The Porto to Lisbon biking holiday is a delightful tour linking the two main cities in Portugal and visiting several main cultural spots while cycling through the countryside and along scenic coastal trails. Start with Porto, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a Unesco World Heritage Property. Learn about Port Wine, the beverage and the associated culinary experience. Enjoy the refreshing scent of the pines and the eucalyptus trees under the sun as you cycle along this beautiful coast. Experience Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, its canals and salt pans, the lively seaside city of Figueira da Foz, the famous Nazaré beach, the walled town of Óbidos, then Lisbon. On the right bank of the broad Tagus river estuary, the capital of Portugal graciously reclines over rolling hills. Exceptional natural light that has inspired artists, writers, photographers and filmmakers through the ages, brightly coloured buildings straddling the slopes, striking ochre roofs, tile-covered building facades and narrow twisting alleys of the medieval districts, all endow Lisbon with the unique atmosphere of a city perched somewhere on the line that marks the differences between the cultures of the European north and the Mediterranean south.
Day 1 – Porto
Standard starting day: Sunday*
You will be met upon arrival at Porto airport and taken to your hotel in the centre of Porto from where you can explore the city. Pick up your bicycles and ride down to the riverside, into the medieval quarter of the Ribeira. Porto is a World Heritage city, a historic jewel with more than 150 listed monuments. Cycle leisurely along the riverbank, past the famous Eiffel bridge and across to the Port Wine lodges that rise uphill from the southern bank of the River Douro. That evening, we suggest you to enjoy dinner in one of the many fine restaurants for which Porto is famous.
Day 2 - stage 1 – Porto to Furadouro
Leave the hustle and bustle of the city for the peace and quiet of the Atlantic coast. Ride through the many small towns that nestle along the coast and, from time to time in and out woods of pines. The day ends in Furadouro, a hospitable town renowned for its excellent fish. Enjoy your meal!
Day 3 - stage 2 – Furadouro to Aveiro
This stage would not be complete without a visit to Costa Nova, a small town with its picturesque town centre of multi-coloured striped houses. If you have time, take a trip on a Moliceiro, the brightly-coloured hand painted wooden boats used for gathering seaweed, along the canals for which Aveiro is named Portuguese Venice. Ashore, tickle your taste buds and join a workshop to make a typical Aveiro pastry. Do not fail to visit the salt pans and enjoy the wonderfully soothing properties of sea salt as you soak your feet in small tubs. Your bike tour for today is a pleasant 49 kms ride through the Protected Natural Reserve of the São Jacinto dunes.
Day 4 - stage 3 – Aveiro to Figueira da Foz
Leave enchanting Aveiro for Figueira da Foz, cycling along the canal and through green fields until you reach Mira where you will be dazzled by the golden effect of the sunshine on the sand, the sea, the vegetation and the brightly contrasting colors of the landscape. Visit Praia de Mira fishing village with the typical colourful wooden houses they call palheiros. Treat yourself to one of the fresh fish gastronomic specialties for which Mira is famous. Take a relaxed ride and enjoy the beautiful natural landscape of Mira lagoon, across the protected dunes that surround picturesque Praia da Tocha and its huge golden sand beach. Also famous for its amazing beach, Figueira da Foz is the ideal place to stop for the night.
Day 5 - stage 4 – Figueira da Foz to São Pedro de Moel
This stage takes you along the Portuguese silver coast and through the Pinhal de Leiria, the great pine forest planted in the 15th century to supply the wood for the caravels on which the Portuguese discoverers sailed the seven seas. Today it is an immense forest, a favourite of nature lovers and home to many kinds of wildlife. The trail follows a cycling path alongside the Estrada Atlântica (Atlantic Road) to São Pedro de Moel, an elegant beach resort that nestles in a forest clearing. Famous for surfing, the splendid beach is bordered to the north by steep rocks and to the south by a small stream. Try fishing off the rocks near the lighthouse where the cliffs attract several species of tasty fish, especially sea bass and bream.
Day 6 - stage 5 – São Pedro de Moel to Óbidos
Today takes you to two towns beloved by visitors to Portugal – Nazaré and Obidos. Nazaré, possibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal, also famous for its beautiful beach, is unique in many ways. Its atmosphere of times gone by, contentment and long-standing traditions make it a special place to visit. The narrow, gaily-painted wooden fishing boats with their high, curved bows, are reminiscent of the Phoenecians who first visited the area. Another unique tradition are the seven-layered skirts that the fisherwomen still wear, their wooden clogs and predominantly black headscarves. At the top of the high cliff overlooking the beach, a small village marks the birthplace of Nazaré and the legend of a knight saved by the Virgin Mary. The view out to sea is breathtaking. Óbidos, your final destination of the day, is a charming, small fortified town that makes one think of a medieval film set. The town has been carefully preserved and its inhabitants take pride in maintaining the architectural style from ages past, its monuments, narrow winding streets and white-washed houses with windows and terraces full of flowers. The walls covered with 18th century blue tiles inside the southern gate that acts as the main entrance are especially impressive.
Day 7 – Lisbon
After checking-out from your hotel in Óbidos, return your bikes at the hotel. A transfer will take you to your hotel in Lisbon where, after checking in, you will have plenty of free time to explore the city. Lisbon is a romantic city open to the sea that has always shaped its destiny.
Start with two landmark monuments near each other on banks of the Tagus: the Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery. Both World Heritage Sites are noted for the beauty of the Manueline architecture. Alfama, Lisbon's oldest quarter, is not to be missed. Sprawling over the southeastern slope of the hill crowned by São Jorge Castle, the picturesque neighborhood is composed of a maze of narrow streets, winding alleyways, and steep flights of steps. Bairro Alto, a picturesque working class quarter dating from the 16th century, has traditionally been the bohemian haunt of artists and writers. Its streets are quiet during the day but at night they are transformed by the city’s vibrant nightlife. Behind the colorful and graffiti-covered façades you will find a variety of traditional and international restaurants, tourist-packed Fado Houses, and a multitude of bars and shops that stay open until late at night.
Day 8 – Lisbon to Lisbon airport
Transfer to Lisbon airport.
End of the tour.
*Groups of 2-3 people who wish to start on a different day of the week, shall be charged a supplement. This fee does not apply to groups of 4 or more
Wine, food and typical boat experience. Featuring:
Day 1 - 1 Port Wine visit and tasting at a traditional Port Wine lodge in Porto*
Day 3 - 1 Moliceiro boat trip in Aveiro
Day 3 - Aveiro’s specialty tasting/workshop, with 2 liquors and several delicacies from Aveiro
*This is only available for clients arriving soon this day, because the last possible visit to the cellars is at 17h45 – subject to availability
Special Wine & Dine package with 2 dinners. Featuring:
Day 1 - Gourmet three-course dinner & wine in Porto
Day 7 - Fado dinner & soirée, three-course menu & wine with typical music Fado show – in Lisbon
Picnic package. Featuring:
5 light packed lunches
E-Bike for 5 stages (subject to availability due to the limited number of E-Bikes)
Note: All additional activities, including wine tastings, shall be scheduled to take place at the end of the day, after cyclists arrive at their destination.