- 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 beautiful Sintra and cycling through Sintra Natural Park
I think this was the best organized Saddle Skedaddle trip we’ve done. We found the routes easy to follow and the views breathtaking.
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.
- Meals: Breakfast
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.
- Meals: Breakfast
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 (2 Euros)... 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!
- Meals: Breakfast
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.
- Meals: Breakfast
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.
- Meals: Breakfast
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.
- Meals: Breakfast
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.
Choosing the shorter route you will skip the visit to Peniche and the Carvoeiro Peninsula (however this is the best part of today’s ride!). The short version cuts approx. 20 kms off the long option, but those 20 kms are really easy over almost flat ground. If you need a break however the shorter option is available.
- 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.
There is the option to cycle today if you’d prefer, rather than taking the vehicle transfer. Please note that this is the most difficult day of the tour, with more rugged terrain and more climbing than the rest of the week. The roads can be busy with traffic, especially in summer. If you do choose to cycle, the distance today is approximately 35 miles / 57 kms.
Your cycling route goes through the traditional west, known as the “Zona Saloia“, characterised by small farming enterprises; the land is fertile and many families live off the land. Because of the rivers and streams that litter your path, the route occasionally weaves inland to deal with these natural barriers. Highlights today include the famous beach resort of Santa Cruz, the international surfing beach of Ribamar, and the fishing village of Ericeira.
Your final destination on this journey, and home for your final celebratory evening, is the world heritage site, Sintra. Popular all year round, it’s the perfect place to finish your trip. Your accommodation for tonight is in a small, cozy hotel within walking distance of the town centre … perfect for a celebratory beer or two!
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).
Leisure Cycling Grade
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.
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!
Dates & Prices
2021 and 2022 Daily departures available from 03 Jan to 15 Dec.
The season prices below are applicable for all start dates between and inclusive of the stated dates.
Season 1 – $2215pp 03 Jan and 30 Jun and 16 Sep and 15 Dec
Season 2 – $2800 pp 01 Jul and 15 Sep
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)
What's not Included
A) Bike hire (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 Euros)
J) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
K) Tourist taxes, to be paid locally where applicable
Portugal - exploring this gem by bike
Here's why we love it so much! Enjoy the stunning beaches, wine, food and culture of this beautiful country...
12 Hours in... Lisbon!
Check out what makes Lisbon a must-see in our new city guide!
Michael, Pennsylvania, USAA wonderful way to spend a vacation
Our representative in Portugal was so friendly and accommodating. We were able to fully enjoy our trip. The hotels often had spectacular ocean views. All were clean and comfortable. A couple were a bit isolated, but they were very enjoyable. The hotels in Furadouro, Obidos, and Sintra were the best in our opinion, but all were good. The leg from Sao Pedro Moel to Obidos was the most scenic and challenging. There was so much to see and do, from the markets in Sitio to the beachfront in Nezare to the views and sights in and around Obidos. The GPS system was great!
Bruce, CanadaWe had a wonderful holiday in Portugal
The views along the Atlantic coast were amazing. We also enjoyed the variety of terrain, which included forested areas, fishing villages, sand dunes and castle towns. Weather was great but we were surprised by the near empty beaches. Much of our enjoyment can be attributed to the support and recommendations provided by Antonio.
Booking the holiday was easy. Excellent information provided prior to booking. Very helpful and prompt responses to any questions we had.
Many of the hotels were of the “boutique” variety which we prefer and also located right on the ocean front. Breakfasts were excellent with lots of choices offered. Staff were always friendly with excellent English skills.
Day 6 was our favourite day as it featured a longer route option which included the Peniche peninsula. We had great views of the ocean and rocky shoreline. We found a great spot for a picnic lunch on this route.
Brian, CanadaThe trip was beyond our expectations...
This was the first time I have placed our plans in the hands of others – it was remarkable! Everything about Skedaddle is first-rate!
Robyn, AustraliaSkedaddle gave us a wonderful cycling holiday.
Enjoyed the route especially the myriad of off road and quiet cycling. The accommodation was mostly superior and wonderful. The staff were extremely willing, helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. A good, light, reliable bike makes the difference between a reasonable ride and an excellent ride – the bikes we hired were well serviced, good quality and provided a comfortable ride. The bikes were ready to go on drop off, and gave us no trouble. All in all Skedaddle gave us a wonderful cycling holiday.
Wendy and Pedro could not have improved their service in any way. Nothing for either of them was too much trouble even to the extent of Pedro smilingly picking us up for the airport at 4am. Luggage was always at our accommodation on arrival and frequently even when we were early the room was ready too. The Garmin provided worked perfectly. The information was accurate to within a metre. Very impressive and very easy for us.
My favourite day was when we had the unexpected luxury of a 5 star hotel and the opportunity to learn of the porcelain dynasty and the beautiful small chapel attached to the property. The hotel appeared unexpectantly after a mostly off road cycle through the forest, following another day of great riding. To swim in a sparkling pool is always a bonus after a day of riding. In terms of a city, the beauty of Sintra is unsurpassed.
I would recommend Skedaddle to a friend without hesitation.
Lynn, GermanyBreathtaking views...
Everything was wonderful. I think this was the best organised saddle skedaddle trip we’ve done. Wendy was right on time to meet us and very helpful. Throughout the trip she followed up to make sure all was well. We found the routes easy to follow and the views breathtaking. The hotels were very nice and the towns we stayed in always offered something lovely. The destinations along the ocean were relaxing and gorgeous.
Portugal is a beautiful country with very friendly, smiley people. We got all kinds of encouragement from the locals as we were riding.
Kirstine, Surrey, UKConstant support!
It was very good to have so much support available throughout the trip. At one point, I had a small accident on my bike, but the local representative, and a team member from Saddle Skedaddle office, kept in touch to make sure everything was okay. Then our local guide made arrangements for transport and generally made sure that we were always doing alright.
Joan, County Antrim, UKThis is our fourth skedaddle holiday and we intend to do it again next year!
This is the first time we have taken a cycle trip guided by GPS and it was excellent. It led us gratefully to our hotel at the end of each day – no more searching unfamiliar towns at the end of a hot and sweaty day’s cycling.
We loved the last day! Lots of sea views, some challenging climbs then the ascent into Sintra. Two celebratory beers before checking in to the hotel and still plenty of time to visit the Pena Palace.
Paul, Hertfordshire, UKThe best holiday we have been on...
A big thank you to everyone involved in our holiday to Portugal. We had an absolutely magical time and have become cycling holiday bores. The organisation and arrangements were perfect. Fantastic route and scenery. The only fault was that it ended; we both wanted to carry on further.
Jill, Derbyshire, UKI was very impressed
We had a great time, perfect cycling weather, great bikes and a well prepared route on good paths, roads and cycle ways. The hotels were all very good, and the back-up was supportive without being intrusive. Again, contact with the office was very good, a very friendly team, and everything ran smoothly. The representative was excellent from the minute she picked us up from the airport to the last text at the end of the holiday. She had plenty of time for us, gave excellent recommendations, was very supportive and helpful when we managed to lose each other, and looked after us without us really being aware of it. A gem! We had very detailed notes and maps, with highlights to look out for each day – I was very impressed. Our luggage was always in our room or hotel when we arrived. No problems whatsoever.
Ruth, York, UKSupportive representatives!
Local representative spent time with us explaining the route clearly and using the GPS – we found her very supportive and kept in daily contact to make sure all was well. She even arranged a transfer for us!