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  • Mon to Fri09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday 09:00 - 13:00
  • Sunday & Bank HolidaysClosed

Peaks of Portugal

Explore the Peneda Geres National Park and Pitoes das Junais, one of the highest villages in Portugal.

  • Portugal

  • 7 nights
  • Breakfast & Dinner with wine included
  • May

    Jun

    Sep

Moderate

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Tour codes: 26400

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Walking grade

Grade 6

This Grade 6 holiday includes walks between five and six hours on hilly terrain that is often rough underfoot, and with steep sections on many paths. Some days will be energetic, as we ramble through unspoilt scenery and quiet villages. On most days we will cover a distance of around 7-9 miles on foot, ascents and descents will vary between 250-800m.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy traditional Portuguese food with wine included at dinner.
  • Stay in Pitoes das Junais, one the highest villages in Portugal.
  • Cross the border by foot into Spain to explore its incredible landscape.
  • Enjoy the freedom of walking directly from our hotel on most days.
  • Discover the Peneda Geres National Park and its remarkable history and ancient monuments.
  • Walk through the rich natural beauty of the protected park.

The Peneda Geres National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northwest Portugal, close to the Spanish border, and Portugal’s only national park. Established in 1971, the terrain was formed by glaciers over 300 million years ago, leaving a dramatic, wild and rugged landscape of meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls and deep woodlands spread across the rolling hills amongst the high granite peaks. The undisturbed mountains offer shelter, providing a habitat for diverse flora and fauna, you may spot golden eagles, wild horses, falcons, goat, otters and deer. Look up at the stars if you get the chance of a clear night sky, enchanting constellations can clearly be seen with the naked eye in the park because of minimal light pollution.

Peneda Geres National Park is as rich in history as it is in nature. The small mountain villages are home to castles and churches, and you’ll spot archaeological sites, megalithic monuments and dolmen graves dating back as far as 3000-4000BC throughout the hills.

This is one of the more challenging walking holidays in Portugal, with walks set amongst dramatic mountains and rolling valleys. Tracks will take us past remote villages untouched by tourism and to historical sites hidden between the mountains. Our holiday is based in one of the highest villages in the whole of Portugal, Pitoes das Junais, located at 1200m between picturesque meadows and the dramatic mountains of Geres, Barroso and Cabreira. Pitoes das Junais is a small historical village untouched by tourism and miles away from the hustle and bustle of real life. Spend a week in the most remote parts of Portugal.

  • Return flights from London to Porto
  • Airport transfers
  • En suite accommodation with breakfast and dinner
  • Wine or soft drinks at evening dinners
  • All local transport costs
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Pitoes Das Junias

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

On arrival in Porto airport, we will take a scenic journey by private transport to the Peneda Geres National Park to  Pitoes das Junais.

Transfer Time = 3 hours

Day 2 to 7

Explore the Peneda Geres National Park

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions, attraction opening times, public transport timetables or changes beyond our control.

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    400m

Moorlands: Todays walk starts from the hotel. The trail ascends upwards to the Spanish frontier for a spectacular view of the Peneda Geres National Park. We’ll pass moorlands and rolling hills, some decorated with colourful wild flowers. A path takes us to the 12th century monastery of Santa Maria das Junias, set amongst the mountains and the most isolated religious building in Portugal. This beautiful monastery has been influenced by Roman architecture but note its narrow gothic windows. We pass a cascading waterfall before walking back to the hotel.

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    600m

Pitoes Valley: Shaded paths meander through the dense woodland valley before opening out to the picturesque reservoir behind Barragem de Paradela in Pitoes Valley.

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    120m

Spain and Tourem: Today we cross the border into Spain. Our path will take us over rolling moorlands and past traditional Spanish villages before reaching Tourem, a small village on the border, well known for its communal stone oven! The dramatic panoramic views continue as our route takes us over the border back to Pitoes das Junais.

  • Distance

    8.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    150m

Calvos: We follow an old smugglers route through woodland and past mountan valleys into Spain to Lake Albufeira de Salas. The path takes us past grazing cattle to the village of Calvos de Randin for a well deserved break. We take transport back to the hotel.

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    450m

Capela de Sao Joao: Perched on a granite outcrop is the tiny Capela de Sao Joao, the remains of a small 16th century temple. It’s the ideal location to view the magnificent landscape of the Castelo Branco. We pass the remains of an ancient medieval village whose origins date back to Celtic times.

Following are examples of the walks that we plan to include in our walking programme, to give you an idea of the terrain and mileage. The final walking programme will be confirmed by your group leaders at the daily briefings.

There will be a free day during your holiday. Your group leader will confirm which day is best based on the walking programme, it can change during the season. It is possible to visit Montalegre, the main town of the area. Or perhaps cross the border into Spain.  

Day 8

Farewell

Meals

Breakfast

We say farewell to the Peneda Geres National Park before transferring back to Porto airport.

Departure dates for your selected tour

6th May 2023 - 13th May 2023 (7 Nights)

3rd Jun 2023 - 10th Jun 2023 (7 Nights)

2nd Sep 2023 - 9th Sep 2023 (7 Nights)

30th Sep 2023 - 7th Oct 2023 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return flights from London to Porto
  • Airport transfers by road c. 3 hours
  • We can offer regional flight options and often there will be up to two transfer vehicles (which may include coaches, minibuses or taxis) from the airport to the hotel and vice versa which will minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Casa do Preto

Pitoes das Junais is one of the highest villages in the whole of Portugal, located at 1200m between picturesque meadows and the dramatic mountains of Geres, Barroso and Cabreira. Pitoes das Junais is a small historical village untouched by tourism and miles away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Influenced by its Celtic cultural roots, this small village has been hand picked for its superb location, close to the start of many walks and a beautiful cascading waterfall. This historical little village is decorated with beautiful stone buildings and terracotta tiled rooftops. There are very few services in the village.

We stay in the Casa do Preto, a simplistic hotel located in Pitoes das Junais, just a couple of miles from the Spanish border. Selected for its perfect location for our walking itinerary, the Casa do Preto has a restaurant which is open to locals and serves traditional and regional food.

We stay in twin bedded rooms. Single rooms are usually double/twin bedded for sole use. Bedrooms are minimalistic with traditional décor. They include free WIFI and en suite facilities.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 6 holiday includes walks between five and six hours on hilly terrain that is often rough underfoot, and with steep sections on many paths. Some days will be energetic, as we ramble through unspoilt scenery and quiet villages. On most days we will cover a distance of around 7-9 miles on foot, ascents and descents will vary between 250-800m.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Currency in Portugal

The currency in Portugal is the euro. You may wish to take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM. Credit cards may not be accepted in smaller towns and rural areas.

Tipping

Tipping to our local suppliers including hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers is included in your holiday price. If, however, you would like to make an additional contribution for a particular service, this is entirely at your own discretion, and any donation should be given directly to the recipient.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Your Travel Details

We fly from London to Porto. 

A private transfer will take us to our hotel in Pitoes das Junais  The transfer will be by road and will take approximately 3 hours.

On some days we might require a transfer using a local taxi but most of our walks start and finish at the hotel.

If you intend joining and leaving the party in Pitoes das Junais, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at our hotel. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Coronavirus Travel Advice

You may be required to provide proof that you have been fully vaccinated when travelling or in your destination. Proof of vaccination can either be digital via the NHS app or a printed copy via NHS Hard Copy. We recommend allowing seven working days for your printed copy to arrive. Please note both the NHS app and printed copy are only valid for 30 days.

We anticipate that all travellers will need to be fully vaccinated including the booster jab and to carry proof of this with them at all times. Some indoor venues require, and may ask for proof of vaccination, as well as masks becoming mandatory for indoor public spaces, and we ask you to be prepared for this.

Local Guidance & Travel Restrictions

Entry Requirements

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General passport advice for UK nationals on the UK Government website.

FCDO Travel Advice

You must ensure you check all entry requirements in good time by reviewing the official FCDO advice for your destination. Please take time to read and regularly check this website for changes to the entry requirements and any local restrictions.

Meals

Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday price. We will enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel with a variety of cold and hot dishes to choose from. 

During our stay we will dine in the hotel’s restaurant where we will enjoy traditional and regional dishes. The village is small so the hotel restaurant is also open to local diners as well as hotel guests. 

Portuguese dishes are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients, and usually consist of soup, meat or fish, vegetables and potatoes. Vegetarian options are available if we are advised in advance so please contact our Sales & Reservations department. Portugal is famous for its fresh fish and usually it is caught, cooked and eaten the same day! Wine and soft drinks are included at all evening dinners.

Lunches are not included and can be taken as picnics or in local cafes.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in Portugal

Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides and books which may offer you more information. Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holiday destinations. You may find the below websites, books and programmes useful. 

Maps of the areas we visit (1:200 000 scale) are available locally and at specialist map shops in the UK. 

‘The Rough Guide to Portugal’ - Mark Ellingham, John Fisher, Graham Kenyon, Mathew Hancock and Jules Brown.

‘Portugal - A Travellers Guide’ - Susan Loundes (Thornton Cox)

‘Blue Guide: Portugal’ - Ian Robertson

Visit Portugal

Portugal National Tourist Office

Pitoes das Junais

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for Portugal

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Portugal. 

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. 

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus. 

Dengue fever exists in Portugal; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.

Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

Covid-19 Cover

If you should have symptoms and test positive for Covid-19 whilst abroad, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative and you may have to seek treatment. We strongly recommend that you take out an insurance policy that covers you for this eventuality.

Looking for travel insurance?

If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.

SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.

EHIC & GHIC Cards

From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

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Portugal

  • Capital

    Lisbon

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Portuguese

  • Time Difference

    UTC, UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    3hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 109mm

  • February

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 93mm

  • March

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • April

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 52mm

  • June

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 26mm

  • July

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 12mm

  • August

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 16mm

  • September

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 44mm

  • October

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 91mm

  • November

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • December

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 120mm

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