Portugal : Mainland Portugal

Cycling in the Douro Valley

Trip code: C06DV 4.5 (4 reviews)

Self-guided cycling

6 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 3
Stretching

19.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

SUMMARY

  • World-class wines of the Douro Valley
  • Guided visit and wine tasting at Quinta da Pacheca
  • Delicious cuisine, prepared with local and seasonal produce
  • Cycle terraced vineyards
  • Unique, handpicked accommodation

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts and one evening meal.
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Visit and wine tasting on day 6
  • Airport transfers

TRIP DESCRIPTION

This self-guided 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 Peso da Regua, from where the wine barrels were transported in Rabelos to Vila Nova de Gaia. The accommodation is all chosen with the greatest care and you'll stay in different types, from delightful rural houses to 4 star hotels.

Terrain

Routes are mainly on quieter country roads, with some short sections on busier roads and some sections on cobbled roads.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive and transfer to Castelo Rodrigo

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.

You stay at Casa da Cisterna.

hotel details

 equivalent

Casa da Cisterna, Castelo Rodrigo

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


For the most of us, living in a luxury condominium means living within a modern infrastructure with a selected and closed environment that should include a swimming pool. But for Ana and António, two biologists who came from Lisboa fascinated by the rural charms, the luxury condominium concept is a bit different: in Castelo Rodrigo, the beautiful fortified village they live in, the walls have centuries of history and are opened to whoever wants to come in. The people in the neighbourhood always stand a smile and the swimming pool is a monument – the ancient cistern that once served as water reservoir for the village and now gives name to Casa da Cisterna. Different perspectives, different rhythms of life...

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Cycle across high plains to Almeida and Escarigo on the Spanish border (53km/32.9mi)

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.

elevation

Day 3: Cycle to Aldeia do Juizo along backroads with beautiful landscapes (30km/18.6mi)

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.

elevation

You stay at Casas do Juizo.

hotel details

 equivalent

Casas do Juizo, Aldeia Do Juizo

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


Located in the centre of the village of Juizo, Casas do Juízo - Turismo Rural is a rural tourism complex of 8 rustic houses. Houses have been fully recovered maintaining their original characteristics and each can accommodate 1 to 8 people. Each feature private bathroom facilities and are equipped with flat-screen TV with 30 channels, sofas, fireplace, wardrobe and dining areas. Guests staying at Casas do Juízo - Turismo Rural will be able to prepare their own meals since each house includes a fully equipped kitchen. In addition Taberna do Juiz can serve meals upon previous request. The complex where Casas do Juízo - Turismo Rural are set includes a greenhouse, a vegetable garden, fruit trees, werehouses, garages, a glass-covered terrace, 2 fountains and a waterwell. Guests can enjoy the tranquillity and unique landscapes of Beira Alta.

Day 4: Cycle through the historical villages of Marialva, Meda and on to Penedono (39km/24.2mi)

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.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Medieval de Penedono.

hotel details



Hotel Medieval de Penedono, Penedono

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


Located in the heart of one of the most beautiful and traditional villages of Portugal, Hotel Medieval® de Penedono**** offers you an elegant and cozy atmosphere with a stunning view of Penedono’s Castle. It is this combination of modern and traditional that gives the hotel its identity and unique charm. Housed in a historic building whose original facade was maintained, Hotel Medieval® de Penedono**** invites you to discover the beauty of this historical region where Douro meets Beira Alta.

Day 5: Ride to the UNESCO World Heritage listed vineyards of the Douro Valley (60km/37.3mi)

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.The last stop is at the town of Peso da Regua. The town's name originated from the name of a Roman house that once stood here - the 'Villa Reguela'. Its great development only began however after 1756 with the creation of the Real Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro (Royal Company of Vine-Growers from the Alto Douro Region), which set up the world's first-ever demarcated region for wine production.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Regua Douro.

hotel details



Hotel Regua Douro, Peso da Regua

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon


The hotel is located on the bank of the River Douro, in Peso da Regua, at the entrance of the Douro Region. The restaurant and pool look out over the river.

Day 6: Peso da Regua Loop (34km/21.1mi)

Today you cycle to Lamego, a picturesque town that seamlessly blends history, natural beauty and cultural charm. This enchanting city boasts a rich historical heritage that dates back to Roman times. Its well-preserved historic centre, characterised by narrow cobbled streets and centuries-old churches, offers a glimpse into Portugal's past. The city is graced by the imposing Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, a Baroque masterpiece perched on a hill and accessed by a grand staircase decorated with intricate azulejos (tiles). Lamego is also renowned for its role in the production of Portugal's famous wines, particularly Port. We recommend you have lunch in Lamego before heading back towards Peso da Regua.

elevation

Day 7: Transfer back to the airport, or choose to spend extra time in the cosmopolitan city of Porto

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.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights?  

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £240.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £240.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Gatwick to Porto with TAP Air Portugal
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Electric bikes
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
Out: TAP Air Portugal Gatwick to Porto then transfer to hotel 3 hours Return: Transfer to airport 1 hour 45 mins then TAP Air Portugal to Gatwick

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Standard transfers
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.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we open again 9am Monday) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

A beautiful trip through some stunning scenery. You visit very remote and isolated parts of Northern Portugal that you would never normally get to see. The hotels are small and you are looked after extremely well by the hosts. The people we met were friendly and helpful. Overall it was a fabulous holiday

LACEY, 18 May 2023

 

Excellent cycling trip exploring some very quiet areas of Portugal. The accommodation was of a vey high standard.

Mrs Kilpatrick, 27 Apr 2023

 

We had a wonderful holiday in the Douro Valley. The route was really scenery was beautiful and the choice of accommodation excellent. We felt well supported by staff and the high quality of equipment. Although the trip was graded challenging, it wasn't impossible but taking into account the length and steepness of the climbs we consider it to be accurate. Would highly recommend this holiday to people who cycle regularly.

Mrs Princep, 21 May 2022

 

You start in an unspoilt, beautiful part of NE Portugal and gradually work your way down to the Duoro valley. The wildflowers in May are stunning. There are some challenging climbs but it is worth it.

Mrs Elphick, 21 May 2022

 


Self-guided cycling

6 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 3
Stretching

19.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

6 nights from £1709

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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