Guided & Self-Guided Touring

If you don’t fancy riding on your own or planning your own tour, there are various options for cycling holidays in Portugal – including Pedal Portugal’s own Guided Tours. (For other operators, see below.)

Pedal Portugal Tours

I launched my first guided tours at the beginning of 2016 (please see the Reviews page to find out what the riders thought of the experience). 

The tour schedule for 2017 includes:

Border Castles Tour – explores the north-east Alentejo, bicycling across the region’s rolling farmland, visiting ancient towns and a string of frontier fortresses. Departures in March (tour confirmed – one place remaining) and October 2017 (tour confirmed – three places remaining).

Eastern Explorer Tour – involves riding on a fairly tough north-south route through three different regions of Portugal over 12 days, from the northern end of the Serra da Estrela mountains all the way to the Gulf of Cadiz. Departures in May and September 2017.

Algarve Winter Tour – a 9-day biking tour that takes in some of the most scenic scenery of Europe’s south-west corner, including spectacular Cabo São Vicente. Departure in December 2017. 

*NEW* The Rota Vicentina South West Tour is a one-week trip exploring some of the best coastal and rural scenery in the far south-west corner of mainland Europe, following close to the route of one of the country’s most popular hiking trails. (October 2017 and March 2018 departures.)

*NEW* Southern Spring Tour – get a head start on spring with a 10-day guided biking holiday that will take you from the rolling landscape of the Alentejo to the dramatic cliffs and beaches 0f the south-west tip of Europe. (March 2018 departure).

Other companies

If none of these cycle tours appeal then there are lots of other companies out there that might be able to help you – scroll down to see a list of some of those operators. (Alternatively, I would suggest a Google search based on the area you want to visit.)

Options can include guided tours with support vehicle, organised food stops etc or ‘self-guided’ tours where you get an itinerary and your accommodation organised but the cycling is left to you.

I do not have any direct knowledge of the companies listed below, the details are given for your information. However, if you use – or have used – any guided tour operators I would really welcome any reviews or feedback so I can share the information with other riders.

Mountain biking

This isn’t exactly ‘guided touring’ but mountain bikers looking for marked routes might want to check out the Centros de BTT site.

This provides details of a growing number of mountain bike centres in Portugal – with locations that offer a number of marked trails of different grades.

The main website is only in Portugal but there are links to details for individual centres, where you can download the brochure (folheto) – some of which are in English as well as Portuguese. These pages also include lists of tracks (percusos) with options to download them as GPX files. 

Route planning

If you’d prefer to be more independent but are uncertain about where to go, who to get there etc., I also now offer a route planning service. This provides a bespoke, comprehensive package of advice that should give you everything you need in terms of maps, route information and accommodation suggestions for you to easily be able to navigate your own way around whatever corner of Portugal you chose. 

Tour operators

The list below contains a number of companies providing guided and self-guided tours in Portugal. 

As mentioned above, these are not recommendations as we have no direct experience of these firms but are here for your information. Any reviews would be welcomed:

A2Z Adventures – a Portuguese company specialising in walking and biking tours in Portugal. Cycling tours include the Atlantic coast from Porto to Lisbon and riding in the Alto Alentejo. 

Activity Algarve – based in Bouliqueme in the Algarve and offering both road cycling and mountain biking. The company offers both daily guided rides and longer self-guided tours.

Algarve Bike Hire – this hire firm based at Armação de Pêra offers several self-guided routes in the Algarve, while sister company Pedals & Paddles (see below) provides guided tours.

Algarve Cycling Adventures – based at Sagres near the south-west tip of Portugal (and Europe). Offer mountain biking, road cycling and bike hire in the western Algarve. Includes guided tours led by professional road cyclists.

Cycle Tours Global – online directory run by an Australian company that profiles bike tours worldwide, including a number of operators in Portugal. 

Cycling Through The Centuries – sister company of bike hire firm Cycling Rentals. Offer self-guided options and guided options – aiming for a combination of cycling, gourmet dining and luxurious accommodation.

Fold n’ Visit – in addition to cycle hire, this Porto-based company runs guided tours of the city, plus longer guided and self-guided tours of northern Portugal, including a seven-day Douro valley wine tour!

Headwater – one of the biggest firms in the activity holiday market across Europe. Has four cycle tour options in Portugal. Not cheap but it looks like everything is included.

Lisa Bikes – based in Estoi (north of Faro) in the Algarve. Offers bike hire and a range of cycle tours, both based based from one location or touring the region.

Live Love Ride – Portugal Bike Tours – Portuguese company based in Lisbon running tours in the Douro valley, in the Sintra and Arrabida areas near Lisbon, and in the Alentejo. GranFondos for serious roadies or more laid back touring, groups and self-guided options.

Mac’s Adventureself-guided walking and cycling tour operator. The company has offered walking tours in Portugal for several years but has just launched (2014) a collection of self guided cycling tours in Portugal covering several different areas.

Pedals & Paddles – sister company of Algarve Bike Hire, also runs guided tours in the Algarve region.

Portugal Bike – offers road, hybrid and mountain bike tours in various parts of Portugal. Gets good reviews on TripAdvisor too.

Pedal In Portugal – nothing to do with me just a very similar name! Offers tours in the Azores as well as the Algarve and the Alentejo.

Portugal Best Cycling – offers guided and self-guided trips around the Alentejo – plus hiking and kayaking options.

5 thoughts on “Guided & Self-Guided Touring

  1. Pingback: Pedal Portugal’s Top 10 Tips | Pedal Portugal

  2. Hi there! Your site is really interesting. We are planning a cycling tour in Portugal starting july 21st for 7-8days. We were espescually interested to in the central/ northern area – do you organise anything there or can recommend something ? We are looking for à tour including bike rentals, accomodation, and luggage transportation. Thanks a lot in advance.

    • Hi Clarisse.
      I’m very sorry but I don’t organise tours in July and August. You can expect temperatures in the 30-35C range (quite possibly higher) and that’s too hot in my opinion – cycling becomes more about endurance than pleasure.
      I really recommend Portugal as a cycling destination but in the autumn (fall), winter or spring. Not the summer.
      I don’t know if other companies run tours in the summer months. You will need to look at their websites (you should find some links on this page) or contact them direct.
      Good luck, Huw

  3. Hi. We are interested in a bike trip from Porto to Lisbon next June. We would like a supported your. How long would that take and do you do that?

    • Hi Alisa.
      Personally I avoid most of June as it’s starting to get pretty hot in Portugal by then. At the moment, the only tours I’m planning are the ones on this list – https://pedalportugal.com/guided-tours/
      I can plan and provide advice for an unsupported tour but can’t help you with a supported one. It’s also very hard to say how long it would take without knowing how far you want to ride, what kind of route to take etc.
      If you want more detailed advice, email me: pedalportugal@gmail.com

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