Bike Across Portugal Plus! the Coast

  • Itinerary Summary

    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, delicately framed by stunning beaches and endless blue sky. Highlights include: Beautiful, serene historic hotels... Roman ruins, rural paradise... Alqueva reservoir, one of the world's best places for stargazing... Artisan centers of pottery, winemaking and marble work... Rugged coastline and the continent's most southwestern point

    ***Sound like a great tour but you don't have enough time to do the entire ride? Check out Bike Across Portugal tour which includes the first 8-days of this itinerary.***

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    1. Day 1: Meet in Lisbon, Shuttle to Elvas

      Highlights: Elvas and its medieval walls

      After arriving in Lisbon, you'll take our mid-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.

      Distance: 20 km (12 miles). Meals: L, D

      Lodging: Hotel São João de Deus

    2. 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-50 km (20-30 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Pousada de Vila Vicosa

    3. 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.

      Distance: 56 km (35 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Estalagem de Monsaraz

    4. 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.

      Distance: 65 km (40 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Albergaria do Calvario

    5. 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.

      Distance: Rest day or 57 km (35 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Albergaria do Calvario

    6. 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: 89 km (55 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Monte das Faias

    7. Day 7: Vilanova de Milfontes

      Highlights: The beach!

      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.

      Distance: 76 km (47 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: HS Milfontes

    8. Day 8: Vilanova de Milfontes

      Highlights: Rest Day, boat ride

      Today you will enjoy today a boat ride along the Rio Mira river. Those who want to get on the bike can enjoy a loop ride towards Sines, and enjoy some great coastal ride. Or if you just feel like relaxing our beach resort area has amazing views and amenities.

      Distance: Rest Day or 62 km (38 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: HS Milfontes

    9. Day 9: Bicycle the coast of Portugal

      Highlights: Costa Vicentina National Park

      Coastal hills separate the central Alentejo from the North Atlantic Ocean, and you'll pedal through this rugged area today. A majority of this area, including its beautiful beaches and sheer cliffs, is designated as Costa Vicentina National Park, so there are just a few roads that take you to the coast. We'll loop towards secluded beaches so there are opportunities for picnics and swimming. Or wait and hit the hotel pool, or take the walk from the hotel to the ocean.

      Distance: 28 km (17 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Herdade do Touril

    10. Day 10: Bicycle the Costa Vicentina National Park

      Highlights: Beaches, sand dunes, and surfers

      Despite the attention given the Algarve in southern Portugal, many surfers would argue that the Costa Vicentina boasts some of the best surfing in Europe - and one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. Today you'll ride south, weaving across the main road, through little farm villages and larger towns, en route to the hotel, which is nestled in a valley just 10 minutes walk from the beach. There's plenty of time today to swim, walk the sandy beach, and simply enjoy the beautiful Atlantic coastline.

      Distance: 79 km (49 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Aldeia Pedralva

    11. Day 11: Bicycle to the "end of the world"

      Highlights: Cabo San Vicente lighthouse, Sagres fortress, bicycle Algarve

      A short ride today allows for plenty of time for one last walk on the beach, or an extra-leisurely ride to Cabo San Vicente - the famed "end of the world," when the world was thought to be flat. Europe's most southwestern point still features a lighthouse and a fortress. From there, it's just a few kilometers to the town of Sagres, the final destination of your cycling adventure in Portugal. Celebrate the spirit of the Alentejo and the Algarve with a lively group dinner and a restful night in another luxurious Pousada hotel, built on Sagres' promontory with a memorable view of the fortress and the beach.

      Distance: 44 km (27 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Baleeira Hotel

    12. Day 12: Algarve

      Highlights: Tour ends

      Meals: B

      Stick around and enjoy another day (or two) at the beach, or if you must head home we wish you boa viagem! We'll offer a shuttle (approx 3 hrs) to Lisbon this morning for anyone flying out or heading back to the capitol. Expect to be at the airport by 2:00 p.m. and in the center of town shortly after that.

    • Highlights

      Roman cities, Undiscovered roads, Wine tasting, Portugal's historic Pousada luxury hotels, Active marble quarry, Star-gazing, The ceramics of São Pedro do Corval, Medieval town of Evora, Tapestries of Arraiolos, Costa Vincentina National Park, Algarve, Bicycle to the "end of the world"
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 11 nights' accommodation; 11 breakfasts, 1 light/picnic lunch, 9 dinners with wine; shuttle from and back to Lisbon; 2 wine and one olive oil tasting; 2 or 3 bilingual tour leaders; van support plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Portugal
    • Begin/End

      Elvas / Algarve
    • Arrive/Depart

      Lisbon, Portugal - Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS)
    • Total Distance

      488-625 km (301-385 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      Average per day if you ride every kilometer 60 (37 miles).
    • Rating

      201-301 Gently rolling hills, some longer days but with minimal elevation gain. 3 days have shorter steep climbs.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Apr 15-26, 2017 US $4450.00 US $650.00 4 More to Guarantee the Departure. Book it
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    Apr 29-May 10, 2017 US $4650.00 US $650.00 Just 4 Spaces Available. Book it
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    May 13-24, 2017 US $4650.00 US $650.00 Guaranteed to Go! Book it
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    Sep 16-27, 2017 US $4650.00 US $650.00 Book it
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    Oct 14-25, 2017 US $4650.00 US $650.00 Guaranteed to Go! Book it
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    Oct 28-Nov 8, 2017 US $4450.00 US $650.00 Book it
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    * 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.

  • Stories

    • This trip was a fun trip with a really good group of people. The guides were great , informative and helpful. The scenery was beautiful and varied from countryside to seaside. I learned lots about Portugals'''' wines, food, olives and cork trees/industry

      Deb D., Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
    • Wonderful trip. The amount of cycling is enough, but still leaves plenty of time to enjoy the town at the end of the day. Food was amazing with plenty of variety at both breakfasts and dinners. The arrows provide a seamless ride, so no need to stop and examine a map. The coast is an area not to be missed!

      Margaret V., Boulder, CO
    • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Beautiful country with diverse scenery. Wonderful history, culture and people. Scenic, low traffic bike routes on good roads. Hotels, food and wine were all very good.

      Anne K., Portsmouth, RI
    • Great guides. The (navigational) arrows make the tour much more enjoyable. I enjoyed having the "ridewithgps" maps on my Garmin. We plan to ride again next fall.

      Joe V., Boulder, CO
    • It was fantastic. We rode through the flower-filled countryside, ate local food and drank local wines. The route was great with just enough ups and downs.

      John H., Colorado Springs, CO
    • Wonderful scenery, good roads, and friendly people. Tour leaders went beyond expectations to ensure a safe trip and an enjoyable vacation.

      Dave G., Denver, CO
    • Portugal is a must-see and no better way to see it than on bike.

      Jane C., Lucca, Italy
    • Excellent route, neat country, beautiful, great beer and wine prices. Really impressed with the bike set-up.

      Sonny L., Aurora, CO
    • A pleasant trip through beautiful country. Be sure to go in the spring, the wildflowers are awesome.

      Chris H., Huntington Beach, CA
    • It''s a ride through beautiful scenery on perfect biking roads with no traffic. The daily distances are very comfortable and you never have to worry about getting lost. And the people you meet are consistently friendly and interesting.

      Steve I., Aurora, CO
    • I loved this trip! Loved Portugal! Hotels were varied and wonderful! Food was amazing, wine was outstanding and the guides were over the top!!!

      Jennifer R., Longmont, CO
    • We had full days with great food and wine and leaders that always went above and beyond to please.

      Scott B., Hatfield, PA
    • Elvas! Monsaraz! Vila Viscosa - all were delightful hill towns with interesting features. The beach towns - Porto Covo, Touril, Sagres - and rides were great.

      Sandra S., Sacramento, CA
    • I had a great time!

      Susan B., Groveport, OH
    • Fabulous introduction to a beautiful part of Portugal. The landscape was rugged and pristine, and the people were proud and welcoming.

      Sari R., Glastonbury, CT
    • A good sampling of the southern region of Portugal and the western coastline. Learn about Portugal''s long history, sample its delicious food, stay in interesting hotels, enjoy pristine beaches, and learn about cork and marble.

      Linda M., Livermore, CA
    • A great ride.

      Lyndon J., Trafalgar, Victoria, Australia
    • As my first experience I can only say that the trip was wonderful. The people I met and the support given for me to achieve each day''s ride was so encouraging. The bikes and support were outstanding the hotels mostly luxurious and the additional cultural aspects additional bonuses.

      Jan R., Mt Waverly Victoria
    • Yet another great ExperiencePlus! tour. What did I enjoy most? The final dinner as it reflected the culmination of great cycling in an historic country, an experience shared by a collegial group and the great food and wine consumed en route.

      Diane C., Gabriola Island, BC
    • Loved the landscape, quiet roads and wild flowers.... very pastoral... good variety of riding.

      Marilyn H., Vancouver, BC

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