Natural Habitat Adventures & WWF
Discovering Our Planet Together
Get the Catalog
eNews Signup
Call (800) 543-8917
Call (800) 543-8917
Quinta de Vargellas, Douro River, PortugalRibeira Pier, Porto, PortugalDouro River, PortugalDouro River, PortugalQuinta de Barthol, Douro River, PortugalQuinta de Carvalhas, Douro River, PortugalPinhao Valley, PortualPorto, PortugalQuinta de Vesuvio, Villa Nova de Gaia, Douro River, PortugalCasa de Casal de Loivos, Douro River, PortugalDouro River, Portugal
Olaf Malver: Quinta de Vargella
Leslie Adams: Group on the Douro River
Photo Credits
More Info
9 Days / From $5,895 (800) 543-8917 for Availability
Home Active Expeditions Europe & Asia Paddling Portugal's River of Wine

Paddling Portugal's River of Wine

Kayak the Historic Douro River By Day & Feast at Classic Vineyard Estates By Night
The sun glints on the glassy surface of the Douro River as you dip your paddle, gliding through northern Portugal's historic Port wine district. Hawks circle overhead as we wend our way between rugged mountains terraced with ancient vineyards. Tranquil days on the river give way to festive evenings at centuries-old quintas, the wine estates of the Douro Valley. Within these hospitable mansions and farmhouses we share warm personal connections with our hosts, enjoying an inside encounter with contemporary rural life in Portugal. Savor the best in traditional European ambience and cuisine on a Dionysian paddling odyssey through romantic wine country. 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 the fall, departures coincide with the harvest when ripe grapes are hand-picked from centuries-old terraced vineyards
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.

Other Trips You May Enjoy

New Ship!

Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure

Paddle and hike in places not included on typical trips! Our catamaran-based adventure offers exclusive access with special paddling permits.
10 Days / Year-Round, From $5,795

Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure

New Itinerary!

Sailing Antarctica: The Ultimate Polar Nature Expedition

Those passionate for genuine adventure won't find a more exhilarating experience than exploring the Antarctic wilderness by sailboat! Kayak and camp, too.
12–17 Days / Dec – Mar, From $21,995

Sailing Antarctica: The Ultimate Polar Nature Expedition

2016 Wildlife Webinars

Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month.

See the Full Schedule Here

Voted Best of Travel 2015

Our Base Camp Greenland trip is named Best Splurge by Outside magazine!

In the News

CNN recently joined Natural Habitat’s Polar Bear Photo Tour! Click here to watch.
eNewsletter Signup
Our weekly eNewsletter highlights exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography hints and more. Use the form below to submit your name and email address.
No Thanks

Thank You

Send to a Friend
Please use the form below to send this page to a friend via email.
Send To
From (Your Info)
Yes, I’d like to receive Nat Hab’s nature travel eNews.
No Thanks

Thank You

Get the Catalog Sign up for Emails
Natural Habitat & WWF – Discovering Our Planet Together