Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)
We arrive at Oporto's airport and make the short transfer by private coach into the city. Depending on our arrival time, there may be time for an orientation walk before dinner at a local restaurant.
We start our exploration today with a walking visit of Oporto's old town seeing the Clerigos Tower, Bolhao Market, and cathedral. Narrow cobbled streets open onto shady squares and the river front is a nice spot to have lunch or a coffee. This afternoon, we plan to visit a port wine house and return to the hotel via the Stock Exchange. Porto is a city best explored on foot and you will get your bearings in no time.
We'll head to Porto's Sao Bento station this morning to catch our train to Guimaraes. The station is beautifully decorated in blue tiles and is definitely worth a stop before we board the train. Once in the World Heritage city of Guimaraes, we explore the lanes and plazas of the medieval centre.
Porto is situated on the River Douro, at its outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. Taking the tram out to Castelo do Queijo, our walk takes us along the Atlantic coastline to Foz, where we can walk back into the city or take the tram. This afternoon you may want to visit a museum, enjoy a boat trip on the Douro or do some shopping
We leave Oporto today and take the train to Pocinho, along one of what is considered the most scenic train journeys in the world. We meet our coach here and continue to Mirando do Douro, almost at the border with Spain. The train journey provides provides glimpses of rural Portuguese life with tiered terraces of vineyards, small farms and villages. Mirando do Douro sits high above the Douro valley, offering wonderful views and walks.
Day 6 to 9
From Mirando do Douro, our walks take us on undulating countryside tracks and offers scenic overlooks of the Douro river. Terraced vineyards that appear to fold into the hillside, rolling meadows as far as you can see and ever changing shades of green accompany us on our walks. Lunchtime picnic spots offer wonderful panoramas. Examples of our walks from Mirando do Douro:
Malhadas: This is a linear walk, mostly on the flat or with a slight descent. The walk is on good dirt tracks and passes through a number of quaint villages, as well as the ruins of Nossa Senhora do Pico, where, it is said that the Virgin Mary appeared several times to a little girl, prior to the Fatima apparitions. The waters of the well here are said to have healing properties. Ascent/Descent: Mostly flat/ 9 miles/5+ hours
Ifanes: taking taxis from the hotel, the Ifanes walk is approx. 9 miles long, one of our longer walks, however it is easy walking through good paths and either flat or mostly downhill. A scenic spot overlooking the Rio Douro, is ideal for our picnic lunch. Ascent: 150 m/ Descent 275/ 10 miles / 6 hours
Cercio: A circular walk starting at our hotel, with no transport needed, follows undulating lanes and stony dirt tracks. There is an excellent museum in Miranda's main square that is worth visiting when you return. Ascent/descent +/- 200m; 7 miles; 3.5 hours
We return to Pocinho where we take the train again today to travel to Regua, located in a region famous for its young wine, the Vinho Verde. We arrive in time for lunch followed by an orientation walk and possibly a short boat ride before we get ready for dinner.
Day 11 to 14
Our walks from Regua take us through vineyards, to small historic villages and past small churches, all with superb views as we go. Examples of the walks we plan to offer from Regua:
Fontelo walk: This walk starts at the hilltop Chapel of S. Domingos from where the views of the surrounding countryside are stunning. On our way back down we pass through vineyards, before we reach the river Douro and the dam. This walk offers an excellent cafe and coffee stop en route. Ascent 250 m/Descent 250m/ 8 miles/ 5 hours
Corgo: A lovely walk offering great views as we go. We follow a disused railway track into the village of Alvacoes do Corgo, ending at a quinta - or farm - where we climb up through the vineyards to meet our transport back to the hotel. Ascent 100m/Descent 225m; 8 miles; 5 hours
Galafura: From the view point of Santo Leonardo de Freires in Galafura, our scenic walk takes us through vineyards and offers magnificent views. The old school house in Covelinhas offers a good lunch stop. The route takes us downhill to the river and there is the opportunity to opt out here and return to Regua by train, or continue to the end of the walk. Ascent 100m/descent 600m; 9 miles; 5 hours
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast , some last minute views and time in the Douro Valley before our coach transfers us to Porto airport in time for our flight back to the UK