1-week self-guided walking holiday through the unexplored, rural side of the Douro wine region with orchards, vineyards, and typical villages to explore.
Are you feeling exhausted by the daily grind of city life? This week-long holiday walking at your own pace will help you slow down and rejuvenate. You’ll spend most of the week discovering a side of Douro where few tourists venture, hiking through awe-inspiring landscapes, and stopping in small villages along the way. Visiting the Douro region wouldn’t be complete without savoring delicious wines in serene settings, away from the hustle and bustle of tourist hot spots.
- Visit the Alto Douro wine region, the oldest wine region in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Soak in stunning views as you walk through terraced vineyards
- Meet with small wine producers and participate in port and wine tasting
- Discover charming local villages, historical monuments, and Portugal’s rural life
On this walking trip through the other side of Douro, you’ll start in Porto and make your way down to the riverside town of Peso de Régua. As you explore the area south of the Douro River, you’ll walk through beautiful natural landscapes past fruit trees and orchards, and through terraced vineyards.
You’ll have the chance to admire the UNESCO World Heritage landscapes of the Alto Douro wine region from multiple vantage points. Our different hikes to Pinhão, Vacalar, and Adorigo, to name a few, offer the chance to overlook gorgeous rolling vineyards, terraced slopes, and the mighty Douro River.
Throughout your hike, you can sample delicious local specialties, and savor the unique flavors of the region’s wines. The wine production here is mostly thanks to smaller producers, which means a greater variety of vineyard patterns and a very local feel to the experience.
As well as its wine industry, the Douro region is well known for its fruit production. Strolling through Armamar, a charming town in northern Portugal, you’ll see orchards full of cherries, apples, elderberries, and figs. Depending on the time of year, the fruit trees may be in blossom or in fruit, adding extra color and flavor to your time in the Douro Valley.
This Douro walking tour also offers the possibility to immerse yourself in Portuguese history and culture. In Salzedas and Barcos, located in northern Portugal, their historical monuments, including a Romanesque church and a Cistercian monastery, will impress you. For example, the monastery of Santa Maria de Salzedas, which dates from the 12th century, has been recognized as one of the most important and beautiful in Portugal.
You’ll also experience the region’s laid-back rural rhythm. In small towns, notice how locals manage their vegetable plots, vineyards, and fruit trees. There will be time, too, to hang out in a cafe and watch life unfold around you.
The final walking day starts in a hillside village on the north side of the Douro River, which gives you an opportunity to see where you’ve already walked from a different perspective. This is a lovely way to end your Douro vacation!
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You can book this itinerary from March 1st through October 31st each year. The low season is from March 1st to April 30th & from October 16th to 31st. The high season is from May 1st to October 15th.
If the trip coincides with the grape harvest, which is usually in September, you will have the opportunity to experience the picking of grapes and transportation to the wineries. With a bit of luck, you can even participate in grape treading or harvest celebrations!
April, May, June, September, and October are the ideal months for a walking holiday to northern Portugal. May, June, and September tend to be warmer with less chance of rain, though, in spring and autumn, there is always a chance of experiencing some rain. Come prepared for changeable conditions in case you have a chilly or windy day.
July and August are usually the hottest months, with temperatures regularly exceeding 30°C (86°F).
Traveling during the low or shoulder seasons 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.
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