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Porto Coastal Cycling

from $2,749.00

Varied beach-front cycling along some of the most spectacular stretches of coast we’ve ever seen! Starting in wine capital, Porto, your route heads south beach and bay-hopping to Aveiro, Portugal’s Venice before finishing beside the beach at Praia de Mira.

  • Reviews 38 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy
    3/8
All about the Porto Coastal Cycling.

It’s a mystery how such a lovely region can be kept quite so secret, yet the coastline south of Porto and the Aveiro Lagoon make for some of the most relaxing cycling we’ve ever experienced. It’s almost perfectly flat too, making it ideal for first timers.
Your holiday starts in Porto, where shuttered townhouses tumble downhill to colourful rabelo sailing boats cruising the Douro River and passing world-famous wine cellars. From here, you’ll beach and bay hop south to your luxury beachfront hotel in Furadouro, before heading via the Aveiro Lagoon, home to pink flamingo and colourful birdlife, to Aveiro for two nights in a waterside mansion. Known as ‘Portugal’s Venice’, this is where colourful moliceiro boats cruise along canals beneath tall palm trees, while alleyways are filled with tempting restaurants. Your final cycling stretch takes you back to the ocean to high sand dunes, meandering through pine and acacia forest, to Praia de Mira.
Your hotels range from 4-star hotels in art-deco and historic buildings in Porto and Aveiro respectively, to a chic designer property at Praia de Mira and a boutique spa hotel in Furadouro. We’ve included four evening meals and left you free to select from one of the many restaurants in Porto (night two), and also in Aveiro.
Please note: Cycling helmets are a legal requirement in Portugal for anyone using an e-bike.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 7 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Management by our local agent
  • GPS Route directions and maps
  • RideWithGPS Navigation App
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Tandems available (inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Coastal cycling routes: beaches, sand dunes, lighthouses, colourful marinas and charming cities
  • Porto’s famous wine cellars with wine tasting included; Aveiro’s Venetian canals
  • Coastal and lagoon wildlife: pink flamingo, purple heron, kingfisher and sandpiper
  • 4-star hotels throughout in beachfront and city locations
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive in Porto

    Arrive at your hotel where our agent will fit you out with your bike and run through the routes with you before a traditional dinner (included in a local restaurant). (Staying at the Vila Gale Porto Ribeira, Bed and Breakfast)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 At Porto 20km/12.5mi

    An optional, return cycle route takes you north of Porto following cycle paths, first along the river and then the ocean. You’ll pass beaches, restaurants, the C16 castle of Sao Joao da Foz, the fishing village of Matosinhos and the Boa Nova Tea House of the famous Portuguese architect Siza Vieira, which belongs to Chef Rui Paula (from the Portuguese Masterchef). Alternatively, relax in Porto for the day, strolling along the narrow alleys and along the riverfront. Your evening meal has been left free so you can choose from one of the many restaurants on offer this evening. (Staying at the Vila Gale Porto Ribeira, Breakfast Only)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 Porto to Furadouro 30km/19mi or 43km/27mi

    Take your time this morning, cycling along the south bank of the Douro River, where the rabelo boats line up along the quay. Perhaps stop for a tasting in one of the famous cellars before a glorious waterfront cycle path leads you from the Natural Reserve of the Douro Estuary, with its birdwatching hides, to the Atlantic coast. You exchange bays for beaches for the rest of the day, with many seafront restaurants to stop at for lunch. Relax on the sands at Espinho before hopping on the train (13 mins) to Ovar. For the longer route, continue cycling from Espinho to Ovar, making sure to visit the Parque de Bucaquinho. It’s then flat cycling to your beachfront hotel at nearby Furadouro where you’ll dine in the hotel restaurant. (Staying at the Furadouro Boutique Hotel, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Furadouro to Aveiro (Estarreja) 34km/21.5mi or 44km/27.5mi

    Leaving Furadouro, pedal south along the protected Aveiro Lagoon past rickety pontoons, where plover and sandpiper tiptoe amid golden wattle and parrot feather in search of lunch. Hop on the train from Estarreja (14 mins, pay locally) or Salreu (another nearly 10km further on for those looking for a longer cycle) to the heart of Aveiro and your luxury mansion hotel. For dinner tonight you’re free to choose from one of the many famous fish restaurants nearby. (Staying at the Hotel Moliceiro, Breakfast Only)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Aveiro

    Aveiro is known as ’Portugal’s Venice’. Alleyways are lined with churrasquerias for lunch, and gondola-style boats cruise below swaying palms on the latticework canals. The noisy fish market is a daily event, and the excellent museum is set in a beautifully preserved Augustinian convent. A short bus trip (30 mins) leads to neighbouring Costa Nova; streets of wooden houses are squeezed between the beach and the lagoon, painted in candy floss pink, summer yellow and sailor-blue stripes. (Staying at the Hotel Moliceiro, Breakfast Only)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Aveiro to Praia de Mira 33km/21mi or 45km/28.5mi

    The Aveiro Lagoon narrows as you cycle south today. Vista Alegre is Portugal’s oldest fine porcelain producer and has a fascinating museum and factory in Ilhavo. Head for lunch in Costa Nova (extends the day’s route by a round-trip cycle of 12km) if you wish. Next, cross the lagoon to meet the ocean again in Vagueira where oxen were once used to pull fishing nets up the beach. You then turn inland, pedalling past pears, lemon orchards and strawberry fields to your beachfront hotel at Praia de Mira with its inviting rooftop pool. (Staying at the Macarico Beach Hotel, Half Board in a local restaurant)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Praia de Mira 24km/15mi

    A leafy trail leads east into lagoons and acacia forest this morning, and sun-dappled routes cross timber, New England-style, covered bridges spanning clear-water canals. Kingfisher and blue heron are common here, and bright cistus and iris splash colour along the route leading past several perfect picnic spots. Have lunch by the sea and enjoy a final paddle before dinner back at your hotel. (Staying at the Macarico Beach Hotel, Half Board in a local restaurant)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Leave Praia de Mira
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Where you stay
Vila Gal Porto Ribeira
Vila Gale Porto Ribeira is a boutique hotel and has a riverfront location and is approximately 1,200 yards from the historic old town of Porto. There is a tram stop right outside the door making the town very accessible. Rooms are dedicated to famous painters; the dcor is tasteful with a modern appearance. The breakfast is superb with a great choice of hot or cold dishes. We recommend you enjoy a glass port wine on the riverfront terrace.
Furadouro Boutique Hotel
Facing the beach just a 5km ride from the inland town of Ovar, the Furadouro Hotel is a chic and classy waterfront property with cutting edge design throughout. The spa facility is a nice way to reward yourself after a day on the bike, as is a good walk along the endless beach. Evening meals here are a real treat- taking traditional recipes and infusing a modern twist. We use a selection of comfortable 4-star hotels. All hotels are high quality and individual and have been selected for their location, comfort and character. All rooms are en suite and some hotels have a swimming pool or a sea view.Please note some hotels might change on certain departures
Hotel Moliceiro
In the heart of Aveiro amid the canals and colourful boats (from which the hotel takes its name), the Hotel Moliceiro is a **** hotel in one of Aveiro’s period buildings. Artwork on the walls, patterned fabrics and atmospheric lighting all add to the luxurious atmosphere. It is easy to walk out and explore the narrow streets and alleys that are filled with restaurants, and it makes an ideal base for exploring the town.
Macarico Beach Hotel
The Macarico Beach Hotel mixes nautical themes with contemporary design and is located on the beachfront of Praia de Mira. There is a rooftop swimming pool with fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean. We use a selection of comfortable 4-star hotels. All hotels are high quality and individual and have been selected for their location, comfort and character. All rooms are en suite and some hotels have a swimming pool or a sea view.Please note some hotels might change on certain departures
Eating and Drinking

Portuguese cuisine is wholesome, hearty, and rarely fancy and relies heavily on the use of different herbs and spices due to its Moorish influence. Fish dishes are more predominant in the south, although northern regions often offer delicious freshwater fish dishes.
The region is also famous for sticky desserts that use egg yolk. During the Golden Age (15C and 16C), the area was very rich because of all the treasures that were brought back from the discoveries of the New World. These riches paid for many convents. The nuns needed egg whites to starch their habits so they used the egg yolks in many gooey desserts that have curious names like monk’s breast and nun’s stomach.
The Alentejo is also a highly respected wine region. The Romans were the first to start cultivating vines here. You’ll find a whole range of different vintages to try en route, the best known ones include Roupeiro, Rabo do Ovelha and Antão Vaz (white) and Periquita, Trincadeira and Aragonez (reds), although many small family run vineyards produce their own versions as well. The majority of the wines served in Portugal come from this region. If you enjoy a very young wine, try Vinho Verde from the North. Calcos do Tanha from the Douro region is a good red wine as are Cozinha Velha, Esporão and Ma Partilha from Terra do Sado. Try one of the many excellent ports as a digestif.

Cycling Conditions
Classification
: SelfGuided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance: 28.2km (17.8miles) Please note that these are the averages for the shorter cycle days , however on three of the days there  is the opportunity to extend them.
No. of days cycling: 5
Terrain and route: The suggested routes mainly follow a mixture of dedicated cycle paths, either beside the road or separate from the road, and along some tracks.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, 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.

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.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 28/10/2019

Mr Tayler

We enjoyed our holiday. The logistics worked very well, the hotels exceeded our expectations, and the meals, especially those in the outside restaurants you chose, we’re outstanding. One possible, very minor, improvement, would be to reduce The volume, or simplify the continent of, information sent to us before departure. Many thanks to all involved.

Reviewed On 31/10/2019
4/5

Mr Hill

The cycle rating is very accurate, the bikes and equipment provided were excellent. We particularity enjoyed Porto, although unfortunately there was a lot of sea mist in the mornings at the time we were there affecting the views. In comparison to the three other Headwater cycling holidays we have enjoyed, this route was not as scenic or picturesque. The evening meals at local restaurants included in the holiday were all excellent. We arrived at Praia de Mira 'out of season' and struggled to find somewhere open for a lunchtime meal. The Portuguese people we met were all very helpful and friendly.

Reviewed On 23/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Wickstead

A very good trip. and we will return for more.

Reviewed On 05/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Reid

We really enjoyed our holiday in Portugal. Porto is a lovely city. The cycle routes were good, lots of variety and no hills ! The cycle through the lagoons was wonderful. Some of route dictions were not clear and we got a bit lost most days but we could use our iPhones to find ourselves. We thought the written directions were sometimes out of date and did not take into account new road layouts. We sometimes found we could not exactyidentify where we were on the map as there were not enough landmarks mentioned. The hotel locations were all superb and well chosen. All the breakfasts were first class. All the people we met were very friendly and helpful. We would recommend this holiday to anyone who enjoys cycling along flat land near the sea.

Reviewed On 21/06/2019
5/5

Mr Snodgrass

An excellent combination of easy cycling and excellent sight seeing.Good accommodation and excellent food. Headwater customised a standard trip to meeting our timings and wish to amend the final destination.The local agent added a number of helpful suggestions which enhanced our enjoyment. At all times we felt support was on hand ---but we never hand to call on it.

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April 7, 2020
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$2,749.00
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April 14, 2020
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April 21, 2020
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April 28, 2020
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May 19, 2020
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June 2, 2020
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June 9, 2020
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June 16, 2020
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June 23, 2020
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June 30, 2020
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July 7, 2020
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July 14, 2020
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July 21, 2020
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July 28, 2020
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August 4, 2020
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August 11, 2020
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August 18, 2020
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August 25, 2020
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September 1, 2020
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September 8, 2020
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September 15, 2020
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September 22, 2020
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September 29, 2020
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October 6, 2020
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October 13, 2020
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October 20, 2020
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October 27, 2020
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