Lisbon Atlantic Coast South Cycling Holiday

Travel down Portugal’s west coast on this wonderful cycling holiday that leads you south from Sesimbra, near Lisbon, to Vila Nova de Milfontes on the edge of the Algarve. Huge, deserted sandy beaches, rugged scenery, friendly fishing villages and panoramic sea views await. A real get-away-from-it-all cycle holiday.

A real get-away-from-it-all cycle holiday. Pass through protected landscapes and fragrant pine and cork oak forests and stop for dips or just to admire the coastal views as you travel through a quiet, unspoiled part of Portugal. Rice fields, old olive mills, country hotels and hidden coves all add to the region’s charm.

Melides Beach

This is a cycling tour where the emphasis is firmly on relaxation and getting to know the area at an unhurried pace, so there are plenty of chances to take it easy over a lunchtime picnic or café break. Although the terrain is varied, with a few sections on dirt tracks, this is a lesiurely cycle tour, covering between just 18 and 27 miles a day. With the exception of your first cycling day where there are a few hills to manoeuvre, the roads are mainly flat with some gently rolling sections.

Lisbon Atlantic Coast South Cycling Holiday

Travel down Portugal’s west coast on this wonderful cycling holiday that leads you south from Sesimbra, near Lisbon, to Vila Nova de Milfontes on the edge of the Algarve. Huge, deserted sandy beaches, rugged scenery, friendly fishing villages and panoramic sea views await. A real get-away-from-it-all cycle holiday.

A real get-away-from-it-all cycle holiday. Pass through protected landscapes and fragrant pine and cork oak forests and stop for dips or just to admire the coastal views as you travel through a quiet, unspoiled part of Portugal. Rice fields, old olive mills, country hotels and hidden coves all add to the region’s charm.

Melides Beach

This is a cycling tour where the emphasis is firmly on relaxation and getting to know the area at an unhurried pace, so there are plenty of chances to take it easy over a lunchtime picnic or café break. Although the terrain is varied, with a few sections on dirt tracks, this is a lesiurely cycle tour, covering between just 18 and 27 miles a day. With the exception of your first cycling day where there are a few hills to manoeuvre, the roads are mainly flat with some gently rolling sections.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Sesimbra

On arrival in Sesimbra make your way to your hotel. After check-in you’re free to relax or explore this lively town in the foothills of the Serra da Arrabida mountains just 35 kms south of Lisbon. There is a welcome briefing at approximately 6pm.

Day 2 : Sesimbra – Setúbal
25 miles/40 kms

Before setting off on your first day of cycling, why not take the time to visit the picturesque Sesimbra fishermans' market first. Today's ride then takes you into the Arrabida Natural Park, heading inland to ride through some sublime mountain scenery. Not soon after departing the coast you can enjoy the magnificent sea views at Sesimbra Castle then head further into the Natural Park before a long, sweeping descent back down to the beach. Take a quick swim and stop for lunch before following the forested coast road to Setúbal, where you’ll rest for the night. If you fancy a slightly easier route you can cut out the initial climb of 4kms and 250 metre climb to the castle by booking a transfer there with your bikes. Alternatively, if you want a longer ride you can cycle on a more mountainous route which is an extra 19kms.

Day 3 : Setúbal – Carvalhal – Santo André
22 or 45 miles/35 or 71 kms

It’s another day of great cycling and wonderful views. First cycle through the old centre of Setúbal to catch the ferry with your bikes across to the Troia peninsula (included in the GUIDED option). Here your cycle route takes you beside spectacular sand dunes, and of course you can stop for a quick dip in the ocean from the fabulous beach. Afterwards, you’ll ride past ricefields and fertile fields to more sandy beaches including the lovely Carvalhal beach from where you’ll be transferred a little further down the coast to your overnight stop in Santo André. You can of course ride this stretch if you’re still feeling energetic.

Day 4 : Santo André – Santiago do Cacém
22 miles/36 kms

Today you’ll be cycling to the Santo André Lagoon, separated from the ocean by protected sand dunes and a haven for bird life. Stop for a swim either in the sea or the lagoon then ride along the coast to the Lagoon of Melides. Afterwards cycle into Melides where you may wish to stop and have lunch. The afternoon sees your surroundings change as you enter a cork oak forest and pass an old olive mill before arriving at the historic city of Santiago do Cacém, which you’ll want to explore this evening.

Day 5 : Santiago do Cacém – Porto Covo
22 miles/35 kms

There will be more time this morning to get to know the centre of Santiago before heading back on the bikes to ride through peaceful green oak woodland before returning to the coast. You’ll then enjoy riding along a lovely scenic stretch of seaside of craggy black cliffs and sandy beaches. Your overnight stop is the traditional fishing village of Porto Covo, and you’ll arrive there by mid-afternoon so will have the rest of the day to relax and spend some time by the beach recharging your batteries.

Day 6 : Porto Covo – Vila Nova de Milfontes
15 miles/24 kms

Leaving Porto Covo you’ll follow an oceanside track to the fort at Pessegueiro Island for amazing cliff views. You’ll then ride through rolling countryside and past a small fishing port. Once in Vila Nova de Milfontes enjoy the surrounding coves and dunes. This lovely little seaside town is just a short distance from your farmhouse hotel.

Day 7 : Vila Nova de Milfontes Roundtrip
38 miles/60 kms

You won’t be disappointed with the last day of your cycling tour. Cycle along some dirt roads (part easy and part a bit more complex) and enjoy the colourful coastal scenery with its hidden coves and small beaches. Perhaps enjoy a last picnic lunch on the beach where you can relax and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Then head back to Vila Nova de Milfontes for the evening.

Day 8 : Vila Nova de Milfontes - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure.

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 supplied on arrival.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the accommodations 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.

Comfort: A mix of good quality hotels, good pensions and a lovely farmhouse with swimming pool.

Sesimbra: Hotel do Mar

Setubal: Hotel do Sado

Santo Andre: Hotel Vila Park

Santiago do Cacem: Hotel Dom Nuno

Porto Covo: Pension Zé Inácio in Porto Covo

Vila Nova de Milfontes: Monte do Zambujeiro

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.

Research flights from the UK here

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