Portugal: Walking & Wine
Portuguese wine is the result of traditions introduced by ancient civilizations; the Basto and Douro regions remain two of the main wine-producing regions of Portugal, complete with wonderful landscapes and a rich history to discover. This walking tour takes us from the atmospheric city of Porto, through the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley, where famous port wine is produced and on to the Terras de Basto, home of Portugal’s ‘young’ vinho verde wine. With leisurely walks, wine tastings and cultural visits throughout, this tour is the perfect introduction to the country that once dominated world trade routes.
- All breakfasts, 2 dinners and 3 wine tastings
- All accommodation
- All transport and listed activities
- Flights from London
- Transfers for group flights
Day 1: Fly to Porto; transfer to Hotel Douro Scala in the Douro Valley.
Fly to Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its old architectural and landscape value. Depending on the arrival time of the group, we might have some time for a quick orientation tour in the historic centre accompanied by the tour leader. A full day of sightseeing in Porto will be scheduled on the last day of the itinerary. In the afternoon, a group transfer from Porto to Hotel Douro Scala in the Douro Valley (approx. 1.5 hrs drive) will be provided at a set time for flight inclusive clients as well as land only clients wishing to join. Full joining instructions time will be provided prior departure but the transfer usually leaves Porto city centre between 4 and 5 pm.
Day 2: Morning private transfer to Cinfaes; nature walk in the Bestanca Valley; transfer to Mesao Frio.
After breakfast, we will transfer to Cinfães (approx. 1 hour) via a scenic road that follows the Douro River for our walk in the Bestanca Valley. Within the valley is Portugal's hidden gem, the Bestanca River, with plenty of waterfalls, a medieval stone bridge and villages that have retained the beauty of their rural location. There are many walking paths in the valley, allowing us to combine several different routes, but the highlight is the walking trail of 'Vilar de Mouros', which passes through the medieval bridge of Covelas and Biodiversity Stations. Return to Mesao Frio in the afternoon and enjoy some free time at the hotel's pool or spa.
Day 3: Short walk around Quinta do Tedo winery followed by wine tasting; visit Douro museum
We start the day with a short transfer (30 mins) to Quinta de Tedo, a winery farm from the 18th Century in the heart of the Douro region. We will have a guided tour of the winery grounds, following a walking trail that offers beautiful views of the Douro and Tedo river, vineyards and olive groves and plenty of opportunities for some bird watching. After lunch and an included wine tasting at the winery we transfer to the town of Regua, where we visit the interesting Douro Museum, an ideal place to learn about the history, culture and identity of the UNESCO World Heritage Douro wine region. In the afternoon we transfer back to our hotel.
Day 4: Walk along the Corgo river; visit Baroque Casa de Mateus en route to Mondim de Basto
This morning we transfer (approx. 40 mins) from the hotel to the start of today's walk in Povoação, driving through the beautiful roads along the north slope of the Douro Valley and its side affluents. The Corgo walking trail is located on the heart of the Douro wine region and here we will be walking most of the time along terraced vineyards with unique views of the Corgo river. We end the walk at Quinta do Vallado winery where we have the chance to enjoy another wine tasting experience (optional). In the afternoon we transfer to Vila Real (20 mins) to visit Casa de Mateus, a palace set in beautiful gardens considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Portugal. Later we continue by bus through the Alvao Natural Park, stopping to take in the views of the 200m high Fisgas do Ermelo, one of the largest waterfalls in Europe. We stay overnight at a 4-star hotel in Mandim de Basto, where we can enjoy a stunning infinity pool and views.
Day 5: Walk through a traditional winery farm Quinta das Escomoeiras in the green wine region and taste organically produced 'Vinho Verde'.
Our walk today takes us through Quinta das Escomoeiras, a traditional winery in the green wine region set on the banks of the Tamega River. Here we are greeted with uninterrupted views of the forest-covered mountains of the Terras de Basto region. We will explore the woodlands above the river and return to Lourido and the Quinta's welcome Adega via the Ecopista, a former railway track which is now a walking and cycling route. We finish our walking with wine tasting, to appreciate the organic 'Vinho Verde' or green wine.
Day 6: Walk by the famous Levada do Piscaredo aqueduct to the centre of Mondim de Basto village; visit the Senhora da Graca shrine.
This morning transfer by minivan (10mins) to Levada do Piscaredo, a waterway dating back to the 13th Century where we will start our walk. These rural constructions were indispensable for the irrigation of the fields of the Terras de Basto region, due to water scarcity in the past. We follow the waterway to the center of Mondim de Basto village. In the afternoon we visit one of the main shrines to the Virgin Mary found in northern Portugal: the Senhora da Graca, also known as Chapel of Monte Farinha. The chapel is perched in front of granite mountain range at almost 1000m high.
Day 7: Transfer to Porto; visit the historic town and the famous Porto wine cellars for wine tasting; optional boat tour and overnight in Porto.
In the morning we travel back to the vibrant of Porto. After a guided visit of the historic centre and Port wine cellars (wine tasting included), the rest of the day is free for further individual sightseeing or optional actvities, such as a boat ride along the Douro river; overnight at Hotel Vila Galé.
Day 8: Fly to London
Transfer to the airport and fly to London.
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