Atlantic route coastal walking holiday in Portugal

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

For this gently-paced self-guided walking holiday, we wanted to highlight the beautiful and diverse coastline north of Porto on this fascinating coastal trail that passes through historical towns, traditional villages, fishing communities, nature reserves and delightful beaches and countryside.

Along the 77 km of coastline that they traverse, clients will encounter a wide variety of biologically diverse natural habitats and sites of ecological interest. We took into consideration such local environmental issues when planning this route.

Because much of the trail involves boardwalks that take guests alongside the ocean or across fragile ecosystems in the sand dunes, we use our welcome briefing to highlight the traveller’s code of conduct and emphasise the importance of sticking to the boardwalks in protected areas so as to respect and protect the exceptional quality of this natural and scenic heritage.

We also provide a refillable water bottle and encourage clients to drink the excellent quality tap water instead of buying disposable bottles. There’s no need to buy disposable batteries either as we supply rechargeable batteries and a charger for our GPS devices on self-guided walks. In a further bid to reduce the need to print documents, our route information is now available as an App.

For luggage transfers between accommodations on this linear route, we use local taxis, thus keeping driving distances and carbon emissions to a minimum.

The Impacts of this Trip

Among the most interesting experiences along this route are the fishing communities in small coastal villages such as Angeiras, Apúlia, Castelo de Neiva and Vila Praia de Âncora. In these places full of colourfully painted boats and huts, clients can observe and engage with fishermen while they are mending nets, preparing bait or getting their boats ready to go fishing. The hustle and bustle, not to mention aromas, of the local fish markets is another unforgettable experience that lies in store on this programme. There are also roving saleswomen who walk the streets with a trailer of fish and seafood, often closely followed by seagulls!

Of course, the best way to get the full flavour of the sea is to eat the catch of the day at one of the many speciality restaurants along the coast. These range from simple establishments with plastic chairs, paper table cloths and an outdoor grill to more upmarket restaurants where you can choose your fish from a selection on a bed of ice. At any of these eateries, clients are simultaneously contributing to the local economy and savouring the flavours alongside local people. If you like octopus, we have a great recommendation for you in Apúlia, i.e. Restaurante Paredão.

It’s hard to resist the charms of Viana do Castelo, a light-filled city at the mouth of the River Lima where clients can find independently-owned shops, cafés that have been popular with locals for decades, such as Natário’s, which has people queuing twice a day for warm custard doughnuts, and a wealth of monuments and museums.

On Saturdays during the summer months, Praça da República is a riot of colour and flavours as women dressed in the bright traditional costumes of the region sell local cakes. With a bit of luck, guests can experience one of the many festivities that take place throughout the year and bring an added dash of life and entertainment to the city.

As well as the fruits of the sea, this region of Northern Portugal is famous for its vinho verde, aka green or young wine. This is usually slightly effervescent and a little lighter in terms of alcohol level than a mature white wine, making a white vinho verde a very refreshing beverage in warmer months. The range of grapes and flavours in vinho verde is surprising so we recommend tasting several varieties during the week!


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