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West Coast Tour

Overview:

  • Self-guided bike tour by touring bike, trekking bike or mountain bike. E-Bikes available
  • 8 days/ 7 nights/ 5 days cycling
  • Routes:
    The tour runs along the Atlantic west coast, by bike from Troia down to Sagres. You will ride on asphalted and natural roads with little traffic. In the high season, mid June to mid September, there may be a greater volume of traffic. The tracks are mostly flat in between with some short steep climbs and descents
  • Total distance ca. 245 km
  • It is possible to book one or more additional nights at the beginning, during or at the end of the tour
  • Start dates: Every day is possible
  • It is also possible to do this tour in the opposite direction. It can also be combined with the Trans-Algarve Coast Tour (total of 11 stages/14 days.)

Detailed holiday and bike tour description


Day 1 Lisbon Airport – Setúbal

You will be met at Lisbon airport and chauffeured with an individual transfer service to your accommodation (90 minutes). This journey will take you through the Arrabida nature reserve and along the beautiful coast road to Setúbal. You will be staying right by the sea (the Atlantic ocean is usually a deep blue!) with a wonderful view of the Tróia peninsula, which is where you will start your bicycle tour the next morning.

Day 2 Setúbal/Tróia – Vila Nova de Santo André: approx. 53km – 500 ascent

A ferry takes you across the Sado river estuary and then you cycle alongside a white sandy beach with crystal-clear water as far as the rice fields, which make this area so beautiful. Just as these fields begin you have the opportunity to visit a small museum dedicated to the cultivation and harvesting of rice. A small freshwater lake, idyllically situated very close to the sea at Melide, is very inviting for a dip. You cycle through the Lagoas de Santo André nature reserve, an area of lagoons and dunes with a great number of wading birds, including storks and flamingos, and then you will reach your accommodation.

Day 3 Vila Nova Santo André – Vila Nova de Milfontes: approx. 57km- 460 ascent

Soon after the start of today's ride you will reach Sines. This town, rich in history, is built on a steep hill right by the Atlantic ocean. In its centre there is a fortress, standing on one of Portugal's most beautiful viewpoints. Once you leave Sines you come to the beginning of the Costa de Vicentina nature reserve. Rocky cliffs and small sandy bays are now striking features of the landscape. You cycle through the small fishing port of Porto Covo and past the ruins of a fortress built in the 17th century as a defence against pirates. Far out at sea you will see the Ilha do Pessegueiro island on which there is another fortress, built for the same purpose. You cycle onwards through countryside typical of the Alentejo region with its large, flat fields and areas of cork oaks and pinewoods. You will then reach Vila Nova de Milfontes, a picturesque place situated on the wide Mira river just where it flows into the sea.

Day 4 Vila Nova de Milfontes – Odeceixe: 49 km – 520 ascent

Your first destination today is the Sentinela do Cabo Sardão lighthouse which stands on the edge of a very impressive cliff. The greatest surprise here is that a colony of great white storks has established itself here, nesting on rocks. This section of coastline is recognised as the only place in the world where storks nest on sea stacks and in fact have become established here and can be observed all the year round. You cycle on through the pretty village of Zambujeira do Mar, situated high above the cliffs and where the attractive village 'square' is in fact round! After this you pass through unspoilt, agricultural countryside before reaching the river Seixe and the village of Odeceixe which features attractive, whitewashed and red roofed houses and is situated above one of the most beautiful sandy bays of the whole tour and on the wide river estuary.

Day 5 Odeceixe – Aljezur – Carrapateira: 46 km – 480 ascent

Today's route takes you through a landscape of vast fields. Wild herbs grow here which together with the wild flowers, grasses, and eucalyptus groves, fill the air with a wonderful fragrance. In the spring this area is an absolute sea of flowers with swathes of green pasture land, deep red carpets of flowers and almond trees in blossom. You cross the Rio Aljezur river to reach the town of the same name. You go through the Old Town and over the castle mound and on to Carrapateira which stands on a hill amidst extensive dunes and is reached by means of a truly beautiful cycle ride along the cliffs with marvellous views over the deep blue Atlantic and down to two sandy bays.

Day 6 Carrapateira – Cabo de São Vicente – Sagres: 40 km – 520 ascent

You cycle through attractive, evergreen shrub land, known in Portugal as the macchia and come to two beautiful bays. A steep path leads first to the Praia Barriga beach, which you may well have all to yourself, and then continues over a hill to the Praia da Cordama beach. Both bays have a backdrop of high, rugged cliffs. In fact at low tide you can ride your bike along the sand from one beach to the next – that saves you cycling over the hill! Your route continues across a steppe-like high plateau and brings you to the most south westerly point of Europe, the Cabo de Sao Vicente, where the lighthouse stands on top of the high cliffs.
Finally a beautiful coast road will bring you to Sagres, a place full of myths and legends. This is where the marine school was founded and where Portugal's best seafarers were educated and went on to explore the world's great oceans. The town of Sagres is situated on a promontory at the end of which you will find the fortress, a large building that has been carefully renovated.

Day 7 Sagres – Tunes – Lisbon, transfer by car and train

On your last day we will take you by car to Tunes train station and you will catch the intercity train to Lisbon. Sit back and enjoy your train journey through the Alentejo. Dotted across the landscape you will see cork oaks and olive trees which have stood the test of time. Huge fields disappear past your window, cornfields wave in the breeze, cows and sheep graze in the meadows, these are all features of this beautiful landscape. Here and there you will see farms and vineyards with their single storey, whitewashed houses. The heat of the sun slows the rhythm of life and time seems to stand still.... When you arrive in Lisbon, take a taxi to your hotel which is very centrally situated. You may have time to do some exploring.
An alternative option: Instead of going by train, you could fly from Faro to Lisbon or any other destination. We would gladly help you with this.

Day 8 Return journey

Individual departure or an extension to your holiday.