Lisbon Atlantic Coast North Cycling Holiday

This moderate cycling holiday in Portugal showcases the beautiful Atlantic coast north of Lisbon. Gorgeous beaches punctuated by charming little fishing villages characterise this varied and exciting cycle tour. You’ll also venture inland to explore the natural beauty of the Sintra Natural Park before concluding your tour in delightful Cascais near Lisbon.

You’ll be picked up at Lisbon Airport and transferred an hour and a half up the coast to São Pedro de Moel, a pleasant village with a lovely beach. You’ll then spend the next five days cycling back towards Lisbon on cycle paths, coastal roads and quiet country lanes. On the way you’ll explore the charming old town of Nazaré and stay in Portugal’s best-preserved medieval village – Óbidos.

Sintra

Gorgeous beaches are a regular feature of this cycling holiday and there are plenty of opportunities to spend time on wide expanses of white sand besieged by powerful Atlantic waves.

In Peniche, a peninsula town which from a distance looks like an island, the large fishing fleet keeps the town’s many restaurants stocked with an incredible choice of fresh seafood at very reasonable prices. You’ll also enjoy spending a night in Ericeira, a village that combine old world charm with cool surfer-chic.

The scenery changes dramatically as you climb from the coast through shady pine forests to the beautiful village of Sintra. Explore the elegant Monserrate Palace with its extensive gardens and marvel at the fantasy spires and ramparts of nearby Pena Palace. Finally you descend to Cape Roca, Europe’s most westerly point before finishing your tour in the charming cosmopolitan village of Cascais, just a few kilometers from Lisbon.

This tour will suit regular cyclists with a good level of fitness. You’ll be covering between 38 and 73 kms each day on undulating terrain. The climb up to Sintra on day five will get the blood pumping but there’s no shame in stopping for a break or even walking for a bit – this is a holiday after all!

Lisbon Atlantic Coast North Cycling Holiday

This moderate cycling holiday in Portugal showcases the beautiful Atlantic coast north of Lisbon. Gorgeous beaches punctuated by charming little fishing villages characterise this varied and exciting cycle tour. You’ll also venture inland to explore the natural beauty of the Sintra Natural Park before concluding your tour in delightful Cascais near Lisbon.

You’ll be picked up at Lisbon Airport and transferred an hour and a half up the coast to São Pedro de Moel, a pleasant village with a lovely beach. You’ll then spend the next five days cycling back towards Lisbon on cycle paths, coastal roads and quiet country lanes. On the way you’ll explore the charming old town of Nazaré and stay in Portugal’s best-preserved medieval village – Óbidos.

Sintra

Gorgeous beaches are a regular feature of this cycling holiday and there are plenty of opportunities to spend time on wide expanses of white sand besieged by powerful Atlantic waves.

In Peniche, a peninsula town which from a distance looks like an island, the large fishing fleet keeps the town’s many restaurants stocked with an incredible choice of fresh seafood at very reasonable prices. You’ll also enjoy spending a night in Ericeira, a village that combine old world charm with cool surfer-chic.

The scenery changes dramatically as you climb from the coast through shady pine forests to the beautiful village of Sintra. Explore the elegant Monserrate Palace with its extensive gardens and marvel at the fantasy spires and ramparts of nearby Pena Palace. Finally you descend to Cape Roca, Europe’s most westerly point before finishing your tour in the charming cosmopolitan village of Cascais, just a few kilometers from Lisbon.

This tour will suit regular cyclists with a good level of fitness. You’ll be covering between 38 and 73 kms each day on undulating terrain. The climb up to Sintra on day five will get the blood pumping but there’s no shame in stopping for a break or even walking for a bit – this is a holiday after all!

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive São Pedro de Moel

On arrival at Lisbon Airport you will be met by our local representative and transferred up the coast to the pretty seaside village of São Pedro de Moel (journey time 1hr 45 mins). Settle into your hotel and maybe go for a stroll along the fabulous beach or venture out on the bikes for a warm-up ride.

Day 2 : São Pedro de Moel – Óbidos
42 miles/67 kms

After breakfast your cycling holiday starts in earnest. Your route leads you south along the coast on a well-maintained, level cycle path. Extensive pine forests give way intermittently to gorgeous beaches of white sand besieged by Atlantic rollers. Stop in Nazaré to explore its network of cobbled streets and perhaps cycle out to the point to admire the beach and sea views. It was here in January 2013 that big wave surfer Garret McNamara rode the biggest wave ever ridden. The route carries on along the coast for a while longer before diverting inland to Óbidos, one of Portugal’s best-preserved villages. You’ll enjoy exploring the narrow, cobbled lanes of this pretty hill-top village before retiring for the night.



Day 3 : Óbidos – Peniche
32 miles/52 kms

After breakfast you leave Óbidos and head back to the coast via the stunning Óbidos Lagoon, a tidal inlet flanked by gorgeous sandy beaches. Your route south flirts with the coast, providing plenty of opportunities for swim breaks along the way. You’re heading for the charming fishing village of Peniche, however before then we also recommend a visit to the peninsula village of Baleal – accessible only when the tide is out via a short causeway. Peniche, also a peninsula town, is a bustling little port, perfect for an overnight stop. The harbour shelters a substantial fishing fleet and if you are a fan of seafood then this is the place to satisfy your craving. It’s worth taking a stroll out to the point where an old lighthouse has withstood Atlantic storms for decades.

Day 4 : Peniche – Ericeira
46 miles/73 kms

Today’s route leads you inland first through beautiful countryside, dotted with tiny villages of red-roofed, white-washed houses. Later you return to the coast via a fertile valley and head south along cliff-top roads offering fabulous sea views. After a short detour inland again you return to the coast to Ericeira, your overnight stop. This beautiful little fishing village makes for a charming overnight stop and being close to some of Europe’s top surf beaches attracts surfers from all over the world.

Day 5 : Ericeira – Sintra
27 miles/43 kms

The last two days of this tour are the toughest as the route heads up into the hills of the Sintra Natural Park, but your legs should be conditioned by now and ready for the challenge. You first cycle south along the coast through some coastal towns and villages interspersed with more wonderful beaches. Then you head inland and begin to climb. The scenery becomes greener and soon you are on a winding lane through a thick pine forest. Stop at Monserrate Palace to catch your breath and admire the elegant and finely detailed palace. The rambling, partly wild, botanical gardens that surround the palace are quite extraordinary and worthy of exploration. A little further on you reach the beautiful village of Sintra, your home for the night. If you can stand a little more climbing we highly recommend a visit to the nearby Moorish Castle that dates back to the 8th Century. Also worth a visit is the Pena Palace, a wild fantasy of colourful domes, towers and ramparts.

Day 6 : Sintra – Cascais
28 miles/44 kms

Leaving Sintra you’ll head back down towards the coast. On the way you’ll pass the hobbit-like Capuchin monastery, where an order of ascetic monks once lived in very cramped conditions. An exhilarating descent brings you to Cape Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe. After contemplating this significant spot and admiring the view you turn south and follow the coast road to Guincho, a wide beach popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers. From here it’s just a few kilometers to Cascais, a cosmopolitan suburb of Lisbon, where you spend the last night of your holiday. Whether you just wander the narrow lanes of this atmospheric little place or brave the cool Atlantic waves for a last dip, Cascais is a fitting finale to your Portuguese cycling holiday.

Day 7 : Cascais - end of trip

After breakfast you will be transferred from your hotel in Cascais to nearby Lisbon Airport.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

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

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Sao Pedro de Moel: Hotel Mar & Sol

Obidos: Hotel Real D’Óbidos

Peniche: Hotel MH Peniche

Ericeira: Vila Galé Ericeira

Sintra: Sintra Boutique Hotel

Cascais: Vila Galé Cascais

Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting there

Fly to Lisbon Airport where you will be picked up and dropped off at either end of your holiday.

Research flights from the UK here

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