Contact Us

Request a Brochure | Newsletter

Cycling in Portugal: From the Mountains to the Sea

0044 1606 720199

Make an enquiry
  • Holiday code
    C07MI
  • Holiday type
    Self-guided cycling
  • Duration
    7 nights
  • Accommodation
    hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • From $2425per person, tour only
  • Departure months
    JFMAMJJASOND
  • What your holiday price includes
  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • 2 wine tastings in Ponte de Lima and Porto
  • Airport transfers
  • Optional Upgrades
  • Electric bikes available
  • Suitable for
  • Couples
  • Excellent choice for
  • Wine lovers, art & history, swimming opportunities, coastal routes
      from 11 reviews

Francis Mcgonigal says...
Overall we enjoyed our holiday but my wife especially suffered on the uncomfortable bike. ...
Read reviews »

Portugal: Mainland Portugal

Cycling in Portugal: From the Mountains to the Sea

  • Cycle through rugged scenery and mountain villages
  • Enjoy mouthwateringly fresh fish and seafood
  • Taste the local Vinho Verde directly from the vineyards
  • Relax on miles of golden sand along the Atlantic Ocean
  • Stay in delightful, handpicked accommodation

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.



We're here to help

If you have any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199, use our live webchat or email sales@headwater.com

Cycling information

86% paved, 14% unpaved (including some cobbled sections) mainly flat or downhill roads with some gentle hills.




We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 , or email sales@headwater.com

Day 1: Arrive Moncao

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 Convento dos Capuchos

Day 2: Moncao to Caminha 48km/30mi

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)

Day 3: Caminha to Ponte de Lima 53km/33mi

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)

Day 4: Ponte de Lima - Ponte da Barca - Arcos de Valdevez loop

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

Day 5: Ponte de Lima to Barcelos 33km/21mi

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)

Day 6: Barcelos to Vila do Conde 36km/22mi

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)

Day 7: Vila do Conde to Porto 34km/21mi

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.
You stay at Hotel Boa Vista (Breakfast included)

Day 8: Leave Porto

Finish your trip in Porto and take a transfer back to the airport.

Where you stay

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.

To find out more call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199, use our live webchat or email sales@headwater.com


Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Convento dos Capuchos, Moncao

Swimming Pool IconHair dryer icon NEARBY:

This former monastery and mansion now offers accommodation with rooms set into refurbished monk cells, fitted with modern amenities. Hotel Convento dos Capuchos includes a spa, pool and a tennis court and is located above the Minho river.


Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Porta Do Sol Center, Caminha

Swimming Pool IconHair dryer icon

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.


Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Hotel Imperio do Norte, Ponte de Lima

Hair dryer icon

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.


Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Hotel Art'Otel, Barcelos

Swimming Pool IconHair dryer icon

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.


Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Vila C Boutique Hotel, Vila do Conde

Swimming Pool IconHair dryer icon

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.


Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Hotel Porto Trindade, Porto

Hair dryer icon NEARBY:

The very new Porto Trindade Hotel is located right in the traditional Porto City centre. The great location allows easy access to the main tourist attractions of the city.


Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Travel

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at sales@headwater.com for enquiries or to book your trip.

Reviews

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.


Francis Mcgonigal, 16/09/2023

Overall we enjoyed our holiday but my wife especially suffered on the uncomfortable bike.

Pre-travel booking etc was very efficient. Navigation app is excellent though a power bank for your phone is essential to last the day. Hotels were adequate to good but breakfasts were overall a bit disappointing in both choice and quality.


REVELL, 03/06/2023

This is a self guided cycling trip in Northern Portugal. Bikes are provided and are good quality, although mountain bike tyres would have been a better offer as some of the off road routes are quite rocky. The hotels were of a good standard, The six days offered varied cycling largely off road. The first three days offered some lovely riverside routes; the coastal sections were less attractive and on the final day involved close up acquaintance with an oil refinery. Headwater offer a dedicated App for navigation which I chose not to use, as it would have drained my phone battery. Those with a Garmin will find that a better option.


AUSTIN, 20/05/2023

Great overall experience. The bike rides were a good length but left plenty of time for other things and the countryside was beautiful. The terrain was a bit unpredictable with occasional steep and dangerous sections due to loose stones mud and sand. It was the first time we had use of a GPS for cycling and it was a bit unclear at first. Clearer written instructions would have been helpful on the first day out of Moncão. On the final day it was disconcerting to have to push our bikes through sand dunes that have overwhelmed the boardwalk.


MCMANUS, 06/05/2023

An excellent way to visit the less touristy areas of Northern Portugal, cycling through countryside and coastal regions. our party of 4 had a mixture of E-bikes and normal bikes, and this worked out well. The GPS system was excellent, once we had all learned how to use it, but would ask Headwater to ensure that the agent provides a mobile phone mount for every cyclist, rather than one per couple. The circular route on the 3rd day, where we stayed in the same hotel for 2 nights, was a totally different terrain, and much too difficult for our aging party! However, the day spent in Ponte de Lima was very enjoyable. We added extra nights in Porto and Lisbon, extending the holiday to a wonderful 10 day break.


Ms Southgate, 10/09/2022

Fantastic route with forest, rivers and sea, with historic villages.

Could have done with a complete support pack, tubes, brake pads as heavy rain caused punctures and brakes to wear quickly. The support team were great but would be useful to have back up kit at hotel. Great trip.


Ms Fefer, 09/04/2022

Excellent adventure and great way to get to know Portugal.


Mrs HAMILTON, 05/09/2020

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.





Headwater response:
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.
Kind Regards
Customer Service


Mrs Hoare, 05/09/2020

Good varied cycling both inland and by the coast. Lovely countryside, good wine and food


Mrs Campbell, 05/09/2020

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.

Headwater response:
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.
Kindest Regards
Customer Service


Mrs Adamson, 10/09/2019

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.


Mrs Wallis, 15/06/2019

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.



Dates and prices

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 hotels

All breakfasts

Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday

Headwater navigation app for your smartphone

Bike hire

Luggage transfers between hotels

2 wine tastings in Ponte de Lima and Porto

Airport transfers


How to book:

To book this holidays speak to our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'book now' or 'check availability' button below.

To book this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'Book now' or 'check availability' button below.

  • Apr 2024
  • May 2024
  • Jun 2024
  • Jul 2024
  • Aug 2024
  • Sep 2024
  • Oct 2024
DepartingTour only Prices   Single supplement
6th Apr 2024 US$2425 US$513 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$513
Check availability
Check availability
13th Apr 2024 US$2425 US$513 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$513
Check availability
Check availability
20th Apr 2024 US$2425 US$513 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$513
Check availability
Check availability
27th Apr 2024 US$2425 US$513 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$513
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Prices   Single supplement
4th May 2024 US$2425 US$297 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
11th May 2024 US$2425 US$297 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
18th May 2024 US$2425 US$297 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
25th May 2024 US$2425 US$297 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Prices   Single supplement
1st Jun 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
8th Jun 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
15th Jun 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
22nd Jun 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
29th Jun 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Prices   Single supplement
6th Jul 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
13th Jul 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
20th Jul 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
27th Jul 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Prices   Single supplement
3rd Aug 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
10th Aug 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
17th Aug 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
24th Aug 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
31st Aug 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Prices   Single supplement
7th Sep 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
14th Sep 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
21st Sep 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
28th Sep 2024 US$2790 US$297 Tour only: US$2790
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Prices   Single supplement
5th Oct 2024 US$2425 US$297 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
12th Oct 2024 US$2425 US$297 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability
19th Oct 2024 US$2425 US$297 Tour only: US$2425
Single supp: US$297
Check availability
Check availability

The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Holiday details

Solo travellers
Please call for details and prices

Children
Please contact us for child prices.

Holiday type
Self-guided cycling Managed by Headwater rep.

Departures
Saturdays from 6th Apr 2024 to 19th Oct 2024, for 7 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.

Meals
All breakfasts

Electric bikes
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.

Tailor-made travel

Tour only
Standard transfer is at 14:20 on arrival. Standard transfer on the return departs at 15:30

How to book

To book this holidays speak to our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'book now' button above.

If you need further information before you book simply complete our Holiday Enquiry Form and a member of our sales team will get back to you.

To book this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'Book now' or 'Check availability' button below.