Unknown North Portugal
We have designed a fabulous seven-day journey through North Portugal with the Valley of the Douro as its most southern part and central theme. We pass through remote areas. We stay in special hotels, places with a wow-factor. We will enjoy the local cuisine and drinks. We will visit a beautiful quinta where we can see how port wine is made and can have a tasting. And we drive stunning tracks.
Culture and nature
We start in Bragança, a pretty town with a pleasant historic centre, dominated by a medieval citadel, once home of the Duke of Bragança. Its centre is a joy to explore on foot, so that you can admire the old homes of the nobility. We will even sleep in one.
Over tracks and tiny roads we head for Chaves, with its magnificent roman bridge and hot water springs. In the vicinity of Chaves we will stay in a beautiful Turismo Rural, where we can learn a lot about growing fruit, grapes and making wine.
We move on to the unspoilt Gerês National Park. If you fancy a swim in a water fall this is the place to go. The Serra da Peneda and Serra do Gerês are the only protected area in Portugal that has been classified as a National Park. It is a world apart, where human activity is integrated in a harmonious manner with nature, preserving ancient values and traditions that can be seen in old villages.
We head south for a history lesson in the city of Guimarães, a Unesco World heritage site and Portugal’s first capital in the 12th century. We will get to know the whole process of making Port wine, visiting some of the estates and having a nice meal in the vineyards.
From here we drive along the banks of the river Douro to Barca de Alva where it meets Portugal’s Iberian neighbour Spain. Finally, we will drive up the cliffs along the Douro river in the complete wilderness between the historic towns of Freixo de Espada a Cinta and Miranda do Douro, where the tour will end.
We have put this tour in the calendar twice. The spring tour will show us the fresh colours of that time of the year. The rivers we have to cross are full of water – sometimes perhaps too much to try. In the autumn we will be overwhelmed by rich colours from chestnut trees and vines. Temperatures are perfect. Peace and quiet are sublime.
Your guide is José Pires, whose unique knowledge of the country, its culture and people, not to mention the fabulous tracks he knows, adds vastly to your experience. He speaks perfect English.
The dates are the days on which we travel for a full day. In the afternoon before our departure day, we get together in Bragança and start the tour proper the next day. We end in Miranda do Douro in the afternoon of our final day, thus giving us seven full days of travel. This is a hotel-based tour with seven overnight stays.
The price of this tour assumes you drive your own 4×4 vehicle. If you don’t own a suitable car, you can rent a Landrover Defender via us at an additional fee.
Overview of the itinerary:
The trip is just over 800 km long, of which some 60% on tracks. It is one of our more technical tours to drive, though never dangerous. A 4×4 with good ground clearance and a low range gear box is a must.
- Seven overnight stays during the trip in hotels, including breakfast
- Seven days of travel
- Researched itinerary
- Tour description
- Support car and two guides
- Hand held radio in car
- Any other meals
- Overnight stays outside trip dates