Blessed with sun-kissed beaches, colourful and vibrant fishing villages and scenic routes, the Atlantic coast of Portugal offers some fantastic cycling holiday opportunities. This tour starts in Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage city, and the itinerary follows relatively easy flat or undulating cycling trails through a variety of landscapes and along the stunning coastline, with stops in different villages and towns for a full immersion in the relaxed Portuguese way of life. Highlights include a scenic ride through the dunes of the São Jacinto Natural Reserve and an overnight stay in the picture-perfect fortified village of Óbidos. After a week of cycling along some of the best coastline of Portugal, a full day is dedicated to the visit of Lisbon, one of the most charming capital cities in the world.
Start in Porto. Depending on the time of your arrival, your leader will arrange a short orientiation tour in the historic centre. Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage city and a real historic jewel with more than 150 listed monuments. There is plenty to see and for this reason we recommend travelling a day earlier if you are interested in exploring more of its vibrant centre. Before dinner, we will enjoy a guided visit and wine tasting at a traditional Port wine cellar. Overnight in Porto.
This morning we leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and immerse ourselves in the more peaceful atmosphere of the Atlantic shore. Starting from Porto, we will ride along the Douro River until its estuary. We then follow the coast, mostly on cycling paths, enjoying some inspiring views of beautiful sandy beaches along the way. During this ride there will be some opportunities to stop for drinks or snacks in traditional Portuguese cafes, right by the Atlantic Ocean! After following a cycling path which crosses a pine tree forest, we reach lively Furadouro, a seaside town renowned for its excellent fish. Free time for a swim (seasonal), before riding to historic Ovar. The pretty town is famous for the glazed tiles known as “azulejos”, which adorn many of the local houses in the old part of the town. Overnight in Ovar.
Today's ride follows the Aveiro lagoon and the nature reserve of São Jacinto, one of Europe's last remaining untouched coastal marshland and habitat of numerous bird species. We pedal through a scenery of sandy beaches, marshland and rolling dunes peppered with grasses and creepers. This is home to a plethora of birds, insects, small animals and unusual flowers and plants. After a short transfer by ferry, we leave the lagoon and continue cycling to the small town of Costa Nova, a picturesque village characterised by multi-coloured striped houses. Our ride ends in the seaside town of Mira, known for its infinitely long beach rated as one of the best in Portugal. Overnight in Mira.
Today's ride takes us through one of the biggest dune systems in the area covered in pine tree forest. The route is mainly flat or undulating and the roads quiet and peaceful making the cycling very pleasant. There is a final short but relatively steep climb up the beautiful Serra da Boa Viagem before reaching the lively town of Figueira da Foz. The rest of the day is free to explore the town of Figueira da Foz and its extensive beach (nicknamed 'Rainha das Praias' - Queen of Beaches) - there are lots of lovely cafes and bars to enjoy a pre-dinner drink, and some excellent restaurants. Overnight in Figueira da Foz.
Today we enter the Portuguese Silver Coast and ride a cycleway that follows the Estrada Atlântica (Atlantic Road). We’ll be riding mainly through pastoral land and the remains of vast pine forest, the Pinhal de Leiria (Leiria Pine Forest), which was originally planted in the 15th Century to provide timber for the construction o the Portuguese shipbuilding industry during the Portuguese Discoveries. Unfortunately, vast areas of the forest were destroyed in 2017 by one of the fiercest forest fires of the past 100 years. Little more than 1,500 hectares remain, out of a total of 11,000. Although maritime pine is considered a fast-growing tree, it will take many more years for the forest to regenerate. Exodus is supporting the regeneration of the forests, working with local schools and communities to replant trees.
On our exit from the forest, we take a coastal route in the afternoon to reach the picturesque town of São Pedro de Moel and enjoy some time to relax at the beach or at the comfortable hotel with sea-view. Overnight in São Pedro do Moel.
This morning you can opt to either transfer or cycle (adding approx. 20km to today's ride) to Nazaré, one of the most famous fishing towns in Portugal. Here fisherwomen still wear seven colourful layers of skirts, as well as wooden clogs and a traditional black headscarf. There will be the opportunity to enjoy some spectacular ocean views from the popular panoramic terrace. It was in Nazaré's Praia Norte that the world record for the largest wave ever surfed was set, an estimated 30m high! From Nazaré we ride all the way to Óbidos, a charming small fortified town which resembles a medieval film set. It has been carefully preserved by its inhabitants who take real pride in maintaining the architectural image of the village characterised by narrow winding streets and white-washed houses. Overnight in Óbidos.
A morning private transfer (approx. 1hr) takes us to the great capital city of Lisbon; here we enjoy a full free day of independent sightseeing. Please note that your leader will leave the group after breakfast and the remainder of the trip will be self-guided, but you will be provided with plenty of tips, maps and directions to make the most of your time in Lisbon. An optional guided city tour, conducted by a university student of tourism, can also be booked for a fee. Begin with the two landmark monuments, the Tower of Belém and the Monastery of Jerónimos, both of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage status. For some great views, head to the old Alfama district and walk from the iconic Praça do Comercio in the heart of Lisbon, to the elegant neighbourhood of Chiado and trendy Barrio Alto. You may also decide to end the trip with a traditional dinner accompanied by Fado music. Overnight in Lisbon.
The tour ends in Lisbon.
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.
Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.
Trip May/June. Cycling generally leisurely with only one notable hill. Route follows the coast on quite roads and/ or cycle lanes for much of the way. (Poor road surface on one day) Hotels generally good 4 star quality, cafes and lunch / picnic stops were an excellent mix with evening meal venues being fantastic quality. Rubén’s and Rogerio were excellent guides who were very knowledgeable, helpful and good company, just a pity they had no control over the unusually inclement and windy weather. Recommend the trip.
Well crafted trip showing off Portugal’s rural and unspoilt Atlantic coast
This was a great trip. Ruben our leader/guide was excellent - enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The scenery, weather (end May), hotels and food were all super - and the cycling was fun and not too strenuous for people who regularly cycle. The distance cycled was about 40 miles a day which meant not too early a start - and adequate time in the evening to visit most of the places where we were staying, and have a good meal. Ruben's recommendations for evening meals were ideal. The group were also lucky to have Rogerio as the driver and support, who was always keen to help in any way. A really enjoyable holiday.
A fabulous trip with brilliant Portuguese guides. Reuben, the lead guide was outstanding and his team had a genuine passion for their country which was truly infectious. Nothing was ever too much trouble. The cycle paths meandered their way through beautiful pine forests, villages, coastal areas and farms. The pace of the trip is relaxed but their were also many opportunities to cycle faster and the guides were very flexible. The restaurant recommendations were all excellent and the Portuguese people were most welcoming. The perfect trip if you want to cycle 35-40 miles per day on fairly flat terrain using cycle paths - you won’t find better guides! Thank you Reuben, Christofe and Rogerio.
It was a great tour along Atlantic coast with good weather, many good views, excellent guide and driver and great&fun group.
Fantastic week of cycling, sightseeing, good company and excellent guiding in coastal Portugal.
This trip was an amazing experience with absolutely stunning scenery, around every bend was a picture postcard view of the ocean. The guides were excellent and their spoken English was great. This being my first premium trip I was very impressed with the hotels and watching the sunsets over the Atlantic from our hotel balconies and resteraunt tables was a highlight for everyone. The cycling was a bit harder than I anticipated, the trip is graded a two but is as hard / a bit harder than the indochina trip I did earlier in the year which was graded as a three. The first few days are definitely leisurely, but on later days there are a couple of hills one long climb and one short but steep one, the last day is more undulating. I wouldn’t let these put you off though they are manageable by anyone that’s done a bit of prep or cycles regularly and there’s always the van or an ebike. The bikes were trek dual sport 3’s and were excellent hybrids with hydraulic disc brakes giving confidence on the way down. The trip was mainly on excellent quality cycle paths with only a limited amount of road riding to link them together. We were generally in the hotel for 330 each day with most starts about 930
This is a pleasant cycling trip but as some reviewers have previously highlighted despite the grade 2 we were often arriving at the hotel about 5.00pm or later and so we didn't have much time for relaxation off the bikes. This was not too much of a problem until the arrival in Obidos which is worthy of some time to look around. There are some diversions from the original route following the devastating fires in 2017. Generally good hotels are used, The Literary Man in Obidos is very interesting and quirky.
Portugal is a beautiful country and cycling along its coast felt like I experienced all it's best parts. Cycling: This is rated correctly at 'moderate' because of the hills. However it is a comfortable 'easy' ride for the average fit person. I don't ride a bike at home and felt this was very doable. I really enjoyed how the cycling increased in time on the bike and pace as the trip progressed. From the first day where we took it easy, stayed together as a group and didn’t go too far a distance, to the last day of rolling hills, go at your own pace (fast or slow) and longer distances. Since you are travelling as a group it is to be expected that sometimes you will be waiting for the last person. But it is nice since, you can have yourself a little snack and coffee while you wait a lot of the time. Plenty of opportunity to take your time or even ride in the support vehicle if you aren’t up for the hill that day. I took advantage once myself of the ‘free’ ride. The ride is on mostly flat, or rolling, paved bike paths, through forest and coastal towns. We spent little time on roads and if we did they weren’t busy. Since it is a cycling trip the majority of your day is spent on the bike or ‘in transit’. Sightseeing in the towns you stay in is limited but a part of the consistent paced itinerary.
Good cycling beside the Atlantic Ocean. Blue sky and sunshine with wind behind us. Lovely hotels, great beaches and lots of surf. Nice bikes, and fun cycling.
Lucky that we had a late Oct ride with 25 C temperatures. Great guides and well working bikes. The mostly flat terrain was pleasant and interesting. The meals were excellent, like a gastronomic tour!
Who could ever have imagined just how fantastic a week long experience cycling (plus laughing, drinking,eating, talking and laughing a bit more) from Porto towards Lisbon would turn out as a new group assembled , on time (in house story), in Porto on Saturday September 22. For me - well I had one of the great experiences of my life and I could say the same for my wife , Ali. There was a sense of apprehension at the initial meeting but most of that pretty quickly dissolved as we went on our tour of Porto (on foot) and then to our first dinner. We quickly realised we had a great team - and to make a great team we had to have great leadership. That we did in Jaoa ( Zoom Zoom) and Oscar - absolutely brilliant and more on them later. The tour was everything ('more or less' - there is a story there) we could have hoped for - scenic even breath-taking at times, a huge variety of different landscapes from coast to farmland to colourful villages and picturesque lakes and seaside towns, mainly very good surfaces but nothing un-expected, great accommodation, great camaraderie and ultimately friendships and very good equipment. The tour was, as advised, mainly flat with a couple of good challenging short hills which did take a good bit of energy. If you have reasonable fitness (e-bikes are always available if you want) and enjoy the benefits of good exercise, connecting with new acquaintances and being blown away with scenery this is a 'bucket-list' trip for you. And, to finish in the castled town of Obidos (yes, with a bit of final climb - 200-300 metres - 'more or less eh Jaoa') was a wonderful experience as was the time to enjoy that fantastic city of Lisbon when we arrived there by bus for our final day. We will never forget our week long cycling experience on Portugal for all the very best reasons!
We had an excellent cycling holiday with great leaders and a very sociable group of fellow travellers.
Great ride. Most is on mostly flat, well maintained, paved bike paths, with little riding on roads. Going in late October meant that when we were on roads they were almost traffic-free and the lovely coastal villages and beaches en route were tourist-free. This summer Portugal experienced many forest fires and a day of cycling through charred forests was unavoidable. It was interesting to see, first-hand, the unfortunate devastation that we had all read about in the news. Regeneration will begin quickly, I'm sure. Marco was an excellent guide and we were fortunate to learn a lot as a result of his excellent knowledge of the history of Portugal. The picnic lunches were a highlight, the group was great and I had a wonderful holiday.
This was my 7th cycling trip and biking was a great way to see this region of Portugal. The route is mostly flat with the occasional steep but short hill.. The views while cycling along the coast were beautiful. Our cycling group was a lot of fun and the pace was perfect such that we enjoyed a relaxing time at coffee stops (always near a beach) and got into the next town/city in time to explore a bit. The weather was perfect for cycling and we had no rain on the trip.
This was our 6th cycling trip and one of the best,we usually do moderate but this time did leisurely to moderate,thought it might be to easy but there was a couple of challenging hills,hotels were very good,trindade hotel in Porto advertised a rooftop bar but there wasn't one,another hotel had a rooftop bar but was closed for the season bit early I thought. Our guide Pedro and our driver jaun were excellent nothing was too much trouble ,super trip .
A fantastic week riding through beautiful coastal scenery, with fantastic accommodation and excellent food.
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 guided cycling holiday includes:
All breakfasts, 1 wine tasting
London flights (if booking incl. flights)
Airport transfers for group flights
Local bike hire
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.
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This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
7 nights 4-star hotels
8 days land only / flight inclusive
5 days cycling with full vehicle support (limited seats)
Group normally 5‐16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
90% tarmac roads and cycle paths, 10% unpaved trails
A mix of flat riding and some hills throughout
Local bike hire included
E-bike hire available on request