Vineyards, Valleys and Villages
Harvest Season Walk
4-12 Oct, 2004
Northern Portugal is one of the most scenic and historic parts of Portugal and the birthplace of the nation. Ancient castles, historic monasteries and Roman roads abound. Lively ports, vineyard paths, and traditional villages are part of our walking adventure. Our journey includes the UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto, which lent its name to the famous wine and to Portugal. The Douro River, which winds through steep valleys lined with terraced vineyards. We visit on foot as well as overnight in small wine estates “quintas” still owned and operated by the families that have held them for generations. We move west to the village of Guimaraes, Portugal’s birthplace with medieval castle and walls and a numerous examples of Romanesque and Baroque architecture and a Celtic hill settlement nearby. Our walks take us North to the Spanish Border and the spectacular Peneda/Gerês National Park. Northern Portugal offers spectacular diversity of landscape and insight into traditional culture.
Day 1: PORTO
Choose to arrive a day early to take full advantage of the wonderful city of Porto or fly in mid-day with time to check in before our meeting. We’ll meet our guide mid-afternoon at the hotel in Porto and depart by foot for a city tour. In the evening we cross the river to visit a Port house and have a welcome dinner in one of the Bodegas.
Overnight in hotel Porto Carlton or similar
Day 2: PORTO – MESAO FRIO
A ten minutes walk takes us the historic train station (we’ll transfer the luggage!) and then board the panoramic train following the Douro as far as Regua (two hours). Here a van will be waiting for us at the station to take us to Mesao Frio, our destination for next two nights, the Pousada Solar de Rede, a 18th century manor house in the midst of the Douro demarcated wine region with breathtaking views over the Douro.
We will enjoy a walk through the vineyards and have a traditional lunch under a cork oak with wonderful views of the area. After lunch we continue walking to get the Pousada. Late afternoon you’ll have time to relax or enjoy the swimming-pool and gardens of the Pousada. Our evening begins with a local wine tasting followed by dinner in the intimate dining room.
Day 3: MESAO FRIO
In the morning we visit the Quinta do Monte Travesso which lies in the middle of the Port Wine Region surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. We revel in a long walk along a ancient roman road before being treated to a wine tasting and lunch at the Quinta.
In the afternoon we return to Mesao Frío, dinner and overnight at Pousada Solar de Rede.
Day 4: MESAO FRIO – GUIMARAES
Our trip continues to the more remote Parque Natural de Alvao where we walk from Arnal to Lamas taking part in a Picnic lunch enroute. We head on to Guimaraes, a charming town that has preserved its medieval monuments and narrow streets having an important influence on the history of the nation.
Dinner at a picturesque restaurant of the medieval town.
Day 5: GUIMARAES
A morning walk to the Citania de Briteiros – mid-way between Guimaraes and Braga – site of a restored Celtic hill settlement dating from 500 BC, and continuously occupied but never conquered through Roman times.
We return to Guimaraes, dinner and overnight.
Day 6: GUIMARAES – VIEIRA DO MINHO
Visit to Quinta de Vinho Verde in Povoa de Lanhoso and walk around Bouro, where find the remains of a monastery and a large abbey in baroque style.
We follow up our drive to Vieira do Minho and A small "Quinta", our home for next two nights,offers a unique location in the heart of Peneda/Gerês National Park.
Day 7: VIEIRA DO MINHO
Walk around the Serra do Gerés and visit to the Portela do Homem, a border post between Portugal and Spain which has an important collection of Roman milestones, and also a place where the locals come to bathe in the swimming-pool near the river, in the valley of Minas dos Carris.
Day 8: VIEIRA DO MINHO – PORTO
Transfer to Porto airport for departure flights.
This tour includes the following:
- Transportation by bus throughout the trip.
- Guide assistance throughout the trip.
- 7 nights at Pousadas de Portugal, traditional Quintas and Fine Hotel in Porto
- 3 wine tastings.
- 3 lunches at Quintas or local taverns.
- 3 picnic lunch
- All dinners included at hotels except one dinner at restaurant.
Panoramic train from Porto Regua.
- Transfer by van from train station to Mesao Frio.
All the walks and visits described on program.