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High Paths of Northern Portugal

A walk through untamed & timeless Peneda-Gerês
 
Enjoy top-notch walking and accommodation ranging from traditional village houses to a palatial pousada on this self-guided, hotel-to-hotel holiday. While your luggage is transferred, you follow pilgrim paths and Roman roads through remote hamlets and above mountain lakes in Portugal's only National Park.
High Paths of Northern Portugal. 7 nights
High Paths of Northern Portugal. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in northern Portugal

In the far north-west of Portugal, beneath the border with Spain, lies the country's only National Park, a vast glacial amphitheatre of jagged mountains, high plateaus and yawning valleys where hallowed sanctuaries lie sequestered in forests or tucked beneath precipitous cliffs and where life in isolated villages is still as hard as the monolithic granite boulders that pepper the landscape.
Along paths worn smooth by the feet of pilgrims and Roman legionnaires, you travel south from the remote mountain sanctuary of Peneda, over the Gerês Mountains to the lake valley of Cavado and onto Terras de Bouro – a journey into Portugal's past, through an incomparable landscape of mountain lakes, oak forests and forgotten hamlets.
 
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 Arcos de Valdevez
    Night 1: at Hotel Ribeira Collection (where you spend one night).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Arcos de Valdevez to Peneda: 8.5km, 3.5hrs; ascent 555m / descent 470m
    Your first day begins with a taxi transfer to the hamlet of Rouças, where long-horned cattle roam free and from where you begin your ascent, passing through the old village of Gavieira to reach a high mountain plateau. Beyond a small mountain lake hidden within the granite peaks – the ideal spot for a picnic lunch – you descend steeply to arrive at the eminent sanctuary of Peneda, tucked beneath the cliffs at the head of the valley. In a small square at the foot of the sanctuary's imposing staircase stands the Peneda Hotel, where you stay for one night.
    Arcos de Valdevez to Peneda
  • Peneda to Soajo: 15.5km, 5.5hrs; ascent 620m / descent 995m
    Continuing your onward journey, you join a pilgrim's path and descend through the valley via a smattering of hamlets to arrive in the village of Tibo, from where your route climbs high into the Soajo mountains. Following a splendid medieval road, you then descend into the old stone village of Soajo with its raised stone granaries, or espigueros, and its unusual stone pillory. Spending the night here in a traditional village house, you enjoy a hearty dinner at a village restaurant, where you may choose to sample the local speciality of Cachena steak.
    Approaching Soajo
  • Soajo to Gerês: 17.5km, 6hrs; ascent 485m / descent 875m
    A scenic transfer takes you above the Lima basin and into Spain before dropping you at the deserted border checkpoint of Portela do Homem. Here, you join the old Roman road of Geira and follow its course over ancient bridges alongside tumbling waterfalls and engraved Roman milestones, descending to skirt the Vilarinho reservoir and into Campo de Gerês. Next, you head up into the Gerês mountains, after which a dazzling descent brings you to the spa town of Gerês, famous since Roman times for its healing waters, and at whose Águas do Gerês Spa Hotel you spend one night.
    Looking down on Gerês
  • Gerês to Rio Caldo: 11.5km, 4hrs; ascent 295m / descent 365m
    With a shorter walk today, you have time to enjoy the leafy tranquillity of the hotel's park with its thermal waters and boating lake before setting off on the penultimate leg of your journey. Walking initially through the town, you gradually ascend high above shimmering Lake Cavado, tracing the course of its feeder river around the valley. Continuing to the quiet, western end of the lake, a glimpse upwards through the foliage reveals the stone towers of the revered Santuário de São Bento da Porta Aberta, Portugal's second-most-visited sanctuary. You gently ascend to emerge at its entrance, directly opposite which is your next base, the Hotel São Bento.
    Lake Cavado
  • Rio Caldo to Santa Maria do Bouro: 11.5km, 4hrs; ascent 565m / descent 695m
    Stepping into the park alongside the hotel sees you joining a popular pilgrim's path in reverse. Ascending into the mountains along a forest track where you may well encounter wild Garrano horses, you are treated once more to expansive views over Lake Cavado below. You then cross the ridge into Terras de Bouro and follow an old merchant's trail alongside a brook; the stone spires of the sequestered Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Abadia tantalise through the treetops and you soon descend to walk through its grounds. Tracing a cobbled dot-to-dot of chapels, you arrive into the village of Terreiro and the magnificent Pousada Mosteiro de Amares, where you spend your final two nights.
    En route to Santa Maria do Bouro
  • Santa Maria do Bouro circular route: 10km, 3.5hrs; ascent / descent 450m
    You may choose to spend your final full day relaxing by the hotel pool and enjoying a leisurely lunch in one of the village cafés – you have earned it, after all! But for those who are drawn once more to the raw beauty of the surroundings, we suggest a circular route which climbs to the village of São Bartholomeu and its eponymous cross on a giant boulder high above the valley, before returning along cobbled lanes through pretty villages.
    Around Santa Maria do Bouro
 

Accommodation

Your diverse accommodation includes a traditional village house and a magnificent pousada set in a 12th-century Cistercian monastery.
 

Extend your stay

 
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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  • 7 nights: 01 April 2020 - 14 July 2020 & 20 August 2020 - 31 October 2020

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Apr - 21 May 2020 £830 £365
    22 May - 25 Jun 2020 £860 £380
    26 Jun - 7 Jul 2020 £895 £405
    20 - 29 Aug 2020 £945 £445
    30 Aug - 7 Sep 2020 not available not available
    8 - 13 Sep 2020 £895 £405
    14 - 30 Sep 2020 £860 £380
    1 - 24 Oct 2020 £830 £365
    3rd & 4th person discount -£65
    Single traveller supplement £65

    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.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Ribeira Collection, Arcos de Valdevez
    Panoramic: 01 Apr - 14 Jul 2020 £26
    Panoramic: 20 Aug - 31 Oct 2020 £26
    Hotel Águas do Gerês, Gerês
    Suite: 01 Apr - 14 Jul 2020 £22
    Suite: 20 Aug - 15 Sep 2020 £35
    Suite: 16 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £22
    Superior: 01 Apr - 14 Jul 2020 £8
    Superior: 20 Aug - 31 Oct 2020 £8
    Hotel São Bento da Porta Aberta, Rio Caldo
    Suite: 01 Apr - 14 Jul 2020 £12
    Suite: 20 Aug - 31 Oct 2020 £12
    Superior: 01 Apr - 14 Jul 2020 £8
    Superior: 20 Aug - 31 Oct 2020 £8
    Pousada Mosteiro Amares, Santa Maria do Bouro
    Superior: 01 Apr - 14 Jul 2020 £18
    Superior: 20 Aug - 31 Oct 2020 £18

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

    Hotel Ribeira Collection, Arcos de Valdevez (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 09 Apr 2020 £40 £80
    10 Apr - 27 Apr 2020 £58 £116
    28 Apr - 25 Jun 2020 £40 £80
    26 Jun - 14 Jul 2020 £64 £128
    20 Aug - 31 Aug 2020 £64 £128
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £40 £80
    Hotel Águas do Gerês, Gerês (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 14 Jul 2020 £48 £72
    20 Aug - 15 Sep 2020 £80 £115
    16 Sep - 30 Sep 2020 £48 £72
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2020 £40 £62
  • 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
    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 £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 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.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Porto

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    coach Porto airport to Arcos de Valdevez (1h50) £14 1600 Mon-Fri (1430 Sat-Sun)
    direct taxi Porto airport to hotel (1h10) £48 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Porto airport (1h10) £62 flexible
    taxi hotel to Braga bus station (0h40), bus Braga to Porto airport (0h50, pay locally) £36 1230
    bus Santa Maria do Bouro to Braga bus station (0h40), bus Braga to Porto airport (0h50) pay locally 1230
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 4 dinners
    5 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfers on days 1 & 3
 
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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 £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 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.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
Last fetch time is : 12/8/2019 3:22:49 AM