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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.
  • Explore Porto then travel to Pinhão
    Start the day with a visit to one or two of the wine lodges. We highly recommend Graham's Port Wine Lodge, confirmed as one of the very best tours of port lodges – the vintage port cellars are superb. This tour is available daily and can be pre-booked through us prior to your holiday but must be paid locally; the price includes not only the tour, but also a tasting in the Lodge's Vintage Tasting Room (which is generally not open to the public). Not to be missed!

    There is time afterwards to stroll through the charming old streets and narrow alleys of the Ribeira district ('riverbank'), 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 taxi to your hotel, the Casa de Casal de Loivos, a ten-minute drive away.
    Train line along the Douro
  • Pinhão to Alijó: 13km, 5hrs
    Today, you walk northwards towards the market town of Alijó along the ridge that edges the deep tributary valley of the River Pinhão. 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.
    Pinhão to Alijó: 13km
    On the route from Casal de Loivos to Alijó
  • Alijó to Vilarinho de São Romão: 16km, 6.5hrs
    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 Cristina Van Zeller’s delightful country house, the elegant Casa de Vilarinho de São Romão, where you stay for 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: 13.5km, 5hrs
    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: 13.5km
  • Vilarinho de São Romão to Chanceleiros: 13km, 5hrs
    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: 13km
    On the route from Vilarinho de São Romão to Chanceleiros
  • Linear walk to Pinhão: 5km, 1.5hrs (each way)
    Stroll down to the River Douro to contemplate its calm waters one last time. Here, we include a guided visit and tasting at the Quinta de la Rosa winery. Afterwards, you can continue into Pinhão either to have lunch at one of our favourite restaurants or 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.
    The waterfront near Quinta de la Rosa
 

Accommodation

Your accommodation is varied and full of character. 

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you. 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 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 2019 - 30 June 2019 & 01 September 2019 - 31 October 2019

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2019 £1070 £470
    1 - 23 May 2019 £1115 £505
    24 May - 23 Jun 2019 £1145 £515
    1 - 30 Sep 2019 £1145 £515
    1 - 24 Oct 2019 £1115 £505
    3rd & 4th person discount -£55
    Single traveller supplement £55

    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

    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 - 31 Oct 2019 £14
    'Vintage' with river view: 31 Mar - 30 Apr 2019 £45
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 May - 30 Jun 2019 £54
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £50
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £45
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 31 Mar - 30 Apr 2019 £55
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 May - 30 Jun 2019 £64
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £64
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £58

    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 2019 £130 £250
    30 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £145 £281
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £148 £286
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £130 £252
    Casa do Visconde de Chanceleiros, Chanceleiros (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £130 £214
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £130 £214
  • 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
    own bus/taxi/metro airport to Porto hotel pay locally flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Pinhão (0h15, included), rail Pinhão to Ermesinde (2h10), taxi Ermesinde to Porto airport (0h20) pay locally 1300
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 5 dinners
    3 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • 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 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 8:15:13 AM