Day 1: Régua. Suggestion: Visit the Douro Museum, in Régua. Lodging: Quinta Nova in Pinhão.
Day 2: Harvest day or “Winecaching” in Quinta Nova. Today we will spend a very special day in Quinta Nova. You can have fun harvesting grapes (September and October tours), try the winecaching game, try one of the hiking trails in the farm or just relax by the pool. Quinta Nova offers you several options of hiking trails with amazing views of the Douro river and valley. In the harvest season (Sep. 15th to Oct. 15th), you will have the chance to harvest grapes with the specialists, try the first wine in the cellars and have a typical vintage lunch. The harvesting experience will finish with some Port and Douro wine tasting. If you don’t feel like harvesting grapes, Quinta Nova and M14951 have launched a completely new activity in Portugal: Winecaching. It’s basically like Geocaching linked to wine and involves the discovery of “wine caches” spread throughout the Quinta among the vineyards. Distance: 5.7 km / 3.5 mi Approximate time: 2 h 50. Accumulated climbing: +364 m/ +1194 ft. Lodging: Quinta Nova in Pinhão.
Day 3: Mêda | Marialva | Longroiva. The day will start with a short train ride up to the town of Pocinho on the famous Douro railway road. The Pocinho railway station is worth particular attention.It was built in the late 19th Century, the inside of which is entirely lined with typical Portuguese tiles. After a short van transfer, we will begin our walk in the village of Mêda. We will walk through an ancient trail still used by the local people that connects this village to the Historical Village of Marialva. Marialva is a medieval walled village that will take you back in time, to when its brave inhabitants fought against the Spanish invaders. Its origins go back to the 6th Century b.C. After a picnic in this beautiful village, we will continue our hike to the village of Longroiva. Our walk will end by Longroiva’s castle, a national monument from the 12th Century. Distance: 18.8 km/ 11.7 mi Approximate time: 5 h 30. Accumulated climbing: +175 m/ +574 ft | -468 m/-1535 ft. Lodging: Casas do Coro.
Day 4: Stone carvings and Hike the Côa Valley. Today’s hike will take us to the River Côa Valley with amazing views of its river. The Côa valley features various stone carvings from the Paleolithic era and is considered a World Heritage site by UNESCO. In Quinta da Ervamoira, property of Casa Ramos Pinto (a very famous wine producer), we will visit the museum dedicated to the Douro River and the Port wine and where we can also see some interesting Roman artifacts. After lunch, we will visit the Archeological Park, where we will see several stone carvings.A short transfer will get us back to Marialva, one of the most beautiful Portuguese 12th Century Historical Villages. Distance: 14.3 km/ 8.9 mi Approximate time: 4 h 30. Accumulated climbing: +633 m/ +2077 ft | -313 m/ -1027 ft. Lodging: Casas do Coro.
Day 5: Douro river railroad and Calçada de Alpajares. After a short transfer to Pocinho we will start our walk in the Douro valley. We will walk along the famous Douro railroad, no longer in use. The walk is always by the river, with breathtaking views of wine vineyards planted on terraces along the hills of the Douro River. Once we reach the Côa river, a boat will take us to Barca d’Alva. Barca d’Alva is located in a natural and protected area, known as International Natural Park of Douro, which is the habitat of several birds of prey. Our hike continues up the famous “Calçada de Alpajares”. The path of Alpajares or Devil’s Path (Calçada do Diabo), as known locally, was part of a Roman road that crossed the Douro river and the Mosteiro stream. After our walk, a short transfer will take us to the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo. Douro river trail:
Distance: 8.4 km/ 5.22 mi Approximate time: 2 h 30. Accumulated climbing: +14 m/+ 46 ft | -0 m/ -0 ft.
Calçada de Alpajares trail:
- Distance: 6.8 km/ 4.2 mi Approximate time: 2 h 00
- Accumulated climbing: +298 m/ +978 ft | -218 m/ -715 ft
- Lodging: Casa da Cisterna.
Day 6: Faia Brava Natural Reserve. Today we will visit “Reserva da Faia Brava” (Faia Brava Natural Reserve). The mission of this reserve is to preserve the natural patrimony of Riba Côa area (meaning Côa river-side).
We will start our walk in the small village of Algodres, heading to the Côa Valley. Before our picnic break we will have the chance to stop for some bird watching. The Griffon Vulture and the Bonelli’s Eagle are usually around. At the end of the day, a short transfer will take us to the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo. This village used to be an important place for pilgrims who were going to Santiago de Compostela. The Castle, dated from the 13th Century, was the stage for many battles, whether with Spanish troops, whether with the British ones. Outside Castelo Rodrigo we can see the Santa Maria de Aguiar Convent dated from the 12th Century, (founded between 1165 and 1170), probably as a benign monastery. Farewell dinner in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo.
- Distance: 12.41 km/ 7.7 mi Approximate time: 3 h 30
- Accumulated climbing: +385 m/ +1263 ft | -266 m/-872.70 ft
- Lodging: Casa da Cisterna.
Day 7: Marofa pilgrimage trail and Almeida. After a guided visit to Castelo Rodrigo we will walk to “Alto da Marofa” – mountain ridge, where the statue of Christ blesses the surrounding lands. It’s one of the most important mountains in the area due to its 975 meters high. From the top we can see pretty much all the places where we were during the week – The Douro and Côa river valleys, Marialva and Castelo Rodrigo. On the way to the top we will follow a pilgrimage trail that passes by several little chapels. After a picnic at the top of Marofa we will have a short transfer to the Historical Village of Almeida. This village is one of the crown jewels of Portuguese military architecture – the hexagonal shaped walls of Almeida’s fortresses were built in the XVII century.
Transfer to Pinhão (Quinta Nova).
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