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Duration
16 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 15 nights in hotels
Meals
  • 10 Dinners
  • 15 Breakfasts

Price

$3359USD

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Overview

Trip Code: ULS

Trip highlights


  • Discovering on by bike the small villages and pilgrimage sites along the Camino Portugués
  • Exploring historical, Ponte de Lima, Lisbon, Porto, Tomar and Coimbra
  • Experiencing culinary delights of the area, including the local port wines
  • Enjoying the hospitality of family run hotels
  • Cycling into the fabled town of Santiago de Compostela

The Portuguese Road, or Caminho Portugués, is considered by many as the most spiritually connected pilgrimage route. Following the path St James' body took to its resting place at the site of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the quieter Portuguese path offers a wealth of history and delightful landscapes to discover. While the Caminho Portugués is traditionally walked by pilgrims, it is now possible to enjoy the route by bike. Starting in the historic capital city of Lisbon you will cycle through countryside towns to the university town of Coimbra. Continue on to the lively city of Porto, set on the banks of the Douro River and famous for its port wine production, the cycle through small hamlets, past eucalyptus and pine woods, over ancient bridges and through larger market towns dating back to Roman times. You will cross the border in to Spain and finally cycle into the fabled town of Santiago de Compostela.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the world’s oldest cities: known as Olispio by the Romans, settled by the Visigoths and the Arabs before becoming the base for the “Discoveries’ – Columbus, Magellan and Vasco de Gama all set sail from here. An earthquake in 1755 destroyed many buildings and dramatically brought an end to this powerful empire. The UNESCO-listed monastery in Belem still stands and is definitely worth a visit, as is the Alfama district for ‘fado’ (music) – or simply enjoy a stroll through the streets of this beautiful city. You will find the first waymark of your Portuguese Camino at the Cathedral.

Meals:  Nil

This morning you will be transferred from the hotel to the bike shop at around 10am to collect your bike. Today you will cycle along the River Tejo, following mostly flat paths. Before long you will be in the countryside and will be surprised by the stark contrast from the cityscape of Lisbon. Your destination for today is Vila Franca de Xira, a town famed for its bull-running festivals in July and October. There is an option to take an afternoon transfer from Lisbon to Vila Franca de Xira, to allow you to spend more time in Lisbon (an additional cost applies, speak to our staff for details including price).

Meals:  B,D

Today you will continue to follow the river. The route today will take you through fields, vineyards and orchards. You will need to climb a steep hill into Santarem, where you will stay overnight.

Meals:  B,D

The cycle route between Santarem and Tomar is mainly flat, which will allow you to enjoy the scenery en route. You will cycle along tranquil country lanes, passing through farmland and little villages. On arrival in Tomar, be sure to visit the historic and picturesque Old Town.

Meals:  B,D

Today’s cycle is the most challenging of this section. This morning you will head off, uphill out of Tomar. The cycle for today is undulating and will take you through woods and forested areas as you pedal towards Alvorge.

Meals:  B,D

Today you will again pedal over undulating hills, passing lots of trees including eucalyptus and pine. The final section of today takes you over the climb of Alto de Cruz de Mourocos, which sits at a height of 190m, before dropping down into Coimbra. Coimbra is a lively university town situated on the Mondego River. Enjoy exploring this beautiful and historic city, its churches and museums and don’t miss the university itself, especially the library Biblioteca Joanina

Meals:  B

Today you will travel through river valleys and urban areas along a relatively flat trail which becomes more challenging towards the end of the day. There is also a climb as you leave Coimbra. Your destination for today, Agueda, is situated on the banks of the Certima river.

Meals:  B,D

Today you will cycle through lots of fields and little villages as you head towards Olveira de Amzemeis. The last few kilometres into Olveira de Amzemeis are up a steep hill, but you will be rewarded once you arrive. Be sure to visit one of the town’s main attractions: the Matriz de Sao Miguel Church.

Meals:  B,D

Today’s cycle will take you over rolling hills as you cycle into Porto. Porto, located on the banks of the Douro River, is a city full of maritime legacies. After checking in to your hotel, take the time to explore the city with its many cultural sites and sample the local Port wines. Dinner is at leisure.

Meals:  B

Today you will cycle along quiet country roads, passing a mixture of churches and historic sites. Even from the first day of cycling you will get a taste of this history of this ancient pilgrimage. You will cycle through eucalyptus and pine forests before arriving in Arcos this afternoon. If you prefer to spend more time in Porto today, we can arrange an afternoon transfer from Porto to Arcos. An additional cost will apply and this needs to be pre-booked (speak to our staff for details, including price).

Meals:  B,D

Today you will cycle across rolling hills and through woodlands and little villages. You will pass through the market town of Barcelos. With its impressive medieval bridge, Barcelos is treasured for its history and legends (eg. the Barcelos cockerel) and is a fantastic place to stop for lunch. You will continue to Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in Portugal. Once you have checked in to your hotel, the cobble stoned streets of Ponte de Lima are a delight to walk through and there are many points of interest including museums, historic houses, a prision tower (now a library) and the main square, Largo de Camoes, to explore. The medieval bridge spanning the Lima River has Roman foundations but was rebuilt in 1368. Many festivals take place here including Vaca das Cordas in June (the day before Corpus Christi), medieval markets in August, and Feiras Novas on the third weekend in September, a party which goes on for 3 days.

Meals:  B,D

Today will be a harder day on the bike, with lots of hills to conquer. However the distance is quite short, so you will have time to soak in the scenery en route. You will see small churches, cycle over green hills, and finally cross the international bridge from Valença do Minho in Portugal, to Tui in Spain.

Meals:  B,D

You will start today by following the Camino de Barca first before reaching the Túnel das Monxas. A sharp climb to the San Telmo bridge will follow. After this, the terrain becomes a little easier as you continue towards O Porriño. Later in the day a short climb leads to the chapel of Santiaguiño de Antas, from where you cycle through pine forests en route to the fishing village of Arcade. Enjoy stunning views over the Bay of Vigo as you pedal towards the historic city of Pontevedra, where you will stay overnight. In Pontevedra there are some interesting sites to explore including the Santuario da Peregrin chapel and the Convento de San Francisco. The medieval town centre is a maze of cobbled lane-ways brimming with tapas bars and cafes.

Meals:  B

Today you will pedal through chestnut groves, pine and eucalyptus forest. You will pass through the hamlet of Tivo and the village of Caldas de Reis, before crossing the River Umia and gradually climbing to the village of Santa Marina. Your destination for today is Padron, where the body of St James is said to have first landed, when brought to Santiago. As of mid July the O Burgo bridge in Pontevedra is closed, there is a temporary diversion of the Camino via the As Correntes bridge before returning to the usual route in A Santiña. The diversion is signed and local businesses and accommodation are aware, if you need to ask for directions.

Meals:  B,D

The final day takes you again through pine, oak and eucalyptus wood before climbing to reach Santiago. You will pass a number of small villages en route, before spotting the spires of Santiago’s Cathedral in the distance. If you time your arrival well you will be able to attend the midday Pilgrim’s Mass in Santiago. This afternoon you are free to discover the many interesting sites of Santiago’s charming old town.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast. If you'd like to add an extra night, please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 15 breakfasts, 10 dinners. Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by a chicken, red meat, fish or pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes
  • 15 nights in a combination of 3-4 star hotels & farmhouse B&Bs on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Information pack including route notes & guidebook per room booked
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag of 20kg max pp - additional bags and excess weight will attract a surcharge)
  • Mountain bike rental (MTB, standard model) with repair kit, lock, panniers, water bottle holder, pump & helmet (gel saddle and toe clips available - supplement applies, must be booked in advance). MTB e-bikes and Upgraded or Premium 'Profi' MTBs available on request - supplement applies.
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Lisbon and from Santiago
  • Lunches, drinks, and dinners not listed as included
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Transfers (optional transfers are available between Lisbon and Villa Franca de Xira, and Porto to Arcos - additional costs apply)
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage charges - please advise us if you will have more than one bag weighing a max of 20kgs as extra charges will apply for additional pieces of luggage. Please do not tie smaller bags onto your main luggage as we only include one bag and they will be charged as an extra bag. Charges will be higher if not paid when final balance for your trip is due.

Bike information


Grading

moderate to challenging  

MODERATE TO CHALLENGING – GRADE 4 The cycling is moderate to challenging (4) grade with daily cycling distances from 26 to 64km /25 to 40mi over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to hilly. There will be some dirt roads as well as the occasional rocky path used during this tour. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. It is considered suitable for cyclists with a good to high level of fitness. Minor roads with reduced traffic are customary on this trip and we recommend that you familiarise yourself with road cycling in light traffic in order to participate. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.


Departure dates

Daily except Saturday

Notes

DN1
Subject to availability over the Xmas and New Year period and during local festivals.
DN2
Not available to start on Saturdays as the bike shop is not open on Sundays.
DN3
Departures from November to February are likely to experience wetter and colder conditions than at other times. Winter can be a magical time to experience the Camino with fewer people and more local encounters, but the day is shorter. In addition, hotel closures are possible which may require a change in overnight towns.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$3359USD

Options & Supplements*
  • excess luggage (per piece, max 20kg in weight)USD$190
  • Electric bike supplement (e-Touring) - 2021USD$230
  • Electric bike supplement (e-MTB) - 2021USD$280
  • Single SupplementUSD$720
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$1290
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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