Northern Portugal self-guided walking holiday
Description of Northern Portugal self-guided walking holiday
The southern Algarve and islands of Madeira are famous as walking hotspots, but Portugal’s Minho region, in the north of the country, is less well known. Yet its landscape, defined by green fields, vineyards and a lovely coastline, is beautiful and diverse – and a wonderful location for a walking holiday.
This self guided walking holiday follows carefully chosen routes so you experience the best the Minho region has to offer. The first two days of walking are in the Serra D’Arga Mountains on the Spanish border, then on the third walk alongside the beautiful River Lima, stopping off for a dip when you like, before reaching the historic town of Ponte de Lima. It’s the oldest village in Portugal, named after its beautiful medieval bridge. The last few days of walking follow the Green Coast, past windmills and beaches, ending on a high point as you cross the River Minho into Spain for your last ascent.
The walking is graded as easy with some long days, and covering a total distances of 67 miles/107km. To support you on each day’s walk, you will have our self-guided walk booklet, which documents each walk. We also provide a route map and an overview map of the Minho region. Most walks follow clear paths and are easy to navigate, with the exception of our routes in the Serra D’Arga Mountain. Here, our detailed walk notes and maps will guide you through this beautiful landscape, with the chance to visit local wineries along the route. Your luggage is transferred for you between each hotel, so you can walk carrying only a day pack.
1 Reviews of Northern Portugal self-guided walking holiday
Reviewed on 30 Sep 2019 by Lindsay Wratten
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The contrast between mountains, river valleys and the coast, and the different types of accommodation. Also seeing a pair of golden eagles in the national
park, which made our long hike uphill worthwhile!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Don't expect to rest too much! We found the durations just about right, but you are asked to have your luggage packed for 9am ready for onward transfer so
you don't get much of a lie-in!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The accommodation we stayed in all had eco-friendly policies and we learnt about the wildlife and culture of the region at two of the national park's visitor
centres. The holiday could have benefitted local people more had we not have travelled in the quieter season at the end of September when there weren't
many restaurants open in the villages inland.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Really good. Everything was organised very well and the maps and directions were comprehensive. It was the perfect combination of supported
independence for us.
PlanetWe advise all of our clients to stay to the marked paths. This is to maintain the environment as they pass so that it remains pristine for walkers using the pathways in the future. It is also important in order to keep some distance from the local wildlife. We also advise that they take all of their rubbish with them until the end of the day and recycle or dispose of it as is appropriate.
As much as is possible on this trek we have tried to ensure that the walking is done from hotel to hotel, meaning that there is no need to be transported from or to a hotel each day and reduces the need for transportation journeys and their effect on the environment. When the luggage needs to be transferred we use the hotels or local companies to ensure that the driving required is kept to a minimum.
Our trek takes you from the border of Spain in north-east Portugal all the way to the Atlantic Coast on the north-west through the beautiful Minho region.
PeopleMost of the hotels we use in the Minho are small and family run enabling these establishments to continue into the future. They are the establishments which are most in need of the tourism income and their ability to continue their success is important to this area. We also arrange for our clients to eat either at the hotels or at small local restaurants, again keeping the income in the small towns and villages where they stay overnight. We also use either the hotel, local companies or local taxi companies for the luggage and people transfers necessary for this trek. This also keeps the environmental impact to a minimum.
Inheriting its name from the curving river which flows through it, marking the border with Spain, the Minho region of Northern Portugal is not only rich in culture, traditions and history, it is also strikingly beautiful. Also known as ‘Costa Verde’ or the ‘Green Coast’, Minho is renowned for its excellent wines and unparalleled hospitality of its people.
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