Overview

Portugal, an Odyssey through the Alentejo, Nazaré and the Douro Valley

What a surprising diversity in this trip! Our Odyssey starts in the Alentejo, a magnificent wheat land since Roman times. In this plain empty of men, cities and villages sparkling with whiteness appear as many oases, such as Evora, one of the most beautiful Portuguese cities. For a long time, the Alentejo was the main route of penetration for the Castilian invader, which explains the castle dominating almost every locality, as in the fortified village of Monsaraz. Then we will discover Nazaré and its region. Nazaré is has recently gained popularity for being the spot where the highest wave in the world has ever been surfed. It has a long and wide sandy beach, called Praia do Norte . On top of Nazaré is ‘Sitio’ – where the original inhabitants established the village. This place must be seen, its square is surrounded by a magnificent church on one side and an outstanding view on the other – unless you are afraid of heights. Not far from there, inland, are several major historic sites that have been of crucial importance in the history of Portugal, such as Alcobaça, Batahla and Fatima. We will spend the last days of the trip in the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stretches along the river of the same name from the Spanish border to the city of Porto. “Portugal’s golden river”, the Douro flows through the northern region of the country amidst thousands of hectares of vineyards that produce the famous Porto. We will explore the Douro vineyards without forgetting to taste Port in one of the many quintas in the valley.

Included

Map

Portugal

Itinerary

Day 1

Pick up in Lisbon or at Lisbon airport and transfer to your hotel in Evora

Tour presentation, bike set up at your hotel and exploration of Evora. The capital of the Alentejo, declared World Heritage by UNESCO, has been surrounded by walls since Roman times. It will seduce you with its Moorish alleys, cut with arches, and its houses of a bright whiteness with flowered terraces, openwork balconies and paved patios. During the walks, one meets many medieval and Renaissance palaces that must be discovered at night when, through a subtle play of lighting, they stand out against the starry sky.

Night in Evora, Alentejo region

Included meal: Dinner

Day 2

Evora – Arroilos – Evora

65 km / D+ 540 m

Today’s ride is easy and we will smoothly reach the pretty town of Arroilos, before heading back to Evora on routes bordered with olive and cork trees. Arroilos is a beautiful village, perched on a hill in the great plain of the Alentejo, which is known for its carpets. At the foot of the 14th century castle, the streets are lined with houses with white facades enhanced by the blue of the door and window frames.

Night in Evora, Alentejo region

Included meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 3

Evora – Monsaraz

63 km / D+ 590 m

The medieval village of Monsaraz, maintains the magic from ancient times like few others in the world. Made of lime and schist, this place whispers us, between the echo of our footsteps in its streets. A lot of magnificent stories could be told about its courageous kings, Knights Templar, brave people and dames of simple beauty. Suspended in time, the historic village, one of the oldest in Portugal, won the category “Monument Villages” in the competition 7 Maravilhas de Portugal – Aldeias (7 wonders of Portugal – Villages). We shuttle back to our hotel in Evora after the ride and the visit of Monsaraz.

Night in Evora, Alentejo region

Included meal: Breakfast

Day 4

Transfer to Nazaré region and visit of Obidos medieval village en route

Obidos medieval city can be visited on foot. There are charming cobbled alleys lined with white houses hudd together and concealing lush patios from which roses and bougainvilleas escape. The maze of streets carves the furrows of an enchanting route, which will end at a height, on the walled path that offers beautiful views.

Night in Alcobaça, Nazaré region

Included meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 5

Batahla – Nazaré

47 km / D+ 600 m

Today we start our ride from Unesco site Monastery de Batahla after a short shuttle from our hotel. The Monastery of the Dominicans of Batalha was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It was to be the Portuguese monarchy’s main building project for the next two centuries. Heading towards the Atlantic coast, we will ride through remote villages before reaching a lovely 2 km section of gravel. Then we will have plenty of time to visit Nazaré picturesque fishing village and see why it became in the last few years the most renowned surfing spot in the world. The best known surf spot in Nazaré is Praia do Norte. It is here than the biggest wave in the world (24,38m) was surfed in 2017. To be continued.

Night in Alcobaça, Nazaré region

Included meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 6

Visit of Alcobaça Monsatery and transfer to the Douro Valley

In Alcobaça is the most beautiful Cistercian abbey in Portugal. Located in an agricultural region, at the confluence of Alcoa and Baça, Alcobaça draws its main resources from the fruit trade, wine production and the production of cherry liqueur. It is also a very active centre for the sale of local earthenware, with vases, fountains and plates of various shapes spread out on the pavements of the main square in front of the monastery. The Monastery of Santa Maria d’Alcobaça, was founded in the 12th century by King Alfonso I. Its size, the purity of its architectural style, the beauty of the materials and the care with which it was built make this a masterpiece of Cistercian Gothic art.

Night in Pinhao, Douro Valley

Included meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 7

Pinhao – Tabuaço – Pinhao

38 km / D+ 690 m or 71 km / D+ 1370 m

Pinhao picturesque village is ideally located in the Douro valley. The village is surrounded by slopes streaked with terraces covered with vines among which emerge the properties (quintas) . It is an important agricultural centre located at the confluence of the Rio Pinhão and the Douro. The wine left Pinhão by boat or train from the station decorated with azulejos illustrating the traditional sites and costumes of the valley.

The ride to Tabuaço, along panoramic routes such as N222 and N323, road offer a long but not very steep climb through terrace vineyards over the Douro Valley. The ride is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities here, specially on the way down towards the Douro.

Night in Pinhao, Portugal

Included meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 8

Pinhao – Favaios – Pinhao

45 km / D+ 960 m

What a spectacular ride today ! This short but quite challenging loop is amazing. We will get over the mountain that leads us to Favaios, a remote village lost on the other side of the Douro Valley. But no worries, we will be rewarded for our hard work, since a long and spectacular downhill will bring us back to Pinhao.

Night in Pinhao, Douro Valley

Included meal: Breakfast

Day 9

Drop off in Porto or at Porto Airport

Included meal: Breakfast