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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.
 

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.
 

Book with confidence

We are accepting bookings for our holidays to Portugal. Our flexible booking arrangements, commitment to safety and financial protection mean that you can book with confidence.

What we’re doing so you can book and travel with confidence >
Check the destination entry requirements >
 
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 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 (see 'Prices & Travel' for details); our 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
    Entrance to a quinta
  • 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 & 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

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  • 7 nights: 01 September 2021 - 31 October 2021, 01 April 2022 - 30 June 2022 & 01 September 2022 - 31 October 2022

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Sep 2021 £1195 £545
    1 - 24 Oct 2021 £1145 £515
    1 - 30 Apr 2022 £1150 £500
    1 - 21 May 2022 £1195 £545
    22 May - 23 Jun 2022 £1245 £575
    1 - 30 Sep 2022 £1245 £575
    1 - 24 Oct 2022 £1195 £545
    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

    Graham's Wine Lodge: add £21pp in 2021; £22pp in 2022 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 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £14
    'Plaza': 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2022 £14
    'Plaza': 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £14
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £48
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2022 £50
    'Vintage' with river view: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £50
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £60
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Apr 2022 £60
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 May - 30 Jun 2022 £68
    'Vintage' with river view & balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £64
    Pousada de Alijó Barão Forrester, Alijó
    Balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £5
    Balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2022 £6
    Balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £6
    Casa do Visconde de Chanceleiros, Chanceleiros
    Deluxe: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £22
    Deluxe: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2022 £24
    Deluxe: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £24
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £30
    Junior suite: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2022 £32
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £32
    Superior: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £12
    Superior: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2022 £12
    Superior: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £12

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

    Hotel Pestana Vintage Porto, Porto (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £152 £294
    01 Apr - 29 Apr 2022 £132 £252
    30 Apr - 30 Jun 2022 £145 £285
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £160 £310
    Casa do Visconde de Chanceleiros, Chanceleiros (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £136 £222
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2022 £144 £234
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £144 £234
  • 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 
    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
    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 except those operated by Ryanair. 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
    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
    taxi hotel to Regua (0h50), rail Regua to Ermesinde (1h40, pay locally), taxi Ermesinde to Porto airport (0h20, pay locally) £16 in 2021; £18 in 2022 for first taxi 1100
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.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – walking holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety, not least taking tests before and after your holiday for many destinations.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
    Entry requirements for non-UK destinations & for re-entering the UK >
  • 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.
  • 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 (but not, currently, with Ryanair). 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, 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 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 cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), 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.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • 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 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.

    At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them, regardless of what is happening in the European political sphere.
  • 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 : 9/18/2021 9:46:32 AM