This trip is a 1-week, self-guided, leisurely coastal walk along Portugal’s Costa Verde in the Minho region. It offers ample time to explore and relax.
The northwest coast of Portugal is known as the Costa Verde or Green Coast thanks to the abundance of vegetation that backs onto it and the not-so-distant mountains of the Minho countryside. As you head north from Porto on this 8-day self-guided coastal walk, you’ll experience the ever-changing coastal landscape of wide sandy beaches, rocky coves, pebble beaches, pleasant seaside towns and fishing villages. You’ll also spend time in the small historical city of Viana do Castelo and end up in the charming town of Caminha at the very top of Portugal, just across the river from Spain.
While much of the route hugs the coast, you’ll head inland at times to walk through fields, forests and villages to get a deeper insight into the lifestyle of rural Portuguese communities and small-scale farming practices.
With relatively short, leisurely walking days, you’ll have plenty of time and energy to explore the towns and villages you stay in and to take breaks en route for a swim or to spend time on the beach.
Make the most of the ample opportunities to sample the freshest catch of the day and other delicious Portuguese fares from the Minho region.
If you have more time to spare, you can extend this coastal walking holiday by beginning your walk from Porto or simply spend a few days there and/or continue north into Spain as far as the alluring seaside town of Baiona.
Seasonal Notes: This itinerary can be booked from March 1st through October 31st each year, with the low season being from March 1st to April 30th & from October 16th to 31st, and the high season being from May 1st to October 15th.
In terms of weather, April, May, June, September and October are the ideal months for a walking holiday to northern Portugal. In spring and autumn, there is always a chance of experiencing some rain. Days can be warm and sunny or chilly and possibly windy, especially on the coast, so come prepared for changeable conditions. May, June and September tend to be warmer with less chance of rain. July and August are usually the hottest months, with temperatures regularly exceeding 30 degrees Celsius.
Traveling during the low season is generally considered to be a sustainable tourism practice as it helps with tourism dispersal – spreading out where tourists go and how their money supports locals throughout the year.
This itinerary is customizable. Contact Yūgen Earthside for more information.
Day 1: Porto [Portugal] (arrival day)
Day 2: Walk from Póvoa de Varzim to Apúlia (14km | 8.7 miles | +106m elevation gain)
Day 3: Walk from Apúlia to Esposende (8km | 5 miles | +49m)
Day 4: Walk from Esposende to Castelo de Neiva (13km | 8 miles | +82m)
Day 5: Walk from Castelo de Neiva to Viana do Castelo (14km | 8.7 miles | +71m)
Day 6: Walk from Viana do Castelo to Vila Praia de Âncora (18.5km | 11 miles | +116m)
Day 7: Walk from Vila Praia de Âncora to Caminha (9.5km | 6 miles | +42km)
Day 8: Caminha (departure day)
This walking tour was crafted using extensive local knowledge and designed to respect both the way of life of local populations as well as the natural environment. We firmly believe that travel should be a safe and rewarding experience for all concerned, including the destinations that you visit and the people you meet.
Environment: We wanted to highlight the beautiful and diverse coastline north of Porto on this fascinating coastal trail that passes through historical towns, traditional villages, fishing communities, nature reserves and delightful beaches and countryside. Along the 77 km of coastline that they traverse, clients will encounter a wide variety of biologically diverse natural habitats and sites of ecological interest. We took into consideration such local environmental issues when planning this route.
Because much of the trail involves boardwalks that take guests alongside the ocean or across fragile ecosystems in the sand dunes, we use our welcome briefing to highlight the traveler’s code of conduct and emphasize the importance of sticking to the boardwalks in protected areas so as to respect and protect the exceptional quality of this natural and scenic heritage.
We also provide a refillable water bottle and encourage clients to drink the excellent quality tap water instead of buying disposable bottles.
There’s no need to buy disposable batteries either as we supply rechargeable batteries and a charger for our GPS devices on self-guided walks. In a further bid to reduce the need to print documents, our route information is now available as an App.
For luggage transfers between accommodations on this linear route, we use local taxis, thus keeping driving distances and carbon emissions to a minimum.
Among the most interesting experiences along this route are the fishing communities in small coastal villages such as Angeiras, Apúlia, Castelo de Neiva and Vila Praia de Âncora. In these places full of colorfully painted boats and huts, clients can observe and engage with fishermen while they are mending nets, preparing bait or getting their boats ready to go fishing.
Of course, the best way to get the full flavor of the sea is to eat the catch of the day at one of the many specialty restaurants along the coast. At any of these eateries, clients are simultaneously contributing to the local economy and savoring the flavors alongside local people. If you like octopus, we have a great recommendation for you in Apúlia, i.e. Restaurante Paredão.
On Saturdays during the summer months, Praça da República is a riot of color and flavors as women dressed in the bright traditional costumes of the region sell local cakes. With a bit of luck, guests can experience one of the many festivities that take place throughout the year and bring an added dash of life and entertainment to the city.
As well as the fruits of the sea, this region of Northern Portugal is famous for its vinho verde, aka green or young wine. This is usually slightly effervescent and a little lighter in terms of alcohol level than a mature white wine, making a white vinho verde a very refreshing beverage in warmer months. The range of grapes and flavors in vinho verde is surprising so we recommend tasting several varieties during the week!
Use the Google map to orient yourself about where in the world this trip is. The location indicates the starting point for this trip.
A specific route map is included in the downloadable detailed itinerary.
Price varies between high and low season.
Prices for this trip are listed in EUR with USD approximations. Payment will be for the amount in EUR.
Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.
See the full list of price inclusions and exclusions in the downloadable detailed itinerary.
USD an apprx. of price in EUR: 665 €$ 805
USD an apprx. of price in EUR: 1020 €$ 1235
USD an apprx. of price in EUR: 745 €$ 900
USD an apprx. of price in EUR: 1170 €$ 1420
If you cancel:
If you do need to cancel, you may reschedule the trip for another date as long as you request the trip a minimum of 30 days before you want to depart. It is free of charge to postpone your trip.
This trip has a variable start date, so you can plan a departure date that suits you.
Be sure you have traveler's insurance.
Please be fully vaccinated and boosted before traveling. You may also need proof of a negative Covid test before arrival to the country. Keep a mask and hand sanitizer with you at all times.
As this trip is bookable for 1+ traveler(s) and is an outdoor walking tour, you can book this by yourself, with your family, pod, or "Quaranteam" to enjoy a safe, socially-distant escape outdoors.
Q: What does the Physical Rating of "Easy" mean?
A: These walks don’t require any special preparation although you should be reasonably fit and in good health as there may be some small hills. The aim is to provide a leisurely experience with time to appreciate your surroundings.
Distance: Max 15 km (9.3 miles) per day
Elevation gain: Max 300 m per day
Note: This trip has one day of walking 18.5km (11 miles).
Q: What do I need to bring?
A: Most of this walking holiday is off-road on rugged terrain so you will need:
Q: What is a self-guided tour?
A: On a self-guided tour, you navigate the route yourself with the aid of our Roadbook and GPS with all the tracks. We provide all the information you need including suggestions, maps, instructions, directions, and things to see. Our self-guided tours is a complete and affordable holiday, tailored specifically for independent travelers. They offer the same quality, style, service and comforts of typical guided trips with the freedom and flexibility of making your own decisions about how you spend your time.
Q: How do I prepare for a walking holiday?
A: We recommend that before starting you should adapt your body for long walks. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. You should comfortable with walking 4 to 6 hours for consecutive days with some ups-and-downs on varied terrain, from tarmac roads to dirt paths and rocky or muddy tracks. Hill walking, with a reasonable amount of ascent and descent, is the best training for a walking holiday.
Duration: This trip lasts 8 days, 7 nights. You'll be walking on 6 days.
Total Distance: 77 km (47.8 miles).