The 13 Best Hikes In Porto
As one of the cleanest coastal cities in Portugal, Porto is a nice tourist town that is not overly crowded by tourism. The city of Porto, Portugal is well-known for its Port wine and many people love hiking trails along and through the vineyards and valleys of the wine region of the Douro Valley.
Porto, Portugal is also a city with a lot of cultures from art galleries to museums as well as theaters and parks. Some of the best hiking trails in Porto can be found in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast National Park, and Galician Atlantic Islands Maritime-Terrestrial National Park.
Pick up some snacks for your hike no matter how far you plan to walk. And don't forget to pick up some water too. Get your hiking provisions from local shops to help the community preserve every trail and keep it up for others who enjoy Porto hiking. Whether you have a small group of hikers or are on your own, travel insurance is a must whether it is an easy hike or a hiking monolith.
You cannot go hiking in Portugal without food. Don't forget to stop in a local restaurant to refuel. It is one of the only ways to get authentic local food and local wine. After lunch, head over to the village of Pinhão where you can take a walk along the Douro River and see a variety of wine estates. Outdoor activities abound in this area and with some insider tips, you can find the best.
In fact, the best way to get insider tips besides reading this is to take a guided tour where you can see the most beautiful trails, amazing views, and discover what the local life is like in Portugal. Make sure it is a place that offers free cancellation just in case. Be sure to drop off your bags at a luggage storage location first so you can enjoy a nice day of Porto, Portugal hiking.
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Porto
Peneda-Gerês National Park Hike
This Portugal park has some spectacular hiking trails featuring more than 171,000 acres of hills, woods, and is rated as one of the best parks for hiking in Portugal. The Peneda-Gerês National Park boasts more than 20 hiking trails from easy to difficult, although the majority of them are intermediate so you can choose what is best for you. You can even take a dip in the natural pools by the Arado waterfall.
From short loop trails that take just a few hours to expeditions that take days, you can find all that and then some in the Peneda-Geres National Park. Explore the Gerês village in its mountain setting, hiking through centuries-old paths through the woods. Peneda-Geres National Park boasts stellar views, mountain waterfalls, Cávado River, and prehistoric remains as well as hot springs to enjoy.
Douro Valley: The Wine Region
The Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers some of the best trails in Portugal with the best scenery as well as some delicious Porto wine tasting. Hiking in Portugal in the historic wine region of Douro Valley, you can find miles of peaceful vineyards, wild grape fields, and rugged trails among the hills and mountains. Not only do visitors love this place, but it is also a favorite retreat for locals.
Perfect for nature lovers, you are guaranteed to see wildlife along the banks of the Douro River and Peso da Régua. Whether you are looking for a short jaunt on a well-kept trail or a self-guided tour of the whole valley that takes over a week, you can find more than a dozen trails to enjoy. Only two are rated as easy and the rest are moderate to difficult. Choose wisely depending on your skill levels.
Take a day trip from Porto to check out the Paiva Walkways of the Arouca Geopark. You can take a geobike tour, an interpreted hike, or even climb mountains to visit the mountain goats. There are 15 different trails from easy to difficult. Pick one of the hidden gems of Portugal with beautiful scenery and spectacular views or a walk with a local guide in the Portuguese countryside.
One of the most popular, the Trip to Prehistory, is about 10 hours with a medium difficulty climbing mountains to hand out with the goats in the Merujal Village. For an easier hike, take the Paivo Path. The wooden walkway along the Paivo River is only about three miles and takes just a few hours, depending on your skill level and how much sightseeing you want to do in the beautiful nature of Portugal.
Aveiro Hiking Trail
Another fantastic Portugal day trip, this one due south of Porto. Outdoor enthusiasts love it here just for the sheer number of different trails. Some are coastal trips with incredible views while others offer stunning views of the Aveiro Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean.
As you stroll along the coast, you will see canals full of colorful boats, art nouveau architecture, and the Cathedral of Aveiro where you can see the historic bell tower. If you want a guided tour of the area, check out Ecoria where you can join a small group, or just explore the footbridges of the Aveiro Walkways, an easy walk for anyone.
The Great Esplanade Trail
Known to locals as Foz do Douro, this easy walk on an endless esplanade takes you along the Douro River as well as the Atlantic Ocean so you can see so much in just one trip. You really cannot visit Porto without seeing some of the amazing hiking trails of the esplanade no matter your fitness level.
You can get some spectacular views of Vila Nova de Gaia and its yellow houses, see hundreds of fishing boats along the banks of the river, see where the river and ocean collide and walk along the palms of Alegre. This is truly one of the best hikes in Portugal. The Farol de Felgueiras Lighthouse at the end makes this the perfect trail.
This 44-acre park boasts several hiking options from a nice short walk through a garden to an exciting climb on a footbridge through the treetops. The canopy is 82 feet above sea level and gives you a stunning hike where you can explore nature just like the animals do.
The park itself has a trail leading you among 8,000 plants of more than 230 species. Learn all about the biodiversity along the trail with interpretive signs or a nature guide. The park was designed by a French landscaper who insisted on a hike with nature along the trail.
Porto City Park Hike
In the largest park of Porto and one of the largest in Portugal, the 200-acre Porto City Park features several trails including a walk along the coast as well as a hike in the woods. Enjoy nature at its finest on a 1.8-mile hike on a loop trail easy enough for all skill levels.
Mingle with nature as you are surrounded by a gaggle of geese and flocks of ducks or take off your shoes and walk in the sandy beaches along the ocean on the Ribeira de Aldoar Hike. See the 17th-century Queijo Castle and fort with cannons on the 15.5-mile Castelo do Queijo-Jardim do Morro hike.
Easy Hikes in Porto
This easy hike is just 2.6 miles long and is perfect for all skill levels. With just a 433-foot elevation gain, you will not have to worry about climbing hills or mountains on this hike. You will see a spectacular waterfall and you can even hop in the water to cool off. You may even get a chance to see wild newborn baby horses in the woods. This trail is definitely worth a trip.
Ponte Dom Luis I to Bahnhof Sao Bento Loop
This 3.8-mile hike is rated as easy and takes approximately 1.5 hours but you will likely take longer to see the sights. Your first highlight is the Dom Luis I Bridge where you can get some amazing views of the country. The next stop on the route is the Pedro IV Monument in Freedom Square and then to the Avenida dos Aliados, which is a stunning building, before ending at the Bento Train Station.
Intermediate Hikes in Porto
Avenida dos Aliados Loop from Sobreiras
The 6.9-mile intermediate Portugal hike takes you on a visit through the city of Porto to the Funicular dos Guindais along the banks of the Douro River. You can see across the country of Portugal for miles from the cable car before making a visit to Avenida dos Aliados. Largo Sao Domingos and Se de Porto are next up and make sure your visit includes the harbor wall in Old Town.
Railways of the Serra do Porto
This trail will take you to explore one of the best routes in Portugal. The route starts and ends in Juventude Park, heading southeast for a walk through the city where you can pass Vila Real by the History Museum. Connect with the Natura 2000 Network to see a world of various vegetation and forests. Meander along the River Ferreira, which is one of the prettiest rivers in the world with its quartzite ridges.
Difficult Hikes in Porto
Portuguese Coastal Route Trail
Also known as the Portuguese Camino Trail, this trail is rated as difficult if not just for the length, which is a whopping 174 miles. Needless to say, you may not want to try and take the whole hike at once unless you have about a month to kill. The hike was first done by Queen Isabel of Portugal in the 1100s and follows the ocean into Spain. It starts in Porto and then heads north into Spain.
A Capela de San Paio Loop from Santa Clara
Expert hikers in good physical condition love this 14.7-mile hike that typically takes about six hours. Some of the highlights of this trail include the Santa Clara Convent near the Santa Clara Train Station and the Capela de San Paio Church. Much of this trail is natural and unpaved with some rocky and rugged climbing involved on your hike. See nature as well as city live along this route that takes you from one country to another.
Portugal Hiking Trails
Hiking in Portugal can be a wonderful experience if you know where to go. The Peneda-Gerês National Park is one of the best places to find some amazing trails and the Douro Valley is a must-see hike for wine lovers with stunning views and delicious Port wine. Restore your energy back in Porto with a delicious late brunch in a typical Portuguese restaurant.