The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Follow the path of the Douro River as it meanders through an enchanting landscape of ever changing colour.
Rail & Walk
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 26660
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.
Follow the path of the Douro River, known as the Rio Douro in Spanish, as it meanders through an enchanting landscape of ever changing colour. Pass terraced vineyards carefully folded into verdant hillsides. Walk through gently rolling meadows and lush green valley’s bursting with springtime almond blossom and the sweet smell of grapes ripening in the midday sun. We follow the great Douro River in its upper reaches of Portugal.
The Douro valley was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, in recognition of the spectacular beauty of both the natural and built landscape and the industrial heritage associated with the Port producing industry.
The 203-kilometre Douro railway line primarily transported the port wine from upcountry to the Port warehouses in Porto. It ran originally from Oporto to Barca d´Alva on the frontier of Spain. The engineering difficulties in overcoming the natural features of the valley resulted in a grand total of 26 tunnels and 30 bridges. The result is an unforgettable route through some truly impressive natural beauty.
Our week is based in Peso do Regua, also known as just Regua, located on the banks of the beautiful Douro River. It has been the centre of the port wine industry for centuries and is a conveniently located town on the scenic waterfront.
We’ll spend the week visiting delightful traditional Portuguese towns such as Lamego and Pocinho. Our walks will take us through seas of vineyards, across rolling verdant countryside, between rows of olive trees, and through Portuguese history and culture.
The stretch between Régua and the terminus at Pocinho along the side of the River Douro and its port wine terraces has been described as one of the most beautiful rail journeys in Europe.
At the end of your time in Regua, you’ll transfer back to Porto with the group and bid farewell before your independent exploration of Porto begins.
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
Itinerary & Travel
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.
Fly from London to Porto. We take a private transfer to our hotel in Regua. If there is time, your leader may take you on a short orientation of the local area.
Transfer Time = 2 hours
Our walk starts with panoramic views of the surrounding rolling hills and verdant countryside at the hilltop of Chapel of S. Domingos. Our path descends through a sea of glorious vineyards to Fontelo. We take a break at the Quinta de Santa Eufémia winery, run by the Carvalho family (4th generation) to taste a selection of delicious port wine. We are in for a treat as the Douro Valley is the oldest wine making region in the world!
After a relaxing break, our walk continues downhill to the shores of the tranquil River Douro. Take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty of Portugal and the Douro.
Lamego is an old picturesque town nestled amongst green hills covered with vines and olive trees. Its history can be traced back to before Roman times and has been at the centre of Portuguese history since the implementation of the fledgling kingdom. Legend has it that the first Portuguese Court was held here in 1143.
We have some time to explore the town and its many delights. It has an impressive cathedral almost 900 years old, plus a beautiful and interesting museum. Spend some time discovering its many remarkable churches and chapels. An incredible staircase of 686 steps leads us up to the historical chapel that dominates the town, the impressive Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. This historical chapel dates back to the 18th century and is framed by intricate designs and decoration, a real masterpiece.
Our walk leads us through little Portuguese villages and traditional vineyards to Regua.
Today is a free day to explore Peso da Regua, maybe take a boat trip along the Douro. Maybe take a train ride to Porto to explore this fascinating city and return by boat along the Douro. Perhaps visit Museu do Douro, a spacious former wine warehouse located on the banks of the scenic Douro River. Your leader will be able to give you some ideas and information.
Our walk takes us through traditional Portuguese picture-perfect villages, through vineyards and down the fresh green valleys to the tranquil River Corgo. We follow the route of the Corgo line, a narrow-gauge railway closed in 1989, with spectacular views of the Corgo valley with steep terraced vineyards either side that seem to defy gravity. We stop for some lunch before descending through more vineyards to reach the old quaint streets of Regua’s upper town.
We take the train from Régua to Pocinho, the end of the line, and classified as one of the world’s greatest railway journeys. The train runs adjacent along the river itself through some incredibly dramatic scenery, alternating between spectacular gorges & rolling hillsides sculpted into terraced vineyards. We catch glimpses of small farms and idyllic hillside villages. The journey takes us through Pinhão with one of the most beautiful railway stations in the country. It is decorated with tile panels depicting workers in the vineyards, some of regional landmarks and records of the years when it would win the annual "Station in Bloom" prize.
This walk is a circuit in the hills around Armamar on lovely tracks through vineyards and apple orchards for which the area is justly famous. Armamar is situated in an area marked by picturesque villages and apple orchards that “paint” the landscape. It is surrounded by vineyard terraces where the Douro wines, including the famous Port Wine, are cultivated and produced. Our trail winds its way through several picturesque villages with panoramic views of the surrounding scenic rolling hills.
We say goodbye to Regua and transfer with the group to Porto Airport. Bid farewell to your fellow ramblers and leader before starting your independent exploration of this magnificent city. You will be staying in the Hotel Catalonia Porto. You will need to arrange your own transportation from the Airport to your hotel and for the remainder of your holiday.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is a UNESCO world heritage city. It is famous for its production of Port wine, its medieval historical centre, its ancient buildings and its narrow cobbled streets with rooftop terrace bars. Porto is rich in rail history. The city and the surrounding areas are home to trams, the metro, funicular railways and narrow gauge tracks, linking the city to so many different places in Portugal.
Maybe visit the old town and explore the historic buildings and magnificent churches that comfortably rub shoulders with the picturesque old quarters and squares. Discover the Clerigos Tower and cathedral, amongst other sites. Narrow cobbled streets open onto shady squares and the river front, a nice spot to have lunch or a coffee. There are a number of restaurants along Porto’s streets, many serving both traditional Portuguese food and international dishes.
You will need to arrange your own transportation to Porto airport for your return flight to the UK.
Departure dates for your selected tour
21st May 2021 - 30th May 2021 (9 Nights)
18th Jun 2021 - 27th Jun 2021 (9 Nights)
18th Sep 2021 - 27th Sep 2021 (9 Nights)
We have return flights from London to Porto Airport. The flight takes approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. On arrival we will take a private transfer to Peso da Regua which will take approximately 2 hours. Transfers throughout the holiday will be by train, local buses and taxis.
You will be transferred by private coach back to Porto airport with the group, ready for their departure flight. You will be required to arrange your own transportation from Porto airport to your hotel, your own itinerary and dinner, and your own transportation from the hotel to Porto airport ready for your self check in for your return flight home.
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.
Peso do Regua, or Regua as its mostly known as, is located on the banks of the beautiful Douro River. It is a conveniently located town on the scenic waterfront with buildings decorated by vines growing along the terraced slopes and through its cobbled streets. The old town is very quaint and only a short walk uphill, definitely worth a visit! There are plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes. There is also a post office and a bank with ATM’S.
Set right on the banks of the Douro River and with panoramic views of the unspoilt rolling green hills beyond, the Hotel Regua has everything you need for a great stay in the famous wine country and really does have the best location in town. After a days walking, enjoy a cool off in the outdoor poo or a drink at the bar and lounge.
Bedrooms are cosy and modern with the following facilities
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is a UNESCO world heritage city. It is famous for its production of Port wine, its medieval historical centre, its ancient buildings and its narrow cobbled streets with rooftop terrace bars. Porto is rich in rail history. The city and the surrounding areas are home to trams, funicular railways and narrow gauge tracks, linking the city with the beautiful Douro Valley.
You'll stay in the modern four star Hotel Catalonia Porto, located close to the Batalha Square, the main centre of Porto and the Sao Bento Railway Station. Sit back and relax in the jacuzzi and pool. Maybe spend some time unwinding in the gym and spa (treatments are available at an additional price). Enjoy a well deserved beverage in the bar or garden and terrace area.
We stay in modern standard double, twin and single bedded rooms. Facilities include:
This Grade 4 moderate walking holiday with full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Most days will include full days of walking up for 6 hours. Some days will include 3-4 hours of walking with a chance for sightseeing in the towns we visit. We will be walking along well marked paths, through vineyards, along the valleys and in towns. Expect ascents and descents of up to 650m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
FLEXI-Walking We are able to offer opt out points on some of the walks on this holiday, giving you the flexibility of walking the entire day's route or opting out if you wish, catching up with the group later in the day. See the Itinerary section for more information.
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.
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.
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.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
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.
We have return flights from London to Porto. The flight takes approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. On arrival we will take a private transfer to Peso da Regua which will take approximately 2 hours. Transfers throughout the holiday will be by train, local buses and taxis.
You will be transferred by private coach back to Porto airport with the group, ready for their departure flight. You will be required to arrange your own transportation from Porto airport to your hotel, arrange your own itinerary and evening dinners, and your own transportation from the hotel to Porto airport ready for your self check in for your return flight home.
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.
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.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfast and dinners are included in the price of the holiday. Buffet breakfasts are taken in the hotel. Some dinners are taken in the hotel’s restaurant where we can sample the local cuisine cooked with fresh locally sourced ingredients, with incredible panoramic windows displaying views of the vast countryside and tranquil Douro. Some dinners are taken in local restaurants to sample the excellent Portuguese cuisine and wines. We'll enjoy an authentic experience and sometimes lively atmosphere in a traditional Portuguese restaurant along with local diners and the Portuguese hospitality. Portuguese dishes are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients, and usually consist of soup, meat or fish, vegetables and potatoes. Portugal is famous for its fresh fish and usually it is caught, cooked and eaten the same day!
Dinners are not included during your extended stay in Porto. The Catalonia Porto Hotel has a bar area with a selection of classic dishes and tapas. Room service is also available with a variety of Portuguese and Mediterranean dishes. Porto has a number of wonderful restaurants serving international cuisine and both traditional and modern Portuguese dishes.
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:
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:
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.
Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holidays in Portugal. You may find the below websites and books useful.
‘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
Cruising with Jane McDonald - Series 5 Episode 2 see's Jane cruise along the River Douro
BBC's Getaway Series 10 sees Mairead Ronan and Tommy Bowe visit Porto and cruise along the River Douro.
Travel Man: 48 Hours in Porto (series 8)
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
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.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
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.
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
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth 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.
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.
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.
Visas and Passports
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