There is nothing better than a cycling holiday which travels between two major cities. This Porto to Lisbon cycling holiday is just that, a delightful tour linking the two main cities in Portugal but also visiting several main cultural spots along the route. Of course, you shall also be cycling through wonderful countryside and along beautiful coastal trails. Start with Porto, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Why not 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 coastline. 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 and then Lisbon. The list of tour highlights appears endless. On the right bank of the broad Tagus river estuary, the capital of Portugal graciously reclines over rolling hills. The 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.
Porto – Carris Porto Ribeira Hotel
Ovar – Furadouro Boutique Hotel Beach & Spa
Aveiro – Melia Ria Hotel & Spa
Figueira da Foz – Universal Boutique Hotel
São Pedro de Moel – Mar & Sol Hotel
Óbidos – Josefa d’Obidos Hotel
Lisbon – Turim Europa Hotel
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Fly into Porto airport where you will be met and taken to your hotel in the centre of Porto from where you can explore the city. Arrive early and with your cycle why not 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.
Today you leave by bike 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 restaurants.
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 the 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 ride through the Protected Natural Reserve of the São Jacinto dunes.
Leave by bike the enchanting Aveiro for Figueira da Foz. You will cycle 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 colours of the landscape. Visit Praia de Mira fishing village with the typical colourful wooden houses they call palheiros. At this point, a shared transfer is included to Figueira da Foz.
This stage takes you along the Portuguese silver coast and through the Pinhal de Leiria, the great pine forest which was planted in the 15th century to supply the wood for the caravels on which the Portuguese discoverers sailed the seven seas. The trail follows a cycle 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.
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 which make it a special place to visit. The narrow, 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 breath-taking from there. 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.
After checking out from your hotel in Óbidos, leave your bike 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 are World Heritage Sites and 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 neighbourhood 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.
Transfer to Lisbon airport.
Fly into Porto airport were a transfer to your first hotel is included.