Douro Valley

Portugal: Walking & Wine - Premium Adventure

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8 days
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Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
TSYP
Ways to Travel:
Premium Adventures, 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, Lina Ferreira, 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 including the 5-star Hotel Douro Scala, which boasts 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.

Please note: All departures up to 25th September 2022 will run as Portugal: Walking & Wine (non-Premium version). The Premium version of the tour will run from 1st October 2022 and offer more meal inclusions and a named expert guide.

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

  • 3 nights at a 5-star hotel, 4 nights at 4-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 lunches, 3 dinners and 3 wine tastings
  • All premium accommodation
  • Tipping for all hotel staff, local staff and drivers
  • Named tour leader, chosen for their expertise
  • 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)
  • Tip for the tour leader
  • Travel insurance - information on insurance through Exodus is available here
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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 Premium Adventures
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

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People: How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • As much as possible, we use hotels that are locally owned and employ local staff.
  • Walking tours actively encourage the group to chat with the locals to discover what life is like in this part of Portugal and purchase local produce, gifts and crafts.

Places: How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • This trip uses established walking routes that have been created with the conservation of local landscapes in mind.
  • Our philosophy is to show you authentic Portugal in the most sustainable way possible, helping to conserve rural lifestyle and contributing to the overall sustainable development of the area.
  • We are dedicated to promoting authentic experiences and supporting the enjoyment of Portugal’s natural and cultural heritage while simultaneously encouraging their protection through raising awareness of environmental issues.
  • We only work with small groups of travelers and promote the maintenance of a social, economic, and environmental system that meets the needs of the current generation, without compromising the resources of future generations. Furthermore, local people (be it from restaurants, accommodations or residents) teach us how to care for and protect these destinations, knowledge that is useful not only in this context but globally. 

Planet: How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • When meals are provided, ingredients used are locally sourced wherever possible. When meals are not provided, our local guides will recommend and encourage clients to visit local restaurants and cafés to try specialties from the area.
  • Walking trips have very little detrimental impact on the environment.
  • We encourage people to bring a re-usable water bottle and drink tap water on this trip.
  • Our partners take active steps to ensure our groups have a minimal environmental impact, such as sticking to established trails, not leaving rubbish behind and not removing any plants. Our operator also aims to minimise environmental damage by using eco engines on vehicles.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Take the train: Consider taking the train to this trip. Not only will it significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday vs. flying, it also extends your adventure! Read more about which train journeys we can book, or how to book your own, here.

Itinerary

Expand all
Mesão Frio
to
Porto
  • Day 1

    Start at Hotel Douro Scala in Mesão Frio.

    We begin our Portuguese adventure in the verdant Douro Valley, birthplace of the world-renowned Port wines. Land-only clients may join the group transfer from Porto airport to Hotel Douro Scala that departs at 3pm (transfer takes approx. 1.5 hours). If you are planning to join this transfer, please contact us prior to departure to request it.

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

    Premium accommodation: 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).

    Premium accommodation: 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).

    Premium accommodation: Hotel Douro Scala (5*)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • 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.

    Premium accommodation: 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.

    Premium accommodation: Água Hotels Mondim de Basto (4*)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • 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.  

    Premium accommodation: 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. Enjoy a farewell dinner with the group.

    Premium accommodation: Neya Hotel (4*) or Vila Galé Porto Ribeira (4*)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • 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.

Combine this trip with

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 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 recipes. 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, including the famous roasted goat with rice and potatoes, wild boar stew, posta mirandes (veal steak) and cozido à portuguesa (boiled meat, sausages and cabbage). The francesinha is also not to be missed - a multi-layered sandwich comprising cheese, ham, steak and sausage, topped with a fried egg and coated in a spicy tomato sauce. Delicious!

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:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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

Accommodation on your Portugal: Walking and Wine - Premium Adventure has been selected for its style, location and excellent service. We have chosen unique properties that give a sense of the region's history and culture, while offering the ultimate comfort and hospitality.

Douro Scala Hotel (5*), Douro Valley, 3 nights

Hotel Douro Scala

  • Panoramic views of the world-famous Douro Valley and vineyards
  • 15th century main building with original features, with modern and elegant rooms
  • Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools, Turkish bath and a billiards room

 

Água Hotels Mondim de Basto (4*), 3 nights

Água Hotels Mondim de Basto

  • Contemporary feel throughout the hotel
  • Outdoor infinity pool, indoor pool and extensive spa facilities
  • Excellent views of the surrounding mountains and River Tâmega

 

Porto hotel - dependent on your departure date, you will stay at one of the following two hotels.

Neya Hotel (4*), Porto, 1 night

Neya Hotel, Porto

  • Located on the banks of the Douro River
  • A converted convent - many original features preserved during its restoration
  • The hotel's Skybar provides views for miles over the city and river

 

Vila Galé Porto Ribeira (4*), Porto, 1 night

Vila Galé Porto Ribeira

  • Also located on the banks of the Douro River
  • Offers a health club with indoor swimming pool
  • Décor throughout the hotel pays homage to Portuguese art and painting
  • Paper-free hotel

 

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

Neya Hotel, Porto
Neya Hotel, Porto
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

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

Fields with * are mandatory.

Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 0203 993 4668, 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.

Fields with * are mandatory.

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest

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