Porto to Lisbon cycling holiday, self guided

“The myriad charms of Portugal’s wild Atlantic Coast unfold before you on this self-guided cycling tour from Porto towards Lisbon.”


Porto | Lisbon | Self-guided cycling | Douro River | Espinho | Aveiro Lagoon | San Jacinto | Praia de Mira | Coimbra | Choupal National Forest | Figueira da Foz | Monte Real Castle | Praia de Sao Pedro de Moel | Atlantic Way | Nazare | Obidos |

Description of Porto to Lisbon cycling holiday, self guided

This is a simply sublime journey from Porto to Lisbon along Portugal’s wildly beautiful Atlantic Coast, cycling along a self-guided route which gives you structure but plenty of flexibility. Generally flat terrain means this holiday is ideal for families and casual cyclists, with daily rides of between 40km and 60km.

The Atlantic Coast is Portugal’s largest cycle path, taking you past pine-scented forests, idyllic beaches, peaceful fishing villages, conservation areas and historic architecture. And of course, you’re never far from a magnificent sea view.

Begin in Porto, home to the famous port wine that originates on the banks of the Douro Valley. A little further south you pass the Figueira da Foz, otherwise known as the ‘Queen of Beaches’, long one of Portugal’s best-loved holiday resorts.

As you approach your final destination you pause overnight in Nazaré, where the largest wave ever recorded sent surfers into a frenzy. Finally, arriving in medieval Óbidos, you can relax and wander this charming, quintessential Portuguese town before making your own way to Lisbon by bus or train, just 90km further south.

Good to know: You will be provided with a high-quality hybrid bike, maps and directions and a GPS device. Locally owned accommodations are arranged for you in advance, and your luggage is conveniently transferred between. You will need to bring your own helmet.

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

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Porto to Lisbon cycling holiday, self guided


We are dedicated to promoting authentic experiences, supporting the appreciation and enjoyment of Portugal’s natural and cultural heritage sites while at the same time encouraging their protection by raising awareness of environmental issues with our travelers.

We are knowledgeable of the dire environmental and social consequences of mass tourism and thus consciously committed to only working with small groups of travelers. We are also committed to minimizing the impact of their activities on the environment, such as: protecting the environment, the flora, fauna, and landscapes; conserve natural resources in all destinations of this tour; minimize the acoustic pollution, elimination of residues and overcrowding.

With routes by the ocean side, cycling is a perfect way to explore our coast from Porto to Lisbon without pollution during your stay in Portugal. As this tour cross through several dune areas (dunes of San Jacinto, for example), we alert our guests for their importance in order to prevent: the advance of the sea, to safeguard the life of population and the fact that they are the best defense against the intensity of the wind.

We only work with small groups of travelers and we promote the maintenance of a social, economic and environmental system that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising resources for the use of future generations. Furthermore, the local people from the restaurants, accommodations and residents always pass the message of how to protect these destinations and each person can apply this knowledge not only in this tour but throughout the world.

After the 2017 fires, reforestation plans and protection projects in the Center of Portugal were created. First of all the fact of eucalyptus covered hills in this region is a big problem for the environment because these trees are very flammable. In the general way, these reforestation and protection projects are based in reforest with “firefighting trees” - chestnut and cork oak trees, for example. The Municipalities are still developing the best way to protect and reforest these affected areas, and we believe we´ll have an important role to spread the information to the tourists, and we have a goal to the future: each client will have the opportunity to spread an amount of seeds to a certain piece of land in order to contribute to the reforestation. We believe it will be an effective way of alert to the consciousness of the people to the native species role instead of the exotics.


We have been mindful of the social and environmental consequences of our work and have consistently sought to find sustainable and innovative ways to create a positive impact.

A fundamental aspect is that all who visit the region get to learn about the territory and history and for this to be possible nothing works better than a good relationship with the local population - the locals are the best to do the storytelling of their own region. We in turn support the local economy by booking directly with local accommodations and restaurants in every destination of this tour from Porto to Lisbon.

Through our sustainability policies, we further aim to support local economies and minimize the social impact of our activities by working with local guides and ensuring the needed respect for local traditions and cultures. In 2017 for example, the fires have destroyed more than 128.000 hectares of land in Center of Portugal. After that, is important make something. Some reforestation and protection projects are already underway, but tourism support is also essential. In this way, with this tour and all of activities in Center of Portugal are important to support the local economy affected by the fires.

Sustainable tourism, therefore, has become an alternative for the protection and preservation of destinations that do not want to give up certain social, cultural and environmental characteristics that should be threatened by tourists. Our philosophy is to show you the most authentic details of Center of Portugal in the most sustainable way possible.

3 Reviews of Porto to Lisbon cycling holiday, self guided

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 15 Oct 2018 by

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

We loved every aspect of this trip. Responsible Travel put us in touch with
a local operator which was awesome. Communication was easy and fast and
they answered all our questions. It was so well organized. A rep from the company met us at our hotel in Porto and gave us our bikes, a gps, local phone with their numbers pre programmed, answered all our questions and we took off the next day. We loved following the well marked paved trails along the coast and came to trust our gps as it took us through corn fields and random trails and always delivered us right to the front door of that night's hotel.

We loved discovering so many places on our own with the security of our gps
and knowing we could call for help if needed ( although it was never needed).
We loved setting our own pace and making stops where ever and whenever we wanted to. Portugal is beautiful, the food is great, inexpensive and huge servings! the operator was willing to make some changes in the schedule to
accommodate our need for a shorter trip.

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

The operator says this is their easiest ride and mostly flat which is true. But the ride between Nazare and obidos has some significant hills that get steep quickly.
When I saw a graph of the elevations I decided to request an electric bike. It
was doable for my husband who is an avid biker but I was glad to have an ebike ( we're both in our 60s)

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


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

It actually exceeded our expectations. We loved it and would been consider
doing it again.

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2018 by

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

Beautiful coastline, welcoming Portugese people,fantastic food and beer/wine. quiet roads for cycling, lovely wooded paths and national parks.
The accommodation at Casa do Colmeal was outstanding, a true delight, so comfortable but full of character. George, who was in charge of it keeps a high standard, but cannot do enough for you.

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

Perhaps book restaurants in advance as often full, or not open in evening in less busy areas.

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

Yes, we use local shops, cafes and bars along our cycle route,

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

Really well planned routes, great locations that gave a flavour, but contrast of scenery. Good value for money. Organisers we meet extremely helpful, friendly and proud of good service.

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2018 by

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

Beautiful and stunning scenery. Lovely friendly and helpful locals. Great cycling routes - and very good bikes.

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

Train in advance. Maybe to have a couple of hotels for more than one night (packing bags each morning was a bit of a pain). Have 10 days away - but a rest day in the middle and one day at the end to have a mooch and a look around at one of the towns (really no time to do this).

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

Absolutely. We stopped for a coffee/lunch in really rural area's. Took time to show an interest and take in the culture and went everywhere on the bikes.

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

Very good - however, it would have been nice if we had been told that restaurants needed to be booked in advance, particularly in both Porto and Obidos. We really struggled to find a restaurant on the Saturday night (when in Porto), when we did finally find somewhere we enjoyed a very good authentic
Portuguese meal, which was very reasonable. Unfortunately our meal in Obidos was not so great! In addition - when we got to our hotel in Colmeal on the Monday night, we found out the restaurant in the village was closed. It would have been good to have been told this in advance. The Manager (George) at the hotel kindly went to a friend in the village, who prepared a meal for us. Finally, we were told on the Tuesday morning that our hotel on the last evening in Obidos had been changed (not sure why). We were due to stay at Hotel
Louro, which had a pool. We were moved to The Literary Man, that had no pool. As it was our last night it would have been good to have a couple of hours
around the pool before we went to dinner and a few hours the next day before we departed - this was not the case. I think you should have moved us to
another hotel with a pool!

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