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Olaf Malver: Quinta de Vargella
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Learn More 9 Days / From $5,695 (800) 543-8917 for Availability Share

Paddling Portugal's River of Wine

Kayak the Historic Douro River By Day and Enjoy Classic Vineyard Estates By Night
This exclusive travel experience has no peer in Europe! We've spent more than a decade refining this luxurious 'soft adventure' with the families of the Douro River Valley's historic wine estates. Savor the best in traditional European ambience and cuisine on a Dionysian paddling odyssey between quintas – the vineyard mansions and farmhouses – of northern Portugal's port wine district. Share warm personal connections with our hosts and enjoy an inside encounter with contemporary rural life in Portugal. We'll paddle the mellow river during the sun-drenched days, hike into the hills for fabulous views, then wine and dine at night. As our hosts say, "A sua saude" – To your health!

Trip Highlights

  • Revel in sunshine, nature, history and hospitality in a little-traveled corner of authentic Old World Europe that few travelers are privileged to visit
  • Overnight in luxurious manor houses and traditional farmsteads, and join host families for the finest in traditional Portuguese food and wine
  • In spring, enjoy verdant vistas and flowers, while our fall departures coincide with the harvest, when ripe grapes are hand-picked from centuries-old vineyards that terrace down the mountainsides 
A Slice of Old World Europe You Won’t Find Anywhere Else!
Let’s face it, there are a lot of European trips out there to choose from. But there are none we know of like this one! Designed for the active traveler who loves nature – and authentic culture – this Douro River paddling odyssey has no peer. Learn why:

  1. No One Else Offers The Trip We Do!
    When we say there’s no other trip out there just like this one, we mean it. We were the first to offer kayaking trips on the Portugal's Douro River, and we have refined this unique itinerary over the years through personal connections with our friends who make wine in the Douro Valley. To paddle the sun-drenched river by day, then revel in food and wine with our hosts on the quintas each night…well, you can only enjoy this rare opportunity with Natural Habitat Adventures. And that’s what makes this European adventure truly special.
  2. Travel with Just 12 Guests
    Our small group offers an intimate opportunity to explore more remote locales and stay in traditional places that bus-based tour groups and river cruise ship passengers don't have access to. With fewer people, we also have a peaceful experience on the river – essential to rewarding nature travel.
  3. A Rare Opportunity to See the Douro River at Eye Level 
    You're not likely to see other paddlers on the Douro, since boat traffic in this little-visited region consists mostly of small local craft and the occasional sightseeing cruiser on the lower reaches. But no tourist vessels experience the uninhabited wild reaches of the upper Douro, with the quiet, eye-level perspective on the shoreline, birdlife and ancient vineyards that we have. 
  4. Stay in Authentic Quintas – the Vineyard Estates of the Douro Valley
    From luxurious manor houses to traditional farmsteads, the historic quintas of the Douro are a highlight of our trip. Many are centuries old and still run by the farming families who have grown grapes and made wine in this region for generations. Some produce a host of other local products as well. Several have opened their doors to fortunate small groups of visitors – an experience not on the typical tourist track!
  5. Fabulous Food and Wine
    We know most of our guests don’t choose our nature adventures for the food, although it’s generally outstanding. On this trip, it’s a hallmark! Our hosts at each quinta take great pride in filling us with hearty repasts of homemade country fare and endlessly flowing local wines (in addition to its famous port, the Douro Valley produces some up-and-coming table wines, too). From fresh oranges, almonds, honey and olive oil to farm-raised lamb and pork and artisan cheeses, much of what we’ll enjoy is raised right on the estates where we stay. If you’re an adventure traveler who’s also a bit of a gourmand, this trip will delight all your senses! (And... all the wine is included! No extra out-of-pocket charges to worry about.)
  6. A Seasoned Expedition Leader & Outstanding Local Guides
    Natural Habitat is known worldwide for employing the best-trained, highest-quality guides in the industry, and that’s certainly the case in Portugal. Your Expedition Leader is an accomplished paddler and kayaking instructor, always at the ready to assist with your comfort, convenience and safety. And our local assistants are experts when it comes to knowing the hidden corners and rich history of the Douro region – not to mention exceptionally hospitable and attendant to your every need. Read our Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  7. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Portugal Experience
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, clearly stating that we will meet the lofty expectations we set in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise for yourself!
  8. Feel Good About the Way You Travel
    We all care about the planet, and on this adventure you can travel knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100% carbon-offset—Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company. And we continue to set the bar higher in sustainable travel practices worldwide.
  9. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel as well as the exceptional quality of our worldwide adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world's leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Reading List
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Portugal's River of Wine by Kayak & Local Inn adventure travel books for this trip.

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