Self-guided Walking Holiday in Porto: City, Heritage & Nature

Self-Guided Walking

From 695.00 pp

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Availability: January - December

Grade: Moderate (4/8)

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.

Highlights

  • Spectacular city hikes in some of Porto’s most iconic monuments and places
  • The architecture and historical monuments in Porto
  • Tranquil and surprising coastal walks along mile-long sandy beaches
  • The estuary banks of the Douro River
  • The Port Lodges
  • Guimarães, the birthplace of the Portuguese nation
  • A fantastic itinerary of walks developed and perfected by local resident Portuguese tour leaders
  • The hospitality and warmth of the local population
  • The amazing Portuguese gastronomy and wines
  • Includes all the information and services you need, from detailed route notes to a 24h hotline
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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.

Clerigos Tower in Porto

Clerigos Tower in Porto. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of historic buildings

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 centre 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 neighbourhoods.

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.

Porto São Bento station where the tiles depict scenes of royal gatherings and traditional rural life.

Porto São Bento station where the tiles depict scenes of royal gatherings and traditional rural life.

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 centre 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 centre was declared in 2001 as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Porto, situated on the Douro River, is the capital of the north and the second largest city in Portugal.

Porto, situated on the Douro River, is the capital of the north and the second-largest city in Portugal.

Historically a fishing port and ship-building centre during the Age of Discoveries, Póvoa de Varzim is now a popular resort with 12km of stunning beaches. People have 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.

Fishing village near Porto, explore the unknown coast south of Porto and the beautiful beaches along the Atlantic.

Fishing village near Porto, explore the unknown coast south of Porto and the beautiful beaches along the Atlantic.

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.

Itinerary

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.

Ribeira Porto, picturesque and quaint streets, where the locals gather and sit outside to catch up on the conversation during the sunny afternoons!

Ribeira Porto, picturesque and quaint streets, where the locals gather and sit outside to catch up on the conversation during the sunny afternoons!

Day 2 – Gaia walk

A walk designed to take in and fully experience 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.
For this day, we also suggest exploring the Gaia Market, now converted into an untraditional food experience! Since you’re here, have a port wine experience in the old Port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia!

Walking time: 1h15; Distance: 4.5 km/2.79 mi; Ascent/Descent: +135m/-168m; Min/Max Elev.: 1m/99m

Ribeira coffe shops, at the estuary banks of the Douro River

Ribeira coffee shops, at the estuary banks of the Douro River. Outdoor terrace bars and cafes are a  landmark bridge in the Ribeira riverside area of Porto.

Day 3 – Afurada walk

The walk follows the coast south of Porto along boardwalks and promenades giving access to the beautiful west coast and its sandy beaches.
The fishing village of Afurada, with many cafés and restaurants, is worth exploring and makes a great lunchtime stop.
From here, follow the imaginatively created walkway along the south bank of the river back to the centre of Porto.

Walking time: 3h30; Distance: 14.2 km/8.8mi; Ascent/Descent: 116m/-52m; Min/Max Elev.: 1m/99m

Rabelo boat Porto dramatically perched at the mouth of the Rio Douro

Day 4 – Matosinhos walk

A walk along the north bank of the river starting at the fishing port of Matosinhos, renowned for its superb fish restaurants.
The walk follows promenades and boardwalks down the Atlantic coast to Foz do Douro where the river meets the sea.
Walk towards the centre of Porto enjoying superb views of the river, the town, and the sea followed by the classic Porto architecture.

Walking time: 3h; Distance: 12km/7.45mi; Ascent/Descent: 60m/0m; Min/Max Elev.: 0m/69m

Fishing village near Porto

Fishing village near Porto,  just outside Porto which is still not damaged by tourism.

Day 5 – Guimarães Town Walk

Guimarães is a charming and historic city and is regarded as the birthplace of Portugal. Its extensive history is reflected in the variety of national monuments and historic buildings found within the city.
Its charming medieval centre is a warren of labyrinthine lanes and picturesque plazas framed by 14th-century edifices, while on an adjacent hill stands a 1000-year-old castle and the massive palace built by the first Duke of Bragança in the 15th century.
Guimarães is a World Heritage Site and the proud birthplace of Afonso Henriques, the first independent king of Portugal.

Walking time: 1h; Distance: 4km/2.48mi (total): Ascent/Descent: 54m/-36m; Min/Max Elev.: 174m/231m

Guimarães Castle Portugal

The magnificent castle of the cradle of Portugal, Guimarães, the birthplace of the independent kingdom of Portugal at the time it separated from Castile in the XII century.

Day 6 – Castelo do Queijo Walk

A lovely walk taking in some beautiful parks and gardens, along leafy quiet lanes. This tailored walk brings you to the city park, away from the main avenues.
Walk into the narrow, picturesque, and quaint streets, where the locals gather and sit outside to catch up on the conversation during the sunny afternoons!
Enjoy the day and take the time to visit places of interest along the way such as the Museu Romântico, the Casa Tait, and the Crystal Palace.

Walking time: 2h45; Distance: 11km/6.8mi; Ascent/Descent: +176m/-119m ; Min/Max Elev.: 6m/91m

Castelo do Queijo Porto

Castelo do Queijo Porto. Grand historic buildings and magnificent churches rub shoulders with picturesque old quarters and a vibrant contemporary atmosphere.

Day 7 – Vila do Conde & Póvoa do Varzim Coastal Walk

A great coastal walk visiting two charming seaside towns, Vila do Conde and Póvoa do Varzim.
Once a traditional fishing village, Vila do Conde is nowadays an important centre for industrial production, fishing, and tourism. It harbours the first protected area ever created in Portugal in 1957 – the Mondelo Ornithological Reserve. Today, this reserve is part of the Regional Protected area of the coast of Vila do Conde.
Póvoa de Varzim became famous in the late 19th century for its iodine-rich waters. But that doesn’t sum up what this town has to offer, nor its white sandy beaches, its traditional old quarters, and exquisite buildings. It holds one of the most unique sets of symbols associated with the fishing tradition – the Siglas Poveiras. These symbols were created by the local fisherman as their family coat of arms and identified their boats and fishing apparatus.

Walking time: 3h; Distance: 12.2km/7.58mi; Ascent/Descent: 10m/-4m; Min/Max Elev.: 0m/10m

Boardwalk in Porto

Boardwalk in Porto

Day 8 – Individual departure or extra days

At convenient time departure to Porto Airport or Porto Train station

 

Info

Vila Gale Porto Centro

Vila Gale Porto Centro

Hotel

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 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 a fitness centre with views over Porto city. WiFi is available in all areas of the hotel. A billiards room is also on-site.

What's included

Accommodation

  • 7 nights in a twin room for two pax (4 stars hotel)
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • Half-board available with surcharge (buffet dinner at the hotel without drinks)

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer from airport/train station/bus station to the hotel on the first day
  • Transfers from the hotel to airport/train station/bus station on last day
  • Transports to walking/activities sites, if applicable

Your information pack includes

  • Accommodation vouchers
  • Taxi vouchers
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • General information about your holiday and destination
  • List of the hotel(s)
  • Directions for arriving at your first hotel, if applicable
  • Detailed maps and route notes in your own mobile with App Routes & Maps (or detailed travel documents 1x per room)
  • Travel Advice
  • Complimentary luggage transfer if there is more than one hotel
  • Assistance 24/7

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage, or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided walking holidays and Self-Guided walking holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

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.