Porto & the Douro Valley

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.4 Read 17 reviews
  • Sauntering through the Ribeira, Porto’s old town and a World UNESCO Heritage Site
  • Sitting on your private terrace in the Quinta da Seixada sipping world-famous wine
  • Partaking in wine-tasting at local wineries, such as the DouRosa Branco from the Quinta de la Rosa
  • Enjoying the mighty Douro River as you slowly make your way downstream on a scenic boat cruise
From the World UNESCO Heritage Site of the Ribeira, Porto’s old town, to the green and gold geometric landscapes of the Douro River Valley, this area of northern Portugal offers a unique sensory experience where the pace of life has been unchanged for centuries. Follow trails through this timeless terrain, visit wineries that are over a century old and encounter traditional white-washed villages that cling to the hillsides. Also view the captivating landscapes of wine terraces with a legendary train journey from Porto to Pinhão and during a boat cruise along the Douro River. Feel the warmth of the sun on your back as you take in these dazzling and picturesque scenes. Arrive in the coastal city of Porto which spans the mouth of the serene Douro River. Porto is a fabulous city to explore, with its Baroque churches, village-style plazas, soaring bell-towers, and narrow cobbled lanes. Stroll through the Ribeira district where local inhabitants still mingle and sit on the terrace of a traditional restaurant and see the sun setting over the Douro River; this is indeed a city of romance. Next you will take an unforgettable train journey from Porto to the Douro Valley, so beautiful that it too is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This journey allows you to soak up the ageless landscapes of the region at your leisure. Also fascinating is the remarkable engineering that went into the building of this railway line as you pass through 26 tunnels and cross over 30 bridges. On arrival in the Douro Valley you can anticipate enjoying panoramic walks past vineyards that produce world-class wines. Stay in rural accommodations that are within the grounds of these vineyards and perhaps even try some traditional barefoot grape-treading! Even more thrilling is your journey back to Porto via a scenic river cruise, along the mighty Douro. You’ll get a first-hand view of the thousands of wine terraces and the villages that cling to the cliffs overlooking the river.
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What To Expect

A really great aspect of this tour is that it combines spectacular walks through the timeless landscapes of the Douro Valley, including plenty of opportunities for tasting world-famous wines, with a legendary train journey and a wonderfully scenic boat cruise along the Douro River/Casa de Mateus Visit. The majority of the accommodations are in traditional guest houses set within the vineyards.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Wine, Whiskey & More..., Elegance & Unique Stays

Activity Level & Terrain

This tour is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. The daily distances are not that far, although you should be aware that there are some quite significant elevation gains through the local vineyard terraces in the Douro Valley. However, on some of the days, there is no walking at all to make way for scenic train and boat rides to and from Porto. As this is a self-guided walk you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip.

Navigation

You will be provided with detailed route information to help you find your way. As the local maps in this area are basic you will also be given GPSs and will receive instructions on how to use them.

Accommodations

Your 7 night, 8 day Porto & the Douro Valley self-guided walk in Portugal includes 7 nights in 4 & 3* hotels and guest houses set on wine estates. All of the hotels have been specifically chosen for their comfort and some also for their great locations with fabulous views over the Douro River and surrounding vineyards. A warm welcome is assured and some have swimming pools or gardens that you may wander through.

Alternative accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome for an additional charge which is unfortunately quite high due to the high cost of the shared transfers not being split.

Meals

7 Breakfasts and 1 lunch on the Douro River Cruise are included. In Porto, you can eat dinner in one of the many restaurants and at the other locales (because they are rural areas) at the hotels. We recommend that you make reservations for dinner, especially at the quintas. We recommend trying the traditional and locally-sourced food, especially the fresh seafood in Porto which is simply delicious. For lunches, you can find local cheeses, meats and breads in local shops or markets, or the hotels may make you a packed lunch on request.

Included
  • 7 Nights in 4* & 3* Hotels and Guest Houses
  • Transfer on Day 7 from Hotel to Régua (Pre-River Cruise)
  • Lunch on Day 7 while on the Douro River Cruise
  • The Douro River Cruise
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfers (apart from on Day 7)
  • Transfers at the beginning and end of the tour from the hotels to Porto Airport
  • A briefing about the tour upon arrival at your hotel
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route information, and loan of a GPS
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our area manager in Portugal and our office
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Train tickets from Porto to Pinhão and from Pinhão to Porto (around €11 one way)
  • Taxi from Porto hotel to train station on Day 2
  • Luggage transfers on Day 2
  • Taxi from port to hotel on Day 7 (Post-River Cruise)
  • Transfer from Pinhao to hotel on Day 2
  • 7 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance
Extras
  • Additional nights before or after the holiday
  • Optional Rabelo Boat Trip on Day 6

When To Go

This Porto & the Douro Valley self-guided walking tour is available to start on any day from May to June and from September to October.

Time of Year

As the summer months can be extremely hot, making walking quite uncomfortable the departure dates are limited to spring, autumn and winter months. In the spring there will be lots of wildflowers and in the autumn it is the grape harvest, so it will be a great time to be in this area. Please be aware that in the winter months some of the hotels and hotel restaurants may be closed however there will be options available in the local area and the accommodation you will stay in may not be exactly the same as that in the detailed itinerary however it will be of a similar standard.

Getting to the Start

Porto Airport is the nearest airport and is served by many airlines, such as Easyjet, Ryanair, KLM and British Airways. Porto is also accessible from Lisbon Airport.

From Lisbon Airport take an airport shuttle bus to the Santa Apolonia Train Station and then a train to Porto which takes around two and a half hours. Lisbon is also served by many airlines in the UK and from many other gateways in Europe

All transfers to and from Porto Airport (or to/from train or bus station in Porto)to the first and last hotels are included in the price.

Luggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred as per your itinerary. We request that you limit your luggage to 20kg per person and one bag per person.

Equipment

Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Porto Day 2 Discover Old Porto, train ride to Pinhão Day 3 Pinhão to Sabrosa 8 miles / 13 km Day 4 Sabrosa to Alijó 8 miles / 13 km Day 5 Alijó to Vale Mendiz 10 miles / 16.5 km Day 6 Vale Mendiz to Pinhão 5 miles / 8 km Day 7 River Douro Cruise to Porto Day 8 Onward Travel

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