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Route

Technical Characteristics:

Route Profile: Medium. Ideal for walkers who are fit enough to manage more hills and longer distances.  Multi-day walks at this grade demand a degree of stamina and may involve an occasional steep climb.

Total Distance: 77 km

Travel Season: Departures daily March 1 – October 31, 2022
Low Season: March 1 – May 31 and October 16 – October 31
High Season: June 1 – October 15

Accommodation:

Mix of charming hotels, 3* and 4* hotels with private facilities.

The Northwest coast of Portugal is known as the Costa Verde or Green Coast thanks to the abundance of vegetation that backs onto it and the not so distant mountains of the Minho countryside.  As you head north from Porto on this tour, you will experience the ever changing coastal landscape of wide sandy beaches, rocky coves, pebble beaches, pleasant seaside towns and fishing villages. You’ll also spend time in the small historical city of Viana do Castelo and end up in the charming town of Caminha at the very top of Portugal, just across the river from Spain.  While much of the route hugs the coast, you’ll head inland at times to walk through fields, forests and villages to get a deeper insight into the lifestyle of rural Portuguese communities and small scale farming practices.  With relatively short, leisurely walking days, you will have plenty of time and energy to explore the towns and villages you stay in and to take breaks en route for a swim or spend time on the beach.  Make the most of the ample opportunities to sample the freshest catch of the day and other delicious Portuguese fares from the Minho region.  If you have more time to spare, you can extend this coastal holiday by beginning your walk from Porto or simply spend a few days there and/or continue north into Spain as far as the alluring seaside town of Baiona.

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival and transfer to Povoa de Varzim

We’ll meet you at Porto airport or your Porto hotel and rive you in a comfortable air conditioned vehicle to the coastal town of Povoa de Varzim. Its wide sandy beaches make this a popular holiday spot for Portuguese families. Discover its deep connection with the ocean, explore the small historical center, relax on the beach or try your luck at the casino.

Day 2

Povoa de Varzim - Apulia 14 km + 106 m

Follow the boardwalks alongside sandy beaches and between sand dunes and windmills. Then leave the coast to walk through market gardens and woodland on the approach to the village of Apulia with its fishing boats and huts. If in luck, you may catch the seaweed collectors at work. Relax on the beach and try some of the tastiest octopus around.

Day 3

Apulia - Esposende 8 km + 49 m

Walk through the outskirts of Fao before walking alongside and across the Cavado Estuary as you approach the low rise resort town of Esposende. Your hotel is a short distance from the small historical center with attractive squares and churches. If you are feeling energetic, you could rent a bike or try your hand at stand up paddling or even kite surfing.

Day 4

Esposende to Castelo de Neiva 13 km + 82 m

Today’s walk offers varied scenery as you pass through small villages and smallholdings and a stretch of pebbly beaches before heading inland to cross the Neiva River. Spend the afternoon discovering the historical features and tree lined grounds of the gorgeous historical country house where you’ll be spending the night. Relax by the pool if weather permits.

Day 5

Castelo de Neiva – Viana do Castelo 14 km + 71 m

Return to the coast, then walk through a pleasant section of pine forest on the way to Viana do Castelo. Your journey ends with spectacular views from the long Eiffel Bridge. This lovely historical city has much to offer, including the Santa Luzia Basilica, the Costume Museum, Gil Eannes hospital ship and the beautiful Church of Mercy.

Day 6

Viana do Castelo – Vila Praia de Ancora 18.5 km + 116 m

Stroll through the beautiful historical center of Viana do Castelo and follow the coast and its stone windmills. Head inland through patches of forest and fields. Cross the wide sandy expanse of beach and end your journey in Vila Praia de Ancora. Local fishermen ensure a regular supply of fish and seafood, so relax and indulge yourself.

Day 7

Vila Praia de Ancora – Caminha 9.5 km + 42 m

It’s a short, pleasant coastal walk from the seaside resort town of Vila Praia de Ancora to Moledo beach along the new pedestrian path (ecovia). Walk through a beautiful pine forest to the mouth of the River Minho and on to the riverside town of Caminha with plenty of time to stop for a swim along the way. Visit Caminha’s medieval clock tower and gothic parish church or simply relax in the beautiful main square around the 16th century fountain.

Day 8

Back to Porto

After an excellent breakfast at your hotel, end of services.

Prices

    Included:

    • 7 nights of accommodation with breakfast
    • Road book with detailed route descriptions
    • GPS tracks using the app “ Ride with GPS” – used on your personal smartphone
    • Luggage transfer between accommodations (1 bag per person – maximum 15 kg/bag)
    • Private transfer from Porto airport to Póvoa de Varzim on day 1
    • In-person welcome briefing
    • 24/7 emergency support

    Not Included:

    • Meals except breakfast at the accommodation
    • Personal expenses and gratuities
    • All items not mentioned in “included”
    • Private transfer from Caminha to Porto city/airport: EUR 145 up to 3 persons, EUR 180 4 to 7 persons.

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