Portugal Three Ways!by Jessie Beyer - Monday, February 3, 2020
Portugal has been one of our favorite countries to cycle through since we first ran tours there in 1996. Over the years our destinations may change, but we always go back to those places that have just the right elements to make for a stunning bicycle tour. Great cycling weather – check. Excellent (and affordable) cuisine – check. Fantastic wine – check. Portugal offers beautiful cycling terrain with scenic vistas, colorful countryside, and lively cities. This year we’ve added a new tour in the south: Cycling The Algarve. Not only is this a new destination but its also one of our new Explorer Tours. Making the choice to visit Portugal is easy: with three great bike tours choose from, you just have to decide which part of the country you’d like to explore first.
Explore Portugal’s south-central interior and west coast with undulating fields of wheat, cork and eucalyptus groves, olive orchards and vineyards. As the western outpost of continental Europe, this region combines centuries of ancient Roman, Arabic, Medieval and Renaissance influences, delicately framed by stunning beaches and endless blue sky. Not to mention one of the most beautiful coastlines in all of Europe.
Highlights: The Algarve and Alentejo regions, Roman cities, undiscovered roads, a stay at a historic Pousada hotel, a visit to an active marble quarry, star-gazing, the ceramics of São Pedro do Corval, the medieval town of Evora, Costa Vincentina National Park, cycling to the “end of the world.”
2020 Departure Dates
Bike Across Portugal Plus! the Coast (12-day)
Bike Across Portugal (8-day)
Pedal along the rivers, coastlines and valleys of northern Portugal and learn about the cast of characters who founded the country in the 12th century. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Coimbra, Porto and Ponte de Lima and finish your journey in the famous pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Along the way, take the time to taste and savor the gastronomic specialties of this special area and enjoy the changes that come with crossing a border as we cycle into Spain’s Galicia region. With three distinctive wines and a blend of fresh seafood, hearty stews and modern day gourmet fare, there is something for all tastes.
Our route crisscrosses the famed Portuguese Camino as we follow in the footsteps of royalty such as Queen Isabel of Portugal who completed the pilgrimage in the 13th century. We’ll touch on two versions of the Camino de Santiago – one along the coast as well as the traditional interior route – to reach the enthralling towns of Barcelos, Ponte de Lima and Baiona. We end in Spain, pedaling through the settlements of Pontevedra and Padron as we wend our way to our final destination in Santiago de Compostela. A generous dose of southern European hospitality and lifestyle makes this a unique and wonderful bicycle tour.
Highlights: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Minho and Dour River valleys, a variety of wines including Vinho Verde, Douro and Porto, Baiona’s historic port, Padrón peppers, Galician countryside, Portugal’s northern coast.
2020 Departure Dates
Jun 16-27 – Sold Out
Jul 7-18 – Three More Riders to Guarantee the Departure
Jul 28-Aug 8 – Guaranteed to Go
Aug 25-Sep 5 – Sold Out (wait list available)
Cycling the Portuguese Camino (8 days)
Jun 20-27 – Sold Out
Jul 11-18 – Four More Riders to Guarantee the Departure
Aug 1-8 – Guaranteed to Go
Aug 29-Sep 5 – Sold Out (wait list available)
A bicycling adventure on paved and dirt roads through the southernmost coastal region of Portugal, the Algarve is perfect for those who relish an off-the-beaten path experience. We’ll follow sections of the Ecovia do Algarve coastal trail that begins at the Spanish border and continues all the way across Portugal ending at Cabo de São Vicente, historically considered the end of the world. Along the way we’ll cycle past windswept dunes, ocher cliffs and sleepy beach towns as we experience the friendly folks and rugged landscapes that define this region. Ride next to clear water streams through valleys filled with dense cushions of Mediterranean vegetation defined by their rocky surroundings. Explore the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a lagoon system that spans 60 km (37 miles) of coastline and is home to hundreds of bird species. Discover the lovely Moorish town of Silves and the cliffs of Ponta da Piedade in Lagos. Join us to cycle under sunny skies over a variety of terrain as we explore sandy shores as far as the eyes can see, soaring cliffs, whitewashed fishing villages and a true taste of laid-back Mediterranean culture.
Highlights: The wild paradise of Ria Formosa Natural Park, historic cities, quaint villages, beautiful beaches, Moorish-style architecture, Mediterranean landscapes, Cabo de São Vicente – “the end of the world.”
2020 Departure Dates:
Cycling the Algarve (8 Days)
May 3-10 – Guaranteed to Go
Sep 24-Oct 1 – Four More Riders to Guarantee the Departure
Want a run down of our five different styles of bike tours? Compare all of the options here!