Portugal: Walking & Wine

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8 days
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2,525 CAD
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4.7 / 5 from 9 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
TSY
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Premium Adventure
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
18
Group size:
4–16

A perfect introduction to Porto and the UNESCO Douro wine region

Portuguese wine is the result of traditions introduced by ancient civilizations; the Basto and Douro regions remain two of the main wine-producing regions of Portugal, complete with wonderful landscapes and a rich history to discover. This walking tour takes us from the atmospheric city of Porto, through the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley, where famous port wine is produced and on to the Terras de Basto, home of Portugal’s ‘young’ vinho verde wine. With leisurely walks, wine tastings and cultural visits throughout, this tour is the perfect introduction to the country that once dominated world trade routes.

Highlights

  • Discover ancient wine cellars
  • Walk through quiet countryside
  • Explore vibrant Porto
  • Visit rural Portugal

Key information

  • 7 nights 4 and 5-star hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days short gentle walks and 1 free day
  • Group normally 6-16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Well marked trails and paths
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 dinners and 3 wine tastings
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Leisurely -  (5 km/h)

Terrain:

Manmade paved tracks, tarmac paths and dirt tracks

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/4.0miles
Day 34.0km/2.0miles
Day 410.0km/6.0miles
Day 55.0km/3.0miles
Day 68.0km/4.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Porto
to
Porto
  • Day 1

    Start Porto; short orientation tour.

    The trip begins in the beautiful historic city of Porto, famous for one of the most appreciated wines in the world - Port wine. Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its old architectural and landscape value. Today, depending on the arrival time of the group, we might have some time for a quick orientation tour accompanied by the tour leader. A full day of sightseeing in Porto is scheduled on the last day of the itinerary. Overnight in Hotel Vila Gale or similar.

    Please note that the 20th April departure 2019 will start at the Douro Scala in Mesao Frio. A group transfer from Porto will be provided at a set time for flight inclusive clients as well as land only clients wishing to join. Full joining instructions and meeting time in Porto will be communicated prior departure.

  • Day 2

    Morning private transfer to Cinfaes; nature walk in the Bestanca Valley; transfer to Mesao Frio.

    After breakfast, we will transfer to Cinfães (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes journey) for our walk in the Bestanca Valley. Within the valley is Portugal's hidden gem, the Bestanca River, with plenty of waterfalls, a medieval stone bridge and villages that have retained the beauty of their rural location. There are many walking paths in the valley, allowing us to combine several different routes, but the highlight is the walking trail of 'Vilar de Mouros', which passes through the medieval bridge of Covelas and Biodiversity Stations. We then transfer to our 5-star luxury hotel at Mesao Frio (approx. 1 hour journey) via a scenic road that follows the Douro River.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Short walk around Quinta do Tedo winery followed by wine tasting; visit Douro museum

    We start the day with a short transfer (30 mins) to Quinta de Tedo, a winery farm from the 18th Century in the heart of the Douro region. We will have a guided tour of the winery grounds, following a walking trail that offers beautiful views of the Douro and Tedo river, vineyards and olive groves and plenty of opportunities for some bird watching. After lunch and an included wine tasting at the winery we transfer to the town of Regua, where we visit the interesting Douro Museum, an ideal place to learn about the history, culture and identity of the UNESCO World Heritage Douro wine region. In the afternoon we transfer back to our hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Walk along the Corgo river; visit Baroque Casa de Mateus en route to Mondim de Basto

    This morning we transfer (approx. 40 mins) from the hotel to the start of today's walk in Povoação, driving through the beautiful roads along the north slope of the Douro Valley and its side affluents. The Corgo walking trail is located on the heart of the Douro wine region and here we will be walking most of the time along terraced vineyards with unique views of the Corgo river. We end the walk at Quinta do Vallado winery where we have the chance to enjoy another wine tasting experience (optional). In the afternoon we transfer to Vila Real (20 mins) to visit Casa de Mateus, a palace set in beautiful gardens considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Portugal. Later we continue by bus through the Alvao Natural Park, stopping to take in the views of the 200m high Fisgas do Ermelo, one of the largest waterfalls in Europe. We stay overnight at a 4-star hotel in Mandim de Basto, where we can enjoy a stunning infinity pool and views. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Walk through a traditional winery farm Quinta das Escomoeiras in the green wine region and taste organically produced 'Vinho Verde'.

    Our walk today takes us through Quinta das Escomoeiras, a traditional winery in the green wine region set on the banks of the Tamega River. Here we are greeted with uninterrupted views of the forest-covered mountains of the Terras de Basto region. We will explore the woodlands above the river and return to Lourido and the Quinta's welcome Adega via the Ecopista, a former railway track which is now a walking and cycling route. We finish our walking with wine tasting, to appreciate the organic 'Vinho Verde' or green wine. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Walk by the famous Levada do Piscaredo aqueduct to the centre of Mondim de Basto village; visit the Senhora da Graca shrine.

    This morning transfer by minivan (10mins) to Levada do Piscaredo, a waterway dating back to the 13th Century where we will start our walk. These rural constructions were indispensable for the irrigation of the fields of the Terras de Basto region, due to water scarcity in the past. We follow the waterway to the center of Mondim de Basto village. In the afternoon we visit one of the main shrines to the Virgin Mary found in northern Portugal: the Senhora da Graca, also known as Chapel of Monte Farinha. The chapel is perched in front of granite mountain range at almost 1000m high.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Transfer to Porto; visit the historic town and the famous Porto wine cellars for wine tasting; optional boat tour and overnight in Porto.

    In the morning we travel back to the vibrant of Porto. After a guided visit of the historic centre and Port wine cellars (wine tasting included), the rest of the day is free for further individual sightseeing or optional actvities, such as a boat ride along the Douro river; overnight at Hotel Vila Galé.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Porto.

    Our trip ends in Porto in the morning of day 8.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Portugal

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 wine tastings and 2 dinners are included.

Porto and the Douro valley are known for their excellent wines and the delicious regional cuisine which makes use of the natural resources found here. All meals have strong links with the land and sea, often prepared following old traditional recepies. Local specialities include the caldo verde, a cabbage soup that originated here thanks to the fertile green fields of the region. Portugal also prides itself in having some of the best fish in the world, and in this region a lot of the fish comes from the Douro river. The Douro region is also well-known for an endless number of meat dishes, which include the famous roasted goat with rice and potatoes, wild boar stew, posta mirandes (veal steak) and cozido à portuguesa (boiled meat, sausages and cabbages). There is another dish too, made on the basis of a sandwich, that is a true institution: the francesinha. Please note that vegetarians meals are available on request although options may be limited. The Douro Valley, birthplace of Port, is one of the oldest and most beautiful historic world wine regions. Wine has been made here for 2000 years. Considering the importance of the Alto Douro Wine Region, in 2001 UNESCO recognized this site as World Heritage. Port wine is a fortified wine produced under peculiar and unique conditions. It is still produced in an old fashioned way, in which the fermentation process is stopped by adding spirits distilled from wine, and the blending of wines and aging still play a vital role. Port wines can be red, white and rosé and during the trip there will be plenty of opportunities to try the different varieties. The Vinho Verde is also an excellent wine produced in this area. Naturally light and fresh, it is fruity, easy to drink, great as an aperitif or served with light meals.

Weather

Is this trip for you?

Grade: 1 (Leisurely) Each day, we walk for 2 to 5 hours (excluding the sightseeing day). The terrain and type of path will vary from manmade paved tracks and tarmac, to dirt roads. The walks are easy and taken at a leisurely pace, although some short ascents and descents should be expected. Please be aware that the Douro region can also be very warm, possibly reaching 30 degrees in the summer months between June and September. Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. Some of the drives, although short, follow twisty mountain roads. You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Premium Hotels

We spend the first and last night at the 4-star Vila Gale or Hotel Cristal in Porto, depending on your departure date. Hotel Vila Gale offers a health club with an indoor swimming pool and the spacious rooms are air-conditioned and feature a bright décor. All come with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom, including a hairdryer. Hotel Cristal Porto is a new 4-star hotel in a central location in Porto. Rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, mini-bar, a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box. A garden gives guests the tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The second hotel used on the trip is the the 5-star luxury Douro Scala Agua Hotel, offering stunning views of the world-famous Douro valley and vineyards. It has a spa with a heated indoor pool, private treatment rooms, and a hot tub.

In Mondim we stay at the 4-star Mondim Agua Hotel, a contemporary hotel with an infinity pool and stunning views.

* Please note that on the 20th April 2019 the trip will start at Douro Scala Agua Hotel and not in Porto. 

Please contact our Customer Operations team if you would like to receive the final hotel list for your departure.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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  • Reviewed October 2018

    Very well organised

    Good trip that got away from the slightly touristy Porto city and included very scenic walks around the Douro river and further North. Due to the October storms instead of the first walk we visited the nearby town of Lamego with its 612 steps, church, castle and great views – really enjoyed this and probably preferred to a walk. Most of the wine tastings were port wine rather than normal wine (I was only expecting port on the last day) but there was plenty of local wine choice with dinner. The only downside, out of Exodus control, is that all trips depend on the dynamic of the group and it’s a shame when one person dominates.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views over the vineyards, which were variously arranged horizontally, vertically or in a curves depending on the shape of the hill, very picturesque.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    András was excellent, and managed to cope with the many fastidious food requirements and varying walking abilities of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a swimming cap for the indoor hotel pools as they require them. The infinity pool at the third hotel is outdoors and freezing! Although a grade 1 (and the walks were very easy for a rambler like me) it is a walking holiday, you’ll need to be able to walk up say 50m of ascent, up 100 or so steps, and across quite widely spaced stepping stones over a river. Porto city is very hilly.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Cheryl Olinyk-Semeniuk

    Portugal Walking & Wine tour

    Excellent tour. I would recommend this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Day 1 & 5 walks were in the forest . These walks were the longest in length. Beautiful to walk in the vegetation. I really felt inspired by these 2 walks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Luis & Riccardo were awesome! Our group was so lucky to have them as our leaders. They were engaging. They were very interested in the people in the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I have been telling my colleagues & friends about this tour. It's fantastic! Potential travellers should be made aware of the ease or difficulty of the walk.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accommodation was top notch (excluding Vale Puorto) It was too busy!!!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Jane Rodgman

    A relaxing trip helped along with a bit of Vinho Verde

    If you're looking for a relaxing trip with a varied itinerary and enjoy sampling the local brew this may well be the trip for you. Some of the walks were a little more challenging than others but the pace was leisurely with fabulous scenery. On 2 days we got back to the hotel by 3pm so had time to relax and enjoy the infinity pools.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the 2 lunches we had at vineyards (after a morning walk). Both in beautiful locations with really nice buffet lunches washed down with a glass of the local wine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ricardo was lovely, he very organised and made sure the trip ran smoothly. He was ably assisted by the equally lovely Marta. Together they were a great team. Ricardo took photos each day which he shared as a slide show each evening at our daily briefing (always with a glass of port or wine for everyone), it was so nice to re-live the day. Marta's attempts to teach us a traditional folk dance one evening was hilarious, although she couldn't persuade the waiter to join us to make up numbers!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Duoro valley is a microclimate and was almost 10 degrees hotter than Porto, we started the walks a bit earlier to avoid the hottest part of the day but be prepared for it to be warm.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    CVLIVE NUNN

    Delightful Douro

    A very well organised trip with excellent guides, wonderful weather, good hotels and food all bound together with a group of varied, vibrant and interesting companions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch in the Vineyard at Quinta das escomoeiras and a wonderful morning walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very knowledgeable and also supportive to those who were unwell at the beginning of the trip, which was so important.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Reserve space in your luggage to bring back plenty of Vinho Verde.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Sheree Dodd

    Great walks, great wine, great holiday

    A really wonderful holiday with very different walks and enjoyable/informative visits to wineries well led by Ricardo and András. We enjoyed the holiday with a diverse and fun group that mixed Brits with Aussies and Canadians - keep doing this Exodus it added another dimension to our trip. We enjoyed fantastic weather and it was good to be able to relax in hotels with excellent facilities - two infinity pools overlooking breathtaking scenery in one. Lunches at the quintas were excellent especially the organic winery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Personal highlights for me were walking through a meadow that were bursting with colour from the sudden blooming of thousands of wildflowers while the adjoining vines terrace was being ploughed by a horse and following a levada until a beautiful meeting place of two rivers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ricardo was a very good group leader who had researched and organised the excellent itinerary. At all times I felt that he was conscientious about safety and the needs of group individuals. He was ably supported by Andras. Both took excellent pictures of the group and an evening highlight was looking back over the day's activities through the images.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Susan Bowers

    Portugal Walking and Wine

    Well thought out Itinery, beautiful scenery, fab Hotels and Great leaders

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking amonst the wild flower meadows

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Really good. Very caring, very focused and totally reliable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy!
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Amanda Barker

    Fantastic trip in a beautiful part of Portugal

    Fantastic trip in Porto and the Douro valley. Varied walks....every day a different type of walk and scenery, and numerous wine and port tastings.....what’s not to love! There’s a good mix of walking, and sight seeing....nothing too strenuous. For those of a certain age....a visit to The Mateus Palace, where the infamous Mateus Rosé used to be produced, was fun....the palace is featured on the label of the wine.... Accommodation is in 4/5* hotels.....some better than others....but plenty of free time to relax or explore the area. Highly recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoying the company of a fantastic group...with 2 outstanding leaders.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ricardo, and András.....a fantastic duo....both went out of their way to accommodate the group..nothing was too much trouble for either of them. From carrying huge bottles of water to keep us all topped up throughout the day, to the daily evening slide show of photos they’d both taken of the group throughout that day...they were both fanstastic, and felt more like friends by the end of the week rather than just our leaders.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking is fairly straightforward, as classed as a leisurely trip, however there is still a bit of up and down in places. You’ll definitely know by the end of this trip much more about Port! Plenty of opportunity to discover its history and how it’s made, as well as trying several different types.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A few issues with one of the hotels were addressed immediately by our leaders, who’s main aim for th week was to ensure everyone in the group had a fantastic and enjoyable holiday.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Grant Howell

    A Great Walking Tour

    A wonderful week of walking with great guides, interesting co-hikers, very nice accommodation in a very lovely setting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were two things that inspired me; first the beautiful panoramic views of terraced vineyards in the Douro Valley and second; learning a great deal more about the history and culture of this area and Portugal overall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nuno was a wonderful guide and was capably assisted by Ricardo. He was very knowledgeable about the area and was incredibly helpful in choosing meals and wines. He kept us interested and informed and his knowledge of each of our locations meant no disappointments at all. Both Nuno and Ricardo were personable and very helpful. Great guys!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it! It's fun, it's educational and you'll probably meet interesting people on the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is listed as a Level 1 "leisurely" trip. I think it is closer to a Level 2+ in that there are some significant elevation changes, as well as some paths that are a bit more challenging than "a walk in the park".
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Vicky Boughton

    Beautiful region, great walks and wine

    The Douro Valley is a spectacular region to discover with stunning views and lovely walks. On either side of the Douro River terraced vineyards cover the landscape - this is the only area in the world where Port wine is produced and on this holiday we learnt about the Portuguese history and culture surrounding the process. Several of our walks ended up at a local Quinta (wine farm) where we had the opportunity for wine tasting with a lunch on the terrace which everyone enjoyed. It was a very relaxing and interesting week of walking, with varied routes each day. We barely saw another walker on any of the routes so it felt as though we had the region to ourselves!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the Levada do Piscaredo walk on Day 7 - it was the longest walk that we did but fairly easy walking (no hills), following a waterway dating back to the 13th century. Pretty wildflowers dotted the route and every now and then the views of the river below would come into sight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nuno was great, a keen walker and outdoor enthusiast, he knew the routes inside out and was great company, introducing the group to local restaurants.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try the Vinho Verde (green wine) - this was my favourite!

Dates & Prices

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