Round tour of Northern Portugal
Based on 10 nights self-drive independent tour in Portugal
A longer tour taking in all the highlights of North Portugal yet without too much driving. Start in style in historic Porto and the Douro valley which marks the southern limit of the region, then head north to Guimaraes and Braga, the Lima Valley, and on towards the border with Spain to discover the windswept Costa Verde, Minho Valley fortress towns and Peneda-Geres, Portugal’s only National Park.
Vineyards and nature, delicious local food and world-class wine. From start to finish you’ll find stunning landscapes, wonderful walking, great cities and lovely, well preserved towns to investigate.
The full route takes ten days but you can do as little, or as much, as you like
- World class Port wines Douro and Vinho Verde
- Historic Porto and its charming old quarter
- World Heritage Arquitecture, Art and Culture
- Breathtaking valleys, Douro, Lima and Minho
- The Camino Portugues – St James’ Way – steeped in history
- Boulder-strewn mountains of Peneda-Geres
Day 1 & 2 – Porto
- Ribeira, Porto’s fascinating historic centre, a World Heritage site
- Cross the impressive Dom Luis I iron bridge to the Port Wine Lodges
- Art for all from finest museums to simple galleries
- Walk the lanes, sail the river, live and breathe Porto
- Ferry to Afurada and the golden beach of Estrela
Day 3 & 4 – Douro Valley
- Fabulous Douro scenery – take an unforgettable boat trip
- World Heritage Douro vineyards, the World’s oldest!
- Romantic Amarante on the River Tamega
- Lamego – famous stairs of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios
- Superb gastronomy in the atmospheric “adegas” taverns
Days 5 & 6 – Braga / Guimaraes (Inner Minho)
- Stunning Guimaraes – World Heritage Site, full of culture and art
- Historic Braga with Portugal’s oldest Cathedral
- Bom Jesus del Monte with its famous baroque staircase
- Lively Barcelos – oldest market in the north, a must!
- Celtic Citania de Briteiros, 2500 years of history
Day 7 & 8 – Peneda Geres National Park
- National Park Peneda – Geres: boulder strewn granite peaks, forests and waterfalls
- Hiking, biking, horse riding, routes and water sports
- Spa town of Geres at the heart of the park
- Swim in turquoise rivers; marvel at the waterfalls in the Arado valley
- Visit the “espigueiros” grain stores in striking Soajo
Day 9 & 10 – Minho Coast
- Delightful Caminha and the fortress towns of Valença, Monção and Melgaço, dotted along the river Minho
- Historic step in the Portuguese Santiago pilgrim way
- Imposing Viana do Castelo with its long surfy windswept Atlantic coastline
- Graceful Ponte de Lima with its Roman bridge
- Sample the Vinho Verde wine and hearty local fare
The itinerary includes the following:
- Accommodation in our listed hotels – 2 sharing 1 std. double ensuite, B&B
- Economy 4dr car hire
- Regional map and guide book
- Instructions to find all accommodation & regional road map
- Flights – but we are able to advise
- One-way car hire charges, where applicable (see your quote email)
- The following car hire extras – these can be added at pick-up point
- extra driver
- Portuguese toll device (we highly recommend to take this service)
- child seats
- Garage parking where applicable (mostly city stops) – please ask us about parking charges
Fly directly to Oporto / Porto and hire a car – the best options are:
- From London Gatwick: TAP Portugal or Easyjet
- From London Stansted: Ryanair
- From London Heathrow: British Airways
- From Edinburgh: Ryanair
- From Liverpool: Ryanair
- From Manchester: Easyjet, TAP or Easyjet
- From Birmingham: Ryanair
- From Luton: Easyjet
- From Bristol: Easyjet
- From Dublin: Ryanair and TAP
PLEASE NOTE some flights are seasonal.
NB: Flights are not included
Alternatively you could fly to Lisbon (3 hours drive) or Santiago de Compostela in Spain (2hrs 30mins drive).
As part of your package we will include a hire car. Normally we include a 4 door economy class car but please let us know if you would like something different.
What our clients say
We had a very varied and interesting tour with lovely hotels, which we would have been hard pressed to have found for ourselves. Two of the hotels were in towns/ cities (Porto and Guimares); three were quintas with swimming pools in lovely rural locations in northern Portugal. The varied requirements of our party of 7 in terms of relaxation, scenery, walking and places to see were all satisfied in spades and the amount of driving was about right. The 10 day duration was perfect. Click here to read the whole review.
Caminos were very good, taking a personal interest in us and our booking and communicating well with us both before the holiday and during. The Vamoos Travel app was a great idea, which enabled us to have all the holiday information and bookings readily available on our phones / iPads.
The Quintas and hotels were very special and we loved them all. The fact that the owners were there gave each stay a personal touch. The food was excellent and we were always made very welcome.. Click here to read the whole review.
We loved touring round this green and lush part of Portugal being able to make our own daily itinerary. The chosen pre-booked accommodation was fabulous in every case. Unusual pousadas, quintas and medieval city hotels that we probably would not have discovered on our own.
This was an excellent 14 day touring holiday, based on a 10 day Casas Cantabricas holiday. They were very flexible and helpful about the necessary arrangements and adjustments. In the final form, we stayed four nights in all in Porto and two nights each in five different locations, four of which were historic Quintas in the countryside and the fifth a very good well-positioned hotel in Guimaraes. Click here to read the whole review.
All the Quintas were good or excellent but perhaps the highlight was the night in a Quinta high above the Douro … excellent dinner and served to us on a balcony off the panelled dining room…this was Casas Cantabricas’ first year operating in Portugal … it was clear that Casas had done the necessary on-the-ground work and in the event their efforts resulted in us staying in much more interesting places than we might have booked if we had tried to arrange it all ourselves.
Casas Cantabricas gave us exactly what we wanted, a holiday tailored to our likes and dislikes, that we thoroughly enjoyed in places that we love and one that we will always remember.
This was our 6th touring holiday organised for us by Casas Cantabricas and this time my partner and I started our 10 days at a gem of a small hotel in Porto, the Pensao Favorita….. read the comments in www.aito.com