Portugal’s exquisite landscapes and rural villages are perfect for a hiking adventure—WT-style! We’ll head out on trails to discover the aldeais do xisto villages, taste wine in a family-owned quinta, see prehistoric rock art, hike medieval pilgrim routes, and explore 13th century castle towns and Peneda-Gerês National Park, with its craggy peaks and wild horses. Fine regional cuisine and aromatic port wines are a delightful part of our journey, too, accompanied by the haunting sounds of fado. We end our journey in Porto, a World Heritage Site of centuries-old lanes and port wine cellars. Our lodgings are enchanting, including a former wine warehouse in picturesque Pinhão and the 17th century Paço de Calheiros, a Douro Valley palace where we are welcomed by the dapper Count of Calheiros himself.
This was a very enjoyable trip that provided interesting cultural features as well as a good range of challenging hikes.
— Allan C., Chapel Hill, NC
Serra da Lousã / Serra da Estrela
From Lisbon, we head into the rock-built slate villages known as aldeais do xisto, stopping in at a local home for tea and walking village-to-village to soak up views of the deep green valleys spread below. We’ll also roam Lousã’s lively covered market (a chance to sip herb-based licor beirâo) and hike in the Serra da Estrela below the rock towers of the glacier-carved Zêzere Valley.
Belmonte / Douro Wine Tasting / Pinhão / Peneda-Gerês
We explore castle-topped Belmonte’s medieval Jewish Quarter, view the Paleolithic paintings in the Côa Valley, then take a rail journey along the tranquil Douro River to lovely Pinhão. Our hike across a dreamscape of Douro Valley vineyards leads to the family-owned Quinto do Crasto wine estate on the banks of the Douro, and we return by traditional wooden port barge. In mountainous Peneda-Gerês National Park, our hike leads from verdant forests into grasslands where we may encounter goat herders and their trusty castro laboreiro sheepdogs.
The Pilgrimage Route / Ponte de Lima / Porto
After dipping a toe into Spain, we join the pilgrim trail to the sanctuary at Peneda, with its staircase adorned with statues representing faith, love, and charity. After a visit to charming Ponte de Lima, our final hike leads us across the gorgeous Camino Portuguese, which once brought medieval pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. We end in Porto, exploring the historic quarter and listening to soulful fado songs. Depart on Day 12.