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PORTUGAL'S EMERALD COAST

from £975
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.
Added Value Offer Wine included with all dinners
FLEXIwalking FLEXIwalking: most walks offer an opt out point, join the entire day’s route or walk a shorter distance and join the group later.
  • Product Code 26680
  • Holiday Type Sightseeing And Walking Holidays, Holidays With Two Grades Of Walking
  • Grade

    Grades 1, 2 & 3 - Leisurely grades

    Grades 4, 5 & 6 - Moderate grades

    Grades 7, 8 & 9 - Challenging grades

    Grade 4, Grade 6
  • Holiday Duration 7 Nights

Based on the stunning Costa Verde in Northern Portugal, famous for its mountains, lush green countryside, beautiful beaches and delightful “Vinho Verde”, this is a captivating and unforgettable holiday destination. We’ll walk along some of Portugal’s finest coast line, as well as meandering along ancient tracks which link the numerous classic Minho villages and lush pastoral valleys.

We’ll explore the dramatic mountains of the Serra d’Ágra, where wild horses roam, and cross the river Minho in a delightful small chain ferry to Portugal’s Spanish sister, O Muiño, to climb to the sanctuary of Santa Tecla where Celtic history comes alive. This 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. Our trails take us inland on part of the Camino de Santiago and along the coastal Ecovia pathways. This is a quieter, greener Portugal. A world away from the beaches and towns of the Algarve.

We stay in the coastal town of Vila Praia de Ancora in the North West corner of Portugal. After our walks, there will be time to relax on the beaches and maybe take a dip in the sea before enjoying the sunset and local cuisine.

Our hotel is located in the very centre of this charming town and it’s an easy stroll out to dinner at nearby restaurants. Dining at local restaurants with traditional dishes is an important part of a holiday and staying in Vila Praia de Ancora offers this possibility.


Please Note: The October, December and April departures are offered at Grade 4/SS. Please refer to the Holiday Information Sheet (under View departures & Book) for the daily itinerary for these dates as it differs from the the 2L2G dates

You might also like to take a look at our one week holiday Wilderness Parks of Northern Portugal holiday or why not extend your stay by combining both one week holidays and discover Portugals Northern Highlights

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy the variety of the 2 leader 2 grade walking programme on most dates.
  • Explore the dramatic mountains of the Serra d’Agra.
  • Delight in a walkers’ paradise of endless ancient stoned pathways in unspoiled countryside.
  • Admire the springtime flora and fauna in the lush pastoral valleys.
  • Take advantage of the carefully planned opt out points on many of the walks.
  • Visit the green landscape of Galicia in Spain.
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 from Gatwick to Oporto (TAP Portugal)
      Airport transfers
      Ferry travel between Portugal and Galicia
      En suite accommodation with breakfasts taken in the hotel
      Most dinners at local restaurants
      All local transport costs.
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 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.

This departure: Grade 4/SS

  1. Day 1

    We fly to Oporto, Portugal's second city. On arrival, transfer by coach to Hotel Meira in Vila 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 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. 12.5km; Ascent/descent: minimal. 

    Montaria-Gondar 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. 12.5km; Ascent/descent: undulating with one main ascent of 80m and an easy descent of 180m
    Visit to Valença & Tuy, the two twin cities gazing at each other across the beautiful River Minho. We visit the fortified old town of Valença with its myriad shops, restaurants and lovely old buildings before walking across the river Minho on the Eiffel bridge and into Galicia. We walk up to the Tuy Cathedral before sightseeing in the lovely old town.

    Afife to VPA via Carreco. 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

    Viana de Castelo day. One of the most attractive towns in Portugal with its centuries old centre replete with palaces & monuments. There are attractive parks & riverside walks along the banks of the river Lima. Overlooking all this is the spectacular Sanctuary of Santa Luzia giving magnificent views over Viana & the coast & served by the longest funicular in Portugal. There is a choice of  a full day sightseeing in Viana, or the leader offers a morning walk into Viana along the Caminho de Santiago for 10km

    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 Gerês 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

     

  3. Day 8

    Transfer by road to Oporto Airport for return flight to the UK

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Oporto (TAP Portugal)
  • Airport transfers by road c.1hr.15mins
  • 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.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Hotel Meira

Praia de Ancora is famous for its young wine, lush landscape, traditional villages and quiet golden beaches.  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, safe, and satellite TV. Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday charge, with breakfasts taken at our hotel and dinners at a mix of the hotel's own Dona Belinha restaurant, which serves the best in traditional Portuguese cuisine, and local restaurants. Wine is included with dinner.