Pilgrim Trails, Slate Villages, Castle Towns, and Enchanting Douro Vineyards

Overview

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.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
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.

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Days 5-7
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.

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Days 8-12
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.

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Highlights

Highlights

Explore from Lisbon to Porto, tasting port wines and vinhos verdes, savoring rich local specialties
Hike among the slate villages of the Serra da Lousã and along medieval pilgrim routes, including the Camino Portuguese
Meet a Douro Valley vintner, ride the Linha do Douro (Portugal’s loveliest train ride), discover castle-topped towns
Enjoy unique lodgings, including a traditional spa hotel, a converted pilgrimage hostel, and a palatial 17th century manor house

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $5395  
Arrive: Lisbon, Portugal
Depart: Porto, Portugal
Lodging: 11 nights charming accommodations
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

9 hiking days on moderate to strenuous trails (some steep sections), 3-6 hours a day with two longer days, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike)