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The Atlantic Coast of Portugal – from Lisbon to Santo António

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The Atlantic Coast of Portugal – from Lisbon to Santo António

Bike Touring Collection by komoot

6-13

days

3-6 h

/ day

369 mi

15,350 ft

15,325 ft

"Saudade" is in the air. A word that can't really be translated, it roughly means 'longing',' wanderlust' and 'world-weariness' — all wrapped up in two beautiful syllables. The best way to understand what it means is to experience it, however. Something you can only do here. So, while you ride for hours along the steep coast, let your gaze wander over the infinitely wide ocean and feel the salty breeze on your face — and say hello to saudade.

Portugal, the former world empire of seafarers, was long spared from tourism, except for golf and beach holidaymakers in the Algarve. This allowed the country to preserve its original culture. Only a few years ago, many tourists seem to have discovered the "little brother of Spain" for themselves.

In order to escape over tourism, Portugal relies on sustainable individual tourism. The cycle path network along the EuroVelo 1 cycle path is currently being extended and a long-distance hiking path system has been created in the National Park of Southwest Alentejo and the Costa Vicentina. These two long-distance routes are often part of your journey along Portugal's Atlantic coast from Lisbon to the Algarve.

In this Collection, we have split the journey from the capital to the Spanish border into ten stages, for which a certain level of fitness and cycling experience is required. And while not all paths are paved, you will experience nature and the Atlantic coast in full splendor.

You start the journey in the lively capital Lisbon and leave it with a ferry to the south. There is still a lot going on on the Setúbal Peninsula, but the further you leave Lisbon behind you, the more lonely the streets and especially the beaches will become, like rocky cliffs against which the surf whips, your constant companion.

The Alentejo coastline is popular with surfers, but it is also a paradise for cyclists who love solitary expanses of breathtaking nature and climbs. You have reached the Algarve at the most southwestern point of Europe's mainland, the Cabo de São Vicente. The narrow coastal strip in the south of the country offers you a well-developed tourist infrastructure and in the meantime some considerable cycle paths, some of which lead through the middle of the nature reserve of the lagoons and salt flats, until you reach the Spanish border after almost 400 miles (600 kilometers).

Lisbon can be easily reached by plane. From the destination Vila Real de Santo António you can take the train to Faro airport or even back to Lisbon. Thanks to the Atlantic Ocean, the climate along the coast is oceanic-Mediterranean, so it doesn't get extremely hot in summer and it doesn't freeze in winter. As many hotels are booked up during the high season and tend to close when it gets quiet, you should book your accommodation in advance.

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Portuguese Atlantic Coast from Lisbon to Santo António

370 mi

15,500 ft

15,450 ft

Last updated: January 6, 2022

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Von Lissabon nach Sesimbra – die portugiesische Atlantikküste

    Difficult
    04:04
    36.8 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,675 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    The southern part of the Portuguese Atlantic Cycle Route starts in the charming capital of Lisbon. The bustling city with its seven hills offers a great contrast to the lonely paths that will accompany you more often during your journey along the Atlantic.

    

    Right at the beginning of your tour, you leave

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  • Difficult
    04:02
    37.1 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,750 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Your day starts with several crisp climbs in the nature reserve of Arrábida. The subsequent promising departure let you forget the effort. Once at the bottom, you drive along the coastal road between rocks and small beaches to the port city of Setúbal.

    

    The old town offers you the ideal setting for a coffee

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  • Difficult
    04:11
    42.0 mi
    10.0 mph
    1,975 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Endless open spaces, every now and then a homestead, here a few cork oaks, as a few pines, ... So you can describe the Alentejo very well. It accounts for one-third of Portugal's area, but is inhabited by only seven percent of the population. The first 30 kilometers you are alone with your bike, so take

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  • Intermediate
    03:46
    31.2 mi
    8.3 mph
    1,050 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After a few challenging stages, a day with fewer kilometers and less gradients follows today for a change.

    

    You leave Sines along the shore and immediately after the industrial area begins a magnificent route on the Atlantic. The well paved coastal road leads along the beach, sometimes between the sand

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  • Intermediate
    03:45
    34.3 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,350 ft
    1,400 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On small paved roads, it continues for you to the south. From the Cabo Sardão, an ideal place to observe storks, you have the alternative opportunity to drive directly along the coast, if you believe it and allow your bike, since the track is quite bumpy. Here you can find the route: komoot.de/highlight/363912

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  • Difficult
    04:11
    37.1 mi
    8.9 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,100 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You left the Alentejo and continue cycling in the Algarve. Not least, you notice that it is getting hilly again.

    

    Since the northwest, unlike the south of the Algarve, is less well developed, please always remember to replenish your water reserves and pack a bar or fruit in good time.

    

    Ascents, fantastic

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  • Difficult
    03:57
    35.7 mi
    9.0 mph
    2,000 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your day begins with the journey to the end of the world, to the Cabo de São Vicente. If you start early enough, you have good chances to arrive before the bus tourists and leave the view across the Atlantic in peace.

    

    Along the EuroVelo 1 route, you will sail to the seafaring town of Sagres, which is

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  • Difficult
    04:28
    41.6 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,650 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    From Lagos you drive around a large, very scenic lagoon, which you cross shortly before the fishing village of Alvor on small paths. To experience the fertile area even more intensively and watch the game of ebb and flow, you can make a detour to the estuary in the west of Alvor.

    

    The path will take you

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  • Intermediate
    03:42
    35.0 mi
    9.4 mph
    700 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The coast on the eastern Algarve is no longer characterized by high rocks from here but of interesting wetlands and lagoons. This also means that no high gradients are more in front of you.

    

    The first few kilometers are only slightly hilly. Little bays, lagoons and harbors are always your way to Faro

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  • Difficult
    04:22
    38.7 mi
    8.9 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The final stage of your journey along the Portuguese Atlantic coast is dedicated to the natural park of the Ria Formosa lagoon. You can see how the different currents of the tides and the estuaries formed the landscapes.

    

    You drive large parts of the stage on so-called EcoVias. These are natural bike paths

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    369 mi
  • Duration
    40:29 h
  • Elevation
    15,350 ft15,325 ft

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