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Atlantic trail “Costa Verde”

€695 per person

The Portugal adventure may have many faces – from the rich historical and cultural heritage, through extremely delicious Mediterranean cuisine and super variety of wines, to the unspoiled nature preserved in nature and national parks and splendid vast beaches bathed by the salty waters of the Atlantic ocean. Have you ever wondered how these pieces of the picture could be collected at once to create a colorful puzzle of the unforgettable experience? The answer is pretty simple – a self-guided walking trip along the northern coastline of Portugal also known as “Costa Verde” (The Green Coast). You will have enough time to explore the golden beaches and the dramatic Atlantic coast, to dive into the history of ancient towns and to hike through remote areas with splendid views! While most of the time the trail touches the coastline, you will also ramble around the inland of green fields and breezy forests, through small vivid villages so you could know better the typical Portuguese lifestyle. The itinerary is a balanced mixture of hiking and relaxing so every effort will be rewarded with well-deserved time for yourself! Let yourself experience walking at your own pace with an independent hiking journey to Portugal!

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 1/2 (of 5)
  • What is included
    7 nights bed and breakfast (en-suite rooms; 3-4* hotels and high category country inns); Pivate transfer from Porto airport to Póvoa de Varzim on Day 1; Detailed route notes & maps; GPS tracks; Luggage transfers between accommodations (1 bag per person - max 15kg); Emergency support phone line
  • What is not included
    Drinks and other meals, entry fees, public transportation tickets
  • Best period
    March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
1
Day 1. Porto Airport to Póvoa de Varzim
Plan your arrival in Porto so we could collect you from the airport or from an accommodation there. We will drive you to Póvoa de Varzim - a popular ocean resort with 12 km of sandy beaches, perfect for relaxation or water activities. Its historical center is also an attractive point of interest - the village has a turbulent past - from a fishing port and ship-building center, a place where a lot of artists met and inspire themselves with the natural beauty of the city, to the modern beach resort nowadays! Enjoy every minute of the beginning of your independent tour!
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Day 2. Póvoa de Varzim to Apúlia (14km, 4hrs, +130m/-130m)
Today you leave Póvoa de Varzim and head off towards Apúlia. You will first walk over the soft white sand, passing between the awaking cafés from one side and the salty ocean from the other side. Soon you will veer away from the coast and your trail will continue through market gardens and small woodland. The trail is to its end and soon the first roofs of Apúlia will appear in front of you. Apúlia’s most iconic highlight is the numerous windmills set on the dunes in the northern part of its beach.
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Day 3. Apúlia to Esposende (9km, 3hrs, +90m/-90m)
Awaken from the noise of seagulls and the fresh Atlantic air, get ready for today’s walk. It will be short and pleasant under the blazing sun so make sure you always wear a hat and put sunscreen on. Most of the time you will walk along cobblestone roads with some sections of wooden boardwalk. The trail does not enter directly into the historical center of Esposende but makes byway near the Cávado Estuary and the nature reserve. The soft, harmonious colors of the dunes and the lush vegetation take on warm hues at dusk. This is definitely one of the most beautiful Portuguese seasides also home to numerous birds and other animal species. Take your time for swimming or just lying on the warm sand enjoying a refreshing beverage from the nearby beach cafés. Think also about a short stroll around in the old town of Esposende - it hides tiny pretty churches and chapels, green gardens, and open squares. It’s hard to believe that such a small village offers a range variety of activities but besides the cultural exploration, if you have energy, you may try also kite surf, kayaking, rafting or just rent a bike.
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Day 4. Esposende to Castelo do Neiva (13km, 4hrs, +180m/-150m)
Today’s self-guided walk leaves Esposende and continues north towards Castelo Do Neiva. It is a region inhabited since the Iron Ages and it keeps many stories and legends about its vivid past. The hiking trail will be mottled by a variety of landscapes - small villages and pebbled beaches, also the lush valley when crossing the Nevia River peacefully purling towards the ocean. Along the route, there would be fewer options to buy a snack or take a coffee so make sure you prepare your backpack with enough supplies for the trek. Soon you will reach Castelo do Neiva and your accommodation - a magnificent old house where options for relaxing are countless - from just drinking fragrant wine, to reading books in the library, swimming in the pool or you can even challenge your companions for a tennis game.
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Day 5. Castelo do Neiva to Viana do Castelo (14km, 3-4hrs, +160m/-180m)
Continue walking North to explore bit by bit the beautiful Atlantic coast in this part of Portugal. Leaving Castelo do Neiva, your first stop will be in Amorosa from where you enter an enchanting section of pine trees and your trail is towering above the ocean so you could admire the splendid turquoise view! Soon the first buildings of Viana Do Castelo will appear and you will be rewarded with stunning vistas from Eiffel Pont (Eiffel Bridge). Castelo do Neiva deserves your time and attention. There is plenty to be discovered and here are just a few suggestions - Paços do Conselho (The Town Hall), Praça da República (Republic Square), also the majestic The Santuário de Santa Luzia (The Temple of Santa Luzia). Besides being an architectural masterpiece, this big cathedral is towering over the city, offering a jaw-dropping panorama towards the Atlantic Ocean, mouth of the River Lima and the city. The ambiance in the city is magnificent and you will completely plunge in it.
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Day 6. Viana do Castelo to Vila Praia de Âncora (19km, 5-6hrs, +190m/-190m)
It is hard to leave this charming city so your daily walk leads you again through the historical center of Viana Do Castelo and then veer away towards the shoreline. Many windmills will wave you goodbye as you are going north on your way. The trail will wind between the coast and the inland forests. This change of the scenery every now and then will fulfill your eyes with picturesque views. Although you will pass some forested areas, do not forget to put your hat and sunscreen. This will be the longest trek of your independent coastal walking trip, however, do not hurry but take as much time as you need to relax on sandy beaches or refresh your energy by quick swimming session! The last effort you have to put is when crossing the infinite white beach of Vila Praia de Âncora. And you just arrived! The village does not have some special points of interest to show to its visitors but the atmosphere is harmonious and you can get your well-deserved rest with local marine cuisine and glass of fresh wine.
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Day 7. Vila Praia de Âncora to Caminha (10km, 2-3hrs, +120m/-120m)
This will be the last day of your self-guided walking tour along the Atlantic coast. Most of the time you will walk over a new pedestrian path (ecovia). The short but pleasant trail will wind among pine trees and of course, the endless sandy beaches. There will be plenty of time to stop and swim in the salty ocean waters. Enjoy some time spent on the charming beach of Moledo after which you will enter the dense coniferous forest which will suddenly end up in the riverside city of Caminha. From there you will be rewarded with marvelous views not only of the Portuguese mountains but also the Spanish ridges. The river Minho is the natural border between these two stunning countries. Caminha offers a huge variety of options on how to spend your time there. Take time to visit the clock tower. If you found it, then you are in the heart of the city! Like many of the Portuguese cities, Caminha is also dotted by several churches and chapels among which is the Gothic parish church Igreja Matriz which definitely merits a visit. And probably one unusual proposal for a visit but your attention deserves also the train station - a colorful glimpse into the history of Caminha depicted in hand-painted tiles.
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Day 8. Departure day

TOUR LOCATION

Price
695 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (01/03-31/05; 16/09-31/10)
755 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (01/06-15/09)
* N.B.: If your travel period falls into two periods with different prices, the one with the higher price will be invoiced!
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement:
355 Euro (01/03-31/05; 16/09-31/10)
425 Euro (01/06-15/09)
Solo traveler supplement: N/A (min. group size - 2 pax)
Tips
Daily departures between March and the end of October. 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’ll 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 to 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 walking 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.
Accommodation
3-4* hotels and high standard country hotels (en-suite room throughout);

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