Cycling in the Douro Valley, Portugal
In addition to its wine heritage, this region of Portugal is also extremely beautiful and offers breathtaking scenery for an extraordinary bike ride! You'll start by cycling through the vast Douro valleys before heading to a spectacular panorama of vineyards. Once you arrive, you'll be surrounded by wine villages with endless, breathtaking views of all the wine terraces. Discover the Douro region by bike and the traditional way of life of the people who produce the highest quality wine.
Highlights of the trip :
- breathtaking landscapes classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site
- crossing picturesque old villages on the mountains of the Douro valley
- gastronomy and wines
- charming accommodations
Day 1: Transfer from Porto to Vidago
Upon your arrival, a guide will meet you at the airport in Porto. He will drive you to your hotel in Vidago.
At the end of the 19th century, Vidago was a water treatment center. It was believed that certain minerals contained in the "special" water of Vidago had curative properties that helped solve digestive problems. You will have the privilege of staying at the famous Vidago Palace, a popular retreat for some of Portugal's monarchs in the early 20th century.
Day 2: Vidago to Vila Real - 54 km
A cycling stage that promises beautiful landscapes and the crossing of pretty villages.
Most of this spectacular route will be along an old railroad line. You will pass by old abandoned train stations. Halfway along the route, in Vila Pouca de Aguiar, the railroad joins the Corgo River, which originates here and is one of the tributaries of the Douro River, and continues along the old railroad until Vila Rea. You will spend the night in a charming and environmentally friendly rural estate.
Day 3: Vila Real to Vilarinho de São Romão - 32 km
Today you will cross the mountains of the Douro region.
During your bike ride, you will pass through small, isolated and rustic villages, hidden in the middle of the Douro mountains, as if they were lost in time. You will then pass by the Mamoa de Madorras, an ancient burial mound dating back to the Bronze Age, as well as a beautiful chapel known as the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Azinheira. You then arrive at São Martinho da Anta, a small emblematic town that is the birthplace of Miguel Torga, one of the greatest Portuguese writers of the 20th century. This stage ends around Sabrosa, the birthplace of the famous Ferdinand Magellan, who was the first person (with his crew) to sail around the world! It is here that you will spend the night.
Day 4: Vilarinho de São Romão to Pinhao - 30 km
Today you will enjoy again the unique and beautiful landscapes of the Douro.
This experience begins halfway through the route, on a long, scenic descent, where you will find yourself surrounded by growing vineyards with unobstructed views of the Douro River. You will also pass through villages of character, such as Covas do the Douro. These villages depend entirely on the wine production in the region and have done so for many years. At the end of the bike ride, you will arrive at the picturesque town of Pinhão, famous for its landscapes, immersive views and historic train station. Enjoy this stage with exceptional landscapes.
Day 5: Loop around Pinhao - 18 or 38 km
This day is reserved for exploring the surroundings of Pinhão and its beautiful landscapes classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have the choice between two possible itineraries, of varying difficulty, both of which pass through wineries and typical Douro villages. On the longer route, you will be able to visit the village of Favaios, known for its Moscatel wine, but also for its archeological marks, its stately homes, its religious monuments and its gastronomy. Coming back to Pinhão along the river, you will understand why this region is one of the most beautiful wine regions.
Day 6: Pinhão to Peso da Régua - 27 or 47 km
Today, you can leave directly by bike from Pinhão or take the train to Covelinhas.
As the day before, you will have different options in terms of routes. Once you arrive in Covelinhas, you will start riding on a panoramic road along the river and its landscapes. The longest route has a strong difference in altitude between the valleys. The shorter route goes up the Corgo Valley along the Corgo River. Both bike routes end with an easy descent to Peso da Régua where you can visit the Douro Museum before crossing the river and arriving at your accommodation, a winery. What better way to end a day of cycling in Portugal than with a wine tasting?
Day 7: Loop around Peso da Régua - 28 km
Enjoy this beautiful last stage of cycling in the Douro Valley.
Once again, you will have the choice between two different routes, which have the same level of difficulty. The first option is to ride along the Douro River on a paved road. The second option is to climb the mountain towards Lamego, a charming town located in the heart of the vineyard-covered hills of the Alto Douro region. Among the most famous sites are the chapel of São Pedro de Balsemão (the second oldest chapel in Europe) and the cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Assunção. Both bike tours offer amazing and unforgettable landscapes.
Day 8: Transfer from Peso da Régua to Porto
This is the end of your bike trip in the Douro Valley.
Today, a transfer to Porto airport is planned. However, there is an optional possibility to make the return trip by river cruise, and finish your visit to the Douro region in style.