Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • Strolling through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Porto
  • Cycling alongside canals and over the bridges of Aveiro, Portugal's 'Little Venice'
  • Admiring the beauty, birds and wildlife of the Sao Jacinto Sand Dunes Natural Reserve
  • Pedalling past brightly-coloured striped fisherman's chapel's
  • Taking a refreshing dip in the azure Atlantic Ocean
  • Immersion in Portuguese life and culture
  • Riding through immense green pine forests

This easy cycling tour follows trails along the azure coastline of the Atlantic in north central Portugal and discovers the natural beauty of this area; São Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve, the vast lagoon of the Ria de Aveiro and immense pine forests.

The route begins in Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage City and takes you down the coastline past beautiful beach resorts, small towns and villages and Portugal's "Little Venice," Aveiro. Immersion in the Portuguese culture and way of life is one of the many highlights you’ll experience.

Porto spans the mouth of the serene Douro River and is a fabulous city to explore, with its Baroque churches, village-style plazas, soaring bell-towers, and narrow cobbled lanes. Stroll through the Ribeira district where local inhabitants mingle with the locals, or sit on the terrace of a traditional restaurant to see the sun setting over the Douro River; this is indeed a city of romance.

Admire the small beachside chapel of Senhor da Pedra en route to Espinho, where you can pause and stroll through the sand dunes or along the beachfront promenade. If you are lucky you will see the fisherman hauling in their day’s catch. The lagoon of Ria de Aveiro is 45km long and full of wildlife, including many species of birds.

A small local ferry takes you to Aveiro, the town of canals and small bridges and cycle into the village Praia da Mira where you can admire its brilliantly coloured fisherman’s chapel and large silken sandy beach. Riding from this village to Figuera da Foz you encounter an immense pine forest and the characterful Cape Mondego lighthouse built in 1917.

As you pedal down the Atlantic Way you go through the Pinhal de Leiria, another pine forest planted here by a 15th century king so that the timber could be used for a shipping fleet involved in the discovery of the sea route to India. You final night’s hotel is located on a cliff-top where you can relax while watching the colourful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.

Your 7 day self-guided cycling tour in Portugal includes 5 nights in 3* hotels and one night in a a 4* hotel, 6 breakfasts, baggage transfers, transfers from Porto Airport to your hotel and from Sao Pedro de Moel to either Porto or Lisbon Airport, GPX tracks, (and loan of a GPS unit), maps, route notes, comprehensive information pack and orientation meeting. You may hire a bike as an optional extra.

DAY 1: Arrive Porto

Arrival in Porto, a vibrant city set on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Douro River. Explore its old quarter, the Ribeira and its maze of narrow cobbled streets and beautiful plazas. From its UNESCO World Heritage Site medieval quarter to its large avenues of the early 20th century, Porto has so much to offer.


A transfer from Porto Airport brings you to your Porto Hotel.


Overnight: Porto


This well-located, family-run hotel is in the heart of Porto and has 50 air-conditioned and beautifully decorated rooms with vintage furnishings. Guests can enjoy breakfast on the terrace and relax in the library with a good book.


DAY 2: Porto to Esmoriz

Your first day of cycling starts in Porto and you will make your way through the old town and cross Don Luis Bridge, designed by Gustave Eiffel. Almost all the way to Espinho you’ll follow a cycle path near the coastline, crossing numerous small beaches. Praia de Valadares, Francelos and Miramar are good spots to take a dip and enjoy the sunshine. Praia de Miramar is worth a stop to visit a small chapel by the sea, just beyond the beach, the Church of Senhor da Pedra. Not far from here is Espinho, where it is possible to take a break and either walk down the gangway that takes you through sand dunes to views over the Atlantic or down the mile-long beachfront promenade. If you are lucky you may see fishermen pulling in their nets or catch a beach volleyball match.


Overnight:  Esmoriz


With its nice outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and the possibility of booking a massage this hotel is sure to allow some relaxation after your day’s cycling endeavours. There is also free WiFi.


Cycle: 32km, 105m elevation gain


DAY 3: Esmoriz to Aveiro

This is an easy and enjoyable day of flat riding alongside the sea. Enjoy scenes and cycles through the Ria de Aveiro and through pine forests. This lagoon is 45km long and one of  Europe's last remaining untouched coastal marshland. It is also a great haven for numerous bird species.


Today you will see also the incredible dune system of São Jacinto which is a nature reserve. Take the time to walk along the beach so that you can view the birds and wildlife.


Here in São Jacinto you will catch a local ferry to Aveiro and to your next accommodation.  Aveiro is a beautiful city, nick-named the ‘Venice of Portugal’ due to its network of picturesque canals and little humped-back bridges.


Overnight: Aveiro


This hotel is situated in a 1930’s townhouse and offers 49 spacious rooms with plenty of modern amenities and some have a balcony. Even though it is centrally located, there is also a quiet garden where you can sit and relax.


Cycle: 55km, 170m elevation gain


DAY 4: Aveiro to Praia da Mira

Cycle out of Aveiro and across its canals and through the dune system that is close to the Ria de Aveiro. Following this huge dune by the inner road you’ll cross small villages looking inland to the calm waters of the Ria. Why not stop along the way and climb the dunes to take a look at the scenes over the Atlantic, just a few metres away. Next ride by small fields and vegetable gardens before entering Praia da Mira village, known for its silky sand beach and brilliantly coloured blue and white striped fishermen’s chapel.


Overnight: Praia da Mira


This modern and spacious hotel, set in pine woods, allows for a relaxing stay with a lovely outdoor pool and beguiling rooms and public spaces. There are 30 accommodation units, a tennis court, WiFi and a reading garden.


Cycle: 41km, 155 m elevation gain


DAY 5: Praia da Mira to Figuera da Foz

Today you will cycle across one of the biggest dune systems in the area which is covered in a pine tree forest. While cycling through this immense green expanse you will feel a sense of solitude as the roads are empty and distances between points are much longer than in previous days. Near Figueira da Foz begin to ascend and cycle up to the Serra da Boa Viagem from where you can catch views of rare  beauty such as countless beaches and the glittering Atlantic Ocean in the distance. Then head down to Cape Mondego lighthouse following the hills slopes into Figueira da Foz and its huge sandy beach.


This evening why not amble through this town’s  tight grid of central old town streets and find a local restaurant in which to eat dinner.


Overnight: Figuera da Foz


Located only 100m from the superb beach this hotel offers 32 rooms of an excellent standard and all tastefully decorated. Enjoy a drink in the bar and enjoy the use of free Wifi in your room.


Cycle: 51km, 420m elevation gain


DAY 6: Figuera da Foz to Sao Pedro da Moel

Cross the bridge over the Mondego River and close to Carriço you’ll enter a cycling path, the Atlantic Way. This trail leads you through the Pinhal de Leiria, a pine tree forest which was apparently planted by a 15th century king in order to provide timber for the shipping fleet that made many discoveries and established the sea route to India. The cycling path also passes numerous small and pretty beaches where, if you wish, you can stop for a refreshing swim.


Overnight: Sao Pedro da Moel


With a gorgeous cliff-top location, this hotel also boasts a panoramic restaurant from which you can watch amazing and colourful sunsets. It has elegantly decorated rooms and a spa.


Cycle: 66km, 380m elevation gain


DAY 7: Onward Travel

The tour finishes after breakfast. A transfer will take to either Porto or Lisbon Airport for your onward journeys.   


Accommodation

On your 7 day, 6 night self-guided cycling tour in Portugal you will stay 5 nights in 3* hotels and 1 night in a 4* hotel. Most have swimming pools and all are well-located in the village or town. Some overlook the Atlantic Ocean.



 

 




La Fontaine Hotel - Esmoriz

With its nice outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and the possibility of booking a massage this hotel is sure to allow some relaxation after your day’s cycling endeavours. There is also free WiFi.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Veneza Hotel - Aveiro

This hotel is situated in a 1930’s townhouse and offers 49 spacious rooms with plenty of modern amenities and some have a balcony. Even though it is centrally located, there is also a quiet garden where you can sit and relax.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Mira Villas Aparthotel - Praia da Mira

This modern and spacious hotel, set in pine woods, allows for a relaxing stay with a lovely outdoor pool and beguiling rooms and public spaces. There are 30 accommodation units, a tennis court, WiFi and a reading garden.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Wellington - Figuera da Foz

Located only 100m from the superb beach this hotel offers 32 rooms of an excellent standard and all tastefully decorated. Enjoy a drink in the bar and enjoy the use of free Wifi in your room.


 

 

 

 

 

 




Hotel Mar e Sol - Sao Pedro de Moel

With a gorgeous cliff-top location, this hotel also boasts a panoramic restaurant from which you can watch amazing and colourful sunsets. It has elegantly decorated rooms and a spa.


 

 

Alternate accommodation

During the high season you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the main daily description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard than those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Cyclists

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo cyclists are also welcome for an additional charge.


Meals

7 Breakfasts are included. All the other nights you can eat dinner at your accommodations, or in the local town or village. For lunches there are plenty of villages that you cycle through where you can buy goods for a packed lunch.


Baggage Transfer

All baggage transfers are included. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.


Navigation

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. You will also be provided with a GPS unit loaded with the GPX tracks and you will be shown how to use it at your orientation meetings. The majority of the time you will be cycling on small roads or cycle paths, so it will be relatively easy to find your way.


Experience & Fitness

This tour is suitable for people that are in good physical condition. It is rated easy as it is mostly flat. There are some elevation gains, particularly on Days 5 and 6, but aside from that all the coastal routes are mainly level.


Equipment

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes  cycling gear and lots of other useful bits and bobs.


Bike Hire

Bike hire is available as an optional extra. Good quality Giant Hybrid (or something similar) 27-gear bikes may be rented. When you are picked up at the airport the bikes will also be delivered to you at the same time and upon arrival at the hotel, an orientation meeting will occur and the bike fitting also.


Full details about the bike will be in your information pack. All rentals include pedals (flat or SPD), lock, tool-kit, pump, inner tubes, helmet, handle-bar bag and also a rear bag if needed.


Please note that if you do want to rent a bike you need to provide us with your height so that we can make sure that the bike is going to be a good fit.


 


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Availability

This cycling tour is available to start any day of the week between April and November.


Single Rooms & Solo Cyclists

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo cyclists are also welcome for an additional charge.


Meals

7 Breakfasts are included. All the other nights you can eat dinner at your accommodations, or in the local town or village. For lunches there are plenty of villages that you cycle through where you can buy goods for a packed lunch.


Baggage Transfer

All baggage transfers are included. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.


Navigation

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. You will also be provided with a GPS unit loaded with the GPX tracks and you will be shown how to use it at your orientation meetings. The majority of the time you will be cycling on small roads or cycle paths, so it will be relatively easy to find your way.


Experience & Fitness

This tour is suitable for people that are in good physical condition. It is rated easy as it is mostly flat. There are some elevation gains, particularly on Days 5 and 6, but aside from that all the coastal routes are mainly level.


Equipment

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes  cycling gear and lots of other useful bits and bobs.


Bike Hire

You can choose between hybrid bikes or e-bikes (electronic bikes) on this tour. Bike hire detailed information.



Brand


own brand (bases KTM)


Bike Type


City,


Frame types


gents, ladies, unisex


Sizes


Unisex/ladies: 43, 46, 51, 56


Gents:46, 56, 60, 64


Front suspension


no


Stand


yes


Mud guards


yes


Luggage rack Rear/Front


yes


Paniers


Yes


Handle bar Bag/ map holder


Yes/integrated in the handle bar bag


Bottle holder/Water bottle


no


Computer meter


yes


Interchangeable pedals


yes


Front gear set


3


Back gear set


7


Brakes


Shimano V-breaks


Helmet included


No


Puncture repair kit


Yes


Spare inner tubes/ how many


Yes/1


Pump


Yes


Lock


Yes

 

 


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Porto

On arrival at Porto Airport a transfer is included to your hotel. Therefore you will need to provide us with your flight arrival details.


Porto Airport is served by many airlines, such as Easyjet, Ryanair, KLM and British Airways. If you prefer to fly into Lisbon, Porto is also accessible from Lisbon Airport. From Lisbon Airport take an airport shuttle bus to the Santa Apolonia Train Station and then a train to Porto which takes around two and a half hours. Please find more information on the Transportas Publicas website.


Getting from Lisbon or Porto

A transfer is provided from your last hotel to either Porto or Lisbon Airports. You will need to provide us with your departure flight details. Lisbon is also served by many airlines in the UK and from many other gateways in Europe.

Getting to Porto

On arrival at  Porto Airport a transfer is included to your hotel. Therefore you will need to provide us with your flight arrival details.


Porto Airport is served by many airlines, such as Easyjet, Ryanair, KLM and British Airways. If you prefer to fly into Lisbon, Porto is also accessible from Lisbon Airport. From Lisbon Airport take an airport shuttle bus to the Santa Apolonia Train Station and then a train to Porto which takes around two and a half hours. Please find more information on the Transportas Publicas website.



Getting from Lisbon or Porto

A transfer is provided from your last hotel to either Porto or Lisbon Airports. You will need to provide us with your departure flight details. Lisbon is also served by many airlines in the UK and from many other gateways in Europe.


Included

  • 6 Nights in 3* and 4* hotels (5 nights in a 3* and 1 night in a 4*)
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfers
  • A transfer from Porto Airport to first hotel
  • A transfer from the last hotel to either Porto or Lisbon Airport
  • Orientation meeting
  • Detailed information pack, route notes, local maps, GPX tracks and loan of a GPS unit
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our team
  • 24/7 Emergency Support

Excluded

  • Flights to Porto and from Porto or Lisbon
  • Dinners and lunches
  • Bike rental
  • Admissions or entrances
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance

Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single room supplement if single room required
  • Solo traveller supplement (if applicable)
  • Bike rental

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as far in advance as possible. We will always try and accommodate late bookings but realistically you need to book at least 6 weeks prior to departure.

What equipment do I need?

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard gear such as good, comfortable cycling, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.

What about meals?

6 Breakfasts are included. All the other nights you can eat dinner at your accommodations, or in the local town or village. For lunches there are plenty of villages that you cycle through where you can buy goods for a packed lunch.

How to baggage transfers work?

All baggage transfers are included. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.

How do I find my way?

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. You will also be provided with a GPS unit loaded with the GPX tracks and you will be shown how to use it at your orientation meeting. The majority of the time you will be cycling on small roads or cycle paths, so it will be relatively easy to find your way. 80% of the time you will be cycling on paved roads and 20% of the time on dirt roads (off-road).

How fit will I need to be?

This tour is suitable for people that are in good physical condition. It is rated easy as it is mostly flat. There are some elevation gains, particularly on Days 5 and 6, but aside from that all the coastal routes are mainly level.

What will I need to bring?

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes cycling gear and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

Can I rent a bike?

Bike hire is available as an optional extra. Good quality Giant Hybrid (or similar) 27-gear bikes may be rented. When you are picked up at the airport the bikes will also be delivered to you at the same time and upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll have an orientation meeting and bike fitting.

Full details about the bike will be in your information pack. All rentals include pedals (flat or SPD), lock, tool-kit, pump, inner tubes, helmet, handle-bar bag and also a rear bag if needed.

Please note that if you do want to rent a bike you need to provide us with your height so that we can make sure that the bike is going to be a good fit.

What happens if I can’t cycle a stage?

Public transport and taxis are available, if you are in need of support our local partner will be more than happy to help.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureCycling Portugal's Atlantic Coast
 
3.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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    (1)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Rugged Coastlines

By MRob

from UK

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Fun
  • Great places along the route to eat and drink
  • Lovely routes, mainly on tarmaced cycle tracks
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • Accommodation not always in great locations
  • Value for money not great

Best Uses

  • Holiday

Comments about macs adventure Cycling Portugal's Atlantic Coast:

Great trip with some lovely routes down the Atlantic Coast, mainly on tarmac cycle paths running alongside quiet roads. Some busy roads and tricky junctions going into and out of large towns. Routes all programmed into a GPS unit, although take care to charge the batteries as the maps given as back up were not great. We found lots of fantastic places to stop along the way and feasted on fresh seafood each day (sea air and cycling can make you very hungry!). Our only criticism was that we found the holiday to be very overpriced when the standard and location of the accommodation was taken into account and compared to other cycling holidays we have been on.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great Trip

By Sarah the Canadian

from Switzerland

About Me Open to trying new things/experiences

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Helder and local team were fantastic
  • Nice terrain variety
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • need to be comfortable using GPS/maps

Best Uses

  • A nice combo of rest, relaxation and exercise
  • Holiday
  • Trying Something New

Comments about macs adventure Cycling Portugal's Atlantic Coast:

2nd self guided program with Macs Adventure . Well organized, professional ground team. Helder and the Natures Trail team were exceptional, so friendly, knowledgeable and extended the Portugese hospitality.

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