For anyone thinking of planning a cycle trip in Portugal, this website is hopefully your first port of call.
But to get even more of a feel for the country – its roads, scenery, people, food and wine – it can be well worth finding out about the personal experiences of other cyclists.
So, for anyone thinking of a trip to Portugal, this post provides links to various accounts of what it’s like.
Some of the previous posts on this website have included reports from other riders – such as:
- Why Cycle In Portugal? – Bill Water’s 2013 inland route from Coimbra to Porto on a Bike Friday.
- Intoxicating Algarve Hills and Oranges, Lemons & Poppies – two reports from Ian Mitchell of rides in the Algarve.
- Pros & Cons Of Portugal – Joanell & Tim Storm’s account of their 2017 tour of Portugal.
- Travelling Fast & Light – guest blogger Ricky Jackson covered nearly 1,500km in just nine days, while taking in some of Portugal’s toughest terrain.
But don’t forget – there are websites other than Pedal Portugal!
For anyone interested in the Algarve and the Alentejo, I can recommend the seven posts on Portugal from The Sportswool Diaries, which is all about Esther Tacke and Warren Sanders’ ongoing quest to find the nicest places in the world to cycle. (Nice challenge!)
For this kind of research, another really good place to look is Crazy Guy On A Bike. This website has a host of personal journals from riders who have done trips all over, and sometimes around, the world. Including, of course, Portugal:
- Porto to the Algarve & Back – Tom Pickles and his partner made this two-week trip in April 2019
- A Surly Goes to Central Portugal and A Surly Goes Back to Central Portugal – two accounts by Graham Ogle of his 2017 and 2018 tours
- Loop Tour of Portugal – a 2017 trip by Len DeMoss
- Portugal Wildflowers & Castles in the Spring – this one by James McKinley is an account of a guided tour in the far north of Portugal in May 2019
Of course, these days you don’t have to just read about other people’s bike trips – you can watch the video on YouTube.
For a glimpse of one of Portugal’s least-explored areas, take a look at the first 20 minutes of Darren & Kevin’s Excellent Adventure (see below),which features Darren Alff from Bicycle Touring Pro and his friend Kevin Burrett at the start of a tour of Portugal, Spain and France.
Alternatively, Spanish-Dutch couple Belen Castello and Tristan Bogaard have put together a short video (below) about their month-long cycle tour south from Porto.
This one feels almost like it should have been put together by the Portuguese tourist board – lots of romantic imagery and aerial shots of the happy couple – but gives a beautiful overview of their trip.
Some other accounts I’ve come across include Beverly Lello’s blog (in three parts) about a fairly tough bike trip she finished this June, which took her from Tavira on the Algarve coast all the way to Vila Nova de Foz Côa in the Douro valley.
Her husband, Chris, has also put together his own post giving a more detailed route description, adding that as the two of them are aged 71 and 69 “the days are generally not too ambitious”.
Back in 2017, the London Cyclist posted a selection of three tough climbs in the Algarve’s Monchique hills. I would argue strongly with their title – which called them the “best cycling routes and climbs in Portugal” – as it’s showcasing a tiny corner of Portugal but the rides themselves are well worth the challenge.
For an example of what else Portugal has to offer, back in 2014 this website posted Gregor Tome’s account – see below – of what he called “the most beautiful road in Portugal”. Which would take you about twice as high as anything in the Algarve!
There are probably many more out there but I hope all the links above are useful.
And don’t forget – Pedal Portugal is always interested in hearing from anyone willing to share a report on their rides and cycle tours. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org