Splendid Evasion

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SPLENDID AROUCA, DOURO & GERÊS ADVENTURE8 DAYS

Duration
8 days
Period
January to December
Geographic area
  • norteNorth
Level of effort
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
Participants
Min: 2Max: 12
Accommodation type
  • HotelHotel
  • Rural Tourism UnitRural Tourism Unit
  • ApartmentApartment
Interest
  • NatureNature
  • AdventureAdventure
Prices from
1.425 EUR
Interested?ask a quote!

This trip will take you on a 7-night/8-day tour exploring Arouca Geopark, Douro International Natural Park and Peneda-Gerês National Park in the North Region of Portugal Mainland. Being developed for those who seek a rush of adrenaline and fun, during the first three days you will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the most sought riverside hikes in Europe along Paiva River, jumping and climbing its rocks or paddle through this fast river in a rafting boat, conquering its currents and its natural obstacles, trekking at Freita Mountain plateau to discover some of the most significant geosites of the mountain - all of this in Arouca Geopark. On the following two days you will have the opportunity to do a jeep tour, a boat trip and a guided kayak expedition on Douro International Natural Park. Finally the last two days will be dedicated to Peneda-Gerês National Park where you will explore the many hidden gems and picturesque locations of this natural beauty park, while you enjoy some of the activities like hiking, a jeep tour or a bike ride.

Program

  • Day1
    • ARRIVAL DAY + PAIVA WALKWAYS
    • Meet and greet at Porto Airport with a member of our team.
    • Rental car pick-up at the airport and self-drive to \"Arouca Geopark” (ca. 1h30 - 72kms).
    • We invite you to come across Paiva Walkays or Passadiços do Paiva, which are nowadays one of the most sought riverside hikes in Europe. Our guides will leave you at the beginning of the trail and pick you up at the end of the hike. These walkways follows Paiva River path along 8km with one of the best views in our country, filled with geologic and archeologic interest and an amazing connection with nature. At the end of the hike, it’s time to appreciate the fabulous gastronomy of the region and taste a delightful piece of grilled beef “Posta Arouquesa” or the Portuguese liquor “Pinguça”. Later our guides will drive you back to your stay but during the day you should expect from our team great insights about local life and traditions so you can feel more connected with our wonderful country.
    • Accommodation at a Hotel or Countryside House at Arouca Mountain.
  • Day2
    • EXTREME ADVENTURE DAY
    • For this day we suggest you to choose one of the following activities:
    • OPTION 1) We will pick you up at your accommodation and guide you through mountain backroads for an amazing canyoning activity suitable for beginners and the more experienced alike. Get ready for a day filled of great rappelling moments, sky-high jumps, astonishing views and spots that can only be reached with specialized guides and material. Feel connected with the natural surroundings, get an adrenaline rush and experience a sense of personal triumph. Take an alternative route if you don’t feel comfortable rock climbing and jumping, travelling at your own pace without feeling rushed. Encounter a variety of lagoons, waterfalls and different landscapes of stunning beauty. At the end of the activity there will be a traditional picnic and then our guides will drive you back to your stay.
    • OPTION 2) We invite you to enjoy a combination of adventure, sport and fun in the most radical experience you will have in Portugal: rafting. Rafting is a sport activity consisting of the descent of fast rivers in inflatable boats called rafts. The day will begin with a pick up at your accommodation and our guides will take you straight to Paiva River, which is considered the best river in Portugal for rafting as well as the river with the cleanest waters in Europe. Once on location, there are back up facilities to increase your comfort as you gear up for the activity. A safety briefing is held from the professional instructors who will guide you through each stage of the activity, followed by a demonstration of all the necessary techniques to be used. Explore the beautiful landscapes of Paiva River where you will have a very direct contact with nature; it also allows feeling the strength of the brave waters, especially when its flow is high. Since it is a river that is fed mainly by the rains, the descents in this river are made (usually) from October to April. At the end of the activity there will be a traditional picnic and then our guides will drive you back to your stay.
    • Picnic style lunch included at the end of the activity.
    • Accommodation at a Hotel or Countryside House at Arouca Mountain.
  • Day3
    • TREKKING AT FREITA MOUNTAIN\'S PLATEAU
    • This day will be dedicated to trekking where you can explore the magic, the enchantment and the air of a lost paradise at Freita Mountain’s plateau, located at more than 1000m altitude. Throughout the plateau you will have the opportunity to discover some of the most significant geosites of the mountain. We will help you to choose the most suitable trail according to the distance and the duration (between 3km – 1h30 and 19km – 6h00) as well as the level of effort of the 17 available trails. Passing through this trails means to meet the history points of these lands, the small villages of the mountain, the watercourses, the breathtaking landscapes like Frecha da Mizarela and a unique phenomenon in the world like Pedras Parideiras (rocks delivering stones). There will be a pick-up and drop-off at your stay by our guides and at the end of the activity you can enjoy a traditional picnic style lunch.
    • Picnic style lunch included at the end of the activity.
    • Self-Drive from Arouca to your next destination: Douro International Natural Park - Miranda do Douro (ca. 3h20 - 263 kms).
    • Accommodation at an Exclusive Countryside House in the Douro Region.
  • Day4
    • JEEP TOUR & BOAT TRIP ON DOURO RIVER
    • This day will be devoted to know the arts, customs and traditions of this region. This way your day will be distributed between: a jeep tour between some of the local villages; an interpretive walk with visits to farming areas and cattle producers (you will have the chance to know some of the local paths through the villages and pretty close to the cliffs which will give you a different view of the people and their costumes and traditions as well as the amazing landscapes); and an environmentalist boat trip in Douro Valley inside the Natural Reserve (this activity will be made on a small boat outside the regular circuits and with the care of not interfering with the natural habitat). If it is your will this full-day activity can be focused on birdwatching as well.
    • Picnic style lunch included during the activities.
    • Accommodation at an Exclusive Countryside House in the Douro Region.
  • Day5
    • DOURO INTERNATIONAL NATURAL PARK
    • Guided kayak expedition on Douro International Natural Park between the arribas (cliffs) - ca. 3h. Available between July and October.
    • Self-Drive from Miranda do Douro to your next destination: Peneda-Gerês National Park - Arcos de Valdevez (ca. 3h25 - 325 kms).
    • Accommodation at a Hotel or Countryside House. in Arcos de Valdevez.
  • Day6
    • FULL DAY HIKE IN GERÊS NATIONAL PARK
    • We invite you to come across Peneda-Gerês National Park which is perhaps the most exciting destination in Portugal, especially for nature lovers. The park was created in 1971 with an area of 70 000 hectares and since then it has been the only one of its kind in our country. More recently, in 2009, it was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, a status that reinforced the protection measures taken to keep the beauty and natural importance of the region. All of these characteristics ensure that it has many hidden gems and picturesque locations to explore in this full-day hike that we have prepared for you that can be totally adapted in terms of the level of effort if necessary. We will pick you up at your accommodation and take you through a trip deep inside this natural paradise while details about the local traditions, flora and fauna are given by our guides. Along the day you will be able to hike in the mountains and visit several landmarks of the park, such as historical villages lost in time and stunning waterfalls where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. Enjoy a traditional picnic style lunch in one of Gerês’ most iconic viewpoints while you rest with the mountain at your feet and admire the gorgeous surrounding scenery.
    • Pic-nic style lunch included during the activity.
    • Accommodation at a Hotel or Countryside House in Arcos de Valdevez.
  • Day7
    • PENEDA-GERÊS NATIONAL PARK
    • For this day we suggest you to choose one of the following activities:
    • OPTION 1) We invite you for a half-day jeep tour to explore Portugal’s wild landscape of Peneda-Gerês National Park. Our guide will pick you up at your accommodation and take you deep into the Park, enjoying its mountains, local fauna and flora, stopping at some amazing viewpoints and to see some waterfalls. If the weather allows, you can swim in the therapeutic cold waters of the Park.
    • OPTION 2) Bike ride at Arcos de Valdevez and Ponte de Lima. The route will start in Arcos de Valdevez Ecotrail in which you will have the opportunity to cycle side by side with Vez River at the point where it converges with Lima River and you will change to Ponte de Lima Ecotrail to follow this track until you reach the most ancient village of Portugal – Ponte de Lima. This is a bike path that connects Ponte de Lima to some lagoons and other places with fascinating landscapes, witness the historical and cultural heritage of this area, always breathing fresh air and enjoying this natural ride. The total extension of this trail is around 20kms however this distance can be adapted if necessary.
    • OPTION 3) Half-day hike along Peneda-Gerês National Park. From Soajo and Peneda mountains to Sistelo’s terraces (known as “Small Portuguese Tibet”) you can cross Arcos de Valdevez on foot by choosing one of the available rails. Immerse yourself by the pure mountain air, spread yourself by the thrill of years and years of History and cultures that cross through generations, get to know the agricultural methods of local people as well as the geological past of the county.
    • Self-Drive from Arcos de Valdevez to your next destination: Porto (ca. 1h15 - 105 kms).
    • Accommodation at a Hotel or Authentic Apartment stay at Porto Downtown.
  • Day8
    • DEPARTURE DAY
    • Drive to Porto airport at due schedule for rental car drop-off.
    • Departure from Porto Airport.

Included in the Tour

7-Night accommodation as described on each day

 

Meals as follow (soft drinks, beer and house wine included):

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch on day 2, 3, 4 and 6

 

Activities as mentioned on the program, namely:

@ AROUCA: Hike in Paiva Walkways

@ AROUCA: Canyoning or rafting activity in Paiva River

@ AROUCA: Trekking at Freita Mountain Plateau

@ DOURO: Half-day jeep tour

@ DOURO: Boat trip on Douro River

@ DOURO: Guided kayak activity

@ GERÊS: Full-day hike in Gerês National Park

@ GERÊS: Half-day activity one option of your choice

 

Private transfers for the activities mentioned

Personal Accident Insurance for the guided activities

Personal travel journal developed by our team with all the route and coordinates required for the trip (contacts, names, suggestions, etc)

Welcome reception by a member of our team

Permanent local assistance

Not included in the Tour

Meals not specified as included 

Any transportation not refered as included on the program

Flights

Personal Expenses

Rental Car

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