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Porto & Peneda-Gerês National Park

8 Days & 7 Nights
  • Follow pilgrim paths, shepherd trails and Roman roads
  • Jagged mountains, high plateaus, glistening lakes and untouched forests
  • Experience warm hospitality in isolated highland villages
  • Terraced vineyards and meadows of wildflowers
  • Wine tasting in the historic cellars of bustling Porto
Discover the untamed beauty of northern Portugal on this self-guided walking tour in Portugal's only national park. After exploring Ponte de Lima in the Minho region, enter the park and follow shepherd trails, pilgrim routes and Roman roads, connecting you from one remote mountain village to the next. Weave through rolling green hills, untouched forest and terraced vineyards, with views over crystal clear lakes and surrounding mountain ranges. Along the way, you'll encounter ancient architecture, age-old farming practices and self-sufficient communities, where traditions have been kept alive by the locals for centuries. After a good dose of fresh mountain air, explore the bustling city of Porto, where wine cellars, restaurants, coffee shops and rooftop bars line its winding cobbled lanes.
This tour includes 5 days of moderate walks. The circular route on Day 4 is the most strenuous, but you have the option to shorten this to 15.5km once you reach the village of Cidadelhe by taking a taxi back to your accommodation (payable locally). The walks take you through mountainous terrain and remote highland villages, and you will stay in a mixture of hotels and village guesthouses. The tour finishes in a comfortable 4-star hotel in Porto, with time to explore the city.

Tour Style:

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

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

This trip is suitable for:

Multi-Generational, Mixed Abilities

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wildlife
  • National Parks & Trails
  • Mountains

Inspiration:

  • New

Activity Level & Terrain

This tour is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 11-22km. It is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. Some of the walks are not well way-marked but you will be supplied with turn by turn route notes, GPS tracks and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day. The terrain on this route is varied and you will follow a mixture of shepherd trails, Roman roads and pilgrim paths. It can be rocky underfoot at times and there are some exposed sections, so a head for heights is needed. The route is mainly undulating, but there are steep ascents and descents, which require a good level of fitness.

Navigation

This route isn't well way-marked and you will not see many walkers on this route. Detailed route notes and maps will be waiting for you at your first accommodation. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App, enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS so you will have no problems finding the way. You can simply download the GPS tracks to your phone for offline use and off you go! 

Accommodations

We use handpicked comfortable hotels in Ponte de Lima, Peneda and Porto, which are a mixture of 3 and 4-star. In the villages of Lindoso and Soajo, we use characterful village guesthouses, where the warmest of welcomes and traditional hospitality will make your stay extra special. All rooms are comfortable and have a private bathroom. 

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. This tour is not available for solo walkers. 

Meals

All breakfasts and 5 packed lunches are included (due to limited lunch options on the walks). Packed lunches usually include sandwiches, fresh fruit and a snack, and are sourced locally. For dinner, you have the choice of eating at local family-run restaurants in the towns and villages, or at the hotels and guesthouses. You can also purchase souvenirs or snacks in village shops, such as cheese, sausages, olive oil, jam, honey, cookies, herbs and wine.

Included
  • 7 nights in hotels and village guesthouses
  • All breakfasts and 5 picnic lunches
  • Wine tasting in Porto
  • A detailed information pack
  • Access to maps, GPS tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • Door to door baggage transfer of one bag per person
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem
Excluded
  • Flights to and from Porto
  • Travel insurance
  • Dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Arrival and departure transfers
Extras
  • Additional nights during the holiday
  • Arrival and departure transfers

When To Go

This trip is available from 1st March to 31st October. The summer months of July and August can be hot, making walking quite uncomfortable, so we recommend travelling outside of these months. In the spring there will be lots of wildflowers and snow on the highest peaks, creating a perfect backdrop for photographs. It's also a time of enormous agricultural activity, with villagers preparing their fields for crops and herdsmen walking their flock through the mountains. Autumn sees the grape and corn harvest, as well as the change of colour in the trees. Both spring and autumn offer excellent conditions for walking. This trip is not available in the winter months as some of the hotels and guesthouses are closed.

Getting to the Start

By Air - Porto Airport (or Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport) is the most convenient airport for this trip, with regular flights from and to almost all major European cities.  

Getting to Ponte de Lima

From Porto Airport, you can take a Barquense bus directly to Ponte de Lima. Or if you're already in the centre of Porto, you can make your way via a Rede Expressos bus to Ponte de Lima from there, which takes 1.5 hours.

If flying into Lisbon Airport, you can take an airport shuttle bus to the Santa Apolonia Train Station and then a train to Porto (approx. 2.5 hours), to then make your way to Ponte de Lima.

Macs Adventure can arrange private transfers to your accommodation in Ponte de Lima. Please contact your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details.

Getting from the End

Porto Airport is approximately 11km from the city centre. From Porto, you can use the metro, bus, shuttle or taxi to reach Porto Airport terminal.

If you're flying home from Lisbon Airport, take a train from Porto (approx. 2.5 hours) to Santa Apolonia Train Station in Lisbon, then an airport shuttle bus, metro or taxi from there.

Macs Adventure can also arrange private transfers to Porto or Lisbon Airport. Please contact your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details.

Luggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation, giving you the freedom to walk each day with just a day pack. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. Please ensure that you do not bring more than one bag of 20kg as if this occurs, the luggage transfer company will ask you to pay an additional fee for an extra bag.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.

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 Ponte de Lima Day 2 Walk from Branda da Aveleira to Peneda 7 miles / 11 km Day 3 Walk from Peneda to Lindoso 12 miles / 19 km Day 4 Serra Amarela circular walk 13 miles / 21.5 km Day 5 Walk from Lindoso to Soajo 9 miles / 14.5 km Day 6 Transfer to Avelar and walk to Soajo 11 miles / 19 km Day 7 Transfer to Porto (and Port tasting) Day 8 Onward travel

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