Portugal has been making wine for centuries, with some estimates placing the first planting of vines as far back as 2000 BC. The Basto and Douro regions are perhaps the best known and offer rich landscape and history to visitors from around the globe.
This walking tour starts in atmospheric Porto and continues a voyage of taste and discovery through the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley, where the famous port wines are produced. We also take in the region known as Terras de Basto where Portugal’s ‘young’ wine – vinho verde – is produced. Leisurely walks and cultural visits provide the perfect introduction to this fascinating country, once a dominant world trading power.
Grade: 1 (Leisurely) Each day, we walk for 2 to 5 hours (excluding the sightseeing day). The terrain and type of path will vary from manmade paved tracks and tarmac to dirt roads. The walks are easy and taken at a leisurely pace, although some short ascents and descents should be expected. Please be aware that the Douro region can also be very warm, often reaching 30 degrees in the summer months between June and September. Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximations only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of the group. Some of the drives, although short, follow winding mountain roads.
Our group flight usually arrives in Porto in the early afternoon. A single group transfer from Porto city centre (Hotel Cristal) to the start hotel will be provided for flight inclusive and land only clients. Full joining instructions will be provided prior to departure, but the transfer usually leaves Porto city centre between 4pm and 5pm and will reach the start hotel before dinner. If you are planning to join this transfer, please contact us prior to departure to request it.
This morning we transfer (approx. 40 mins) from the hotel to the start of today's walk in Povoação, driving through the beautiful roads along the north slope of the Douro Valley and its side tributaries. The Corgo walking trail is located on the heart of the Douro wine region and here we will be walking most of the time along terraced vineyards with unique views of the Corgo river. In the afternoon we transfer to Vila Real (20 mins) to visit Casa de Mateus, a palace set in beautiful gardens considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Portugal. After the visit we transfer back to the hotel (approx. 50 mins).
We start the day with a short transfer (30 mins) to Quinta de Tedo, a winery from the 18th century in the heart of the Douro region. We will have a guided tour of the grounds, following a walking trail that offers beautiful views of the Douro and Tedo Rivers, vineyards and olive groves and plenty of opportunities for bird watching. After lunch and an included wine tasting at the winery we transfer to the town of Regua, where we visit the Douro Museum to learn about the history, culture and identity of the UNESCO World Heritage Douro wine region. In the afternoon we transfer back to our hotel.
After breakfast, we transfer to Ovadas (approx. 1 hour) for our walk in the Cabrum Valley. This region, set on the mountain of Montemuro, marks the transition from the coastal temperate and humid regions to the dry and hot regions of Tras-os-Montes. We discover the landscape of terraces, stone-built walls and villages that have retained the beauty of their rural location. In the afternoon we transfer to Mondim de Basto (approx. 1h50), on our way we cross the Alvao Natural Park, a protected area that offers a haven to endangered bird species. We’ll stop to visit one of the villages within the park's boundaries, an opportunity to see a truly traditional way of life. We stay overnight at a 4-star hotel offering an infinity pool and wonderful views.
Our walk today takes us to the surroundings of Mondim de Basto in the green wine region, along the banks of Cabril river. Here we are welcomed with uninterrupted views of the forested mountains, side by side with the lands worked for the daily food and the vineyards of the Terras de Basto region. We finish our walk in the medieval bridge of Vilar Viando, which is still used by the pilgrims walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. We will then go to Quinta das Escomoeira where we will do the wine tasting, to appreciate the organic 'Vinho Verde' or green wine. In the afternoon on our way back to the hotel we visit one of the main shrines to the Virgin Mary found in northern Portugal: the Senhora da Graca, also known as Chapel of Monte Farinha. The chapel is perched in front of granite mountain range at almost 1000m high.
This morning transfer by minivan (10mins) to Levada do Piscaredo, a waterway dating back to the 13th Century where we will start our walk. These rural constructions were indispensable for the irrigation of the fields of the Terras de Basto region, due to water scarcity in the past. We follow the waterway to the center of Mondim de Basto village. The afternoon is free to enjoy the hotel amenities or the hotel surroundings.
In the morning we travel back to the vibrant of Porto. After a guided visit of the historic centre and Port wine cellars (wine tasting included), the rest of the day is free for further individual sightseeing or optional activities, such as a boat ride along the Douro river; overnight at a Hotel in Porto.
Our trip ends in Porto in the morning of day 8.
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.
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.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Superb guides, wonderful location, excellent hotels and a fascinating area.
An easy going amble through lovely countryside, no long or challenging walks. Lina and Antonio were great guides. Lovely quitas were visited with great tastings and lunches. Accommodation was very comfortable with good facilities but too " corporate" compared with the more individual smaller accommodation usually associated with Headwater. All in all: the holiday was as advertised.
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.
This 7 night guided walking holiday includes:
All breakfasts, 2 dinners and 3 wine tastings
All transport and listed activities
Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Transfers for group flights
How to book:
|10th Apr 2022||US$2479||Tour only: US$2479||Check availability|
|23rd Apr 2022||US$2479||Tour only: US$2479||Check availability|
|14th May 2022||US$2479||Tour only: US$2479||Check availability|
|5th Jun 2022||US$2649||Tour only: US$2649||Check availability|
|19th Jun 2022||US$2649||Tour only: US$2649||Check availability|
|3rd Sep 2022||US$2649||Tour only: US$2649||Check availability|
|17th Sep 2022||US$2649||Tour only: US$2649||Check availability|
|25th Sep 2022||US$2649||Tour only: US$2649||Check availability|
|1st Oct 2022||US$2579||Tour only: US$2579||Check availability|
This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
7 nights 4 and 5-star hotels, all rooms en suite
5 days short gentle walks and 1 free day
Group normally 6-16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
Well marked trails and paths
Travel by private air-conditioned minibus