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Vítor Bezerra |


Rui is the founder of Living Tours, passionate about knowledge, new experiences and especially the Portuguese heritage in the world, traveling as one of his main passions and motivations.

Let's learn a little more about your passion ...

  1. Where are you from? Tell us a little about your city or region!

I am a true Minhoto (habitant from Minho Region in Portugal), I was born in the parish of Viatodos belonging to the city of Barcelos, the city and birthplace of our mascot the Barcelos rooster and an international symbol of Portugal. My childhood and education also passed through the city of Famalicão since Viatodos was on the border between Barcelos and Vila Nova de Famalicão.

The Minho region is the cradle of the Nation, has a very rich and diverse cuisine with a traditional cuisine of unmistakable flavors that has become Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and with very strong cultural roots. It is the greenest region in Portugal also known as the “Jardim de Portugal” (Portugal’s Garden) and the famous green wine.

Currently my city is Porto, that has embraced me since I was 18 years old, being now more “Tripeiro” (name given to Porto’s habitants) than Minhoto, but both are my safe haven and two of the most remarkable regions in the history of this country that I am so proud of, and perhaps justify my unconditional pride for Portugal! I love to travel and whenever I can I do it, but returning to this region is an indescribable pleasure! A real passion!

2. When did you join the Living family and what is your role?

I joined the big and warm LivingTouriana Family in 1999, the year I decided to improve my English at a college in Dublin, Ireland and after seeing tourism with some expression. I felt in love with the industry!

My role in addition to Founder and CEO is to have fun at work because I love what I do.

3.         Why Living Tours? And why Tourism?

Living Tours comes from Living in Portugal (initial name), living / feeling Portugal, comes from my purpose of pride and patriotism of wanting to show to the world and to our guests the best we have in Portugal!

Tourism! I was “outsider” in tourism, I didn't understand anything about the area or the industry, which was an advantage by having risked on something unknown. Maybe i wouldn’t do it if i knew it all. It was only to make a dream come true with a lot of resilience, determination and “Let’s Make It Happen” feeling!

4.         How is your working day?

Is a pleasure! I wake up around 5:45 am and i do a morning run for about 30 to 40 minutes fto give energy to the body and mind. I am a true lover of life, I love to live my day to day intensely and surrounded by people more intelligent than me, so that I can learn and grow every day. That help me to do my best and evolve every day. Is really a pleasure and fun, with energy, positivity and daily learning.

5.         What are your hobbies, how do you like to spend your free time?

In addition to Traveling and Experiencing the World, my free time is spent in family, in outdoor sports activities or in the gym.One of my favorite hobbies is reading, almost always about entrepreneurship and biographies of entrepreneurs and business, in search of knowledge, to learn new techniques, to innovate and discovering trends to apply at Living Tours!

When possible i Enjoy dine out with friends, but with now having with children I confess to be less often than I would like, but there are priorities and responsibilities that have to be prioritized.

6.         How many countries have you visited so far?

41 countries. For those who have the purpose of life to experience the World, I still lack many!

7.         Of all of them, what was your favorite trip and the one that most marked you and why?

All! Because all trips are unforgettable, specially those which the experience was positive like the ones we offer our tourists daily, then it is for eternity.

But I have 2 really remarkable trips! Jamaica and Venice!

Jamaica because it was a trip that ended in marriage! During the flight I read in the in-flight magazine that Jamaica was known for beach weddings! The tip was in the subconscious and when we came across that idyllic scenario it clicked! With 10 years of dating we thought it would be the perfect place! A simple wedding without being scheduled. The last-minute improvised witnesses were the servants of champagne and cake!

Italy was an unforgettable trip with my girlfriend at the time and now my current wife, with my first savings from my 1st salary. We took a car trip from Porto, crossed Spain, France and toured Northern Italy, where we visited cities like Pisa, Florence, Vicenza, Padua, Milan, Modena, Verona, Venice, Lake Garda, Turin in France. Nice, Monaco, Cannes, Marseille and in Spain, Barcelona, Bilbao, Salamanca and Zaragoza. We did 6 thousand km in 12 days

Venice because it is completely different from all other destinations! Seeing a city running on water, when the streets are literally water channels, the post offices to be distributed in boats through the channels, ambulances, firefighters, buses, taxis, in short, everything that a city has, but in boat format and on fully functioning water streets! It was surreal to call a passing taxi or ride a bus. I have been back there 2 times and I intend to return with my children

8.         What is the best experience / tour you had on a trip?

It was a private tour in San Francisco to Silicon Valley, private because I hadn’t shared, if I don’t always opt for shared tours.

Being an entrepreneur lover it was like going to Rome for Christians, where I had the opportunity to visit Google, Facebook, Oracle, Tesla, Microsoft, Dell and Intel. Visited the garage of Bill Gates where Microsoft was born, Steve Jobs' house and garage where Apple was born. Had lunch in Palo Alto where Mark Zuckerberg was having lunch and drove a Tesla before it came to Europe! It was an excellent tour and a great experience.

9.         What is your dream trip to take? And what experience are you looking for on that trip?

Visiting all the former portuguese colonies is indeed a wish, in particular India essentially Goa, Damão and Dio! All the former colonies are a true wish that I hope to fulfill!

To date I know Brazil and the various regions of Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro and Paraty were the ones that marked me for the very present Portuguese culture

Also Maldives where I had the opportunity to visit the capital Malé with the presence of the Portuguese coat of arms engraved, for example, on cannons, among others such as Cape Verde, Tanger and Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay, where I experienced a unique sensation!

When visiting the village inside the Portuguese fortress, currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visiting the Portuguese Museum, an important Portuguese house from 1717 that includes earthenware, tiles, reproductions of old maps and the original Portuguese shield, which was in the gate of arms of the wall, was a teacher with a group of Uruguayan students visiting and explaining the following “… imagine this people to date without GPS, without maps and without guidance dominated practically the whole world of Asia to the Americas, imagine that adventurous and brave this was the people! ”I shivered with pride that I listened to this teacher saying this with such enthusiasm and praising us in a warm and intense way.

10.       What is the best company on a trip for you? with friends, partner, family or alone? And why?

The important thing is to travel! I travel a lot alone for work, therefore for leisure I prefer naturally with family! With friends it is always something more complicated, given that each one has their own tastes, preferences, moods and wills. As a young man i traveled extensively with friends who are now family.

But I never give up on a trip for lack of company! The suitcase is always ready for a trip!

11.       Cultural destination, beach or nature? And what activities do you like to do?

All! There are specific moments for each one, each one has its own charm and beauty.

Activities, tours and experiences are always the best way to get to know and experience a destination and with a perfect host they will be unique.

I always look for unique and particular activities for each destination. When it's a beach, I look for nautical and / or nature tours.

In urban destinations I usually start with a city tour,  for a generic setting, then a boat tour whenever they are cities with river, sea or canals, a bicycle tour or walking tours is a way to deepen the destination and stay to know its nooks and crannies and finally an air tour as a helicopter or plane, always shared to be more affordable, but a complete experience in the destination has to be by land, air and water, in addition to the cultural history.


12.       If you could travel back in time, when would you travel and why?

I would like to travel to the time of the Portuguese discoveries and the colonial empire. In order to revive the true country so small, capable of such a great achievement. So few, but with such ambition, we created the largest global empire, the 1st World Globalization, really a milestone in our history that we are all so proud of.

13.       What's the best gastronomic experience you've had on a trip?

It is not the reason for my travels, but I love new experiences and as such in Rome being Roman, whenever I travel I love getting to know the local culture and gastronomy. In addition to traditional Portuguese cuisine, I like Asian and Italian cuisine.

But I confess that I am one of those who also look for Portuguese restaurants around the world, not really for food, but to visit our countrymen and feel the Portuguese outside Portugal where one feels and breathes the true meaning of the word “Saudade” and feels the best of Being Portuguese.

For example, when  I worked as a manager on another company before founding Living Tours and on a tour across France with French representative Mr Christian Zolger, a French lover from Portugal, we went to a Portuguese restaurant that he knew in Paris, to dine a portuguese cod récipe “Bacalhau à Braga” with a Quinta de Cabriz Reserve red wine, which I remembered, for all the involvement of Portugal in the World, longing, culture, pride, a perfect blend of full pleasure and being sharing our culture with a Frenchman, one more Unforgettable experience.

14.       What form of transport do you like most to travel? Car, train or plane? Why?

All! In Portugal and Spain the car, and as long as it is not for trips to large cities. The Airplane and Train are more comfortable for long journeys, allow the freedom of not having to worry about where to park, garage, fines and also gives the possibility to work, read, among others. Giving usefulness to the time that is lost on trips, which are usually spent reading, I am able to take a trip reading for 8 hours.

15.       What is your favorite place to visit in Portugal or Spain, why recommend it?

All locations are unique! The Iberian Peninsula is  very rich in culture, diversity, gastronomy, religions, multiracial, influences from various peoples, it is undoubtedly very rich and what we should always enjoy the best of each destination!

I know almost all the destinations and regions of the Iberian Peninsula and they all enchant me from the Picos de Europa and Gerês to the South and the beaches, passing through all the cities of the interior, everything is recommended, unique and charming and I can't say a single favorite, for me all the Peninsula is a Favorite !! That´s the Destination!

16.       For you, what is the dish, drink and experience that no one should miss when visiting Portugal!

There are so many choices, but suddenly I would recommend these:

In Portugal,  all cod récipes such as Bacalhau à Braga, Bacalhau à Brás or Bacalhau com Natas, then Octopus and Francesinha. An aperitif Porto Tonic, a fresh and fruity green wine on a hot day or a full-bodied and welcoming red Douro wine on the coldest days, and a 10 year dessert  port Tawny.

In Spain, Paella, tapas like spicy potatoes, broken eggs, Galician octopus and sausages, Asturian cider, Tinto de Verano, Cava de Catalunya and a wine from Rioja or Ribera del Duero!

The most important thing is that it is always done in good company!

17.       What is your favorite Living Tours experience or tour and why?

All for those who do not know the destination, the best way to know and experience the regions!

In my case and given to know, I will choose 2 not for the historical cultural content, but for the experience and that include wine tasting.

Wine Tour - Douro Valley, because it was effectively the 1st and the original Wine Tour departing from Porto and for the Douro region. There was already either the Douro Tour by Living and similar ones, but Living Tours was the first company to launch a Wine Tour for Porto and to the Douro Valley.

So our Wine Tour is an incredible experience because it combines the history and culture of the region, with a visit and wine tasting at two of the best estates in the region, offering unique and incredible views and landscapes, promoting and including lunch at a producing farm of wine, where you can breathe the culture and beauty of the region ending with a cruise in Pinhão in the typical Rabelo boat that transported Port wine between the local Douro of production and the local Port of storage and from where they were shipped for export .

This tour becomes unique and special due to the quality and excellence of our members of the Livingtouriana team and the excellent teams of our partners that make the experience unique, either because of the knowledge of the region, many of them coming from the region, or because of their human qualities and humanization that they give to the tour, making it UNIQUE and Unforgettable!

The 2nd Tour is our Port Wine Sunset Walking Tour, where we accompany our guests to 3 of the best viewpoints in the city of Porto, starting with the tasting of a Porto Tonic in a viewpoint over the river douro and overlooking the river and bridges arrábida and D Luis I, a second viewpoint overlooking the city and S- Bento station where a Tawny is served and we finish at night in an indoor bar / terrace with DJ and music and a coexistence of tourists and locals, a perfect spot exchange of cultures and knowledger.

Thank you Rui for allowing us to discover the world a little through your travels.

This interview was the first of the Living Magazine rubric, stay tuned, there will be more interviews soon…

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