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PORTUGAL'S EMERALD COAST

from £875
One-week guided walking holidays from the north west corner of Portugal. This is a gem of a holiday, based in the beautiful Costa Verde.
  • Product Code 26680
  • Holiday Type Holidays With Two Grades Of Walking
  • Grade Grade 4, Grade 6
  • Holiday Duration 7 Nights

Guided Walking Holidays - Portugal's Emerald Coast

Based in the beautiful Costa Verde, famous for its mountains, lush green countryside, beautiful beaches and “Vinho verde”, this is a captiv­ating and unforgettable destination.  Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays. 

We stay in the coastal town of Praia de Ancora in the north west corner of Portugal.

Our time will be spent exploring our base, walking the coast line, crossing over the Rio Minho in a delightful small chain ferry into Galicia to visit the Mountain of Santa Tecla with its sanctury and its celtic settlements. Other walks will take us into the mountains of the Serra d’Agra using old tracks which link the numerous old mountain villages.

This area of Portugal is renowned for its lush, green landscape, gentle sea breezes, and of course, great beaches. The area has been inhabited since pre-historic times and is rich in natural and cultural history ranging from Neolithic to Roman times, with villages full of history for us to visit.

There will also be time to relax on the beaches and maybe take a dip in the sea before enjoying the sunset and local cuisine.



Why not extend your stay in Portugal with our Northern Highlights holiday which combines Portugal's Emerald Coast and Wilderness Parks of Northern Portugal

Holiday Highlights

  • Walking through the mountains of Sera de Agra using old tracks that link the ancient local villages.
  • Walking through the luxuriant Ancora valley with its sparkling streams and peaceful little villages.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights Gatwick to Oporto (TAP Portugal and British Airways).
      Airport transfers.
      En-suite accommodation.
      Half board meals with dinners taken in the hotel and local restaurants.
      Services of a dedicated leader.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, 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.

This departure: Grade 4 and Grade 6

  1. Day 1

    We fly from London Gatwick to Oporto. On arrival transfer by coach to Hotel Meira in Praia de Ancora (approx. 1 hour 15 minutes). Our excellent four star hotel is located in the very heart of this charming town with all facilities within a few minutes' walk, and allowing us to eat out each evening at local restaurants.

  2. Day 2 to 7

    The northern coast of Portugal is simply very beautiful. In an area famous for its young wine, Vinho Verde, you will find a lush green landscape, quiet beaches, traditional villages and excellent local cuisine. Our 2 leaders, 2 grades walking programme allows us to fully explore the area as we cross the Rio Minho, into Galicia, Spain, visit the Ancora Valley, and also go up into the Serra d'Agra mountains following ancient tracks.

    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.

    Ancora valley walk.
    This gentle introduction to the area is centred on the valley of the river Ancora itself. We walk through lush
    green fields still farmed in the classic Minho style. Charming villages dot the valley. At the centre of the walk is
    the river Ancora with its many old crossing points and its sparkling crystal clear waters. Grade 4: 14.5km;
    Ascent/descent: minimal. Grade 6: 16.5km; Ascent/descent: minimal

    A day in Galicia.
    Grade 4: We ferry across the estuary of the river Minho and walk up the dramatic hillside of Santa Tecla, where
    every stone seems to ooze with Celtic history. The spectacular views from the top of the hillside are made even
    more interesting by the simple sanctuary at the summit and the remarkable remains of the Celtic settlement.
    Although this is not a demanding day anyone who does not want to walk to the top can have an easy low level
    wander through the charming village of Camposancos and enjoy a stroll along the estuary. 10.3km;
    Ascent/descent: 300m up/down

    Grade 6: Santa Tecla where every stone seems to ooze with Celtic history. We ferry across the estuary of the
    river Minho and walk up the dramatic hillside of Santa Tecla. The spectacular views from the top of the hillside
    are made even more interesting by the simple sanctuary at the summit and the remarkable remains of the Celtic
    settlement. We then descend on the Via Sacra to the port town of A Guardia before following a coastal walk,
    initially on the rocky Atlantic coast and then along the estuary of the river Minho. 15.5km; Ascent/descent:
    300m up/down

    Afife to VPA via Carreco.
    Grade 4: A day of coastal and inland walking. The walk mixes the Caminho de Santiago through the villages of
    Afife and Carreco nestled at the base of the wooded hillside before we join the coast and follow our favourite
    section of coastline with sandy beaches and protected coves, waves crashing on the rocks where, even today,
    some people still harvest the seaweed, a final remnant of a once thriving way of life. 14.5km; Ascent/descent:
    minor at start then flat

    Caminha-VPA- Afife.
    Grade 4: Another of our half coastal and half inland walks. We begin in the historic town of Caminha and the
    morning is spent following the spectacular rocky coastline arriving back in Vila Praia de Ancora in time for a
    leisurely lunch. The second half of our walk goes inland along the popular Caminho de Santiago where we can
    wish pilgrims "Bom Caminho". In this walk some clients may wish to join the walk only for the morning and have
    an easy afternoon, others have been known to have a relaxed morning and joined the afternoon walk. 16.6km;
    Ascent/descent: flat in the morning, 140 ascent/descent in afternoon

    Dem- Orbacem.
    Grade 4: Today we move onto the lower slopes of the Serra d'Agra and walk through villages strung along a
    spring line. The rough slopes of the Serra d'Agra are above us but our meandering route takes us through the
    fields and villages that form the lower slopes. After a picnic lunch we descend again into the valley of the river
    Ancora where the river again accompanies us as it cascades down through rock pools, passes under ancient
    bridges and gently winds its way through fields. 14km; Ascent/descent: undulating with one main ascent of 80m
    and an easy descent of 180m

    Serra d'Agra.
    Grade 4: Today we go into the mountains. After driving as high as we can we walk up the final section of the
    northern slopes of the Serra d'Agra before walking across the high level plateau that forms the summit to Porta
    do Lobo, the "Gate of the wolf". Here we feel on top of the world looking down into the valley of the river Lima
    and across to the high mountains of the Geres and Peneda ranges beyond. From here an ancient stone trail
    gently winds down the hillside and our walk continues through the iconic Agra villages. After an easy but
    dramatic walk we may relax in the very traditional Taberna do Horacio before returning to Vila Praia de Ancora.
    12km; Ascent/descent: 220 ascent, 270m down

    Carreco to Viana do Castelo.
    Grade 4: A relaxing, easy walk along the coastline from enabling us to arrive in Viana in time for lunch and a
    free afternoon to enjoy this gem amongst Portuguese coastal towns, a perfect day off. 10.4km; Ascent/descent:
    flat

    Carreco-VPA-Caminha.
    Grade 6: A day of coastal walking following our favourite section of coastline with sandy beaches and protected
    coves, waves crashing on the rocks where, even today, some people still harvest the seaweed, a final remnant of
    a once thriving way of life. After time for lunch in Vila Praia de Ancora we resume our walk along the rocky
    shores of the Atlantic to finish in the lovely old town of Caminha. 20.5km; Ascent/descent: minor at start then
    flat

    Serra de Santa Luzia.
    Grade 6: We follow pathways between the villages of Afife and CarreÇo before striking up ancient tracks leading
    up the wooded hillside of the Serra of Santa Luzia. Good tracks wind across the open mountains leading south to
    the basilica of Santa Luzia overlooking the town of Viana do Castelo, the estuary of the river Lima and the coast,
    as it stretches far to the south towards Porto. To avoid walking down the myriad steps to Viana do Castelo we enjoy a ride down on the longest funicular in Portugal. 18.5km; Ascent/descent: 400m +/-

    S. Joao-Montaria-Gondar.
    Grade 6: Our walk begins at the ancient monastery of S Joao de Agra and follows a route over the open rocky
    mountains with the rough slopes of the Serra d'Agra all around. From the village of S Lourenco de Montaria we
    follow the lower slopes of the Serra D'Agra as we walk through farming villages along the spring line. We
    complete the walk by descending into the lush valley where fields & vineyards surround the village of Gondar.
    18km; Ascent/descent +280m/-600m

    Serra d'Agra-Sra do Minho-S. Aginha.
    Grade 6: Today we go into the mountains. After driving as high as we can we walk up the final section of the
    northern slopes of the Serra d'Agra before walking across the high level plateau to the viewpoint of S. do Minho
    on the southern edge. Here we feel on top of the world looking down into the valley of the river Lima and across
    to the high mountains of the Geres and Peneda ranges beyond. From here an ancient stone trail goes through
    Porta do Lobo, the "Gate of the wolf" before winding down the hillside and our walk continues through the iconic
    Agra villages to finish at Taberna do Horacio. Most may choose to finish here but others may continue to a
    further village for a real full day's walking. 16.5km or 22km; Ascent/descent: 220 ascent, 270m down until
    16.5km mark

  3. Day 8

    Transfer by road to Oporto Airport for return flight to London Gatwick

Travel Details

  • Arrival transfer by road (c1hr 15mins).
  • Flights Gatwick–Oporto, TAP Portugal or British Airways.

Trip Map

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Hotel Meira

Located just a couple of minutes’ walk away from the charming Priaia das Criancas beach and five minutes from the town centre, the modern, yet cosy Hotel Meira provides a relaxing base for our holiday. Its excellent facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, restaurant, bar and complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. All of the recently refurbished rooms feature air conditioning, telephone, hairdryer, safes, and satellite TV. Breakfasts and dinners are included, and are taken at the Hotels own Dona Belinha restaurant, which serves the best in traditional Portuguese cuisine, as well as a buffet breakfast with a large range of choice.


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