Vultures and Vineyards: A Wildlife Watching Trip to Portugal
Delve into northern Portugal's Faia Brava National Park on this six-day itinerary to witness its wonderful wildlife and enjoy some of Europe's best vulture sightings. Top and tail your trip in the country's second city, Porto, for a hit of culture and the chance to sample the region's world-famous port wine.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Accompanied by a local wildlife photographer, enjoy a 4x4 safari in Faia Brava National Park
- Marvel at ancient rock paintings and enjoy some incredible stargazing in the Coa Valley
- Take a seat in a vulture hide to watch these huge raptors up close as they come in to feed
- Take a tour of an award-winning vineyard
- Stay in a traditional Fly Camp and feast on a luxurious five-course meal under the stars
- See the sights in Porto on a wonderful walking tour with a local guide
Why Book with Original Travel?
When To Travel
All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you
Day 1: International Flight
Your tailor-made wildlife watching Portugal trip to see vultures begins today with a short two-and-a-half-hour flight from London to Porto.
On arrival into this charming coastal city, you will collect your hire car from the airport and drive two-and-a-half-hours to the hilltop village of Castelo Rodrigo in the north of the country.
Your accommodation for the next few nights is a lovely boutique hotel built among the old ruins of Castelo Rodrigo. With sweeping views and a luxurious outdoor infinity pool, this is the perfect base for the next few nights of your trip.
Day 2: Wildlife Safari in Faia Brava National Park
Wake up bright and early this morning for the first full day of your tailor-made wildlife watching Portugal trip. Tuck into a delicious breakfast at your hotel - complete with homemade cakes and local honey - before meeting your guide, a local wildlife photographer, for a 4x4 safari in Faia Brava National Park.
The first privately-owned reserve in Portugal, Faia Brava is part of the Archaeological Park of the Coa Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Boasting dramatic landscapes and an abundance of flora and fauna - including over 180 plant species and 25 mammal species - the park is an Eden for wildlife lovers. Bird watchers in particular will be in their element here with over 100 species to spot including golden and Bonelli's eagles, Egyptian and griffon vultures, black storks and eagle owls.
Accompanied by your guide, delve deep into the park and learn about how the landscapes are protected and sustained by tourism. Refuel with a tasty picnic lunch before heading back to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.
Day 3: Vulture Hide and Vineyard Tour
Begin day three of your tailor-made wildlife watching Portugal trip with another bountiful breakfast at your hotel before packing your bags ready for a night in a wonderful fly camp this evening.
You'll be met at the hotel by your guide again today for an incredible vulture watching experience. Take a seat in the vulture hide - located at one of their feeding areas - and watch these huge raptors up close. With few trees to obscure your view and great light quality, this is the perfect spot for anyone who is looking to snap some truly amazing wildlife shots. Bonus: the hide helps to support rewilding and conservation efforts in the area so you can rest assured that your visit benefits the amazing animals you'll see.
As well as a number of vulture species - including Egyptian vultures, black vultures, griffon vultures and sometimes even the rare African Ruppell's griffon vultures - this is one of the best places to see these incredible creatures in Europe. Other bird that regularly show up include black and red kites, golden eagles, ravens, azure-winged magpies, and blue rock thrushes, among others.
After your birdwatching excursion, drive to a local vineyard, set beside the Douro river, where you'll be given a tour and the chance to enjoy some wonderful wines. Come evening, you'll make your way to a camp in the wilderness overlooking the dramatic
Coa and Douro rivers where you'll enjoy a luxurious five-course meal with wine pairings before retiring to your room.
Day 4: Porto Bound
After breakfast at your fly camp, you'll be swapping the wildernesses of northern Portugal for the vibrant streets of Porto, the country's second city.
Unpack and settle into your luxurious hotel, where you will be staying for the final two nights of your tailor-made wildlife watching holiday in Portugal. You'll have a full day to explore the city tomorrow so enjoy an afternoon at leisure and perhaps pop into town for dinner in one of the many wonderful restaurants. Our clued-up local Concierge can help recommend a favourite restaurant and reserve a table.
Day 5: Tour of Porto
For the penultimate day of your tailor-made wildlife watching Portugal trip, we've organised for you to enjoy a private tour of Porto with a knowledgeable local guide.
Set off on foot to see some of the city's top sights, admiring the beautiful azulejo tiled buildings along the way. Wander the around the maze of cobbled back streets, sample the city's world-famous port wine at one of the many waterfront warehouses and take a seat in a lovely local restaurant for a delicious supper - we can recommend another of the best spots in town to taste the region's famous fare.
Day 6: Home Time
Sadly, today is the final day of your wildlife watching in Portugal holiday. Your flight isn't until this evening, so you'll be able to squeeze in some more sightseeing in Porto before your two-and-a-half-hour flight back to London.
Harriet and Arran are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.