Kayak Portugal's Douro Valley

Paddle the border between Portugal and Spain on a discovery of nature and history. 5 days.

  • Portugal & Spain
  • September
  • Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport, Porto (OPO)

Accessible only by kayak, the International Douro Nature Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to rare and endangered raptors and is steeped in history. You’ll paddle the Douro River which is the sole border between Portugal and Spain, passing craggy slopes and through granitic valleys.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 4 days kayaking
  • 4 nights’ guesthouse accommodation
  • Local, certified guide
  • All kayaking equipment
  • Meals
  • Local transfers
  • Airport transfers
  • All taxes, insurances and licenses relative to the trip

Perfect for: Keen kayakers looking for a break away from the norm in a remote area of untouched beauty.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to and from Porto airport
  • Snacks and drink
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

This trip will run with a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 12.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Participants should be comfortable with 5 hours of physical effort and should be well experienced in kayaking.

Expect temperatures between 20°C and 30°C during the day. By night, the temperatures drop considerably to around 10°C.

Expect warm dinners, mostly in restaurants or similar, with a set menu. Cow meat is delicious in the region, and the wine is wonderful too.

Picnics will be served for lunch. Note that because of the cliffs you will be able to stop in very few places making lunch a little later than usual at times.

Very good breakfasts are supplied at the guesthouses.

If you have any special requests, let your host know and they will do their best to accommodate you.

  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • PFD
  • Spraydeck
  • 15 to 25L bag
  • Small dry bag
  • 1 pair lightweight waterproof hiking boots or comfortable walking or athletic shoes
  • 2 to 3 pair of socks
  • 1 lightweight, long sleeved shirt
  • 1 pair of shorts or 3/4 pants (lightweight and quick drying)
  • Waterproof jacket with hood
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas or whatever you like to sleep in
  • Flip-flops
  • 1 change of comfortable clothes to wear when going out to dinner
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunblock)
  • Water bottle(s) with 2L capacity
  • Your favourite snacks and energy food/drinks
  • Waterproof camera is advisable

Other recommendations are: - Mobile phone - Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)

Porto Airport (OPO) is served by flights from all over Europe. You’re free to book whichever flights you like as long as they meet the included transfer times.

Start point?
You will be met at Porto Airport (OPO). Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 12:00 or earlier. Your host will be in touch before your trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your tour will end back at Porto Airport (OPO). You are free to book any flight departing after 19:00. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Porto Airport (OPO) is served by flights from all over Europe. You’re free to book whichever flights you like as long as they meet the included transfer times. Your host will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

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Location

View map

The Douro is the third longest river in the Iberian Peninsula with its 897 km, flowing from its source near in the province of Soria in Spain to Porto. The area is has been inhabited since the beginning of civilisation as its rock art from the Upper Palaeolithic demonstrates.

International Douro Nature Park is the largest protected area in Europe, with two Nature Parks on each side of the river. The Douro stretches across 100 km and is the only natural border between Spain and Portugal.

Expect scenery of 600m high granite cliffs and watch the black stork and other endangered birds in their natural habitat; here is a ‘Bird Protection Area’ recognised by the European Union and is home to a number of nearly extinct raptors.

Start point?
You will be met at Porto Airport (OPO). Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 12:00 or earlier. Your host will be in touch before your trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your tour will end back at Porto Airport (OPO). You are free to book any flight departing after 19:00. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Porto Airport (OPO) is served by flights from all over Europe. You’re free to book whichever flights you like as long as they meet the included transfer times. Your host will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Day 1: Visit São João das Arribas Viewpoint

Your guide will meet you at the airport at around 12:00 and take you to the guesthouse, close to the Douro Nature Park, where you will be staying tonight.

Leave your luggage and enjoy a hike towards São João das Arribas. This viewpoint will give you your first panoramic glimpse of the Douro River.

Tonight, you will enjoy a dinner with the group; a great chance to get to know everyone and hear more about the area from your guide.

6km hiking

Day 2: Visit Miranda do Douro Village

After breakfast this morning, you’ll visit the historic village of Miranda do Douro. You’ll set up your kayaks and start down the Douro River.

As you paddle, you’ll discover deep granitic gorges and perhaps even hear eagles overhead as you near the ‘Valley of Eagles’.

Enjoy a relaxing evening, perhaps even a dip in the guesthouse pool, before dinner with the group.

15km kayaking

Day 3: Visit Picote Dam

Today will take you to Picote Dam; this concrete arch dam was completed in 1958 and is considered one of the seven wonders of the Trás-os-Montes region.

From above, the valley looks like a canyon and attracts many raptors, so keep an eye on the sky as you paddle.

Tonight, you will stay at an old school, renovated for tourism.

18km kayaking

Day 4: Continue on the Douro River

After breakfast this morning, you’ll grab your kayak and continue on the Douro River. The granitic cliffs change colour and the scenery becomes much lusher with vegetation.

You’ll stop for lunch on a beach on the Spanish side of the border and perhaps grab some fruits from the water’s edge.

Tonight, you’ll stay another night at the converted school. Again, with its own pool, you’re free to enjoy a dip before dinner.

24km kayaking

Day 5: Discover Prehistoric Rock Art

Enjoy breakfast this morning and then continue your journey through the park. The valley widens today and the slopes are occupied by vineyards and orange groves.

You’ll stop for lunch under the shelter of weeping willows and have the chance to visit a site of Palaeolithic rock art.

After lunch, it’s time to head back to Porto where your trip will come to an end.

12km kayaking

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

Your first two nights will be at the Cimo da Quinta Casas de Campo. This guesthouse offers twin rooms with a private bathroom and a communal living space. Outside, you’ll have access to a pool, terrace, and children’s play area.

Your second two nights will be spent at the Casa das Arribas, Bemposta. This guesthouse is a converted school which offers double rooms with private bathroom, communal kitchen, dining room and living room. Outside, you’ll have access to an infinity pool, terrace and barbeque.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

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