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Route

Technical Characteristics:

Route Profile: Medium.  With potentially longer walking days and/or several steep climbs and ascents, this tour is designed for experienced, regular walkers and can be enjoyed by anyone in good health who has prepared sufficiently in advance.

Total Distance: 73.5 km

Travel Season: Departures daily March 1 – October 31, 2022
Low Season: March 1 – April 30 and October 16 – October 31
High Season: May 1 – October 15

Make your way from Porto into the very heart of the Douro region before exploring the picturesque slopes and valleys of this World Heritage landscape on foot.  Follow unpaved roads and footpaths as you walk from village to village, pausing for picnic lunches and visits to local wine estates where you can sample not only award winning table wines but also port and muscatel wines.  Museums such as the Bread and Wine Museum in Favaios will give you a greater appreciation of local traditions and wine production. You’ll also witness some of the year round activities involved in tending the vines and terraces.  Relax after each day’s walk in Douro Valley at carefully selected country houses and hotels where you will receive a warm welcome, comfortable accommodation and delicious meals.  End your self-guided walking holiday in Douro Valley back in the fascinating historical city of Porto where you can visit the port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia as well as exploring Porto’s many sights and views.

Itineraries

Day 1

Porto to the Douro region by train

We’ll be at the airport to meet you and drive you to the train station in Porto where you’ll receive a full briefing about your self-guided walking holiday in the Douro Valley. Take the train form Porto to the small riverside village of Pinhao (2.5 hours) where the train station is decorated with painted tile panels depicting Douro wine production. Walk or take a taxi to a working winery with attractive guest rooms, stunning views of the Douro River and an outdoor pool. Stroll about the vineyards, sample their wines or take a boat trip along the river (paid locally). Enjoy tasty local dishes this evening in the onsite restaurant or head into the village for other options.

Day 2

: Linear walking trail from Pinhao to Vilarinho de Sao Romao 9.5 km + 577 m

Explore the western slopes of the Pinhao Valley today as you climb to the hillside villages of Sao Cristovao do Douro and Provosende. The views of the surrounding vineyards more than compensate your efforts. End this journey with a warm welcome and home cooked meal at a historical country house. If weather permits, take a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool or simply relax in the comfortable guest lounge.

Day 3

Circular walking trail via Pinhao River 13 km + 507 m

With Vilarinho de Sao Romao as your base, today’s circular route winds down to the Pinhao River via a couple of small villages and wine estates and along the opposite hillsides, through the vineyards, with varied landscapes and splendid views throughout. Relax at the riverside picnic spot before making your way uphill to the village of Celeiros where you can stop to taste the wines at Quinta do Porta before returning to your delightful accommodation. Take a taxi up the hill if you prefer an easier day.

Day 4

Linear walking trail from Vilarinho de Sao Romao to Alijo 16 km + 626 m

Enjoy views across the valley on your way towards the pretty village of Sabrosa. Follow an ancient road between here and Favaios as you head down through the vineyard terraces to the river. Wind your way uphill again between grape vines and olive groves towards a distinctly different landscape. Taste traditional wood oven baked bread and muscatel wine in Favaios then continue to the small, historical town of Alijo. Settle into your comfortable accommodation for the next two nights. Explore the town or relax by the pool before having dinner at the onsite restaurant or in a nearby restaurant.

Day 5

Circular walking trail via Sao Mamede da Ribatua 15 km or shorter option of 8.2 km with return by taxi + 485 m

Today’s walk is a circular route from Alijo that undulates through an ever changing patchwork of vineyards and fields towards the ancient village of Sao Mamede da Ribatua with spectacular views of the surrounding rock strewn mountains and the glittering lake below. Leave the village via a different route to return to Alijo or take a taxi back for a more relaxing afternoon. A third option involves a walk down to the lake before calling the taxi.

Day 6

Linear walking trail from Alijo to Casal de Loivos 14 km + 214 m

Spend the day walking the Douro Valley through vineyards, perhaps calling in at a wine estate or two for a tour and tasting session before reaching the ridge at the top of the eastern slopes of the Pinhao Valley. Look back at the terraced slopes to identify the villages you walked to earlier in the week. You’ll have magnificent views of the Douro River before reaching the last village of the day. Spend the night in a 17th century country house with amazing views and a pool. Visit the nearby olive oil museum or unwind on the charming terrace while you wait for dinner to be served onsite.

Day 7

Walking trail from Casal de Loivos to Pinhao then return to Porto by train 6 km + 50 m

Today’s short but glorious walk down to Pinhao leaves you with time for a final winery tour and tasting session (optional, paid locally) overlooking the River Douro. You can have lunch in the village or a picnic in the vineyards before taking the train back to Porto for a night in the heart of the city in a stylish modern hotel. Take some time to explore the city’s historical monuments, revitalized areas such as Rua das Flores and the riverside Ribeira district. If you have time, cross the river and visit at least one of the port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia to see and smell where the barrels of aging wine are stored.

Day 8

Departure

We will take you to the airport in a comfortable private car in time for your flight. End of services. After breakfast at the hotel, make your way to the airport. If you have extra time before you leave, experience any of Porto’s highlights that you didn’t get around to on day 7.

Prices

    Included:

    • 7 nights of accommodation with breakfast
    • Dinner with drinks on days 2 and 3
    • 5 Packed lunches from days 2 to 6
    • Road book with detailed route descriptions
    • GPS tracks using the app “Ride with GPS” (used on your personal smartphone)
    • Private transfer from Porto airport to Campanhã train station on day 1
    • Luggage transfer between accommodations from days 2 to 6 and to Pinhão train station on day 7 (1 bag per person – maximum 15 kg/bag)
    • In person welcome briefing
    • Private transfer from Porto hotel to the airport on day 8
    • 24/7 emergency support

    Not Included:

    • Transfers between Porto and your accommodation in the Douro region
    • Lunches on days 1 and 7
    • Dinners on days 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7
    • Winery tours and tastings
    • Museum entrance fees and other optional expenses
    • Personal expenses and gratuities

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