Douro Valley Guided Walking Holiday

Landscape of the Douro river regionin Portugal -  Vineyards
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European Centre Based
Walking Grade: 2 & 3
from £1,249pp with flights

Enjoy a great mix of walks with river views, trails between sleepy villages, vineyards and longer routes in the mountain landscape of the Serra do Marão. A trip to the Douro Valley wouldn't be complete without a visit to a local quinta and vineyard to sample the famous port, as well as a chance to cruise on the river or wind along the banks by rail to the magnificent city of Porto on your free day. The Douro valley in Northern Portugal is an area of spectacular beauty, the mountainous vine covered terraces stretch as far as the eye can see. The province is dominated by Portugal’s wellknown river, the Douro, rising in Spain; the Rio Douro defines part of the Spanish-Portuguese border before flowing 200km west to Porto. The area is rich in history and home to Portugal’s second city, the vibrant UNESCO world heritage city of Porto. Our base is the peaceful town of Peso da Régua, backed by the Serra do Marão Mountains and overlooking the wide valley of the River Douro. The town grew due to the development of the port industry, being a collection point for the wines before they were transported down river to Vila Nova de Gaia.

Holiday Highlights

  • Stunning scenery of the Alto Douro UNESCO World Heritage wine region.
  • Soak up the Portuguese culture in the traditional streets of Porto
  • Cruise along the meandering Douro and return on the scenic ‘Linha do Douro’ railway.
  • Walk in the mountain landscape of the Serra do Marão
  • Visit a local vineyard, learn about making port and enjoy a tasting.

What’s included

  • A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
  • All transport to and from walks
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays leaders
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • 7 night's accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Half Board – buffet breakfast and 3-course evening meal

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Welcome to the Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro. Unpack and settle in.


Our first day of walks starts with a short transfer to the outskirts of Régua walking along ancient tracks and paths through terraced vineyards, hamlets and villages giving panoramic views of the Douro and Régua. 

Option 1 - Vistas of the Douro

Distance: 9 miles (14½km) 

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (450m)

In summary: The easier walk passes through the lower hamlets closer to the river’s extraordinary terraced sides before reaching the promenade, which we follow back to cross the Douro on the beautifully restored metal bridge, ‘ponte metálica’. There will be an opportunity to explore Régua and the ‘Museu do Douro’, which tells the history of the area.

Highlight: Breathtaking views on our introductory walk.

Option 2 - Through vineyards and trees high above the Douro

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 900 feet (270m)

In summary: The harder walk climbs to the distinctive white church of Loureiro before passing through woodland to descend to the river bank. There will be an opportunity to explore Régua and the ‘Museu do Douro’, which tells the history of the area.

Highlight: Walk in the vineyards with spectacular views of the Douro river.


Today we head to the moorland area south of Lamego where the high moorland is dotted with large boulders, and goats and cows graze.

Option 1 - Ancient villages of the Tarouca valley

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m)

Total descent: 1,600 feet (480m)

In summary: The easier walkers start at the hamlet of Parafita before traversing the hillside to wander through the ancient village of Mazes. Both walks then descend through the pine trees to Lazarim where there is an opportunity to visit the beautiful new museum of masks, carved by artisans for the village’s carnival every Shrove Tuesday.

Highlight: The village of Mazes, where people live and work much as they did over 50 years ago and the church bells ring to the tune of 'Ave Maria'.

Option 2 - Tarouca valley’s deserted and working villages

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (390m)

Total descent: 2,400 feet (720m)

In summary: The harder walkers start at the hamlet of Ribabelide, at almost 1,000m, and make a circuit to the fascinating deserted settlement of Antas before passing through the spectacular narrow gorge of the Rio de Santo and descending to Mazes. Both walks then descend through the pine trees to Lazarim where there is an opportunity to visit the beautiful new museum of masks, carved by artisans for the village’s carnival every Shrove Tuesday.

Highlight: The narrow gorge with its ancient ruined water mill and levadas.


Our highest point of the holiday is where both walks start, just below Serra do Marão, 4,700 feet. On a clear day there are panoramic views in all directions as far as Spain and Galicia. 

Option 1 - Mountain panorama from the Serra do Marão

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 200 feet (60m)

Total descent: 2,400 feet (720m)

In summary: The easier walk descends through tree-covered slopes passing a hilltop chapel, and mountain villages, where life has changed little in centuries, to finish at Fontes.

Highlight: Fantastic views of the mountains of Serra do Marão.

Option 2 - Serra do Marão ridge

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

Total descent: 3,600 feet (1,080m)

In summary: The harder walk follows the ridge along rough tracks and through rocky terrain, ascending two summits, and passing beneath wind farms. Then we descend through moorland, woods and through hamlets before arriving the village of Carvalho with its grand houses and fertile gardens.

Highlight: A beautiful day of high moorland walking with extensive views.


Today there are no organised walks, allowing you to relax in the hotel with its indoor pool and spa treatments, visit Porto, cruise along the Douro or visit the ancient city of Lamego and climb the 686 steps up to the beautiful Sanctuary of ‘Nossa Senhora dos Remédios’.

View of the historic city of Porto, Portugal with the Dom Luis bridge and blue sky / Panoramic view from the city of Porto i…


Today we head for the village of Favaios where the vineyards produce Moscatel, a liqueur appreciated for its sweetness and aroma. Before we start walking we have the opportunity for a tasting and look at the landscape of our route from the balcony in the museum of bread and wine. Both parties start their walks in this historic town passing one of the local bakeries where you can see wood-fired ovens and buy bread that’s still warm. 

Option 1 - Bread, moscatel vineyards, vistas and valleys

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 100 feet (30m)

Total descent: 700 feet (210m)

In summary: Today, we walk on sandy tracks through moscatel vineyards to finish on the cobbled streets of Vilarinho de Cotas.

Highlight: Sample delicious local bread made in wood-fired ovens.

Option 2 - Vistas, villages, vineyards and valleys down to Pinhão

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 100 feet (30m)

Total descent: 700 feet (210m)

In summary: The harder walk climbs up to the small chapel of Santa Barbara before following the route the easier walkers have taken down to the village of Vilarinho da Cota, where they will be picked up. As we descend, the dramatic and complex amphitheatres of vineyards open up in front of us clinging to the hillside. The harder walkers continue to the Rio Douro viewpoint ‘Miradouro Casal de Loivos’ before descending to the riverside village of Pinhão’ where we meet the other party.

Highlight: The dramatic ‘Miradouro Casal de Loivos’ giving a birds eye view of the Douro.


Today’s walks pass through the woods and mountain villages of the eastern slopes of the Serra do Marão.

Option 1 - Villages & woods on the eastern slopes of the Serra do Marão

Distance: 6 miles (9½km) 

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m)

Total descent: 1,600 feet (480m)

In summary: Our walk follows a track high above the valley to Ermida. We then descend passing chapels and through picturesque hamlets into the valley where corn is grown, and chestnut trees line the track. We arrive at the vineyards and village of Sedielos, and the coach.

Highlight: Enjoy the incredible views of the Serra do Marão.

Option 2 - Villages and woods underneath the crags of the Serra do Marão

Distance: 9 miles (14½km) 

Total ascent: 1,800 feet (540m)

In summary: The harder walk starts in the village of Soutelo passing through woods to arrive at the tiny hamlet of Póvoa da Serra continuing on wide tracks under the dramatic black crags of the Serra do Marão before joining the route of the easier walk.

Highlight: The ancient and tiny hamlets we pass on this walk.


Depart after a leisurely breakfast.


Douro Itinerary Map

Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro

This 4-star hotel is part of the exclusive "Collection" range of Vila Galé hotels. The hotel is located across the Douro River facing the town of Peso da Regua in the Douro region of North Portugal.  The hotel takes full advantage of its riverside setting and there is a large public terrace with seating to watch the river boats pass by.  It is surrounded by the vineyards of many famous port names you will recognise, such as Taylors, Sanderson and many more.  Access to the town's facilities is via a footbridge a short walk away.  With contemporary styling throughout the building and modern spacious rooms this is a perfect, relaxing base to return too after a days walking.  

Rooms

All the 38 ensuite bedrooms are spacious and all face the river.  They have telephone, TV, hairdryer, room safe, mini-bar, complimentary toiletries.  All the Vila Galé hotels provide a hospitality tray on request from reception which includes all the items required including a kettle to make a cup of tea or coffee.

Facilities

The hotel has an indoor pool, a Spa and an outdoor jacuzzi.

Food & Drink

Our holidays at Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.  The breakfast is an self-service buffet and in the evening there is a 3-course served meal.  The hotel is able to cater for most dietary needs.

Your Evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continues into the evening.  Your leaders will talk about the area and the choice of walks for the next day and will advise you of any activity you may want to join after dinner.  Alternatively, you may choose to relax and socialise with your fellow walkers in the hotel lounge/bar.

Portugal - Douro Valley - Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro -VG_Douro_Exteriores_Jacuzzi_5.jpg

Getting to Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents.
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares).
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended.
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers.
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra.
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks.
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner.
  • Thermos flask for hot drink.
  • Water bottle (at least 2 litre).
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
  • Small torch.
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Camera.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
22 Mar - 29 Mar 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
29 Mar - 05 Apr 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
05 Apr - 12 Apr 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
12 Apr - 19 Apr 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
24 May - 31 May 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
31 May - 07 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
07 Jun - 14 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
14 Jun - 21 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
06 Sep - 13 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
13 Sep - 20 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,249 Available Book Now
Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
22 Mar - 29 Mar 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
29 Mar - 05 Apr 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
05 Apr - 12 Apr 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
12 Apr - 19 Apr 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
24 May - 31 May 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
31 May - 07 Jun 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
07 Jun - 14 Jun 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
14 Jun - 21 Jun 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
06 Sep - 13 Sep 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now
13 Sep - 20 Sep 2019 Itinerary £999 Available Book Now

Important Information

  • Double room for sole occupancy: £44 per night
  • With flight holidays include flights from London Gatwick.
  • Independent travellers can join our transfer from Porto Airport: £33.50 single
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
European Centre Based
Walking Grade:
2

7 nights from £1,249pp with flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist