21 independent reviews for Porto to Lisbon cycling holiday, self guided

Reviews for Porto to Lisbon cycling holiday, self guided

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review 23 Oct 2022

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

the first day Ovar to Colmeal.

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

take the gel seats. We brought walkie talkies and found them really useful for keeping in touch with our group.

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

Definitely supported local businesses. I am not sure about conservation.

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

Overall it was an excellent holiday. The guidance about getting onto the bridge out of Fiquire do Foz was unclear and coming off the bridge we were very close to heavy traffic. Also some of the cycle paths had too many potholes for comfort.

review 13 Oct 2022

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

Everyday of the bike ride was a fun adventure. We loved having the route in our phones and following along with gps to be self guided. All the little stops in towns for coffee, pictures and chatting with the locals were such a great part of the experience. We found the Portuguese people to be incredibly friendly and the country to be so beautiful and colorful.

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

If you are planning to use your cell phone you might want to bring your own bike phone holder. One was provided to each couple but did not feel as secure as we might have liked. It won’t hold a phone with a case. Remember to stop and take pictures along the way. The scenery is beautiful but the days run together and it’s hard to remember each day with out photos.

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

Absolutely. Being in bikes for sure reduced environmental impact. And we always ate in small, local restaurants and cafes.

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

This is the second time we have down this ride. This tour operator was the absolute best in planning the route and giving us the tools and support we needed. It was great to be self guided but knowing they were always available. Especially since 3 in our group came down with covid and one was especially sick. The tour operator stepped up to make sure they were safe, comfortable and were able to join us when they had recovered. I give this 5 out if 5 stars.

review 10 Oct 2022

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

The whole experience was fantastic. The cycling was amazing, the places we saw en route were completely off the beaten track and the countryside and coast were both breathtaking. Each day was unique from journey to destination, accommodation was always good and sometimes excellent. We really felt that we got to know the real Portugal. The navigation app supplied by the tour operator was really very good.

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

As with most holidays, it pays to do some research and to be well organised. When you are cycling every day you have to get into a routine and know where all of your gear is! You also have to remember that your airline hand luggage has to pack down to fit into your suitcase as the taxis only pick up one bag per person. I wouldn’t attempt this holiday if you’re not used to cycling and we thoroughly recommend padded shorts!

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

We definitely got to small communities that would not benefit from ‘normal’ tourism. Cycling is a lot more sustainable than driving around. We noticed that at least two, maybe three of the hotels had made commitment to sustainable resourcing which we were very happy about.

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

It was a brilliant holiday, everything we wanted it to be. We covered 330km on the bikes so there was an element of physical challenge which we really wanted but it was always within our comfort zone and we finished each day tired but excited to explore our new surroundings. This particular cycle route was generally flat with one or two notable exceptions but we are ‘seniors’ by definition and were easily able to complete each day. The food and wine we sampled were wonderful, people very friendly, weather perfect. It was a five star experience and the tour operator looked after us really well. The bikes were Trek bikes in very good condition.

review 18 Sep 2022

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

We all loved Obidos. It was the perfect ending to our trip.

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

We would have loved to add in a day to explore Figueira da Foz.

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

Yes. We stayed in smaller hotels away from the main tourist areas and as such were able to visit smaller family run bars, cafes and restaurants.

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

Brilliant, really well organised and well supported by the tour operator.

review 8 Aug 2022

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

It was great to ride through national parks and nature areas that we normally wouldn't have seen.

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

Plan your breaks and food stops before you get there. Be mindful of weather and heat of the day. Check elevation changes. For early risers breakfast was often not available until 8am.

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

Yes this type of trip hit all three of those.

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

A great first time bike trip!

review 7 Apr 2022

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

Unfortunately it was not a good memory! I fell off my bike at the end of the 3rd day and fractured my arm. humerus bone. It was extremely painful and we both stopped cycling. We then hired a car and continued the journey as all the hotels were booked. We cancelled Lisbon as it seemed too much and we realised it would be full of Liverpool fans!

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

Lesson I learnt was that you should stop and look at the map app rather than trying to do that and cycle . I thought I was on a flat/smooth path and unfortunately did not see a big bump caused by a tree root and went flying. The views and routes were all good and the area has lots of great cycle paths and the roads weren't busy when we went.

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

We ate out and had coffees so that would have been good for local businesses. hiring a car helped a business. Cycling 3 days was good for the environment. We met some lovely people some helped us at the accident scene and later we visited them and they took us for a local meal.

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

Memorable but not how we wanted it to be but we loved all the area and hope to come back, and do it again and meet up again. The new Portuguese friends, the staff were brilliant. Couldn't fault them and was very glad of 24 hour support line, they were really concerned and helpful. I will definitely recommend and use them again.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Ellie Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and we hope Portugal will bring you good memories, despite the bad luck you had. We wish you a quick recovery, and we were delighted to have you here. Hope to see you again in our beautiful Country.

review 18 Oct 2022

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

The beautiful Obidos Lagoon

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

The hills on days 4 and 5 are arduous for ‘casual’ and good cyclists alike

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

We acknowledged everyone we passed, supported tiny cafes and enjoyed conversations with strangers.

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

We are glad we did it but it was quite hard at times. The Atlantic path was particularly tedious but the beaches when we arrived we’re beautiful and the food good and plentiful.

review 22 May 2022

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

So many parts of the bike tour were very beautiful, it was a lovely route and we really felt that we'd got to know rural Portugal so much better than on previous trips, just by passing quietly through all the small villages, farmland, beach resorts and forests along the way.

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

It's not as flat as they make out! This is billed as their easiest tour on flat terrain - I'd say in reality the first half is pretty flat and the second half is pretty hilly. If you have a decent level of cycle fitness and are happy to cycle for 4-7 hours a day then this trip is fantastic. If not I recommend you hire an e-bike. Even the flat parts could be very physically demanding depending on weather- one day we cycled straight into a strong headwind for almost 7 hours. An e-bike would have made all the difference.

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

We stayed in hotels along the way, however these didn't seem to be selected for locally owned/run businesses, some of them were large and part of chains and this is perhaps something that could be improved. We ate out every night in small, sometimes family run restaurants, and shopped in tiny village stores so we supported local businesses in that way. I wouldn't say we reduced environmental impact as our luggage was transported by car each day so it was the equivalent of us driving the whole route, and unfortunately we did fly to Portugal as the equivalent ferry/train combo was about three times the price and twice as long (of course). It was nice to support a local travel company providing trips that connect people to nature, however, and the holiday was certainly less environmentally impactful than some.

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

This was a really well-organised trip along a beautiful route with pleasant - one exceptional- overnight stays. All the equipment hired was in good working order. We did feel there was a lack of information as to how physically demanding the trip was., and any kind of heads up regarding the weather. (I tried to upgrade to an e-bike but was told this wasn't possible)

review 10 May 2022

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

A chance to get off the beaten track, see the countryside and meet local people.

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

Give yourself plenty of time to allow for stop offs and lengthy meal breaks!

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

Yes to all of the above

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

Excellent tour. Well organised. Good preparation notes. Helpful without being intrusive.

review 13 Apr 2022

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

On the whole the distances covered daily allowed a balance of time to enjoy the countryside

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

Some of the hills are steep and long - even though it is an easy trip on the whole. No need to bring any extra bike kit - all provided - efficient back up.

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

Try and go to some of the hotels slightly off track as that undoubtedly helps the local population more

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

Excellent trip all round

Read the operator's response here:


review 27 Jul 2022

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

Sao Pedro de miel to foz de arheno

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

Check that your room has a view that is more engaging than a wall, stairs or ... We paid for premium though Triple check your bike

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

Neya hotel and Agua d'alma

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

Amazing landscapes. Very different hotels, no consistency in quality No help in bike setup. Better info about places travelled leaving

review 28 Sep 2021

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

Cycling by the wild seas

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

I use an electric bike as I live in a hilly part of Britain but on this trip I only used 3 bars in seven days. Mostly flat. But some of the hills in the second part of the trip I was glad I’d the battery!!

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

Yes because often off the beaten track as far as tourists are concerned. Only heard 2-3 other British voices in 8 days.

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

Wonderful.

review 9 Aug 2021

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

The amazing views and small towns along the way. Also, the last hotel called The Literary Man, was incredible!

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

Be comfortable riding on the road and in traffic for the few times it is necessary.

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

I absolutely believe that we passed through and spent money in communities that are not at all known for tourism. Cycling from point to point saved driving the entire way with stops and all... but our bags were in a car so not completely green unfortunately.

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

five out of five!

review 19 Oct 2021

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

Marvelling at Portugal's unspoilt Atlantic coastline.

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

Perhaps consider an E-Bike, some very steep hills !

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

We hope it did benefit local people. Very impressed with their environmental approach & the miles of walking & cycle routes. Something UK could learn from.

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

Top Notch. Great fun, loved it.

review 24 Sep 2021

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

Well chosen, largely traffic free route along the beautiful Atlantic Coast. Great app ( very informative and easy to use) provided for a self guided holiday.

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

Cycling is relatively flat and easy but be prepared for a few steep hills!

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

Yes

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

We very much enjoyed the cycling but some of the hotels we stayed in could have been better. Often they were understaffed and the breakfast service was very slow. Mould around the showers/baths in some of the hotels.

review 22 Sep 2020

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

Everything went really well, bikes were probably the best we have ever had, hotels were good especially Casa do Colmeal.

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

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?

George made us really welcome and Jonnie looked after us and was attentive to all our needs. Hopefully we will be able to book with you again some time in the future as we would be keen to see more of Portugal as it is a beautiful country with very friendly people.

review 23 Oct 2019

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

The night at casa do colmeal - best hotel of the trip, thanks to a George and his awesome hospitality.

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

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

Yes

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

10/10

review 3 Nov 2019

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

The beautiful coastal towns

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

Bring rainwear & pack less than you think you need

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

Yes

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

8 out of 10 - would like to have had an option to spend a day without cycling midway through & enjoy a break .

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Hannah, Our team was very happy to read your wonderful review. We work hard to promote responsible tourism and it's with travelers like you that make our effort worthwhile. We will take well care of your suggestions to improve this trip in the future. We look forward to have you travelling with our company again soon. Kind regards, Portugal A2Z team

review 15 Oct 2018

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?

Absolutely.

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

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

review 12 Oct 2018

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.

review 8 Oct 2018

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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