Bike Across Portugal

Bike Across Portugal

Explore Portugal's south-central lands and west coast with undulating wheat fields, cork and eucalyptus trees, olive orchards and vineyards. As the western outpost of continental Europe, this region harmonizes centuries of ancient, Roman, Arabic, Medieval and Renaissance influences. Highlights include:

  • Beautiful, serene historic hotels.
  • Roman ruins, rural paradise and one of the most ancient towns in Europe
  • Alqueva reservoir, one of the world's best places for stargazing
  • Artisan centers of pottery, wine making and marble work
***Extend this trip by 4 days and with our Bike Across Portugal Plus! the Coast tour.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Oct 13-20, 2018
USD$3695
USD$550
Sold Out! Wait List Available.    
Apr 20-27, 2019
USD$3695
USD$550
Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person. 
May 11-18, 2019
USD$3695
USD$550
Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person.
May 25-Jun 1, 2019
USD$3695
USD$550
Guaranteed to Go! Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person. 
Sep 14-21, 2019
USD$3695
USD$550
2 More to Guarantee the Departure. Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person. 
Sep 28-Oct 5, 2019
USD$3695
USD$550
Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person.
Oct 12-19, 2019
USD$3695
USD$550
Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person.

* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 420 - 438 km (259 - 270 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 63 km (38 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 2.0
  • Countries / Portugal
  • Begin/End / Elvas / Lisbon
  • Price / From USD$3695
More Photos
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Roman cities, Undiscovered roads, Wine tasting, Portugal's historic Pousada luxury hotels, Active marble quarry, The ceramics of São Pedro do Corval, Medieval town of Evora

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    This is a rural region and on some days there will be fewer towns throughout the ride than other regions in Europe.
  • Includes
    7 nights' accommodation; 7 breakfasts, 1 picnic,5 dinners with wine; shuttle from and back to Lisbon; 2 wine and 1 olive oil tasting; two to three bilingual tour leaders; van support

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Lisbon, Portugal - Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS).
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    32km / 446m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    Longer optional ride available
    3
    56km / 530m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    4
    68km / 534m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    5
    57km / 373m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    6
    93km / 570m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.5
    7
    74km / 702m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 3.0
    8
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: Flat and gently rolling hills with 30 - 40 mile days. Two short steep climbs on two days.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Meet in Lisbon, Shuttle to Elvas

Highlights: Elvas and its medieval walls

After arriving in Lisbon, you'll take our morning shuttle east to Elvas, a fortified city just a stone's through from the Spanish border. After a light lunch along the way, the tour leaders will fit bicycles, and lead a safety briefing, then it's off on a short loop ride around Elvas' impressive Roman Aqueduct, its well preserved 16th century walls, and its other fortifications. Tonight's hotel is built into the city's walls, and has a beautiful pool-a great spot to relax before or after your sumptuous welcome dinner.

DAY 2: Bicycle to Vila Vicosa

Highlights: Historic hotel

Consider today's short ride down to the river a warm-up for the excitement of the days ahead! You'll pedal with views into Spain before turning west, riding toward Vila Vicosa through wheat fields and olive orchard dotted with cork-oak trees. This semi-arid region is one of the country's least populated, and is known for its agricultural production, though today's short climb ends at a town famed for its marble. The beautiful rose-colored Vila Vicosa marble can be seen everywhere in town-including the street pavers! This afternoon, you can log extra mileage, visit the marble museum where we learn about the history of production and extraction, or give yourself in to poolside relaxation at your historic Pousada hotel, once a 16th-century convent.

  • Distance: 32 km (20 mi)
  • Gain: 446 m (1463 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Bicycle to Monsaraz

Highlights: Alqueva reservoir, castles and fortified town of Monsaraz, marble area

Departing the rose-colored city, we'll stop to visit an active marble quarry to learn more about its properties, history and extraction process. Our ride heads south to the castle town of Monsaraz, which overlooks the Alqueva reservoir. The largest reservoir in Europe, this body of water straddles the Spanish-Portuguese border, and was designated in 2012 as one of the first Starlight Tourism Destinations for its ideal star-gazing conditions and exceptionally low light pollution. Enjoy dinner together tonight, then bask in the inky night sky.

DAY 4: Bicycle to Evora

Highlights: Ceramic town, medieval Evora, wine tasting

Today's ride to Evora includes a pleasant stop in São Pedro do Corval, a well-known pottery town where you'll have the opportunity to browse several workshops and visit with the artists who run them. Upon your arrival in beautiful Evora, notice how its Roman aqueducts and ruins blend with the Medieval walls and Renaissance churches. Inhabited for more than 2000 years, Evora is on the roster of most ancient towns in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll spend two-nights here which will allow you to take in some of its most notable sights.

DAY 5: Evora - rest day or optional ride

Highlights: Visit Evora, or take a loop ride to Azaruja

Today's optional ride leaves Evora along a towering aqueduct into the heart of the Portuguese cork industry. We'll visit the factory where cork is transformed beyond bottle stoppers; you'll see purses, dresses, and business cards created from this amazing bark. This evening you'll enjoy a guided walk through the old part of Evora.

DAY 6: Bicycle Evora to Central Alentejo

Highlights: Rolling hills of the Alentejo, cheese tasting

As you leave the city you'll pass through several small towns and the ancient castles that safeguarded them during the 13th century. Your rural destination for tonight is an expansive farm, raising goats and cork. As we get closer to the coast, the wide-open spaces become dotted with sea pines revealing the varied character of the Alentejo. Get ready for a hearty Alentejo dinner.

  • Distance: 93 km (58 mi)
  • Gain: 570 m (1870 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Bike to Vilanova de Milfontes

Highlights: The beach and a boat ride

We leave rural Alentejo for coastal Alentejo today. As you get to the coast, you'll see signs of more recent Portuguese development including Sines and its industrial harbor which was once famed as the birthplace of Portugal's most famous sailor - Vasco da Gama. At Vilanova da Milfontes, our destination, you'll enjoy views of its amazing beach and the Rio Mira confluence to the sea. We'll enjoy a river boat trip this afternoon.

Lodging: The October 13th departure and all 2019 departures will be at the Quinta Do Moinho De Vento.

DAY 8: Tour Ends

Highlights: Transfer to Lisbon

Meals: B

Your bicycling adventure ends today. We'll shuttle you back to Lisbon or the Lisbon airport. Boa viagem!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Meet in Lisbon, Shuttle to Elvas

Lodging: Hotel São João de Deus

Your tour starts with a shuttle pick-up on Day 1 (your spot is already reserved on this shuttle):

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into Lisbon Airport. (LIS)

We will be glad to arrange your pre- and post-tour stay at the Meeting Hotel for you upon request. Note that we will not sleep there as a group and the stay there is not included in the tour price.

Getting to the Meeting Hotel in Lisbon from the Lisbon Airport

  • Taxi or Uber (25 min/EUR 15-20)
  • or Aerobus (stop Tivoli Theater, right in front of the hotel) (50 min/EUR 3-4)

For more travel planning tips, including our packing lists, visit our After You Book Pages online.

Day 8: Departure Information

Tour Ends

We spend our last night of the tour in Vilanova de Milfontes, about 115 miles from Lisbon.

The tour ends on the final day with an ExperiencePlus! shuttle drop-off at either
  • Lisbon airport (LIS); arrival at *12 p.m. (3-hour transfer)
  • or NH Hotel Liberdade (same as meeting hotel); arrival at 12:30 p.m. (3.5-hour transfer)

Shuttle reservations 30 days prior to your tour start are required. Reserve by emailing us. If you can't make the shuttle, you will be responsible for your own transportation.

*Note: Book your flight out of LIS after 2:30 p.m.

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep in Mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

This is a rural region and on some days there will be fewer towns throughout the ride than other regions in Europe.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike comes with a pack for the rear rack, lock, cyclometer (bicycle computer), a spare tube and patch kit and pump, a rear light and in some places a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Fascinating, beautiful, fun, fabulous biking. Superb trip and cannot wait to plan the next one! Thank you to all!

    Deborah S., Ossining, NY
  • It was a great experience! This was our 4th tour with EP. We look forward to our 5th.

    Connie K., Houston, TX
  • My thanks and congratulations to EexperiencePlus! for planning a great tour, hiring spectacular guides and - where did you find so many intelligent, accomplished, sociable, sophisticated bikers to join this tour? The selection could not have been merely random.

    Jeffrey W., Sherman, CT
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? A wonderful way to see a country and meet its people; also a very professional, personalized tour.

    Marcelle H., Houston, TX - May 2018
  • Thanks for a great tour and fun memories

    Angela D., Telluride, CO
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