Make your way from Porto into the very heart of the Douro Valley before exploring the picturesque slopes and valleys of this World Heritage landscape on foot (self-guided). Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, home of the famous Port wine grown on vineyard terraces. Follow unpaved roads and footpaths as you walk from village to village, pausing for picnic lunches and visits to local wine estates where you can sample award-winning table, port and moscatel wines.
Museums such as the Bread and Wine Museum in Favaios will give you a greater appreciation of local traditions and wine- production. You’ll also witness some of the year-round activity involved in tending the vines and terraces. Relax after each day’s walk at carefully selected country houses and hotels where you will receive a warm welcome, comfortable accommodation and delicious meals. End your self-guided Douro walking experience back in the fascinating historical city of Porto where you can visit the port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia as well as the exploring Porto’s many sights and views.
£875 per person
March – October
Day 1: Porto - Douro Valley
We’ll be at the airport to meet you and drive you to the train station in Porto where you’ll receive a full briefing about your self- guided walking holiday in the Douro. Take the train from Porto to the small riverside village of Pinhão (2.5 hours) where the train station is decorated with painted tile panels depicting Douro wine production. Walk or take a taxi to Quinta de la Rosa, a working winery with attractive guest rooms, stunning views of the Douro River and an outdoor pool. Stroll around the vineyards, sample their wines or take a boat trip along the river (paid locally). Enjoy tasty local dishes this evening in the onsite restaurant or head into the village for other options.
Day 2: Pinhão - Vilarinho de São Romão
Explore the western slopes of the Pinhão Valley today as you climb to the hillside villages of São Cristovão do Douro and Provosende. The views of surrounding vineyards more than compensate your efforts. End this journey with a warm welcome and home-cooked meal at Casa de Vilarinho de São Romão. If weather permits, take a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool or simply relax in the comfortable guest lounge. Distance: 10.9 km, +689m
Day 3: Pinhão River
With Vilarinho de São Romão as your base, today’s circular route winds down to the Pinhão River via a couple of small villages and wine estates and along the opposite hillsides, through the vineyards, with varied landscapes and splendid views throughout. Relax at a riverside picnic spot before making your way uphill to the village of Celeirós where you can stop to taste the wines at Quinta do Portal before returning to your delightful accommodation. Take a taxi up the hill if you’d prefer an easier day. Distance: 14.2 km, +664m
Day 4: Vilarinho de São Romão - Alijó
Enjoy views across the valley on your way towards the pretty village of Sabrosa. Follow an ancient road between here and Favaios as you head down through the vineyard terraces to the river. Wend your way uphill again between grape vines and olive groves towards a distinctly different landscape. Taste traditional wood oven-baked bread and moscatel wine in Favaios then continue to the small, historical town of Alijó. Settle into Pousada do Barrão Forrester, your comfortable accommodation for the next two nights. Explore the town or relax by the pool before having dinner at the onsite restaurant or in a nearby restaurant. Distance 16.6 km, +690m
Day 5: São Mamede da Ribatua
Today’s walk is a circular route from Alijó that undulates through an ever-changing patchwork of vineyards and fields towards the ancient village of São Mamede da Ribatua with spectacular views of the surrounding rock-strewn mountains. Return to Alijó in the shade of pine forests or take a taxi back for a more relaxing afternoon. Distance: 14.9 km, +485m, or shorter option 8.2 km with return by taxi
Day 6: Alijó - Casal de Loivos
Spend the day walking through vineyards, perhaps calling in at a wine estate or two for a tour and tasting session before reaching the ridge at the top of the eastern slopes of the Pinhão Valley. Look back at the terraced slopes opposite to identify the villages you walked to earlier in the week. You’ll have magnificent views of the Douro River before reaching the last village of the day. Spend the night in Casa de Casal de Loivos, a 17th century country house with amazing views and a pool. Visit the nearby olive oil museum or unwind on the charming terrace while you wait for dinner to be served onsite. Distance: 14 km, + 268m
Day 7: Casal de Loivos - Pinhão - Porto
Today’s short but glorious walk down to Pinhão leaves you with time for a final winery tour and tasting session (optional, paid locally) overlooking the Douro River. You could have lunch in the village or a picnic in the vineyards before taking the train back to Porto for a night in the heart of the city in a stylish modern hotel. Take some time to explore the city’s historical monuments, revitalised areas such as Rua das Flores and the riverside Ribeira district. If you have time, cross the river and visit at least one of the port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia to see and smell where the barrels of aging wine are stored. Distance: 6 km, +137m
Day 8: Porto Departure
After breakfast at the hotel, make your way to the airport. If you have extra time before you leave, experience any of Porto’s highlights that you didn’t get around to on Day 7.
7 nights handpicked accommodation with breakfast Dinner on days 2, 3 and 6
Packed lunches on days 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
GPS device with pre-programmed trails
Road book with detailed route descriptions and elevation profiles
24/7 emergency contact number
Luggage transfers between accommodations days 2 to 6 and to Pinhão station on day 7
Private transfer from Porto airport to Campanhã train station or city centre plus briefing on Day 1
Private transfer from Porto hotel to the airport on Day 8
Transfers between Porto and your accommodation in the Douro Valley
Dinner on days 1, 4, 5 and 7
Lunch on days 1 and 7
Winery tours and tastings
Museum entrance fees and other optional expenses Personal expenses and gratuities