Picturesque rides between traditional Porto and romantic Lisbon
8 days / 7 nights | Self guided bike tours
The Porto to Lisbon biking holiday is a delightful tour linking the two main towns of Portugal and visiting several main cultural spots of the country while cycling along nature and scenic coastal trails. Start with Porto, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, classified as a Unesco World Heritage Property. Learn about Port Wine, the beverage and the associated culinary dimension of its own. Taste, smell, meet and bask in the sun as you cycle gently along this beautiful coast. Experience Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, its canals and salt pans, the lively seaside city of Figueira da Foz, the famous Nazaré beach, and the walled village of Óbidos. Finally, Lisbon. On the right bank of the broad Tagus river estuary, the capital of Portugal graciously reclines over rolling hills. Exceptional natural light, which has long inspired writers, photographs and filmmakers, the brightly coloured buildings straddling the slopes, the striking ochre of the roofs, the tiling on so many facades and the narrow twisting alleys of the medieval districts bestow Lisbon with the peculiar atmosphere of a city perched somewhere between the European north and the Mediterranean south.
Day 1: Porto
From Porto airport (Portugal) where you will arrive, you will be taken to your hotel at Porto city centre. Explore the city and from your hotel walk until the middle age Ribeira quarter. Porto is a World Heritage city, a historic jewel with more than 150 listed monuments. Ride gently past the famous Eiffel bridge; see how the proud Port Wine lodges rise uphill from the south bank of the River Douro (wine visit and tasting included). It will be hard to choose where to dine tonight: Porto is famous for Port Wine and the diversity and quality for its cuisine. Included in your program:
Day 2: Porto to Furadouro (Cycling 44 km / 28 miles)
This morning you exchange the hustle and bustle of the city for the peace and quiet of the Atlantic shore. You will have a lovely ride along the coast, partly through a pine woods. The day ends in Furadouro, a hospitable town renowned for its excellent fish. Enjoy your meal! For this stage, you must not miss visiting the small town of Costa Nova, with its picturesque town centre of multi-coloured striped houses; if you have time take a ride on a Moliceiro, the hand painted wooden boats used for gathering seaweed. Travel through the channels of the “Portuguese Venice” in one of the beautiful Moliceiros boats and let yourself be seduced by the typical pastry of Aveiro, a delight for both the senses and the eyes. Take part of a workshop and learn how to do it! The best part is you can eat it at the. Also visit the salt pans and enjoy the properties of sea salt on the skin, after putting your feet in the small reservoirs. Dance next to the salt pans and feel the wind on your face. Your bike tour for today is a pleasant ride of 49 kms, through the Protected Natural Reserve of the São Jacinto dunes.
Day 3: Furadouro – Aveiro (Cycling 49 km / 31 miles))
For this stage, you must not miss visiting the small town of Costa Nova, with its picturesque town centre of multi-coloured striped houses; if you have time take a ride on a Moliceiro, the hand painted wooden boats used for gathering seaweed. Travel through the channels of the “Portuguese Venice” in one of the beautiful Moliceiros boats and let yourself be seduced by the typical pastry of Aveiro, a delight for both the senses and the eyes. As an option, take part of a workshop and learn how to do it! The best part is you can eat it at the end. Also visit the salt pans and enjoy the properties of sea salt on the skin, after putting your feet in the small reservoirs. Dance next to the salt pans and feel the wind on your face. Your bike tour for today is a pleasant ride of 49 kms, through the Protected Natural Reserve of the São Jacinto dunes.
Day 4: Aveiro – Praia da Tocha – Figueira da Foz (Cycling 76 km / 48 miles)
Today you leave the enchanting city of Aveiro, in the direction of Figueira da Foz. Ride quietly along the canal that gives the city the name "Portuguese Venice". Enjoy nature with a beautiful ride through green fields. Reach Mira and observe the golden effect of the sunshine on the sand, the sea, the vegetation and the brightness of the contrasting colors of the landscape. Be sure to visit the fantastic fishing village of Praia de Mira and discover the typical colorful wooden houses they call "palheiros". Indulge yourself with the fantastic gastronomic specialties made with fresh fish that you can find here. Stroll past the beautiful lagoon of Mira and enjoy its natural landscape. Surrounded by preserved dunes, the picturesque and tranquil village of Praia da Tocha has a huge golden sand beach that extends to the north. Also known for its amazing golden sandy beach, Figueira da Foz is the ideal destination to rest and maybe to dream.
Day 5: Figueira da Foz – São Pedro de Moel (Cycling 76 km / 48 miles)
In stage this you will meet the Portuguese silver coast. You’ll be riding between long beaches and a big pine forest that makes you feel in the wilderness. This pine forest planted in the 15th century served to supply the naval construction during the Portuguese discoveries. Today is an immense forest, perfect for nature activities and home to many kinds of wildlife. The ride takes place in a cycleway that follows a road called Estrada Atlântica (Atlantic Road). You may stop at Praia da Tocha to admire the palheiros (typical wooden fishermen houses) that make this a very picturesque spot in the coast. São Pedro de Moel, is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Portuguese coast, with an excellent location in a clearing of the Pinhal de Leiria. Famous for surfing, this is a splendid beach, with tasteful and aristocratic atmosphere, limited to the north by steep rocks and to the south by a small stream. Explore the beauty of the sea and practice deep sea fishing near the lighthouse, as there are cliffs that attract several species of fish, such as sea bass, and goldfish.
Day 6: São Pedro de Moel – Óbidos (Cycling 57 km / 36 miles)
This day you will pass and visit Nazaré, one of the most beautiful beaches of Portugal and possibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal. Nazaré is unique in many ways. It has an atmosphere of times gone by, contentment and traditions which continue to thrive and make it a special place to visit. The wooden fishing boats still used today are colourful and narrow with curved prows and decoration evocative of the first fishermen of the area. Another tradition quite unique is that of the seven skirts. Fisher women here still wear seven colourful layers of skirts, as well as wooden clogs and a predominantly black headscarf. At the height of the cliff, a small village is the birthplace of Nazaré, where the legend of a knight saved by Virgin Mary was born. Up there, go to the belvedere and contemplate the vast ocean and the magnificent view over Nazaré. Óbidos will your final destination of the day: a charming small and fortified town which can be suggestive of a medieval film set. It has been carefully preserved and its inhabitants take careful pride in maintaining the architectural image of days gone by, with its monuments, narrow winding streets and white-washed houses with windows and terraces full of flowers. Impressive 18th Century blue tiles line the walls within the southern gate that acts as the main entrance.
Day 7: Lisbon
After checking-out in Óbidos, you will leave your bikes at the hotel as a transfer will take you towards Lisbon. The transfer will end at your hotel in Lisbon. Check-in at free time to explore the city. Visit Lisboa, a romantic city opened to the sea that has always defined its destiny. Begin with the two landmark monuments, the Tower of Belém and the Monastery of Jerónimos. Both have been designated World Heritage status given how they epitomize the beauty of the Manueline style that developed out of the Portuguese Voyages of Discovery. Visit Alfama, Lisbon's oldest quarter. Spread over the southeastern slope of the hill crowned by Castelo de São Jorge, the picturesque neighborhood is composed of a maze of narrow streets, winding alleyways, and steep flights of steps. Bairro Alto is a picturesque working class quarter dating from the 16th century that has traditionally been the city's bohemian haunt of artists and writers. Its grid of streets is quiet during the day, but is transformed at night into the city's vibrant nightlife quarter. Behind colorful and graffiti-ridden façades is a variety of traditional and international restaurants, tourist-packed Fado Houses, and a multitude of bars and alternative shops that stay open until late at night.
Day 8: Lisbon
Transfer to the Lisbon airport (Portugal) from where you will departure.
End of the tour.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.