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Manor Houses of the Minho

Portugal's greenest corner
 
The Minho’s traditional mansions are very special places to stay, and this self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking holiday saves the best till last – you finish at the Count of Calheiros’ estate. Along the way, while your luggage is transported, enjoy gentle riverside walks and explore Portugal’s oldest town.
Manor Houses of the Minho. 7 nights
Manor Houses of the Minho. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Minho

Nestling beneath Galicia, Spain’s north-westernmost corner, the Minho is home to vinho verde (young wine) and the abundant Lima Valley, and is considered by many Portuguese to be the most beautiful part of their country. Here, some of Portugal’s oldest and prettiest towns nestle alongside vineyards, chestnut orchards and swaggering ears of corn. Standing proud in this seductive landscape, historic manor houses provide elegant accommodation and generous hospitality to visitors, welcoming them warmly to this green corner of Portugal.
From the hamlets of Durrães and Facha, through delightful Ponte de Lima, to the family seat of the Count of Calheiros, enjoy the pastoral beauty of the landscape and the camaraderie of fellow walkers as your path intertwines with the Caminho de Santiago on its pilgrimage north to Spain.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 12 13 15 18 20 23 26 26 24 20 15 13
    mm 166 157 119 104 90 48 16 23 66 132 161 170
  • Arrival in  Durrães
    Night 1: at Quinta de Malta (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Circular route via Ponte das Tábuas: 8.5km, 3hrs
    A gentle circuit through forest and farmland leads you, via a chocolate factory which has been in business for over a century, to the Roman bridge of Ponte das Tábuas, criss-crossing the River Neiva along the way. There’s ample time to call in at the chocolatier’s if you so wish.
    Circular route via Ponte das Tábuas: 8.5km
    An old bridge on the route around Durraes
  • Durrães to Facha: 12km, 4.5hrs
    After a short transfer to the pilgrim’s church of Nossa Senhora da Aparecida in nearby Balugães, you join the Portuguese Caminho de Santiago as it leads through the bucolic heart of the valley alongside fields of corn, vines and olive trees. Ambling beneath arbours heavy with grapes while tractors plough and harvest the fields that flank your way, enjoy the tranquillity and camaraderie of the pilgrims’ path, following it all the way to the Quinta do Sobreiro in Facha, where you stay overnight.
    Durrães to Facha: 12km
    Follow the Caminho de Santiago
  • Facha to Ponte de Lima: 17.5km, 6.5hrs
    Your path ascends into the parish of Gondim, where the land is given over to neat rows of vines and fruit trees. Descending to the medieval hamlet of Passagem, you reach the banks of the River Lima and join the ecovia (a traffic-free riverside walking and cycling track) which traces the course of the river all the way into picturesque Ponte de Lima, Portugal's oldest town, which is named in part after its iconic Roman bridge (ponte means ‘bridge’). You spend two nights at the Mercearia da Vila.
    Facha to Ponte de Lima: 17.5km
    Beside the river on the route from Facha to Ponte de Lima
  • Day in & around Ponte de Lima

    Walk & explore
    There are various options as to how to spend your day in Ponte de Lima. 

    Lagoas de Bertiandos to Ponte de Lima (starting by taxi): 9.5km, 3.5hrs
    Take a short taxi ride (pay locally) to Lagoas de Bertiandos, where wooden walkways lead across the wetlands. Look for some of the many species of birds which shelter here, before returning to Ponte de Lima along the right bank of the river.

    Visit Ponte de Barca
    Catch the morning bus to neighbouring Ponte de Barca with its equally splendid bridge spanning the Lima and its compact old quarter. The ecovia is particularly picturesque at this point and you might like to stroll some of its length before taking the bus back to Ponte de Lima in time for lunch.

    Go cycling
    For a change from walking, you could hire bikes (pay locally) and cycle along the ecovia to Ponte de Barca and back again, a lovely way to enjoy both Ponte de Barca and the prettiest stretches of the ecovia (34km round trip).

    Explore Ponte de Lima
    Whatever you decide to do, you’ll want to leave ample time for visiting Ponte de Lima’s delightful gardens (the Annual Garden Festival runs from the end of May to the end October) and for strolling along its charming river front. There’s also a museum devoted to vinho verde, as well as a military museum housed in the 15th-century Paço de Marquês.
    Lagoas de Bertiandos to Ponte de Lima (starting by taxi): 9.5km
    Path through cornfields on the route from Lagoas to Ponte de Lima
  • Ponte de Lima to Calheiros: 8km, 3hrs
    Setting out across the graceful Roman bridge, you rejoin the Caminho de Santiago for a short walk which gradually ascends through cultivated terraces and more vineyards to reach the hamlet of Calheiros and the Paço de Calheiros, where you stay for two nights.
    Ponte de Lima to Calheiros: 8km
    You may encounter pilgrims on the Caminho de Santiago
  • Circular route from Calheiros: 9km, 3.5hrs
    Our suggested circular walk ascends through woods where wild horses run free, to reach a saddle high above the valley and a hillside path from where you can gaze down over the River Lima, tracing your week-long progress through the valley. Descending through tiny villages, some of whose residents have known the Count of Calheiros since he was a boy, you enjoy panoramic views over the estate before returning to relish its opulent surroundings.
    Circular route from Calheiros: 9km
    Wild horses on the route around Calheiros
 

Accommodation

You stay mostly in 16th and 17th-century traditional mansions where you are welcomed and treated as part of the family, with meals often taken together around one table. Neither hotels nor guesthouses, the mansions are homes, some of which have been in the same family for generations, and they have opened their doors to visitors in order to preserve their splendour. Frequently occupying privileged positions in the landscape, they offer a unique opportunity to experience life in an authentic Portuguese mansion.
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 

Prices for 2020

We are in the process of updating our prices for 2020. If you’d like to book now, please contact us – we’ll be happy to provide a quotation.
Get in touch >
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
Currency converter

We can only accept payment in GBP, but you can use this converter to find out how much the holiday equates to in your own currency.

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  • 7 nights: 01 April - 14 July 2019 & 25 August - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 April £785 £330
    1 - 23 May £798 £335
    24 May - 7 July £825 £345
    25 August - 30 September £825 £345
    1 - 24 October £798 £335
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Mercearia da Vila, Ponte de Lima (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 14 Jul 2019 £38 £58
    25 Aug - 30 Sep 2019 £38 £58
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £34 £58
    Paço de Calheiros, Calheiros (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 14 Jul 2019 £110 £170
    25 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £110 £170
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Porto

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Porto or Lisbon.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Porto (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Aberdeen - Porto (via Paris CDG) Air France,  KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Porto Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Porto easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Porto Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Porto Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Porto TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Porto British Airways,  easyJet,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Porto easyJet,  Wizz Air 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Porto Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Porto easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Manchester - Porto (via Brussels) Brussels Airlines 
    Manchester - Porto (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Porto (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Porto (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Porto (via Brussels) Brussels Airlines 
    Newcastle - Porto (via Paris CDG) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Porto (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Porto or Lisbon.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Porto

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Porto airport to hotel (1h) £46 flexible
    coach Porto airport to Viana do Castelo (1h), taxi Viana do Castelo to hotel (0h30) £29 1600
    rail Porto Campanhã to Durrães (1h45, pay locally), transfer Durrães to hotel (0h05, included) £0 1700
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Porto airport (1h) £46 flexible
    taxi hotel to Ponte de Lima (0h15), coach Ponte de Lima to Porto airport (1h15) £17 1230 (1730 Sat-Sun)
    taxi hotel to Viana do Castelo (0h30), rail Viana do Castelo to Porto Campanhã (1h20, pay locally) £20 1230
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 5 dinners
    3 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfer on Day 2
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Portugal, Madeira and the Azores, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is Portuguese. The currency is the Euro. Portuguese time is the same as GMT/UTC. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on the same time as BST.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 9/16/2019 3:07:09 AM