Here’s some inspiration for anyone thinking of a trip to Portugal… not my work but a gallery of photos from Bulgarian rider Nora Gavazova.
I was able to help Nora with some route advice while she was in the Alentejo earlier this year and she kindly sent me these pictures. She’s also added some useful comments on taking bikes on local buses and a few good places to stay.
Please note: If anyone reading this has recently been to Portugal don’t forget I’m always interested in useful information or tips I can share with your fellow cyclists, whether it’s a favourite ride, worst campsite, most friendly bike shop etc. etc. (This website is a one-man project and there’s only so much I find out on my own!)
Nora and a friend rode from Monsanto in the Beira region down via Castelo Branco to Marvao in the Alentejo, continuing on via Estremoz, Evora, Monsaraz, Serpa, Mertola and Beja.
She said: “We very much liked Monsanto, Marvao and Monsaraz. We had bad luck as there was a storm two days after our arrival in Lisbon, so we couldn’t ride on the first two days.
“We needed to travel by bus to Castelo Branco and then to Marvao, which was a big problem as we found the buses in Alentejo are not reliable at all. At smaller villages, like Monsanto for example, one should not even trust the tourist office – they gave us a wrong schedule…
“We carried two light bike bags with us, which we made use of on rainy days, when we needed to move on on four wheels. So the good news was, that once the bus arrived, there was no problem at all taking the bikes in the bags with us.”
“Unfortunately, on the riding day we were most exited about – Monsaraz to Serpa, it was raining badly again. I still think, this would have been the greatest ride because the road went so beautifully just through the middle of the lake… We need to go back there some day.