Alentejo Cycling Holiday

A very comfortable single-centre cycling holiday in Portugal, staying in a gorgeous Alentejan guesthouse that is set in its own peaceful grounds just outside the medieval walled town of Evora. Enjoy daily rides into the beautiful surrounding countryside. Charming villages, historic towns, olive groves, vineyards and lakes await. The daily routes can be tailored to meet your specific ability level.

There are a variety of cycle routes to choose from and your congenial hosts will be happy to recommend detours, shortcuts and extensions to tailor rides to your particular requirements.

Your accommodation - a beautifully renovated farmhouse.

The surrounding countryside is perfect for leisure cycling with quiet lanes and tracks leading you through a peaceful, rural landscape of vineyards & meadows punctuated by small towns and villages that seem to appear just when you feel like a break.

The guesthouse makes a welcome sight at the end of the ride, especially the outdoor swimming pool and sun loungers. The lovely rooms are simple but well appointed, each with their own individual style.

The nearby town of Evora is a historic city with a maze of narrow streets and alleyways to explore. The main square has a lively buzz about it with a wide choice of outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes.

Leisurely cycling along quiet lanes and paths on gently, undulating terrain.

Alentejo Cycling Holiday

A very comfortable single-centre cycling holiday in Portugal, staying in a gorgeous Alentejan guesthouse that is set in its own peaceful grounds just outside the medieval walled town of Evora. Enjoy daily rides into the beautiful surrounding countryside. Charming villages, historic towns, olive groves, vineyards and lakes await. The daily routes can be tailored to meet your specific ability level.

There are a variety of cycle routes to choose from and your congenial hosts will be happy to recommend detours, shortcuts and extensions to tailor rides to your particular requirements.

Your accommodation - a beautifully renovated farmhouse.

The surrounding countryside is perfect for leisure cycling with quiet lanes and tracks leading you through a peaceful, rural landscape of vineyards & meadows punctuated by small towns and villages that seem to appear just when you feel like a break.

The guesthouse makes a welcome sight at the end of the ride, especially the outdoor swimming pool and sun loungers. The lovely rooms are simple but well appointed, each with their own individual style.

The nearby town of Evora is a historic city with a maze of narrow streets and alleyways to explore. The main square has a lively buzz about it with a wide choice of outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes.

Leisurely cycling along quiet lanes and paths on gently, undulating terrain.

Itinerary

Leisurely cycling along quiet lanes and paths on gently undulating terrain.

On this cycling holiday you can choose from the menu of daily rides which are described below. Depending on the duration booked, your package includes a certain number of free transfers (see list below) and it’s up to you choose when to invoke these. Additional transfers can of course be booked and paid for locally.

4 nights – 3 free transfers and 3 routes; choose between routes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

5 nights – 4 free transfers and 4 routes: choose between routes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

6 nights – 5 free transfers including one to Monsaraz or Estremoz and 5 routes; choose between routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or 7

7 nights – 5 free transfers including one to Monsaraz or Estremoz and 6 routes; choose between routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or 7

Your local hosts at the guesthouse will happily listen to your riding preferences and make recommendations as to which you are likely to enjoy the most – even customizing them specifically to your needs where necessary.

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Day 1 : Arrival Evora

On arrival in Evora your charming hosts will meet you and bring you to the guesthouse, just outside the town. After settling in they will chat through the next few days, introduce you to your bikes and answer any questions you may have. You will then enjoy a lovely Alentejan meal before retiring in preparation for the next day’s adventure.

Day 2 : Route 1: The Famous Carpets
Arraiolos

Today’s route follows a lovely, quiet greenway cycle path along the route of an old disused railway line. After riding through rolling countryside you will pass small farms and eventually reach Graça do Divor, a beautiful, well preserved village painted in the traditional colours of blue and white. Continue to Arraiolos, another lovely old village, this one guarded by a hilltop castle. The village is known for producing wonderfully intricate, embroidered carpets using an old traditional method. The views from the castle are worth the climb and we can also highly recommend trying the delicious Pastéis de Toucinho, little egg yolk tartlets. A must to visit is the lovely winery. It is not only a winery but also home to an amazing private collection of carriages and a great place to look around, €18 per person for wine tasting and carriage collection (included in the GUIDED option).

Distances:

17 miles/26 kms: Recommended route. If you opt for the complete itinerary described above plus the transfer back to the guesthouse from the winery farm. Easy route

39 miles/ 62 kms: If you ride as far as the winery and then cycle back to the guesthouse. Moderate route

Terrain for the recommended route: gentle rolling roads, 15 kms on dirt roads.

Day 3 : Route 2: Wine and Cork
S. Miguel de Machede

Today’s ride leads you north-eastwards through the rolling, rural countryside to Igrejinha, a typical little Alentejan village with white houses painted with bright stripes. Here you can visit a beautiful local winery if you wish (extra cost) before pedalling on to a cork factory. During your rides in Alentejo you will have passed many cork trees. The bark is harvested regularly and now you get to see how it is processed and transformed into many wonderful cork products. In the same village there is an interesting knife factory, which is certainly worth a visit and where you will receive a warm welcome. Here you will see how old working styles and traditions remain in place. Afterwards it’s worth making a small detour of 4 kms to visit a nearby sanctuary to admire the floor to ceiling paintings before pedalling southeastwards to the pretty village of Sao Miguel de Macheda. Here there is another winery you can visit, a tasting cost €15 per person. You then return to the guesthouse either by bike or by using one of your free transfers.

Distances

26 miles/ 42 kms: The itinerary as described above plus a transfer back to the guesthouse. Leisurely route

46 miles/74 kms: The itinerary as described above and then returning by bike to the guesthouse, some cycling will be on main roads. Moderate route

Terrain: rolling roads

Day 4 : Route 3: Megaliths
28 miles/45 kms

In the morning you will ride into the nearby town of Évora where you can spend the morning exploring. Perhaps enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafes in the picturesque main square, Praca do Giraldo. We also recommend a walk through the public gardens complete with roaming peacocks! Another must is a visit to the impressive cathedral and the rather surreal and macabre bone chapel. Time permitting, there is an option to indulge in some wine tasting (bookable locally).

You then leave Évora and ride out into the beautiful Alentejan countryside. The route leads you through vast meadows and shady oak forests to the megalithic complex at Zambujeiros. Besides being the largest and oldest collection of megaliths in the world, very little is known about these mysterious stones. Most believe they had sacred meaning for early inhabitants of this region. From here you can also enjoy fabulous views over the medieval city of Evora, the beautiful Church of Mitra and the Roman Ruins at Nessa Senhora da Tourega, which are situated beside a lovely lake. Afterwards you can either return by bike or use one of your free transfers.

Distances:

28 miles/45 kms: Recommended route. Cycle from the farmhouse and then take the transfer back from Guadalupe.

44 miles/70 kms: Cycle all the way back to the farmhouse.

Terrain: Gently rolling dirt roads for most of the way

Day 5 : Route 4: Valongo Castle
31 miles/50 kms

Cycle west today through olive groves along a gently undulating road to the small village of Nossa Senhora de Machede. Visit the traditional leather factory and, during the season (Oct), an olive oil mill. Follow the quiet road through rolling countryside to solitary Valongo Castle sitting by a small lake in a sea of wheat fields and vineyards - a great photo opportunity! Ride on along a dirt road to the gorgeous Moinho do Alcaide, a beautiful water mill alongside a clear, cool river. Follow the river past several other mills to an asphalt road. At this point you can either use one of your free transfers back to the guesthouse or extend the ride by another 10kms to visit a winery (entrance fee including tasting session approx €11 per person).

Terrain: gentle rolling roads. The last 6 kms on dirt road

Day 6 : Route 5: Évora and Surroundings
13 to 22 miles/20 to 35 kms

An easier day’s riding today concluding perhaps with a cooking lesson (additional cost). From the guesthouse you’ll cycle to a cheese factory where, besides learning how the product is made you can also taste it! By the way, this is a very different cheese factory to the one you visited on the route 1 ride.

You then cycle into the gorgeous city of Évora where you can spend the day cycling and visiting several monuments suggested by your hosts. The city is classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site and there is plenty to do and see. After lunch we suggest you climb to Alto de São Bento, a favorite place for locals to sit and watch the sun set.

The riding is easy except for the climb to Alto the São Bento, which you can chose not to do if you like.

Terrain: mostly flat with a mix of dirt track and tarmac.

Day 7 : Route 6: Monsaraz
27 miles/43 kms

Only applicable for 6 & 7 night stays.

After breakfast you are transferred to Reguengos, a small village to the east of Évora and from here you set off on the bikes along level roads. After a while you reach the village of Sao Pedro Do Corval. The village is famous for producing lovely hand-painted pottery, which can be purchased in the workshops around the village. Shortly after leaving Sao Pedro Do Corval you will pass several megalithic monuments before arriving on the shore of Lake Alqueva, Europe’s largest man-made lake. A little café on the lake-shore is the perfect place for lunch before ascending to nearby Monsaraz, a unique, fortified village on a hill overlooking the lake. You have to climb the road to the village of course, but it’s not that long and the thought of a refreshment in a shady café inside the castle walls spurs you on. The 360 degree view from the ramparts of this idyllic little place and the huge lake is amazing. In the afternoon you are picked up and transported back to the guesthouse.

Terrain: flat roads except for climb to Monsaraz

Day 8 : Route 7: Estremoz to Terena
19 or 32 miles/30 or 50 kms

Only applicable for 6 & 7 night stays.

The day starts with a 45 km tranfer from the guesthouse to Estremoz, a market town of narrow winding streets clustered around an ancient walled castle. You’ll notice an extensive use of marble in this small town, this is due to the local marble quarries that make it an affordable building material in this region. We highly recomend climbing to the top of the 14th century marble tower to take in the impressive views.

From here you ride to the amazing Vila Viçosa, where the locally sourced marble gives an aristocratic look to the village. Here you can also visit the Ducal Palace, built between 1502 and 1700, as well as an interesting marble museum.

Continue through marble land to the town of Alandroal, where marble – the white gold – once again dominates. Here we recommend a stop at a local café. The route then leads you to Terena, a beautiful village with a very floral centre. The ride ends in the amazing fortified sanctuary of Srª da Boa Nova. Even if churches are not your thing, we think you’ll enjoy this one! From here you are transferred back to the guest house.

Distances

19 miles/ 30 kms: Cycle to Vila Viçosa only and then transfer back. Easy route

32 miles/50 kms: The itinerary as described above with a transfer from Terena. Easy route

Terrain: undulating, mostly downhill

Bikes

Regular bikes are included in the price of the holiday. These are modern alloy framed models with 24 speeds, they come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available for a supplement.

Smaller framed children’s bikes, and tag-a-longs are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are supplied on arrival.

Accommodation

Everyone falls in love with the beautiful little guest house, which is actually a ‘Monte‘ – a traditional Alentejan farmhouse, set in its own quiet grounds a few kilometres outside Évora.

Inside, the property is spacious and comfortable with a rustic, welcoming atmosphere complete with a large lounge with fireplace and a dining room. There are 4 bedrooms with a mix of double and twin beds and each with their own individual theme and colour scheme.

The garden is a magical place with an orchard, an organic vegetable garden and an ancient olive grove. Huge cork oaks grow among granite boulders and beautiful wild flowers bloom among the rocks. Oh yes, and there is also a lovely swimming pool.

Breakfast is included and some evening meals, depending on which package is booked (see prices section for more details on this). On the nights where a meal is not included you can either pay for a meal at the guest house or venture into Évora to try one of the many restaurants there.

Getting there

Fly to Lisbon and then take a bus or taxi to Lisbon’s Sete Rios central bus station (approx. 15 min). After that you take the bus directly to Évora (approx. 1hr 45min) where you will be met by your hosts.

Research flights from the UK here

Click here to research bus times between Lisbon and Évora.

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