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Lisbon & Alentejo Coast Challenge

Tour: PLS8
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
Linear Cycling Holiday

Take your fill of vibrant city culture in Lisbon, then point your two wheels south and head for Alentejo’s Arrábida hills and some of the most scenic cycling Portugal has to offer. Cycle Breaks tours are designed for you to make en-route discoveries totally at your own pace and near the start of this tour, even before reaching the cliffs and coves of the Vicentina Coast and Sagres peninsular, the stunningly beautiful Arrábida Natural Park presents breath-taking panoramas and wildlife-spotting opportunities amidst untamed landscapes. If you’re a cyclist with a good level of fitness or more experience, you’ll be sure to rise to the challenge and enjoy exploring the verdant and rocky terrain here at a certain pace. Others may prefer pedalling fewer miles each day or having just longer to take in the natural sights – for them our PLS10 tour extends the same route by a couple of overnights. Belém’s Jérónimus Monastery (and its custard tarts), Alentejo vineyards (and their wines), Setúbal’s fishmarket and the coast’s seafood treats are amongst the tour highlights…not forgetting the dolphins, lizards, white storks, sea eagles, marine otters and Cabo São Vicente’s grand finale – the blazing sunset at World’s End. Read More

Destination

Portugal

Start Day

Any Day

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from

£1,296.00

Duration

8 Days, 7 Nights

Availability

Jan - Nov

Tour Grade

Grade 4 (More Challenging)

Read Overview
Home > Portugal > Lisbon & Alentejo Coast Challenge

Overview

A scenic discovery tour from Golden Age capital city, Lisbon on the river Tejo, down the dramatic Alentejo and Vicentina coastlines into the Algarve and the birdlife-rich Sagres Peninsular. Be sure to put the binoculars in the top of the panniers to make the most of the views and the many flora, fauna and wildlife encounters along a route marked by some of Portugal’s most inspiring natural parks. Pedal around rocky coves, craggy coastline and unexpected lush ‘maquis’ terrain more at home perhaps on the Adriatic than on the Atlantic Coast and leave tarmacked paths to climb and freewheel down on wilder, more rustic tracks through the Sado region, Arrábida hills, Alentejo vineyards and Vicentina cliff coast.

Tour Code:
PLS8
Activity:
Cycling
Type:
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday, Linear Cycling Holiday
Country:
Portugal
Area:
Lisbon & West Coast
Duration:
8 Days, 7 Nights
Board Basis:
Bed & Breakfast
Availability:
Jan - Nov

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive & explore

Arrive in Lisbon and start with an overview of one of the world’s oldest towns. From the Moorish Alfama district on one of the capital’s seven hills, see the river Tejo (Tagus) and its bridges and spot colourful plazas across rooftops. A ride on an old wooden tram is a must and a visit to Castel São Jorge for a bit of city history background before heading to find the city’s key monuments: Padrão dos Descobrimento, in honour of Portugal’s Golden Age explorers; Christo Rei (Rio de Janeiro’s statue on a smaller scale); impressive horsemen (Praça da Figueira); Vasco da Gama bridge, officially the longest in Europe and Lisbon’s mini Eifel Tower, the Carma lift in Rua de Santa Justa. Head to the cafés of the Bairro Alto for an evening of local flavours. Overnight Lisbon.

Day 2 Belém & beyond

Start the day’s cycling in the vibrant area of Lisbon along the Tejo.  The riverside Parque das Nações and the capital’s most iconic square – Praça do Commércio – museums, cafés, monuments and all sorts line up along the way to Lisbon’s moorish attraction at Belém. Built on the wealth of the Golden Age of Portuguese exploration, the lavish Jérónimus Monastery has a beautiful cloister courtyard garden and the Tower of Belém seems to float on the Tejo. Sample Pasteis de Belém, a delicious egg custard tart in its home town before catching the ferry to Trafaria and the Costa da Caparica coast.

Overnight in the resort of Costa da Caparica.

Miles 13 Kms 21

Day 3 Fossils, feathered friends & fishmarkets  

At the mouth of the Tejo, the Costa da Caparica is, as its name suggests, a highly prized coast. It has a history of fossil finds, but is now mainly renowned for its extensive sandy stretches and wonderful Atlantic surf – a highly popular chill-out zone for the ‘Liboetas’. Backed with pine forests and characterful beach shacks, it’s a refreshing change from city life, but there’s more nature – and a more strenuous cycling adventure – ahead as you enter the Arrábida Natural Park on the north shore of the Sado River and engage with the Arrábida hills. Here, it’s the vegetation and views which really steal the show – glimpses of blue ocean offset by the bright lush greens. The micro-climate is more akin to the ‘maquis’ scrublands of the Dalmatian Coast and wildlife abounds from all types of reptiles and amphibians to unusual birds. You’ll want to explore the amazing beaches of Portinho da  Arrábida and Figueirinha before you finally pedal on to the thriving port of Setúbal on the ‘Stork estuary’ of the Sado River, home to one of the most prestigious fishmarkets in the world.

Overnight in Setúbal.

Miles 37 Kms 60

Day 4 From Setúbal to Sines – ancient land of dolphins & megaliths

Few ferry boat trips are quite like the one you’ll experience today – as you set out across the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve to admire the flocks of storks (spring/ summer), you can expect to be accompanied by the resident population of bottlenose dolphins. As well as rice fields, the estuary is home to over 250 species of birds, so be sure to have those binoculars in the panniers. Landing on the Troia peninsular, it’s soon time to coast along a while as the landscape relaxes into the gentle plains of the Alentejo – a land of white-washed villages and robust castles, home to crystal waters and officially some of Portugal’s very best beaches. If you like history, you’ll love the wide range of en-route offerings from Visigoth churches to Roman remains, even prehistoric engravings and mighty megaliths. And just when you think things can’t get any better, there are vineyards and Alentejo wines to help the day along.  And after a great day of exploring the old fishing town of Sines has to be an appropriate place to stay – birthplace of Vasco da Gama, you’ll find his statue standing proudly by the walls of his castle.

Overnight in Sines.

Miles 28 Kms 46

Day 5 Day Five – A wild coastline like no other …

Cycle down through the Southwest and Costa Vicentina Natural Park. The finest preserved stretch of coastline in Europe, it reaches right into the Algarve and is renowned for its fantastic flora and fauna. No wonder that the natural park is favoured by botanists and zoologists – a landscape fo steep cliffs, surf and rocky coves; Atlantic Ocean views, beautiful beaches and charming fishing harbours. Otters exist in a marine habitat here – one of the last places in Europe where and it’s the only place in the world where white storks nest on seashore outcrops. Keep a look out for eagles too! Vila Nova de Mil Fontes is your overnight destination, but even that can have an extra treat to end the day – the sunset at Portinho do Canal.

Overnight Vila Nova de Mil Fontes.

Miles 26 Kms 41

Day 6 The Algarve on the horizon

More time today in the Costa Vicentina Natural Park – more fascinating species, vistas and lofty cliffs topped with sandy dune systems and unique flora around the Ribeira de Aljezur estuary and Amoreira beach. Foodies will love the historic Aljezur, home of the sweet potato festival, but its restaurants excel in fishy delights too like bream and sea bass. Of 10th century Moorish origin, the town spreads across the hillside, dominated by its massive twin-towered castle. Climb the walls and look back at the hills you’ve scaled, but don’t miss the many museums and sacred art-rich churches around the town too though.

Overnight in Aljezur.

Miles 44 Kms 71

Day 7 And finally… almost at the end of the world

From Aljezur, the Costa Vicentina which reaches into the Algarve is perhaps the area most associated with Henry the Navigator, the Portuguese prince behind Europe’s Golden Age of exploration into Africa, Asia and the Americas. Cabo São Vicente’s (Cape St Vincent) 100m high cliffs were the European landmark and sign of home for those determined explorers returning on treasure filled ships from afar. Today, like so much of the Costa Vicentina, it’s an unrivalled haven for sea- and shore-birds as well as birds of prey. Visit the site of Henry’s original church site and admire the Cape’s lighthouse funded by a bishop to help the safe passage of local fishermen. The fortified port of Sagres is your destination for the day, but can you resist an evening trip back to the Cape to catch a sunset which sets the world on fire?

Overnight in Sagres.

Miles 21-42 Kms 34-68

Day 8 Depart after breakfast

Depart after breakfast following your final night in Sagres.

 

Extra nights can be booked in Lisbon and Sagres on a bed and breakfast basis after the tour to allow more time to enjoy the sunshine coast and its beautiful beaches. Alternatively, why not continue east, hugging the Algarve coast all the way to the Spanish border? For details, see our cycle tour PLSV8 .

Dates & Prices

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For tour start days/dates, seasons and all prices, please click on the PRICES button above

PRICE INCLUDES

Ensuite accommodation as described with buffet/continental breakfast (prices based on two adults sharing). If half-board is booked, dinner each night (7 dinners). If upgraded room is booked, this will normally have a seaview or overlook the garden

Luggage transfer between hotels

Taxi transfers Lisbon airport to hotel & Sagres to Faro airport or station at holiday end

Hire of hybrid bicycle and ancillary equipment single pannier (pump, basic tools, spare inner tube & puncture repair equipment shared between 2)

Local assistance on call (although puncture repair is excluded)

Information pack with detailed joining instructions and daily route overviews sent out approximately 2 weeks before departure so you can plan ahead and look forward to your cycling adventure

Detailed route notes and maps with marked routes provided on arrival, 1 per room

GPS and odometer (1 per party, extra units can be hired at additional cost)

Please note that the price EXCLUDES

Ferry crossings from Belém to Trafaria & Setúbal to Tróia

Costs of getting to and from the tour area

Accommodation Options

Selected 4 star hotels in Lisbon, Costa da Caprica, Sines, Aljezur and Sagres; 3 star hotels in Setubal and Vila Nova de Mil Fontes.

Half board option available on this tour.

We are pleased to discuss details on request.

More Information

Useful websites, travel information and tips to help you plan your journey to and from the country and location of your holiday.

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