March 06, 2015
Do you like to walk? Walk is the best way to really get to know a destination. Walk among the locals, appreciating beautiful and inspiring landscapes. Besides you breathe fresh air and you stretch your legs.
Every city has a must walk street or avenue, here we give you our top 5 walks in top 5 Portuguese destinations. Don’t get lazy and join us!
Our first choice is Porto City and if you know a little bit about Porto I don’t think that you’re surprised with our pick for the best walk in the City. By the river (Douro river), we start from the typical Ribeira where we can have a nice reinforced breakfast with an absolutely breath-taking scenario over the river and Vila Nova de Gaia, the city on the other side of the river.
After your lovely breakfast we will start our walk towards Foz. You can go until the end of Ribeira. Along the way you have grocery stores to buy water and suppliers and also little craft shops if you want to buy some souvenirs. With Douro River in sight you will pass through the magnificent church St. Francis Church (it worth a visit), the Alfândega building, the Port Wine Museum that you could visit later...don’t be tempted! Now it’s time to continue our journey!
Going ahead you will pass the Tram Museum which you can visit, then you will pass under Arrábida Bridge, one of the 6 bridges over Douro River, and then you can rest a little bit on a green grass garden. Closer to the mouth of Douro River, passing a palm tree garden, you finally arrived to Foz beach, where you can have a nice meal or just have a refreshing drink while you are enjoying the Nature - looking at the sea.
Our second chosen city is Sintra. Do you agree? Here we will walk towards Sintra ex-líbris: Pena Palace and Gardens. Through pedestrian paths we will go up the hill. You’ll be surrounded by several tree species. It’s like you have entered an enchanting world.
This enchanting world begins with a magic forest where you can see flowers and tree species from all over the world. You’ll pass through fascinating lakes, little waterfalls and bridges. Sit in the benches along the way to relax, appreciate this natural beauty and listen the sound of the birds singing.
At the top you will find Pena Palace an authentic princess castle with a very unique architecture and extremely colourful. Passing the Mourish and Arabics archways of the most beautiful palace of the world, we have a long visit in the way. Inside you’ll feel like royalty, appreciate the different reliefs and colours of the tile revetments that you will see across the palace and the painted walls. Pay attention to the meticulous decoration of each room. It’s like a historical dream.
It’s almost impossible visit Arouca region and do not enjoy a walk in its geopark. Our suggestion it’s the Montemuro Path starting in Sra. do Monte Sanctuary through a forest path. Flow the yellow and red marks ahead you’ll have an unforgettable panoramic view over Bustelo. It’s just like a painting. Near the valley of Bustelo river you’ll be able to see the shale roofs surrounded by the greenly terraces.
Continuing our nature walk we will pass near two Eolic Parks and S. Pedro do Campo chapel to reach Marco Geodésico da Pedra Posta, the highest location of Arouca and one of the highest location of this side of Montemuro Mountain with 1222 meters.
Going down the hill you will notice that at first the path is well delimited but further on it'll be necessary go through shepherds routes, either way both paths are well signposted. After crossing Bustelo river we are in the village that you can visit but first is time to rest in a shade, drink a refreshing beverage and eat local snacks. To finish our walk you’ll pass to Bustelo chapel beautifully revested in shale and then we head to Sra. Do Monte Sanctuary again.
Now let’s explore the National Park of Gerês. Prepare yourself! We are about to walk through a mountainous region in the Northwest of Portugal, so don’t forget to bring proper shoes. This was the first protected area created in Portugal and the only one classified as National Park, the point is to value human activities and natural resources.
In our walk through National Park of Gerês you would be able to appreciate the different kinds of vegetation, trees and flowers. If you’re lucky you might even see some of the animals that make this environment their homes…and respect them. After all you’re in their home.
You will also come across some watercourses, fields and pasture lands. Pay attention because the land it’s quite rugged and has lots of rock formations. However don’t miss the opportunity to pass through Laboreiro and Lindoso Castles that alongside with megalithic monuments and Roman occupation testimonies built the History of the park. If you want to get more adventurous, cross the line and peek the radical activities you can do here or, on the other hand, spend some relaxed time on the terms and spa. It’s you who choose.
And our top 5 ends with the last but not least, Montesinho Park. One of the biggest natural parks of all the 12 the country has. Located in Trás-os-Montes Region, where you can climb to Coroa or Montesinho Mountains and witness absolute breath-taking views.
Going through Dine village surroundings we will admire Neolithic caves, old kilns and the mill. In the village you can visit a little house / museum that has exposed some artifacts found in the cave. To visit it ask for Mrs. Judite. Everyone in the region knows her. This local is considered by the locals a living font of histories and experiences.
Continuing our walk you may actually see some deer’s and possibly a wolf. It is beautiful when you’re not used to see this kind of animals. Already in Vinhais near the border with Spain, after crossing the new bridge, we will continue along the river until the medieval bridge where in the Summer you can enjoy a nice and refreshing bath.
So if you want to explore Nature and defy the gravity laws you can visit Montesinho. Even if you just want to relax, Montesinho has everything.
We have completed our top 5 best walks in 5 different Portuguese cities. We hope that now you’re ready to pack your stuff and go to discover this walks for yourself. We will be waiting to know if matched your expectations. Are you ready?
Inês has a Licentiate degree in Tourism. Her itch for travel began with her love for cruising the Douro River. Working for several years in Douro Booking Departments, she knows just how to make our customers happy and she is always helping them to find the perfect itinerary. She is friendly and a great travel advisor.@Inês Sousa Read more posts written by Inês Sousa