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Portugal

Azure Ocean Ride

Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

9 days

Prices from

$2,225 P.P.
Portugal

Azure Ocean Ride

Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

9 days

Prices from

$2,225 P.P.
BOOK NOW
This guided tour explores the west coast of Portugal and has been designed to keep you away from the hustle and bustle of major cities; instead the route takes us along secondary roads, narrow country lanes and cycle paths. Your guides will lead you along the route, so you can just sit back in the saddle, relax and enjoy the views! 
The route follows Portugal's stunning western coastline, all the way from north to south. The route visits numerous beaches, fishing villages and historic towns, with beautiful pine tree forests almost always present on the left handside of the road. But best of all are the magnificent, blue ocean views from above the cliffs, where the majority of your cycling takes place.
Alongside beautiful Porto, highlights of the trip include the traditional fishing villages of Furadouro, Praia da Vieira and Nazaré, the historical, castle wall-enclosed village of Obidos, the bustling beach resort of Santa Cruz with its lovely beach, the lush landscapes of Sintra Natural Park and the world heritage town of Sintra.
Accommodation during the vacation has been picked based on quality and location, to ensure you're comfortable after a day in the saddle. When we reach our accommodation for the evening, our bags and rooms will be waiting for us leaving you only one thing to think about: what to eat for your evening meal!
With dates spread throughout the year and various flight options into Porto and home from Lisbon, this guided tour is one not to miss! We also offer a self-guided version of this vacation, if you'd prefer to travel on alternative dates.
cycling-holiday-in-portugal-azure-ocean-ride

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
  • Staying in beautiful Sintra and visiting some of its many palaces

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Porto Airport - Transfer to Porto
  • Meals: Dinner

Following your arrival into Porto airport, you will be met by your guides and transferred to your first accommodation in the city of Porto (approx. 20 minute transfer). 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 we’ll be sure to have a glass to salute our journey ahead. Once settled into our home for the night, the guides will fit hire bikes and chat through the week to come.

Day 2
Porto to Furadouro
26 Miles / 42 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 63 Metres / 207 Ft.

Today we will be riding along cycle paths alongside the River Douro, along both the north and south banks, allowing for marvellous views of the city, its bridges and the ocean. After pedalling through Gaia, Porto’s neighbouring city, our route continues along bike lanes that stretch right the way south, towards the seashore.

Half way through our journey today, we’ll have the chance to stop and explore the bustling sea side town of Espinho, originally a small fishing village – if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll still see some colourful boats on the sand. As we near the end of today’s ride, our route goes through less populated areas along the shore, towards our 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 / 341 Ft.

Today’s route leads us to Ria de Aveiro, a natural lagoon of sea water that extends inland, parallel to the coast, for approximately 40kms. The route follows a bike lane next to the road, nestled in between the lagoon and ocean providing us with stunning views as we pedal. Sticking close to the lagoon, we’ll have water, wildlife and tranquility to the left and villages, beach-resorts and Hollywood-style villas to the right – a wonderful contrast!

Half way through the day’s cycling, we’ll reach the end of the lagoon and it’s time to rest our legs for a few minutes whilst we cross over to the other side on a ferry (2 Euros, not included in tour cost)... then it’s back on the bikes to continue along the lagoon, through many fishing villages along the south shore of Aveiro. Our destination tonight is Ilhavo, well-known for its glorious beaches and cod!

Day 4
Ilhavo to Figueira da Foz
48 Miles / 77 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 514 Metres / 1686 Ft.

The first part of our day today will be spent cycling along flat terrain, through isolated areas on narrow roads and through peaceful, pine forests. The second half of today’s route, however, requires a little more of our energy.

After cycling through the pine forests, we’ll make a stop in Quiaios, a rustic village situated on the foothill of the Serra de Boa Viagem mountain range, 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, we’ll reach Figueira da Foz and the largest, most famous beach along the west coast. Our hotel for the evening is located on the sea front, right on the beach and is the tallest building in town, offering you great views.

Day 5
Figueira da Foz to São Pedro de Moel
40 Miles / 64 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 318 Metres / 1043 Ft.

In order to reach some more relaxing cycle lanes, we begin our day by travelling across the River Mondego over the main road bridge (don’t worry, you can cycle on a side path alongside the road, keeping away from the traffic). After following the road for a couple of miles, we’ll once again be cycling along narrow country roads inside pine tree forests – these will take us all the way to the coastline again!

Along the way, we’ll pass through Praia de Vieira. Depending on our timing, we might head over to the far end of the beach…if we time it right, we 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…you can’t get fresher than that and the fish you’ll taste in this area really is the best! Our 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 / 2801 Ft.

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

We’ll then descend to Nazaré, one of the most famous fishing villages along the western shoreline, which also boasts one of the regions most beautiful beaches. Moving south, the flat terrain we’ve left behind gives way to more undulating landscape, with a few hills to climb. Our reward… the most beautiful views! Today’s ride finishes in Óbidos, a village surrounded by castle walls, bursting with history and medieval culture.

Day 7
Óbidos to Vimeiro
39 Miles / 62 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner
  • Ascent: 783 Metres / 2568 Ft.

Today’s route takes us west towards the town of Peniche. Here we’ll cycle a short loop around the coastline of the peninsula of Carvoeiro, giving us magnificent views to the high cliffs and the distant islands of Berlengas. Our route then proceeds south through neighbouring coastal villages, where we’ll be meandering along a narrow road next to the shore, heading to the beach of Areia Branca.

The ride to our home for tonight is varied and the latter part takes us through a canyon which ends at the beach of Porto Novo. Our hotel overlooks the ocean from its cliff-top position.

Day 8
Transfer - Vimeiro to Sintra
  • Meals: Breakfast

Due to the busier roads and difficulty of this section of the route, today we have organised a transfer for you from Vimeiro to Sintra. We’ll be taking the scenic route and so there’s still chance to experience and take in the beautiful scenery. We’ll arrive in Sintra early, to allow for you to explore individually.

Our final destination on this journey, and our home for our final celebratory evening, is the world heritage site, Sintra. Popular all year round, it’s the perfect place to finish your trip. Our accommodation for tonight is in a small, cozy hotel within walking distance of the town centre … perfect for a celebratory beer or two!

Day 9
Departure from Sintra - Transfer to Lisbon Airport
  • Meals: Breakfast

After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel, your guides will whisk you away to Lisbon airport for your flights home (approximately 30 minute transfer).

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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 some will 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, however road bikes can be used if preferred, (with slick or semi slick tyres (25mm/ 1 inch or wider).

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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

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 trip to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
24/04/2021
Return Date
02/05/2021
Duration
9 days
Price
$2,225.00
Start Date
11/09/2021
Return Date
19/09/2021
Duration
9 days
Price
$2,285.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

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

C) Full tour service, including guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

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

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

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

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

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

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

J) Tourist taxes where applicable; approx. €2 per person, per night

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your trip. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Porto airport (OPO) either before 12.00 for a 12.30 transfer or before 13:30 for a 14:00 transfer. At the end of the tour, we will provide two group transfers to Lisbon airport (LIS), arriving at 10.00 and 13.00 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight. Most flights from North America require overnight travel, and a stop over in an intermediary airport, with Norwegian combining with another airline being a common combination for this trip. Please note that flying from North America may involve multiple travel days. Please check with us before booking any flights, to ensure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your trip and that your flights fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual 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 hire. 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 frames will have a step-through frame. If you do decide to hire we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets when making your booking.

Please bring along a rucksack and / or Camelbak, as panniers won’t be provided as standard. The tours are all guided by GPS, and the hire bikes have GPS support brackets. All bikes have flat pedals, but clip-in-pedals can be fitted on arrival.

We also have electric bikes available on request, should you wish.

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