Discover Portugal’s riding secrets
Portugal is an amazing place for riding a bike. Quiet, well-surfaced and twisty roads cut through a beautiful landscape that's blessed with brilliant weather – and it's dry and sunny in the south when the rest of Europe is still shivering through winter, with genuinely warm riding weather when the more northerly countries are just waking up to spring – and it stays fabulous until late in the year. This makes it a great destination for an early or late biking holiday, packing in summery miles when other areas are drenched in drizzle.
Of course, southern Portugal is a long way from the UK... so this trip is based around flying out and hiring a bike. It then sets off to explore some of the best riding in the country, keeping to quiet country roads and linking interesting small towns with plenty to see and do in the evenings.
What’s included on the route? Each day’s route has recommended places to stop for coffee in the morning and afternoon, a suggested lunch stop and planned fuel stops.
How long is each day’s ride? Each leg of the tour is planned to be a full day in the saddle: check-out of the hotel and on the road at 9am, getting to the next location at 5:30-6pm. That's with coffee stops and lunch - it's a nice, relaxed riding holiday.
What are the highlights? Every day has a road that could make it onto your "best road ever" shortlist. There are some famous ones – such as the N339, the Portuguese Stelvio in the Sera da Estrela mountains; and the scenic N222 through the Douro Valley; and some of the twistier, more engaging stretches of the N2 – but there are dozens of mind-blowing roads to enjoy along the way. There are great towns to visit too, including the fortified citadel of Elvas.
Why seven days? The tour is planned to fit in easily with one week off work: fly to Faro on a Saturday morning to collect the bike, with the touring route starting next morning and returning the following Saturday, so you can return the bike and fly home on the Sunday without any last-minute time pressures.
How is it supplied? Simply download the GPX files and install them in your sat nav. Garmin or BMW Navigator users should download the complete file; TomTom users (or riders using a GPX compatible phone app like Scenic or MyRouteApp Navigator) should download the individual files. I also supply a tour pack of day-by-day route notes and marked-up maps (not sold separately). Garmin/BMW users can order it at the same time as downloading the routes; TomTom users should use the "Contact" section to arrange it.
Download the tour
Garmin/BMW users should download the complete-route file. Individual day files should be downloaded for TomTom or GPX-compatible phone apps.