Route Planning Service

Want to go bicycling in Portugal? Unsure where to go or how to get there? Not certain of the best time to go? 

Setting off to bike through a new country can provide quite a few dilemmas. Particularly when most guidebooks only tell you about the big towns. Route planning collage

Want to stay independent? Don’t want to pay a fortune to be part of an organised tour? 

It can be tricky if you want to head off under your own steam but are a bit uncertain about where to start.

Expert knowledge

route planning 1

Thirsty work. Exploring the far north-east of Portugal in October 2014

Help is at hand with the Pedal Portugal Route Planning Service. With my knowledge of what the country has to offer – its varied landscapes, historic towns, beaches, different wine regions etc. – I can help you decide where to go.

Equally importantly, I know many of the country’s roads. I can tell you where to find back roads that don’t appear on any printed maps. I can also tell you how to avoid busy highways – and where you have no choice but to join the traffic.

I rode the length of Portugal on my first visit to the country and subsequently spent three years living there – which is when I started the Pedal Portugal website. 

I still spend at least several months a year in Portugal and by now have ridden thousands of kilometres of the country’s roads. 

During the past couple of years I have published two guidebooks on cycling in Portugal, as well as launching a series of guided biking tours that take small groups of riders around some of my favourite parts of the country.

What’s on offer

My route planning service is designed for anyone seeking comprehensive help with planning a cycling route through Portugal. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to see some reviews from people who have already used my services.)

Whether you want a one-day ride or a three week tour the length of the country I can plan a route for you based on your preferences – how far you want to ride in a day, what kind of things you want to see, the kind of terrain you want to tackle.

I can also advise on where to hire bikes if you’re not taking your own and give suggestions for accommodation options to match your budget, plus information on how to deal with any other logistical challenges – like taking your bike on trains and busses.

Simply use the questionnaire at the bottom of the page to give me as much detail as possible about where and when you want to go. The more information you give me, the more easily I’ll be able to come up with a ride/route that matches your requirements/interests.

If I need more information I will email you back explaining what I need to know – if you prefer (or it’s easier) I can call you via Skype to discuss your plans. 

Detailed plan

Example route map - click on the image to visit the ridewithgps website

Example route map – click on the image to visit the ridewithgps website

Once I’ve got enough information and we have agreed on an outline route, I will put together a detailed plan for you. This will include:

  • A route map* for each day – including alternative routes where available/suitable. This can be downloaded to a cycle computer or printed out as detailed directions.
  • A ride profile. This will show you the gradient/incline along the entire route, tell you how many metres of ascent/descent are involved, the maximum incline and the average over the day.
  • Notes on places to visit/sights along the way. Where possible I will also include information on cafes, supermarkets etc so you know where to find provisions.
  • Accommodation suggestions. Booking where to stay will be up to you but I will give you ideas for anything from campsites to rural B&Bs or hotels, depending on what you’re after.
  • Advice on logistics, such as getting from airports, using public transport along the way or hiring bikes.
  • Individual requirements. If there’s anything else you want to know, just ask. I can’t promise to solve all your problems but I’ll try my best!

*For maps I use the website ridewithgps.com This allows maps to be viewed using a range of sources (including Google Maps and Open Street Map), and provides a detailed cue sheet giving directions and distances for each section of the ride. For an example route, click on the map above.

Please note: I can not guarantee to have personally ridden every kilometre of routes I recommend. However, I will probably have ridden/travelled at least 80% of the roads involved. Other sections will be based on detailed research and personal knowledge of the general area.

Costs

I charge a minimum fee of £25 for each day of route planning (plus any additional information required) for rides of up to 80km/50 miles. There’s a sliding scale for longer routes:

  • 80-120km = £35
  • 120-160km = £45
  • 160-200km = £50

After the first five days of routes, there is also a £5 discount on each subsequent day.

Payment is required in advance once an outline route has been agreed and you wish me to go ahead and plan a detailed route. 

Questionnaire

Please fill in the questionnaire below and give as much detail as possible – I can’t help you unless I know what you want!

Please note: Planning detailed routes is not something I can always do instantly (I might be off leading a guided tour). If you want to use this service please try to give me at least three or four weeks’ notice.

6 thoughts on “Route Planning Service

  1. My wife and I completed a 5 day Castelo tour of Alentejo region of Portual that Huw plotted out. We are both experienced bike tourers and had never really used a service like this before. This was one of the best trips that we have ever done. Huw directed us through the most picturesque small country roads (whenever possible), suggested great places for us to stay and have lunch along the way. He worked with us to make sure that we had the daily mileage and also suggested key points of interest along the way. We stayed in some of the most beautiful Castelo’s (Castelo de Vide, Evas, Elvora, Alcacer do Sal) along the way, saw thousand of acres of cork trees, herds of cattle and enjoyed the local cusine at all of our stops.

  2. Huw put together a 14 day route from Guarda to Evora and it was about perfect. Detailed and the right distances for us. Two thumbs up!

  3. On holiday with the family but being a keen cyclist was wanting to do some road cycling whilst here. I asked Huw to design me a couple of routes (he actually came back with 2 variations of each route so ended up with 4 rides which was great) as i don’t know the area at all and didn’t want to spend the time cycling looking at maps, nor trying to design something on my garmin and ending up on bad roads etc.

    Thus far I have done two lovely rides, leaving each morning at 7am to try to avoid the strong algarve sun. The routes have been excellent, encompassing both coastal views and lovely inland small roads. A terrific service I have to say as took all the hassle away, literally hired a bike (again using a shop Huw recommended), uploaded the routes to my garmin and off i went. Great fun rides and it got me to see some of the algarve that I would have not seen otherwise. I will do the other two rides this week. Thank you Huw!

  4. Huw did a wonderful job helping us with our trip to Portugal in March 2016. We asked him to help us plan day bike rides for us on our tandem throughout Portugal. We were on 21 day trip. He suggested a driving route to 14 towns over about 1,000 miles making sure that we saw great scenery, castles, museums, Roman ruins, and other interesting places. All we had to do was follow the maps that we downloaded on our phones and use the Maps.Me app. With Maps.Me your phone becomes a GPS device He also sent us a description of each of the bike rides and driving trips between the 14 towns where we stayed. What we liked a lot was that Huw’s directions took us on many back roads and we saw things that most tourists do not see. The routes he suggested were always very good roads. The bike routes were well planned on good biking roads. He took into account that my wife and I were on a tandem. We would highly recommend using Huw’s planning services.

  5. BEIRA trip

    Huw devised a 5 day cycle trip for me in the Beiras Region of Portugal during March 2016. His abilities are unique and outstanding. From the cycle route maps I downloaded and used on maps.me to the detailed advice I how to get to the start points and back to Lisbon as well as referral to a cycle rental company . He scores 11/10 ! Why better than perfect? Because he also arranged for perfect autumn weather and the only day it was overcast and with slight rain was on the allotted rest day! MY blog details it all. see link below

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