In the far north of Portugal, on the border with Spain, lies the Minho region: a wild, rugged area of historical and cultural significance. You cycle, self-guided, through small villages and extensive vineyards, following the River Minho towards the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery is a stunning combination of high mountains, rolling river scenes, historic towns and dramatic coastal landscape. You will stay in authentic accommodation offering friendly Portuguese hospitality and delicious regional cuisine. There is plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy the golden stretches of beach you cycle past, maybe accompanied by a glass of the local Vinho Verde (white wine) for which the region is well known. The ride finishes in Porto, named best European City Destination in 2013, 2014, and again for 2017.
An airport transfer is included to pick you up from Porto airport (please ensure you arrive before 2.10pm). By the time you reach Moncao, the fortified town on the River Minho, you will come to understand why the Portuguese are so proud of the fact that the Spanish were never able to conquer them.
You stay at Hotel Solar de Seraede (Breakfast included)
On this stage you pedal westwards, along the River Minho to the Atlantic Ocean. Your journey takes you through extensive vineyards dedicated to the production of Vinho Verde (translates as young wine) which is a slightly carbonated, lower-alcohol wine; the perfect drink for a warm afternoon! You can pick up a bottle at the elegant Brejoeira Palace, which is a leading producer of top quality Vinho Verde. Along today's route you will cycle past landmarks of the battles between Portugal and Spain, such as the 17th Century stronghold at Valenca and the Vila Nova de Cerveira fort. That evening arrive in the elegant town of Caminha, located on the estuary of the River Minho, with a history dating back to pre-Roman times.
You stay at Hotel Porta do Sol Center (Breakfast included)
Today you spend the morning cycling along the dramatic Atlantic Ocean coastline, through fishing villages that appear unchanged for centuries. Arriving in Viana do Castelo the peace and quiet is replaced by the buzz of this lively city, situated on the estuary of the River Lima. Viana has an impressive maritime history and the wealth created by this is demonstrated in the narrow lanes, crowded with Manueline manors and Rococo palaces. A must-see is the 19th Century Byzantine Santa Lucia Church on the hilltop overlooking the city, worth the steep climb for the breathtaking view. From here you cycle inland until you arrive in Ponte de Lima, the oldest village in Portugal.
You stay at Hotel Imperio do Norte (Breakfast included)
Cycle along the Lima river to Ponte da Barca. The town's historical centre has a number of manor houses (some of which have been adapted to provide accommodation for tourists), as well as some beautiful monuments dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. The route continues to Arcos de Valdevez, a town which is situated in the valley of the River Vez which still retains much of the typical charm of the Alto Minho province - luxuriant green landscapes and the traditional architecture of its buildings, amongst which the most impressive are the manor houses. The municipality of Arcos de Valdevez is located inside the boundaries of the Peneda Geres National Park, where nature still conserves all of its original charm. Return to Ponte de Lima for a wine tasting and visit at the Interpretation Centre of Vinhos Verdes.
Distance covered: 45 km / 28 miles
The ride today follows the ancient Portuguese route used by pilgrim's on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Whether you are religious or not, it is a really special experience. It is a route that those who have walked it for centuries, do so knowing they will meet challenges, experience great joy, and learn the lesson of life. The pleasant route today is through cornfields and vineyards to the pretty town of Barcelos on the River Cavado. Barcelos is the centre of the pottery industry in Portugal. There are markets held in the town on most days and a visit to one of these is highly recommended.
You stay at Art'Otel (Breakfast included)
The ride back to the Atlantic today is a short stage, so why not take some extra time to enjoy a great lunch the Portuguese way: a leisurely, several course meal that reminds you again why the Portuguese people are so proud of their cuisine. You arrive in Vila do Conde where you can enjoy a walk around the manors and palaces within the town centre, and take a leisurely stroll along the beach before dinner.
You stay at Vila C Boutique Hotel (Breakfast included)
The last stage of your holiday takes you on quiet cycle paths along the coast; along sand dunes, and passing through fishing villages and a seabird reserve. You approach Porto, and enter via the estuary of the River Douro. A UNESCO World Heritage City and best European City destination for 2013, 2014, and again for 2017, Porto is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The old centre boasts more than 1500 listed monuments, and the history of the traditional Port Wine can be explored by visiting many of the Port cellars which are open to the public and can be appreciated during the included Port tasting.
Finish your trip in Porto and take a transfer back to the airport.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £ per adult per day and £ per child per day.
Set in a historical property, with traditional Alto Minho architecture, Solar de Serrade features a green garden. Dating back to the 17th century, this renovated guest house also features a chapel and is located in Monção. The rooms come with a flat-screen cable TV and a private bathroom. The property has antique furnishings, tapestries and traditional Portuguese tiles. Also featuring wooden ceilings, the unit boasts a shared lounge area with a fireplace and sofas.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
This hotel offers views over the Minho River, the sea and Santa Tecla Mountain. Hotel Porta do Sol has 2 outdoor pools and gardens. The hotel presents designer rooms and suites with free Wi-Fi and balconies overlooking the river or mountain. Porta Do Sol’s panoramic restaurant provides a varied fresh breakfast and an à la carte menu of traditional dishes for dinner. Lunch is served at the bar and pool area. The spa offers a hot-water circuit, hot tub, sauna and Turkish bath. Massages and beauty treatments are also available.
The Império do Norte Hotel is located in the historic and cultural center of Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in Portugal, in the heart of Minho. Its privileged location allows you to enjoy all the richness of this region, typical in its folklore, handicrafts and gastronomy, being one of the richest regions in Portugal.
Located in the center of Barcelos, Art'Otel is a Boutique Guest House that works in a beautiful building built around 1937, at the beginning of the 20th century. Recently rebuilt, it offers unique rooms with different decorations, all with a private bathroom, a seating area and an outdoor patio.
Villa C Boutique Hotel is located on River Ave’s south bank, in Azurara. This 4-star property features a luxury spa and rooms with a balcony. In the contemporary guest rooms, Villa C Boutique Hotel provides flat-screen TVs and a minibar. Some rooms also have a spacious seating area. This boutique hotel features a restaurant, a bar, a spa and a gym.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
NEARBY:The Hotel Boa Vista is located in the Foz district - the noble part of Porto, where the Douro River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Set away from the hustle and bustle of the historic centre of the city, but with everything easily accessible. There are fabulous panoramic views of the river mouth, and the ocean beyond, from the roof-top terrace where the bar, outdoor cafe and swimming pool are situated. The hotel also offers a fitness centre and access to restaurants and the nearby beach.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Excellent adventure and great way to get to know Portugal.
Generally the terrain was very rough and in places difficult without a mountain bike . Had it been raining we would have had to give up. We were initially given mountain bikes but we are too old to manage these and there were no panniers, which are promised in your literature. We chose to change our bikes to step through hybrid bikes without being informed that we needed mountain bikes to manage the ride.. A bit more guidance on local places to eat and interesting points on the way and how to get to them would have been good. The sat nav directions were excellent for route finding. The hotels were adequate , especially in the time of Covid and we felt safe. But they were not outstanding and rather lacked character overall.
Thank you for taking the time to review your holiday experience with us, feedback is very important to us and therefore we have spent some time with our local agent to improve services on the ground. It is great to know the Headwater app was excellent and you felt safe in the hotels during these difficult Covid times. We hope you will travel with us again soon.
Good varied cycling both inland and by the coast. Lovely countryside, good wine and food
This area of Portugal is beautiful. We had Ebikes (mountain) which was great as they were needed due to the terrain in some places. The cycle routes varied from cycle paths, brilliant, cobbles roads, okay, and forest/ river tracks, not the easiest but manageable as long as you didn’t want to see the scenery. The hotel in Monção is slightly out of the town and no food was available in the hotel. Plus no air conditioning and the beds were very hard. The bikes were fine but the panniers provided were very small so unless you wanted to carry a backpack there was little room for water and valuables. Mostly the directions were great, only minor detours! One bridge we had to cross was closed which the agent had not informed us of. Warning about crossing the bridge at Viana do Castelo would be good. The pedestrian foot path is too narrow for bikes. On whole the holiday was good as the food in the region is excellent. We enjoyed the wine and beer but the first 2 wine tastings were not great.
Thank you for your recent review, it is lovely to read that overall you enjoyed your holiday with us and discovered a beautiful part of Portugal. We would like to apologise for the difficulties encountered due to a bridge closure unfortunately this can happen on occasion and should our local agent be aware of possible detours required we have asked that this is highlighted in the holiday briefing. We look forward to welcoming you on a future Headwater holiday again soon.
Very enjoyable mix of holiday with cycling over varied terrain and geography and good amount and quality of relaxation in most interesting cities towns and villages.
The general route of this holiday is very beautiful but, as has been said before, there are extensive cobbled roads and unmade sections which are uncomfortable for cycling and dodgy when wet. A significant part of the route follows the Camino de Santiago so we met lots of walkers going in the opposite direction on often narrow tracks.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 7 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of and hotels
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
GPS route directions and maps
Headwater navigation app
High quality bikes
Luggage transfers between hotels
2 wine tastings in Ponte de Lima and Porto
How to book:
For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'check availability' links below to complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).
To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'Check availability' links below to complete our holiday enquiry form.
|28th May 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|4th Jun 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|11th Jun 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|18th Jun 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|25th Jun 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|2nd Jul 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|9th Jul 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|16th Jul 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|23rd Jul 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|30th Jul 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|6th Aug 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|13th Aug 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|20th Aug 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|27th Aug 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|3rd Sep 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|10th Sep 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|17th Sep 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|24th Sep 2022||US$2749||Tour only: US$2749||Check availability|
|1st Oct 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|8th Oct 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|15th Oct 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
|22nd Oct 2022||US$2449||Tour only: US$2449||Check availability|
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
Saturdays from 28th May 2022 to 22nd Oct 2022, for 7 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £134 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
Standard transfers can be arranged for all flights arriving before 14:10. Standard transfer on the return departs at 8am.