Atlantic Coast cycling holiday in Portugal

“Leisurely small group cycling trip on Portugal's Atlantic Coast. Average daily distances of 45kms for 5 days lead past pine forests, sand dunes and bird-fringed estuaries.”

Highlights

Porto | Douro River | Furadouro | Aveiro Lagoon | Sao Jacinto Nature Reserve | Mira Beach | Figuera da Foz | Sao Pedro de Moel | Nazaré fishing village | Lisbon |

Description of Atlantic Coast cycling holiday in Portugal

This wonderful week of cycling along Portugal’s Atlantic Coast is ideal for anyone who appreciates sea breeze, sunshine and the camaraderie of pleasurable pedalling within a peloton.

Following a sensational seaside route southwards from Porto to Lisbon unveils fishing villages, sand dunes and pine forest trails one scenic section at a time. Average daily distances of approx. 45kms on tarmac roads and flat terrain encourage social cycling rather than huff and puff as well as plenty of opportunities to pause for a dip or Portuguese pastry. Seaside towns and villages also offer a glimpse at the Atlantic Coast’s laid back lifestyles with the sand dunes of Sao Jacinto Natural Reserve and a night in Obidos offering a couple of firm favourites.

From river estuaries, coastal marshes and bird-filled lagoons to sweeping sandy beaches and surfer cafes at sundown, this cycling holiday in Portugal allows the Atlantic Coast to roll in as you roll by. Salty, sunshine cycling at its best.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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01 Sep 2019
£1699
including UK flights
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08 Sep 2019
£1699
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15 Sep 2019
£1699
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18 Sep 2019
£1649
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22 Sep 2019
£1699
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29 Sep 2019
£1549
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06 Oct 2019
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Vouchers
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Atlantic Coast cycling holiday in Portugal

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Accommodation & meals:
On this trip we spend the week in a variety of hotels along the Portuguese Atlantic coast. Most of the hotels are locally owned and employ local staff. The group eats dinners and some lunches in independents restaurants and cafes in each town visited thus providing income to a variety of small local communities. When picnics are organised, the food is purchased at small shops and supermarkets. The majority of local cafes and restaurants are family run businesses and uses ingredients which are all sourced locally.

Local crafts & Culture:
During the trip, we will visit several cultural and heritage sites such as the picturesque town of São Pedro de Moel and Nazaré, one of the most famous fishing town in Portugal, providing clients with the opportunity to experience the culture of Portugal. This cycling tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover what life is really like in this part of Portugal.

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. Most rides will be point to point which means transport is barely needed during the week thus reducing even further carbon footprints.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

3 Reviews of Atlantic Coast cycling holiday in Portugal

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 14 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I enjoyed cycling through beautiful natural scenery such as woods, coast best. Also our guides organized our lunch and dinner well so I was pretty much satisfied with them.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The first cycling day would be easy for guides to see how well we cycle so that any level cyclists can enjoy this tour. If all the attendants cycle well, the distance gets longer and sometimes you should climb a short steep hills. But there is always a van to take you through these hills so if you feel like not trying climb, you can always ride on a van.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I felt my holiday benefited local people as we stayed in good 4 star hotels, enjoyed lunch and dinner, and sightseeing each town we visited. We keep one bottle to refill water and bring everyday in order to reduce environmental impacts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I enjoyed this tour very much as our guides were very well prepared for this tour as this was the first time this year and made every effort to meet our requirements. The route we took was very safe and sometimes scenery was breathtaking, and I enjoyed every meal from breakfast to dinner. When there was not an appropriate restaurant for lunch, the guides prepared a picnic for us.

Reviewed on 24 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Certainly the scenery! We got to ride through lovely small villages, fields of fresh produce, eucalyptus and pine forests and pear and lemon orchards. There were also rides along the Atlantic ocean and several rivers. We had the opportunity to swim in Cantanhede, Cadima, a man made lake where locals go to cool off on hot summer days. Our last hotel in Òbidos, The Literary Man, was fabulous! If you love books, their smell, their look and their feel, this is the place to go. From wall to wall, floor to ceiling there are books and all sorts!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure to train for hills! The first two days were relatively flat, but the third to fourth day were quite hilly.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely! We had pit stops in many small villages along the way. We often visited the local coffee shop and were always received with wonderful smiles. The coffee was always fresh and delicious and relatively cheap. Most shops had lovely and freshly made pastries, the portuguese love their pastries!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A memorable trip where we got to meet incredible people and see wonderful scenery! If you enjoy biking, the sun and making great memories ... this is the trip for you!

Reviewed on 21 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Fabulous weather and scenery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Ask questions as to the composition of the group. We had a 43 year old, two early 50+ year olds and rest were over 60 including an 81 year old. This affected speed we could cycle.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. We used local restaurants and hotels throughout the week. Water was purchased in large containers locally and divided between cyclists.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We had a really good time. Fabulous weather for cycling. Stayed in excellent hotels and ate in very good local restaurants. It would have been a full house of excellent ratings if we had an experienced guide. Unfortunately we had a first time guide who was very young and extremely risk averse. This affected the quality of the cycling activity.

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