Portugal & Spain Bike Tour
Vineyards & Castles
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- Trip Feedback
- Spectacular cycling though Portugal’s wine country, rural heartland, and Spain’s Galician coast
- Fall grape harvest
- Tour and dinner in a vinho verde winery
- Visit Peneda-Geręs, Portugal’s only national park
- Celtic ruins at Monte Santa Tecla
- Paella feast in Baiona
- Walking tour of Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage City
- Tour the palace of the Dukes of Bragança in Vila Viçosa
- Shop for Arraiolos carpets and Alentejana pottery
- Four two-night stays
- Historic accommodations in manor houses, pousadas, and paradors
Day 1: Late morning transfer from Oporto Airport to our four-star pousada in Viana do Castelo. Welcome reception on the terrace, whose view overlooking the city has been called one of the world’s finest panoramas. An optional warm-up ride explores the forested hillsides of Monte Santa Luzia. Tonight’s dinner in Viana’s Old Quarter features specialties of the region. (0 or 6 mi.)
Day 2: Roman bridges lead through pastoral countryside to historic Ponte de Lima for lunch. Afternoon ride follows the Rio Lima to Arcos de Valdevez for a two-night stay at an 18th-century country manor. The long option offers a challenging climb to “Castle Rock” for commanding valley views. Relax with an aprčs-ride swim, or stroll into town along the Rio Vez. (38, 42, or 54 mi.)
Day 3: Pedal a spectacular backcountry loop through pine and eucalyptus forests, mountain villages, and the granite peaks of Peneda-Geręs, Portugal’s only national park. Lunch in Soajo, whose picturesque espigueiros (granite granaries) have been declared a National Monument. Return through the Rio Lima valley or take a challenging side trip to a rustic shepherds’ village. (30, 36, or 48 mi.)
Day 4: Rewarding vistas of terraced valleys and distant mountains, before descending to the town of Monçăo, on the Rio Minho and Spanish border. On the main square, look for the statue of local heroine Deu-la-Deu Martins, whose baking skills saved the besieged town from the Spanish in 1368. Our country estate boasts its own award-winning winery, where we’ll tour, taste, and dine this evening. (32 or 56 mi.)
Day 5: Visit the colorful street market in Valença do Minho or tour the Gothic cathedral in Tui, Spain, just across the Eiffel-designed international bridge. A climb through Mount Aloia Nature Reserve leads to a picnic lunch with bird’s-eye views of the Atlantic. Descend to the coast for a paella feast and two-night stay in Baiona, Spain, where our luxurious parador looks out to sea from the heights of Monterreal Fortress. (33 mi.)
Day 6: Free day to explore Baiona’s harborfront and beaches, or bike along the Atlantic coast. Our seaside route visits the mystical stone ruins of Monte Santa Tecla, a 2,500-year-old Celtic settlement. Long option returns through vińo verde wine estates and the forested backcountry of Chan de Lagoa. (0, 26, or 50 mi.)
Day 7:Transfer south to Alentejo region of Portugal for a two-night stay in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Évora. Those doing the shorter tour will be transferred to Oporto Airport for early afternoon flights. Afternoon walking tour of Évora's Moorish streets and architectural treasures, including the Roman temple of Diana, the Cathedral, the eerie Capela dos Ossos (“Chapel of the Bones”), and the Lóios Convent.
Day 8: Gleaming whitewashed villages with characteristic blue trim beckon on our loop across the rolling plains. Stop to visit prehistoric dolmens and explore pretty Arraiolos, renowned for its hand-tapestried carpets. Tonight’s dinner of Alentejana specialties features the region’s rich traditional cuisine and wines. (40 or 56 mi.)
Day 9: Bike through the Redondo wine region, stopping to tour and taste at the Roquevale vineyards and shop for colorful local pottery. Two-night stay in Vila Viçosa (“shaded town”), named for its tree-lined avenues and public squares. Relax in regal style at the Pousada Dom Joăo IV, located next door to the town’s most famous landmark, the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança. (27 or 44 mi.)
Day 10: Free day to explore Vila Viçosa, where local white marble adorns every building from the simplest home to the Paço Ducal. Guided tour of the Bragança palace, the favorite residence of Portugal’s last royal dynasty. An optional cycling loop leads to medieval castle ruins overlooking the Rio Guadiana and Spanish frontier. (0, 18, or 33 mi.)
Day 11: Pedal past sleepy villages and the castle of Terena. A longer option continues to the traditional pottery center of Săo Pedro do Corval to see artisans at work. Olive groves and cactus line our final ascent to Monsaraz, a walled village also known as “Ninho das Aguias” (“Eagles’ Nest”) for its dramatic location. The sunset views from its medieval walls are a perfect prelude to our farewell dinner celebration. (30 or 39 mi.)
Day 12: Transfer to Lisbon Airport for early afternoon flights, or downtown Lisbon for those spending the weekend.
“A fantastically good introduction to Portugal: its customs and people, food, wine, and way of life. The food was a real highlight, good variety and regional dishes.”
– J.S., New Mexico
“Every aspect of the tour was geared towards FUN—the little-known back roads, fabulous food and drink in a great diversity of settings, the historic accommodations—all while presenting Portugal’s culture in a rich and respectful way.”
– G.S., Massachusetts
“An outstanding value bolstered by gracious, helpful tour guides.”
– B.M., Illinois
“Terrific contrast between Minho and Alentejo. I would recommend Portugal to everyone!”
– S.V., Virginia
“The charm and ambiance of the accommodations far exceeded my expectations.”
– H.S., New Mexico
- 11 nights accommodations in Portuguese manor houses, pousadas, and a Spanish parador (double occupancy, private bath)
- 8 dinners with wine, 2 picnic lunches, and all breakfasts
- Use of a top-quality 27-speed Marin hybrid bicycle
- Detailed maps, written directions, and background information
- Choice of mileage options on most days; total mileage of 230 to 419 miles
- Two experienced, multilingual Portuguese guides
- Support van to carry luggage, provide snacks, and offer assistance and lifts
- Transfers from Oporto Airport and to Lisbon Airport at specified times
- Gratuities for all accommodations and group meals
- Comprehensive tour preparation information and training tips
- Easy Rider cycling jersey and water bottle
- Airfare is not included
Sep 18 - Sep 29
Price: US$4450 for 12 day/11 night guided bike tour.
Single Supplement: $900.
7 day/6 night option: US$3350 for Viana do Castelo to Oporto only (Sept 18-24).
Oporto Airport/Lisbon Airport
Activity Level: 2, 3, 4. Moderate to hilly terrain.
See more bike tours in Portugal.