Spain to Portugal Private Journey

Hiking Bilbao to Porto: El Camino Trails, Mountain Hamlets, and Duoro Vineyards

Overview

Hike the legendary pilgrim trails of El Camino de Santiago, stay in historic paradors, and soak up the atmosphere of some of northern Spain and Portugal’s most historic towns and villages. With your private guide, you’ll begin in Bilbao, capital of Spain’s Basque country, then head to the pilgrim town of Burgos. As you hike from Burgos to León, crossing thousand-year-old pilgrim trails dotted with Romanesque churches and fields of sunflowers, you’ll be immersed in the lore of El Camino, then enter medieval León on foot, as did pilgrims of yore. As you move into Spain’s remote Sanabria region and closer to Portugal, your hikes bring you through lakeside chestnut forests in a nature reserve. You’ll enter Portugal the WT way—on a hike across the border and into a national park, then by way of the Via Nova, a stone-paved Roman road still marked by many of its original Roman milestones. Your final hike is in the terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. Fun options during your journey include bike, boat, and train rides, with a finish in the coastal city of Porto to enjoy its famous Port wine, cobbled-street charm, and dazzling architecture.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Bilbao, Spain / Burgos to León / Pilgrim Trails of El Camino

From Bilbao on the Basque coast, head to the plains of the Castilian Plateau to hike classic pilgrim trails laced with history. Your route leads through farmlands between the medieval city of Burgos and stunning León, with plenty of art and architecture to be seen along the way. Overnights are in charming Burgos, capital of Old Castile for 500 years, Carrión de los Condes, with its 12th century Romanesque churches, and the engaging pilgrim city of Leon, whose towering Gothic cathedral is one of the finest in Europe. On Day 3, enjoy the option of a boat or bike ride along the Canal de Castilla instead of a hike.

Hotel Carlton
Bilbao, Spain
Day 1 (1 night)
AC Hotel Burgos
Burgos, Spain
Day 2 (1 night)
Monasterio San Zoilo
Carrion de los Condes, Spain
Day 3 (1 night)
Parador de León
León, Spain
Day 4 (1 night)
Days 5-6
Sanabria Lake Natural Park / Puebla de Sanabria

Near Spain’s remote border with Portugal, hike in the mountain landscape of Sanabria Lake Natural Park and along the shores of crystal-clear Lago de Sanabria, the largest glacial lake in Spain. Overnights are at a parador in the hilltop village of Puebla de Sanabria, overlooking the Tera River Valley.

Parador de Puebla de Sanabria
Puebla de Sanabria, Spain
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Days 8-10
Hike into Portugal / Braga / Douro River Valley / Pinhão / Porto

Hike into Portugal on a trail into Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, Portugal’s only national park, and along the remarkable Via Nova, a stone-paved Roman road. After an overnight in the elegant city of Braga, hike in the idyllic Douro River vineyards, with wine-tasting and lunch at a traditional quinta en route to the lovely town of Pinhão. To get from Pinhão to Porto, choose a scenic train or boat ride along the Douro River. In Porto on the coast, enjoy walking tour of highlights and hidden gems, and depart on Day 10.

Pestana Vintage Porto
Porto, Portugal
Days 8 to 9 (2 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Walk some of the best sections of the legendary El Camino de Santiago from Burgos to León
Explore nature trails in Spain’s Lake Sanabria Natural Park and Portugal’s Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês
Hike high above the famed vineyards of the Douro River Valley, one of Europe’s oldest wine regions
Discover the engaging cities of Burgos, León, and Braga, visit the wine cellars of Porto
Go tapas-tasting at local tavernas, sample Spain and Portugal’s regional cuisines

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $5295  
Arrive: Bilbao, Spain
Depart: Porto, Portugal
Lodging: 9 nights hotels and paradors
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 7 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Walking, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

A mix of easy to moderate hikes, cultural explorations, and walking tours

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