Porto to Lisbon Cycling Holiday

Explore Portugal's Silver Coast between Porto and Lisbon on this relaxing cycling holiday. The leisurely route leads you past glorious beaches washed by Atlantic breakers, through huge pine forests and past cool lagoons to charming seaside villages and medieval towns.

This delightful leisure cycling holiday links Portugal's two main cities with a varied route that delivers new experiences, views and cultural insights along the way. Explore Porto, perhaps sampling its famous port wines and sweet custard tarts, before following the Douro River out of the city to the Atlantic.

Daily rides of between 35 and 60 kms along mostly level terrain will lead you southwards along the magnificent Silver Coast. Each day you will come across glorious wide sandy beaches and this is a leisurely route so why not take a break and maybe go for a dip if the mood grabs you?

Highlights along the route include Aveiro (the Portuguese Venice), the charming seaside town of Figueira da Foz at the mouth of the Mondego River, the idyllic fishing village of Nazaré with its magnificent beach and the beautiful hilltop village of Óbidos.

At the end of the rote you are transferred to the centre of Lisbon where you will have a full day and evening to explore this vibrant and exciting city.

This route is level with very few climbs. You will cycle along cycle paths and quite lanes predominantly but there are also some unavoidable stretches along busier roads at times.

Porto to Lisbon Cycling Holiday

Explore Portugal's Silver Coast between Porto and Lisbon on this relaxing cycling holiday. The leisurely route leads you past glorious beaches washed by Atlantic breakers, through huge pine forests and past cool lagoons to charming seaside villages and medieval towns.

This delightful leisure cycling holiday links Portugal's two main cities with a varied route that delivers new experiences, views and cultural insights along the way. Explore Porto, perhaps sampling its famous port wines and sweet custard tarts, before following the Douro River out of the city to the Atlantic.

Daily rides of between 35 and 60 kms along mostly level terrain will lead you southwards along the magnificent Silver Coast. Each day you will come across glorious wide sandy beaches and this is a leisurely route so why not take a break and maybe go for a dip if the mood grabs you?

Highlights along the route include Aveiro (the Portuguese Venice), the charming seaside town of Figueira da Foz at the mouth of the Mondego River, the idyllic fishing village of Nazaré with its magnificent beach and the beautiful hilltop village of Óbidos.

At the end of the rote you are transferred to the centre of Lisbon where you will have a full day and evening to explore this vibrant and exciting city.

This route is level with very few climbs. You will cycle along cycle paths and quite lanes predominantly but there are also some unavoidable stretches along busier roads at times.

Itinerary

This route is level with very few climbs. You will cycle along cycle paths and quite lanes predominantly but there are also some unavoidable stretches along busier roads at times.

Day 1 : Porto

You will be met at Porto airport and transferred to your hotel in the centre of Porto - the rest of day is yours to explore this beautiful and vibrant city. Take a stroll along the banks of the Douro River below the famous Dom Luis I bridge. Centuries ago this where British merchant ships moored-up to collect cargoes of port wine. Today you will find an array of hip new bars and cool outdoor restaurants lining the quayside. At some point we highly recommend you try the local speciality pastèis de nata (simply delicious custard tarts) as well as visiting one of the city's famous port wine cellars. As you wander the cobbled streets of the old quarter you will find many facades tiled with the traditional blue and white azulejo tiles, perhaps the most beautiful and striking example is the Church of St. Ildefonso. In the evening you will have to choose from a dizzying choice of fine restaurants throughout the city.

The optional Wine and Dine Package includes a gourmet 3 course dinner with wine at a Porto restaurant as well as Fado dinner and show with wine in Lisbon on day seven (see supplements).

Day 2 : Porto to Furadouro
26 miles/42 kms

And so it begins, your first ride tracks the southern bank of Douro River out to its mouth at the Douro Estuary Nature Reserve. Yout then turn south and begin to follow a very pleasant cycle path along the coast. You will pass beach after beach on today's ride so it's a good idea to pack some swimwear in your pannier in case you feel like taking a dip at some point. The Atlantic breakers to your right coupled with the procession of small seaside villages and towns to your left make this a highly enjoyable first day in the saddle. The small town of Espinho witgh its white sandy beach and good choice of restaurants is a good place to stop for lunch before cycling through the peaceful, shady pine forest for the final 10km of today;s ride. Your destination is the small seaside town of Furadouro. The wide, white sand beach invites you to cool off with a post ride dip before sampling one of the towns fine fish restaurants.

Day 3 : Furadouro to Aveiro
25 miles/40 kms

Today's ride leads you 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. In the village of São Jacinto, a little further on, we highly recommend a short detour out to the São Jacinto nature reserve, a magnificent wide expanse of Atlantic breakers and endless sand dunes. Afterwards it's a ferry ride across the mouth of the lagoon followed by a short ride to the bustling little town of Aveiro where you will stop for the night. Aveiro is often dubbed the Portuguese Venice thanks to its small network of canals however, instead of gondolas, Aveiro has Moliceiros, - brightly painted wooden boats, once used for harvesting seaweed but now used for canal cruises.

Day 4 : Aveiro to Figueira da Foz
22 mles/35 kms

Today's very pleasant route leads you back out to the Atlantic coast alongside a canal and then beside the Aveiro lagoon southwards. The Atlantic Ocean is a few hundred metres to your right and numerous access paths give access to the glorious and peaceful sandy beach. Vagueira is a nice little beachside village where you might want to stop for lunch before following a peaceful lane through green fields for about 10 kilometres. The ride finishes in the pleasant little beach town of Praia de Mira. As you have come to expect by now, another fabulous sandy beach awaits if you fancy a dip or, if you are hungry, the town boats some great seafood restaurants. A shared transfer will transport you from Praia de Mira to the vibrant port town of Figueira da Foz at the mouth of the River Mondego. This picturesque town is a lovely place to spend the night.

Day 5 : Figueira da Foz to São Pedro de Moel
40 miles/65kms

Today's very enjoyable ride leads you through the extensive Pinhal de Leiria pine forest. The forest was planted in the 15th century to provide wood for the shipyards to build the fast and manoeuvrable Caravel sailing ships which explored the west African coast and the New World. Cycling through the dappled light of the pine trees is a delight and before you know it you arrive back on the coast again in the lively little beach resort of Praia de Pedrogão - a good place to stop for lunch. From here you follow an arrow-straight bike path southwards through the pine forest. The path runs parallel to the splendid beach which is 200 metres away to your right and reachable via the many access paths. Your destination today is the charming village of São Pedro de Moel. You are bound to enjoy exploring the cobbled streets of this idyllic little place.

Day 6 : São Pedro de Moel to Óbidos
31 miles/50kms

Today you continue to follow the cycle path south through the pine forest. Once again, if you fancy some beach time just turn right down one of the many access paths - the beach is never far away today. After a while you arrive in the fishing village of Nazaré with it's wild and beautiful beach. This little unassuming village is famous throughout the surfing world as winter swells deliver huge waves that daring big wave surfers attempt to ride. Take a s troll out to the lookout point on the old fort for some marvellous views of the town and along the coast. From Nazaré you head inland following a network of rural lanes through meadows and tiny villages. The route eventually curves back to the coast and you arrive in the bustling little beach resort of São Martinho do Porto. This is a good place to have a break and a bite to eat before riding through the peaceful pine forest to Foz de Arelho at the mouth of the Óbidos lagoon. You then follow the shoreline of the lagoon inland. Your destination today is Óbidos, one of the most picturesque and well preserved villages in Portugal. A stroll around the winding cobbled streets of this atmospheric hilltop village is a pleasant end to a great day.

Day 7 : Lisbon

This morning you are transferred to your hotel in Lisbon ( journey time circa 1hr 15 mins). The rest of the day is your to explore Portugal historic and vibrant capital. The cobbled streets and soft colours of this medieval city are often bathed in the special Atlantic light that gives it a seemingly ethereal quality. There are many Miradours (beautiful viewpoints) around the city and our favourites include São Pedro de Acâtara, a tiny park offering superb views across the city and great coffee, as well as Miradouro da Graca, from where you can admire the 11th century Moorish Palace and Lisbon's huge natural harbour in the distance. You should also not miss Bairro Alto, a picturesque bohemian quarter of the city where you will find some great bars, restaurants and the traditional Fado Houses where you can listen to this unique style of singing.

The optional Wine and Dine Package includes Fado dinner and show with wine in Bairro Alto as well as a gourmet 3 course dinner with wine at a Porto restaurant on day one ( see supplements).

Day 8 : Departure

After breakfast you will transferred to Lisbon airport for your flight home.


Bikes

Regular touring 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 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

Porto: Carris Porto Ribeira Hotel

Furadouro: Furadouro Boutique Hotel Beach & Spa

Aveiro: Melia Ria Hotel and Spa

Figueira da Foz: Universal Boutique Hotel

São Pedro de Moel: Mar & Sol Hotel

Obidos: Josefa d'Obidos Hotel

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