- Wander through Portugal’s lively and charming capital
- Refuel and reward yourself with great local cuisine
- Reach the most south-westerly point of Europe
- Explore the ruins of the medieval castle in Aljezur
- Relax on beautiful beaches and witness stunning sunsets+
From the cobbled streets of Lisbon we cycle south through wild coastal landscapes, past fishing villages, pristine coves and superb beaches, to the remote south-westerly corner of Europe. Discover the Costa Vicentina – Europe’s largest coastal natural park.
Lisbon – Explore Portugal’s lively and charming capital
Vicentine Coast Natural Park – Cycle the entire length of this wild and unspoilt corner of Europe
Food and drink – Try great local cuisine, fresh fish, seafood and Alentejo wine
Residencial Alcobia, Hotel Reception, Rua Poço do Borratém 15, 1100-408 Lisboa, Portugal
Faro Airport, Departures Hall, Faro Airport (FAO), Faro, Portugal
Day 1 Trip starts in Lisbon
At the very start of this exciting excursion, you will be welcomed to Lisbon. Founded atop seven hills and situated at the estuary of the Tagus River, it became the capital of Portugal after being taken from Moors in 1147. The city – once a center of international trade during Portugal’s Golden Age of exploration – was nearly destroyed by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 1755. As such, Lisbon exists today as an 18th century metropolis that has been carefully reconstructed. To receive your complimentary airport transfer upon arrival into Lisbon Airport (LIS), try to reach the hotel within 30 minutes of landing; a Welcome Meeting is held in reception at 7pm for all who arrive on time. Should you arrive late, your Leader will share any important information with you right away.
Day 2 Explore Lisbon. Morning orientation walk. Afternoon optional visit to Sintra by train
At the start of the day, the Tour Leader will provide a guided tour of Lisbon to give you an overview of the city. Afterwards, you can spend your free time exploring more of Lisbon or take a quick 40 minute train ride from Rossio Station to Sintra, often referred to as ‘The Garden of Lisbon’. There are numerous palaces and gardens that once housed royalty and aristocracy, all with unique characteristics. In the evening, you have the opportunity to watch some traditional fado performances – a style of music native to Lisbon with its melancholic tunes. For today there is no cycling planned.
Day 3 Ferry across the Tagus and coastal cycling to Lagoa Albufeira beach
We set off from Lisbon this morning on our journey south. After ensuring that everyone is satisfied with their bikes, we start by cycling through the city and onto Belem district over the Tagus river via ferry. We then travel Trafaria region, followed by a section of Caparica Coast which takes us toward Albufeira Lake and to its beach where our ride concludes for the day. A short taxi ride brings us to our accommodation in Sesimbra – once a fishing village but now home to sandy beaches and an old Moorish fort. Approximately 10% of the route will be on an unpaved sandy surface while 90% is comprised of paved roads.
Please note that depending on conditions it may be necessary to walk the bikes over a 2km stretch of sand on today’s route. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 48 kilometres (total 550 metres accumulated ascent and 430 metres descent).
Day 4 Cycle through Arrabida Natural Park to Setubal
Today we venture to the port town of Setubal, bringing us through the Serra da Arrabida region and its rolling hills. As we cycle through, the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean contrasts with the lush green surrounding pine forests. Over 3 kilometers there is a steep elevation gain of 200 metres, as well as a few smaller climbs throughout our ride. Meanwhile, little bays and beaches dot our path along the journey, providing opportunities for quick swims. Once we reach our hotel situated within Setubal, you can take time to stroll through its pedestrianised old town or even trek up to a hilltop fortress that affords magnificent panoramic sights. About 10% of this route is on an unpaved surface with an accumulative ascent of 730 meters and descent of 720 meters – totaling 35 kilometres for today’s cycling adventure
Day 5 Into the Alentejo region and cycle to Vila Nova de Milfontes
At the start of the day, a luxurious bus drives us south into Alentejo region (literally beyond the River Tagus) for one and a half hours. Our second cycling section begins in Sines, a quaint coastal town whereupon entering the Vicentine Coast Natural Park – Europe’s largest coastal natural park – our cycle takes us to Vila Nova de Milfontes. Throughout this journey, all routes remain within the vast park while marvelling at its spectacular cliffs and untouched beaches by the raging Atlantic Ocean. After Odeceixe, riders have to endure an uphill climb for around a mile before reaching Vila Nova and enjoying its peaceful setting with a stroll down to its harbour and old quarter.
Around 35% of the route today is on an unpaved surface. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 27 kilometres (total 220 metres accumulated ascent and 230 metres descent).
Day 6 Continue cycling down the Vicentine Coast to historic Aljezur village
Descending further south, we embark on a journey through wild coastlines and white-washed fishing villages. This ride culminates in the Algarve region of Portugal whose name dates back to Moorish time, meaning ‘the west’ in Arabic. Here, we are far removed from the beach resorts and golf courses located elsewhere, instead experiencing an untouched part of the Atlantic Coast. At day’s end, our destination is Aljezur – a charming historical village with plenty to explore such as its well-preserved old quarter and ruined medieval castle offering stunning views over the surrounding area. With approximately 15% of the route consisting of an unpaved surface, approximately 66 kilometres need to be cycled along with 650 metres accumulated ascent and descent.
Day 7 Cycle past great wild beaches to Cabo San Vicente. Drive to Faro
Today, our journey takes us to some of the most stunningly wild beaches on Portugal’s western coast. Beginning with one continuous and gentle incline, we will make our way towards the headland of Cabo San Vicente – Europe’s southwestern-most point. To finish off, a roughly 8 km section of slight rough terrain awaits before celebrating the end of our ride at around 54 kilometres (with 760 metres accumulated ascent and 730 metres descent). Afterwards, we will drive for approximately an hour and a half until arriving at our hotel destination located near Faro.
7 nights standard hotel
Our comfortable, mid- range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with amenities such as, restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Rooms generally have en-suite facilities
Tour Leaders are quite simply the glue that holds our tours together. They are chosen for their travel experience and people skills and are thoroughly trained by Explore, widely acknowledged as some of the best training in the industry. A Tour Leader’s ultimate aim is to ensure everyone is well looked after and have a fantastic trip. They are there to ensure that the tour logistics run smoothly, that health and safety is adhered to and provide comprehensive briefings at the beginning and throughout the tour.
COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures
At Explore, we do everything we can to ensure responsible and hassle-free travel.
You do not need to be vaccinated or provide a negative test unless it is a condition of entry of the destination country you are visiting.
For many countries, at least one of these requirements remains a condition of entry, so please ensure you check the specific entry requirements well in advance of travel.
A key facet of our responsible approach to tourism is that we encourage our groups to eat in local restaurants that prepare locally grown food. We give customers choice as to their meals and do not use rather bland and impersonal hotel restaurants or all- inclusive options
This tour offers Vegetarian food option on request. Simply let Explore! know the food option that you prefer.
All accommodation, activities and meals that are shown in the itinerary are included in the total cost of your trip You will also receive a complimentary transfer to and from the airport if you arrive on day 1 of the trip and depart on the last day and have provided your international flight information.
Bus, Bicycle, Ferry, Train
What’s Not Included
The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.
Lisbon: Sintra train ticket – 5 Euros, Fado show with dinner – 35 Euros, San Jeronimo Monastery 10 Euros
Sintra: Palacio da Pena 14 Euros, Moorish castle 8 Euros
Sagres: Public Beaches: Mareta Beach, Beleeira Beach, Martinhal Beach (transport not included)
Any visa costs, spending money and tips are not included in the trip price.
You can also book extra nights’ accommodation at the beginning and end of the trip and the cost of this accommodation along with any transfers would be quoted separately.