Self-Guided Bike Tours

Portugal: Colors of the Alentejo

Launch Photo Gallery
With its brilliant fields of poppies, medieval hilltop castles, and charming villages, one might think of the Alentejo as the Provence of Portugal! The rich hues of the Alentejan heartland deepen with the changing of the seasons, from the wildflowers of spring to the crimson grapevines and golden wheat fields of autumn. Our pastoral route winds through countryside dotted with cork and olive trees, and whitewashed villages sparking in the sun. You’ll end each day at one of Portugal’s loveliest pousadas—historic and architectural landmarks that have been transformed into one-of-a-kind hotels.

Prefer a group tour? Check out our guided Alentejo Portugal bike tour.
  • Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Trip Feedback
  • What's Included
  • Self-guided cycling through Portugal’s heartland
  • Springtime fields of wildflowers, poppies, and roses
  • Autumn grape harvest
  • Picturesque hilltop villages untouched by time
  • Overnight in Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage City
  • Shop for Arraiolos carpets and Alentejana pottery
  • Purebred Lusitano horses and falconry demonstration at the Coudelaria de Alter stud farm
  • Tour the palace of the Dukes of Bragança in Vila Viçosa
  • Historic pousada accommodations in converted monasteries, manor houses, and a 14th-century fortress

Day 1: Morning transfer from Lisbon Airport to the village of Arraiolos, renowned for its traditional hand-tapestried carpets. An Easy Rider guide will meet you for lunch and a bike fitting. In the afternoon, explore the village and rug shops, relax by the pool, or take a warm-up spin. Overnight at the Pousada Nossa Senhora da Assunçăo, a stunning restoration of a 16th-century monastery. (0 or 8 mi.)

Day 2: Easy ride across the rolling plains visits prehistoric dolmens en route to Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage City. Explore the city’s Moorish streets and architectural treasures, including the Roman temple of Diana, the Cathedral, and the Lóios Convent. Stay in another architectural gem, the 15th-century Pousada dos Lóios. (40 mi.)

Day 3: Bike through the Redondo wine region, with a stop at a 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. (40 or 44 mi.)

Day 4: Free day to explore Vila Viçosa, where local white marble adorns every building from the simplest home to the Paço Ducal. Take a 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 or 33 mi.)

Day 5: Morning ride to Estremoz, a classic market town with a charming Old Quarter. Vineyards, cork groves, and fields of wheat line a pastoral route to Flor da Rosa for a two-night stay at its fortress-pousada. (54 or 58 mi.)

Day 6: Tranquil loop ride to the pretty villages of Alter do Chăo and Crato. Stop for a tour and falconry demonstration at the Coudelaria de Alter, a royal stud farm established 250 years ago to preserve the Lusitano horse. (0 or 26 mi.)

Day 7: Cycle to Castelo de Vide, famed for its medieval castle, Renaissance-era fountains, and ancient Jewish quarter. A final ride ascends through mountain forests to Marvăo, literally the “high point” of the Alentejo! Enjoy the spectacular sunset views at the Pousada de Santa Maria. (32 mi.)

Day 8: Transfer to Lisbon Airport for early afternoon flights.

“Alentejo is a cycling paradise as far as we're concerned. We owned the roads and, not infrequently, would note that we had not seen or been passed by a car for 5 km. The weather was ideal, with sun all day yet not too hot. I think this is one of the few inhabited places on the globe where one can observe the countryside much as it has been for hundreds of years.”
– T.C., Massachusetts

“The wildflowers were unreal, the rolling hills a delight, and the pousadas just magnificent.”
– L.S., Germany

“A gorgeous region! Experiencing the Alentejo by bike is the best way to do it—it matches the pace of life there.”
– B.C., Massachusetts

“An absolutely wonderful immersion into the life of the Portuguese countryside. The fields of purple and yellow flowers were too lovely to be imagined.”
– J.T., North Carolina

  • 7 nights accommodations with breakfasts in historic manor houses, restored monasteries, and a former 14th-century fortress (double occupancy, private bath)
  • Use of a top-quality 27-speed Marin hybrid bicycle
  • Baggage transfers between inns
  • Transfers to and from Lisbon Airport at specified times
  • Detailed maps, written directions, and background information on sights along the way
  • Easy Rider’s favorite restaurant recommendations for lunches and dinners
  • Choice of mileage options on most days; total mileage of 129 to 241 miles
  • Comprehensive tour preparation information and training tips
  • Not included: Airfare, guides, and van support.
2019 Dates
Mar 15 - Mar 31
Apr 15 - Apr 30
May 01 - May 31
Jun 01 - Jun 30
Jul 01 - Jul 31
Aug 01 - Aug 31
Sep 01 - Sep 30
Oct 01 - Oct 31

Price: US$2695 for
8 days/7 nights. Single supplement: $800. Choose any week from months listed above.

Arrive/Depart
Lisbon Airport

Activity Level: 2, 3. Moderately hilly terrain, with a few longer climbs.