Located on the sting of the Atlantic Ocean, western Portugal is a land of rolling hills, charming fishing villages, tiny resort cities, and stunningly scenic vistas. Lighthouses dot the shoreline, the rocky stays of medieval castles are discovered perched on small hillsides, and seafood reigns supreme in an space the place many of the inhabitants lives close to the water’s edge. Western Portugal can be the house to a small and extremely well-organized tour firm, referred to as Portugal Nature Trails, that focuses on biking and mountain climbing/strolling excursions throughout all of Portugal.
I not too long ago had the pleasure of taking part in considered one of Portugal Nature Trails‘ self-guided bicycle excursions (the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra tour) with my pal Kevin, and on this article I plan to share with you the highlights from that unbelievable biking expertise. Photographs, movies and particulars on the tour (together with prices, learn how to get to the beginning of the tour, what it is advisable to convey with you, what sort of bikes you’ll be using, and a complete lot extra) are included right here.
When you’re searching for a stress-free biking vacation in Portugal, however don’t wish to break the financial institution, then the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour from Portugal Nature Trails may be simply by the bicycle tour you’ve been searching for!
Bike Tour Info
Tour Title: Atlantic West Coast & Sintra
Tour Firm: Portugal Nature Trails
Web site: www.portugalnaturetrails.com
Bike Tour Kind: Self-Guided
Tour Size: 7 days / 6 nights
Beginning/Ending Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Whole Biking Distance: 255+ km / 159 miles
Worth: Begins at 669 EUR (roughly $750 USD) per particular person
Watch the video above for a day-by-day account of the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra Bike Tour with Portugal Nature Trails.
Who Is This Bike Tour Designed For?
Portugal Nature Trails focuses on low-cost, self-guided biking and mountain climbing excursions. Whereas every of the excursions features a quick orientation assembly with a person from the corporate, there are not any tour leaders to escort you alongside your route every day. As a substitute, you’ll be given all the data it is advisable to full your tour on the primary day of your journey and will probably be as much as you to comply with the directions which were laid out for you by the tour firm. Consider it as one thing like a treasure hunt. Portugal Nature Trails offers you the map, after which it’s as much as you to seek out the treasure (your lodge and meals) every day.
The benefit to the sort of journey is that all the things is organized for you prematurely. Portugal Nature Trails designs your day by day routes, organizes your whole lodging, and can even transport your baggage from one lodge to the following every day so that you just don’t have to hold all the things in your bicycle as you trip. In accordance with the corporate, 90% of the individuals who take part in considered one of their self-guided bicycle excursions will go for the non-obligatory baggage transport.
If you would like, you may convey your personal bicycle to Portugal to be used all through the length of the tour, however most tour individuals discover it simpler to easily hire a bicycle from the corporate (the price of which varies from 100 – 200 Euros, relying on the kind of bike you want to use). Excessive-quality street, hybrid and electrical bicycles can be found so that you can hire.
Whereas breakfasts are included at every of the accommodations you’ll be staying at all through your bike tour, you’ll be liable for discovering your personal lunch, dinner and snacks every day (so ensure you funds that in to the general price of your journey). Fortunately, meals and drinks are comparatively cheap in Portugal (when in comparison with a lot of western Europe), and Portugal Nature Trails does a very good job of telling you prematurely the place you could find meals and drinks alongside your route every day.
Lastly, it needs to be famous that your self-guided bike tour with Portugal Nature Trails may be made longer by reserving additional nights at any of the accommodations alongside the route. So, if you happen to’ve bought a bit additional time, this can be a nice method to develop your vacation in Portugal whereas permitting your self the time crucial to actually discover a few of the lovely areas you’ll be biking via. When you’ve got the additional time, I’d take into account including an evening in both Óbidos or Sintra (which had been two of my favourite areas on the tour).
Tour participant, Kevin Burrett, admiring a lovely seaside close to Ericeira, Portugal.
Benefits of a Self-Guided Bike Tour
A self-guided bike tour, like those supplied by Portugal Nature Trails, has many advantages:
1. Remove your want for planning – Your bikes, your route, your accommodations and at the very least a few of your meals are all organized for you prematurely by the tour firm, Portugal Nature Trails. Simply present up firstly of the tour and revel in your self!
2. Select your personal journey companion(s) – This isn’t an enormous group tour, so that you get to resolve who you wish to journey with. Most individuals select to journey with their vital different, however households, teams of associates and even solo travels are extraordinarily widespread.
3. Go at your personal tempo – With the sort of bike tour, there’s have to sustain with others in a big group. As a substitute, you could have a route map and all of the instruments it is advisable to get you thru every day. You possibly can take it gradual and cease a number of occasions all through the day, or race alongside the route as quick as you probably can. The selection is as much as you!
4. Have your baggage transported for you – When you don’t wish to carry a suitcase full of garments and toiletries on the again of your bicycle every day, then Portugal Nature Trails‘ non-obligatory baggage transport makes your time in Portugal much more pleasant. Simply go away your baggage on the entrance desk of your lodge every day if you checkout and by the point you arrive at your subsequent lodge later that day, your baggage shall be there and ready for you.
5. Keep at lovely accommodations every night time – As a result of Portugal Nature Trails is taking good care of all the small print for you, they’ve organized so that you can keep in a few of the greatest accommodations within the space. Once you arrive at your lodge every day, they’ll be ready to test you in, retailer your bicycle(s), and make it easier to along with your baggage. Plus, lots of the accommodations have swimming swimming pools, spa services, gymnasium gear and different leisure choices.
Fishing boats welcome you to charming Ericeira, Portugal.
Every day Bike Tour Overview
Like so lots of Portugal Nature Trails‘ self-guided excursions, the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour normally begins in Lisbon, Portugal. When you’re planning to fly to Portugal, then Lisbon is the perfect place to start out. Flights to Lisbon are comparatively cheap, and it’s a reasonably straightforward metropolis to navigate.
Day 1: Arrival in Lisbon, Portugal
A driver from Portugal Nature Trails will meet you in Lisbon and transport you, your bicycles, and your baggage to the beginning of the bike tour in São Pedro de Moel. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes within the automobile to get to São Pedro de Moel – a small resort city located on the sting of gorgeous wind-swept seaside in central Portugal.
After arriving in São Pedro de Moel, you’ll test into your lodge (Resort Mar e Sol), have a brief orientation assembly with somebody from Portugal Nature Trails, who will stroll you thru your complete bike tour and let you know all the things it is advisable to know. You’ll be given your bicycle, a motorbike lock, a pump, a GPS (if crucial) and all the mandatory paperwork to finish your self-guided bike tour down the western coast of Portugal.
Then you definately’ll have the remainder of the day to do as you please. You possibly can hang around on the lodge, take a stroll right down to the seaside, trip your bike alongside the close by bike path, go into city for dinner, or do something you please. I extremely suggest taking a stroll right down to the close by lighthouse, Farol Penedo da Saudade, which is only a quick distance from the lodge and is an excellent place to absorb the ocean views earlier than sundown.
Watch the video above and also you’ll see me (TOURING-BICYCLE) and my pal Kevin Burrett throughout our first day of the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour with Portugal Nature Trails. We spent two days in Lisbon, Portugal earlier than the beginning of the tour and had been then transported to São Pedro de Moel throughout our third day within the nation. Within the video you’ll see the Resort Mar e Sol and the Farol Penedo da Saudade lighthouse, in addition to the tiny city of São Pedro de Moel the place the bike tour begins.
Day 2: São Pedro de Moel to Óbidos
It’s not till day two of the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour that you just really start the biking portion of your journey. Throughout this explicit day, you’ll cycle roughly 53 kilometers (33 miles) from the tiny city of São Pedro de Moel to the charming walled metropolis of Óbidos. Alongside the best way, you’ll be using on bike paths via spectacular crimson pine forests, via charming fishing villages, and stopping in a spot referred to as Nazaré, which isn’t solely a historic stone metropolis, but additionally the place the place the well-known surfer, Garret McNamara, surfed a 30 meter tall wave (the most important wave ever surfed) in January of 2013.
After leaving Nazaré, you’ll head south and proceed biking alongside the coast earlier than turning inland to the town of Óbidos, the place essentially the most lovely and well-preserved medieval village in all of Portugal stands on the prime of a small hill. Your lodge for the night time (the Resort Actual D’Óbidos) is inside that walled village, so after making your method to the lodge, you could have the remainder of the night to discover the village, walked across the partitions of the town, and eat dinner in considered one of Portugal’s most romantic areas.
When you watch the video above, you’ll see the video from our second day on the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour with Portugal Nature Trails. Not like the general public who take part on this explicit bike tour, Kevin and I opted to convey our personal bicycles with us for the journey, so we spent a while initially of the day making ready our bikes for the trip. We additionally met up with a pleasant native named Joao, who got here out to cycle with us for the day.
Day 3: Óbidos to Peniche
On the third day of the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour, you’ll have breakfast at your lodge, take a look at of your room, say goodbye to the walled-city of Óbidos, after which cycle south towards the seaside city of Peniche, which is located on a small peninsula that shoots out into the Atlantic ocean. It’s a pleasurable 52+ kilometers bike trip and when you attain the shoreline you’ll be greeted with one of the crucial scenic seashores in all of Portugal.
Surfers are all over the place and it will be sensible of you to take a while and benefit from the seashores whilst you’re there. In Peniche, you’ll see that this coastal city could be very a lot centered round fishing – though tourism now performs a serious position within the metropolis’s financial growth. When you arrive in Peniche in time, you may discover the small metropolis heart on foot or by bicycle, you may take a motorbike trip across the complete Peniche peninsula and see unbelievable coastal rock formations in practically each course, or you may retire early at your lodge – the MH Peniche (a big, white, up to date, multi-story lodge situated only a quick distance inland from the Peniche metropolis heart).
When my pal Kevin and I cycled from Óbidos to Peniche on the third day of our self-guided bike tour with Portugal Nature Trails, the solar was shinning and it was a lovely day, however there was a very sturdy wind as soon as we approached the coast. Watch the video above and be aware how lovely these seashores are! And what do you consider that lodge? The employees there was so extremely pleasant – and their English was excellent too, which is one other factor I appreciated about touring in Portugal. Nearly everybody speaks English!
Day 4: Peniche to Ericeira
Day 4 is the longest day of biking on the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour at 73+ complete kilometers. The day begins out with some small rolling hills through which you cycle on practically traffic-free roads via tiny Portuguese villages and previous privately owned plots of farmland. There’s an pleasant downhill dash to the coast, and from there you proceed south towards the city of Ericeira on a motorbike path.
There’s lots to see and do in Ericeira, so if you happen to can, get there early! You’ll be staying on the Resort Vila Galé Ericeira, which is a big, fashionable vacationer lodge situated proper on the sting of a cliff, with lovely lodge rooms searching throughout the ocean and your complete Ericeira shoreline. If you would like, you may go swimming within the lodge pool, play a sport of billiards down within the lodge’s gaming space, or take a stroll round city. Once you enterprise into the middle of Ericeira you will discover a number of small vacationer outlets, eating places, and bakeries serving up conventional Portuguese tarts.
We had been a bit unfortunate throughout our fourth day of biking on the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour as a result of we spent the primary a part of the day biking in a horrible rain storm (one thing that the locals assured us was extraordinarily unusual for the summer season months in Portugal). Fortunately, the rain went away within the afternoon and the second a part of our trip was sunny and pleasant! Watch the video above and also you’ll get to see not solely what the surroundings is like on the longest day of the bike tour, however you’ll additionally get a brief tour of Ericeira and the Resort Vila Galé Ericeira the place you’ll be staying.
Day 5: Ericeira to Sintra
It’s a brief and pleasant 38 kilometer (24 mile) bike trip on day 5 of the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour, however that’s a very good factor, as a result of that is the day you arrive in Sintra – a picturesque Portuguese city (and UNESCO world heritage website) constructed amidst the pine coated hills of the Serra de Sintra within the Portuguese Riviera. The town of Sintra has a inhabitants of greater than 300,000 individuals and is definitely considered one of Portugal’s hottest vacationer points of interest. When you see the town for your self, you’ll perceive why!
As you cycle into Sintra, you’ll be immediately amazed on the metropolis and the surroundings in entrance of you. Scattered all through the hillside are quite a few Nineteenth-century Romantic architectural monuments, in addition to dozens of royal retreats, estates, castles and different buildings dotted all through the realm, together with the medieval Castelo dos Mouros, the Pena Nationwide Palace and the Sintra Nationwide Palace. Outdoors the town heart, the Sintra Mountains and Sintra-Cascais Nature Park are price a go to. I’d additionally extremely suggest taking a stroll up the hillside to the eighth Century Moorish Fort that stands massive and proud on the prime of the mountain overlooking the town.
When you’ve got any additional time in your schedule, it will be price spending an additional day or two in Sintra. There’s not solely lots to see and do within the metropolis itself, however a number of biking available within the areas surrounding the town heart.
Just like the day earlier than, we ran right into a little bit of rain throughout our bike trip from Ericeira to Sintra, Portugal, however we didn’t let that cease us from having fun with our shortest day of the bike tour. As a substitute, we jumped on our bicycles and made fast work of the roads in entrance of us, arriving in Sintra early sufficient for a hike as much as the Moorish Fort on the prime of the hill overlooking the town, in addition to a pleasant, well-deserved dinner out.
Day 6: Sintra to Cascais
On the final official day of the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour with Portugal Nature Trails, you’ll go away the Sintra Boutique Resort within the heart of Sintra, Portugal and cycle south for a further 40 kilometers to the attractive coastal city of Cascais. Alongside the best way you’ll cycle previous the Franciscan Capuchin Convent (the place you should have time to cease and go inside if you happen to like) or you might select to trip your bike to Cape Roca – the westernmost level in all of Continental Europe. When you’ve reached Cape Roca, it’s then a reasonably flat and pleasant bike trip again to Cascais and your lodging on the Resort Vila Galé Cascais.
When Kevin and I had been in Portual taking part within the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour, we didn’t really take part within the final official day of the bike tour, so we by no means did the bike trip from Sintra to Cascais. As a substitute, we opted to remain in Sintra for a further day and do some mountain biking within the space with Antonio – the proprietor of Portugal Nature Trails. Watch the video above and also you’ll see Kevin and I biking with Antonio via the forests surrounding the town of Sintra. And wait till you see the perspective that we trip our bikes to. The views of western Portugal from the highest had been completely spectacular!
Day 7: Departure in Lisbon, Portugal
On the final day of your self-guided bicycle tour with Portugal Nature Trails, you’ll have breakfast on the lodge and then you definitely’ll be met by a employees member from the tour firm who will choose you up and drive you again to Lisbon (or wherever you want to go). When you plan to remain in Lisbon for an additional size of time, Portugal Nature Trails will drop you at your lodge, condominium or different lodging. Or, if you happen to plan to fly residence on the finish of your bike tour, Portugal Nature Trails will drive you and your baggage on to the airport. The automobile trip from Cascais to Lisbon takes roughly half-hour.
The Nightly Lodging
Once you guide a motorbike tour with Portugal Nature Trails, you may relaxation assured in understanding that you just’ll be staying at a few of the greatest accommodations in Portugal.
Resort Mar e Sol – São Pedro de Moel, Portugal
This white, fashionable lodge is likely one of the largest buildings in all of São Pedro de Moel. Located on the sting of the Atlantic coast and surrounded by pine forests on each different aspect, the Resort Mar e Sol is a vibrant, welcoming lodge with comfy sea-view rooms, a full restaurant, bar and spa. Simply over an hour away from the Lisbon Airport, Resort Mar e Sol is the right start line to your biking journey with Portugal Nature Trails.
Resort Actual D’Óbidos – Óbidos, Portugal
Located within the coronary heart of the medieval walled metropolis of Óbidos, the Resort Actual D’Óbidos is an enthralling, fashionable lodge designed with distinctive decorations from the realm’s previous. Every of the lodge’s eighteen rooms is 100% distinctive, with no two rooms having comparable lights, ceilings or furnishings. The lodge employees wears medieval costumes to additional invite you into the temper of the resort, however fashionable touches (corresponding to a swimming pool, backyard, and parking storage) will make the current-day bike traveler really feel proper at residence.
MH Peniche – Peniche, Portugal
The big, white, fashionable design of the MH Peniche lodge may be seen from fairly a long way as you cycle your approach towards the middle of Peniche, Portugal. Positioned only a quick distance exterior the town heart, however inside straightforward biking distance of the realm’s native points of interest, the up to date design of the MH Peniche welcomes you in with a pleasant, English-speaking employees, exquisitely designed lodge rooms, recent sea breezes and a wide range of luxuries and providers – corresponding to a restaurant, spa, gymnasium, pool, tennis court docket and kids’s playground.
Vila Galé Ericeira – Ericeira, Portugal
Positioned within the picturesque city of Ericeira and only a quick stroll from the Ericeira metropolis heart, the Vila Galé Ericeira is the place to remain throughout your exploration of Portugal’s western coast. Set in opposition to the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, the Vila Galé Ericeira is positioned in such a approach that just about each room within the place has a spectacular view of the ocean. Free web, a big out of doors pool, a playground for the children, a well being membership, and laundry providers can be found right here – to not point out the scrumptious meals served within the lodge’s restaurant/eating space.
Sintra Boutique Resort – Sintra, Portugal
The Sintra Boutique Resort is a small and charming hillside lodge situated within the heart of historic Sintra, Portugal. The constructing’s pink exterior makes it straightforward to find if you first arrive… and the panorama views that you just get from the window of your room will make you wish to keep ceaselessly. When you’re planning to remain in Sintra for one or two nights, there couldn’t be a greater place to name residence. Plus, the cinnamon cookies that they serve for each breakfast and snack within the lodge are a few of the greatest treats we had in all of Portugal. Yum!
My Official Bike Tour Abstract
In the long run, our bike tour with Portugal Nature Trails was an excellent expertise and I’d give it an A+. The reserving course of was straightforward, attending to the beginning of the bike tour was a complete cinch, the employees at Portugal Nature Trails is genuine and pleasant, the lodging had been top-notch and the meals at every of the accommodations was price writing residence about.
The Farol Penedo da Saudade lighthouse and bike path in São Pedro de Moel.
In only a quick period of time (just one week), you may cycle your approach throughout practically one-third of Portugal’s shoreline whereas taking in a few of the nation’s largest and most attention-grabbing vacationer points of interest:
The lighthouse in São Pedro de Moel
The walled metropolis of Óbidos
The spectacular seashores suffering from surfers within the metropolis of Peniche
The charming fishing village of Ericeira
And the historic metropolis of Sintra, with its spectacular Moorish fort located on the hill overlooking the realm.
All through the bike tour, you’ll end up biking via small farming communities, fishing villages and tiny seaside resort cities. The surroundings is spectacular and the locals are pleasant.
Whereas there are various optimistic issues to say in regards to the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour, I feel the most important power of the tour is the group that went into planning and making ready all the small print. Portugal Nature Trails has gone out of their method to ensure that your time in Portugal goes as easily as attainable. Reserving the journey is a cinch, the corporate is extremely well-organized, and we didn’t run into even the smallest of issues whereas taking part within the tour.
Total, the Atlantic West Coast & Sintra bike tour with Portugal Nature Trails is a fully spectacular bicycle tour. When you’re contemplating a visit to Portugal and also you wish to expertise the nation in a approach that you just simply can’t do on a tour bus or with a big group, then take into account signing up for this or any of Portugal Nature Trails‘ different self-guided bicycle excursions. There are greater than a dozen journeys to select from!
After experiencing this a part of the world for myself, I can whole-heartily suggest western Portugal as a world-class vacation spot for a week-long biking vacation.
To study extra about this bike tour or any of the opposite self-guided biking holidays organized by Portugal Nature Trails, be sure you go to their official web site at www.portugalnaturetrails.com
The Atlantic Ocean – as seen from the Moorish Fort atop the town of Sintra, Portugal.