A2Z Adventures: Historical Villages of Douro 8-Day Walking Tour

About this Tour or Guided Experience

Join A2Z Adventures to hike through port wine vineyards and visit Portugal’s historical villages, featuring castles and stone houses that have maintained their appearance for centuries. This tour will be an unforgettable week spent in a country rich in history and flavors. In the Côa river valley, observe amazing stone carvings from the Paleolithic era preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hike down the famous Calçada de Alpajares, known as the Devil’s Trail. The tour will also take you to Barca de Alva – a site offering breathtaking views of terraced vineyards along the rolling hills of the Douro river.

Itinerary

Day 1: Porto | Pinhão

Pick-up at the airport in Porto. Transfer to Pinhão.

Lodging: Quinta Nova de Nª Srª do Carmo

Day 2: Harvest day or “Winecaching” in Quinta Nova [6 km (4 miles)]

Day 2 will be a special day spent in Quinta Nova. Visitors can enjoy harvesting grapes (September and October tours), participate in the winecaching game, explore hiking trails on the farm property, or simply relax by the pool. Quinta Nova offers several hiking trails with amazing views of the Douro river and valley. During the harvest season (15 Sept. to 15 Oct.), visitors have the opportunity to harvest grapes with experts, taste wine in the cellars, and enjoy a typical vintage lunch. The harvesting experience is completed by a Douro port wine tasting. An alternative to grape harvesting is Quinta Nova and A2Z Adventures’ new activity: winecaching. Winecaching is similar to Geocaching, and involves the discovery of “wine caches” spread throughout the farm and vineyards.

Lodging: Quinta Nova de Nª Srª do Carmo

Day 3: Mêda | Marialva | Longroiva [19 km (12 miles)]

Day 3 will start with a short train ride to the town of Pocinho on the famous Douro railway road. The Pocinho railway station is worth particular attention. Built in the late nineteenth century, the interior is entirely lined with typical Portuguese tiles. After a short van transfer, visitors will enjoy a walk through the village of Mêda on an ancient trail still used by the local people, which extends to the historical village of Marialva. Marialva is a medieval walled village that will take visitors back in time to when its brave inhabitants fought against the Spanish invaders. Marialva’s origin dates to the sixth century B.C. After a picnic in the beautiful village, the tour continues with a hike to the village of Longroiva. Day 3 concludes at Longroiva’s castle, a national monument dating from the twelfth century.

Lodging: Casas do Côro

Day 4: Stone Carvings and Hiking in the Côa Valley [14 km (9 miles)]

Day 4’s hike takes visitors to the Côa river valley, featuring amazing views of the river. The Côa valley boasts various stone carvings from the Paleolithic era and is designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. In Quinta da Ervamoira, property of Casa Ramos Pinto – a highly esteemed wine producer – visitors make a stop at a museum dedicated to the Douro river and Douro port wine. The museum is also home to many interesting Roman artifacts. After lunch, the tour continues at the Archeological Park, where visitors can observe several stone carvings. Finally, a short transfer brings the tour back to Marialva.

Lodging: Casas do Côro

Day 5: Douro River Railroad [8 km (5 miles)] and Calçada de Alpajares [7 km (4 miles)]

After a short transfer to Pocinho, Day 5 begins with a walk through the Douro valley along the famous Douro railroad, which is no longer in use. This walk is always by the river, and offers breathtaking views of terraced wine vineyards along the hillsides of the Douro valley. From the Côa river, a boat transports visitors to Barca d’Alva. Barca d’Alva is located in the Douro International Natural Park, a natural and protected area which is the habitat of several birds of prey. Next, the hike continues up the famous Calçada de Alpajares. Known locally as Calçada do Diabo, meaning Devil’s Trail, Calçada de Alpajares was part of a Roman road that crossed the Douro river and the Mosteiro stream. After the hike, a short transfer takes visitors to the historical village of Castelo Rodrigo.

Lodging: Casa da Cisterna

Day 6: Faia Brava Natural Reserve [12 km (8 miles)]

Day 6 entails a visit to Reserva da Faia Brava, the Faia Brava Natural Reserve. The Reserve’s mission is to preserve the natural patrimony of the Riba Côa area, meaning the Côa riverside. Visitors will begin Day six’s walk in the small village of Algodres. Before a picnic break, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy bird watching – the Griffon Vulture and the Bonelli’s Eagle are both commonly found in this region. At the end of the day’s hike, a short transfer will transport visitors to the historical village of Castelo Rodrigo. Castelo Rodrigo was a historically important site for Catholic pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The Castle at Castelo Rodrigo, dated from the thirteenth century, has been the stage of many battles with Spanish and British troops alike. Located in the outskirts of Castelo Rodrigo is the Santa Maria de Aguiar Convent, dated from the twelfth century.

Lodging: Casa da Cisterna

Day 7: Marofa Pilgrimage Trail and Almeida

After a visit to Castelo Rodrigo, Day 7 begins with a hike to Alto da Marofa, a mountain ridge where a statue of Jesus Christ blesses the surrounding lands. Alto da Marofa is one of the most important mountains in the area due to its height of 975 meters (3,199 feet). From the summit visitors can overlook most of the places their tour has traveled throughout the week including the Douro and Côa river valleys, Marialva, and Castelo Rodrigo. On the mountain ridge the tour follows a pilgrimage trail that passes several small chapels, and then a short transfer transports visitors to the historical village of Almeida. Almeida is one of the crown jewels of Portuguese military architecture, and the hexagonal shaped walls of its fortresses were built in the seventeenth century. Finally, the tour returns to Porto.

Lodging: Hotel da Bolsa (Porto)

Day 8: DEPARTURE

Transfer from the hotel to the airport.

Seasons Available

Year-round. Tours begin on Sunday.

Fees (if any)

From 1600 € ($2,084.31) per person.

Rate includes: 7 nights accommodations with breakfast, 1 picnic, van support, driver and guide fluent in English, snacks of fresh fruit during walking days, transport to and from airport, local transfers, maps and documentation, GPS device, GPS tracks, insurance, and A2Z Adventures T-shirt and water bottle.

For More Information, Contact:

Pedro Pedrosa
Largo da Bica, Castelo Novo, 05 6230-160
+351 275 561 182 · fax +351 275 561 182