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Cycling in Portugal: From the Mountains to the Sea

from $1,735.00

Starting from the Geres National Park, you cycle downhill through small villages and extensive vineyards, following the River Minho towards the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery is a stunning combination of high mountains, rolling river scenes, historic towns and dramatic coastal landscape.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
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All about the Cycling in Portugal: From the Mountains to the Sea.

In the far north of Portugal, on the border with Spain, lies the Minho region: a wild, rugged area of historical and cultural significance. Starting from the Geres National Park, you cycle downhill through small villages and extensive vineyards, following the River Minho towards the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery is a stunning combination of high mountains, rolling river scenes, historic towns and dramatic coastal landscape. You will stay in authentic accommodation offering friendly Portuguese hospitality and delicious regional cuisine. There is plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy the golden stretches of beach you cycle past, maybe accompanied by a glass of the local Vinho Verde (white wine) for which the region is well known. The ride finishes in Porto, named best European City Destination in 2013, 2014, and again for 2017.
Eating and Drinking
A typical hotel breakfast consists of: toast/bread with jam,or honey, cheese and ham, served with coffee, tea, milk, orange juice, fruit, cake and yoghurt.
Portuguese people are very proud of their cuisine, and the deliciously fresh seafood is a real highlight. You will find fresh fish on most menus, usually sardines, sea bream, hake, sea bass and sole, cooked in a variety of ways. Bacalhau (cured codfish) is a national dish although it can vary depending on the region – there are up to 365 recipes to cook it! Caldo Verde (green soup) is made with potatoes, olive oil and salt, sometimes with garlic and onion, and is typical in the northern region of Portugal. For meat lovers the barrosa meat (steak) is often served grilled and roasted just to it’s naturally delicious flavour. There are also several stew dishes to sample, delicacies being Tripas a Moda do Porto (tripe white bean stew) and Rojoes a Minhota (chunks of pork usually cooked with potatoes). ‘Francesinha’ is an iconic dish originating from Porto and involves layers of different meats (usually beef, ham, grilled pork, linguica (smoke cured pork sausage) and sausage), between two slices of bread, covered by melted cheese and immersed in a spicy beer tomato sauce, often topped with a fried egg and surrounded by chips. It is not for the faint hearted!
To drink you will find plenty of the local Sagres and Superbock beer. Vinho Verde is available from the supermarket and directly from the producers. It is a young, medium alcohol white wine with an almost carbonated quality. Port needs no introduction and a glass (or two) of the fortified wine will generally follow a hearty Portuguese meal!
Weather
Porto has a temperate maritime climate with a strong Mediterranean influence. The climate here is long, warm summers and mild winters, with most rain falling in the winter months, but possible in all other months. Seasons are marked, with pleasant temperatures in the spring, in the summer and in the autumn. Heat waves can push up temperatures occasionally. Summers are warmer and drier in the interior and moderated by the sea, as winters are cooler inland and mild by the sea. At Porto, the average maximum temperatures in August -the hottest month – is 25 degrees Celsius, and the average maximum temperatures in January -the coolest month – is 14 degrees Celsius. May and October have an average midday temperatures of 20 Celsius, and even April and November have an average midday temperatures around 17 and 18 Celsius.

  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive Castro Laboreiro

    An airport transfer is included to pick you up from Porto airport (please ensure you arrive before 3pm). Driving from the coast into the Serra de Laboreiro mountains you will enter a tiny hamlet and your home for the night. Staying in Hotel Castrum Villae or similar, Breakfast only

  2. Day 2 Day 2 To Moncao 46km/28mi

    A pleasant journey today as you cycle across the northern regions of the Geres National Park; one of the last natural refuges in Portugal for wolves and golden eagles. Passing through silent villages you notice the traditional espigueiros, the granite maize stores on stilts. By the time you reach Moncao, the fortified town on the River Minho, you will come to understand why the Portuguese are so proud of the fact that the Spanish were never able to conquer them. Upon arrival it is time to sample some of the local wine, a perfect end to your first day of cycling. Staying in Solar De Serrade or similar, Breakfast only.

  3. Day 3 Day 3 Caminha 48km/30mi

    On this stage you pedal westwards, along the River Minho to the Atlantic Ocean. Your journey takes you through extensive vineyards dedicated to the production of Vinho Verde (translates as young wine) which is a slightly carbonated, lower-alcohol wine; the perfect drink for a warm afternoon! You can pick up a bottle at the elegant Brejoeira Palace, which is a leading producer of top quality Vinho Verde. Along today’s route you will cycle past landmarks of the battles between Portugal and Spain, such as the 17th Century stronghold at Valenca and the Vila Nova de Cerveira fort. That evening arrive in the elegant town of Caminha, located on the estuary of the River Minho, with a history dating back to pre-Roman times. Staying in Design Wine Hotel or similar, Breakfast only

  4. Day 4 Day 4 To Ponte de Lima 53km/33mi

    Today you spend the morning cycling along the dramatic Atlantic Ocean coastline, through fishing villages that appear unchanged for centuries. Arriving in Viana do Castelo the peace and quiet is replaced by the buzz of this lively city, situated on the estuary of the River Lima. Viana has an impressive maritime history and the wealth created by this is demonstrated in the narrow lanes, crowded with Manueline manors and Rococo palaces. A must-see is the 19th Century Byzantine Santa Lucia Church on the hilltop overlooking the city, worth the steep climb for the breathtaking view. From here you cycle inland until you arrive in Ponte de Lima, the oldest village in Portugal. Your accommodation tonight is in a delightfully rural setting, and there is time to taste some of the wine and honey made on the estate itself. Staying in Quinta da Agra or similar, Breakfast only (please note this accommodation is approx. 5km from the centre of Ponte de Lima)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 Cycle the tracks of the ancient Santiago de Compostela route and on to Barcelos 33km/20mi

    The ride today follows the ancient Portuguese route towards Santiago de Compostela, and whether you are religious or not, is a really special experience. It is a route that those who have walked it for centuries, do so knowing they will meet challenges, experience great joy, and learn the lesson of life. The pleasant route today is through cornfields and vineyards to the pretty town of Barcelos on the River Cavado. Barcelos is the centre of the pottery industry in Portugal. There are markets held in the town on most days and a visit to one of these is highly recommended. Staying in Hotel Bagoeira or similar, Breakfast only

  6. Day 6 Day 6 To Vila do Conde 36km/22mi

    The ride back to the Atlantic today is a short stage, so why not take some extra time to enjoy a great lunch the Portuguese way: a leisurely, several course meal that reminds you again why the Portuguese people are so proud of their cuisine. You arrive in Vila do Conde where you can enjoy a walk around the manors and palaces within the town centre, and take a leisurely stroll along the beach before dinner. Staying in Hotel Brazao or similar, Breakfast only

  7. Day 7 Day 7 To Porto 34km/21mi

    The last stage of your holiday takes you on quiet cycle paths along the coast; along sand dunes, and passing through fishing villages and a seabird reserve. You approach Porto, and enter via the estuary of the River Douro. A UNESCO World Heritage City and best European City destination for 2013, 2014, and again for 2017, Porto is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The old centre boasts more than 1500 listed monuments, and the history of the traditional Port Wine can be explored by visited many of the Port cellars which are open to the public and can be appreciated during the included Port tasting. Staying in Dom Henrique Hotel or similar, Breakfast only

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Leave Porto

    Cycling conditions This is a self-guided cycling trip for those who like to cycle independently, but with back up to take out the hard work and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading. Average daily ride: 42km (26 miles). There is also the opportunity to increase the daily distance by taking the slightly harder option – you can decide this on the day. No. of days cycling: 6 Terrain route: Mostly on cycle paths or roads. Whilst the majority of the cycling is on paved roads there will also be times you are cycling on cycle paths – these can be of mixed terrain and are sometimes affected by adverse weather conditions (i.e. they can get muddy). You will be warned at the introductory briefing if there are any sections of the route where you need to take extra care because of this. We would also like to point out that cobbled roads are included in our description of ‘paved roads’; something you should take into consideration when booking.The route is mainly flat or downhill with the occasional small climb. Vehicle Support: A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need. You are also provided with a GPS device loaded with the tracks and a prepaid mobile phone for emergencies. It is very common to keep pet dogs in Northern Portugal for guarding rural properties. Whilst on the cycle route, you may encounter dogs barking or running alongside your bike. In most cases, dogs are confined to properties for this trip. It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes. As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service. Families Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. As a guide we have suggested that 14 years is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each days cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. On this trip, children should be expected to ride on roads with traffic. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities.

Where you stay
Hotel Castrum Villae
We’ll stay at the Hotel Castrum Villae, or a similar hotel. 7 nights spent in an array of diverse comfortable accommodations, handpicked for their character and location. Highlights include a 17th Century manor house set in extensive vineyards, a luxurious modern hotel with individually decorated rooms set in the middle of town, and a rustic locally owned heritage property where all food is farmed by the charismatic owner.
Solar de Serrade
We’ll stay at the Solar de Serrade or similar. 7 nights spent in an array of diverse comfortable accommodations, handpicked for their character and location. Highlights include a 17th Century manor house set in extensive vineyards, a luxurious modern hotel with individually decorated rooms set in the middle of town, and a rustic locally owned heritage property where all food is farmed by the charismatic owner.
Design Wine Hotel
We’ll stay at the Design Wine Hotel or similar 7 nights spent in an array of diverse comfortable accommodations, handpicked for their character and location. Highlights include a 17th Century manor house set in extensive vineyards, a luxurious modern hotel with individually decorated rooms set in the middle of town, and a rustic locally owned heritage property where all food is farmed by the charismatic owner.
Quinta da Agra
We stay at the Quinta da Agra or similar. 7 nights spent in an array of diverse comfortable accommodations, handpicked for their character and location. Highlights include a 17th Century manor house set in extensive vineyards, a luxurious modern hotel with individually decorated rooms set in the middle of town, and a rustic locally owned heritage property where all food is farmed by the charismatic owner.
Hotel Bagoeira
We’ll stay at the Hotel Bagoeira or similar. 7 nights spent in an array of diverse comfortable accommodations, handpicked for their character and location. Highlights include a 17th Century manor house set in extensive vineyards, a luxurious modern hotel with individually decorated rooms set in the middle of town, and a rustic locally owned heritage property where all food is farmed by the charismatic owner.
Hotel Brazoa
We’ll stay at Hotel Brazoa or similar. 7 nights spent in an array of diverse comfortable accommodations, handpicked for their character and location. Highlights include a 17th Century manor house set in extensive vineyards, a luxurious modern hotel with individually decorated rooms set in the middle of town, and a rustic locally owned heritage property where all food is farmed by the charismatic owner.
Dom Henrique Hotel
We’ll stay at the Dom Henrique Hotel or similar 7 nights spent in an array of diverse comfortable accommodations, handpicked for their character and location. Highlights include a 17th Century manor house set in extensive vineyards, a luxurious modern hotel with individually decorated rooms set in the middle of town, and a rustic locally owned heritage property where all food is farmed by the charismatic owner.
Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
April 6, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
April 13, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
April 20, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
April 22, 2019
Available
$1,905.00
N/A
April 27, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
May 4, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
May 11, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
May 18, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
May 25, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
June 1, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
June 8, 2019
Available
$1,735.00
N/A
June 15, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
June 22, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
June 29, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
July 6, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
July 13, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
July 20, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
July 27, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
August 3, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
August 10, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
August 17, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
August 24, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
August 31, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
September 7, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
September 14, 2019
Available
$1,985.00
N/A
September 21, 2019
Available
$1,785.00
N/A
September 28, 2019
Available
$1,785.00
N/A
October 5, 2019
Available
$1,785.00
N/A
October 12, 2019
Available
$1,785.00
N/A
October 19, 2019
Available
$1,785.00
N/A
October 26, 2019
Available
$1,785.00
N/A