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A Meander through the Minho

Verdant northern Portugal
 
Starting in Portugal’s oldest town and finishing at the family estate of the Count of Calheiros, a very special place to stay, this self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking break, which includes luggage transfers, introduces you to Portugal’s greenest corner, the home of delicious vinho verde.
A Meander through the Minho. 4 nights
A Meander through the Minho. 4 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking break in the Minho

The Minho is considered by many Portuguese to be the most beautiful part of their country, and, along with traditional manor houses, green is what it does best.

As well as being home to the lightly sparkling vinho verde (‘green – or more accurately ‘young’ – wine), this region is where you will find the verdant Lima Valley. Here, nestling immediately below Spain’s north-westernmost corner, are fertile meadows adorned by vineyards, chestnut orchards and swaggering ears of corn; ancient towns and villages (some of the oldest in Portugal) with their cobbled streets and elegant stone façades; and the Caminho de Santiago, meandering northwards towards Spain. 
As you walk and explore, you might cross paths with the occasional pilgrim, and will be welcomed by generous hosts whose charming guesthouses and elegant manor houses make truly exceptional places to stay.
 
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 Ponte de Lima
    Night 1: at Mercearia da Vila (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 exploration.
  • Day in & around Ponte de Lima
    Picturesque Ponte de Lima is Portugal’s oldest town and is named in part after its iconic Roman bridge (ponte means ‘bridge’). There are various options as to how to spend your day here. 

    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
    Another option is to 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 corn fields 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 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 meet 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. 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 around Calheiros
 

Accommodation

Your two bases offer two very different experiences. The Paço de Calheiros is a traditional mansion where you are welcomed and treated as part of the family, with meals often taken together around one table.
 

Extend 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.
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  • 4 nights: 01 April 2019 - 25 July 2019 & 25 August 2019 - 31 October 2019

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2019 £535 £295
    1 - 23 May 2019 £545 £300
    24 May - 21 Jul 2019 £560 £310
    25 Aug - 30 Sep 2019 £560 £310
    6 - 27 Oct 2019 £545 £300
    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.

    Price includes: return taxi from Porto airport (1h each way)

    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 (latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time are both flexible)

    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.

What is included
  • 4 nights
  • 2 dinners
    1 picnic
    4 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • return transfers from Porto airport
 
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 : 9/21/2019 6:30:44 AM