This touring cycling route is all across the Alentejo province passing through the region's famous wine growing area and visiting some of its famous tourist spots and most striking parts, including Évora and finishing up in the picture postcard hilltop village of Monsaraz.
This is designed for riders with an intermediate ability and it will include tarmac and mostly easy dirt roads witth very few technical sections. Certain stretches include converted, disused railway lines which make for some very pleasant and scenic cycling.
Going at a relaxed pace, it is giving you plenty of opportunity to soak up the beautiful surroundings and sample a taste of local culture as we make our way across this all -too-often overlooked gem of Portugal's landscape.
Day 1: Cabo de Espichel to Setúbal (43km, 540m elevation gain)
We will meet in Loulé around 8.00 hrs and transfer directly to Cabo de Espichel where our tour begins. This rugged coastline provides a dramatic backdrop for the start of our tour. As it is a quite long transfer from Loulé we are keen to get going after a quick drink and a snack. Our first day's cycling will take us along the limestone cliffs within the Arrábida Natural Park overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Setúbal bay and the Troía peninsula with its fine sandy beaches. Our destination for the night, Setubal is a thriving port town, with a quaint old quarter where we can relax in one of the beautiful squares, whilst we sample the local delicacy choco frito (fried cuttle fish).
Day 2: Setúbal to Landeira (50km, 100m elevation gain)
Leaving the town of Setúbal past the ferry terminal, we will head East along mostly flat and quiet roads. It is a noticeable change of scenery today as we spend a leisure day cycling through the rolling countryside, depicting the the typical Alentejo scene of lonely trees in vast meadows, punctuated by the odd white farmhouse. The region is also known for its outstanding wine and we will see what just a major role this plays in the local economy as we cycle through the vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. Our stay this evening will be close to the small, traditional village of Landeira.
Day 3: Landeira to Montemor-o-Novo (57km, 375m elevation gain)
Cycling mostly on quiet tracks and traffic free roads, today's ride will include some disused railway lines and pleasant open countryside. Our destination is the traditional town of Montemor-o-Novo and we will stay in the unique Royal Cocoa Chocalatier and Palace. The hotel is situated in a chcolate factory, integrated within a palatial estate. There is a very good restaurant a short walk away and, naturally, we will want to sample some of the hotel's fine chocolate before we retire for the night.
Day 4: Montemor-o-Novo to Évora (47km, 250m elevation gain)
Navigating our way initially through cork oak forests we will be movong in the direction of Arraiolos, a pretty Alentejo town famous for its handwoven carpets. Joining the Arraiolos 'rail to trail' route for the last leg of our journey, it's an easy hop into the historical centre of Évora. We will stay just on the edge of town, with all the historical places of interest just a short walk away.
Day 5: Évora to Monsaraz (65km, 700m elevation gain)
Setting off with a last ride through the ancient streets of Évora, we will soon enjoy a pleasant cycle through natural sweeping landscape, where we will spot the odd castle to remind us of this land's medieval heritage. Passing through more vineyards we will navigate our way to the famous wine-producing town of Reguengos de Monsaraz, home to the largest vineyard in Portugal, the Herdade do Esporõa. The final section of our ride represents the most challenging climb up to the historical hill top village of Monsaraz. but we will be rewarded with breathtaking views over the Alqueva reservoir (the largest of its kind in Europe) and onwards towards Spain.
Day 6: Departure
After a breakfast at our accommodation in the village, we will have a chance for one last look around Monsaraz and transfer back to the Algarve around 10.30 hrs.
- Price: based upon two people sharing a twin or double bedded room: €650 pp
- Single room accommodation: €900 pp, please specify if preferred
- Transfer between the central Algarve and Cabo de Espichel on day 1
- Transfer back to the Algarve on day 6
- 5 nights b&b stay in comfortable guesthouse or hotel based on 2 persons sharing a double room
- Daily luggage transfer between accommodations
- Route guiding by professional guide
- Flights to and from the Algarve
- Lunches and evening meals
- Touring bike or MTB rental
- Helmets and clip in pedals available at a small fee. We suggest you bring your own
- Personal accident insurance, which we strongly recommend you take out