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Douro Valley wine trails (UNESCO)

€990 per person

One has always been searching for a place to get lost and re-discover the world around. If you are also looking for such a place, here are some reasons why the Douro region should be in your must-visit list. Listed in 2001 in the UNESCO Heritage list, Douro is one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world. Meanwhile – a surprisingly quiet place, besides the few autumn weeks of harvest. A self-guided hiking trip there will let you explore in the best way the scenic landscapes while walking from village to village. The list of wine brands to try is really huge but along the way, you will have many chances to do so in the picturesque wineries. The itinerary is not that intense and each day you will have plenty of time to stop for short breaks to refresh your energy with a snack or just with the divine beauty of nature.

  • 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), 2x dinners (Day 2 and Day 3); 5x lunchpacks (Day 2 to Day 6 incl.); Private transfer from Porto airport to Campanhã train station (or to the city center if you stay pre-tour nights in Porto) on Day 1 + tour briefing; Detailed route notes & maps; GPS tracks; Luggage transfers from Day 2 to Day 6 and to Pinhão train station on Day 7 (1 bag per person - max 15kg); Private transfer from Porto hotel to the airport on Day 8; Emergency support phone line
  • What is not included
    Drinks and other meals, entry fees (museums/wineries), public transportation tickets
  • Best period
    March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
1
Day 1. Arrival to Porto; train to Pinhão
Plan your arrival in Porto so we could collect you from the airport. You will be transferred to the train station in Porto from where your journey begins. By train, you will reach in the charming wine town of Pinhão (2-3 direct trains per day, and a few more requiring a change in Regua). Even the train station reveals the main occupation of the locals - the grape harvest is nicely depicted on the facade by azulejos (hand-painted tiles). The town itself is not proud of any historical or cultural sites to visit, but you may walk around the vineyards, try some pleasant wine sorts or take a boat trip along the River Douro (paid on spot). Let your journey start with a bit of gastronomic pleasure and pamper yourself with a traditional dish.
2
Day 2. Pinhão to Vilarinho de São Romão (10km, 3,30hrs, +575m/-120m)
The first hiking day will be demanding but your efforts will be rewarded with amazing views of the surrounding terrace vineyards. The steep stages of your ascent will be when hiking towards villages of São Cristóvão do Douro and Provesende. The trail starts first easily along the side of Pinhão River, which will lead you to a watermill and enters in forested shady areas from time to time. When you reach Vilarinho de São Romão you will be warmly welcomed by your hosts. The two upcoming nights will be spent in a cozy country house where you can enjoy a freshly cooked meal, of course, accompanied by a glass of opulent wine. If weather permits, you can swim in the outdoor pool.
3
Day 3. Circular walk via Pinhão River (13km, 4-5hrs, +520m/-520m)
Although today’s hike is not that challenging you will have plenty of excuses to stop for a break - the outstanding landscapes with diverse scenes deserve to be captured on your camera. Leaving your base you head up towards the village of Paradelinha by passing through numerous wineries and patch of forests. The trail will pass parallel to the Pinhão River and offer a nice chance to have a picnic by the riverside before continuing towards the last village on your route - Celeirós. Here you can pay a visit to the local wine estate Quinta do Portal before proceeding back to your overnight base.
4
Day 4. Vilarinho de São Romão to Alijó (17km, 5-6hrs, +620m/-570m)
Time to bid farewell to Vilarinho de São Romão as your walking trip continues onwards. The first stage of the daily challenge will take you to Sabrosa, a place where its believed that the explorer Fernando Magellan was born. From there you follow an ancient road in order to reach the village of Favaios. The route passes again through stunning terraces and the view across the valley and the hills is breathtaking. Before moving along we suggest you to try the local Moscatel wine with a bite of wood oven-baked bread while in Favaios. When you recharge your batteries you get ready to set off for the last stage of the walk towards Alijó - small and vivid market town. It is located at the edge of Douro region and offers splendid panoramic views to the nearby folded mountains. Alijó will be your residence for another two nights of the program.
5
Day 5. Circular walk via São Mamede da Ribatua (15km, 4-5hrs, +380m/-380m)
Today you will make a loop trek around the valley and reach the ancient village of São Mamede da Ribatua. The first stage of the walk (before the village) crosses flat vineyards, contrasting with the craggy hills of the mountains beside them. Once you reach São Mamede da Ribatua think about the options on how to spend the rest of the day. For sure you have to find a local restaurant and enjoy a tasty meal but before that, you may consider walking to the nearby reservoir (standing 3 km away from the village). This will extend a bit your walk but you will have more time to admire the unique landscape around you, passing through orange and olive groves. There is also an opportunity to take a taxi back to Alijó if you would like to skip the hiking back. This could be combined either if you walk to the dam or not. The return hike ascends steeply after the village but then continues along on a gentle path to Alijó.
6
Day 6. Alijó to Casal de Loivos (14km, 4hrs, +210m/-390m)
As you say goodbye to Alijó, with each step ahead you are getting closer to the place where your independent walking trip has started - Pinhão. But before reaching it, you have some more villages to discover and wineries to try their production. Despite its length, this hiking trek is not demanding, on the contrary, it is one of the most pleasant and easy to take. Most of the time the walking trail is downhill or horizontal. You will have the unique chance when looking behind your back to see the villages you have already been - Vilarinho de São Romão and São Cristóvão do Douro. The highlight of today’s walk is hidden behind one of the curves of your trail - the glittering waters of River Douro. In Casal de Loivos you will be accommodated in majestic country house dates back to the 17th century. The house is considered to has one of the most breathtaking panoramic views not only in Douro but in the whole of Portugal. You may spend the afternoon near the pool and the absolute pleasure will be your dinner - prepared to please the most demanding of tastebuds.
7
Day 7. Casal de Loivos to Pinhão; transfer to Porto (6km, 2hrs, +60m/-390m)
Time to leave the house and head off to Pinhão - the alpha and omega of your hiking adventure. The hike is very short but you may extend the time spent outdoors with a picnic near the vineyards. Celebrate the end of your self-guided walk with a delicate wine in some of the wine estates along the way. Since you’ve been arriving around lunchtime in Pinhão you may consider strolling around the village before taking the train back to Porto. In Porto you could also have some cultural exploration so our suggestions are Ribiera district or Rua das Flores.
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Day 8. Departure day

TOUR LOCATION

Price
990 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (* surcharge of 100 Euro per person for all arrivals between between May 1st and October 15th)
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 330 Euro (*390 Euro for all arrivals between May 1st and October 15th)
Solo traveler supplement: N/A
Tips
Daily departures between March and the end of October. 
Accommodation
3-4* hotels and high standard country hotels; 2x dinners (Day 2 and Day 3); 5x lunchpacks (Day 2 to Day 6 incl.);

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