Portugal Cycling Holiday Douro Valley
7 days / 6 nights | Self guided bike tours | Wine, nature and traditions in a World Heritage region
Your biking holiday in the Douro will acquaint you with fascinating, magical natural surroundings, the best cuisine and some of the world’s finest wines including, of course, Port Wine for which the region is famous. Beginning in the Douro River Canyon and its more than 200 metres-high cliffs in the eastern part of the region, you will cycle across the highland plateau of the International Douro Nature Reserve, with its over 170 bird species, amongst which the Egyptian vulture. Leisurely follow former railway tracks through vast forests, almond groves and typical agricultural landscapes. The unique terraced vineyards, so typical of the region that is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Property, are a delight to the eye. The accommodations are chosen with the greatest care, and each in their own way offers you a taste of local life and customs. You will stay in a time-honoured hotel with a view over the river canyon, on a traditional olive oil estate, in an elegant town house, and on a quinta (wine estate), a Douro manor where you may assist the owner in the kitchen if you wish so.
Clean & Safe Portugal
The certificate is awarded to companies that commit to certain safety standards and make sure that their local partners also meet them. By training staff and adhering to strict hygiene and cleaning requirements, the greatest possible safety is created for guests.
Day 1: Miranda do Douro – City with history, traditions, culture and dancing
The start of your journey. On your way from Porto airport to the easternmost point of your holiday - Miranda do Douro, enjoy the beautiful landscape and scenery along the way. The landscape of the Douro River Canyon and its over 200-meter-high cliffs is also fascinating. After you arrive, enjoy a walk around the small town of Miranda do Douro, with its typical whitewashed houses and narrow cobbled streets.
Day 2: Miranda do Douro to Sendim – Walks through the Natural Park, visits to picturesque villages (Cycling 47 km / 30 miles)
The first stage of your biking holiday takes you through the International Douro Nature Reserve, a gentle highland plateau known for its wilderness and landscapes. The stretch you shall cycle will take you across a quiet land, populated by over 170 species of birds, wild boar and the occasional Iberian wolf. Even the goats and cattle make little noise. In the sky overhead, you may see a rare Golden Eagle or an Egyptian vulture. Picknick included.
Medium Tour: 47 km | 311 m elevation gain | 100% paved
Day 3: Sendim to Torre de Moncorvo – Capital of flowering almond trees and gate to the Douro Wine Region (Cycling 39–48 km / 25–30 miles)
Today you will gently follow the path of a former railway track. The ecotrail takes you past forests and across a typical agricultural landscape. The few woods you will cycle through are scattered around. Although the shepherds you meet will not be able to understand you, they are extremely friendly and happy to pose for photos. You will cycle along olive and almond groves until you reach medieval Torre de Moncorvo, the Capital of Blossoming Almond Trees. In Torre de Moncorvo, you will be warmly greeted by your host at an elegant town house. Your host takes great pride in the accommodation she offers and, if you are lucky, you will get a chance to enjoy her homemade liquors, which go beautifully with the locally-grown Moncorvo almonds. Picnic included
Medium Tour: 39,3 km | 1180 m elevation gain | 49% paved
Challenging: 48 km | 414 m elevation gain | 58% paved.
Day 4: Torre de Moncorvo to Vila Flor – Hidden treasure surrounded by rural landscapes and olive trees (Cycling 29–37 km / 18–23 miles)
On day 4, you will cycle alongside the River Douro for the first time. Prepare yourself for stunning views and a magical landscape. The descent to the river takes you through olive groves that produce some of the best olive oil in the world. That night, you will stay on a quinta, or farming estate, producing traditional and organic olive oil. You will be served some of the finest local cuisine for dinner – homemade cheeses, sausages, baked bread and olive oil, home-grown oranges and homemade wine. Located apparently in the middle of nowhere, the quinta is so quiet, the night sky is so clear, an after-dinner stargazing walk will prove irresistible. Picnic and Dinner included.
Medium Tour: 28,7 km | 271 m elevation gain | 75% paved
Challenging: 38 km | 401 m elevation gain | 60% paved.
Day 5: Vila Flôr to Sabrosa – The essence of the Douro Region with its splendid scenery, vineyards and olive groves (Cycling 29–31 km / 18–19 miles)
The Alto Douro Winemaking Region is famous for its wines. First and foremost is Port Wine, but the region also produces prize-winning red wines from the Touriga grape. The terraced vineyards, so typical of the region that is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Property, were carved by men from the hillsides. The neatly-kept wine estates, or quintas, rise proudly amidst the vineyards, their names clearly visible to everyone who passes. When you arrive at the river’s edge, load your bike on a Rabelo boat and enjoy the trip to Pinhão, the next stop, around which most of the famous Port wine estates are located. Don’t 42 forget to visit the beautifully-tiled train station. The seventeenth-century house where you will spend the night is located on the hillside above the town and has magnificent views. Rabelo boat cruise and transfer from the final spot (Pinhão) to the accommodation included.
Medium Tour: 29 km | 98 m elevation gain | 100% paved
Challenging: 31 km | 212 m elevation gain | 100% paved.
Day 6: Sabrosa to Peso da Régua – Along the Pilgrims’ Way to Santiago de Compostela and historic wineries (Cycling 31 km/ 19 miles)
The last stage of your biking holiday begins with a trail that takes you along the back roads of the Douro valley and then a gentle cycle path back to the riverside with views that are nothing less than breath-taking, as if the Douro Valley wants to ensure that you will never forget its magic after you leave. At the end of the day, you will arrive in Peso da Régua, the centre of the Port wine-growing region and the capital of the Douro district. The owner of one of the quintas will welcome you with a fine wine on the terrace and invite you to share a cooking experience with her.
Medium Tour: 31 km | 295 m elevation gain | 100% paved
Day 7: Transfer out
After breakfast transfer to Porto airport or Porto city center. End of the programme.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.