Douro and Estrela Mountains Bike Tour

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ One of the most stunning cycling routes in Europe
✓ Ride one of the longest downhills in Portugal
✓ Learn how Burel wool is produced by visiting the old factory in Manteigas
✓ Get to ride from an alpine landscape to the UNESCO Douro wine region
✓ Meet our friend Barriguda while baking bread in a century old wood-fired oven
✓ Taste Portugal’s culinary heritage in foods like Polvo à lagareiro, roast octopus in olive oil

EAT

Sample sheep’s milk cheese, suckling pig and goat kid. Octopus, salted cod and the highest quality local olive oil.
Local restaurants and taverns carefully selected for their authenticity and quality.

 

 

DRINK

White Ports with flavors of Citrus peel and roasted nuts, Dark Ports with flavors of raspberry, hazelnuts and chocolate. Alvarinho green wine with seafood. Local craft beers. Full bodied Douro table wine.

TOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1:

WARM UP RIDE AT THE TOP OF PORTUGAL

Welcome to Portugal!

Following our meeting in Lisbon, the oldest city in Western Europe, we will transfer to Casa das Penhas Douradas in Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain in mainland Portugal.

After a light lunch and a historical introduction to our country, it’s time for the individual bike fitting and let’s take off for our first ride – a relaxing 8km loop in alpine landscape.

 

  • Meals: Dinner
  • Destination: Penhas Douradas, Serra da Estrela
  • Accomplished: 8km, elevation gain: 150 meters
  • Accomodations: Casa das Penhas Douradas

DAY 2:

DOWN THE GLACIAL VALLEY

Today’s ride includes the descent of the Serra da Estrela from the highest point of mainland Portugal, sitting at 1,993 meters.

The serpentine descent through the glacial valley of the Zêzere for 20km is difficult

to match, only the Burel factory, and what they produce there, would make us stop.

Here they reinvented what was once the main industry in the region: Burel – the best use one can make of wool. The old machines went back to work and now they create contemporary and stylish items (they have a shop).

After a light lunch in Manteigas we return by van to our Spa Hotel in Penhas Douradas or ride the challenging climb back through a scenic pine forest.

 

  • Meals: Breakfast / Dinner
  • Destination: Penhas Douradas, Serra da Estrela
  • Accomplished: 21 km, elevation gain: 80 meters
  • Longer option: 34 km, elevation gain: 860 meters
  • Accomodations: Casa das Penhas Douradas

DAY 3:

FROM AN ALPINE LANDSCAPE TO THE HISTORICAL VILLAGES

Along the 32 km descent we will pass through juniper forests, small waterfalls and photogenic granite blocks.

This is the queen ride when it comes to downhill! We are in the heart of Beira Alta, land of the famous warrior Viriato, who used this remote region as an advantage to confront the Romans.

Later, when Portugal became a nation, many of these villages near the Spanish border built their castles, most surviving to this day. There are, however, Castles previous to the Crusades, one of them being the Castle of Trancoso.

After lunch in the historic village of Trancoso, choose to van transfer or to ride, both will take us to the award-winning Spa Hotel Casas do Côro, an excellent example of how to revitalize a sleepy historical village that’s off the beaten track.

Dinner at Casas do Côro, local hearty food.

 

  • Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Destination: Marialva
  • Accomplished: 67 km, elevation gain: 750 meters
  • Longer option: 88 km, elevation gain: 1100 meters
  • Accomodations: Hotel Spa das Casas do Côro

DAY 4:

WELCOME TO DOURO!

After a delicious breakfast of locally grown fruits, homemade bread and cakes we’ll be properly fueled for our ride out to Douro.

A challenging and diverse route takes us to mountain villages and terraced vineyard landscapes down the slopes.

Today’s destination is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site, Foz Côa Valley is considered “the most important open-air Palaeolithic rock art site”.

We will visit and dine at the award winning Côa Museum, at the top of the hill with a spectacular panoramic view!

  • Meals: Breakfast / Dinner
  • Destination: Vila Nova de Foz Côa
  • Accomplished: 62 km, elevation gain: 1000 meters
  • Longer option: 69 km, elevation gain: 1100 meters
  • Accomodations: Casa Vermelha

DAY 5:

CYCLING AND SAILING IN DOURO RIVER

We’ll leave the Côa valley on a corkscrew road along almond and olive trees, only to enjoy the 8km downhill to Quinta do Vesuvio, a magnificent 280 years old Port Wine producer.

From the small pier of Quinta do Vesuvio we will descend the river using a rabelo, the traditional vessel to transport the wine barrels to the city of Porto, landing in Pinhão, where we will stay at the stunning Hotel Vintage House on the river bank of the Douro.

An extra riding option takes you up to Sabrosa, the birthplace village of our most famous navigator: Ferdinand Magellan. You can ́t get lost on this one!

 

  • Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
  • Destination: Pinhão
  • Accomplished: 33 km, elevation gain: 500 meters
  • Long option: 49 km, elevation gain: 1060 meters
  • Accomodations: Vintage House

DAY 6:

MUSCAT AND OLIVE OIL

A challenging but spectacular loop takes us to the epicenter of Port Wine production!

We start with a corkscrew climb where there are no shortage of photo opportunities over the UNESCO World Heritage landscaped terraces produced by several generations of Port-producing families.

A brief stop in the village of Favaios to taste the sweet muscat, as this is where Moscatel, a fortified wine is produced, followed by a visit to a family owned olive oil producer where we sample the Origem oils before coasting down to the Douro and the terrace of our Hotel to taste an award-winning Port.

Is it possible to overdose on regional products? Never!

 

  • Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
  • Destination: Pinhão
  • Accomplished: 42 km, elevation gain: 990 meters
  • Accomodations: Vintage House

DAY 7:

COASTING ALONG THE RIVER

Today we roll along the flattest road we know in the Douro region, the N222 road, from Pinhão to Peso da Régua.

The rabelos and the vineyard reflections in the river would inspire any painter and follow us to Quinta da Pacheca, an active wine producer surrounded by vineyards and a stone’s throw from the city of Peso da Régua.

In the afternoon you have to choose between a wine tour of our Hotel / Cellar or a scenic loop of 27 km that will create an appetite for a fine dining experience at Quinta da Pacheca.

 

  • Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Destination: Cambres, Peso da Régua
  • Accomplished: 31 km, elevation gain: 300 meters
  • Long option adds: 62 km, elevation gain: 580 meters
  • Accomodations: Quinta da Pacheca

DAY 8:

ADEUS DOURO!

Relax this morning over a well-deserved gourmet breakfast before our drive back to Porto, where your guides will take you to your hotel or the airport.

 

  • Meals: Breakfast

DOURO & ESTRELA MOUNTAINS BIKE TOUR ITINERARY MAP

ARRIVAL DETAILS:

Airport City: Lisbon, Portugal
Pick-Up Location: : Lisbon city center or Lisbon airport, Portugal

DEPARTURE DETAILS:

Airport City: Porto, Portugal
Drop-Off Location: Porto airport, Portugal
Drop-Off Time: noon

BIKES

TOUR GUIDES

Why choose to ride the Serra da Estrela and Douro Bike Tour?

Serra da Estrela is the highest mountain in mainland Portugal. We will ride along a glacial valley dating back thousands of years, in which you will have the chance to visit a unique wool factory which produces Burel*

Discover two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Foz Côa, which is considered “the most important open air Palaeolithic rock art site”, and Douro Valley where wine has been produced for over 2000 years. This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty, waiting for us to ride through. Visit wine producers, taste the wines and the local gastronomy, get to know the locals.

 

* Burel was originally created by the highland people to protect themselves from the rain, snow and cold winds up in the mountains, used to make capes, coats, vests and even pants; but mainly workwear for farmers and shepherds.

BOOKING REQUEST

Private Tours