privately-chauffeured day trips from Lisbon include historic Sintra with its stunning ancient castles and fortresses, the lovely white hill-top village of Obidós, and Cascais, once a simple fishing port, that has since transformed into a chic coastal retreat for locals and well-heeled travelers.

Photo Courtesy of Madrid & Beyond


Beach lovers and sailing enthusiasts can take advantage of Portugal’s stunning and secluded beaches in Comporta and enjoy a private chartered sail along the Tagus river. For those seeking to get off the beaten path and experience Portugal outside of its major metropolitan cities, Madrid & Beyond can create incredible itineraries exploring the spectacular region of Alentejo, a bucolic area southeast of Lisbon filled with rolling hills, historic hilltop towns, and ancient castles. Activities include horseback riding or hiking to the medieval castle of Monsaraz, a scenic private picnic beneath cork trees, and an excursion to the quaint historic town of Évora for an authentic Alentejan cooking class.


Other activities in Alentejo include a private tour of a local cork farm in a classic 1974 Green Land Rover, wine tasting at a local vineyard, and the chance to meet local artisans and craftsmen and try your hand at their trades, from pottery sculpting to knitting merino wool “mantas” blankets. 

Photo Courtesy of Madrid & Beyond

In the Douro Valley, families and groups will love taking a tour of the stunning region in a vintage car, which offers incredible panoramic view of the breathtaking landscape. Afterwards, a visit to a renown wine estate for a spectacular lunch experience and then a private boat ride to the beautiful town of Pinhão with unforgettable views of the World Heritage Site rounds out the day.


For foodies and wine lovers, a visit to Porto is a must. A lovely coastal city located along the Douro River in northern Portugal, Porto is one of Europe’s oldest cities and a UNESCO world heritage site. Known predominantly for its port wine production, Porto is filled with historic neighborhoods, narrow, winding cobbled streets and quaint cafes. Porto is also Portugal’s very own gastronomical capital, and Madrid & Beyond offers an exceptional itinerary of sumptuous food tours, local wine tastings, and cooking classes.

Photo Courtesy of Six Senses Douro Valley


Gourmand award-winning food writers are at hand to provide in depth tours of local markets and specialty grocery stores, along with visits to the craft breweries and vineyards, and meals at some of the cities most beloved eateries. These in-depth tours not only delve into the roots of Portuguese cuisine, but highlight the local architecture, history, and culture that make Porto such a dynamic and intriguing city.


With a myriad of activities, day trips, and adventures to choose from, Madrid & Beyond uses its expansive network of Portuguese guides, experts, tastemakers and local artisans to create truly unforgettable and personalized itineraries throughout Portugal.

Photo Courtesy of Madrid & Beyond


About Madrid & Beyond’s Expertise and Services

Along with each fully customized itinerary, the company also offers outstanding luxury transportation services, VIP meet & greet upon arrival, departure assistance, a dedicated tour manager and concierge service, and VIP English-speaking 24/7 support. After 22 years in the luxury travel industry, Madrid & Beyond has collected an impressive network of multilingual guides, collaborators, and local tastemakers, as well as an expertly curated choice of premium accommodations throughout the region. While Madrid & Beyond caters to a variety of interests and preferences for discerning travelers, they have made a reputation for being experts, above all, in family travel and multi-generational trips.



Madrid & Beyond



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