This 7-night guided walking holiday combines plentiful wine-tastings with relaxed walks through valleys and terraced vineyards, and alongside gushing rivers.
Starting and finishing in the atmospheric city of Porto, we'll explore its historic centre and taste the many sweet Port wines in the city's wine cellars. Portuguese wine is the result of traditions introduced by ancient civilisations; the Basto and Douro regions remain two of the main wine-producing regions of Portugal, complete with wonderful landscapes and a rich history to discover.
We'll then head through the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley, where the famous Port wine has been produced for 2,000 years, and continue on to the Terras de Basto, home of Portugal's 'young' Vinho Verde wine. With leisurely walks, wine-tastings and cultural visits throughout, this tour is the perfect introduction to the country that once dominated world trade routes.
We'll stay in three luxury hotels, where you can relax further after your walks each day. We have included two evening meals, so that you can enjoy tasting the delicious regional cuisine in the local restaurants. A local specialty is the caldo verde, a cabbage soup that originated here thanks to the fertile green fields of the region. The Duoro region is also well-known for its fresh fish and endless number of meat dishes, including the famous roasted goat with rice and potatoes, wild boar stew, posta mirandes (veal steak) and cozido a portuguesa (boiled meat, sausages and cabbages).
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.
Check into your **** hotel and then explore the beautiful historic city of Porto, famous for one of the most appreciated wines in the world - Port wine. (Staying at the Hotel Vila Gale, Breakfast only)
After breakfast, we will transfer to Cinfaes (approx 1.5hr journey) for our walk in the Bestanca Valley. Within the valley is Portugal's hidden gem, the Bestanca River, with plenty of waterfalls, a mediaeval stone bridge and villages that have retained the beauty of their rural location. There are many walking paths in the valley, allowing us to combine several different routes, but the highlight is the walking trail of 'Vilar de Mouros', which passes through the mediaeval bridge of Covelas and Biodiversity Stations. We then transfer to our ***** luxury hotel at Mesao Frio (approx 1 hour journey) via a scenic road that follows the Douro River. (Staying at the Douro Scala Agua Hotel, Half Board)
We start the day with a short transfer (30 mins) to Quinta de Tedo, a winery farm from the C18 in the heart of the Douro region. We will have a guided tour of the winery grounds, following a walking trail that offers beautiful views of the Douro and Tedo river, vineyards and olive groves and plenty of opportunities for some bird-watching. After lunch and an included wine-tasting at the winery we transfer to the town of Regua, where we visit the interesting Douro Museum, an ideal place 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. (Staying at the Douro Scala Agua Hotel, Breakfast only)
This morning we transfer (approx 40 mins) from the hotel to the start of today's walk in Povoacao, driving through the beautiful roads along the north slope of the Douro Valley and its side affluents. The Corgo walking trail is located in 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. We end the walk at Quinta do Vallado winery where we have the chance to enjoy another wine-tasting experience (optional). 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. Later we continue by bus through the Alvao Natural Park, stopping to take in the views of the 200m-high Fisgas do Ermelo, one of the largest waterfalls in Europe. (Staying at the Mondim Agua Hotel, Half Board)
Our walk today takes us through Quinta das Escomoeiras, a traditional winery in the green wine region set on the banks of the Tamega River. Here we are greeted with uninterrupted views of the forest-covered mountains of the Terras de Basto region. We will explore the woodlands above the river and return to Lourido and the Quinta's welcome Adega via the Ecopista, a former railway track which is now a walking and cycling route. We finish our walking with wine tasting, to appreciate the organic 'Vinho Verde' or green wine. (Staying at the Mondim Agua Hotel, Breakfast only)
This morning we transfer by mini-van (10 mins) to Levada do Piscaredo, a waterway dating back to the C13 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 centre of Mondim de Basto village. In the afternoon 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 a granite mountain range at almost 1,000m-high. (Staying at the Mondim Agua Hotel, Breakfast only)
This morning we travel back to the vibrant city 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 individual sightseeing or optional activities, such as a boat ride along the Douro river. (Staying at the Hotel Vila Gale, Breakfast only)
Please note: it is possible that the order of the itinerary listed above will be changed to ensure the best possible conditions for each activity during the trip. All listed activities and services will be included. Your leader will inform you of any changes locally after assessing conditions.
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.
NEARBY:The **** Vila Gale is located in the heart of Porto and was renovated in 2015. The central hotel offers a health club with an indoor swimming pool and the spacious rooms are air-conditioned and feature contemporary décor. All come with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom, including a hairdryer.
Enjoy a first-class service and celebrity treatment at the ***** Douro Scala Agua Hotel, complete with spa. Nestled in the Mesão Frio region, the hotel is surrounded by vineyards and overlooks the rolling hills of the Douro Valley.
Encompassed by a picturesque mountain landscape lies the Mondim Agua Hotel. Valley views are offered whilst soaking in the outdoor infinity pool. Indoor its state-of-the-art spa features Turkish baths, hot tub, indoor pool and fitness room.
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Minimum group sizes
A minimum of 4 people (in total) are required for each departure.
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Guided walking Managed by our sister company, Exodus.
All breakfasts, 2 evening meals and 3 wine-tastings
Transfers included from Porto airport at 14:00, and back to Porto airport at 15:15.
If you choose to book your own flights please check with us first that your chosen departure date is definitely operating as our guided holidays are subject to minimum group sizes.
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We've been creating high-quality relaxed activity holidays since 1985 and our wealth of experience means we're able to build the perfect tailor-made tour for you. Our 'Gold Trusted' rating on Feefo, the independent review site, underlines our exceptional levels of customer service, and our ATOL bonding and ABTA membership guarantees your holiday is safe with us.