- Half board
Discover the hidden delights of north-west Portugal & get to know its unique & varied character
Unexplored treasures await in this far northern corner of Portugal, tucked between the mighty Atlantic and the Minho river that forms the border with Spain. From your base at the charming family-run Hotel Meira, the surrounding region will reveal its secrets.
You’ll step back in time at the Peneda-Gerês National Park, where wolves and boar roam and the traditional way of life lingers in the small granite villages. You’ll explore the fortified historic spa town of Monção, with its castle and palace, along with other historic towns that pepper the Minho valley and the grand city of Oporto. No visit to this region is complete without roaming the largest market in Portugal, full of the local handicrafts and home to the national emblem, the colourful Barcelos Cockerel.
7 nights in hotels
14 meals: 7 breakfasts (B) and 7 dinners (D)
Plus all this...
- Return flights and transfers
- Craft beer tasting at your hotel
- Folklore evening
- Local craft macramé demonstration
- Vinho Verde, Port wine and Alvarinho white wine tours and tastings
- Local history talk
Excursions and visits
- Peneda-Gerês National Park (full day)
- Oporto tour (full day)
- Monção and Palace of Brejoeira (half day)
- Barcelos market (half day)
Use of audio headsets on guided tours
Day 1 UK - Oporto
Transfer from the airport to the Hotel Meira (4Q), where you can settle in and relax after your flight in time for dinner. D
Day 2 Monção and the Palacio da Brejoeira wine estate
This morning an included excursion will set off to the spa town of Monção and the Palacio da Brejoeira wine estate, where you can try its famous wine – Alvarinho, a crisp white wine that is traditionally served with delicious shellfish dishes.
You’ll return through the two unmissable old towns of Paredes de Coura and Vila Nova de Cerveira. In the afternoon, you can join a stroll around Vila Praia de Âncora, returning in time for a craft beer tasting at the hotel before dinner. B, D
Day 3 Barcelos market
Today’s included excursion heads to the famous Barcelos market. With the market in full swing, you’ll be able to admire the wares of the countless stalls featuring the many crafts of the region, including ornaments of the Barcelos Cockerel, before ambling the narrow lanes with their distinctive granite streetscapes.
During your visit to Barcelos market you’ll visit a vinho verde producer’s stand where you can enjoy a refreshing taster before heading back to your hotel. Later, watch the deft hands of a local macramé maker as they give a presentation of their craft. B, D
Day 4 Oporto
Set off on a full-day visit to Oporto, Portugal’s second-largest city on the Douro river.
The city has some quaint old areas, which you can discover during your included morning sightseeing tour. Look out for the fortified 12th-century cathedral and other grand sights, before visiting one of the city’s famous wine cellars which is laden with port. B, D
Day 5 At leisure
Today is yours to enjoy. Explore the local area independently or perhaps join an optional excursion to the medieval town of Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After dinner tonight, there is an evening devoted to the area’s folklore and traditions. B, D
Day 6 Peneda-Gerês National Park
The breathtaking and varied scenery of the Peneda-Gerês National Park is today’s highlight.
Rivers and streams flow from the surrounding mountain ranges, forming lakes surrounded by lush forest. The natural landscapes are dotted with traditional villages and rural granaries, which you’ll be able to admire on the way to the national park’s famous municipality, Arcos de Valdevez. B, D
Day 7 Caminha
Spend the morning exploring the nearby medieval old town of Caminha. This pretty town features a clock tower and examples of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and it’s bustling cafes and restaurants offer perfect spots to enjoy the atmosphere while you perhaps enjoy a refreshment.
After a little time exploring here, there will be a fascinating talk highlighting the local history and culture. B, D
Day 8 Oporto - UK
After breakfast, you’ll check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight home. B
Explore Guimarães, whose medieval centre’s warren of narrow lanes meet picturesque plazas. You can learn about the history of Guimarães, long associated with the 12th-century emergence of Portuguese national identity. During your city tour, you be able to see the Ducal Palace, which was built in the 15th century for the dukes of Braganza.
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Extend your holiday
Post-holiday extension - Half board
Spend a further week in Portugal at the locally rated 4-star Hotel Meira (4Q) and enjoy a little more time to relax and explore.
What to explore
Just a few minutes from your hotel are the magnificent sandy dunes of Praia de Âncora, Anchor Beach, on the shores of the Atlantic, perfect for soaking up the sun, taking a stroll or taking on the surf. Catch a bus to the nearby town of Caminha which has centuries of architecture to admire from medieval to baroque and a charming town square where you can sit back and watch the world go by. The area is also popular with cyclists and you can rent a bike at the hotel, whether for a quick spin along the promenade or further afield. The town is easy to explore on foot with quiet streets along and beyond the shorefront.
Hotel Meira (4Q)
The locally rated 4-star Hotel Meira (4Q) has been run by the same family for four generations since it was established in 1935. It’s in an ideal location – a few minutes from the beach, and under an hour’s drive from the airport. All 52 en-suite rooms are soundproofed with air conditioning, a telephone, TV minibar and free Wi-Fi with 24-hour room service.
The hotel’s chef is local, and passionate about the area’s produce, so the restaurant offers an exciting take on a traditional Minho menu, as does the bar with its fine selection of Portuguese wines. And when you are not relaxing in the bar or on the beach, you can take a dip or lounge at the hotel’s private pool.
On some departures your itinerary may run in a different order.