Wildly romantic cliffs, fine-grained sandy beaches hugged by sheltered bays, pine forests and unspoiled lagoons – exploring the Portuguese Atlantic coast between Lisbon and Porto by bike is a very special experience. Between the pulsating cities, you find authentic Portuguese flair that is full of surprises and will help you unwind.
In this Collection, I’ve divided the route between Lisbon and Porto into seven stages for you. In February 2019, I rode the route myself, but in slightly fewer stages and with a few highway intermezzos that I would like to spare you. For the most part, the route follows the EuroVelo 1, which leads along well-maintained bike paths. In addition, there are a few small detours away from the coast into the scenic countryside where magical rural life unfolds far away from any crowds of tourists.
The stages range in length from 50 to 90 kilometres (30 to 56 mi) and are planned so that you can spend a day in the saddle with a few breaks. On the first stages, you have to climb a lot of altitude, but the route flattens out towards the end. You can stay at some of the stage destinations longer if you wish and treat yourself to a few relaxing rest days. The stages are only a suggestion from me – you can of course decide spontaneously where you finish each day. On a cycling trip, the journey is the goal and you determine your own pace.
In the stage destinations, with the exception of Cadima, you find various accommodation options that you can book online. It’s worth taking a look at the Warmshower and Couchsurfing hosting communities too. I’ve always experienced overwhelming hospitality here and look back on my trip with so much gratitude and fond memories.
Your trip to Portugal is booked, the bike stowed and your panniers packed as lightweight as possible – you’re ready to jumpy on your saddle. The pastel de nata egg custard tarts are almost within reach. Boa viagem (happy travels)!
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On the third stage you drive a moderate 65 kilometers with an extra dangling over the exciting Peniche peninsula. The steep gradients are kept within limits, so there is more energy to explore the places of interest that are on your route.After the first hill you will reach Peniche, a piece of authentic Portugal and surfer mecca with a mighty rocky coast. This is also where the ferries to the Berlenga Islands leave from.
After you have stocked up on fresh fruit at the market, you cycle back towards the coast. Today there are almost 60 kilometers with a total of 570 meters of altitude on the program.A lush descent takes you to São Martinho do Porto and along the wide sandy beach, which is located in a sheltered bay and is wonderful for a sea bath.
On your last stage to Porto, you can look forward to a paradisiacal route through the particularly scenic nature reserve of the Ria de Aveiro. First you drive a bit back to the port area Aveiros, where the ferry takes you to São Jacinto.Now you cycle along the lagoon on the narrow peninsula, which offers a habitat for numerous species of birds. The lagoon is considered to be one of the last natural coastal moors in Europe.