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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > Portugal & its Islands > Valley of Gold

Valley of Gold

Douro Valley - Portugal's vine-growing heartland
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
  • rugged walking in richly coloured landscape
  • opportunities for wine-tasting
  • classic rail journey
  • explore Porto

Perfect walking country with spectacular views, the valley of the Rio Douro (‘river of gold’) is striking in its tranquillity – and its rich colours. Fertile hills neatly striped with green vines and silver olive trees are reflected in the mirror-like waters, as are the painted long boats which ply the river, and the region’s tiny, untouched villages of white houses with red roofs. It is here, at the quintas (wineries) dotted across the slopes, that port wine is produced, the late-September harvest bringing a pleasant bustle to the valley, when the workers sing late into the night as they pick the grapes and tread them by foot.

Buying a tin cup at the harvest festival in Celeiros to fill again and again with the local wine as we wandered through the stalls; stomping grapes to the beat of the drum band; spreading out a picnic at the top of a hill and not another person for miles and miles...
Mr Collins-Williams, Canada

To set the scene, you begin with a night in Porto, friendly capital of the port-wine trade, before exploring the timeless landscapes where the wine originates, thus also showing the great contrast between the bustle of the historic sea port and the slow, traditional ways of life upriver. It comes as a real delight to discover what wonderful walking, delicious cuisine, truly welcoming hotels and interesting insights into traditional Portugal the Douro Valley offers.

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 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
°C 14 14 16 18 20 23 25 25 24 21 17 14
mm 168 167 112 108 86 53 15 20 62 129 146 171

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.