Portugal – Top to Bottom
Best known as a resort/golfing destination, Portugal offers some outstanding cycling and the promise of sunshine. This trip starts on the Spanish border in Valenca and ends on the Algarve coast just east of Faro. As well as being an ‘end-to-end’ you can also bag a ‘side-to-side’ as the route touches Portugal’s western and eastern borders.
We love cycling in the sunshine and we love bagging ‘end-to-ends’ so this trip ticks all the boxes. As the icing on the cake it also counts as a ‘side to side’. With 9 hours of sunshine, temperatures in the 20’s and little rainfall, Portugal offers superb cycling conditions in April/October. It also offers convenient international airports (in Porto and Faro).
We start at the magnificent fort in Valence, with views over the river to Spain, a perfect back-drop for the start of trip photos! The day is spent in the spectacular hills of Northern Portugal, before striking the coast and following coastal paths for three days.
We then slowly work our way down and across the country, finally reaching the Spanish border in the northern Algarve. Riding conditions get progressively easier as the country flattens but the scenery is always great!
For our final day we strike the Algarve’s southern coast and then follow cycle trails as far as Olhao, just a few miles from Faro and its airport.
Portugal relies heavily on tourism and has a superb hotel infrastructure which we fully exploit. Accommodation is 3/4* throughout with many hotels offering pools and/or other leisure facilities.
Daily mileages are modest – around 50-55 miles per day and with a mix of coastal and inland riding.
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