Highlights of Northern Portugal
Description of Highlights of Northern Portugal
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThis exciting self-guided walking holiday enables clients to experience the wide variety of cultures and landscapes that Northern Portugal has to offer, from the UNESCO World Heritage landscape of the Douro wine region to the Biosphere Reserve of the Peneda-Gerês National Park and the stunning unspoilt Costa Verde coastline.
As a walking holiday, the environmental impact is low, especially since we provide clear guidance during briefings and information packs about leaving no trace, respecting the flora and fauna and sticking to the trails as well as protecting structural heritage such as stone shepherd’s shelters and wolf traps.
The first two bases are 2-night stays, reducing the need for luggage transfers and laundering linens. When transport is necessary, we use local taxi companies to keep fuel usage and pollution down.
As with all of our programmes, we supply a refillable bottle that clients can use during their walking holiday and beyond.
We provide an app for clients to use during their tours with us in order to reduce the need for printing information such as roadbooks, and rechargeable batteries for the GPS device.
PeopleThe daily lunch pack contains fresh local produce and we encourage guests to have dinner at friendy local restaurants where they can enjoy traditional regional dishes, such as Cachena steaks in the Peneda-Gerês, olive oil and meat cake from the Douro and the freshest of fish and seafood along the Atlantic Coast and, of course, sample Douro wines, vinho verde and port.
Clients are encouraged to stop at local cafés, bakeries and grocery or craft stores in the villages and towns they pass through in order to get a sense of what local life is like in the three distinct areas and interact with local people. Again, having 2-night stays in two of the bases offers more opportunity to make connections and get to know the place where they are staying.
The income derived from our use of local accommodations, produce and drivers in the relatively isolated mountain villages of the Peneda-Gerês, i.e. Lindoso and Soajo, has a significant impact on these rural economies and has been a driver for positive change – an increasing number of ruined cottages have now been turned into tasteful eco-friendly tourist accommodation.
While walking through the vineyards and villages in the Douro wine region, clients will witness the mostly manual labour involved in small-scale independent wine production and for the major players. There are also opportunities to visit local wine producers to taste and buy their wines and learn about the unique histories of these quintas (wine estates).
On the coastal section of this programme, clients will encounter fishing communities in Caminha and Vila Praia de Âncora. They will have the chance to interact with fishermen as they tend nets, prepare bait or take their boats out fishing. Visiting the local fish markets is another unforgettable experience although nothing beats the thrill of seeing the catch of the day grilled on an open barbecue at a local restaurant then delivered to your table. We include suggestions for our favourite family-run restaurants.