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Route:

Route Characteristics:

Route Profile: Easy. Overall terrain is on well paved roads and some dirt roads as well with short to medium inclines each day.

Distance:  231 km

Travel Season: Self-Guided: Departures Saturdays from January 8 – December 17, 2022
Guided: Departures April 23; May 21; June 18; July 9; July 30; September 17 and October 15, 2022
Private Guided tours can be arranged on other dates for an additional fee

Accommodation:

Variety of charm hotels, some built in castles, convents or palaces

This seven day bike tour in Portugal will take you through some of the wildest and most beautiful Portuguese landscapes, taking some easy dirt roads occasionally. This cycling tour in Portugal on the south West Atlantic coast takes us through pristine natural parks and reserves like the Estuário do Sado, Lagoas de Santo André and Sudoeste Alentejano, finishing in Costa Vicentina, and swimming in the cool blue waters of the Atlantic every day. Taste the fresh fish paired with award winning Alentejo wines and enjoy our famous picnics, the true definition of a gourmet luxury light meal in the white sands of secluded beaches… there is nothing quite like it! Learn about olive oil, cork extraction and its many uses, rice fields, pine forests, the dictatorship, and many other intriguing facts. Easy level safe routes with a challenge here and there will make for a relaxing and fun ride while you live the present, learn about the past and discover the future of the oldest and sunniest country in Europe.

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival in Portugal

Transfer from Lisbon airport (45 minutes) to Sesimbra – Included in van guided and guided tours only. Sesimbra is a picturesque fisherman´s village in the heart of Arrábida Natural Park. At 6 p.m. we have a welcome drink and the first briefing about your self-guided or guided cycling tour in Portugal, followed by a superb freshly caught fish dinner at local restaurant (welcome drink and dinner included in van guided and guided tours only).

Day 2

The Arrábida Natural Park 40 km + 780 m

Today’s bike ride will start with the visit to Sesimbra’s picturesque fisherman’s market followed by a climb to the castle built in the 12th century to watch over the port. Then the green lust of Arrábida Natural Park will keep you company until the picnic by the sea. You will be impressed… After an unforgettable lunch and swim, having the ocean on one side and the mountain on the other, you will cycle to Setúbal, the day’s destination, a vibrant and prosperous city.

Day 3

The Wine and Rice Fields Tour 35 km + 440 m

The day’s bike ride will start with a visit to the surprising Setubal downtown followed by the ferry crossing of the Sado river, home to a healthy resident dolphin population. Riding in the peninsula of Troia, surrounded by sand dunes of this one time island, you will arrive to our wine tasting. Afterwards we ride to the beach for a swim and another wonderful picnic. This 50 kilometer long white sandy beach is the biggest in Portugal. After lunch, the wild egrets and storks will keep you company through the rice fields, a prosperous Moorish heritage, until the transfer stop. Or, if you are feeling strong, you can continue on and reach Santo André via cycling. Enjoy the Sado Estuary natural park.

Day 4

The Lagoons Tour 36 km + 450 m

After the initial warm up, explore a couple of ecosystems of freshwater lagoons, a wildlife heaven on the natural reserve of Santo André and Sancha lagoons. After a drink by the sea, ride to a unique outdoors library made of marble, followed by a picnic under a cork oak forest. Then we pay a visit to a very nice family who has owned a small olive mill for several generations. The ride ends in Santiago, a very interesting and old small town with great aristocratic architecture and a castle with unforgettable views.

Day 5

From the Castle to the Beach 35 km + 440 m

Off course this bike tour would not leave Santiago without exploring its rich history filled with knights and damsels in distress. The view from the top of the castle is well worth the small climb, from there you can see into the past and the future. Santiago is also the land of wind, so with the visit to the last operating windmill say farewell to this town towards the coastline through a lush green oak forest. The Blue Ocean and warmer waters by the schist cliffs will frame the beach picnic and the last kilometers to the hotel in the enchanting fisherman’s village of Porto Covo. The beach coves are impressive and five minutes away from the hotel where you can go for a swim. Start visiting the Natural Park of southwestern Alentejo and Vicentina coast.

Day 6

The Fishing Coves Route 24 km + 350 m

The fortification that used to protect the natural harbor against pirate attacks is the first stop of this bike tour day. The peach island poses for our pictures. Soon after there is an opportunity for walking into the ocean, a really defying experience in this fishing harbor where the unloading of the fish and the lamprey drying in the sun are always an interesting experience. The lunch in a restaurant overlooking the beach will close the morning. The afternoon is spent at the beach or snooping the small streets and shops of Vila Nova de Mil Fontes followed by the romantic riverside farm/hotel of Zambujeiro which will set the environment to the perfect days end.

Day 7

The Cliffs Route 60 km + 515 m

On the last biking day you don’t have to pack your bags, just set the camera to landscape mode and ride through roads only used by local people, mostly easy dirt roads. As always, alternative asphalt road is possible, but you would miss the amazing cliff ride! Get ready to use all of your camera MB taking pictures of pinnacle rocks standing precariously in the ocean, decorated with stork’s nests, unexplored hidden coves and small beaches and cliffs with an impressive array of colors and contrasts. Capture all these moments and share them… yes, it’s selfies time! The stage for the last picnic is a beach, walled by tilted cliffs inviting for a lazy afternoon basking in the sun. Then when the time is right we go back to Vila Nova de Milfontes. On the way, we stop for a last swim and drink on the fantastic beach of Almograve. You deserve it!!!!!!! The journey ends with a rewarding dinner celebration with some surprises in a very genuine atmosphere.

Day 8

Departure

Transfer to Lisbon airport (3 hours) included in van guided and guided tours only.

Prices

    Included:

    Self-Guided:

    • 7 nights’ accommodation with breakfast in double/twin room
    • Basic tools for fixing small problems
    • Luggage transfer
    • Maps, route instructions and history notes
    • Transfer from Carvalhal to Santo André (optional)
    • 24 hour phone support
    • Souvenir
    • Personal accident insurance
    • VAT tax

    Guided Tour:

    On Guided tours groups are accompanied by one or two cycling guides, besides a guide who takes the support car, prepares the picnics and transports your luggage. Lunches are picnic type with traditional foods from the area where we are cycling. Sometimes we also use local restaurants.

    • All that is included on the van-guided
    • Guide to ride with the group (one or two, depending on group size)

    Van Guided:

    On Van guided tours the guide will be the driver. He/she will guide you from a distance. The car will be near enough so that you can see it on the junctions. The guide will stop at important or interesting places to give history explanations or tell a story. Some people call this a supported tour, though in our case it is more than that because you are actually being guided.

    • All that is included on the self-guided
    • Airport transfers
    • Ferry crossing
    • Support car with guide
    • Bicycle, helmet, back rack and pannier or similar
    • Water and fruit
    • 5 picnic lunches
    • 1 lunch at regional restaurant
    • 5 dinners with wine
    • 1 wine tasting at wineries (when available)
    • First aid assistance
    • Cycling jersey

    Not Included:

    • Insurance for bikes – not available in Portugal
    • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
    • Personal expenses

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