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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
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  • When?March 2015
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Portugal Azure Ocean Ride Cycling Holiday
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Portugal Azure Ocean Ride Cycling Holiday

  • 8 Night Holiday
  • B&B
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This guided holiday 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 you along secondary roads, narrow country lanes and cycle paths. Your local expert guides will lead you along the route, so you can just sit back in the saddle, 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 hand side 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, the lush landscapes of Sintra Natural Park and the world heritage town of Sintra.

This holiday is ideal for a leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness. The cycling distances are between 42 km – 77 km per day on varying terrain, with some steep climbs occasionally included.

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Group Size

In order to offer you as much choice as possible, we work with an expert partner for all cycling holidays. This is not an exclusive TD active Holidays tour. Your group will be made up of a range of travelers from different countries, who share in your passion for cycling. The group sizes are typically between 6 – 16 people. 

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, and around 65% is on the road. While most roads are quiet, there will be some busier sections as you head into and out of towns, especially in the high season. For this tour if you are bringing your own bike we recommend a hybrid bike, however road bikes can be used if preferred, (with slick or semi slick tyres (25mm/ 1 inch or wider), but there is a 3 km section of gravel, forest road. Some sections of the route were affected by the 2017 wildfires in Portugal. You’ll see the effects when riding past some of the worst-affected pine forests.

Cycling Guides

TD active Holidays work with a local cycling partner in Portugal, who have been running cycling holidays for over 17 years now. The expert team of guides are always on hand to make your holiday an unforgettable experience. Your holiday will be led by 1 or 2 English-speaking riding guides, depending on the size of the group. What places our guides head and shoulders above other cycle leaders is their focus on providing a great cycling experience and excellent customer service. Our guides take care of all of the daily planning and organization, leaving you free to get on your bike and enjoy the ride.

Accommodation

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 room will be waiting for you leaving you only one thing to think about: what to eat for your evening meal. Tourist taxes where applicable; approx. €2 per person, per night are not included in the tour price. Accommodation 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.

Food

The Portuguese cuisine is diverse, characterised by rich, filling and full-flavored food, closely resembling Mediterranean cuisine. The Portuguese consume lots of seafood, with dry cod (bacalhau in Portuguese) being a specialty. Some typical regional dishes of Portugal include “posta” (big beef steak), “feijoada à transmontana” (beans with beef and sausage) and cozido à portuguesa (a delicious stew filled with any number of meats and vegetables!). Wine is the preferred drink around a Portuguese table, and of course, it wouldn’t be right to miss out on a glass of Port! Vegetarians and people with specific dietary requirements can be catered for – please indicate at the time of booking if you have any specific dietary requirements.

Preparation & training

In order to get the most out of your trip, you need to choose a holiday of the right grade and make sure you‘re prepared. The amount of preparation and training you need to do will depend on your own experience, your level of fitness and the type and grade of holiday you are going on. 

 Bike Hire Included 

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own, we have bike hire included in our holiday cost. 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. Please bring along a rucksack and / or Camelbak, as panniers won’t be provided as standard. All bikes have flat pedals, but SPD’s can be fitted on arrival. We also have electric bikes available on request, at an additional supplement, should you wish to hire one of those.

Travelling with Your Own Bike

The vast majority of airlines will charge you to transport your bike. This amount varies from carrier to carrier but we recommend always booking and paying for this in advance which will usually save you money compared to paying at the airport. Most airlines will also require your bike to be properly packaged for transport. Most commonly this will be in a bike bag or box specifically designed for the job. There is a wealth of options when it comes to picking the right box or bag for your needs.

Other Cycling Equipment

If you are taking your own bike, it is imperative that it is in good mechanical order. If you are not mechanically minded, we advise you to take your bike to a local bicycle dealer for a service before you travel. Details of which spares you should take will be included in the Information Pack sent with your booking confirmation.

Bring clothes suitable for cycling in – specific cycling kit if you have it or simply normal clothes comfortable enough for exercising. It’s also a good idea to bring bottles for drinking water, sunglasses, cycling gloves, a light but waterproof rain jacket and a fleece / sweater for mornings and evenings. It is also a good idea to bring shoes suitable for walking along with your cycling shoes. If you've got cycling shoes with cleats - bring your own pedals. A basic packing list will be sent to you with your booking confirmation. 

Helmets

While riding with us it is compulsory that you wear a helmet. If you don’t have a helmet or don’t intend to bring your own we may, subject to availability, be able to provide one on request. You will not be permitted to ride unless you wear a helmet.

Vehicle Support

At strategic points (where access allows), you have the security of our support vehicle. In the vehicle there will be some space for tired bikers, allowing the chance of a well-earned break if needed. You will also be able to leave extra layers or spare kit here during the day meaning there is no need to carry any equipment other than that you would carry on a normal day ride.

Baggage allowance once you are in your destination

Once you reach your destination, your allowable baggage is one main piece of luggage per person other than your bike and a small day pack. Your main luggage should preferably be either a backpack / rucksack or ‘sports bag’ so as to assist in transportation between accommodations. The day pack may be useful for carrying your additional outer-layer clothing, camera and snacks (etc) while cycling. Please note this allowable baggage allowance is not your airline baggage allowance. Fees may apply for luggage depending on the airline. Please refer to the holiday booking page for further details on airline baggage charges.

Personal spending money

The local currency is the Euro. We suggest taking approximately €10-€20 for lunches per day, and €20-€30 for evening meals (per person excluding drinks). Please refer to the daily itinerary to see which meals are included. Any personal expenditure for things such as souvenirs depends very much on the individual. Outside of larger towns opportunities to draw money from an ATM or to exchange cash may be rare. Some places may accept card payments but it is better not to rely on this. Your banks may impose charges for using your card abroad and you should always warn your bank you will be travelling with your card prior to your trip.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of your trip that you are covered by a medical and personal accident insurance policy that includes repatriation to your home country and cover for all planned activities.

Weather

The west coast of Portugal has a semi-Mediterranean climate. The weather can however be strongly affected by the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it cooler than areas more inland. Temperatures can rise as high as 40ºC/104°F in August during occasional heat waves and winters are generally mild and humid, with some colder nights.

Portugal

Portugal is located in south western Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The most western country in Europe, Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. Your route takes you from north to south along the western coast. Starting in Porto, Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon, you will make your way throughout the week all the way down to Sintra, one of the country’s most picturesque towns.

Holiday highlights

Porto’s museums & galleries

Lovers of the arts will be spoilt for choice in Porto. Visit the rua Miguel Bombard, home to many of the city’s galleries; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art with its beautiful Gardens, the unusual Lello bookshop with its mesmerising staircase  and the Palacio da Bolsa do Porto (the stock exchange building) – one of the most attractive buildings in the city.   

Wine 

Port wine is Porto’s most famous export. Typically a sweet red wine served after a meal, Port is also produced as a dry or a white wine. Your local guide will take you to one of the cellars of the city for a tutored Port tasting as part of your city tour.

Lisbon - Marques de Pombal 

The square is the radiating point for various important avenues: Liberdade, Duque de Loulé and Fontes Pereira de Melo, as well as the streets Braamcamp and Joaquim António de Aguiar. In the middle of the roundabout there is a large column dedicated to Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, built between 1917 and 1934. 

Practical Information for this holiday

Group Size

In order to offer you as much choice as possible, we work with an expert partner for all cycling holidays. This is not an exclusive TD active Holidays tour. Your group will be made up of a range of travelers from different countries, who share in your passion for cycling. The group sizes are typically between 6 – 16 people. 

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, and around 65% is on the road. While most roads are quiet, there will be some busier sections as you head into and out of towns, especially in the high season. For this tour if you are bringing your own bike we recommend a hybrid bike, however road bikes can be used if preferred, (with slick or semi slick tyres (25mm/ 1 inch or wider), but there is a 3 km section of gravel, forest road. Some sections of the route were affected by the 2017 wildfires in Portugal. You’ll see the effects when riding past some of the worst-affected pine forests.

Cycling Guides

TD active Holidays work with a local cycling partner in Portugal, who have been running cycling holidays for over 17 years now. The expert team of guides are always on hand to make your holiday an unforgettable experience. Your holiday will be led by 1 or 2 English-speaking riding guides, depending on the size of the group. What places our guides head and shoulders above other cycle leaders is their focus on providing a great cycling experience and excellent customer service. Our guides take care of all of the daily planning and organization, leaving you free to get on your bike and enjoy the ride.

Accommodation

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 room will be waiting for you leaving you only one thing to think about: what to eat for your evening meal. Tourist taxes where applicable; approx. €2 per person, per night are not included in the tour price. Accommodation 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.

Food

The Portuguese cuisine is diverse, characterised by rich, filling and full-flavored food, closely resembling Mediterranean cuisine. The Portuguese consume lots of seafood, with dry cod (bacalhau in Portuguese) being a specialty. Some typical regional dishes of Portugal include “posta” (big beef steak), “feijoada à transmontana” (beans with beef and sausage) and cozido à portuguesa (a delicious stew filled with any number of meats and vegetables!). Wine is the preferred drink around a Portuguese table, and of course, it wouldn’t be right to miss out on a glass of Port! Vegetarians and people with specific dietary requirements can be catered for – please indicate at the time of booking if you have any specific dietary requirements.

Preparation & training

In order to get the most out of your trip, you need to choose a holiday of the right grade and make sure you‘re prepared. The amount of preparation and training you need to do will depend on your own experience, your level of fitness and the type and grade of holiday you are going on. 

 Bike Hire Included 

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own, we have bike hire included in our holiday cost. 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. Please bring along a rucksack and / or Camelbak, as panniers won’t be provided as standard. All bikes have flat pedals, but SPD’s can be fitted on arrival. We also have electric bikes available on request, at an additional supplement, should you wish to hire one of those.

Travelling with Your Own Bike

The vast majority of airlines will charge you to transport your bike. This amount varies from carrier to carrier but we recommend always booking and paying for this in advance which will usually save you money compared to paying at the airport. Most airlines will also require your bike to be properly packaged for transport. Most commonly this will be in a bike bag or box specifically designed for the job. There is a wealth of options when it comes to picking the right box or bag for your needs.

Other Cycling Equipment

If you are taking your own bike, it is imperative that it is in good mechanical order. If you are not mechanically minded, we advise you to take your bike to a local bicycle dealer for a service before you travel. Details of which spares you should take will be included in the Information Pack sent with your booking confirmation.

Bring clothes suitable for cycling in – specific cycling kit if you have it or simply normal clothes comfortable enough for exercising. It’s also a good idea to bring bottles for drinking water, sunglasses, cycling gloves, a light but waterproof rain jacket and a fleece / sweater for mornings and evenings. It is also a good idea to bring shoes suitable for walking along with your cycling shoes. If you've got cycling shoes with cleats - bring your own pedals. A basic packing list will be sent to you with your booking confirmation. 

Helmets

While riding with us it is compulsory that you wear a helmet. If you don’t have a helmet or don’t intend to bring your own we may, subject to availability, be able to provide one on request. You will not be permitted to ride unless you wear a helmet.

Vehicle Support

At strategic points (where access allows), you have the security of our support vehicle. In the vehicle there will be some space for tired bikers, allowing the chance of a well-earned break if needed. You will also be able to leave extra layers or spare kit here during the day meaning there is no need to carry any equipment other than that you would carry on a normal day ride.

Baggage allowance once you are in your destination

Once you reach your destination, your allowable baggage is one main piece of luggage per person other than your bike and a small day pack. Your main luggage should preferably be either a backpack / rucksack or ‘sports bag’ so as to assist in transportation between accommodations. The day pack may be useful for carrying your additional outer-layer clothing, camera and snacks (etc) while cycling. Please note this allowable baggage allowance is not your airline baggage allowance. Fees may apply for luggage depending on the airline. Please refer to the holiday booking page for further details on airline baggage charges.

Personal spending money

The local currency is the Euro. We suggest taking approximately €10-€20 for lunches per day, and €20-€30 for evening meals (per person excluding drinks). Please refer to the daily itinerary to see which meals are included. Any personal expenditure for things such as souvenirs depends very much on the individual. Outside of larger towns opportunities to draw money from an ATM or to exchange cash may be rare. Some places may accept card payments but it is better not to rely on this. Your banks may impose charges for using your card abroad and you should always warn your bank you will be travelling with your card prior to your trip.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of your trip that you are covered by a medical and personal accident insurance policy that includes repatriation to your home country and cover for all planned activities.

Weather

The west coast of Portugal has a semi-Mediterranean climate. The weather can however be strongly affected by the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it cooler than areas more inland. Temperatures can rise as high as 40ºC/104°F in August during occasional heat waves and winters are generally mild and humid, with some colder nights.

Portugal

Portugal is located in south western Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The most western country in Europe, Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. Your route takes you from north to south along the western coast. Starting in Porto, Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon, you will make your way throughout the week all the way down to Sintra, one of the country’s most picturesque towns.

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 - Arrival into Porto Airport

Full Day

Arrival into Porto Airport

Following your arrival into Porto airport, you will be met by your guides and transferred to your first accommodation in the city of Porto (approximately 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. Once you are settled into your home for the night, the local expert cycling guides will fit your hire bikes and chat through the plan for the week to come.

Overnight

Accommodation

1 night in Porto

Day 2 - Porto to Furadouro - 42 kms

Full Day

Porto to Furadouro - 42 kms

Today you will be riding along the cycle paths alongside the River Douro, along both the north and south banks, allowing for marvelous views of the city, its bridges and the ocean. After pedaling through Gaia, Porto’s neighboring city, the route continues along bike lanes that stretch right the way south, towards the seashore. Half way through your journey today, you’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 you near the end of today’s ride, the route goes through less populated areas along the shore, towards your accommodation for the evening, in the typical fishing village of Furadouro. (Cycling distance: 42 kms)

Overnight

Accommodation

1 night in Furadouro

Day 3 - Furadouro to Ilhavo - 50 kms

Full Day

Furadouro to Ilhavo - 50 kms

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 you pedal. 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 – a wonderful contrast! Half way through the day’s cycling, you’ll reach the end of the lagoon and it’s time to rest your legs for a few minutes whilst you cross over to the other side on a ferry (ferry cost is not included in the holiday cost. Approximately €2 per person) After the ferry crossing then it’s back on your bike to continue alongside the lagoon, through many fishing villages along the south shore of Aveiro. The destination for tonight is Ilhavo, well-known for its glorious beaches and cod. (Cycling distance: 50 kms)

Overnight

Accommodation

1 night in Ilhavo

Day 4 - Ilhavo to Figueira da Foz - 77 kms

Full Day

Ilhavo to Figueira da Foz - 77 kms

The first part of your 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 your energy. After cycling through the pine forests, a stop will be made in Quiaios, a rustic village situated on the foothill of the Serra de Boa Viagem mountain range, there’s a 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 will reach Figueira da Foz and the largest, most famous beach along the west coast. (Cycling distance: 77 kms)

Overnight

Accommodation

1 night in Figueira da Foz

Day 5 - Figueira da Foz to São Pedro de Moel - 64 kms

Full Day

Figueira da Foz to São Pedro de Moel - 64 kms

In order to reach some more relaxing cycle lanes, your day will begin 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 kilometres, you’ll once again be cycling along narrow country roads inside pine tree forests – these will take you all the way to the coastline again. Along the way, you’ll pass through Praia de Vieira before reaching São Pedro de Moel. (Cycling distance: 64 kms)

Overnight

Accommodation

1 night in São Pedro de Moel.

Day 6 - São Pedro de Moel to Óbidos - 65 kms

Full Day

São Pedro de Moel to Óbidos - 65 kms

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, where a quick stop will be made, 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. It really is something not to be missed. You will 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 that’s been left behind will give way to more undulating landscape, with a few hills to climb. Your reward for these climbs will be the most beautiful views. Today’s ride finishes in Óbidos, a village surrounded by castle walls, bursting with history and medieval culture. (Cycling distance: 65 kms)

Overnight

Accommodation

1 night in Óbidos

Day 7 - Óbidos to Vimeiro - 62 kms

Full Day

Óbidos to Vimeiro - 62 kms

Today’s route takes you west towards the town of Peniche. Here you’ll cycle a short loop around the coastline of the peninsula of Carvoeiro, giving magnificent views to the high cliffs and the distant islands of Berlengas. The route then proceeds south through neighboring coastal villages, where you’ll be meandering along a narrow road next to the shore, heading to the beach of Areia Branca. The ride to your home for tonight is varied and the latter part takes you through a canyon which ends at the beach of Porto Novo. Dinner is included tonight. (Cycling distance: 62 kms)

Overnight

Accommodation

1 night in Vimeiro

Day 8 - Vimeiro to Sintra

Full Day

Vimeiro to Sintra

Due to the busier roads and difficulty of this section of the route, today there will be a transfer for you from Vimeiro to Sintra. The transfer takes the scenic route and so there is still the chance to experience and take in the beautiful scenery. The transfer will arrive in Sintra early, to allow for you to explore the world heritage site of Sintra independently. Sintra is the final destination on this cycling holiday and will be your home for the final evening which your fellow group members and local guides.

Overnight

Accommodation

1 night in Sintra

Day 9 – Return Home

Full Day

Return Home

After breakfast at our hotel, you will transfer with your local expert guides to Lisbon airport for your return flight home (approximately 30 minute transfer).

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Portugal Azure Ocean Ride Cycling Holiday Accommodation Tourist Class

Accommodation during this holiday is picked based on quality and location, to ensure you're comfortable after a day on the saddle. When you reach your accommodation for the evening, your bags and rooms will be waiting for you. Tourist taxes where applicable; approx. €2 per person... read more read more read more

Accommodation during this holiday is picked based on quality and location, to ensure you're comfortable after a day on the saddle. When you reach your accommodation for the evening, your bags and rooms will be waiting for you. Tourist taxes where applicable; approx. €2 per person, per night are not included in the holiday price. Accommodation will usually be en suite in a mixture of mostly 3 and 4 star hotels. The hotels on the route are modern and most have pool facilities. Most breakfasts are continental style buffets. Lunch and dinner can be taken at your leisure and own expense. The exact accommodation arrangements for your holiday will be advised with your final documents approximately 10 days before departure. 

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Portugal Azure Ocean Ride Cycling Holiday Accommodation



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Price, taxes, flight times & availability are subject to change. E&OE. Price based on per person, sharing. Single Supplement cost may apply.

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