In the far north of Portugal, on the border with Spain, lies the Minho region: a wild, rugged area of historical and cultural significance. Starting from the Geres National Park, you cycle downhill 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 3pm). Driving from the coast into the Serra de Laboreiro mountains you will enter a tiny hamlet and your home for the night.
A pleasant journey today as you cycle across the northern regions of the Geres National Park; one of the last natural refuges in Portugal for wolves and golden eagles. Passing through silent villages you notice the traditional espigueiros, the granite maize stores on stilts. 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. Upon arrival it is time to sample some of the local wine, a perfect end to your first day of cycling.
Distance covered: 46 km / 28 miles
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.
Distance covered: 48 km / 30 miles
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. Your accommodation tonight is in a delightfully rural setting, and there is time to taste some of the wine and honey made on the estate itself.
Distance covered: 53 km / 33 miles
The ride today follows the ancient Portuguese route towards Santiago de Compostela, and whether you are religious or not, 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.
Distance covered: 33 km / 20 miles
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.
Distance covered: 36 km / 22 miles
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 visited many of the Port cellars which are open to the public and can be appreciated during the included Port tasting.
Distance covered: 34 km / 21 miles
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.
7 nights spent in an array of diverse comfortable accommodations, handpicked for their character and location. Highlights include a 17th Century manor house set in extensive vineyards, a luxurious modern hotel with individually decorated rooms set in the middle of town, and a rustic locally owned heritage property where all food is farmed by the charismatic owner.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
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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.
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This 7 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of hotels
Management by our sister company, Exodus
Route directions and maps
High quality bikes
Luggage transfers between hotels
3 wine tastings in Moncao, Ponte de Lima and Porto
How to book:
|Jul 2019||Tour only||Availability|
|27th Jul||US$1999||Check availability|
|Aug 2019||Tour only||Availability|
|3rd Aug||US$1999||Check availability|
|6th Aug||US$2079||Check availability|
|10th Aug||US$1999||Check availability|
|17th Aug||US$1999||Check availability|
|24th Aug||US$1999||Check availability|
|31st Aug||US$1999||Check availability|
|Sep 2019||Tour only||Availability|
|7th Sep||US$1999||Check availability|
|10th Sep||US$2149||Check availability|
|14th Sep||US$1999||Check availability|
|21st Sep||US$1799||Check availability|
|28th Sep||US$1799||Check availability|
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed by our sister company, Exodus.
Saturdays from 27th Jul 2019 to 28th Sep 2019, 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 £130 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for . Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.