A Self-guided Walking Holiday in Porto crafted to explore the intriguing city that gave its name to Port wine. Grand historic buildings and magnificent churches rub shoulders with picturesque old quarters and a vibrant contemporary atmosphere.
The tour includes also beautiful coastal walks along the seafront, visits to nearby cities, and Guimarães, the Birthplace of Portugal.
Porto, situated on the Douro River, is the capital of the north and the second-largest city in Portugal. It is a World Heritage Site and has been the center of the Port wine trade for years.
The best way to fully appreciate this city, and the vicinities, is always on foot, and the set of walks in this self-guided tour provides a good insight into the region.
Follow the imaginatively created walkway along the bank of the River Douro, along the coast south, and explore the traditional fishing village of Afurada.
In the city have lovely walks taking in some beautiful parks and gardens, along leafy tranquil lanes, showing the quieter part of the city, through some picturesque and ancient neighborhoods.
There will be time to visit some of Porto’s most iconic monuments and sites, such as Praça da Ribeira and the Port Lodges, scattered along the Douro River. A stopover to taste a glass of Port is mandatory.
Also, visit the Cathedral, the Stock Exchange, S. Bento Station, the Museu Romantico, Casa Tait, the Crystal Palace, and the splendid Parque da Cidade.
From the D. Luis I Bridge (designed by Teófilo Seyrig, a disciple of Gustave Eiffel, author of the Paris’ symbol) we’ll see some magnificent views stretching to the Serra do Pilar.
Guimarães is a delightful medieval town and the birthplace of Portugal.
The center is a maze of narrow lanes and picturesque plazas, framed by 14th-century buildings, while on a hill stands the 1000-year-old castle and the massive palace built by the first Duke of Bragança, in the 15th century. Guimarães’ old center was declared in 2001 as a World Heritage Site by the Unesco.
Historically a fishing port and ship-building center during the Age of Discoveries, Póvoa de Varzim is now a popular resort with 12km of stunning beaches. People come here to bathe in the iodine-rich waters (from the local seaweed) since the late 19th century. This will be the destination of one of the walks along the coast.
Also on the coast lies Vila do Conde, a lovely seaside town located at the mouth of the River Ave. The region is famous for traditional boat building and exquisite lace-making. The old town retains its small fishing port and there are several historic buildings to enjoy, including Santa Clara’s Convent, famous for its “doces conventuais” – delicious sweets originally only produced in convents, which can now be bought in cafes around town.
In the North of Portugal, people are proverbially generous and welcoming. The Douro River and the miles-long sandy beaches are a haven, indifferent to the bustle and hustle of the city.
The city of Porto has to offer centuries of layers of history, with gloomy Medieval buildings, architectural bridges, and Art Nouveau cafes that live happily with a very contemporary and eclectic atmosphere, where there’s something for everyone.
Not to mention that the food and wines are epic and a true way of life, being part of the identity of the city and the region.
For all these reasons, this Self-guided Walking Holiday in Porto is a must-do!
Our self-guided walking tours are thoroughly designed and include all the information you need, from detailed maps and route notes to a 24h hotline. The accommodation, airport transfers, and transports are included in the walking program.
Day 1 – Arrival at Porto Airport and transfer to the Hotel
Once you get to Porto airport you will be met inside the airport terminal, at the exit hall by our driver who will hold a sign with your name written upon it.
Day 2 – Walk to Gaia and Back
A walk taking in some of Porto´s most iconic monuments and places such as the Cathedral, the Stock Exchange, S. Bento Station, the Praça da Ribeira and the Port Lodges.
We see some magnificent views from the top of D. Luis I Bridge and the viewpoint of the Serra do Pilar. We also have the chance to taste port in the old Port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia. The walk is short to allow for the various visits along the way.
Distance: 4.5 km / Ascent/Descent: +80m, -60m
Day 3 – Porto Walk South
The walk follows the coast south of Porto along boardwalks and promenades giving access to beautiful sandy beaches.
The fishing village of Afurada, with many cafés and restaurants, is worth exploring and makes a great lunch time stop.
We then follow the imaginatively created walkway along the south bank of the river back to the centre.
Distance: 14.2km / Ascent/Descent: Fairly flat
Day 4 – Porto Walk North
A walk along the north bank of the river starting at the fishing port of Matosinhos, renowned for its superb fish restaurants.
Our walk follows promenades and boardwalks down the Atlantic coast to Foz do Douro where the river meets the sea.
Then on to the centre of Porto.
Our route enables us to enjoy superb views of the river, the town and the sea for the first part and then the classic Porto architecture.
Distance: 12km / Ascent/Descent: Fairly flat
Day 5 – Guimarães Town Walk
This route leads from Guimarães railway station through the centre of Guimarães old town and up to the Ducal Palace and Castle using the most straightforward route possible.
Clients can then explore the town and return to the railway station at the end by the same route.
Distance: 4km / Ascent/Descent: Fairly flat
Day 6 – Castelo do Queijo Walk – Hotel – Park
A lovely walk taking in some beautiful parks and gardens, along leafy quiet lanes.
We go through some picturesque and ancient neighbourhoods and can visit places of interest along the way such as the Museu Romantico, Casa Tait, the Crystal Palace and also the splendid Parque da Cidade.
Distance: 10.5 km / Ascent/Descent: + 60m, -40m
Day 7 – Vila do Conde and Póvoa do Varzim Coast Walk
A great coastal walk visiting two charming seaside towns, Povoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde. Much of the route gives access to wonderful beaches.
Distance: 12.2 km / Ascent/Descent: Fairly flat
Day 8 – Individual departure or extra days
At convenient time departure to Porto Airport or Porto Train station
Vila Gale Porto Centro
Vila Gale Porto Centro
Vila Galé Porto Centro (4****) or similar
This 4-star, central Porto hotel is 300 m from Campo 24 Agosto Metro Station. Vila Gale Porto offers a health club with an indoor swimming pool. The Rua de Santa Catarina commercial district is 10 minutes’ walk.
The spacious rooms and suites at Vila Gale Porto are air-conditioned and feature a bright décor. All come with a flat-screen cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom, including a hairdryer and free toiletries.
Vila Gale’s Health Club features an indoor pool, spa facilities and fitness centre with views over Porto city. WiFi is available in all areas of the hotel. A billiards room is also on site.
You must be adequately insured to join our Guided and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.
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Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.