Hike for Hospice: Explore Portugal’s Atlantic coast & Douro wine region while helping raise vital funds for Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services

Your chance to visit one of the most stunning and scenic valleys in Europe, renowned for its delicious wines and ports. We are taking a week long hike through the west of Portugal, soaking up not just the beautifully terraced vineyards, but also breathtaking beaches punctuated with stone windmills, and the charismatic town of Porto with its many Gothic churches, inviting restaurants and bars and captivating marketplace.

• Stunning scenery of the Alto Douro UNESCO World Heritage wine region.
• Soak up the Portuguese culture in the traditional streets of Porto
• Cruise along the meandering Douro and return on the scenic ‘Linha do Douro’ railway.
• Walk in the mountain landscape of the Serra do Marão
• Visit a local vineyard, learn about making port and enjoy a tasting.

All that we ask you to do is help us maintain our high standards of care for our patients by fundraising €3300.

Our hike takes place from 17th to 24st October 2020 and is sure to be very well subscribed, so if you are interested in finding out more contact us without delay.

Come along to our free information evening and learn more!

We’d be delighted if you would join us for a short evening presentation and learn for yourself what all the excitement is about.

We are running two separate Information Talks here in the Hospice, Harold’s Cross, to introduce our Portuguese Hike more formally:

Wednesday 4th March at 6:30pm, and repeated

Wednesday 22nd April at 6:30pm

Each talks will be given by Drew Duggan (the tour guide organising the hike) and will last approximately one hr. Drew will provide details of the daily activities, the route, information about what to expect and what to bring; he is a mine of knowledge and has been to this area before so he will be able to answer any questions you might have.

These talks will also be a great way to meet up with other interested hikers (included some who have been on our overseas hikes in the past), so you will be able to meet some of those who you might end up with as walking buddies!

Click on the images below to see where we are going this year….

Boats on the River Minho The famous Portuguese grapes
Charismatic Porto Beach at the mouth of the Minho Walking down to Alijó
Boat trip down the River Minho Breathtaking views every day of our trek Delicious local fares to be tasted

The ask is similar to previous years: we need you to raise a minimum of €3,300 in return for which we can promise will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with transfers, accommodation, food, guides included so all you need to do is bring your walking boots and a positive attitude to have some great fun, all the while raising vital funds for the front line services of Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services.

Don’t forget – the Fundraising Team here in the Hospice will be on-hand to support your efforts, whether that be through social media, letters of authorisation,  collection buckets or sponsorship cards. We’re also full of ideas on how you can raise funds. Just a few examples of the best fundraising activities from last year were as follows:

      • Bag packing
      • Church gate collections
      • Pub quizzes
      • Raffles
      • Sponsored walks
      • Car boot sales

But if you’re new to fundraising, don’t worry, we’re here to help, and we’d be happy to help you plan your activities and make sure you have everything you need.

We do hope you’ll join us this year for what promises to be an amazing hike. Thank you for your support and happy hiking!

Difficulty level – Easy

This is a fairly relaxed hiking adventure and the walks will all be fairly short and very achievable (perhaps 3-4 hours walking on five of the days of the tour).

Porto – Viana do Castelo – Vila Praia de Âncora – Caminha – Vila Real – São Mamede da Ribatua – Alijó – Casal de Loivos – Favaios – Ervedosa do Douro – Pinhão – Porto

Saturday 17th – Saturday 24st October 2020

7 nights – 5 days walking

3 – 6 hours per day in hot sun on tracks, boat transfer included

Walking level
Easy to fair

€3,300 (including €300 non-refundable deposit)
Single room supplement €275 (limited number of rooms)

More Info

See below more details about the Portugal Hike 2020:

1. Day: Arrival in Porto, private transfer to 4* hotel in Viana do Castelo (40min transfer), dinner on arrival

2. Day: Linear walk from Viana do Castelo to Vila Praia de Âncora (19 km)

After breakfast, we follow the coastline north towards Vila Praia de Âncora. There’s a mix of good paths and wooden boardwalks as we stroll along the beautiful beach and past a series of abandoned stone windmills, which look out at the sea, motionless without their sails. We’ll head slightly inland through patches of forest and agricultural fields and end our walk in the pretty coastal town of Vila Praia de Âncora. Busy local fishermen ensure that there is a regular supply of fresh fish and seafood on tap here, so we can indulge ourselves over a long lazy lunch. Being so close to the wine region, there is sure to be a glass of delicious local wine to accompany our food. Accommodation and dinner will be in Vila Praia de Âncora in a 4* hotel, (tbc).

3. Day: Linear walk from Vila Praia de Âncora to Caminha (10 km)

It’s a short, pleasant coastal walk from the seaside resort town of Vila Praia de Âncora to Moledo beach along the new pedestrian path (ecovia). We’ll be walking through a beautiful pine forest to the mouth of the River Minho and then to the riverside town of Caminha. There will be plenty of time to stop for a swim along the way. Visit Caminha’s medieval clock tower and Gothic parish church or simply relax in the beautiful main square around a 16th-century fountain. Lunch at Caminha. A private transfer will take us from Caminha to Vila Real for our accommodation and dinner in a 4* hotel, (tbc).

4. Day: Circular walk via São Mamede da Ribatua (14.9 km) | Short walk (8km)

Private transfer from Vila Real to Alijó.

Our first day of walking in the stunning Douro Valley! We’ll make a circular journey through an ever-changing landscape from our base in Alijo, through vineyards and down through the cobbled streets of Sao Mamede da Ribatua – a picturesque, small village with a blue-tiled baroque church at its centre. From the edge of Sao Mamede, we’ll have stunning view down over the Tua reservoir, an ideal spot to enjoy our picnic lunch. After lunch, we have a pleasant and un-rushed walk through the vineyards back to Alijo. As we walk through the vineyards, our guide will be on hand to answer any questions we may have about the cultivation of the vineyards, and how the grapes make their journey from vine to bottle. Lunch will be at São Mamede de Ribatua and our accommodation and dinner in Vila Real at a 4* hotel, (tbc).

5. Day: Linear walk from Favaios to Pinhão (17 km) | Short walk (11km)

Private transfer from Vila Real to Favaios

At 17 km, this will be our longest walk but also our most scenic. We pass by the rugged mountains and through the relatively flat vineyards on the outer edges of the wine region before descending through the terraced slopes that create patchwork pattern of vines right down to the Douro River. Before beginning our descent, we will stop off somewhere shady where we can eat our picnic with a fantastic view down over the vineyards and river. Continuing down towards the river after lunch, we will stop off at a restored olive oil press where we will learn about traditional olive oil production at a restored traditional press. We will also get a chance to taste the quality oils produced here using more modern methods! The press also produces excellent honey from the region, which we may also be lucky enough to sample. Continuing down we eventually reach the scenic town of Pinhao with its famous blue-tiled railway station, right on the banks of out Douro. Picnic Lunch at Casal de Loivos. Accommodation and dinner in Vila Real at a 4* hotel, (tbc).

6. Tag: Linear walk at Ervedosa do Douro (9 km)

Check-out from our hotel and take a private transfer from Vila Real to Ervedosa do Douro.

Today will be a highlight of the trip as we take a scenic drive from Alijo, across the meandering Douro River via the bridge at Pinhao, and up to the village of Ervedosa do Douro, where we begin today’s walk. We will descend through the vineyards with magnificent views out across the Douro Valley and river. The real treat will be stopping to take our lunch at Quinta das Tecedeiras. Here we can enjoy our picnic al fresco amongst the grapevines while sampling some delightful Douro wines. Afterwards, we take a traditional Rabelo boat back to beautiful Pinhao where our driver will be waiting to take us to Porto. There we will check into a 4 * hotel right in the heart of the city. Picnic Lunch in Ervedosa do Douro (at Quinta das Tecedeiras) 30 minutes boat trip from “Quinta das Tecedeiras” to Pinhão. Private transfer from Pinhão to Porto. Accommodation and dinner in Porto at 4* hotel, (tbc).

7. Day: Half-day walking tour at Porto

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, known for its beautiful bridges, fine wine/port production. In its medieval district with it narrow cobbled streets, you’ll discover São Francisco Church with its lavish baroque interior and ornate gilded carvings. You’ll enjoy a half-day guided tour but with lots to see, you will have your own free time here for lunch and an explore before meeting at the 4 * Hotel (tbc)  for dinner. Be sure to look out for the Livaria Lello bookshop that inspired J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter stories.


8. Day: Private transfer from Hotel to Airport


Details on the accommodation are yet to be defined; however, we will be staying in 4* Hotels throughout the duration of this trek.

(Please note, details of accommodation once defined will remain subject to change/confirmation depending upon registrations)

  • What is included?
    • 7 nights in 4 star hotels,
    • 6 x half board (breakfast and dinners/drinks included)
    • 5 x lunches
    • 2 experienced and knowledgeable English-speaking guides for 7 days
    • Bus with up to 50 seats for all transfers and group support
    • Full journey documentation