Highlights of Northern Portugal Walking Holiday

Enquire Book Now
1 March 2024 – 31 October 2024
Walking holiday in Portugal across mountains, vineyards & coastal trails
8 Nights
Vineyards, coasts and traditional Portuguese villages
await your walking boots

This 8 night, self-guided feast of truly diverse walking in Portugal samples three very different parts of Northern Portugal: the Douro Valley, Peneda-Gerês National Park and the coastal Minho area. A truly intoxicating combination, over 8 days of walking you’ll gain a varied and intimate experience of this magnificent region.

Your adventure begins in the UNESCO World Heritage Douro wine region, where over two days you’ll explore terraced vineyards bursting with fruit, traditional villages and pristine rural scenery. Then it’s off to the wild, rugged beauty of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. From your base in an historic village you’ll experience the region’s agricultural past, evident in the area’s impressive collection of granite corn stores, and experience breath-taking views from the ancient Lindoso Castle walls. For three days, you’ll luxuriate in this distinctive landscape and its pure mountain air.

Descending from the mountains, you’ll head to the charming riverside town of Caminha, walking along Costa Verde beaches to the historic city of Viana do Castelo, one of the great jewels of Northern Portugal.

On a Collett’s village-to-village holiday, you do the walking – and we take care of the rest. Our comprehensive maps and route notes make for effortless navigation, while your baggage is transported daily to the next carefully-selected overnight stop. Each evening you’ll be welcomed into the comfort of traditional accommodation, in charmed surroundings. You decide your dates, and we’ll ensure everything else is organised to perfection.

At a glance


01 March – 31 October 2024
(You can start any day)


Single Supplement – £325


Expect to walk 5 to 9 hours each day, with between 75m – 750m of ascent and 70m – 795m of descent each day

What’s included

8 Nights B&B at handpicked 3* & 4* hotels and country houses
Packed Lunches (on Days 2, 3, 5 & 6)
Private Transfers from :
– Porto airport to Campanhã train station (Day 1);
– Pinhão to your first hotel in Alijó (Day 1);
– Pinhão to Castro Laboreiro (Day 4); and
– Peneda to Vila Nova de Cerveira (Day 6)
Baggage Transfers each day from hotel to hotel
Holiday Pack with comprehensive route notes, maps & more
App access with trail information for use one a smartphone
24/7 telephone support from our local partner in Portugal

Optional Extras

Winery Visit & Wine Tasting in Pinhão – £27pp
Extra Nights
– in Viana do Castelo : 4-star hotel from £75 pp (double occupancy)
– in Porto : 4-star hotel from £95 pp (double occupancy)
Private Transfers
– from Viano do Castelo to Porto
: £125 (up to 3 people)
– from Porto hotel to Porto Airport : £40 (up to 3 people)


This holiday starts in Porto and ends in Viano do Castelo. Porto is the best airport to fly into.  On arrival at Porto Airport a private transfer (included) will be waiting to take you to Campanhã train station, where you will catch a train to Pinhão.



Day 1 - Arrive

On arrival at Porto Airport a private transfer (included) will take you the short distance to Porto’s Campanhã train station. From there, you’ll catch a train to Pinhão – a pretty town surrounded on all sides by terraced hills – which follows a stunningly scenic route along the banks of the Douro river.  Trains run throughout the day (approx. €12 one way, 2hrs 20mins), and can be booked in advance.  On arrival in Pinhão you’ll be met at the bus or train station and driven directly to the first night’s hotel in Alijó – a pretty village, nestled in the heart of the Douro valley’s famous vineyards – a perfect place to relax before the walking starts tomorrow. Your Holiday Pack will be waiting for you at reception.

Alternatively, a private transfer can be organised to take you directly from Porto Airport to your first hotel in Alijó  (at a supplement).

Meals: None
Accommodation: 4* Hotel, Alijó


Day 2 - Circular walk via São Mamede de Ribatua

Distance: 15km, 5 – 7 hours walking, 369m ascent / 368m descent

Today’s circular walk takes you through a rolling landscape of vineyards, woodlands and fields, towards the ancient village of São Mamede de Ribatua. From here, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the tranquil Tua reservoir below, surrounded on all sides by rugged mountains. After lunch, the route returns to Alijó.

Meals: Breakfast and packed Lunch
Accommodation: 4* Hotel, Alijó

day2-Highlights of Northern Portugal

Day 3 - Alijó to Pinhão

Distance: 20 km, 6 – 7 hours walking, 282m ascent / 795m descent

Today you’ll walk through the pleasant, gentle countryside at the outer edge of the Douro wine region, before reaching the hilltop ridge that runs to Casal de Loivos and Pinhão. Today’s route offers magnificent views of the Pinhão Valley and its surrounding slopes, as well as the iconic vistas around the Douro River. Finally, you’ll make your way down to Pinhão and your accommodation for the night, through the terraced hills that surround this lovely village.

Meals: Breakfast and packed Lunch
Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Pinhão

day3-Highlights of Northern Portugal

Day 4 - Castro Circular Walk

Distance: 2.5 km, 1-2 hours walking, 117m ascent

After breakfast you will take a private transfer to the historical village of Castro Laboreiro, in the Peneda-Gerês National Park (approx 3 hrs), where you’ll spend your next two nights. In the afternoon you’ll have an opportunity to stretch out your legs with a short, charming walk that takes in the park’s lush greenery and the blue waters of the River Lima.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Castro Laboreiro

day4-Highlights of Northern Portugal

Day 5 - Castro Laboreiro Circular Trail

Distance: 13 km, 5 – 7 hours walking, 440m ascent

Today you will walk through the village and out into the rugged hills and gorgeous countryside, which is full of quirky rock formations. Once in the valley, a pleasant area of woodland leads to an ancient bridge where you may like to bathe your feet in the untainted waters. Then you can enjoy the shade of the trees and the sound of the stream as you climb steadily to the plateau, full of smooth granite boulders and sweeping views across the valley to other hills, valleys and ridges. The trail ends back in Castro Laboreiro.

Meals: Breakfast and packed Lunch
Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Castro Laboreiro

day5-Highlights of Northern Portugal

Day 6 - Castro Laboreiro to Peneda

Distance: 15 km, 4 – 6 hours walking, 311m ascent

Today you’ll walk to the sanctuary of Peneda. You will cross wild, rocky highlands with glorious views over the surrounding mountains on the way to Lamas do Mouro Park Gate – a great place to learn more about the National Park.  From here, the enchantment of the forest takes over as you make your way towards the sanctuary at Peneda, at times following ancient stone paths built for local pilgrims. After reaching Peneda Sanctuary, a private transfer will take you to the charming small town of Vila Nova de Cerveira. Once refreshed, enjoy a stroll around the historical centre and look out for artworks – this town hosts a biennial arts festival.

Meals – Breakfast and packed Lunch
Accommodation: a country ‘casa’ – Vila Nova de Cerveira


Day 7 - Vila Nova de Cerveira to Vila Praia de Âncora

Distance: 22 km, 5 – 7 hours walking, 173m ascent

Today you will follow the trail along the River Minho, the natural border with Spain, all the way to its mouth at the riverside town of Caminha. Once there, you can visit the beautifully carved Gothic parish church, explore the remains of the old fortress, pop into some traditional shops, or stop for a coffee in the charming main square, which wraps around a 16th-century fountain.

From the medieval centre of Caminha, you’ll then continue your walk through an ancient pine forest before following an easy coastal path to Vila Praia de Âncora, a fishing port and seaside resort town perched on the edge of a vast golden beach.

Accommodation: 4* Hotel, Vila Praia de Âncora
Meals: Breakfast

day7-Highlights of Northern Portugal

Day 8 - Vila Praia de Âncora to Viana do Castelo

Distance: 19 km, 5 – 7 hours walking, 133m ascent / 130m descent

Today you set off to explore the fascinating city of Viana do Castelo, one of the most beautiful cities of Northern Portugal.

Starting from the expansive sandy beaches of Vila Praia de Âncora, you’ll briefly head inland through patches of forest and fields before reaching the stone windmills and fortresses that sit along the coast south of Viana do Castelo. Viana’s history is shaped by the sea: a vital location in the Portuguese Discovery age, the city’s stunning architecture and artisan history (the area is known for its filigree gold work) are both tied to Viana’s maritime and shipbuilding past. In the evening you can enjoy exploring the ancient streets and squares of this pretty town.

Accommodation: 4* Hotel, Viana do Castelo
Meals: Breakfast


Day 9 - Depart

After breakfast, return to Porto by train (not included) and independent onward travel.

Meals: Breakfast

Need to Knows

Trusted local partner – please note that this holiday is organised and delivered in collaboration with a trusted local partner based in Portugal.

Group size – the minimum number for the holiday is two, due to safety reasons.

Terrain – on this route, most of the walks are off-road on rugged terrain, with little shade. A reasonable level of fitness is essential.

Maximum Altitude – the maximum altitude on this trip is 907m above sea level.

Booking Conditions – be sure to read our full terms and conditions here before booking.

At Your Own Risk – please read the important notes here.

Travel Advice – check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice here.

Passport & Visa –  any questions should be directed to the relevant embassy of your destination country; find out more here. It is your responsibility to be in possession of a full passport, valid for your chosen destination.

Travel Insurance – having adequate and valid travel insurance is a condition of booking with us. Details of our insurance partner, Campbell Irvine, are here.

Health Information – You should carry either an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)  Neither is an alternative to adequate travel insurance. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

ABTA – Independent travel advice and help is always available from ABTA by calling 020 3117 0599 or visiting www.abta.com.

Join our mailing list