Self-Guided Cycling in the Douro Valley
Cycle along the River Douro, enjoy delicious cuisine and some of the world’s
Reviews 2 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
This cycling holiday in the Douro will acquaint you with fascinating and magical surroundings, delicious cuisine and some of the world’s finest wines (including, of course Port Wine, for which the region is famous). The ride begins in the Douro River Canyon where Portugal borders Spain, home to an ancestral way of life and even it’s own language; Mirandese. You start your cycling across the highland plateau of the International Douro Nature Reserve, cycling along former railway tracks, through vast forests and almond groves. You follow the River Douro through uniquely terraced vineyards and take in the typical towns and villages of the region, including Pinhao, where many of the famous Port wine estates are located. The accommodation is all chosen with the greatest care and offers you a real taste of local life and customs.
* All breakfasts and 2 dinners
* 1 hotel night and 5 nights in farms and guesthouses (see accommodation
* Luggage transfers
* Local bike hire
Start Porto airport; transfer approx. 3.5 hours to Miranda do Douro, on the
Pick up a shared transfer from Porto airport (included) to the easternmost
point of your holiday; Miranda do Douro. Enjoy the beautiful landscape and
scenery that unfolds along the way, entering the fascinating landscape of the
Douro River Canyon and its 200 metre high cliffs. The small town of Miranda
do Douro has typical whitewashed houses, Roman origins and narrow cobbled
streets and definitely deserves an exploratory walk. If you have time, take
the river cruise into the Douro National Park that lies in the canyon between
the border of Portugal and Spain; looking out for otters, vultures and
eagles. Your hotel is located in the heart of the natural park and offers
magnificent views over the Douro Valley, the mountains and river all the way
to the border with Spain.
Cycle through the Douro Nature Reserve to Mogadouro. Look out for birds of
prey,such as the Egyptian Vulture or Bonelli's Eagle
The first stage of your cycling today takes you through some of the eastern
parts of the International Douro Nature Reserve. The feeling of wilderness
really envelops you as you cycle along the highland plateau. This is a quiet
land, populated by over 170 species of birds, wild boar and the occasional
Iberian wolf! Even the farmers shepherd their goats and cattle in silence.
Keep your eyes peeled for Egyptian vultures or Bonelli’s eagles. Your
accommodation tonight is a rural guest house; an ensemble of houses carefully
restored to maintain their typical charm and surrounded by gardens and an
outdoor swimming pool.
Dinner tonight is included and you will be asked to make your choice from a
selection of dishes before you depart.
Follow the gentle path of a former railway track through olive and almond
grove to your accommodation in Torre de Moncorvo
Today’s ride follows the gentle path of a former railway track, which is now
converted into an ‘ecotrail’ (known locally as ecopista). The delightful
cycling takes you across a typical agricultural landscape and through
scattered woods. The shepherds that you come across may not be able to
understand you however they are extremely friendly and usually very happy to
pose for photos. Cycling along olive and almond groves you eventually reach
the mediaeval Torre de Moncorvo; the ‘Capital of Blossoming Almond Trees’.
Here you will be warmly greeted by your host at the elegant Mogadouro town
house, your accommodation for the night. If you are lucky you may get a
chance to try her homemade liquors, which go beautifully with the
locally-grown Moncorvo almonds.
Cycle alongside the River Douro for the first time, and enjoy the stunning
views and magical landscape. Tonight's stay is on a quinta (farming estate)
On the ride today you will cycle alongside the River Douro for the first
time. Prepare yourself for stunning views and a really magical landscape. The
descent down to the river takes you through olive groves which arguably
produce some of the best olive oil in the world. Tonight you stay on a quinta
(farming estate), which produces its own traditional organic oil. If you
choose to have dinner here, you will be served some of the finest local
cuisine; homemade cheese, sausages, baked bread with olive oil, served with
home-grown oranges and of course, home-made wine. After dinner, a stargazing
walk is a must to appreciate the regions crystal clear skies!
Dinner is included tonight where you will be served some of the finest
regional cuisine using organic local and seasonal produce.
Ride though the UNESCO World Heritage listed vineyards of the Douro Valley,
before taking a boat to Pinhao; transfer to Sabrosa
The Alto Douro winemaking region is most famous for its Port wine, but the
region also produces world-famous wines from the Touriga grape. The terraced
vineyards, so typical of the region that they are listed a UNESCO World
Heritage Property, are a delight to the eye. The neatly-kept wine estates
rise proudly amidst the vineyards, their names clearly visible to everyone
who passes. In the afternoon enjoy arriving at the rivers edge and joining a
‘Rabelo’ (traditional boat) transfer that in the earlier days transported
barrels of wine downriver to Porto. As you relax in the sun, the Douro region
will once again enfold you in its magic. The Port wine town of Pinhao is your
next stop, with it’s exquisite train station. From here it is a short road
transfer to the 17th Century house on the hillside where you will spend the
Enjoy the final cycling day through the back roads of the Douro, finally
arriving in Peso da Regua: the International Capital of Wine and Vineyards
This morning it will not be easy for you to say goodbye to your kind host.
The route today will first take you through the back roads of the Douro, then
you will cycle gently back to the riverside. The views are nothing less than
breathtaking, as if the Douro Valley is ensuring that you will never forget
its magical beauty. At the end of today you will arrive in Peso da Regua; the
‘International Capital of Wine and Vineyards’, at the centre of the Port
Transfer back to the airport, or choose to spend extra time in the
cosmopolitan city of Porto.
This morning you check out from your hotel and are transferred back to Porto;
here you can choose to spend some time in this cosmopolitan city, or go
straight back to the airport for your flight home. Extra nights in Porto can
be requested at the time of booking.