Biking Vacation in Portugal’s Douro Valley

by jpc_touring-bicycle

There’s a spot in Portugal that’s well-known for its world-class wines and as scenic as Peru with is with its huge hillside terraces. The world additionally occurs to be a mecca for cyclists from world wide, looking for out among the greatest, most scenic hill climbing in all of Europe.

The Douro Valley in northern Portugal is a highway bicycle owner’s dream come true! From the Douro River, which floats by way of the underside of the valley, stems a sequence of small, winding uphill roads that twist and maze their means by way of the terraced vineyards masking the encircling hillsides. As you cycle by way of this superb community of roads, you’ll trip cross small farm homes, quaint hillside houses, and among the most spectacular wine gardens in all of Portugal.

Working on this space, a neighborhood tour firm referred to as Stay Love Trip gives guided and self-guided bicycle excursions of the Douro Valley and the encircling space – in addition to a number of different bike excursions throughout the nation of Portugal.

I lately had the pleasure of taking part within the guided model of the Bike Tour by the Douro River with Stay Love Trip… and I’d wish to take a second to share my expertise with you.

In case you wish to cycle and also you don’t thoughts climbing a couple of hills, then it is a bike tour that can reward you with among the most scenic biking you’ve skilled in years.

two cyclists going downhill turn

Bike Tour Data

Tour Title: Bike Tour by the Douro River – Biking the Douro Valley
Tour Firm: Stay Love Trip
Web site:
Tour Kind: Guided or Self-Guided
Tour Size: 7 days / 6 nights
Beginning/Ending Location: Porto, Portugal
Complete Biking Distance: 235 – 365 km
Value: 1,190 EUR (Guided) or 1,350 EUR (Self-Guided)

Day by day Overview of the Tour

It must be famous that the itinerary for the Bike Tour by the Douro River has modified barely since I participated within the tour this previous summer time. So, somewhat than clarify how the tour works now, I’m going to share the bike tour with you because it performed out for me through the summer time of 2016. Please observe, nevertheless, that if you’re involved in taking part on this bike tour for your self, the order of occasions has modified barely. Subsequently, it’s essential that you just go to the official Stay Love Trip web site to be taught concerning the new order of occasions for this guided/self-guided bicycle tour.

Day 1: Welcome To Portugal

On the primary day of our bike tour with Stay Love Trip, myself and the others in my group have been transported down the river – from Porto (Portugal’s second-largest metropolis) to the tiny city of Régua. Whereas we might have simply lined this distance by using alongside within the tour firm’s help van, we opted for the longer, extra scenic boat trip down the Douro River. 

As quickly because the boat left the dock in Porto, the views from the river grew to become immediately spectacular and I knew from the very begin that this was going to be a tremendous week of journey. The additional up river went, the extra scenic the panorama grew to become. We handed by way of a number of small locks and the well-known terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley began to look as we approached the town of Régua.

Leaping off the boat in Régua, we have been greeted by Ricardo and Jonas – the 2 tour leaders from Stay Love Trip. They escorted us from the boat to the ready help van, the place we jumped inside and have been transported only a quick distance up the highway to the Vila Galé Lodge Régua – a big, trendy constructing positioned on the southern fringe of the Douro River, with sweeping views of Régua to the north.

We checked into our rooms after which met up later that evening for a elaborate 3-course meal within the resort eating room. It was an effective way to begin our guided biking vacation with Stay Love Trip.

Portugal, Spain, France Bike Tour-1692

Day 2: Bicycling to the Vila Galé Lodge Régua

It wasn’t till the second day of the journey that the biking portion of our bike tour started. We began the day with a giant buffet breakfast within the resort eating room after which met in entrance of the resort to make some last changes to our bicycles earlier than taking off as a bunch down the southern fringe of the Douro River.

There have been seven complete folks in our tour group: a pair from Australia; two associates from america and Scotland; one man from Costa Rica; myself and my good friend Kevin.

After biking alongside the flat, southern fringe of the river for some time, we turned proper and commenced the lengthy, uphill climb that may take us a number of kilometers inland.

I had been warned that the hills surrounding the Douro Valley have been extremely steep, so I used to be just a little nervous about whether or not or not I might be capable to sustain with the remainder of the group. After 45 minutes of biking, nevertheless, I spotted that the terrain wasn’t practically as steep as I assumed it is perhaps. In reality, I used to be loving the uphill climb! The highway floor was good, the surroundings was spectacular and the road was nearly solely car-free.

On the high of the hill we stopped for lunch in a small city, ate some scrumptious home-cooked rice and native Portuguese dishes, after which completed the day with a tremendous downhill dash again to the Douro River.

From there, we cycled west again towards Régua to a close-by winery, the place we acquired a strolling tour of the property and have been then handled with a number of native wines. After showering on the resort, we met within the resort eating room for the second of many scrumptious 3-course meals we’d be consuming all through the tour.

Day 3: Régua to Pinhão

After one other filling buffet breakfast, we packed up our belongings and loaded them into the corporate help van. As a substitute of carrying the gear with us on our bicycles, Stay Love Trip transported our gear from one resort to the subsequent within the firm help van – making it tremendous simple for us to easily present up in Portugal and benefit from the biking expertise.

I wasn’t feeling very nicely on this explicit day, so whereas the remainder of the group went off on their trip for the day, I rode alongside within the help van. That is one other big profit to touring with a guided tour group! In case you don’t really feel nicely, you’re drained, otherwise you merely don’t wish to cycle on a given day, you all the time have the choice of using alongside within the help car.

So, that’s precisely what I did! I rode together with one of many tour leaders, Jonas, whereas Ricardo (the opposite Stay Love Trip tour chief) cycled with the remainder of the group. From what the others informed me, the third day of the journey was considered one of their favorites.

On the finish of the day, we met on the Classic Home Lodge in Pinhão, Portugal and checked into our new rooms – which have been massive, welcoming, and splendid. The perfect half was the view from the room’s balcony, which gave you an unimaginable glimpse of the Douro River beneath and the terraced vineyards surrounding the resort in each possible route.

Day 4: Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios

After we woke on the fourth day of our bike tour with Stay Love Trip, the solar was shining and we knew it was going to be a superb day. We ate breakfast on the Classic Home Lodge after which jumped on our bicycles, crossed the river on a powerful metallic bridge, after which cycled again towards the route of Régua. Crossing and criss-crossing this part of the river rapidly grew to become a daily a part of our lives through the first few days of the bike tour.

As soon as we cycled previous Régua once more, we started one other lengthy, uphill climb. This climb, just like the climbs on the 2 days prior, was steep, however thrilling. The perfect half, nevertheless, was reaching the highest, the place we stopped for lunch at a small cafe after which darted uphill afterward to go to the Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios – a big, spectacular church-like construction constructed on the high of a large stairway/backyard. The views from the highest have been unimaginable!

Then we cycled again down the hill, again within the route we had simply come from, to the town of Régua, after which pack to Pinhão and the Classic Home Lodge. As a substitute of consuming dinner on the resort, nevertheless, we have been pushed up into the vineyards above the resort and had dinner at a small stone-built restaurant perched on the high of a scenic Douro Valley overlook.

Day 5: Pinhão to Marialva

The fifth day of the Bike Tour by the Douro River was, by far, my favourite day of the tour. We started the day with a big buffet breakfast on the Classic Home Lodge. Then, we packed up our belongings and loaded them into the help van. Jonas drove forward with our suitcases filled with clothes and toiletries, whereas Ricardo cycled with us over 70 kilometers from Pinhão to the tiny city of Marialva.

Alongside the way in which, we cycled by way of among the most various terrain on your complete bike tour. The day started very like the opposite days on the tour – with a protracted, regular uphill climb by way of inexperienced and brown terraced vineyards. However then, the highway evened out a bit, we cycled by way of a number of small villages, and the surroundings began to alter. As a substitute of seeing the vineyards we had grown so accustomed to, the panorama was now lined in timber, wildflowers and large open vistas.

On the finish of the day, a protracted downhill adopted by a brief uphill introduced us to the stone-built village of Marialva and our lodging for the subsequent three nights – Casas do Coro.

Casas do Coro is a spot not like any I’ve seen or had the pleasure of staying at anyplace on the earth. One of the best ways to grasp this place is to go there and expertise it for your self. Or, you may watch the video beneath for only a small style of what this distinctive countryside resort is all about.

Day 6: Marialva Countryside

This was our final day of biking on the Stay Love Trip bike tour and it was a superb one. The solar was shining, it was a ravishing day, and the roads we have been biking on have been among the better of your complete week. Wildflowers dotted the countryside, horses ran to the roadside to greet us as we cycled previous, and we reveled in realizing that this may be our final day of biking in northern Portugal.

After a superb, lengthy day on the bikes, we returned to Marialva and our lodgings at Casas do Coro. After a bathe and a brief relaxation, we have been let in to see the inside of the close by stone fortress that’s Marialva’s most dominate landmark.

What was as soon as a big, practically impenetrable fortress constructed to defend the Portugese from Spanish invaders is now a stone break, which the locals appear to be slowly working to revive. Touring the fortress grounds was one of many highlights of this complete bike tour, and I’d extremely suggest it, because the views from contained in the fortress are fairly spectacular!

Within the night, we walked from our room at Casas do Coro to the close by restaurant and partook within the largest and most scrumptious feast of your complete bike tour. A complete desk of desserts was offered and we ate all the things in sight. It was a incredible solution to finish our Bike Tour by the Douro River.

Day 7: The Fort at Marialva

The final day of the Bike Tour by the Douro River was all about saying goodbye. We stated goodbye to the opposite tour members, we stated goodbye to the tour leaders (Ricardo and Jonas), and we stated goodbye to the Douro Valley.

Kevin and I left the group in Marialva, however the different tour members have been pushed again to Porto within the firm help van. From there, they flew to their houses all world wide… and that was the top of our unimaginable biking vacation within the Douro Valley with Stay Love Trip.

The Lodging

A part of what makes the expertise with Stay Love Trip so memorable are the distinctive lodging that you just get to remain at all through the length of the tour.

Vila Galé Douro – Régua, Portugal

Swimming pool and octopus dinner

The Vila Galé Douro is a big, trendy resort located on the south facet of the Douro River in stunning Régua, Portugal. The resort options massive, up to date rooms, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, eating room, and top-of-the-line riverside patios in all of Portugal. If the climate is sweet, ensure you seize your breakfast from the buffet after which eat outdoors on the patio. The view of the river from there’s fairly spectacular!

The Classic Home Lodge – Pinhão, Portugal

The Vintage House hotel in Pinhao, Portugal

The Classic Home Lodge might be the most important constructing/enterprise in all of Pinhão, nevertheless it manages to retain a small, inviting, resort-like really feel. The tall, whitewashed partitions of this resort scream “luxurious dwelling” from the second you arrive, and the palm timber, swimming pool and darkish inexperienced grasses surrounding the correctly solely add to the high-end really feel of the place.

Casas do Coro – Côro, Portugal

Casas do Coro hotel - interior and exterior photos

Casas do Coro is a very distinctive lodging possibility, positioned within the tiny village of Marialva, Portugal. Like the remainder of the town, the partitions of Casas do Coro are constructed of stone, and most of the rooms are constructed in what seems and seems like a completely underground community of houses. The results of this distinctive structure styling is a darkish, cool really feel (which is way appreciated within the scorching summer time solar of northern Portugal). The restaurant, swimming pool, patio and the fortress of Marialva itself solely add to the memorability of your keep at Casas do Coro.

My Official Bike Tour Abstract

If you’re a kind of individuals who loves wine and biking, then the Bike Tour by the Douro River is a biking vacation you’ll definitely take pleasure in. However even when you don’t like wine otherwise you aren’t that huge of a bicycle owner, I feel you’d take pleasure in your time within the Douro Valley.

General, Stay Love Trip has carried out a wonderful job of organizing this week-long bicycle tour. In the course of the course of 1 quick week, you get:

Transferred from the airport (or your resort) in Porto to the beginning of the tour.
An opulent boat trip down the Douro River.
Day by day guided bike rides led by skilled native cyclists who cater the trip every day to your ability degree and private wishes.
6 nights in 3 or extra high-end lodging.
Baggage transport between every of the accommodations.
Scrumptious, all-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts.
Lunches and dinners at handpicked eating places (when you select the additional meal bundle).
Entrance to a neighborhood winery, which features a wine-tasting and a tour of the wine cellars.
The rental of a high-end highway bike, GPS and helmet.
An aesthetic help car that can carry your baggage, help you with mechanical issues, and transport you from one resort to the subsequent do you have to resolve you may’t or don’t wish to trip on any given day.
Private accident insurance coverage, which covers you from harm all through the length of the tour.
A Stay Love Trip bike jersey, cap and bib shorts (which look actually good, by the way in which).
And the expertise of a lifetime in Portugal’s Douro Valley!

Douro Valley terraced vineyards

Sure! There are many issues to love about this bike tour, however I feel the three greatest components are:

The surroundings you’ll see all through the week. After I look again at my time within the Douro, I don’t assume I’ll essentially keep in mind the meals, however I’ll keep in mind what the place regarded like. The terraced vineyards that cowl the valley are so distinctive, and the yellow wildflowers that dot the panorama solely add to the magical feeling of this particular place.

The uphill climbs and downhill rides. I wouldn’t say that I’m somebody who seeks out huge hills to climb, nor would I say I’m somebody who enjoys biking ascents. However on this explicit bike tour, I liked the uphill and downhill using. The uphills have been nice (and never too tough), whereas the downhills have been spectacular! I’d resolve the hill every day and wish to trip proper again as much as the highest, so I might do it another time.

The truth that you get to remain in every resort for 2 nights. Whereas different bike excursions require that you just pack up your belongings and transfer accommodations every evening, this bike tour is exclusive in that you just keep at every resort for 2 or extra nights, so that you don’t should be consistently packing up your issues every day. As a substitute, you may settle in a bit extra and actually get to know the place. I favored that facet of this bike tour, and I feel you’ll too.

General, the Bike Tour by the Douro River with Stay Love Trip was a very incredible expertise. The tour leaders have been nice, the biking was very good, the surroundings was spectacular and if given the chance, I’d return and do it another time. Extremely suggest!

Kevin Burrett participates in the Douro River bike tour with Live Love Ride

To be taught extra about this bike tour or any of the opposite great biking holidays organized by Stay Love Trip, be sure you go to their official web site at














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