The Other Side of Douro

Porto - PT
  • From 930 €
  • Holiday type Bicycle holiday
  • Duration 8 days
  • Difficulty Level Media

1-week self-guided walking holiday through the unexplored, rural side of the Douro wine region with orchards, vineyards and typical villages to explore.

After making your way from Porto to the riverside town of Peso da Régua,
you’ll spend most of the week in the area south of the Douro River, in
places where few tourists venture. The wine production here is mostly
smaller producers, which means a greater variety of vineyard patterns and
a very local feel to the experience.
You will also experience the UNESCO World Heritage landscapes of the
Alto Douro wine region, which spreads out from both banks of the Douro
River, from multiple vantage points that give you a sense of its magnitude.
As well as wine, the Douro is famous for producing cherries, apples,
elderberries, figs and other fruits so you’ll encounter orchards as far as the
eye can see around Armamar. Depending on the time of year, the fruit
trees may be in blossom or in fruit, adding extra colour and flavour.
Our route takes you to many typical villages. Some, such as Salzedas and Barcos, stand out for their historical monuments including a Romanesque church and a Cistercian monastery. Others are unassuming places where you will see how local people manage their vegetable plots, vineyards and fruit trees. Hang out in a café and watch life unfold around you. Better still, you can make some new friends!

Included and Not Included Services

  • 7 Nights of accommodation with breakfast included

  • 5 Packed lunches (day 3 to day 7)

  • Detailed route notes (in English)

  • App with trail information for use on a smartphone

  • Tour and tasting session at Quinta do Tedo winery on day 5

  • Private transfer from Porto airport to Porto hotel on day 1

  • Private transfers between accommodation and the start or end of daily walks, where relevant

  • Luggage transfer between accommodations days 3, 5 and 7; 24-hour emergency contact number (English-speaking).

  • In-person welcome briefing

  • Transfer from Porto hotel to Porto train station

  • Train tickets; Lunches and dinners (exceptfor the packed lunch between day 3 and day 7)

  • Insurance

  • Touristic taxes

  • Gratuities

  • Personal expenses

  • All items not mentioned in “Included” section.

Day 1: individual arrival in Porto

A private driver will meet you at Porto International Airport and take you to your hotel in Porto. When you check into your Porto hotel, you will receive your Welcome Kit, which contains all the information you need to fully enjoy this self-guided walking holiday in the Douro wine region, as well as the necessary documents. If you would like us to include a cultural or food tour of the city today and/or tomorrow, just let us know (additional costs apply).

Day 2: Scenic train to the heart of the Douro Valley

The scenic train journey (not included) takes you along the Douro River to the town of Peso da Régua. There is a wide array of bars and restaurants and nearby wineries that you can arrange to visit if you have time, as well as the Douro Museum (optional, paid locally). Settle into your boutique hotel and rest well for the week ahead or stretch your legs on a riverside stroll.

Day 3: Peso da Régua - Aldeia de Baixo

(approx. 16 km / + 706m -226 m)

Once you leave the bustle of Peso da Régua and the traffic behind, you’ll enter into a landscape filled with birdsong and vineyards. You’ll pass through several villages where tourists seldom venture and life goes on as normal and you can stop at a local café to interact with local people. As well as offering remarkable views, the landscape is an interesting mix of rugged, untouched hillsides and those which have been cultivated for growing grapes, olive trees, cherry and apple trees. In early spring, the fruit tree blossoms add colour and joy to the landscape while the spring flowers that follow are an endless source of delight, as are the fruits once they are ripe for picking.

Day 4: Salzedas - Aldeia de Baixo

(approx. 15 km / + 348m -322m)

A short, scenic drive takes you to a magnificent Cistercian monastery in the village of Salzedas which dates back to the 12th century. Take the opportunity to look around the church and village before starting your walk. You’ll spend the day walking between apple and cherry orchards, olive groves and small vineyards, punctuated by villages. Depending on the time of year, you might enjoy an abundance of fruit blossoms, a myriad of wildflowers, ripening fruit or a harvest in progress. As well as the endless orchards, there are mountains in the near and far distance, including the undulating hillsides of the Alto Douro wine region and the majestic Alvão Natural Park.

Day 5: Armamar - Quinto do Tedo

(approx. 14 km / +356m -814m)

After a short taxi ride to the nearby small town of Armamar, you will start your day with fabulous views but the best are yet to come! The first part of the day takes you through typically rural landscapes with plenty of olive and fruit trees as well as small vineyards. The journey to the village of Vacalar and offers marvellous views – a taste of what’s to come later. As you progress through gorgeous vineyards, the expanse of the UNESCO World Heritage Landscape of the Douro Valley, with its endless terraced slopes and the mighty Douro River, comes into view. End the day’s walk with a wine tasting session at Quinta do Tedo before transferring to the small town of Tabuaço.

Day 6: Tabuaço circular walk via Adorigo

(approx. 17 km / +471m -431m)

Today’s walk offers a variety of scenery, from the boulder-strewn hills that overlook Tabuaço to the Douro Valley and its undulating slopes, as well as flatter areas at around 500 metres altitude. You will pass through the centre of one of the Douro’s 6 official Wine Producing Villages, namely Barcos. Around and beyond Barcos, you’ll see lots of vegetable plots and flat vineyards that belong to smaller producers than the vast estates nearer the Douro River. The route is tranquil and allows plenty of opportunities to enjoy peaceful time in the countryside surrounded by birdsong and the various scents of flowers and trees. At the half-way point, you will have fabulous views of the Douro River and UNESCO landscape as you make your way to the village of Adorigo and back to Tabuaço. You also have the option of visiting a family-owned winery that’s over 100 years old (additional cost).

Day 7: Valença do Douro - Pinhão

(approx. 16 km / +325m -635m)

Today’s walk starts in the village of Valença do Douro, which overlooks the hilltop building of the Quinta das Carvalhas estate. You’ll walk through the heart of the village then out into the vineyards and countryside. This is the landscape of small producers and the patterns of the grape rows are interesting and varied on the way to the next village. Head uphill through a wine estate and be prepared for some extra special views as you wend your way down the hill to Pinhão. Zig zag your way downhill through the grape vines to reach the tasting rooms of Real Companhia Velha where a port wine tasting awaits you.

Day 8:Vilarinho de Cotas - Pinhão and train to Porto

(approx. 9 km / +131m -482m)

Experience the views from the north side of the Douro River today on this mostly downhill walk. You’ll start in a small village high in the hills and views of the Pinhão Valley. As you start your descent, you’ll have views of the Douro Valley to your left. As you round the hillside towards Casal de Loivos, your views of the Douro Valley arrive and will accompany you all the way down to the river through the vineyards of Quinta da Roeda and Quinta do Bomfim back to Pinhão. Catch the afternoon train back (not included) to the captivating city of Porto.

Package view calendar

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Available for groups from 6 persons and on request
It's recommended to obtain a travel cancellation insurance. The indicated price is subject to changes, print and calculation errors.

Individual arrival at Oporto international Airport. Transfer from Airport to city center (first hotel) is included.

Countryhouses, boutique hotels, 3 and 4 stars hotel

Included transfers:

  • Private transfer from Porto airport to Porto hotel (day 1);

  • Private transfers between accommodation and the start or end of daily walks, where relevant;

Tour information

  • Duration 8 days
  • Minimum age min. 14 years
  • Difficulty Level Media
  • Distance 85 - 86 km