The Douro Valley

Portugal: Walking & Wine

8 days
from
$2,879 USD
incl. taxes
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4.7 / 5 from 11 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
TSY
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–16
Ages:
18+

A fascinating deep-dive into Portugal's premier wine region, the majestic UNESCO-listed Douro Valley.

 

Portugal has been making wine for centuries, with some estimates placing the first planting of vines as far back as 2000 BC. The Basto and Douro regions are perhaps the best known and offer rich landscapes and fascinating history to discerning visitors. 

Led by our expert guide, immerse yourself in atmospheric Porto and indulge in a voyage of taste and discovery through the verdant Douro Valley, where the famous Port wines are produced. Venture into the region known as Terras de Basto, home of Portugal’s ‘young’ wine, vinho verde, and stay in handpicked hotels that boast exceptional views over the valley. The perfect combination of leisurely walks and authentic cultural visits provide a memorable introduction to this lush, captivating country, once a dominant trading power in the world.

Highlights

  • Three nights at the premium Hotel Douro Scala, nestled in the heart of the Douro Valley
  • Discover the region's ancient wine cellars and sample their wines
  • Enjoy walks through terraced vineyards and tranquil countryside
  • Explore vibrant Porto with a guided walking tour

Key information

  • 7 nights at 4- and 5-star hotels
  • 4 full days and 2 half days with gentle walks, 2 free half days
  • Group normally 4-16, plus leader. Min age 18 years
  • Well-marked trails and paths
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus
  • Countries visited: Portugal

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)
  • Arrival and departure transfers

What's not included

  • City tax of EUR 2 to be paid locally in Porto (in cash)
  • Tips for the guide, hotel staff, local staff and drivers
  • Travel insurance - information on insurance through Exodus is available here
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
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.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Leisurely -  (5 km/h)

Terrain:

Manmade paved tracks, tarmac paths and dirt tracks

Day by day breakdown
Day 210.0km/6.2miles
Day 34.0km/2.5miles
Day 47.0km/4.3miles
Day 55.6km/3.5miles
Day 69.5km/5.9miles

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

Mesao Frio
to
Porto
  • Day 1

    Start at Hotel Douro Scala in Mesao Frio.

    The transfer to Hotel Douro Scala in the Douro Valley takes approx. 1.5 hours. A single group transfer from Porto airport to the hotel will be provided for flight-inclusive clients, and land-only clients may also join this transfer by meeting the group at the airport. Full joining instructions will be provided prior to departure, but the transfer usually leaves Porto airport at 3pm. If you are planning to join this transfer, please contact us prior to departure to request it.

    The first trip briefing will take place in the evening, along with a welcome dinner.

    Hotel Douro Scala (5*)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Walk along the Corgo River; visit Baroque-era Casa de Mateus

    This morning we take a private transfer of approx. 40 minutes to the start of today's walk in Povoação, driving along the beautiful roads on the north slope of the Douro Valley and its tributaries. The Corgo walking trail is located in the heart of the Douro wine region and here we will walk along terraced vineyards with unique views of the Corgo River. In the afternoon, we transfer to Vila Real (approx. 20 minutes) to visit Casa de Mateus, a palace set in beautiful gardens that is considered to be one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Portugal. After the visit we transfer back to the hotel (approx. 50 minutes).

    Hotel Douro Scala (5*)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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 minutes) to Quinta de Tedo, an 18th century winery in the centre of the Douro region. We will have a guided tour of the grounds, following a walking trail that offers beautiful views of the Douro and Tedo Rivers, vineyards and olive groves and offers plenty of opportunities for bird watching. After lunch and an included wine tasting at the winery, we take a 20-minute transfer to the town of Regua, where we visit the Douro Museum 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 (approx. 20 minutes).

    Hotel Douro Scala (5*)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Maronesa walking trail; transfer to Mondim de Basto

    After breakfast we transfer to the region of Mondim de Basto (approx. 1 hour). On our way, we’ll pass through the Alvão Natural Park, a protected area of land that offers majestic landscapes. This region, set on the mountain of Alvão, marks the transition from the coastal and humid regions to the dry and hot regions of Trás-os-Montes.

    We start our walk in Bobal, one of the four villages we’ll pass through today. We’ll find a countryside that reflects the carefully-maintained balance in which man and nature coexist. For this balance to be preserved, the Maronesa cow is of the utmost importance. A Portuguese native breed from this region, there are still genes from the ancestral Auroque in its genetics. The fields are cultivated for subsistence farming, with seeds passed down from generation to generation.

    After lunch we transfer to our hotel (approx. 30 minutes) and there is free time to enjoy the hotel's amenities or explore nearby, before a group dinner.

    Água Hotels Mondim de Basto (4*)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Walk in the green wine region of Mondim de Basto and taste organically produced vinho verde at Quinta das Escomoeiras

    Our walk today takes us to the surroundings of Mondim de Basto in the green wine (vinho verde) region, along the banks of the Cabril River. Here, we are welcomed with uninterrupted views of the forested mountains, side by side with the fertile lands and vineyards of the Terras de Basto region. We finish our walk at the medieval bridge of Vilar Viando, which is still used by pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago.

    We will then go to Quinta das Escomoeiras to sample their wines and appreciate the organic vinho verde. In the afternoon on our way back to the hotel, we visit one of northern Portugal's main shrines to the Virgin Mary: the Senhora da Graça, also known as Chapel of Monte Farinha. The chapel is perched in front of a granite mountain range almost 1000m high.

    Água Hotels Mondim de Basto (4*)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Walk via the Levada de Vilarinho; free afternoon.

    This morning, we transfer by minibus (approx. 20 minutes) to the village of Vilarinho to start our walk along the Levada de Vilarinho, a waterway dating back to the 13th century. These rural constructions were indispensable for the irrigation of the fields of the Terras de Basto region due to water scarcity in the past. After 1.5 miles/2.4 km, we leave the rebuilt waterway and meet the old levada as it enters a forest of oaks and pines, with a stream running alongside.

    The afternoon is free to enjoy the hotel amenities and surroundings.  

    Água Hotels Mondim de Basto (4*)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

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

    In the morning we return to the vibrant city of Porto (approx. 1 hour 15 mins). 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 activities, such as a boat ride along the Douro River.

    Neya Hotel (4*) or Vila Galé Porto Ribeira (4*)

    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

Vaccinations

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 dinners and 3 wine tastings 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 caldo verde, a cabbage soup that originated here thanks to the fertile green fields. Portugal also prides itself on 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.

Although meat and fish dishes are typically the focal point of Portuguese cuisine, vegetarian and vegan options have become more widely available in recent years, particularly in cosmopolitan cities such as Lisbon and Porto. Please let us know of any dietary requirements in advance so that we can best accommodate your request.

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 recognised this site as World Heritage. Port wine is a fortified wine produced under particular and unique conditions. It is still produced in the traditional way, during 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 or rosé and during the trip there will be plenty of opportunities to try the different varieties. 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 or free afternoons). 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, often reaching 30 degrees in the summer months between June and September. Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximations only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of the group. Some of the drives, although short, follow winding 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

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
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

4 and 5 star hotels

Hotel Douro Scala
Hotel Douro Scala

The first hotel used on the trip is the the 5‐star luxury Hotel Douro Scala, 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 Agua Hotels Mondim de Basto, a contemporary hotel with an infinity pool and stunning views. We spend the last night at either the Hotel Neya or the Vila Galé Ribeira, both 4-star properties located in the heart of Porto. Hotel Neya offers a health club with an indoor swimming pool. The spacious rooms are air‐conditioned and feature a bright décor. All come with Wi‐Fi, a flat‐screen cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom, including a hairdryer. Vila Galé Ribeira is also located on the banks of the Douro River and offers a health club with indoor swimming pool. The décor throughout the hotel pays homage to Portuguese art and painting.

Bookings within 30 days are subject to availability and may incur a supplement of approximately £160 per person (based on a twin share).

Aguas Hotels Mondim de Basto
Aguas Hotels Mondim de Basto
Hotel Neya
Hotel Neya
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
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:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
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

  • Reviewed October 2021

    Excellent!

    A week-long exploration of the countryside in north Portugal interspersed with plenty of wine and port-tasting opportunities topped off with a day in Porto.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walks through the villages where people still use the communal washing facilities and herd their cows; the fabulous lunch and vinho verde at Quinta das Escomoeiras; managing to get in the icy infinity pool; the beautiful autumn light on the vines and heather...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lina was brilliant, and together with Antonio they made the trip unforgettable. The slideshows in the evening were a particular bonus!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although this trip is categorised as leisurely it is still a walking holiday, and there are some ups and downs so go suitably prepared.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Susan Joe

    Custom trip women, wine and walking

    This was my first solo trip across the “pond” with a custom trip arranged and set up by agent Sue Flemming. I had heard good things about how she looked after her clients and she did not disappoint. She was on this trip and ensured that we got where we had to without losing track of anyone and ensured that we had a good time. The two guides, Rita Caetano and Lina Ferreira were superb. For such a young gal, Rita went above and beyond to make the trip safe, enjoyable and with good humour. Lina was absolutely an excellent guide as well and so knowledgeable about the area, flora and fauna and if she didn’t have the exact answer, she would look it up and tell us as soon as she knew the answer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I don’t know if I would call it inspirational but certainly, the most memorable moment was at the start of one day of walking . On one day,we started by walking through a small village where I had an encounter with a local lady. She pointed to a tree full of cherries, then pulled off a large branch (and a small one )and handed it to me and encouraged me to eat the cherries. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. The cherries were delicious,by the way. Another was this beautiful organic winery that we went to which had spectacular organic food and wine. I tasted the best gluten free bread ever at this winery. The scenery was so spectacular that I felt like I wanted to have a constant video camera going to capture every moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rita was excellent as was the other guide Lina. Both were kind, caring, generous with their time to answer any and all questions. They often went above and beyond to ensure that we had the best trip possible. Rita would often drop back to see that we were all doing ok and then would bound back up to the front. Some of us nicknamed her ninja girl because she would suddenly appear without even snapping a twig underfoot, ha ha. As I was usually at the back of the pack, I had the good fortune to spend a lot of time with Lina who with deserved pride, shared her knowledge about Portugal . She was so knowledgeable about the various flora and their uses . It made for a much more interesting trip for me which could have been just an exercise in trying to stay with the pack. I learned much more and have a great appreciation of the beauty of the Portugal countryside.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really as I’m a pretty neophyte traveller myself. I prefer guided tours as a result. Pretty much all of the other travellers in this group were experienced travellers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I chose this trip as my entry into the world of solo travel. I had a very good experience thanks to the excellent guides and travel agent.
  • 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".

Dates & Prices

Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 1 844 227 9087, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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