Complete Northern Portugal
This 8-day self-drive road trip will take you to the northern part of Portugal, unveiling UNESCO world heritage sites, wine valleys, and unruffled nature. You’re the boss during this trip and you shall fulfill it as you wish – you´ll soon be an expert in Northern Portugal.
Marvel in Porto at the blue tiled buildings and walk across the famous bridges to where dozens of port wineries sit along the banks of the Douro river
Visit the lesser known Minho area, famous for its “Vinho Verde” a special fresh “green”wine
The stunning landscape of the natural wonders of the only National Park of Portugal Peneda-Gerês will take your breath away
Go back in time the historical towns of Braga and Guimaraes
Be amazed by the Douro river circling its way through the green hills decorated with vineyard terraces
Day 1 | Porto | Arrival to Porto
On the day of arrival to the coastal city of Porto, a private taxi takes you to your hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, you may have the option to walk around the city for some first impressions of its surprisingly steep hills and grand squares.
Porto is absolutely spellbinding with its tenaciously textured buildings, valorous variety of architecture and Mesmerizing mix of colour shades. Enter this laid-back city with a few great options to check off the travel list.
Take a cruise of the Douro River and connect with the Portuguese nautical triumphs and kindred relationship with the water. You’ll pass under the 6 bridges connecting both sides of the city, including Ponte de Dom Luís I, designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Day 2 | Porto | Its blue-tiled houses and the Port wineries
Today charters an alluringly full day of marching around the city and taking in the various aspects of this old-world, rejuvenated city, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.
Porto is a decorated playground of mazes and cobbled, tangled streets and hills. Brimming with brilliantly blue-tiled buildings adorning the center, the streets eventually widen into well-manicured, wide walkways.
Stroll along the boulevards and reach the Ponte de Dona Maria Pia, connecting Porto and its friendly neighbor across the Douro River, Vila Nova de Gaia. This bridge was completed in the late 1800s by Gustave Eiffel (already famous for his Eiffel Tower in Paris) and is a star of the city still today. Cross the Douro river to visit the Port wineries on the other side in Vila Nova de Gaia. We’ll share our expertise on which wineries to visit and which Ports to try.
Porto’s market, Mercado Bolhão, is an identity on its own and a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Indulge in a gastronomic array of Portuguese delectables,
and the shop owners will be happy to share their stories with you here.
Visit the Livraria Lello Library which will surely hold a special place in your memories for years to come. Let the same inspiration that found J.K. Rowling here for her Harry Potter books, find you as well, with its magical woodwork, ornate interior, and crimson carpet.
Day 3 | Porto - Braga - Ponte de Lima | Drive via the historic Braga to the beautiful Minho wine region
In the direction of Ponte de Lima, the city of Braga is your first suggested stop. It’s been a success story from the time of the Romans, through the medieval era, to the present day, and remains an important town in Portuguese culture. It allures with its medieval-style settlement, a sacred art museum, a Gothic-style Kings’ Chapel, and one of the oldest Cathedrals in the country.
Along the 30 minute route to Ponte de Lima, glimpse at the vineyards of the Vinho Verde, translated to “Green Wine”. This special grape is picked when it is still green – from which it gets its name. It makes a refreshing white wine which you’ll be glad you stopped to try on a hot day.
In Ponte de Lima you´ll have plenty of time to stroll around its historic center and its assortment of amusing historical sites, flower gardens, ruins, and welcoming plazas. You’re standing at the southern banks of the slow-flowing Lima Riverwalk across its still-intact Roman bridge, having been the principal connection of the rivers since 1AD. Nearby, you´ll witness pieces of the fortified wall, archways, and towers. St. Paul´s tower formerly hosted prisoners.
Day 4 | Ponte de Lima | Peneda-Gerês
Forget about your GPS today and take our enriched route to Peneda-Gerês, heading east instead of south to give a nod to nature. Leisurely wind by pine forests and outlook points as you cruise along the river Lima and tap into the town of Ponte de Barça. If you liked Ponte de Lima, Ponte de Barça is the little brother; its quaint historical center is filled with imposing manor houses.
Make your way to Gerês through marvelous landscapes bound to impressive mountains and you’ll find yourself one with nature. We’ll provide you with the best viewing points and detours to see the hidden waterfalls. If you have binoculars, you’ll surely sport Eagles and Vultures circling for their prey.
Day 5 | Peneda Gerês | Driving around its many natural wonders
Park Peneda Gerês caters to your aspirations today. Energetic spirits are appeased with a morning hike where the deer, wolves, and golden eagles call rugged hills home. There are trails ranging from leisurely hikes of a few hours to challenging ones spanning the full day. Along the trails, you’ll meet Roman roads studded with milestones marking the distances trekked and the direction forward, stunning views, and waterfalls offering a refreshing dip.
For those keen on heritage, the castles of Castro Laboreiro and Lindoso are highly recommended. Visit some of the 90 megalithic monuments that spatter a 35 km2 area. It’s easy to place yourself 2000 years back in time as you drive the same route which in the Roman era connected its main cities Braga with Astorga in Spain. The route is marked with meters tall milestones along the way. In the afternoon you can relax in the thermal baths of the spa resort in Gerês known for its restorative ability.
Day 6 | Douro Valley | From steep mountains to the lush green hills.
In the morning you depart, driving along the winding country roads, passing pine forests, quaint villages, rivers, and lakes. Pop into the town of Chaves known for 2 forts and a castle. When the landscape transforms into vineyards, you know you are close to your destiny – The Douro Valley.
The famous Douro Valley is a blessed landscape adorned by nature and wine lovers. A swirling river running through its hills and the sun lying perfectly overhead propel the production of Portugal’s best wines! Today is filled with visits to artisan-built terraces sat at the cusp of its vineyards, with many viewing points along the way for great photo opportunities.
Day 7 | Douro Valley | Explore the Douro Region and its bodega´s
Begin your day with a quick hello to pretty, petit Pinhão. It’s encircled by the very vineyards that produce some of the best wines, and the azujelo tiles decorating its train station boast about this.
Hop onto a scenic train ride to and back from Pocinho. The train takes you alongside the river allowing you to view the scenic beauty of the valley and the Douro for an hour.
Board a typical Rabelo boat, a traditional Portuguese wooden cargo boat, used for centuries to transport people, goods, and grapes along the Douro River. You’ll cruise down the Douro river for an hour-long, audio-guided tour, viewing landscapes above you.
Upon your return to Pinhão, visit the picturesque villages sitting nearby, unhurriedly stopping at viewing points to soak up scenic views and take snapshots to ensure the memory lasts.
Day 8 | Douro | Home?
Today you will drive back to Porto to return home, and depending on your flight time, you may head to the center for some souvenir shopping. Not flying back until the evening? Make sure to stop in Guimaraes on your way back to Porto.
Do you wish to extend your trip deleted or add a few extra stops? Let us know and we will tailor this trip for you as you wish.
Total Price: € 750,- / $ 895 per person
- 7 Nights in 2 or 3-star hotels including breakfast. Please note that there is the option to upgrade to 4 or 5-star hotels for just € 325,- per person for all 7 nights.
- 5 Days car hire including all-risk insurance.
- Private pick-up transfer to the airport upon arrival.
- Access to insider tips about what to see and where to eat. Let us know if you have any special diets like vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher, or any other and we will give you free advice.
- 24/7 helpline for the duration of your trip.
- Air tickets. Please note that we can arrange these should you wish.
- Travel insurance.
- All other food and drinks not mentioned in the above description.
- City tourism taxes.
- Personal expenses such as extra hotel services or gratuities.
- Entrance fees unless otherwise stated.