Day 1: Arrival in Lisbon.
Taxi transfer on your own to our hotel in Lisbon Group dinner and hotel in Lisbon.
Day 2: SÃO PEDRO DE MOEL
After breakfast,we’ll transfer by van to São Pedro de Moel. We’ll have a bike fitting, tour introduction a short loop ride . Lodging: São Pedro de Moel Ride: 30 km
Day 3: SÃO PEDRO DE MOEL to ÓBIDOS
Ride pine forests passing through beautiful beaches. Get to an incredible view point on a cliff from where you will admire Nazaré, a typical Portuguese fisherman village, where the fishermen dry the fish under the sun. Nazaré is famous – this is where the famous surfer, Garret McNamara, surfed the biggest wave ever (30m) in January 2013. The tour continues along the coast with stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. We finish in Óbidos, the most beautiful and well preserved medieval village in Portugal, with an incredible castle on top. Ride: 52 km, Ascent – 500 m
Day 4: ÓBIDOS to PENICHE
Start this day going to the coast and cycling close to a beautiful lagoon with a gorgeous beach! Continue south and you will discover an incredible village on a very small peninsula that looks almost like an island! If the tide permits you can cycle on the cobalt road around the village! We cycle to Peniche, a city full of fishing traditions. Our route follows a scenic road by the cliffs where you can admire incredible rock formations building dramatic figures and landscapes. We’ll pass the beautiful Carvoeiro Cape, and continue going around to Peniche. Peniche is known for its restaurants that serve an outstanding variety of seafood. Ride: 50 km, Ascent – 500 m
Day 5: PENICHE to ERICEIRA
After a start close to see on this day the route will go inland on the first half showing you different scenery. Typical villages, white houses with red roof and beautiful countryside will invigorate you on another great cycling day! Approaching the Ocean you will go by an incredible valley of limestone with vibrant green Mediterranean vegetation. Get to the beach and you can touch the fine sand again! Follow then a cycle path with great blue ocean views from above the cliffs till you get to Santa Cruz with its beautiful beach. After another inland section you will get to you destination – Ericeira, the Portuguese Mecca of Surf. Ericeira is also one of the most beautiful fisherman villages. Ride: 70 km, Ascent 800 m
Day 6: ERICEIRA to SINTRA
Today the distance is shorter day, but it is quite hilly. Our destination is Sintra Natural Park where we will spend 2 nights. We pass Monserrate where we can stop and visit the gardens and the fantastic Palace. The palace was recovered from the ruins of a neo-gothic mansion by the British millionaire Francis Cook in the 19th century; this is a unique and exquisite example of Romanticism. Its gardens are one of the most beautiful landscape creations, including an extraordinary botanical collection of species originated from all over the world. You can walk along winding footpaths among ruins to small lakes and waterfalls. We’ll arrive in the beautiful village of Sintra, a UNESCO site. Ride: 40 km, Ascent 800 m
Day 7: SINTRA REST DAY
This is a perfect place for a free day where you can choose to explore any of the natural wonders in the Natural Park. You can visit the incredible Moorish Castle dating back to the 8th Century. All the paths encircling the castle, you can admire spectacular views over a unique landscape, with the town center, the Palace of Sintra, the Palace of Pena and the vast plains to the north and the Atlantic Ocean. It is also worthwhile to visit the outstanding Pena Palace, a wild fantasy of domes, towers, ramparts and walkways on one of the highest mountain peaks of Sintra.
Day 8: SINTRA to CASCAIS
On the last ride, we cross the hills of Sintra to the top of this mystical environment and visit the incredible Franciscan Capuchin Conven. Installed in the rock and lined with cork, the convent is a telling example of the humble and austere existence of the Franciscan friars who lived there. We continue our ride to the Atlantic Ocean to the westernmost point in Continental Europe - Cape Roca, a promontory rising 150 meters from the sea. We’ll discover impressive beaches nestled between cliffs, artistically sculpted out by the sea. This unique coastal scenery takes us along the coast to to Cascais, a beautiful city where we will spend our last night of the tour. Ride: 40 km, 1000 m
Day 9: DEPARTURE TO LISBON
After breakfast we will transfer by van to Lisbon. This takes about ½ hour.
Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions bike tour?
You can expect a spirited mix of singles and couples in their 20′s to 80′s from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references for any trip that you are interested in joining.
You will be staying in hotels and inns that serve gourmet meals with enough variety to please everyone. As per the itinerary, breakfasts and 8 dinners are included. Several days we will provide picnic lunches and other days, lunches are not included. Vegetarian and other dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated with advanced notice.
Weather can be changeable, so be prepared for riding in both sun and showers. Daytime temperatures are 60º to 85º F. and nights are 50º to 70º F. There is always the chance of rain, so to ensure your personal comfort please make sure you have a good quality rain jacket with a hood and rain pants, too. For the sunny days, we recommend using SPF 30 sunscreen and lip screen. If you are really sun sensitive, we suggest sun-blocking clothing.
We rent good quality road and hybrid and electric bikes. You are welcomed to bring your own pedals and seat. We will supply full mechanical support during the tour.
Whether you shoot a digital or film camera, bring more media storage cards or film than you think you need! A portable hard drive may be the answer for digital storage. Other useful items are plenty of extra batteries, lens cleaner, lens tissue, lens brush, a mini tabletop tripod and a clean toothbrush to remove grit from your camera.
You do not need to be able to speak Portuguese, but it can be lots of fun, and our Portuguese guide can always help you with the finer points of the language. A small dictionary and some creative sign language are helpful, and many people at airports and hotels speak English.
The currency of Portugal is the Euro. You will need Euros for some lunches, meals before and after the tour, beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for the Portugal guide/driver. We suggest starting with a minimum of $250US (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).
On the tour: we suggest $125 per guest to cover our local guide and various service people at the lodges during the tour. On your own: most restaurants include a service charge, but an additional 5-10% for exceptional service is always appreciated. We suggest a small amount for baggage and taxi service.
Cash & Credit Cards
US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport and in major towns. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or Master Cards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in most of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Euros at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.
U.S. citizens must have a current Passport to enter Italy. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel!
Make copies of your passport! We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.
This trip begins and ends in Lisbon, Portugal.
Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to delays with transportation (airline or other), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.
To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!
Learn more about the Travel Insurance.
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a unitary semi-presidential republic. It is located in South-Western Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula, and it is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. Aside from continental Portugal, the Portuguese Republic holds sovereignty over the Atlantic archipelagos of Azores and Madeira, which are autonomous regions of Portugal. The country is named after its second largest city, Porto, whose name derives from Latin “Portus” and Celtic “Cale”.
The land within the borders of the current Portuguese Republic has been continually fought over and settled since prehistoric times. The Celts and the Romans were followed by the Visigothic and the Suebi Germanic tribes, which were themselves later invaded by the Moors. These Muslim peoples were eventually expelled during the Christian Reconquista of the peninsula. By 1139, Portugal established itself as an independent kingdom from León. In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of pioneering the Age of Discovery, Portugal expanded western influence and established the first global empire, becoming one of the world’s major economic, political and military powers, and ultimately dividing the world with Spain. ~ Wikipedia