FAMILY ADVENTURE IN NORTHERN PORTUGAL

Regions

Northern Portugal

Starting Point

Porto

Best time to travel

all year

Recommended Length

8 - 10 days

Best for

from 4 years

Activity Level **

3/5

Lush green river valleys, rough mountain plateaus, beautiful nature parks, UNESCO heritage sites and historic towns and villages, Northern Portugal is a wonderfully diverse destination and a perfect playground to enjoy with the whole family. From the banks of the Douro river to the birthplace of Portugal and the green and rocky slopes of Portugal's only National Park, our Northern Portugal tour will allow you to discover some of the most beautiful places in an active, fun and innovative way!

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ historical train ride through the UNESCO listed Douro Valley
✓ discover ancient history and the birthplace of Portugal in the historic town of Guimares
✓ Portugal's only National Park Peneda-Gerês on a guided eco tour
✓ family canyoning adventure in one of Portugal's wildest landscapes
✓ cycling, canoeing, SUP and walking in the beautiful lush scenery of northern Portugal
✓ relax and enjoy quality and fun time with the whole family

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival - overnight in the Douro Valley
Day 2 - historical train ride through the Douro Valley - overnight in the Douro Valley (40km)
Day 3 - relax and enjoy cycling, walking or canoeing around the valley - overnight Douro Valley (50km)
Day 4 - Guimares - Braga - Cávado River area (180km)
Day 5 - eco-tour through around the Peneda-Gerês National Park - overnight Cávado River area
Day 6 - SUP adventure on the Cávado River - overnight Cávado River area
Day 7 - canyoning in Peneda-Gerês National Park - overnight Cávado River area
Day 8 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL
Welcome to Northern Portugal. After your arrival, transfer to the Douro Valley, where you will spend the next couple of days at a beautiful peaceful Quinta, where you can unwind, relax and enjoy some quality family time!
Overnight in the Douro Valley.

DAY 2 - HISTORICAL TRAIN RIDE THROUGH THE DOURO VALLEY
The Douro Valley conceals some of the most beautiful scenery in northern Portugal and the cultural landscape of the traditional wine producing region is recognized as UNESCO world heritage. Take in some of the beautiful views today as you will ride between terraced vineyards and steep valleys on a historical train ride through the Douro Valley, which will take you from Regua to Pinhão and Tua and back. A unique trip to Portugal's and the areas past with a steam locomotive and historical carriages.
Overnight in the Douro Valley.

DAY 3 - RELAX AND ENJOY CYCLING, WALKING OR CANOEING AROUND THE VALLEY FROM YOUR QUINTA
You will have the day to relax and discover some of the beauty of Portugal's Douro Valley at your own pace. Enjoy a kayaking or canoeing tour on the river or venture through the vineyards and green rolling hills on a cycling or hiking tour. Of course, you can also learn about the wine making traditions and the excellent wines produced in the Douro Valley on a guided tour at one of the many Douro Quintas.
Overnight in the Douro Valley.

DAY 4 - GUIMARÃES AND BRAGA
Leave the Douro Valley today and travel to the Penêda-Geres National Park in the very north of Portugal. As you head north, visit the beautiful medieval cities of Braga and Guimarães, home to the impressive Guimarães Castle and the Dukes of Bragança Palace. Guimarães is also considered to be the birthplace of Portugal as Portugal's first King, Afonso Henriques, was born here in 1009. Take a stroll through the historic streets and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the town before continuing to the Penêda-Geres National Park area.
Overnight in the Cávado River area.

DAY 5 - PRIVATE ECO-TOUR AROUND THE PENEDA-GERÊS NATIONAL PARK
Penêda-Geres is the only area in Portugal classified as National Park. It is a wonderful place for nature lovers and you will find unique wildlife here as well as beautiful landscapes, great hiking and walking options, ancient villages and mouth-watering local gastronomy. Discover beautiful hidden spots on a guided jeep tour today, taking the family along gorgeous mountain landscapes, crystal clear lakes and stunning waterfalls. You will enjoy unspoiled nature and heritage to the fullest on short hikes, dips in mountain lakes and visits to historic villages while learning about the ecosystem and the preservation of the park.
Overnight in the Cávado River area.

DAY 6 - SUP ADVENTURE ON THE CÁVADO RIVER
You will take it easy today and enjoy the tranquil waters of the Cávado River on a kayaking or SUP tour. Learn how to operate your paddle board and enjoy the beautiful views on the national park and the river while peacefully floating over the water. A fun and easy adventure for the whole family. The rest of the day is free to relax along the river banks or to explore the small villages on the foot of the national park.
Overnight in the Cávado River area.

DAY 7 - CANYONING IN PENEDA-GERÊS NATIONAL PARK
A thrilling and fun outdoor adventure awaits you today as you will venture in the waters of a mountain canyon in the Peneda-Gerês national park. Equipped with safety gear, a helmet and wet-suit, you will go to places that only the water sees and conquer a mountain canyon while climbing in and out of the water, jumping from cliffs, walking and using natural slides to make your way along the river. A great activity to get your adrenaline pumping and to enjoy Portugal's beautiful nature from a unique perspective.
Overnight in the Cávado River area.

DAY 8 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport and departure.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

SERVICES INCLUDED

 

Family Adventure Holidays

- accommodation in family friendly quintas, hotels or guesthouses
- private car hire for the entire trip
- activities, visits and tours as outlined, accompanied with a certified, English speaking guide where desired / required
- all taxes and insurances for the activities
- expert travel planning, trip preparation and 24/7 on-tour support

Family Adventure Holidays

TIMES & RATES

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Description

Family Adventure Holidays

GALLERY

Family Adventure Holidays

Family Adventure Holidays

Contact us for a quote

Talk to us to get a quote for this tour or let us design a tour just for you. 

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TRAVEL TIPS

When to travel
Thanks to its mild climate, Portugal is a great destination all year round. March to May is a great season for outdoor activities or sight-seeing. It is not too hot yet, but temperatures can already be nice and warm, especially on the Algarve or in Portugal's southeast. Nature is in full bloom and forests are lush and green at this time of the year. While average daily temperatures in Lisbon are around 18 degrees, it can be cooler in central and northern Portugal.
Summer in Portugal comes with high temperatures and a lot of sun. While Lisbon has an average of 28 degrees over the summer months, temperatures can rise over 40 degrees in northern and central Portugal between June and August and also easily reach around 35 degrees on the Algarve, though a fresh breeze from the Atlantic makes it feel less hot. The Algarve is perfect for a beach holiday, though the water temperatures hardly go over 22 degrees. Generally the waters around Portugal stay cool with not more than 20 degrees. The summer months in Portugal are full of festivities, which take place in every part of the country.
September and October are again perfect for outdoor and cultural activities as the days are still warm and mostly dry. November until February are the months with the most rain over the year, especially in northern Portugal and there can be snow in the mountains. Temperatures would still reach around 15 degrees on the Algarve and would rarely drop below 10 degrees in Lisbon.

How to travel
Portugal has three major airports - Porto in the north, Lisbon in central west Portugal and Faro on the Algarve in the south. While Faro is much more frequented with charter and holiday flights from other countries in Europe, Porto and Lisbon offer a well developed network of scheduled flights to destinations all over Europe and overseas as well. With a volume of more than 20 million passengers a year (2018), Lisbon is by far the busiest airport in Portugal. Porto and Lisbon airport are well connected to the city centers by subway.
The easiest way to get around Portugal is by car. As it is a rather small country, distances are never far, for example you can travel from Lisbon to Porto or Faro in less than three hours and from Lisbon to Evora in less than 2 hours. There is a dense network of modern motorways linking the major centers, especially in central and Northern Portugal, which are operated through a tolling system. Apart from the motorway connecting Lisbon to the Algarve and the A22 along the Algarve coast, Alentejo is mainly characterized by national and regional roads.
Further, Portugal has a well developed rail network, connecting every corner of Portugal. The high speed Alfa Pendula connects Braga in the north with Faro in the south and stops in Porto and Lisbon on the way. The bigger cities can be reached by ”Intercidades” and the regional trains link to the more remote areas. Further, the ”urbanos” connect the commuter zones in Porto and Lisbon with the city.
The ”Linha do Douro” follows along the Douro river, passing 26 tunnels, 30 bridges and one of the most scenic landscapes in Portugal. Parts of the route are classified as UNESCO world heritage. The journey takes you along vineyards, quintas, small villages and through stations decorated with blue azulejos.
The “Linha do Algarve” runs along the Algarve coastline, offering panoramic views over the sea and the hinterland while connecting Lagos with Vila Real de Santo Antonio.

Travelling with children
Kids are king in Portugal! Family friendly hotels, great beaches, a large choice of activities and a lot of sun turn Portugal into a great destination to enjoy with the whole family. The varied scenery offers plenty of choice for kid-friendly outdoor activities like cycling, swimming, surfing, climbing or canyoning and the rich historic heritage with medieval castles, grand palaces and traditional villages allows for exciting discoveries.
Many hotels in Portugal are very focused on families and offer many extra services and facilities, ranging from kid friendly menus, babysitting service or activity programs for kids. Alternatively, farms cater for families looking for a more rural escape in the countryside.

What to bring
Depending where and when you travel, there are several things you should make sure that end up in your suitcase before setting off.
As summer is generally warm, if not even hot in Portugal, light summer clothes will be a must, including shorts, t-shirts and light summer shoes. Make sure to bring swim gear and the necessary protection against the sun, including lotion, sun glasses and a sun hat, though all of the items are of course widely available in Portugal at reasonably good prices. Due to the breeze, evenings spent at the sea can feel a bit chilly, so don’t forget a light sweater or cardigan. If you are travelling to the more continental mountain areas, a warm jumper will keep you warm in case you experience a colder evening or two. The terrain is fairly dry over the summer months, so solid shoes for hiking tours will work fine, though proper hiking shoes or boots will give you extra stability and grip when hiking in some of the rocky areas.
Winters are not cold in Portugal, but prepare for rainy days, so bring a waterproof coat or rain jacket. Solid shoes are perfect for exploring towns and cities and, if you are planning on hiking or walking in nature, hiking shoes or boots are highly recommended for this time of year. Also pack a few sweaters and cardigans for the colder evenings. Temperatures in central and eastern Portugal tend to be lower than along the coast. The sun can still be strong, especially in the mountain areas, so it is always a good idea to bring sun lotion, sun glasses and a hat.
To catch Portugal in all it’s historic and natural beauty, you should of course not forget to bring a camera. A small backpack or bag will be perfect for storing your valuables while out exploring.

 

For more practical travel advise and general information on visiting Portugal, please follow the link below.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

* The minimum age is based on the overall tour, some activities can require a higher minimum age, this will be advised at proposal stage. While not all activities are suitable for very small children, we are happy to tailor the tour to meet your specific wishes and needs.

**  The activity level is based on the amount of tours and activities included (1 - few tours and activities with a lot of free time, 5 - a lot of tours and activities with little free time). The activity level does not reflect the difficulty of the activities or tours included. Itineraries can be tailored to match the preferred level of activity.

Image by Sander Lenaerts

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From our own experience, no two holidays are the same. Talk to us and we will create your own individual holiday just for you.