Walking the Côa Valley Grande Route

Discover the beautiful countryside of Portugal by foot and enjoy its wildlife. Get ready for an adventure across the Côa valley! You will be fascinated by the area, landscapes and rewilded nature along the way.


The Grand Route of the Côa Valley crosses two protected nature reserves, the Malcata Nature Reserve and Faia Brava Reserve, and on its path there are endless photographic opportunities and lots to take in. It is a great way to discover one of the most remote regions of Portugal and be thrilled by its roughness. 

Dozens of various bird species chose the Côa valley to breed, especially cliff breeders, such as the Egyptian and griffon vulture, the golden or Bonelli’s eagles, but also raptors like the red kite or the booted eagle. Besides the dynamic birdlife, other species like roe deer, wild boar, or fox, are returning to the area. 

Besides wildlife, crossing the Côa valley is a journey through time. The Côa Valley Archaeological Park,  is a world heritage UNESCO site. Old bridges from medieval towns can be seen, along with a wide range of castles and fortresses.



Day 1: Arrival into Porto. Departure to Castelo Rodrigo, check in at Casa da Cisterna. Leisure time or explore Castelo Rodrigo. Dinner at Casa da Cisterna. Visit to UNESCO world heritage site to see the rock engravings (late evening). Overnight at Casa da Cisterna.

Day 2: Breakfast at Casa da Cisterna. First day walking part of the Côa Valley Grande Route with Fernando Romao (pick up and drop off at Casa da Cisterna). Dinner at Casa da Cisterna. Overnight at Casa da Cisterna.

Day 3: Breakfast at Casa da Cisterna. Second day walking part of the Côa Valley Grande Route with Fernando (pick up and drop off at Casa da Cisterna). Dinner at Casa da Cisterna. Overnight at Casa da Cisterna

Day 4: Breakfast at Casa da Cisterna. Third day walking part of the Côa Valley Grande Route with Fernando (pick up and drop off at Casa da Cisterna). Dinner at Casa da Cisterna. Overnight at Casa da Cisterna

Day 5: Breakfast at Casa da Cisterna and departure.


Trip Details

  • Days: 5 days/4 nights
  • When: Year round
  • Accommodation: Casa da Cisterna
  • Guide: Fernando Romao
  • How to get there: Closest airport is Porto, but you can also use Madrid or Lisbon as your arrival gate into the Côa Valley. You can rent a car from the airport for an easy 3 hr drive to Castelo Rodrigo. You can also reach Porto by train.
  • Languages: English, Portuguese



  • Price pp: €840 (1-4 persons)
  • Price pp: €670 (5-6 persons)

Being a linear route, we assure the transfer for up to 6 participants. 

The cost includes: Four nights incl breakfast and dinner at Casa da Cisterna. Picnic lunches on all three walking days. Guided visit to Coa Valley rock engravings. Three full days guided hiking - parts of the Côa Valley Grande Route, with Fernando Romao. 5% rewilding levy.

The cost does not include: Flights. Transfers to/from the airport or train station to Castelo Rodrigo.

What to bring: We recommend you to dress in layers. Hiking shoes, sun hat, water bottle, daypack, long pants, hat and gloves, jacket, raincoat or poncho, sun protection cream, non smelling mosquito/tick repellent and camp shoes (sandals). Binoculars, personal toiletries/medicines and a sense of adventure!


Rewilding Europe Levy: 5% of your booking sum goes to the local Rewilding Europe organization.  

As a result of rural depopulation and associated land abandonment across much of the Mediterranean, grazing livestock numbers have plummeted, leading to a very significant increase of landscapes without any form of grazing.

As a result, many landscapes are now covered by young, often monotonous forest or dense scrub.


By bringing back grazing – this time not with livestock but with (semi-) wild herbivores such as wild horses and Tauros – Rewilding Europe and its local partners can significantly reduce the risk of fire in the Côa Valley rewilding area. Reintroducing such herbivores will also improve conditions for populations of roe deer and Iberian ibex. Natural grazing by these species leads to the creation of more diverse mosaic landscapes, with open spaces that act as effective firebreaks.

Supporting local enterprises. Through financial loans and expert business advice, Rewilding Europe Capital (REC) is helping a growing number of local entrepreneurs create rewilding-focused enterprises across our operational areas. Star Camp,  Casa da Cisterna, our guide Fernando Romao from Wildlife Portugal and Fly Camp are all pioneering nature-based tourism models which are helping to reinforce the rewilding agenda here. Rewilding Europe promotes these enterprises through the increasingly popular European Safari Company.

Read more about our work in the greater Côa Valley here.



Aukje Van Gerven and

Irene Fernandez


Meet Fernando

Fernando Romão is a nature guide and photographer and has spent the last 20 years developing is skills, knowledge and passion for nature.

Guiding professionally allowed him to create unique interpretive tours; including bird watching, hiking and nature photography and transfer his love and passion for nature. 

Working in a variety of areas including Faia Brava's private reserve, the Serra da Estrela Natural Park and the Duoro and Tejo International Natural Park respectively.

With training in Outdoor and Adventure activities as well as Tourism and Nature interpretation, Fernando is the perfect combination for a nature based tour in the area. With his own nature tourism and photography business he strives to always bring the best of the area and its experiences to his guests.

When he isn't guiding or glued to the view finder on his camera, Fernando is working on an editorial project for travel guides for the interior of Portugal.

Fernando Romao

Wildlife Portugal