Uncork This Little-Seen Side of Portugal
Portugal’s northernmost reaches lie well off the well-worn tourist pathways, which makes this region ideally suited for a cycling tour in the Ciclismo style!
Ride though fabulous landscapes and far-reaching history starting from Spain and crossing the border with Portugal, to enter Lima and Douro River valleys with experienced leaders pointing out the “local’s Portugal” that you’d otherwise miss. And throughout your itinerary, you can look forward to sampling the wines of this beautiful land, from vinho verde, to the nation’s signature tipple, port.
You can also indulge on the locally harvested cod, sardines, octopus and seafood cooked following traditional and simple recipes that emphasize the freshness of the ingredients or savor the numerous dishes featuring different type of meats: lamb, goat, quail, beef, chicken and game like venison or wild boar.
On our way to Porto we’ll explore the town of Guimaraes, 2012 cultural capital of Europe with its old buildings and picturesque piazza.
Porto is one of the highlights of the tour and the best place to end our unforgettable discovery of Portugal. It is located along the Douro river estuary and it was an outpost of the Roman Empire, registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. It represents the Portuguese spirit that will surprise you with its colors, art, nightlife and modern infrastructures: Bem-vindo a Portugal!
- Explore towns and villages where centuries-old traditions endure
- Spend a day exploring the national park in the mountains of Serra do Marão
- Sample the different varieties of Portuguese wines and learn importance from a local grower
- Learn about an archaeological site with settlements extending from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages
- Discover hidden corners of Portugal with your knowledgeable guides
- Visit Porto and Guimarães, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Savor the best seafood and meat with locally-sourced fresh vegetables
Day by Day
Baiona, Spain warm-up ride
Today we meet in the hotel lobby at 12:30 pm for a light lunch and introductions. In the afternoon we enjoy a quick warm up ride to get acquainted with your “bicicleta” starting from this side town with a scenic landscape and a spectacular old castle. Baiona is a municipality in Galicia, Spain, a tourist town with a medieval historical center situated by the outlet of the Vigo Bay.
Baiona to Monçao
Today we discover this area by bike and cross the border to officially enter Portugal. This part of the country is famous for the local wineries and the tiny villages settled along the Minho River. Monçao is a lively town, capital of the best Portuguese white wine, the Alvarinho that we’ll discover on these days either during dinner and during one of our wine tastings.
Monçao to Canicada
On today’s ride we abandon the Minho Valley heading South towards the Lima Valley, the landscape is smooth, rich of forests and vineyards, here and there well preserved villages offer the chance for a stop. The Lima Valley in the northern region of Alto Minho is considered one of the most beautiful parts of Portugal dotted with villages. Completely self sufficient until quite recently, bartering was the method of trade amongst the locals instead of money. Out final destination is a modern hotel which features a spa, the perfect place to soother your tired legs and relax!
Canicada to Guimarães
This morning we continue southward to Guimarães, an ancient city that retains superb reminders of their medieval pasts. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which takes pride in being regarded as “the birthplace of the Portuguese nationality.” Guimarães is dominated by one of the best preserved castles in the country, built in Xth century, the old town has a network of ancient, picturesque streets and square reflecting the town’s medieval past.
Guimarães loop to Penha
Today we have a pleasant hike to the beautiful site of Penha on the top of a mountain above the city. From there is possible to hike down on marked trails and enjoy the amazing view of the valley underneath. For those of you who prefer to ride, today it is also possible to reach the top of the mountain Penha by bike.
Guimarães to Amarante
Amarante originated from the prehistoric tribes who inhabited the Serra da Aboboreira as early as the Stone Age. However, it increased of importance only after the arrival of Saints Gonçalo of Amarante, in the 12th century. The construction of the stone bridge across the Tâmega river is credited to him. Later on Amarante became the destination of pilgrimages and grew substantially. On these two days allow some time to enjoy the cafes and restaurants sited on the river flowing through the town and near our hotel.
Porto and Douro Valley
Located along the Douro river estuary in northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European cities, and registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Today we also explore the Douro valley on our way to Porto, where we can enjoy a lecture on Porto wine with a local expert, followed by a wine tasting and a toast to our tour together!
The tour ends in the morning after breakfast when you can either extend your stay in the area and enjoy more the city or catch a 20 minute taxi or subway to the airport.
- Carbon bike rental equipped with Garmin Edge Touring GPS
- Informative tour leaders throughout the program
- Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
On The Tour
- Van support
- Hike to the mount above Guimaraes and visit of town with a local guide
- 2 wine tastings
Accommodations & Meals
- All accommodations
- All breakfasts
- 2 lunches
- 6 dinners
Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing places you’ll stay on your journey.
For a full listing, request a detailed itinerary!
Hotel Convento dos Capuchos
Convento dos Capuchos Hotel is a 4-star converted 18th-century monastery. Rooms are simple, contemporary and have hardwood floors with some with stonework accents.
View their website
Pousada Mosteiro de Guimaraes
The Pousada is the ideal place for relaxation situated in Guimaraes, a unique hotel full of history and a great place to set out on a journey of historical discovery.
View their website
Casa da Calcada
The Casa da Calcada offers superb 5-star accommodations in idyllic surroundings in Amarante, Portugal. It is beautifully furnished and located very close to the center of town.
View their website