These are the first couple of what I hope will become a collection of short rides using Torres Vedras as a base. (Scroll down for the individual rides)
Ride 1: Quintas & vineyards
Overview: A quick tour of the countryside and villages to the SW of town – lots of rolling vineyards and some historic quintas to admire.
Distance & Difficulty: 27km (17 miles). Moderate. A fairly tough climb to begin and a couple of shorter hills.
Facilities: Accommodation – There are several pensions and hotels in Torres Vedras but (as we live here!) we’ve not stayed in any of them. Shops & supermarkets – Torres Vedras offers all the major Portuguese supermarkets, an excellent municipal market (closed Mondays) and the usual range of shops. Cafes & Restaurants – No shortage in Torres Vedras, cafes in several villages along the way.
To begin: The ride begins from just outside the Mercado Municipal (municipal market), which was rebuilt a couple of years ago and has a great selection of stalls offering fish, fresh meat, bread, fruit and veg etc. There are also several cafes within the market.
Leaving town: Set off through the old town (some cobbled streets to negotiate) then follow the avenue south. Head out towards the N8 Lisbon road but take the Barro turning at the first roundabout after the Continente supermarket.
The climb up to Serra da Vila will get your heart beating but it’s the worst climb of the lot and you’re soon out in countryside.
Towards Chaos & Ventosa: It’s just as steep going down the other side but don’t go too fast on the last bit as you need to turn right just before reaching the N8. There’s a gentle climb up through vineyards then it gets a little steeper after you turn left at the roundabout – following signs for Fernardinho and Chaos.
Head back north in Chaos, following signs for Ventosa. The next section is mostly pretty rolling through a series of small villages. There’s a bit of a climb up through Ventosa.
Back to town: Turn left at the top of the hill coming out of Ventosa – and enjoy the run down again. Go right when you get to the T-junction and stay to the right at the next junction (unless you want to take the hill up to Varatojo). The road will take you into a quiet little valley that climbs and winds gently before bringing you back to the outskirts of town and bringing you back in on the other side of Continente.
Riders: Huw & Carolyn Thomas, October 2010.
Ride 2: Serra climb
Overview: It’s a good climb up out of town and onto the ridge but well worth it for the views – and the ride back down.
Distance & difficulty: 29km/18m. Moderate-tough. Most of the climbing is fairly steady, ascending from about 50m above sea level to around 280m. However there are also several particularly steep sections that are fairly demanding.
Leaving town: The ride begins by the old church near the municipal market. The road surface is a bit rough on the first section