Hiker's Journey to Portugal

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


Portugal has gorgeous rural landscapes, from rolling vineyards and lush mountains to meandering rivers, including the renowned Douro. Our trails bring us across the rock-built Aldeias de Gois villages, through the terraced Douro wine country, into the forests of Peneda-Gerês National Park, and even along sections of the famed Camino Portugués pilgrim route. We balance our hiking with cultural experiences along the way, tasting wine in a family-owned quinta, exploring 13th century castle towns, and sampling regional cuisine and velvety port wines. We begin and end in Porto, a World Heritage Site of centuries-old lanes and classic wine cellars. Our lodging includes a former wine warehouse in picturesque Pinhão and the 17th century Paço de Calheiros, where we are welcomed by the Count of Calheiros himself.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Serra da Lousã / Serra da Estrela

From Lisbon, we head into the Serra da Lousã mountains and to the slate-roofed villages known as Aldeias de Gois. We’ll hike the traditional path from village to village to soak up views of the deep green valleys spread below. In the Serra da Estrela, our trails contour below the rock towers of the glacier-carved Zêzere Valley.

Melia Palacio da Lousã
Lousã, Portugal
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Hotel Berne
Manteigas, Portugal
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Days 5-7
Belmonte / Douro Wine Tasting / Pinhão / Peneda-Gerês

Castle-topped Belmonte’s medieval Jewish Quarter is fascinating to explore, and we view the Paleolithic paintings in the Côa Valley. A rail journey along the tranquil Douro River brings us to lovely Pinhão, and we hike across a dreamscape of Douro Valley vineyards to the family-owned Quinto do Crasto wine estate. In Peneda-Gerês National Park, with its craggy peaks and wild horses, we may encounter goat herders and their trusty castro laboreiro sheepdogs.

The Vintage House
Pinhão, Portugal
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Aguas do Geres
Caldas do Gerês, Portugal
Day 7 (1 night)
Days 8-12
The Pilgrim Trail / Ponte de Lima / Porto

An ancient pilgrim trail leads us to the revered sanctuary at Peneda, with its staircase adorned with statues representing faith, love, and charity, and we visit charming Ponte de Lima. Our last hike is along the Camino Portugués, which has brought pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela since medieval times. We end our journey in Porto, exploring the historic quarter and listening to soulful fado songs. Depart on Day 12.

Peneda Hotel
Gavieira, Portugal
Day 8 (1 night)
Paco de Calheiros
Ponte de Lima, Portugal
Day 9 (1 night)
Pestana Vintage Porto
Porto, Portugal
Days 10 to 11 (2 nights)



Explore from Lisbon to Porto, tasting port wines and vinhos verdes
Hike among the slate villages of the Serra da Lousã and on the famed Camino Portugués, a medieval pilgrim trail
Meet a Douro Valley vintner, ride the Linha do Douro (Portugal’s historic river-hugging train), discover castle-topped towns
Enjoy unique lodgings, including atraditional spa hotel, a converted pilgrimage hostel, and a 17th century manor house


Length: 12 days
Cost From: $5695  
Arrive: Lisbon, Portugal
Depart: Porto, Portugal
Lodging: 11 nights charming accommodations
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=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)