This cycling holiday in the Douro will acquaint you with fascinating and magical surroundings, delicious cuisine and some of the world's finest wines (including, of course Port Wine, for which the region is famous). The ride begins in Castelo Rodrigo, a medieval village close to where Portugal borders Spain, and home to an ancient castle and arched palace gates. Your cycling heads across the highland plain to the Spanish border and on through historical villages to the River Douro. You'll cycle through uniquely terraced vineyards and take in the typical towns and villages of the region, including Pinhao, where many of the famous Port wine estates are located. The accommodation is all chosen with the greatest care and you'll stay in different types, from delightful rural houses to 3 and 4 star hotels.
Pick up a shared transfer from Porto airport (included at 14.20) to the easternmost point of your holiday; Castelo Rodrigo. Enjoy the beautiful landscape and scenery that unfolds along the way, entering the fascinating landscape of the Douro River Canyon and its 200 metre high cliffs. The historical village of Castelo Rodrigo deserves an exploratory walk, with its cobbled streets, palace ruins, old walls and ogival arched gates, 16th century pillory and medieval church. Your hotel is located in Castelo Rodrigo with great views over the surrounding plains, mountains and all the way to the border with Spain.
Buffet Breakfast and Evening meal included
The first day of cycling takes you across high plains to the historical village of Almeida, one of the most important strongholds in Portugal's history. Although it had been occupied by humans since the Palaeolithic era, it was only during the Arabic period that the name of the village came about - Al Meda meaning 'the table'. There is an ancient tale that a sumptuous table embedded with precious stones once stood in this spot. However, Almeida's military importance was yet to come...taken and re-taken many times during battles between the Portuguese and the Castilians, in 1296 a new castle was built by the Portuguese, then in 1640 an enormous star-shaped fortress was built around the town to defend against Spanish and French attacks. Eventually falling to Napoleon's armies it was later used by the Portuguese as a political prison. Also visit the village of Vilar Torpim, with it's chapel and manor house, and Escarigo, right on the Spanish border. Return to Castelo Rodrigo for your overnight.
Distance covered: 53 km / 33 miles
At the beginning of the day, cycle around the Serra da Marofa mountain range. Experience stunning views over the Iberian Plateau and from the top you can also see the Douro river system (which, beyond this river, includes Coa and Agueda rivers), to the East. Continue on to Aldeia do Juizo, a rural village with 2 chapels, several wineries and a community oven that is surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and almond orchards. On the banks of the river, there are vegetable-gardens, where the locals produce a wide variety of agricultural products. Stay in a delightful village house, part of a rural tourism complex of restored houses, all with private bathroom facilities.
Distance covered: 30 km / 19 miles
On the ride today you cycle through two historical villages, Marialva and Meda before your approach to Penedono, with views of its almost hexagon castle, perched on an outcrop. After the first 10 km you will be able to see the Castle of Marialva. When you reach the village, explore the streets, lined with buildings that have stood the test of time and which lead to the citadel surrounded by ancient walls. The next highlight is Meda - in medieval times this village was essentially a border town and the setting for hard-fought skirmishes between Christians and Muslims. The watchtower was one of the most important strategic defence points in the region and combined with the castles of Marialva and Longroiva. Today the village is quiet and the main activity is farming and wine-making. Continue on to Penedono and its medieval castle, a unique example of military architecture that dominates the surrounding countryside.
Distance covered: 39 km / 24 miles
The Alto Douro winemaking region is most famous for its Port wine, but the region also produces world-famous wines from the Touriga grape. The terraced vineyards are so typical of the region that they are listed a UNESCO World Heritage site and are a delight to behold. The neatly-kept wine estates rise proudly amidst the vineyards, their names clearly visible to everyone who passes. In the afternoon enjoy a boat trip on a 'Rabelo', a traditional 'gondola-shaped' boat that in earlier days transported up to 50 barrels of wine at a time, downriver, to Porto. The Port wine town of Pinhao is your next stop, with it's exquisite train station, the ceiling covered in azulejos (traditional Protuguese blue ceramic tiles). You spend the night in Pinhao.
Distance covered: 40 km / 25 miles
The route today takes you along the magnificent and enchanting Douro Valley. The views are nothing less than breathtaking, as if the Douro Valley is ensuring that you will never forget its magical beauty! Head along the riverside and enjoy a guided visit of an 18th century wine estate, at the confluence of the Douro and Tedo rivers, and a wine tasting at Quinta do Tedo. At the end of today's cycle you will arrive back in Pinhao.
Distance covered: 40.5 km / 25 miles
This morning you check out from your hotel and are transferred back to Porto; here you can choose to spend some time in this cosmopolitan city, or go straight back to the airport for your flight home. Extra nights in Porto can be requested at the time of booking.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
The accommodation on this trip is chosen with the greatest care and varies from one stop to the next. You stay in guesthouses, rural village houses, giving you a feel for the local community and 3 and 4 star hotels. Some of the properties have swimming pools for you to relax in after a day of cycling.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. However, as this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
This 6 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of hotels
All breakfasts and one evening meal.
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
Route directions and maps
High quality bikes
How to book:
|5th Apr||US$2099||Check availability|
|12th Apr||US$2099||Check availability|
|19th Apr||US$2099||Check availability|
|26th Apr||US$2099||Check availability|
|3rd May||US$2099||Check availability|
|10th May||US$2099||Check availability|
|17th May||US$2099||Check availability|
|24th May||US$2099||Check availability|
|31st May||US$2099||Check availability|
|7th Jun||US$2349||Check availability|
|14th Jun||US$2349||Check availability|
|21st Jun||US$2349||Check availability|
|28th Jun||US$2349||Check availability|
|5th Jul||US$2349||Check availability|
|12th Jul||US$2349||Check availability|
|19th Jul||US$2349||Check availability|
|26th Jul||US$2349||Check availability|
|2nd Aug||US$2349||Check availability|
|9th Aug||US$2349||Check availability|
|16th Aug||US$2349||Check availability|
|23rd Aug||US$2349||Check availability|
|30th Aug||US$2349||Check availability|
|6th Sep||US$2349||Check availability|
|13th Sep||US$2349||Check availability|
|20th Sep||US$2349||Check availability|
|27th Sep||US$2349||Check availability|
|4th Oct||US$2099||Check availability|
|11th Oct||US$2099||Check availability|
|18th Oct||US$2099||Check availability|
|25th Oct||US$2099||Check availability|
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
Sundays from 5th Apr 2020 to 25th Oct 2020, for 6 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
All breakfasts and one evening meal.
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £122 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
Standard transfers can be arranged for all flights arriving before 14:20. Standard transfer on the return can be arranged for all flight departures after 14:00.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Cycling in the Douro Valley. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.