We have designed this self-guided walking and cycling tour to help you explore the highlights of both coastal and inland Minho region. Few visitors get to fully appreciate this beautiful green landscape and the deeply ingrained and fascinating culture of the region.
The Alto Minho tour begins and ends in the fascinating coastal city of Viana do Castelo. Be sure to arrive in time to roam its medieval centre and make the journey to the hilltop basilica and Celtic settlement of Santa Luzia.
Pedal inland along the riverside cycle path that connects Viana with Ponte de Lima, another charming historical town with strong evidence of its Roman heritage.
From here, you will follow in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims in the direction of the holy city of Santiago de Compostela as you walk part of the ancient Way of Saint James. As well as glorious countryside, you’ll see plenty of shrines, chapels, ancient bridges and carved stone crosses.
Once you reach the northern border of Portugal at the fortress town of Valença do Minho, it’s time to head west. Follow the River Minho towards the coast, passing riverside towns such as Vila Nova de Cerveira to reach delightful Caminha.
Enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of white sandy beaches and the colourful activity of small fishing towns as you make your way south along the Atlantic coast to Viana. Of course, you’ll have ample opportunity to taste crisp local wines and the freshest grilled fish and seafood throughout your journey.
Make your way to the fascinating city of Viana do Castelo and check into your comfortable modern hotel in a traditional building. Meet a member of our team at your hotel reception to receive a full briefing and collect your bikes and GPS device so you’re all set for tomorrow.
Try to time your arrival so that you have plenty of time to see what the city has to offer, such as the restored Gil Eannes hospital ship, the colourful Costume Museum, Decorative Arts Museum and the Medieval architecture in Praça da República and surrounding streets. Try a freshly baked custard doughnut while you’re here.
Enjoy the greenery of the rural scenery and backdrop of the Serra d’Arga Mountains as you cycle along the River Lima. Use the rest of the day to enjoy Ponte de Lima’s atmospheric squares and restaurants. The small medieval centre holds treasures such as a Gothic parish church and fortified prison tower.
Spend the night in a comfortable modern hotel.
Join the pilgrims as they make their way north along one of the most beautiful sections of the Portuguese Camino. The spectacular views from Labruja Mountain justify the challenge of walking uphill.
Spend the night in a rural country house.
Today’s walk is easier and brings you to the fortress town of Valença with time to explore the ramparts and squares in the historical centre or even venture across the river into the Spanish town of Tui.
Overnight in a comfortable modern hotel.
Head down to the River Minho this morning and follow the boardwalk and country lanes all the way to the pretty little town of Vila Nova de Cerveira. See how many works of art you can spot dotted around the town centre or simply relax with a tasty meal and a glass of vinho verde (Portuguese green wine).
Your accommodation this evening is in a historical quinta with an outdoor pool.
A walk through the sculpture-filled park takes you out of Vila Nova de Cerveira, beside the tranquil waters of the River Minho. Head inland to walk through a village before returning to the waterfront as you approach the estuary. Cross the wetlands into the historical centre of pretty Caminha.
See bobbing fishing boats and neighbouring mountains as you walk along the river to the pine forest at the very tip of Portugal. Emerge at the wide sandy beach of Moledo then follow the coastal trail to the fishing town of Vila Praia de Âncora.
Spend the night in a modern 4-star hotel
Cross the sand dunes by boardwalk to yet another ancient fortress. Today’s trail weaves between stunning stretches of coastline, attractive countryside and small villages to bring you back to the delights of Viana do Castelo.
Enjoy a well-earned rest at the same comfortable hotel in Viana do Castelo.
End of our services. However, we recommend staying at least one more night in this attractive town before embarking on your onward journey.
7 nights / 1 cycling day / 5 walking days
27km / 92km
Ancient pilgrim paths and ecotrails
Fascinating historical towns and small cities
Delicious local food and wine
Varied landscapes and great views
All year round
In double room occupancy: 631 euros
Single supplement: 280 euros