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Portugal

Azure Ocean Ride

Self-Guided Leisure Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,725 P.P.

E-BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE

This tour is well-suited to both regular bikes and pedal assist e-bikes, and you can choose to hire either when you book your tour with us. Confident cyclists will enjoy the boost from a battery for those cheeky climbs, and with less effort required on the bike, you’ll have more energy at the end of the day for off-the-bike activities.

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This self-guided cycling holiday in Portugal explores the west coast of the country and has been designed to keep you away from the hustle and bustle of major cities. Instead the route takes you along secondary roads, narrow country lanes and cycle paths. You will be provided with a GPS device, along with some helpful route notes and background maps, so navigating the day's rides couldn't be easier! 
The route follows Portugal's stunning western coastline, all the way from north to south. You'll visit numerous beaches, fishing villages and historic towns with beautiful pine tree forests are almost always present on the left handside of the road. But most relevant of all are the magnificent, blue ocean views from above the cliffs, where the majority of your cycling takes place.
Starting in the city of Porto, amongst the highlights of the trip are the traditional fishing villages of Furadouro, Praia da Vieira and Nazaré, the historical, castle wall-enclosed village of Obidos and the peninsula of Peniche with its spectacular ocean views.
Accommodation during the holiday has been picked based on quality and location, to ensure you're comfortable after a day in the saddle. When you reach your accommodation for the evening, your bags and rooms will be waiting for you leaving you only one thing to worry about; what to eat for your evening meal!
With start dates flexible and various flight options to Porto, there’s never been a better time to take a cycling holiday in the ever beautiful Portugal.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Discovering Portugal’s most beautiful beaches
  • Cycling alongside the Ria de Aviero, a 40km stretch of blue lagoon
  • Helping the fishermen with their catch in Praia da Vieira
  • Enjoying the views of the western shoreline from the Sitio viewpoint
  • Exploring the historical, castle walled village of Óbidos
  • Visiting the lovely Vimeiro

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I think this was the best organised Saddle Skedaddle trip we’ve done. We found the routes easy to follow and the views breathtaking.

Lynn, Germany

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Porto Airport - Transfer to Porto

Following your arrival into Porto airport, you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your first accommodation in the city of Porto.

Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, and is located in the estuary of the river Douro. Porto is well known for being the home of Port wine (it’s in the name!) so be sure to have a glass to salute the journey ahead.

Once settled into your home for the night, your representative will help you set up your hire bikes, should you be hiring, and talk you through your maps, trip notes and GPS routes to make sure everything is clear for the week ahead.

Day 2
Porto to Furadouro
26 Miles / 42 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 63 Metres Approx.

For the first half of today, you will be riding along cycle paths alongside the river Douro, along the south bank, allowing for marvellous views of the city, its bridges and the ocean.

After going through Gaia, Porto’s neighbouring city, the route continues along bike lanes that stretch right the way south, towards the seashore. Around half way you will have the chance to stop and explore the bustling sea side town of Espinho.

Towards the end of today’s cycling, the route goes through less populated areas along the shore, towards your home for the evening in a small hotel on the beach, in the typical fishing village of Furadouro.

Day 3
Furadouro to Ilhavo
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 104 Metres Approx.

Today’s route leads you to Ria de Aveiro, a natural lagoon of sea water that extends inland, parallel to the coast, for approximately 40 kms. The route follows a bike lane next to the road, nestled in between the lagoon and ocean offering up marvellous views. Sticking close to the lagoon, you’ll have water, wildlife and tranquility to the left, and villages, beach-resorts and Hollywood style villas to the right!

Once you’ve reached the end of the lagoon where it meets the sea, it’s time to rest your legs for a few minutes whilst you cross over to the other side on a ferry (Approx. 2€ per person, not included in tour cost)... then it’s back on the bikes to continue along flat terrain through the many fishing villages along the south shore of Aveiro.

Your destination tonight is Ilhavo, in a hotel by a lagoon. The area is well-known for its glorious beaches and cod!

Day 4
Ilhavo to Figueira da Foz
46 Miles / 74 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 514 Metres Approx.

Today sees you cycling along flat terrain, as you make your way first through the village of Praia da Mira, with its beautiful beach. You’ll make your way along narrow roads, inside peaceful pine forests, that make for a relaxing morning ride.

The final part of the day needs a little more energy! Leaving the pine forests, you’ll pass through the village of Quiaios, a charming village situated on the foothill of the “Serra de Boa Viagem” mountain range. From here there’s a cheeky climb to the top, with some steep sections. The climb is smooth and progressive and the ocean views from the top make the ride well worth it.

Down the other side, you’ll find the city of Figueira da Foz and the largest and most famous beach along the west coast. Your hotel for the evening is located on the sea front right on the beach and is the tallest building in town.

Day 5
Figueira da Foz to São Pedro de Moel
40 Miles / 62 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 318 Metres Approx.

In order to reach the more relaxing cycle lanes, firstly today you will travel across the river Mondego over the main road bridge (on a side path alongside the road, away from the traffic). After following the road for a couple of kms you will once again be cycling along narrow country roads inside the pine tree forests that will take you all the way to the shoreline once again.

Along the way, you’ll find yourself going through Praia de Vieira. If you have time, head over to the far end of the beach, and if timed right you will be able to help the fishermen pull their nets from the ocean full of the day’s catch, ready to be sold at the local fish markets … can’t get fresher than that!

The hotel tonight boasts a cliff top location, overlooking the beach.

Day 6
São Pedro de Moel to Óbidos
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 854 Metres Approx.

This morning’s ride will take you along bike lanes following the coast line, with magnificent views of the ocean. The most amazing views will come once you reach the village of Sitio. The viewpoint in the centre of the village is a must visit. The frame is composed of the town of Nazaré in the foreground, and the miles and miles of stunning shoreline with the deep blue ocean and crashing waves in the background. Really something not to be missed!

You’ll then descend to Nazaré, one of the most famous fishing villages along the western shoreline, with one of the most beautiful beaches. If you need another glimpse of the amazing view, you can always take the cable car from Nazaré back up to Sitio.

Moving south the flat terrain gives way to more undulating landscape, with a few hills to climb. Your reward…? The most amazing views! If you’d prefer, there is a gentler option this afternoon, with less climbing. Today’s ride finishes in Óbidos, a village surrounded by castle walls, bursting with history and medieval culture.

Day 7
Óbidos to Vimeiro
25 or 39 Miles / 41 or 63 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 588 or 783 Metres Approx.

Today you can decide if you want a longer route or a shorter one. The longer route will take you in a westerly direction towards the coast to visit the town of Peniche. Here you do a loop around the coast line of the peninsula of Carvoeiro with magnificent views to the high cliffs and the far distant isolated islands of Berlengas. The route then proceeds south through neighbouring coastal villages, where you will find yourself meandering along a narrow road next to the shore, heading to the beach of Areia Branca.

The ride to the hotel is varied, and the latter part takes you through a canyon which ends at the beach of Porto Novo. Tonight you will stay in a hotel on the beach, with breathtaking views of the ocean.

There is a shorter route available for those who need to rest their legs today. For those opting for the shorter route, it does mean missing out on the visit to Peniche and the Carvoeiro Peninsula, but it does allow more time for exploring Vimeiro!

Day 8
Departure from Vimeiro - Transfer to Lisbon Airport
  • Meals: Breakfast

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, your representative will meet you and transfer you from Vimeiro to Lisbon to meet your return flight home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

90% of this tour follows the coast. For the first couple of days, the route takes you along mostly flat terrain, as the week progresses, the landscape gets more rugged and you’ll have some short, steep climbs to conquer. Day 6 will pose the biggest challenge, being one of the longest and hilliest.

Around 35% of the route is traffic free on separated cycle paths, and around 65% is on the road, some of which will have designated cycle lanes and on some you’ll be riding with traffic.

While most roads are quiet, there will be some busier sections, particularly as you head into and out of towns, especially in the high season. Because of this the route is best suited to riders confident in some traffic.

For this tour we recommend a hybrid bike or e-bike, however road bikes can be used if preferred, (with slick or semi slick tyres (25mm/ 1 inch or wider). If you‘re looking for a more relaxed cycling experience, opting for an e-bike will help those cheeky climbs up to the scenic views on days 6 and 7 feel a bit easier. E-bikes can also help when riding in the heat, if travelling at hotter times of the year.

For more information about riding an electric bike on our holidays please click here

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day

For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness

May include some steeper, cheeky climbs and possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc)

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 holiday to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

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The build up in difficulty each day was perfect and we feel we had the opportunity to experience the true Portugal each day. We’d recommend Skedaddle without hesitation!

Julia, UK

Dates & Prices

Daily departures available. The season prices below are per person and are applicable for all start dates between and inclusive of the stated dates.

2024 02 Jan – 14 Dec

Season 1 – £1725 02 Jan – 29 Jun and 16 Sep – 14 Dec

Season 2 – £2125 01 Jul – 15 Sep

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book now with a £200 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.

Select a date to view prices and book
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,725.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Hotel accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) English-speaking local representative (with welcome meeting)

D) GPS navigation, with supplementary route notes and background maps

E) Luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Porto airport (OPO)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Lisbon airport (LIS)

H) Financial Protection through ABTOT

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Single room (available if required)

D) Travel insurance

E) Meals not stated in the itinerary

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Ferry on day 3 (Approx. 2€ per person)

J) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

K) Tourist taxes, to be paid locally where applicable

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday.

For this tour we ask that you fly into Porto airport (OPO) and back from Lisbon airport (LIS). Please arrive between 10.00 and 17.00 and depart after 10.00.

For those flying from the UK, there are numerous options for your outbound and return flights with airlines including British Airways, Ryanair, easyJet; these airlines fly from and back to various regional UK airports.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for your transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en suite in a mixture of 3 and 4 star hotels, with one 5 star hotel. The hotels on the route are modern and most have pool facilities.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent. These bikes are typically KTM hybrid bikes with semi slick tyres and 28” wheels. Hire bikes in Portugal will have a crossbar frame as standard, but size small bikes will have a step-through frame. If you do decide to rent we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets when making your booking.

Rental bikes also come with pannier racks, 1 pannier bag, emergency repair kit including spare inner tubes, bike pump, a bottle holder and bike lock. The tours are all guided by GPS, and the bikes have GPS support brackets. All bikes have flat pedals, but clip-in-pedals can be fitted on arrival, if you’d like to bring your own. You are also welcome to bring your own saddle, if you prefer.

We also have electric bikes available on request, should you wish – (with a pannier rack and bag).

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