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Food

  • All breakfasts, 3 wine tastings and 2 dinners 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 recepies. Local specialities include the caldo verde, a cabbage soup that originated here thanks to the fertile green fields of the region. Portugal also prides itself in 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, which include the famous roasted goat with rice and potatoes, wild boar stew, posta mirandes (veal steak) and cozido à portuguesa (boiled meat, sausages and cabbages). There is another dish too, made on the basis of a sandwich, that is a true institution: the francesinha. Please note that vegetarians meals are available on request although options may be limited. 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 recognized this site as World Heritage. Port wine is a fortified wine produced under peculiar and unique conditions. It is still produced in an old fashioned way, in 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 and rosé and during the trip there will be plenty of opportunities to try the different varieties. The 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.

Activities

  • Accom: hotel/lodge
  • Food & drink
  • History
  • Walking & Trekking
  • Guided Group
  • 1

    Start Porto; short orientation tour.

    The trip begins in the beautiful historic city of Porto, famous for one of the most appreciated wines in the world - Port wine. Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its old architectural and landscape value. Today, depending on the arrival time of the group, we might have some time for a quick orientation tour accompanied by the tour leader. A full day of sightseeing in Porto is scheduled on the last day of the itinerary. Overnight in Hotel Vila Gale or similar.

  • 2

    Morning private transfer to Cinfaes; nature walk in the Bestanca Valley; transfer to Mesao Frio.

    After breakfast, we will transfer to Cinfaes (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes journey) for our walk in the Bestanca Valley. Within the valley is Portugal's hidden gem, the Bestanca River, with plenty of waterfalls, a medieval stone bridge and villages that have retained the beauty of their rural location. There are many walking paths in the valley, allowing us to combine several different routes, but the highlight is the walking trail of 'Vilar de Mouros', which passes through the medieval bridge of Covelas and Biodiversity Stations. We then transfer to our 5-star luxury hotel at Mesao Frio (approx. 1 hour journey) via a scenic road that follows the Douro River (7 km, approx. 3hrs and 30 minutes walking).

  • 3

    Drive to Regua to visit the Douro Museum; scenic train ride along the Douro river to Pinhao; visit a local winery for a short walk and wine tasting.

    We start the day with a short transfer to the town of Regua, where we visit the interesting Douro Museum, an ideal place to learn about the history, culture and identity of the UNESCO World Heritage Douro wine region. Regua also marks the point at which the famous Douro railway turns from a good route into a great one, sticking closely to the river and clinging to the precipitous rocks as the river passes through the Douro gorge. We will have the opportunity to experience this scenic landscape made of terraced vineyards and olive groves as we travel by train to our next stop, the small port-producing village of Pinhão. After some free time for lunch and relaxation, we explore the Quinta de Tedo, a winery farm from the 18th Century in the heart of the Douro region. We will have a guided tour of the winery grounds, following a walking trail that offers plenty of opportunities for some bird watching. There is also time to enjoy wine tasting before we return to the hotel. (4 km, approx. 2 hours walking).

  • 4

    Visit Baroque Casa de Mateus; walk in the Alvao Natural Park and visit Fisgas do Ermelo waterfall; transfer to Mondim de Basto for overnight.

    This morning we have an early transfer from Mesao to Regua to Vila Real, where we visit Casa de Mateus, a palace set in beautiful gardens considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Portugal. In the afternoon, we continue to the Alvao Natural Park, home to endangered bird and animal species. Located within the park is the Olo River, a mountain river with several watermills and waterfalls, including the 200m high Fisgas do Ermelo, one of the largest waterfalls in Europe. The walking trail will take us to fantastic viewpoints of the waterfalls and villages and there is also a chance to go for a swim in some of the natural pools along the way. We then transfer to our 4-star hotel in Mandim de Basto, where we can enjoy a stunning infinity pool and views. (5 km, approx. 3 hours walking)

  • 5

    Walk through a traditional winery farm Quinta das Escomoeiras in the green wine region and taste organically produced 'Vinho Verde'.

  • 6

    Visit the Senhora da Graca shrine and walk by the famous Levada do Piscaredo aqueduct onto the centre of Mondim de Basto village.

    This morning we visit one of the main shrines to the Virgin Mary found in northern Portugal: the Senhora da Graca, also known as Chapel of Monte Farinha. The chapel is perched in front of granite mountain range at almost 1000m high. Our walking trail today takes us down old stone paths from the top of the mountain, passing the Chapel of Sao Goncalo, water sources and quarries. The trail then continues by the famous Levada do Piscaredo, 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. We follow the waterway to the center of Mondim de Basto village, where we then take a very short transfer back to our hotel (8km, approx. 3 hours walking).

  • 7

    Transfer to Porto; visit the historic town and the famous Porto wine cellars for wine tasting; optional boat tour and overnight in Porto.

  • 8

    End Porto.

    Our trip ends in Porto in the morning of day 8.

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