Guided cycle tours, help with solo trips, advice on routes and maps, listings for campsites and bike shops…you’ll find it all here.

Feb 06

Cycling in Portugal – on a guided bike tour of the Alentejo

Welcome to Pedal Portugal

Portugal is a wonderful country to visit – gorgeous scenery, friendly people, quiet roads, rich culture and history, cheap wine and some tasty food. It’s also relatively unexplored by many cycle tourists.

And whether you’re the independent sort or looking for guided bike tours and self-guided holidays, this is THE site for free advice and information on anything to do with bicycling in Portugal.

Home 01

On our Southern Explorer guided cycle tour

On Pedal Portugal you will find detailed information on roads, routes and all kinds of other practicalities for cyclists. If you’re completely new to Portugal see our TOP 10 TIPS or browse the following sections:

  • The Guided Tours page has the schedule for our biking holidays and links to details of each trip. Alternatively, if you prefer going it alone but want some expert advice on putting it all together then take a look at my Route Planning Service
  • The Planning heading covers everything from basic facts about the country to where to buy maps and advice on taking your bike on Portuguese public transport, plus the Advice Form if you’ve got specific questions
  • Check out the Information & Listings pages for details of campsites, links to accommodation lists in different towns, where to hire bikes, find bike shops, guided tours etc
  • Look under Day Rides for information not just on shorter rides but also on how cycling conditions vary in the different regions of Portugal
  • Or try the Touring Routes pages with detailed suggestions for how to see the best of Portugal from two wheels – the map below gives an outline of the routes:

Tours schedule

For our 2019 schedule places are still available on the following tours:

Our 2020 schedule includes the following tours:

  • 1st-12th March – Southern Explorer – 10 days / €1,420
  • 22nd Mar-4th April – Border Castles – 10 days / €1,420
  • 10th-22nd May – Historic Heartland – 10 days / €1,460 sorry – tour full
  • 27th Sept-9th Oct – Eastern Frontier – 10 days / €1,460
  • 18th-29th Oct – Border Castles – 10 days / €1,460

Please also email pedalportugal@gmail.com if you want to advance book/request particular tours. We can put together a limited number of custom tours for anyone wanting a tailor-made trip for a closed group.

The links with the summaries below will take you to details of each guided bicycle holiday. To find out what previous riders thought, see our Reviews page. 

June BC 09

Riders on our Border Castles tour

Tour summaries

The Southern Explorer Tour explores the hills, rolling plains and historic towns of the southern Alentejo before crossing into the Algarve and on to the south coast. We visit better known tourist sights, as well as heading off the beaten track to places that get few other visitors. (Oct 2019 and March 2020 departures)

The Border Castles Tour explores the north-east Alentejo, riding across the region’s rolling farmland, visiting ancient towns and a string of frontier fortresses and ruined castles, plus Neolithic tombs and a rugged natural park on the Spanish border.  (Mar 2019, Sept 2019, Mar 2020 and Oct 2020 departures)

The Historic Heartland Tour provides a chance to explore some of the highlights of central Portugal, from the hill country near the Spanish border to the pine trees and sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast. (May 2020 departure.)

The Eastern Frontier Tour is our toughest bike trip, involving a fairly strenuous route starting from the northern end of the Serra da Estrela mountains, going up towards the Douro valley and then south along the Portuguese-Spanish border to the frontier fortress city of Elvas. (Sept 2020 departure)

The Algarve Coast & Country takes in some of the most scenic scenery of Europe’s south-west corner, including spectacular Cabo São Vicente. (Dec 2019 departure)

Mar - tips 05

Looking down on the upper reaches of the Douro valley


I’m putting together a series of detailed guides – with print and ebook versions – covering some of the best areas in Portugal for cycling.

The second book – Cycling The Algarve – is now out. This includes a six-day touring circuit of the western Algarve (plus a tiny bit of the south-west Alentejo), a couple of two-day extensions and 10 day rides starting in various towns to the west of Faro. 

The first guide – The Alentejo Circuit – contains details of a six-day tour through the region, starting and finishing in the World Heritage city of Évora, plus a three-day extension out to the coast. See the Guidebooks page to find out more and to sign up for updates on future publications.

Route Planning Service

For those of you who want to stay independent but aren’t sure about where to go, I have now launched a new service that might solve your problems.

I’ll continue to answer one-off questions for free as I have done for the past few years (see Browse & Ask below). However, if you need a more in-depth service then I’m offering to put together bespoke rides and touring plans to match your interests and requirements.

I’ll agree a basic route with you and then draw up a detailed itinerary, arming you with carefully-planned routes, information on places to see along the way – as well as where to find a cafe or supermarket – plus suggestions on accommodation. All you need to do is get yourself there and do the pedalling! For more information, see the Route Planning Service page.

choose 02

On the road to Alvito

Browse & Ask

At the moment, this site is a one-man project – and still developing! The Latest Updates page will show you the most recent additions and revisions to the site.

You can also follow on Facebook – which I’ll also use to flag up changes, new info and post the odd picture to make you dream of Portugal!

Feedback and advice from other cyclists is very, very welcome. So if you’ve got any tips, rides or other information you’re willing to share then please do! (Either via FB, email or a comment on this site).

Please browse the pages, look at the information available and use the Advice Form if you’ve got any questions – the more details you give me, the easier it is to give you a useful answer. (This is a FREE service but any donations via PayPal – whether $1 or £1 – will be greatly appreciated.)

Don’t forget to also check out the blog for news, updates and other developments. As the site is a work in progress you might want to follow the blog to make sure you don’t miss posts providing new information. (See the sign-up box at the top of the right-hand column.)

I hope you find Pedal Portugal useful. I can’t answer every question but, if in doubt, just go! Portugal is one of my favourite countries and well worth a visit. The roads vary but the people are great, the wine’s cheap and you’ll never forget the views.

Happy cycling! All the best, Huw

Sept 15

So many roads to choose

11 thoughts on “Home

    Just returned from the Border Castles ride with Huw and Carolyn. They are lovely people, and work hard to keep the trip running smoothly, while simultaneously appearing to have a great time themselves! Loved the accommodations, food, wine and beautiful small medieval towns.

  2. For those looking to book a tour, this couple is awesome!! We have done two of the tours, taken others with us on our second trip, referred still others to this site and are in the process of booking a third. Best things about it: (1) fantastic hosts; (2) great routes; (3) ability to go at your own pace; (4) affordable (I am an Accountant so I do not take that comment likely); and (5) did I say fantastic hosts (?). Any questions?

  3. Hi there….My husband and I are arriving in Lisbon Sept 13, 2018 and will be touring the country thru December 5th on our tandem bike…..we are in need of storing the 2 suitcases our bike comes in…which takes up about one square meter of room…do you have any ideas?…anyone you know with a garage or basement or other safe place to store these? your help would be greatly appreciated!! thanks for your time! terri&greg

    • Hi Terri
      Have been away so only just picked up your message. You could try left luggage at Lisbon Aiport – http://www.lisbon-airport.com/baggage.html
      Don’t know if there is any limit on size – you would have to contact them. Otherwise, find a friendly AirBnB host where you can stay beginning and end of your trip. No harm in asking!
      Alternatively, try the Warmshowers network for advice – https://www.warmshowers.org/
      You might find someone in Lisbon who can either help or give you the local lowdown. Let me know how you get on!
      Cheers, Huw

  4. Hello Huw,
    My fiance and I are back from Portugal after an amazing trip.
    We would like to thank you very much for all the information that you share on your site as well as the suggestions that you sent in answer to our questions.
    We would not have been able to build a proper itinerary without you.
    You are a great ambassador for Portugal,
    Michelle & Thierry

  5. I just finished a 5 day tour of the Portugal Coast that used the route planning service of Pedal Portugal. Outstanding ride routes and stunning views, each one special in some way. I used my own bike, and I crunched the rear derailleur on a curb. Pedal Portugal directed me to a shop, just off my route, and the fix was done in 20 minutes. Thank you Huw Thomas! My special thanks to Dave Wright, my friend, who set this up.

  6. I’m extremely pleased to discover this great site.
    I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely loved every bit of it and I have you book marked
    to look at new stuff on your web site.

  7. We just finished the “Borders and Castles” tour with Huw and Carolyn and had a fantastic time! Everything was perfectly planned with great routes, delicious food and drink, awesome castles and sights everywhere! I would highly recommend this group and biking in Portugal to anyone.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.