Overview: A gentle circuit through peaceful countryside with a detour out to the spectacular cliffs of Cabo Sardao where storks nest above the Atlantic waves.
Distance & Difficulty: 39km / 24m. Easy. Mostly on quiet back roads with no major hills.
Facilities: Accommodation – There are a few guesthouses in Zambujeira do Mar, plus a campsite (not year round) just out of the centre. Shops & supermarkets – Zambujeira has some small shops, while there’s also a reasonable supermarket (Intermarche if memory serves) on the outskirts of Sao Teotonio. Cafes & Restaurants – A good mix of small cafes and restaurants around the centre of Zambujeira.
To begin: The ride starts in Zambujeira and heads north. You’ll have fields on your right and cliffs to your left as you follow a quiet lane that hugs the coast. After about 3km, you’ll bear right and turn inland. (Alternatively, follow the track straight on past the Restaurant A Barca to visit the small cove here.)
Towards the cape: From here the road heads roughly northeast across farmland – all fairly flat – until you reach a T-junction. Turn left here and continue straight on through the small settlement of Cavaleiro.
The sealed road runs out just beyond the houses but keep going and you’ll see the lighthouse ahead. Park your bike and take a wander – the cliffs here are spectacular with some steep drops to the sea. Perched on crags and pinnacles of rock you’ll also see the huge nests of the storks that live here.
Back inland: Retrace your steps through Cavaleiro, ignore the road that brought you out from Zambujeira and take the next right towards Fataca and Malavado. The road will take you south to Sao Teotonio. There’s a bit of a gentle climb up towards the town but you’ve then go a downhill run to start you on your way back to Zambujeira.
Riders: Huw & Carolyn Thomas, February 2009.