Porto and Atlantic Coast Cycling Holiday

A cycling adventure along Portugal's northern Atlantic coast. Mouth watering seafood, seemingly endless golden sandy beaches, historic cities and charming fishing villages await on this coastal cycling odyssey.

On this tour you will be picked up from Porto Airport and transferred up the coast to the medieval town of Baiona on Vigo Bay in Galicia, Spain from where your cycling adventure begins.

Daily rides of between 30 and 60 kms lead you south, back into Portugal and along the rugged undulating coastline unveiling beautiful and ever changing coastal views. The cleanest, freshest air conceivable will invigorate you and the historic towns and cities along the way , such as Viana do Castelo and Porto will fascinate and entrance you. Each night you'll spend in a different coastal town or village where superb seafood and wonderful beaches are never far away.

On each ride you'll pass beautiful sandy beaches so it's a good idea to pack your bathing things in your pannier, after all there's no rush, this is a holiday after all. On day five the route delivers you to Porto and you'll spend the night in this vibrant, historic city. Stroll around the atmospheric old town or head to a Port Lodge for a tasting session.

The final two days lead you south of Porto along the beautiful Aveiro Lagoon to Praia de Mira, for a final chance to indulge in sun, surf and seafood.

On this route you will cover between 30 and 60 kms per day. The going is mainly flat with only a few minor undulations along the way. You'll be riding on cycle paths and minor roads primarily but there are also some sections on gravel tracks and busier roads where this is unavoidable. E-bikes are an option on this cycling holiday.

Porto and Atlantic Coast Cycling Holiday

A cycling adventure along Portugal's northern Atlantic coast. Mouth watering seafood, seemingly endless golden sandy beaches, historic cities and charming fishing villages await on this coastal cycling odyssey.

On this tour you will be picked up from Porto Airport and transferred up the coast to the medieval town of Baiona on Vigo Bay in Galicia, Spain from where your cycling adventure begins.

Daily rides of between 30 and 60 kms lead you south, back into Portugal and along the rugged undulating coastline unveiling beautiful and ever changing coastal views. The cleanest, freshest air conceivable will invigorate you and the historic towns and cities along the way , such as Viana do Castelo and Porto will fascinate and entrance you. Each night you'll spend in a different coastal town or village where superb seafood and wonderful beaches are never far away.

On each ride you'll pass beautiful sandy beaches so it's a good idea to pack your bathing things in your pannier, after all there's no rush, this is a holiday after all. On day five the route delivers you to Porto and you'll spend the night in this vibrant, historic city. Stroll around the atmospheric old town or head to a Port Lodge for a tasting session.

The final two days lead you south of Porto along the beautiful Aveiro Lagoon to Praia de Mira, for a final chance to indulge in sun, surf and seafood.

On this route you will cover between 30 and 60 kms per day. The going is mainly flat with only a few minor undulations along the way. You'll be riding on cycle paths and minor roads primarily but there are also some sections on gravel tracks and busier roads where this is unavoidable. E-bikes are an option on this cycling holiday.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Baiona

Your package includes a transfer from Porto Airport to Baiona in Galicia, Spain from where your tour will begin - the journey time is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.

There is no cycling today so the rest of the day is yours to settle into your hotel and enjoy this bustling little harbour town at the mouth of the Vigo estuary. Take a stroll around the marina and out along the fortifications of the Monterrel fort for some fabulous views across the bay to the island of San Martino. The town's tapas bars and restaurants pride themselves on the quality and choice of locally caught seafood.

The optional Wine Experiences package includes a wine tasting experience in Baiona and a Port tasting in Porto (day 5)

The optional Wine & Dine Package includes a delicious Parrillada de Marisco, a tasty selection of 7 different types of seafood, accompanied by the local Galician crisp white wine in a Baiona restaurant as well as a delicious gourmet dinner in a Porto Restaurant with 4 courses and 3 wines (day 5).

Day 2 : Baiona - Caminha
23 to 41 milel/ 37 to 66 kms

Your first day's ride leads you south along the coast. To your right you enjoy wonderful sea views and to your left the foothills of the Sierra de la Grova mountains. Stop in the tiny picturesque village of Oia to admire the monastery and perhaps enjoy a coffee before continuing down the coast to the pretty harbour town of A Guarda. A pleasant coastal path leads you around the headland and up the Minho river estuary. You can curtail the ride to just 37 kms by using the ferry to cross the river to Caminha (tonight's overnight stop). Alternatively, continue along the river bank to the bridge at Vila Nova de Ceira and then follow the Portuguese bank of the river back to Caminha to do the full 66 kms. Caminha is a pleasant little town on the banks of the Minho river. In the evening head to the central square for a good choice of restaurants and bars.

Day 3 : Caminha - Viana do Castelo
18 - 24 miles/29 - 39 kms

A relatively short ride today down the coast to Viana do Castelo with an option to head inland for a bit to extend the ride to 39 kms. Shortly after leaving Baiona you join a pleasant coastal path that provides lovely sea-views as it leads you south to the bustling resort of Âncora, a good place for a coffee break. Here you must decide whether to stick to the coast (shorter route) or venture inland for a bolt-on loop through some small villages and towns in the surrounding foothills. Both routes meet again at Afife where you will find a superb sandy beach. Stop for a dip or just to sit and watch the surfers riding the waves before continuing along a pleasant and peaceful coastal path. Your destination today is the ancient port of Viana do Castelo, considered to be one of Portugal's most beautiful cities. Wander the charming flag-stoned streets of the old town or, if it's hot, you may prefer to head out to the superb sandy beach for a swim.

Day 4 : Viana do Castelo - Vila do Conde
33 miles/54 kms

Today's gentle 54 km ride leads you through vineyards and across the protected wildlife reserve of the Esposende coast. The inhabitants of the small fishing villages that you will pass through en-route are beautiful warm-hearted people who will greet you with a wave and smile. The final 10 kms of the ride follows the coastline past a succession of golden sandy beaches to the historic port town of Vila do Conde. A prime shipbuilding port during Portugal's golden age of discovery and before that a Roman salt export settlement, the town is one of northern Portugal's oldest settlements. The remains of a long-legged medieval aqueduct traverse the town and the ancient convent of Santa Clara stands guard over the town. Along the banks of the glassy river mouth you will find a good selection of bars and restaurants.

Day 5 : Vila do Conde - Porto
21 - 30 miles/34 - 48 kms

At the start of today's ride you can chose whether to bolt on an optional scenic loop ride inland that adds an additional 14 kms to the overall route. Both options reconvene in the village of Areia just across the Ave River from Vila do Conde and from here the route follows the coastline south. For just about the whole ride you will have glorious sandy beaches to your right so today is definitely a day to pack swim-wear and a beach-towel in your pannier. Your destination today is the historic city of Porto, located at the mouth of the Douro River. You may like to visit one of the famous Port Lodges to sample the product and learn more about how it is produced ( see Wine Experience option below). A stroll through the historic Ribeira neighbourhood, adjacent to the Douro River should also be on your schedule, the quayside restaurants and bars provides fantastic view of the city's famous Dom Luis Bridge.

The optional Wine Experiences package includes a guided visit and wine tasting at one of the historic Port Wine lodges in the city, as well as wine tasting in Baiona (day 1).

The optional Wine & Dine Package includes a delicious gourmet dinner in a Porto Restaurant with 4 courses and 3 wines as well as tasty selection of 7 different types of seafood, accompanied by the local Galician crisp white wine in a Baiona restaurant (day 1).

Day 6 : Porto - Furadouro
26 miles/42 kms

Today's route heads out of the bustling city, alongside the Douro River back to the Atlantic coast. Navigation today is easy as it's simply a case of following the well maintained, red-tarmac cycle path that leads you south beside yet more sandy beaches. The last 12 kms of today's ride bisect a large, shady pine forest and if you're going to schedule in a beach stop then we recommend it be here in this wonderfully wild and natural environment. After riding through the forest you emerge in the small coastal town of Furadouro, your home for the night, where you will find some marvellous seafood restaurants.

Day 7 : Furadouro - Mira
36 miles/58 kms

Your final day of riding is an easy level ride alongside the Aveiro Lagoon, one of Europe's last remaining untouched coastal marshlands. This 45 kilometre long lagoon is a haven for numerous bird species and a fisherman's paradise. The town of Torreira marks the halfway point of today's ride and is a good place for a lunch break as it also boasts a huge sandy beach. After a short ferry ride across the mouth of the lagoon you follow a network of quiet lanes down the coast to the village of Praia De Mira where your cycling adventure concludes. Take a stroll along the beautiful sandy beach before selecting a restaurant to celebrate completing your journey along Portugal's Northern Atlantic Coast.

Day 8 : Departure

After breakfast it's time to head for home or your next adventure. Your package includes a vehicle transfer back to Porto Airport.

Bikes

Hybrid bikes are included in the price of he holiday. They are Specialized Rockhopper Sport models (or equivalent). They come with 29" wheels, 24 gears and front suspension. Each bike also comes equipped with a cargo rack. one pannier, a helmet and a lock . Additionally, each party will also receive a GPS loaded with the route tracks a roadbook with detailed route information, a toolkit, a first aid kit, a puncture repair kit, a pump, spare inner tubes and a pre-paid mobile phone.

E-bikes are available for a supplement.

Accommodation

On this holiday you will stay in beautiful 3 and 4 star properties (superior category). Those typically used are shown below. If these are not available then hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Superior Category

Baiona: Hotel Bahia Bayona

Caminha: Design & Wine Hotel

Viana do Castelo: Rali Hotel

Vila do Conde: Hotel Brazāo

Porto: Carris Porto Ribeira Hotel

Furadouro: Furadouro Boutique Hotel Beach & Spa

Praia de Mira: Maçarico Beach Hotel

Getting there

Fly to and from Porto Airport. Your package includes a transfer from the airport to your first hotel in Baiona and again at the end of the trip from your last hotel in Praia de Mira to Porto Airport.

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