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Cycling Portugal - Porto to Lisbon
Portugal - Trip code CPL Cycling
Days 8
Deposit From £130
Price from £1295
Flights inclusive
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Why book this trip?

A cycle journey between the great cities of Porto and Lisbon, taking in the cultural highlights and natural beauty of central Portugal. Our first two scenic bike rides head inland up the Douro Valley and down the Dão cycle path to the oldest university town of Coimbra. After a train journey to Aveiro - the 'Venice' of Portugal - we spend the next three days following the beautiful Atlantic Coast past inviting beaches and typical fishing towns. Along the way we can reward and refuel our rides with excellent fish and seafood dishes, as well as local wines. Please note that on certain dates it is be possible to combine this trip with 'Cycle Seville to Porto' (CEX) and 'Cycle Portugal - Lisbon to Algarve' (CAL).

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 7

    • Trip staff

      Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide

      Driver(s)

    • Transport

      Bus

      Bicycle

      Train

    • i

      Accommodation

      7 nights standard hotel

    • i

      Cycling grade:

      Moderate

    • i

      Group Size:

      10 - 16

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Day 1 - Trip starts in Porto; evening orientation walk

    Arriving in Porto, we settle into our hotel and after an initial briefing with our Explore Leader, there will be the opportunity to head out for a short walk to see more. Portugal's second city straddles the River Douro and its atmospheric historic centre lies on the northern bank. The Port Wine lodges are located along the river in Gaia on the southern side.

    No cycling today.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: None

    Day 2 - Cycle ride up the scenic Douro Valley on quiet roads to Peso da Regua

    We leave Porto this morning after breakfast, travelling by train for nearly two hours to reach Pala where our first ride begins. There will be some time to ensure all are happy with our bikes and to make any minor adjustments. We then begin cycling and continue our journey up the Douro Valley, cycling on relatively quiet roads. Towards the end of our ride we enter one of the world's oldest demarcated wine regions - Porto and we start to see the famous terraced vineyards that have produced Port for over three hundred years. Our ride ends in Peso da Regua from where we drive for about an hour to Viseu and our hotel for the night. Set on a high plateau in the hills of Beira Alta, Viseu retains a medieval feel and has been an important crossroads since Roman times. Nowadays it is the centre of production of Dão wines.

    Our total cycling distance today is approximately 47 kilometres (total 800 metres accumulated ascent and descent).

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 3 - Ride the Dão cycle path; drive to university town of Coimbra

    We cycle from the hotel after breakfast and ride our way to the start of the Ecopista do Dão cycle path. This beautiful cycle and walking path was made in 2011 by converting a railway line and we follow the entire route, with a downhill bias, to Santa Comba Dão. The first part runs along the banks of the river Dão, later leaving the river and running through landscapes covered with oak and chestnut trees with some vineyards and cultivated land. In the distance the mountains of the Serra do Caramulo (in the north) and the Serra da Estrela (in the south) are always present. At the end of the ride we travel by public bus to Coimbra - once the medieval capital of Portugal and home to the historic University. Our Explore Leader will take us on a walk through the backstreets and old quarter.

    Our total cycling distance today is approximately 49 kilometres (total 150 metres accumulated ascent and 550 metres descent).

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 4 - Train ride to Aveiro - the Portuguese 'Venice'; cycle on coastal plains to Figueira da Foz

    First thing today we catch the train to Aveiro - a charming town that is known for its canals, Art Nouveau architecture and colourful Moliceiros boats. We start our cycle our cycle along the colourfully painted beachfront houses in the Costa Nova neighbourhood. The surrounding area is a shallow coastal lagoon rich in birdlife and our cycle route takes us south on a longer route today, through the plains and marshland close to the sea. Finally we reach Figuera de Foz where we spend the night. Figueira sits at the mouth of the Mondego River and its extensive beaches of soft white sand meant that it has developed as a seaside resort as well as a fishing port.

    Our total cycling distance today is approximately 78 kilometres (total 310 metres accumulated ascent and descent).

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 5 - Drive to historic Alcobaça; coastal cycling via Nazaré to Foz do Arelho

    After breakfast we drive for about an hour to Alcobaça, allowing some time here to explore before starting our cycle ride. The 12th century UNESCO listed monastery is considered to be one of the finest examples of early Gothic architecture in Portugal. Today's cycle ride starts here and the first section follows the valley down to where it meets the sea at Nazaré. This seaside town has become famous among surfers for the monster waves, created by a trench close to shore, that can reach over 20 metres in height in the winter months when conditions are right. Our cycle route then follows the coast south to Foz de Arelho where we spend the next two nights. Foz de Arelho remains remarkably undeveloped and boasts a vast beach on the estuary, popular for windsurfing, as well as a great seafront beach just 15 minutes walking from town.

    Our total cycling distance today is approximately 48 kilometres (total 400 metres accumulated ascent and 330 metres descent).

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 6 - Free day. Relax on the beach or visit charming walled town of Óbidos

    Today has been left free to explore or relax. We suggest a visit to nearby \'d3bidos and it is possible to travel there by taxi or join the Leader on an optional cycle ride. \'d3bidos is considered to be one of the most picturesque and well preserved medieval towns in Portugal. The town prospered after becoming part of the royal estate from the 13th century and within the walls you can visit the castle and lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets and little squares with fine examples of religious and civil architecture from the town's golden days.

    Our total cycling distance today is approximately 30 kilometres (total 420 metres accumulated ascent and descent) (optional)

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 7 - Coastal ride to traditional fishing port of Peniche; drive to Lisbon

    Our final ride is always close to the sea as we cycle south until Peniche, spectacularly set on a headland surrounded by the sea. The town remains an important fishing port as well as offering great beaches and surf. We will have some time to explore the walled historic centre where you can see the old fort where Salazar's regime imprisoned political prisoners only a few decades ago. We then drive for around 1.5 hours to Lisbon and the Leader will do a short orientation walk on arrival followed by free time to explore further. Resting on seven hills overlooking the estuary of the River Tagus, Lisbon became the capital of Portugal after its conquest from the Moors in 1147. As Portugal built a global empire Lisbon became the hub of international trade and the heart of this maritime Golden Age of discovery, reflected in the monumental architecture. A devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami almost totally destroyed the capital in 1755 and therefore Lisbon appears as a carefully planned 18th century city. Lisbon offers a good selection of restaurants to celebrate the end of our journey followed by the option to see a live performance of traditional 'Fado' music for those interested.

    Our total cycling distance today is approximately 43 kilometres (total 490 metres accumulated ascent and descent).

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 8 - Trip ends in Lisbon

    Our trip ends this morning in Lisbon after breakfast.

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Trip information

    Country information

    Portugal

    Climate

    Overall, spring, early summer and autumn are ideal times for a trip to Portugal - though the weather varies enormously from region to region. The northern high plains has both extremes, stiflingly hot in summer, bitterly cold and swept by freezing winds in winter. The Atlantic coast, in contrast, has a tendency to damp and mist, and a relatively brief, humid summer. The Mediterranean south is warm virtually all year round. The islands have very different weather patterns due to their positioning and can have sudden rain falls throughout the year so waterproofs are recommended even in the summer.

    Time difference to GMT

    0

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    Roman Catholic

    Language

    Portuguese

    Budgeting and packing

    Optional activities

    The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


    Lisbon - Fado concert 35-40 Euros

    Clothing

    When cycling: quick drying cycle tops, padded cycle shorts, lightweight wind and water proof jacket and warmer breathable layers where local conditions require. Be prepared for wind from the Atlantic in general and some colder days on the bike on departures in April, May and October.
    General: Pack essentially for mild or hot weather depending on the time of the year.

    Footwear

    If you are not bringing cycle shoes then try to bring stiff-soled shoes as these are better for cycling - transmitting your energy into the pedals more efficiently. This becomes more relevant and recommended the more demanding the grade and distances to cover. SPD cycle shoes are not well suited to tours that combine sightseeing with cycling.
    Comfortable shoes, trainers, sandals or flip flops are useful when not on the bike.

    Luggage

    20kg

    Luggage: On tour

    We recommend you bring a daypack and one main piece of luggage (total allowance: 44lb/20kg) which will be transported between hotels while you cycle. Check the bike details section to see if a pannier or handlebar bag is provided on the bike.

    Equipment

    On all Explore cycle holidays we strongly recommend you bring along and wear your cycle helmet. In case of an accident resulting in personal injury, certain insurance policies are invalidated in cases where a helmet was not being worn.

    Cycle glasses to protect against dust, pollen and the sun, padded cycle gloves and a water bottle or water delivery system (e.g. camelback or platypus) are also useful. You may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. If a handle bar bag or pannier is not provided (check bike details) then you may like to bring a small rucksack to wear while cycling. Other items to consider bringing are a sunhat and sun cream, torch, earplugs and insect repellent. Please carry some or all of your cycling equipment e.g. helmet as part of your hand luggage.

    Tipping

    Explore leader
    At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
    Local crew
    Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.

    Portugal

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Dinner price
    £15
    Beer price
    £2.00 - 3.00 depending on your location, well touristed areas are usually slightly more expensive.
    Water price
    £1.4
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Euro.
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Take the majority of your spending money in Euros cash.
    Where To Exchange
    We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
    ATM Availability
    Cash-point machines are available in all major towns. Bankcards with the Cirrus logo are accepted.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted in larger restaurants and some shops.
    Travellers Cheques
    Travellers cheques can be exchanged in all major towns but are not recommended due to the high rate of commission.
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    Bus, Bicycle, Train

    Accommodation notes

    Standard - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    Portugal: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Portugal

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory but Tetanus is usually recommended as a precaution. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Cycling information
    General cycling information
    On this tour we cycle 265 km over five days (an average of 53 km per day) with a further optional 30 km available. We generally cycle on quieter tarmac roads except on day 3 with a fine gravel cycle path. Day 3 is largely downhill whilst all other rides are in hillier areas with some short climbs and uphill sections. Each day a support vehicle (with room for 2 passengers) carries the luggage from point to point, accompanying the ride wherever necessary or possible. The cycle rides are not accompanied by a cycle guide, except on days 2 and 3 when the Tour Leader will cycle with the group. On the other days the Tour Leader drives the support vehicle and gives clear directions to follow the route. We have graded the route as moderate.
    Bike included
    27 gear Stevens Galant SX or similar hybrid bike.
    Bike information
    Your included bike is a 27 gear Stevens Galant hybrid or similar make and model and will be the correct frame size for your height. A pannier and water bottle holder are included as well as the facility to fit your own pedals or saddle if you wish to bring them. We provide spare parts and take care of the day to day maintenance. All you need to bring is your own helmet and water bottle.
    Cycling grade
    Moderate
    Additional Information

    Why book this trip

    Unlike many other operators, we include the hire of your bike in the overall cost of the holiday: you don't need to bring your own or pay extra to hire one locally. We also provide a support vehicle, spare parts and take care of day to day bike maintenance. All you need bring is your own helmet.

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Sun 5 May 2019 - Sun 12 May 2019 Guaranteed departure
    CPL_2019
    Price from £1075
    Save was
    Single room option +£240
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Porto
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Lisbon
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sun 16 Jun 2019 - Sun 23 Jun 2019 Guaranteed departure
    CPL_2019
    Price from £1075
    Save was
    Single room option +£240
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Porto
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Lisbon
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sun 1 Sep 2019 - Sun 8 Sep 2019
    CPL_2019
    Price from £1095
    Save was
    Single room option +£240
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Porto
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Lisbon
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sun 15 Sep 2019 - Sun 22 Sep 2019 Guaranteed departure
    CPL_2019
    Price from £1135
    Save was
    Single room option +£240
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Porto
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Lisbon
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sun 5 May 2019 - Sun 12 May 2019 Guaranteed departure
    CPL_2019
    Price from £1295
    Save was
    Single room option +£240
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Porto
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Lisbon
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sun 16 Jun 2019 - Sun 23 Jun 2019 Guaranteed departure
    CPL_2019
    Price from £1295
    Save was
    Single room option +£240
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Porto
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Lisbon
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sun 1 Sep 2019 - Sun 8 Sep 2019
    CPL_2019
    Price from £1365
    Save was
    Single room option +£240
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Porto
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Lisbon
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sun 15 Sep 2019 - Sun 22 Sep 2019 Guaranteed departure
    CPL_2019
    Price from £1365
    Save was
    Single room option +£240
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Porto
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Lisbon
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
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