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Portugal: guided cycle tours, advice on roads and maps, route-planning service for solo trips, listings for campsites and bike shops…you’ll find it all here.

Portugal cycle tours - Alentejo in June

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.

***Read our reviews to see why we get so many repeat customers on our guided tours.*** 

Portugal cycle tours - exploring the Alentejo

Exploring back roads 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. With the exception of our guided tours and route planning service (see below), all the resources on this site are totally free. 

If you’re completely new to Portugal we recommend you take a look at our TOP 10 TIPS first and then 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:

Tour schedule

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

Our 2020 schedule includes the following tours:

  • 1st-12th March – Southern Explorer – 10 days / €1,420 sorry – tour full
  • 22nd Mar-2nd April – Border Castles – 10 days / €1,420 sorry – tour full
  • 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 ***six places left***

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. 

Portugal guided cycle tours - Border Castles

Spring sunshine on our Border Castles guided cycle 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.  (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)

Cycling Portugal

Looking down on the upper reaches of Portugal’s Douro valley

Guidebooks

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 who want to stay independent but aren’t sure exactly where to go, my route planning service will set you on the right road – with bespoke rides and touring plans to match your interests and requirements.

Based on information you give me, I can put together a detailed itinerary* that includes carefully-planned routes, information on places to see along the way, plus suggestions on accommodation, and advice on logistics like bus and train travel, bike hire etc.

All you need to do is get yourself there and do the pedalling! For more information, click here.

Please note: There are now two levels to this service – Maps-Only and Maps-Plus.

Portugal guided cycle tours - Alentejo

On the road to Alvito in Portugal’s southern Alentejo

Browse & Ask

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.

If you’re just starting your research then our Top 10 Tips is a good place to start with some key facts about cycling in Portugal.

Otherwise, check out the page menus (above), browse the site, look at the information available and – if you can’t find the answers you need – use the Advice Form to ask for help. (But please do look through the pages before using the form as I’m only able to do this in my spare time.)

This is a FREE service but any donations via PayPal – whether $1 or £1 – will be greatly appreciated.

You can follow Pedal Portugal on Facebook – where I’ll flag up useful information, news about our tours and the odd picture to make you dream of Portugal!

Don’t forget to also check out the blog for less frequent but more in-depth posts on cycling in Portugal – there’s a sign-up box on the right.

Feedback and advice from other cyclists is also extremely 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 left on a relevant page).

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

Portugal cycling - guided bike tours

So many roads to choose from!

20 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi Huw,

    Are there any Cycling clubs near Aljezur for Lagos / Monchique rides or nearby? I’m here for August and September. I will explore your tours for next year as I am spending more time in Portugal and will be relocating from Singapore. Thanks, Paul

  2. Hi Huw, as planned, we came up fully laden from Faro to Louie, then took a very pleasant route across to Barranco Velho and followed the N2 up to Almodôvar. The gradients were not too bad and we had a good day getting through the hills given the late start out of the airport.
    We’ve followed much of your Spanish border route and aim to get to Almeida tomorrow night, when we have to decide on a good route up to Leon in Spain. We’ve looked at the route up from Vila Nova to Braganza, but the roads look like they could be busy. Is Miranda do Douro a better option or do you have any other suggestions, as there are plenty of opportunities to get over the border and continue up on the Spanish side but we are happy to stay in Portugal for longer if it works.

    • Hi John
      Will have a look at the map tomorrow and refresh my memory. I rode some parts around Mogadouro, Miranda and Braganca a few years. Beautiful scenery but a couple of big river valleys. Be in touch again tomorrow.

    • Hello again – hope the ride to Almeida went well.
      If you go over to Spain, then Salamanca is definitely worth a visit but from what I remember, there’s not a lot else out there and it’s all quite open and exposed – and not that interesting!
      From Almeida, I would go north on N221 and down to Douro valley (not to VN Foz Coa) and on towards Mogadouro (lovely town). There are a few places you can detour off but I don’t think the 221 is very busy – haven’t ridden all of this but it doesn’t go anywhere major. You’ll have a couple of days of tough riding but the scenery will be great.
      From Mogadouro there’s an old road that parallels the main IC5 (although there’s not much traffic on that). You can cross into Spain at Miranda but there are some beautiful quiet roads if you just keep on north in Portugal.
      If you go as far as Braganca, the N103-7 north into Spain is a lovely ride. Bit of a climb but you’ll be used to that by now!
      Love to hear how you get on – always looking for pictures and reports for my blog!

  3. We just got home after cycling the Algarve with Pedal Portugal.
    I can’t possibly explain how smoothly everything ran, and how much fun we had, thanks to Huw and Carolyn…we were a large group, and they handled the numbers with ease.
    The food, the wine, the scenery, the exposure to Portuguese culture…it was absolutely fabulous.
    They had an ability to get us through the day smoothly, without ever giving us the feeling we were being rushed.
    They worked so hard every day, making sure that our experience was the best it could be (from finding shade for me at the lunch spots, pointing out the good gelato places in town, to walking us around the cliffs after our ride)
    Im definitely coming back!
    Thank again Huw and Carolyn
    Sandy

  4. BORDER CASTLES GUIDED TOUR – OCT 2018
    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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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

      • Hi Hew. So we got back from 3 months of Portugal in Dec. We toured for 6 weeks and then rented a van and pretty much circumnavigated the country with day rides and hikes. Your new Heartland Tour looks very intriguing, i know your booked for spring of 2020 but ?????????

        • Hi Greg
          Glad you enjoyed Portugal – it’s a great place to explore. I think the Heartland tour probably has the greatest variety of landscapes of our tours yet. I’ll let you know if anyone drops out of the spring 2020 trips. Otherwise – if you haven’t already covered the ground – there are still places on the other trips!
          It would be great to have a house band along for the ride. Fellow tandem riders also always very welcome – particularly the “non-serious” cyclist type!
          All the best, Huw

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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