Minho Hiking Holiday in the North of Portugal
Explore the Minho and Lima River and have a taste of “vinho Verde” and “Alvarinho” Wine
Explore Alto Minho by walking through its most prominent towns. Follow the water both of rivers and sea in an easy hike towards Ponte de Lima. The region of Alto Minho is one of protected nature, ancient and present pilgrim passage and history connected to the birth of the country.
- The majority of the tour is flat. 1st, 2nd and 4th days have between 190 meters and 170 meters of uphill hiking.
- There is a strong mix of paved roads and dirt roads.
Day 1: Melgaço
Day 2: Melgaço-Monção: 18 km
Day 3: Monção – Valença: 20 km
Day 4: Valença – Vila Nova de Cerveira: 16 km
Day 5: Vila Nova de Cerveira – Vila Praia de Âncora: 24 km
Day 6: Vila Praia de Âncora – Viana do Castelo: 20 Km
Day 7: Viana do Castelo – Ponte de Lima: 20 km or (26 km to the City center); optional transfer and loop route (17 km)
Day 8: Departure
The journey in the North of Portugal will start by visiting the village of Melgaço known by its Avalarinho verde wine, the village of Melgaço it’s an rural area with pavement roads or with stone pavements surround by mountain environment, the village it’s located near to Monção and the border Spain. Some of the areas that might spark your interest during the day are: the Melgaço castle a castle from the XII century wich was an important defensive line between the Minho river and the border with Galiza; the church Matriz de Melgaço, with roman arquitecther from the XII century; the Menage tower, in the historical center, build in 1199; In Melgaço its almost mandatory to try the minho´s gastronomy, for example, the artisanal sausages.
The 18km of this day will be made between two villages Melgaço to Monção. Near to the border with Spain, and felling the Minho River and its viewpoints, the major part of the way will be walked in the Minho Ecopista, an old railway section. The two villages are remembered until today for the architectural, historical and cultural heritage well noticed for the fortresses, that used to surround the city, which, know-a-days are in ruins. The day will be also remembered by the routes of “vinho verde”, which, in the fact, connects these two villages. So, take the chance to visit the Alvarinho museum and taste the well-known wine.
Hotel4 *: Convento dos Capuchos
The distance between Monção to Valence will be made in the same terms as the day before: in the Minho Ecopist surrounded mostly by florets and the nature that will embrace you. Along, the way, the major part of the road is paved with the highest point at 64m. The end of this day, meets the city of Valença or as known as Valença do Minho. This place represents, since the pass, a strategic area due to the border that connects the Minho River and Lugo in Spain, qualified as the oldest border of Europe. In a city, remarked by the pass, will be a memorable experience to visit the Fortress of Valença. The Fortress, a gothic and baroque masterpiece, raised between the XVII and XVIII century, served to defend the population in diverse occasions, as an European military fortification surrounded by the green nature. Fulfilling the day, the history and the beautiful landscape, with the gastronomy, the most typical dishes are the roasted lamb and the codfish known in the “Minho” gastronomy.
Hotel 4*: Pousadas de Valença
Leaving Valença do Minho, this walking doesn´t have monuments to visit but it will going to take you close to the riverside mixing up with the surrounding nature. The path is really easy with a public pedestrian walkway and it´s flat all the way to Vila Nova de Cerveira. Here, if you like fishing take some time to visit the Aquamuseum to see more than 40 diferent species that live in the Minho river, or visit the National Museum of Architecture too see the grave tresure from Quinta de Água Branca.
Hotel 4*: Inatel Cerveira
Departing from Vila Nova de Cerveira, the walking tour continues to follow the riverside flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, in here another camino starts called the Coast Camino of Santiago, take the opportunity to see beautiful landscapes of Spain and also visit the São Bento Chapel built around the XIX Century and a place of devotion for a lot pelegrins that pass here. Reaching to Vila praia de Âncora the lighthouse of Montedor and the Dolmen of Barrosa will stand out for some pictures.
Hotel 4*: Hotel Meira
In this day, the walk continues to follow the Santiago Coast Camino, like the previous day this path is flat with some cobblestone and dirt roads. During the day you will find some Forts and windmills, the Fort that stands out it´s the Dog´s Fort dated in 1702 by the king D. Pedro II mainly used to defend the coast from the pirates. Arriving to the final destination of this tour, you can visit the Santa Lúzia Sanctuary, the historical center and the foundation of Gil Eanes (it’s a Portuguese hospital ship now transformed in a museum). Also, take a moment to visit the Catedral of Viana, a gothic masterpiece built in the first half of the XV century. To eat we recommend the codfish at Zé do Pipo a famous dish that you can only taste in this place.
Hotel 4*: Melo Alvim
Starting your day to the last destination of this journey, and as the walk continues, the last monument of Viana city will be seen, cross the bridge Eiffel and be embrace by the Lima river. This 19km walk will be made in stone pavement or paved roads. The major part of this day will be felt in the pure air surround by the forests presents in the Ecovia of Lima River. Arriving to the last destination of this journey in the North of Portugal, Ponte de Lima, a city recognized as world heritage, will give you the sensation of what the north represents. It's considered the oldest villa in Portugal founded in the year of 1125. The best highlight of this villa is the famous Lima bridge built by the romans during the I century with a beautiful history behind it. In terms of gastronomy, you can taste the famous Vinho Verde, and to eat you can have lamprey rice and also the sarrabulho rice.
In this last walk you have the option of a transfer to Ponte de Lima. Here the hike will start in the center of the village, which as lots of places to explore. The walking proceeds through the pure air within the forests presents in the Ecovia of Lima River. Your accommodations will be near the Bertiandos Lagoons where there are several marked walking areas that are in the route provided by us. NOTE: If you don’t choose the transfer at this day, you might consider an extra night in this area.
House: Casa da Lage
- LS - Low season: Nov 01 to Mar 25
- RS - Regular season: Mar 26 to 25 Jun and Set 26 to 31 Oct
- HS - High Season: Set 01 to 25 Set
- SS - Summer Season: Jun 26 to August 30
- Prices are based for 2 people sharing the same room;
- Prices can suffer updates due high season, holidays or weekends
- Beverages are not included at lunch and dinner when included in the package
- If in a triple room with parents Children up to 10 years old - 35% discount. Children from 11 to 14 years old - 20% discount. Children from 15 to 17 years old - 15% discount.
- Solo traveler: 200 €
- Single supplement: LS: 300€, RS: 329€, HS: 360€, SS.390€
- Extra nights: on request