The northwest coast of Portugal is known as the Costa Verde or Green Coast thanks to the abundance of vegetation that backs onto it and the not-so-distant mountains of the Minho countryside. As you head north from Porto on this 8-day self-guided coastal trail, you’ll experience the ever-changing coastal landscape of wide sandy beaches, rocky coves, pebble beaches, pleasant seaside towns and fishing villages. You’ll also spend time in the small historical city of Viana do Castelo and end up in the charming town of Caminha at the very top of Portugal, just across the river from Spain.
While much of the route hugs the coast, you’ll head inland at times to walk through fields, forests and villages to get a deeper insight into the lifestyle of rural Portuguese communities and small-scale farming practices.
With relatively short, leisurely walking days, you’ll have plenty of time and energy to explore the towns and villages you stay in and to take breaks en route for a swim or to spend time on the beach.
Make the most of the ample opportunities to sample the freshest catch of the day and other delicious Portuguese fares from the Minho region.
If you have more time to spare, you can extend this coastal walking holiday by beginning your walk from Porto or simply spend a few days there and/or continue north into Spain as far as the alluring seaside town of Baiona.
We’ll meet you at Porto airport or your Porto hotel and drive you in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle to the coastal town of Póvoa de Varzim. Its wide sandy beaches make this a popular holiday spot for Portuguese families. Discover its deep connection with the ocean, explore the small historical centre, relax on the beach or try your luck at the casino.
Follow the boardwalks alongside sandy beaches and between sand dunes and windmills. Then leave the coast to walk through market gardens and woodland on the approach to the village of Apúlia with its fishing boats and huts. If in luck, you may catch the seaweed collectors at work. Relax on the beach and try some of the tastiest octopus around.
Day 3: Walk from Apúlia to Esposende (8 km)
Walk through the outskirts of Fão before walking alongside and across the Cávado Estuary as you approach the low-rise resort town of Esposende. Your hotel is a short distance from the small historical centre with attractive squares and churches. If you’re feeling energetic, you could hire a bike or try your hand at SUP or even kitesurfing.
Day 4: Walk from Esposende to Castelo de Neiva (13 km)
Today’s walk offers varied scenery as you pass through small villages and smallholdings and a stretch of pebbly beaches before heading inland to cross the Neiva River. Spend the afternoon discovering the historical features and tree-filled grounds of the gorgeous historical country house where you’ll be spending the night. Relax by the pool if weather permits.
Day 5: Walk from Castelo de Neiva to Viana do Castelo (12 km)
Return to the coast then walk through a pleasant section of pine forest on the way to Viana do Castelo. Your journey ends with spectacular views from the long Eiffel bridge. This lovely historical city has much to offer, including the Santa Luzia Basilica, the Costume Museum, Gil Eannes hospital ship and the beautiful Church of Mercy.
Day 6: Walk from Viana do Castelo to Vila Praia de Âncora (19 km)
Stroll through the beautiful historical centre of Viana do Castelo then follow the coast and its stone windmills. Head inland through patches of forest and fields. Cross the wide sandy expanse of beach to end your journey in Vila Praia de Âncora. Local fishermen ensure a regular supply of fresh fish and seafood so relax and indulge yourself.
Day 7: Walk from Vila Praia de Âncora to Caminha (10 km)
It’s a short, pleasant coastal walk from the seaside resort town of Vila Praia de Âncora to Moledo beach along the new pedestrian path (ecovia). Walk through a beautiful pine forest to the mouth of the River Minho and on to the riverside town of Caminha with plenty of time to stop for a swim along the way. Visit Caminha’s medieval clock tower and Gothic parish church or simply relax in the beautiful main square around a 16th century fountain.
Day 8: Back to Porto
After an excellent breakfast at your hotel, we will pick you up in time to drive you to the airport or back to Porto for your onward journey.
8 Days - 7 Nights
High Season (July and August)
Price per person in Double bedroom: 930 euros
Supplement for single accommodation: 410 euros
Low Season (Rest of the year)
Price per person in Double bedroom: 840 Euros
Supplement for single accommodation: 350 euros