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Cycling The Douro Valley

7 Days & 6 Nights
  • Pedal from the Douro National Park to Peso da Régua, the heart of port-producing Portugal
  • The UNESCO Alto Douro - the world's oldest wine-making region
  • Leisurely cycling through forests, almond groves and vineyard-carpeted hillsides
  • Cruise through the Douro River gorge on a traditional rabelo boat
  • Stay in elegant town houses and vineyard manor houses
  • Two farm-to-table three course evening meals and an included wine tasting
Discover the very best of the Douro Valley as you pedal from the rugged landscape of the Douro Nature Reserve to the terraced vineyards of the UNESCO Alto-Douro wine-making region. Stay in elegant manor houses in the heart of charming villages and relax on rural wine estates (or "quintas"). As you unwind by the pool look forward to sampling mouth-watering farm-to-table cuisine accompanied by the finest regional wines. An included traditional boat trip on the Douro River offers an opportunity to explore this landscape relatively untouched by tourism from a different angle. Here life meanders along slowly and the locals will welcome you with open arms.

What To Expect

If you, like the Portuguese, have a passion for excellent simply prepared food paired with some of the world's finest wines then this is the trip for you. On this hybrid/touring bike trip discover the heartland of the world's oldest wine-producing region from the saddle on a mixture of quiet country roads and car-free nature trails. By day pedal gently rolling terrain from the untouched highlands to terraced vineyards and olive groves, and by night stay in rural manor houses, elegant renovated town houses and hotels. We include a wine & olive oil tasting along with two delicious three course evening meals with wine, making this holiday ideal for foodies and wine-lovers!

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent holiday.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Cycling, E-Biking | A classic point to point cycling holiday, staying in a different location each night, E-Bikes with electronic motors to assist available to hire on this holiday (subject to availability), to make things easier

This trip is suitable for:

Mixed Abilities

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Foodie Adventures
  • Wine, Whisky & More...

Inspiration:

  • New

Grade & Terrain

The route has been graded as Easy to Moderate overall based on the shortest distances each day. The first and last day's of cycling are graded at the low end of our moderate category, making this trip a good step towards an overall moderately graded trip. The route should be manageable for most semi-regular cyclists or those relatively new to cycling with a good level of fitness.

Pedal on a mixture of quiet country roads, car-free nature trails/track with distances between 29-48 km. On days 3-5, if you're feeling energetic, you can take an optional route extension, up to 48 km. While some days are largely flat, others take in rolling terrain meaning that the daily cumulative ascent varies from 98-414 m making this a great trip for anyone with good physical fitness. However, if you feel the hillier days may be more than you'd like to tackle on holiday then why not opt for some battery-powered assistance by hiring an e-bike? 

Navigation

Navigation is straightforward with detailed route notes and GPX tracks provided in a GPS unit you're provided with for the duration of your trip.

Accommodation Information

On this self-guided cycling tour in Portugal you will stay in a mixture of 3* and 4* hotels as well as traditional rural guesthouses and manor houses on wine estates. Most of your accommodations also have outdoor pools. Check-in is from 3pm and included in your trip some days are short morning and afternoon that will bring you directly to/from the trailhead to your accommodation. 

Alternate Accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations that 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. It is also possible to travel as a solo cyclist, please get in touch with one of our specialists as our solo prices for this trip are on request only due to logistics. 

Meals

Breakfast is included each morning, and two three course meals with wine are also included. Lunch and four dinners are not included so that you are free to choose from the surrounding options. If there isn't a restaurant at your accommodation there will be options nearby. For lunch, you will pass through towns and villages en route where you can purchase provisions for a picnic lunch.

World-class wines, and of course port, are what the region is renowned for. Your holiday includes a wine and olive oil tasting at a local vineyard on day 6.

Included
  • 6 Nights in 3-4* hotels, authentic guesthouses and manor houses
  • 6 Breakfasts and 2 dinners (3 course meal with wine)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Wine and olive oil tasting (Day 6)
  • Traditional rabelo boat trip on the Douro River (Day 5)
  • Transfer from Porto Airport to your first hotel in Miranda do Douro (3 hours)
  • On trip transfers as detailed in the itinerary (some are accommodation dependent)
  • Transfer from your Peso da Regua hotel to Porto Airport (1.5 hours)
  • Detailed information pack
  • Access to route notes and GPX tracks on a smartphone navigation app (alternatively loan of a GPS unit is available)
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our UK & US offices
Excluded
  • Bike hire (standard or e-bike options)
  • Lunches, 4 dinners (2 dinners are included), drinks & snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • Additional nights in Porto at the end of the tour
  • Bike hire (standard hybrid)
  • E-Bike hire

When To Go

You can begin your trip on any day of the week between March and mid-November.

In early March the trees of the almond groves blossom with delicate white flowers. While in mid to late September the grape harvest begins and the normally slow pace of life in the Douro Valley kicks up a gear. 

Weather and Climate

Generally you'll find that the spring and autumn are the best times for cycling in Portugal, with temperatures from 12-19 degrees Celsius and the added bonus of less summer tourists. However, being in northern Portugal, and therefore cooler than the south, this trip is also pleasant in the summer months, although it will be hotter. Summer temperatures vary from 18-25 degrees Celsius and perhaps into the high 20s on occasion. Rainfall is generally low with a monthly average of no more than 12 mm between March and November. July is the driest month, and May to September tend to be the driest months of the year.

Getting to the Start

Porto Airport (or Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport) is the most convenient airport for beginning this trip, and is served by many airlines, such as Easyjet, Ryanair, KLM and British Airways. You can also reach Porto 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. Lisbon is served by many airlines in the UK and from many other gateways in Europe

Transfers to and from Porto Airport, to your first and last accommodations are included in the price of the trip. Your arrival transfer from Porto to Miranda do Douro is approximately 3 hours by car/minibus. Your specialist will request your flight arrival details nearer the travel date to arrange your transfer.

Getting from the End

A departure transfer from Peso da Régua to Porto Airport (approx. 1 hr 20 mins) is included in the trip. Your specialist will request your flight departure details nearer the travel date to arrange your pick-up.

Baggage Transfer

Your luggage transfers between overnight locations are included in the tour. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh approximately 20 kg.

Equipment

Hybrid & E-Bike Hire

Hire of a hybrid or e-bike is not included as standard, but we can arrange hire of high quality bikes. Choose from either a Specialized Rockhopper Sport or Cube Touring Exc (low frame) touring/hybrid bike.

Included with bike hire is a pannier rack, 1 pannier per bike, handlebar bag (one per two bikes), a lock (one per two bikes), toolkit, first aid kit, puncture repair kit, pump, spare inner tube, and use of a helmet. Although, we recommend that you bring your own helmet for your own comfort. As well as the option to borrow a used hire helmet for your trip it's also possible to buy a new Specialized (or similar) helmet, which you will be presented with on arrival. Please ask your specialist at the time of booking so we can cost-check and arrange this for you. 

For some battery-powered assistance on longer days and to get up hills we recomend hiring an e-bike. The rechargeable battery on your bike will be your reliable riding partner, getting you to the top of hills or to your final destination with more energy in the tank for an afternoon swim or simply for exploring your destination. You can request either Cube Reaction or Cube Touring Hybrid (low frame) model of e-bike. E-bikes are growing rapidly in popularity so please make sure to request at the time of booking so we can secure availability for your trip and avoid disappointment. 

Please note that unless you specifically request a low frame bike a standard frame model will be allocated - so if you would prefer a low frame bike please let us know when you book.

Bike frame measurements:
Standard frame bikes - XS 35 cm, 38 cm, 43 cm, 48 cm and XL 53 cm
Low Frame bikes - 45cm and 48 cm

GPS Unit 

For navigation you will be provided with a pass code to access a route-finding app with your route's GPS tracks. Alternatively, on request you can borrow a GPS unit pre-loaded with the tracks you will need for your daily rides. 

Travel Insurance

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

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Porto and transfer to Miranda do Douro Day 2 Cycle to Mogadouro 29 miles / 47 km Day 3 Cycle to Torre de Moncorvo 23.5 miles / 38 km Day 4 Cycle to Vila Flor 17.5 miles / 28.5 km Day 5 Cycle to the Douro, boat trip to Pinhao and short transfer to Sabrosa 17.5 miles / 28.5 km Day 6 Cycle to Peso de Régua and wine & olive oil tasting 19 miles / 31 km Day 7 Transfer to Porto Airport and onward travel

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