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Paddling Portugal's River of Wine

Kayak the Historic Douro River by Day & Feast at Classic Vineyard Estates by Night
9 Days From $6995
This unique adventure has no peer in Europe! Savor the best in traditional Portuguese culture and cuisine on a Dionysian paddling odyssey through romantic wine country, and visit three World Heritage Sites en route. We've tapped years of personal connections with the families of the Douro Valley's historic wineries to offer this rare slice of Old World Europe. The sun glints on the glassy surface of the Douro River as we dip our paddles, gliding through northern Portugal’s Port wine district. Hawks circle overhead between rugged mountains terraced with ancient vineyards. Tranquil mornings on the river give way to afternoon hikes in hillside orchards and festive evenings at centuries-old quintas, the wine estates of the Douro Valley. Within these hospitable family-run inns, share warm personal encounters with our hosts and enjoy an inside view on contemporary rural life in Portugal. As our hosts say, "A sua saude"—To your health!
    Douro River, PortugaCasa de Casal de Loivos, Douro River, PortugalQuinta de Vargellas, Douro River, PortugalRibeira Pier, Porto, PortugalKayakers, Pinhao, PortugalVineyards, Douro Valley, PortugalVineyards, Tua, PortugalPinhao Valley, PortualQuinta de Vesuvio, Villa Nova de Gaia, Douro River, PortugalVineyards, Douro Valley, PortugalVineyards, Quinta de Ervamoira, PortugalKayakers en route from Tua to Pinhao, PortugalVineyards, Casal de Loivos, Portugal

Trip Highlights

  • A Rare Slice of Old World EuropeRevel in the Douro Valley's sunshine, nature, history and hospitality, and experience a little-traveled corner of traditional Europe that few travelers are privileged to see
  • Indulge in Fine Local Food & WineOvernight in luxurious manor houses and hospitable inns on vineyard estates, joining host families for grand repasts of classic Portuguese food and wine
  • Enjoy Seasonal HighlightsSeptember harvest-time departures feature ripe grapes hand-picked from centuries-old terraced vineyards, while June brings green slopes and blossoming orchards

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 we know of none like this one. Designed for the active traveler who loves nature, authentic culture, and great food and wine, this Douro River paddling odyssey has no peer. Learn why:

  1. No One Else Offers This Trip!
    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 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 at historic quintas each night…you can only enjoy this special opportunity with Natural Habitat Adventures!
  2. Travel with Just 12 Guests
    Our small group offers an intimate opportunity to explore more remote locales and stay in small, traditional settings that bus-based tour groups and river cruise ship passengers don't have access to. We also have a peaceful experience on the river, essential to rewarding nature travel.
  3. A Rare Opportunity to Experience 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 our quiet, water-level perspective on the shoreline, birdlife and ancient vineyards. 
  4. Visit Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites
    Our itinerary includes three very different World Heritage Sites of global distinction. We begin in the Historic Center of Porto, built along the hills above the mouth of the Douro River with a rich 2,000-year history marked by numerous monuments. The majority of our time is spent in the second World Heritage Site, the Alto Douro Wine Region, which is the world's oldest demarcated wine region. The third site is the Coa Valley Archeological Park, where hundreds of rock panels featuring thousands of animal figures were carved over several millennia, representing the most remarkable open-air ensemble of Paleolithic art on the Iberian Peninsula.
  5. Stay in Authentic Quintas—the Vineyard Estates of the Douro Valley
    From luxurious manor houses to traditional farmsteads and boutique inns, the historic quintas of the Douro Valley 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 other local products as well, such as olive oil, nuts and preserves. Staying on a quinta is an experience well off the typical tourist track!
  6. Indulge in Fabulous Food and Wine
    We know most of our guests don’t choose our nature adventures for the food, although it’s generally excellent. 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 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 enjoy is raised right on or near 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.)
  7. 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 guides are resident experts when it comes to knowing the hidden corners and rich history of the Douro region, where they've worked for years—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.
  8. 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!
  9. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  10. 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 Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
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