Valley of Gold

Douro Valley – Portugal's vine-growing heartland
 
Starting in Porto, you take the scenic train upriver for a few days of self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking (with luggage transfers included) amid the vineyards which produce port wine. The views over the richly coloured landscapes are glorious, and there are opportunities for wine-tasting.
Valley of Gold. 7 nights
Valley of Gold. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Douro

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.
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.
 
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 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
  • Arrival in Porto
    Night 1: at Hotel Pestana Vintage Porto (where you spend one night).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Graham’s Wine Lodge, Porto
    Whether you love port or are simply interested in finding out more about Portugal’s most famous export, we can pre-book a tour and tasting at Graham’s Wine Lodge in Porto's Vila Nova de Gaia district for you. An experience not to be missed, our arrangements include an exclusive personalised tasting in the lodge’s wood-panelled tasting room at your own table with a selection of three special ports. See the Pricing section for prices.
    Train line along the Douro
  • Explore Porto then travel to Pinhão
    Start the day with a stroll through the charming old streets and narrow alleys of the Ribeira ('riverbank') district, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before catching the afternoon train eastwards (2.5hrs). The second part of the journey is a real highlight of the holiday, as the train makes its way along the impressively engineered railway which clings to the sliver of land between the River Douro and the steep slopes above. You alight at the river port of Pinhão, where you will be met and transported by car to your hotel, either the Casa de Casal de Loivos, a ten-minute drive away, or the LBV House Hotel, a three-minute drive away.
  • Pinhão to Alijó: 13km, 5.5hrs; ascent 420m/descent 240m
    Leaving the Casa de Casal de Loivos*, you strike out on foot northwards, along the ridge that edges the deep tributary valley of the River Pinhão, towards the market town of Alijó. Views of the Douro and Pinhão river unfold as you pass through terraced vineyards dotted with small quintas (farms with vineyards) to reach the comfortable Pousada de Alijó Barão Forrester.

    *If you stayed at the LBV House Hotel you will be transported to the Casa de Casal de Loivos by car.
    Pinhão to Alijó: 13km
    On the route from Casal de Loivos to Alijó
  • Alijó to Vilarinho de São Romão: 16km, 6.5hrs; ascent 680m/descent 750m
    Today’s walk takes you westwards through the village of Favaios, past farms and an abandoned manor house to then drop down across the River Pinhão. Climbing steeply up the other side of the river, you loop around a series of pretty valleys to reach the small town of Vilarinho de São Romão and either Casa de Vilarinho de São Romão or Casa das Pipas, both elegant places to spend the next two nights.
    Alijó to Vilarinho de São Romão: 16km
    On the route from Alijó to Vilarinho de São Romão
  • Circular walk from Vilarinho de São Romão: 13km, 5hrs; ascent/descent 390m
    This circular route takes you through the village of Sabrosa, taking in the house where the illustrious Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was born, and on to the hill-top excavations of an Iron Age settlement with extensive views of the area. Continuing through tranquil vineyards and the traditional hamlets of Paços and Fermentões, the route passes through pretty woodland valleys to return to Vilarinho.
    Circular walk from Vilarinho de São Romão: 13km
    Entrance to a quinta
  • Vilarinho de São Romão to Chanceleiros: 12.5km, 5hrs; ascent 520m/descent 830m
    You ascend through forest to the quiet village of Vilela then cross the wilder-feeling hills that separate Vilarinho de São Romão and your final destination, Chanceleiros. You will be able to look back over the landscapes you have explored over the previous few days as you descend to Chanceleiros, where you stay in the Casa do Visconde de Chanceleiros for two nights.
    Vilarinho de São Romão to Chanceleiros: 12.5km
    On the route from Vilarinho de São Romão to Chanceleiros
  • Circular walk from Chanceleiros: 9km, 3.5hrs; ascent 550m / descent 850m
    This walk is worth it for the views alone – some of the finest views of the river on this holiday. From Chanceleiros you follow peaceful woodland tracks and quiet footpaths through vineyards and light woodland that take you to a high vantage point over the river. The route involves a couple of short scrambles, though these can be avoided, if you prefer. From the hilltop, enjoy far-reaching views along the Douro Valley. You then continue through vines and woodland back to Chanceleiros – and back along the road to Quinta Rosa, if staying there.
    Around Chanceleiros: 9km
    Follow peaceful woodland tracks
  • Quinta de la Rosa, Douro
    Included in the holiday price is a guided visit (in English) while you are staying in Chanceleiros of the Quinta de la Rosa wine estate on the banks of the Douro. This family-run vineyard is unusual in that the grapes are still trodden by foot and its port wines are matured and bottled on the Quinta, rather than in Vila Nova de Gaia.

    Afterwards, you may like to continue into Pinhão either to have lunch at one of our recommended restaurants or to enjoy a boat trip along the river (pay locally in both cases). If you prefer not to walk back, you could take a taxi instead. (5km, 1.5hrs each way from Chanceleiros.)
    Quinta de la Rosa
    Enjoy a wine-tasting
 

Accommodation

Your accommodation is varied and full of character. 

In some places, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.

Wherever you stay in Porto, we recommend adding extra nights to give yourselves more time to explore this intriguing city.
 

Options to extend or shorten 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. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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.

Please enter an amount Please enter a valid amount British Pound Sterling (GBP)
Currency is required
NB: this should be used as a guide only. Fluctuations in exchange rates could result in significant variation by the time you come to pay.
  • 7 nights: 01 April 2023 - 30 June 2023, 01 September 2023 - 31 October 2023, 01 April 2024 - 30 June 2024 & 01 September 2024 - 31 October 2024

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2023 £1275 £550
    1 - 21 May 2023 £1325 £595
    22 May - 23 Jun 2023 £1380 £635
    1 - 30 Sep 2023 £1380 £635
    1 - 24 Oct 2023 £1325 £595
    1 - 30 Apr 2024 £1405 £605
    1 - 21 May 2024 £1460 £655
    22 May - 23 Jun 2024 £1520 £700
    1 - 30 Sep 2024 £1520 £700
    1 - 24 Oct 2024 £1460 £655
    3rd & 4th person discount -£65 to -£72
    Single traveller supplement £65 to £72

    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: taxi Pinhão railway station to Casal de Loivos on day 1, and taxi from Casa do Visconde de Chanceleiros to local railway station on day of departure
    Pay locally for all connecting rail journeys

    Graham's Wine Lodge: add £26pp in 2023 or £47pp in 2024 for a tour and exclusive private tasting at Graham's Wine Lodge, Porto

    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 Pestana Vintage Porto, Porto
    'Plaza': 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £16
    'Plaza': 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £16
    'Plaza': 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £18
    'Plaza': 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £18
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £56
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £56
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £62
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £62
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Apr 2023 £66
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 May - 30 Jun 2023 £76
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £72
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Apr 2024 £73
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 May - 30 Jun 2024 £84
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £79
    Pousada de Alijó Barão Forrester, Alijó
    Balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £8
    Balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £8
    Balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £9
    Balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £9
    Casa do Visconde de Chanceleiros, Chanceleiros
    Deluxe: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £28
    Deluxe: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £28
    Deluxe: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £31
    Deluxe: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £31
    Junior suite: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £36
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £36
    Junior suite: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £40
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £40
    Superior: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £14
    Superior: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £14
    Superior: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £15
    Superior: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £15

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

    Hotel Pestana Vintage Porto, Porto (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 29 Apr 2023 £146 £278
    30 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £160 £314
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £176 £342
    01 Apr - 29 Apr 2024 £165 £315
    30 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £180 £350
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £195 £380
    Casa do Visconde de Chanceleiros, Chanceleiros (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £160 £260
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £160 £260
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £180 £290
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2024 £180 £290
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Porto
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    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,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Porto Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Porto (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Edinburgh - Porto (via Barcelona) Vueling 
    Edinburgh - Porto (via Geneva) easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Porto easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Porto (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Porto Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Porto British Airways,  easyJet,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Gatwick - Porto (via Geneva) easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Porto British Airways,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Heathrow - Porto (via Lisbon) 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 for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. 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.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Porto

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    own travel arrangements Porto airport to hotel pay locally flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Regua (0h50), rail Regua to Ermesinde (1h40, pay locally), taxi Ermesinde to Porto airport (0h20, pay locally) £20-£22 1100
    taxi hotel to Pinhão (0h15), rail Pinhão to Ermesinde (2h10, pay locally), taxi Ermesinde to Porto airport (0h20, pay locally) some elements included 1300
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 5 dinners
    3 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • guided visit of Quinta de la Rosa
  • transfers from/to Pinhão station
 
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 A to B, 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.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. 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. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to 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.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • 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 incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • 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 (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). 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 for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • 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.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) 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 : 12/3/2023 5:38:55 PM

currency iplookup:

cookie value: null

querystring value: null