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Portugal Self Guided Bike Tour
Tour Dates: Year-round

The Portugal Self Guided Bike Tour follows uncrowded paved roads that pass by castles, fields of cork trees, and the land of ancient battles. Portugal Self Guided Bike Tour in the Alentejo are the perfect blend of natural beauty, medieval villages, tasty cuisine, and excellent wine.

2017 Price: €1160-1430 Euros/pp double occupancy (Tour price varies depending on the time of your visit. Low season is January and February, High season is April – June and September – October.)

Single Supplement: €220-250 Euros/pp

Price Includes:
  • Transfers from and to the Lisbon Airport at the beginning and end of the tour
  • 6 nights lodging
  • 6 breakfasts
  • luggage transfers
  • maps and route directions
Price Does Not Include:

International flights, bike rentals (You may choose to bring your own bike or rent one. Hybrid or Road bikes – €150 Euros), lunches and dinners.

A non-refundable €500 Euro deposit per person is needed to reserve a space.

Tour Difficulty

Portugal is hilly country and each day you can expect 30 to 75 km of riding. Additional distance can easily be arranged for riders who want an extra challenge.

  • Difficulty: Moderately Hilly
  • Road Conditions: Smooth & Paved
  • Recommended Bike: Hybrid or Road

Tour Highlights

  • Breathtaking landscapes
  • historic fortresses
  • uncrowded paved roads
  • vineyards and cork forests
  • Natural Park of São Mamede Hills

Tour Overview

Located south of the Targus River, the Alentejo is a sparsely populated region filled with wheat fields, rolling plains, medieval castles and white villages where time seems to stand still. The Portugal Self Guided Bike Tours route is on uncrowded paved roads that pass through vineyards and cork forests. April is the perfect time to ride in Portugal, with dry weather, comfortable temperatures and glorious spring wildflowers!

After transferring from the Lisbon airport, you begin your bike tour in the fortified mountaintop village of Marvao. This 13th century medieval gem is filled with whitewashed houses and has sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy a glass of local wine at sunset and let the magic of the Alentejo begin!

During the Portugal Self Guided Bike Tour you will stay in some of the most charming villages of the Alentejo. Castelo de Vide, with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, has Portugal’s oldest synagogue in its medieval Jewish Quarter. Orange and lemon trees line the broad streets of Vila Vicosa, and the houses are made from white marble that was quarried outside the town. Arraiolos is a small town renowned for its famous tapestries and carpets that still hang on the walls of palaces and castles throughout Portugal. Estremoz is located in a famous wine region and is another of Portugal’s white marble cities. Our tour ends in the beautiful World Heritage city of Evora, a fabulous open-air museum with a wealth of ancient buildings and monuments.

Tour Map

Tour Video

Day 1

Pick up at Lisbon airport or hotel in Lisbon for a 3 hour van transfer to Marvao where you will have a tour briefing and bike fitting and time to walk around the town. Lodging in a cozy 3* Hotel in Marvão, the highest medieval village of Portugal.

Day 2 - The beautiful village of Marvão and its castle – 49km (30mi), 800m ascent (2630ft), level 3

After breakfast we ride down from the medieval village of Marvão on the top and we ride into the Natural Park of São Mamede Hills. Here Nature and History embrace each other. It seems time has stopped! …Everything is quiet. Lodging in a classic Manor House (Bed & Breakfast) that was built in the 17th century.

Day 3 - The Natural Park landscape of S. Mamede Hills – 76km (47mi), 980m ascent (3220ft), level 4

After breakfast we leave this medieval town and its castle, its churches and the Jewish quarters and we ride on into the Natural Park. The day ends in a beautiful border town with its castle, walls and an aqueduct built in the 16th century. Lodging in a 4* Hotel that was built conserving the old architectonic structures of the convent.

Day 4 - The capital of marble. – 62km (39mi), 1020m ascent (3450ft), level 4

After breakfast you'll ride through Vila Vicosa, the “marble capital” of Portugal, where even the sidewalks are made of marble. You may visit the Marble Museum where you can learn how marble was quarried in the past and present. Lodging in an impressive Convent built in 1182 by monks, recently converted in a 4* hotel, with its impressive private collection of eighteenth century Portuguese tile work.

Day 5 - Cork trees, Olive trees and Vineyards. – 71km (44mi), 980m ascent (3220ft), level 4

You will spend your day riding through vineyards and cork and olive orchards as you head towards another beautiful and quiet town, land of marble and wine. Lodging in a 16th century convent converted into a Pousada where you find the perfect harmony between the traditional and modern concepts of Portuguese architecture

Day 6 - Towards Évora – 26km (16mi), 250m ascent (820ft), level 1

After breakfast you have a short ride to Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage city, where you are free afternoon to wander around this historic city where you can find evidence of 2000 years of History.

Day 7 - Departure

After breakfast you drive 2 hours to the Lisbon Airport. Do not schedule flights out of Lisbon before mid-afternoon.

Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions bike tour?

Folks who enjoy our tours are a spirited mix of singles and couples of ALL ages from all corners of the US, Canada 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 if you wish to speak with someone who has recently been on this trip.

Can I charter this tour?

Yes! You bring the people and we will take care of all the details! This tour can be chartered as either a Guided Tour or Self Guided Tour. Call us for details and availability, 800-648-8488.

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The Food

This region of Portugal offers excellent cuisine and wines. You’ll enjoy meals prepared with the freshest ingredients of spices, olive oil, meats, fish and vegetables. You will be staying in hotels and inns that serve gourmet meals with enough variety to please everyone. Breakfasts are included in your tour cost. Vegetarian and other dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated with advanced notice.

Weather

Weather can be changeable, so be prepared for riding in both sun and showers. Daytime temperatures are 60º to 75º F. and nights are 45º to 55º 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.

Rental Bikes

We rent good quality road bike, hybrid bike and electric bikes with a handlebar bag, a water bottle cage and flat pedals with or without toe clips and straps. If you ride clipless pedals, bring your own pedals that match your cleats in your shoes. If you are attached to your own saddle, you should consider bringing it without the seatpost.

Camera Gear

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.

Language

You do not need to be able to speak Portuguese, but it can be lots of fun. A small dictionary and some creative sign language are helpful, and many people at airports and hotels speak English.

Money

The currency of Portugal is the Euro. You will need Euros for beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for hotel staff. We suggest starting with a minimum of €200 EUR (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).

Tipping

We suggest 10% for exceptional service in restaurants (most restaurants include a service charge) and 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.

Passport

U.S. citizens must have a current Passport. 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.

Travel Information

This trip begins and ends in Lisbon. Lodging in Lisbon is not provided.

Travel Delays

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.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!

Learn more about the Travel Insurance.

About Portugal

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

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