Portugal minho sistelo espigueiros c diego pura

Northern Portugal Vacations

Hiking vacations, road trips & tailormade tours to Northern Portugal

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Tucked up in the far north, on the border with Spain, is a scenic pocket of Portugal unaffected by tourism, where no one is ever in much of a hurry and where the clocks seem to tick a little slower.

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River trails, on foot or on bike

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Riverside vines on the Lima

It’s so easy to feel relaxed by a river, isn’t it?

The gentle flow of languid water, the smiles exchanged with locals, the blue flash of a kingfisher scooting above the surface or the flap of a heron heading for a tree perch. Some locals take to dipping a fishing rod in the water to enjoy the scene, others sit on barges to watch the world go by. For us, there’s nothing quite like a good walk to settle into the ebbs and flows.

Up in Minho, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to river routes. From the hanging wooden walkways of the high Vez and the Lima’s peaceful path past windmills and cereal fields, to the open ecovia next to the border-straddling Minho, with its inviting river beaches and glorious vistas.

But for a change of pace, and a change of propulsion, the latter walk can instead be traversed with pedal power. The 16 kilometre path, which sticks loyally to the water, is wonderfully flat and smooth, making it ideal for cyclists of all skill and energy levels. Beginning in the fortress town of Valença, your day ends in little Vila Nova de Cerveira, known for its Saturday open market and its many artistic events.

It's a lovely cycle, or a relaxing walk, whichever option you choose. Take a look at our Inn to Inn Walking Vacation below, for more on that.

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Fishermen by the Lima river
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Cycling alongside the Minho River
Portugal peneda sistelo hike porto covo padrao

North Portugal Inn to Inn Walking Vacation

  • £1,650 pp
  • 10 days
Portugal porto sunset

Great Road Trips: Portugal from Porto to Lisbon

  • £3,845 pp
  • 23 days