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Portugal's Northern Highlights

Combine our 'Portugal Emerald Coast' and 'Wilderness Parks of Northern Portugal' holidays for a wonderful two week holiday discovering Portugal's highlights.

  • Portugal

  • 14 nights
  • Half Board. Dinners taken in a mixture of local restaurants and hotel restaurants.
  • Mountains

    Coast & Islands

  • May

    Jun

    Sep

  • Average group size: 12-14 per grade

Moderate Challenging

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Walking grade

Grade 4

Grade 6

This holiday is a combination of Portugal's Emerald Coast, which is 2 leader 2 grade programme offering Grade 4 and Grade 6 walking, and Wilderness Parks of Northern Portugal, which offers walking at Grade 6.

First week: The Grade 4 walking programme includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over undulating terrain and may include an element of sightseeing as well. Walks are generally between 9kms-16kms/6 miles-8.5 miles a day with ascents/descents between minimal and 270m. The maximum altitude reached on this grade in the first week is approximately 800m. See the Itinerary section for more information. 

First week: The Grade 6 programme includes full day walks on mostly well looked after paths. Walks are generally between 15kms and 20kms/8 miles-11 miles a day with cumulative ascents/descents between 200m and 600m. The walks are often extensions of the grade 4 walks and apart from very occasional rough or steep ground do not in general involve terrain which you would normally expect to encounter on a grade 6 holiday. The maximum altitude reached on this grade during the first week of the holiday is roughly 800m. See the Itinerary section for more information.

Second week: This Grade 6 holiday includes walks between five and six hours on hilly terrain that is often rough underfoot, and with steep sections on many paths. Some days will be energetic, as we ramble through unspoilt scenery and quiet villages. On most days you will cover a distance of around 7-9 miles on foot, ascents and descents will vary from 200m - 1000m. The maximum altitude reached on the second week of the holiday is 1205m.

FLEXI-Walking We are able to offer opt out points on most of the walks on this holiday, giving you the flexibility of walking the entire day's route or opting out if wish, catching up with the group later in the day. See the Itinerary section for more information.

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Classic Collection

Thoughtfully designed, meticulously planned, carefully graded, and expertly guided walking tours and hiking holidays along well-loved and off-the-beaten-track footpaths.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Flexi Walking: make use of our carefully planned shorter routes on many of the walks.
  • Stay in pretty villages of Praia de Ancora, Castro Laboreiro and Peneda.
  • Visit many of the ancient hamlets dotted about the countryside.
  • Discover the Peneda-Geres National Park.
  • Follow inland trails on part of the Camino de Santiago.
  • Walk across the mountains to the remote sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda.

This holiday is a combination of our one week holiday in Portugal's Emerald Coast and our one week holiday in Wilderness Parks of Northern Portugal.

Starting your holiday on the stunning Costa Verde, famous for its mountains, lush green countryside, beautiful beaches and “Vinho Verde”, your walks are taken along some of Portugal’s finest coast line, as well as meandering through classic Minho villages and lush pastoral valleys. You'll explore the dramatic mountains of the Serra d’Ágra, where wild horses roam, and cross the river Minho to Portugal’s Spanish sister, O Muiño, to climb to the sanctuary of Santa Tecla where Celtic history comes alive. This area has been inhabited since pre-historic times and is rich in natural and cultural history ranging from Neolithic to Roman times, with villages full of history. During the first week, we stay in the coastal town of Vila Praia de Ancora in the North West corner of Portugal. After our walks, there will also be time to relax on the beaches and maybe take a dip in the sea before enjoying the sunset and local cuisine. 

Your holiday continues in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, an area of incredible natural beauty with clear air and pure waters. This park contains some of the most beautiful and varied scenery found in the whole of the country and you’ll find an abundance of rare wild flowers, birds of prey, wild horses and other wildlife. Paths will take you alongside woodland rivers, hidden waterfalls, past striking craggy peaks and through stone villages. 

Your second week is split between two-centres, centred in the Serra da Peneda and is designed to visit the most spectacular parts of these mountains. The varied walks circle dramatic crags and granite landscape of Meadinha and follow ancient trails down the lush river Peneda valley. You'll stay in the mountain village of Castro Laboreiro dominated by its ancient castle. Isolated traditional villages with high mountain meadows and rolling moorland stretch to the frontier with Spain to the east. Yet walk out of the hotel to the west and we are amongst towering granite crags and hidden wooded valleys. Walk across the mountains to your final centre in the remote sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda. Set with a backdrop of trees, crags and waterfalls, the grand stairway of the sanctuary descends into the valley below. The somewhat remote location has protected the park landscape. You’ll not only enjoy the beauty of the region, but also visit many of the ancient hamlets dotted about the countryside.

  • Return Flights from London to Porto.
  • Airport transfers.
  • En suite hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • Half board with dinners taken at local restaurants and at hotel restaurants.
  • All local transport required for the itinerary by private coach/public bus/taxi including ferry travel between Portugal and Galicia.
  • Services of a Classic Tour Leader.
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Tour Codes

26690

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Praia de Ancora

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Fly to Porto, Portugal's second city. On arrival transfer by coach to Hotel Meira in Vila Praia de Ancora.

Transfer Time = 1h 15m

Day 2 to 7

Explore Praia de Ancora

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

The itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions, attraction opening times, public transport timetables or changes beyond our control.

The northern coast of Portugal is simply very beautiful. In an area famous for its young wine, Vinho Verde, you will find a lush green landscape, quiet beaches, traditional villages and excellent local cuisine. Our 2 leaders, 2 grades walking programme allows you to fully explore the area as you cross the Rio Minho, visit the Ancora Valley, and also go up into the Serra d'Agra mountains following ancient tracks. During your time here, you will explore the area through a variety of exciting walks which may include one of more of the following examples. 

Free day: There will be a free day during your holiday. Your leader will confirm which day is best based on the walking programme, it can change during the season. It is possible to organise a visit to Valença & Tuy, the two twin cities gazing at each other across the beautiful River Minho. Spend time exploring Praia de Ancora and its picturesque beachfront. The hotel offers a swimming pool and a bar area, so maybe just sit back and relax at the hotel!

  • Distance

    6.5 miles miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    Minimalm

Carreco to Viana (Grade 4): Embark on a captivating stroll along the breathtaking Atlantic coastline leading to Viana do Castelo, often hailed as the gem of northern Portugal. This picturesque journey unfolds against a backdrop of dramatic beaches and untamed scenery. Upon arrival, ample time awaits to delve into the charms of this delightful town, discovering its unique character and exploring the treasures it has to offer.  

  • Distance

    9.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    294/478m

Dem-Orbacém (Grade 4): Discover the enchanting lower slopes of the Serra d'Agra, unveiling villages gracefully nestled along a spring line. Though the rugged slopes of the Serra d'Agra loom above, the winding route guides you through the verdant fields and vibrant villages adorning the gentle lower slopes. Following a delightful picnic lunch, descend once more into the undulating valley of the River Ancora. Here, the river becomes your companion once again, cascading through rock pools, flowing beneath ancient bridges, and serenely winding its way through picturesque fields. 

  • Distance

    9.6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    Minimal/275m

VPA - Afife - Carreço (Grade 6): This trail seamlessly blends the Caminho de Santiago, guiding you through the charming villages of Afife and Carreco nestled at the foothills of wooded slopes. As you progress, the landscape transforms, leading you to the striking coastline where our preferred stretch of sandy beaches unfolds. Traverse past sheltered coves where waves crash against resilient rocks, revealing a glimpse of a bygone era where some still engage in the traditional practice of seaweed harvesting—a poignant reminder of a once vibrant way of life. 

  • Distance

    10.25 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    400m

Serra de Santa Luzia (Grade 6): Commencing in Carreço, the walk begins with a climb of 400 meters to the summit of Serra de Santa Luzia. Traverse across the hills, enjoying panoramic views, before gradually descending to the charming village of S Mamede. Follow the waymarked route, known as “Trilho dos Canos de Àgua,” revealing an ancient water supply system with granite "pipes" leading to the S Luzia sanctuary. Finally, descend into Viana do Castelo, taking the longest funicular in Portugal, and relish the scenic journey into this picturesque town. 

  • Distance

    Grade 4: 7.5 & Grade 6: 10.6 miles miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    Grade 4: 240 & Grade 6: 345/Grade 4: 564 & Grade 6: 669mm

S. João-Montaria and Gondar (Grade 4 and 6): Start your walk at the ancient monastery of S Joao de Agra, following a route over the open rocky mountains embraced by the rough slopes of the Serra d'Agra. From the village of S Lourenço de Montaria, traverse the lower slopes of the Serra D'Agra, passing through farming villages along the spring line. Complete the journey by descending into the lush valley where fields and vineyards surround the village of Gondar. 

  • Distance

    Grade 4: 7 & Grade 6: 13.7 miles miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    Grade 4: 224 & Grade 6: 473/Grade 4: 315 & Grade 6: 598mm

Serra d'Agra(Grade 4 and 6): Today explore the mountains! After reaching the highest accessible point by transport, ascend on foot to the final stretch of the northern slopes of the Serra d'Agra. This leads you across the elevated plateau, culminating at Porta do Lobo, aptly named the "Gate of the Wolf." From this vantage point, revel in the sensation of being atop the world, gazing down into the picturesque valley of the River Lima and across to the towering peaks of the Gerês and Peneda mountain ranges.

From here an ancient stone trail gently winds down the hillside, guiding your journey through the iconic Agra villages. Following this easy yet dramatic walk, consider unwinding at the authentically traditional Taberna do Horacio before returning to Vila Praia de Ancora.

Most may choose to finish here but others may continue to a further village for a real full day's walking.

  • Distance

    Grade 4: 8.9 & Grade 6: 10.2 miles miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    Grade 4: 154m & Grade 6:/154m

Ancora Valley walk (Grade 4): Ease into the enchanting region with this leisurely introduction, centered around the picturesque valley of the Ancora River. Meander through lush green fields, cultivated in the timeless style of classic Minho agriculture, and stroll past charming villages that adorn the valley. At the heart of this scenic walk lies the Ancora River, featuring numerous age-old crossing points and its sparkling, crystal-clear waters, creating a tranquil and inviting focal point for your exploration. 

Day 8

Welcome to Castro Laboreiro

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

After a relaxing morning, the transfer coach will take you to your second centre. 

Day 9 to 11

Discover Castro Laboreiro

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

You'll spend your days at Castro Laboreiro, which is overlooked by its ancient castle, walking in the high mountain meadows and rolling moorland as well as amongst towering granite crags and hidden wooded valleys. During your time in Castro Laboreiro, you will explore the area through a variety of exciting walks which may include one of more of the following examples. 

  • Distance

    1.8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    110m

Castelo De Castro Laboreiro: Embark on a delightful stroll to the ancient castle ruins perched above the village of Castro Laboreiro. This historical stronghold, dating back to the founding of Portugal, is easily accessed via a scenic circular route originating from the village. Perfect for a morning adventure, this walk offers an ideal pre-lunch exploration, allowing for a leisurely stop at one of the charming village cafés for elevenses. Maximum Altitude: 1035m.

  • Distance

    6.2 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    160m

Penedos de Castro Laboreiro: Follow a trail that winds through the striking rocky outcrops to the west of Castro Laboreiro village. Navigate narrow mountain paths as they ascend into the lush, undulating hills and guide you through a picturesque valley surrounded by pine trees. Be sure to have your cameras ready to capture the breathtaking panoramic views of the valley that unfold along this captivating walk. Maximum Altitude: 1119m.

  • Distance

    10 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    440m

Trilho Castrejo: Wander through a lush valley below Castro Laboreiro, tracing a trail partially guided by local waymarks. Discover the charm of tiny, colorful villages in the area, immersing yourself in the traditional farming practices and relaxed way of life. The air is filled with a sweet scent of flora, pastel-hued traditional buildings grace the scenery, and there's plenty of time for relaxation—making it a place you won't want to leave! Maximum Altitude: 1046m.



Day 12

Welcome to Peneda

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    10 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200/520m

Transitioning to the second center in the Peneda-Geres National Park, you'll find yourself in Peneda. Today's journey involves walking between centers, with your luggage being separately transferred for your convenience.

Traverse through vibrant villages, and the route will lead you through a wild, expansive mountain stretch before descending onto an ancient track. Revel in magnificent views over Peneda as you make your descent into the village. If preferred, there's the option to transfer the short distance by mini-bus, although please note that this service incurs an additional cost at your own expense. Maximum Altitude: 1100m.

Day 13 to 14

Experience Peneda

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Your walking programme from Peneda is set to the backdrop of trees, rocky crags and cascading waterfalls. This remote region has protected the natural landscape of the area. During your time in Peneda, you will explore the area through a variety of exciting walks which may include one of more of the following examples. 

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    560m

Meadinha and Bouca dos Homones: Today's journey unfolds amidst some of the most awe-inspiring granite landscapes within these mountains, culminating in a visit to the secluded village of Bouça dos Homens. Maximum Altitude: 1107m.

  • Distance

    10 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    500m

Valley of Rio da Peneda: Delight in a scenic walk as you descend into the picturesque valley beneath Peneda, surrounded by lush vegetation and captivating, colorful villages. It's a day that promises picture-perfect moments at every turn! Maximum Altitude: 680m.

Day 15

Farewell

Meals

Breakfast

Transfer by road to Porto Airport for return flight to the UK

Departure dates for your selected tour

6th Sep 2024 - 20th Sep 2024 (14 Nights)

9th May 2025 - 23rd May 2025 (14 Nights)

6th Jun 2025 - 20th Jun 2025 (14 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return Flights from London to Porto
  • Airport transfers by road c. 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Hotel Meira

Praia de Ancora is famous for its young wine, lush landscape, traditional villages and quiet golden beaches. There are various clothing and sports shops, supermarkets, and bakeries. The streets are filled with locally run cafes, restaurants and bars. There is also a tourist office on the beachfront and banks with ATM's in the centre. During the winter season, the town can be a little quieter as there may be less tourists and you may find some shops have shorter opening hours.

Located just a couple of minutes’ walk away from the charming Priaia das Criancas beach and five minutes from the town centre, the modern, yet cosy Hotel Meira provides a relaxing base for your holiday. Maybe take a relaxing swim in its outdoor pool and enjoy a drink from the bar on the beautiful sun terrace after a days exploration. You can enjoy the new spa facilities including a sauna, Turkish bath and spa treatments (additional charge).

Stay in standard double and twin bedded ensuite rooms. Twin bedded rooms usually contain typical ‘Austrian type beds’ which consist of one bed frame fitted with two single mattresses and bed-packs with individual duvets. Single rooms are usually twin or double bedded rooms for sole use. All rooms have recently been refurbished and include:

  • Ensuite bathroom with a shower over the bath
  • Air conditioning
  • Telephone
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe
  • Satellite TV
  • Tea/coffee making facilities
  • Free WIFI

Hotel Castrum Villae

Castro Laboreiro is a small mountain village located in the Peneda-Geres National Park. It is a very authentic and beautiful village with granite houses, old bridges and castle ruins. It is rich in historical and architectural heritage with its medieval churches and monuments. There a couple of small supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. There is one bank with an ATM but it is advisable to withdraw money before going to Castro Laboreiro as the ATM is not always available. 

The Hotel Castrum Villae is a simple yet comfortable hotel surrounded by nature and clear mountain air in the centre of Castro Laboreiro, a charming quiet village nestled in the hills.  The hotel is basic with limited facilities but chosen for its ideal location, close to the start of many of our walks. There is a bar serving delicious drinks such as Portuguese wines and cocktails, an ideal place to sit back and relax in. 

You'll stay in simple twin and double bedded ensuite rooms. Single rooms are double for sole use. Rooms have a classic decor with contemporary furnishings. Room facilities include

  • Ensuite with a bathtub 
  • Hairdryer
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • TV
  • Telephone

Please note that there are no tea/coffee making facilities in the hotel rooms.

Hotel Peneda

Peneda is a village located in the national park, hidden at the bottom of a ravine and close to beautiful cascading waterfall. It is a very secluded village but beautifully located and ideal for our remote walking routes. There is a mini market in Peneda with minimal food options but there are a number of handicraft and souvenir shops. There are small cafes in walking distance from the hotel and a tourist office for further information. 

Our final three nights will be spent in the beautiful Peneda Hotel, situated next to the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda, in a calm and tranquil setting. The hotel enjoys an impressive and secluded location from which to enjoy beautiful views over the countryside and surrounding mountains. The hotel’s facilities include a restaurant and bar. 

We stay in twin and double bedded rooms. Single rooms are usually single bedded. All rooms are en suite and facilities include:

  • En suite accommodation with bath or a shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WIFI

There are no safety deposit boxes in the rooms but valuables can be securely stored in reception. There is also no mini fridge or tea/coffee making facilities.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This holiday is a combination of Portugal's Emerald Coast, which is 2 leader 2 grade programme offering Grade 4 and Grade 6 walking, and Wilderness Parks of Northern Portugal, which offers walking at Grade 6.

First week: The Grade 4 walking programme includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over undulating terrain and may include an element of sightseeing as well. Walks are generally between 9kms-16kms/6 miles-8.5 miles a day with ascents/descents between minimal and 270m. The maximum altitude reached on this grade in the first week is approximately 800m. See the Itinerary section for more information. 

First week: The Grade 6 programme includes full day walks on mostly well looked after paths. Walks are generally between 15kms and 20kms/8 miles-11 miles a day with cumulative ascents/descents between 200m and 600m. The walks are often extensions of the grade 4 walks and apart from very occasional rough or steep ground do not in general involve terrain which you would normally expect to encounter on a grade 6 holiday. The maximum altitude reached on this grade during the first week of the holiday is roughly 800m. See the Itinerary section for more information.

Second week: This Grade 6 holiday includes walks between five and six hours on hilly terrain that is often rough underfoot, and with steep sections on many paths. Some days will be energetic, as we ramble through unspoilt scenery and quiet villages. On most days you will cover a distance of around 7-9 miles on foot, ascents and descents will vary from 200m - 1000m. The maximum altitude reached on the second week of the holiday is 1205m.

FLEXI-Walking We are able to offer opt out points on most of the walks on this holiday, giving you the flexibility of walking the entire day's route or opting out if wish, catching up with the group later in the day. See the Itinerary section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Two Grades, Two Leaders, Two Walks

On ‘2x Walks, 2x Leaders, 2x Grades’ departures, where we provide two tour leaders and offer a choice of easier or harder walks each day, we hope to be able to accommodate your choice of walk. However, safety considerations do govern the sizes of groups in each walking grade; the minimum number of participants for a guided walk at a given grade and the maximum group size will be as indicated for the walk grade.

On most departures we are able to accommodate most clients' first choice of walk most of the time, however some flexibility and co-operation may be required. In unusual circumstances where a disproportionately high number of clients wish to walk at one grade, for safety reasons, we may not be able to provide you with your choice of walk each day. Although we will endeavour to accommodate as many clients’ choices as possible, it may be necessary for you to switch between higher and lower grade walks during the holiday. Any decision regarding group sizes and the participants in the day’s walking programme rests with our tour leader(s).

For safety reasons the minimum number of participants on a walk will be 4 plus the leader.

Local Transport Costs

In the holiday cost, we've included all local transport expenses related to the advertised activity programme for your convenience. If there are additional visits or excursions to enrich your experience, you can choose to participate and cover the costs locally. Depending on the itinerary, local transport may involve a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses, and ferries.

Optional Excursions

At your destination, you may have the option to book various local excursions and activities through a local operator. It's important to note that we are not involved in these activities or excursions, and we do not operate, supervise, or control them in any way. Your contract will be directly with the local activity supplier, and we bear no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

As you plan your holiday budget, it's essential to account for expenses such as drinks, meals not covered in the holiday price, entrance fees not included, optional local excursions, and any souvenirs or additional services like laundry. For a rough estimate, budgeting around £10-£20 per person per day for lunches and drinks is a helpful guideline.

Currency in Portugal

The currency in Portugal is the euro. We recommend you take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM as credit cards may not be accepted in some towns and rural areas so please ensure you always have cash with you.

Tipping

In your holiday price, we've included tipping for our local suppliers, covering hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers. Should you wish to make an extra contribution for a specific service, this should be given directly to the recipient at your discretion.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader plays a crucial role in enhancing your holiday experience, and they share your passion for exploring the world on foot. In addition to being resourceful and organised they are also well-travelled and deeply enthusiastic about showing you new destinations.  Your tour leader takes care of all the local administration, ensuring you can fully enjoy your holiday without worrying about the logistics. While leading group holidays, they always keep in mind that each group is composed of individuals. Each tour leader brings their unique style, talents, and professional background to the table. Rest assured, they are all trained, qualified, experienced, and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting, and inspiring as possible. Remember, your leader, while on holiday, is your first port of call for any issues, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience for you.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will meet with you to review the programme for the next day. This is your chance to discuss details and ensure that the planned activities align with your walking ability. If you have any concerns about clothing or equipment, feel free to bring them up during this discussion. If, for any reason, you prefer not to participate in the organised group programme, please inform your leader. Your preferences are important, and your leader is there to make sure your experience aligns with your expectations.

Your Travel Details

Flights are from London to Porto in northern Portugal. The transfer from Porto Airport to Vila Praia de Ancora will be by coach and will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

The transfer between Vila Praia de Ancora and Castro Laboreiro will be by coach and will take approximately 2 hours. You will walk between Castro Laboreiro and Peneda, with your luggage transferred separately. Your return transfer from Peneda to Porto Airport is by private coach and will take approxiamtely 2 hours.

If you intend joining the party in Praia de Ancora and leaving in Peneda, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at our hotels. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements

If you prefer to arrange your own flights from a non-UK or regional airport or travel to your holiday destination by rail or car, you may qualify for 'land only' reductions, and we can provide details upon request. Feel free to reach out to us for more information.

Before finalizing any independent travel arrangements, especially if you're doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended travel date, please check with us first to ensure your holiday has been cleared to operate. If you plan to join your holiday locally, kindly inform us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you're joining and leaving your holiday overseas, we assume, unless you specify otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making independent travel arrangements, you may have the option to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time. If interested, contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.

Please be aware that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be eligible for the group transfer. Additionally, we'll need your flight number, arrival time, and departure point to ensure the group leader can meet up with you. If you have a mobile, please ensure we have the number, and it is turned on while you are traveling for effective communication.

Hotel Transfers

When you book a Flight-Inclusive holiday, transfers between the airport and hotel and back are included. On some holidays, where we offer various flight options, the transfer vehicle may wait for all flights to land before transferring to the hotel.  

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

If you're booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, rest assured that details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be clearly outlined in your 'Final Travel Documents'. These will be sent to you approximately 10 days before your departure, ensuring you have all the necessary information for a smooth and well-prepared journey.

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Passports and Visas

European Passport Advice

If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must meet the Schengen area rules.

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For some Schengen countries your passport may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit, and the 3 months at the end of your visit may need to be within 10 years of your passport’s issue date.

Check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport. If you renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. This could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.

Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.

Meals

Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday cost. Breakfasts will be taken at our hotels and are a buffet style with a varied selection. 

Dinner will be taken in local restaurants during your stay in Praia de Ancora and Castro Laboreiro where you can enjoy the local Portuguese cuisine. The local restaurants chosen are usually smaller and family run, serving traditional Portuguese food and used by locals. Eating in local restaurants allow you to enjoy an authentic experience and sometimes lively atmosphere in a traditional Portuguese restaurant along with local diners and the Portuguese hospitality. These two hotels are selected for their close locations to the main town centre and local restaurants so on some evenings you will be able to walk to local restaurants, on others transport may be provided. During the quieter winter months, many local restaurants close for the season. Therefore, you may eat in the hotel more and you may eat in the same restaurant more than once as availability of open restaurants could be limited.

Due to its secluded location, you will be dining in the hotel’s restaurant in Peneda for our evening meals. The menu’s are inspired by local, regional and national cuisine with an emphasis on Peneda’s local dishes. 

Portuguese dishes are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients, and usually consist of soup, meat or fish, vegetables and potatoes. Portugal is famous for its seafood and fresh fish and usually it is caught, cooked and eaten the same day!

Vegetarian options are available if we are advised in advance so please contact our Sales & Reservations department. However please be aware that Portuguese food mostly consists of meat and fish. We do make suggestions on what ingredients to consider to produce a well-balanced and tasty meat and fish free meal, however vegetarian and vegan options can sometimes lack protein and carbohydrates.  You can, however, guarantee that ingredients will be fresh and locally sourced.

Lunches are not included and can be taken as picnics or in local cafes.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in Portugal

Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWH17 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides and books which may offer you more information. Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holiday destinations. You may find the below websites, books and programmes useful. 

Maps of the areas we visit (1:200 000 scale) are available locally and at specialist map shops in the UK. 

‘The Rough Guide to Portugal’ - Mark Ellingham, John Fisher, Graham Kenyon, Mathew Hancock and Jules Brown.

‘Portugal - A Travellers Guide’ - Susan Loundes (Thornton Cox)

‘Blue Guide: Portugal’ - Ian Robertson

Visit Portugal

Portugal National Tourist Office

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Health Advice for Portugal

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Portugal. 

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. 

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus. 

Dengue fever exists in Portugal; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.

EHIC & GHIC Cards

Starting January 1st, 2021, you, as a UK traveller, can continue using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) throughout its valid five-year period, granting you access to medical assistance during your holiday until its expiry date. Be aware, though, that this coverage will no longer extend to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. In case you don't have a valid EHIC, you can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replace the EHIC as it gets phased out.

It's essential to emphasize that the EHIC/GHIC, while valuable, should not be regarded as a substitute for comprehensive medical or travel insurance. For your peace of mind and comprehensive coverage, considering additional insurance is highly recommended.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We are dedicated to promoting responsible travel practices that prioritise the well-being of both the environment and local communities. We believe in the transformative power of travel and aim to minimize our ecological footprint by selecting eco-friendly accommodations, encouraging waste reduction, and supporting sustainable transportation options where possible. Our walking tours are designed to immerse participants in the local culture, fostering meaningful connections with the communities we visit. We strive to leave a positive impact by engaging in responsible tourism activities, respecting local customs, and contributing to the preservation of natural landscapes. Through our commitment to responsible travel, we aim to create enriching experiences for our guests while actively contributing to the conservation of the destinations we explore.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust is passionate about making the outdoors more accessible for more people from all communities. We grant funds to many organisations and have recently partnered with Mind Over Mountains, Adaptive Grand Slam and other groups to create an enduring impact on people’s lives and to support them to enjoy the outdoors. In addition, the Trust makes many small grants to local organisations such as Ramblers Groups, Walkers are Welcome, My kind of Books and recently provided a small grant, via his scouting group, to enable a young man whose family had fallen on hard times to complete his DofE Gold award.

Patron of the Trust is the renowned explorer, Mark Wood. Over 20 years Mark has undertaken expeditions to some of the most remote parts of our planet. Our shared values make for an exciting partnership, and we believe that by standing shoulder to shoulder we can encourage people from all communities to enjoy being active outdoors in whatever way suits them best.

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Kindly share a mobile phone contact number with us. We'll utilize this solely for crucial communication pertaining to your holiday arrangements.

Ensure your mobile phone remains switched on and easily accessible when en route to the airport or during transit delays. This way, we can promptly reach you with any last-minute updates concerning your travel plans.

In consideration of others, we request that you switch off your mobile phone during walks or make an effort to limit its usage. Additionally, during group meals, please minimize the use of mobile devices. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone on the journey.

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Useful Information

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Portugal

  • Capital

    Lisbon

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Portuguese

  • Time Difference

    UTC, UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    3hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 109mm

  • February

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 93mm

  • March

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • April

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 52mm

  • June

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 26mm

  • July

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 12mm

  • August

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 16mm

  • September

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 44mm

  • October

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 91mm

  • November

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • December

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 120mm

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