* Please note, for logistical reasons our Portugal tours operate for parties of two or more *
The 5 day Portugal Atlantic Coast Cycling Tour is for those who want to discover the treasures of Portugal's Atlantic coast but are short on time. You'll begin your adventure beside the port of Lisbon, then sweep along the coast to begin your ascent into the historic mountains of Sintra. From there you'll descend along the coast, exploring some of Europes most pristine beaches and surfing Meccas.
Next up is a delve into the agricultural heartland of Portugal, where you'll be sampling some of the finest and most interesting wines the country has to offer. Get up and close with all stages of winemaking from vine to bottle, meeting the vineyard owners in the process. We then step back in to the middle ages, as you walk the walls of Obidós castle. Continuing to the surf city of Nazaré and the sleepy town of Figueira da Foz, before catching a train back to the start point of Lisbon.
You'll cover every type of surface there is. From flat coastal cycle paths, city side street cobble, sweeping forest roads to steep rock scramble. Youll be kept on your pedals and entertained the whole way through. All of this while visiting four of Portugal's "7 wonders".
Totaling 246 km in 3 days and across some tough gradients, we highly recommend choosing an e-bike unless you are at a very high level of fitness. If you're going raw leg power, the gravel bikes we offer would be the better choice.
Delve in deeper with our day by day itinerary below. If you are looking to see it all and at a good pace, we highly recommend the 9 day Portugal Atlantic coast cycle tour. Alternatively, check out the rest of our Portugal cycle tours for for a timeline that suits you.
Here lies the most westerly capital city in continental Europe. Famed for its steep streets and bright coloured buildings, Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal for over 750 years resulting in a city awash in history. There was a great Earthquake in 1755 causing 85% of the city’s structures to be destroyed, so the large majority of the city was rebuilt over centuries since then. Some buildings did survive including the Lisbon Cathedral (1147 AD), São Vicente de Fora (1629 AD) and Carmo Convent (1423 AD) which has been left in a state of disrepair to remember the great earthquake. Some of the must see sights include the Alfama district with its quirky and bright coloured, narrow cobbled streets. With its steep stairways and paths, it’s the ideal spot for warming up the calves before you set off. No visit to Lisbon would be complete without taking a quick ride on the rickety Tram 28.
Finish the day at the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. Situated beside a chapel dating back to the 13th century, it offers uninterrupted views over the city and Tagus river, as the sun slowly sets over the Atlantic.
Distance: 70.4 km / Elevation gain: 998 m
After picking up your trusty two wheeled stead, we’re setting off. After 1.5km of adjusting to cycling in the city, we’ll take a brief stop at the Praça do Comércio. This large plaza faces over the harbour on the Tagus river. Continuing on along the banks of the Tagus, we’ll pass under the 25 de Abril Bridge. Next up we’ll find ourselves at the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the sailors). It is a tribute to the Portuguese Age of Discovery, a period that brought great prosperity to Portugal. On to Belém Tower (UNESCO Heritage Site), a 16th century fortified tower sitting on the Tagus and the embarking point for many of Portugal’s most famous expeditions. Looping back now and passing the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (UNESCO Heritage Site).
We now embark on a short train ride from Belém to Cascais. Popularised as a seaside getaway by the Portuguese royalty in the 1800s, today Cascais is one of the wealthiest districts on the Iberian Peninsula. Places of interest are the Palácio dos Condes de Castro Guimarães & Casa de Santa Maria. Take a moment to stroll around the Marina and the pastel streets of Old Town.
Continuing, we’ll cycle along possibly Portugal’s most scenic bike lane. Endless, pristine beaches as far as the eye can see as well as the Boca do Inferno caves. Now we begin our long ascent into Sintra National Park. Passing through winding forest roads, you’ll have this whole remote area to yourself to appreciate the ancient trees towering above. The reward at the end of the climb is Portugal’s most famous and photographed landmark, Palácio da Pena. Sintra is home to five palaces, so we can’t just stop at one. From the opulence of Pena Palace, to the oddity of Quinta da Regaleira.
Time to begin our descent for the second half of our day and get our first taste of off road trails. We’ll be spending the night at the surf Mecca of Portugal, Ericeira. Home to many international surf competitions, you’ll see some of the world’s biggest surf pros riding out here.
Distance: 98.5 km / Elevation gain: 1,168m
This is a day with huge variety and contrasting worlds. Setting off from Ericeira, it’s time to leave the ocean and cut into the mountains. The first half of the day is hoovering up the kms through small rural towns and villages including a quick cut through a quarry. At the half way point, you’ll have arrived in Óbidos, a fortified town that has the honour of being one of the best preserved mediaeval towns in the whole of Europe. No matter where you look, there is a postcard view and you truly feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
After you’ve managed to step away from the beauty of Óbidos, it’s time to make your way to the first agriculture visit of your tour. Vinhos Cortém is a boutique vineyard and winery that is quite unique. After our whistles are sufficiently wet, we’re on for a home run to Nazaré. There’s quite a bit of hilly terrain with some technical stretches, but as you’re coming to the last stretch, you’ll be treated to a view that will leave you speechless. Nazaré is most renowned for is Praia do Norte (North Beach). The top 3 biggest waves ever surfed happened at this beach due to its unique bathymetry. Here you will spot the absolute elite of the surfing world and it really is something remarkable to see them at work.
Distance: 77.7 km / Elevation gain: 368 m
The day begins at the main viewpoint in Nazaré, Miradouro do Suberco. Offering a sweeping view over the town, it’s a great place to take a few snaps for the album. We’ll cycle a couple of hundred metres, lock up our bike and walk a small stretch to the Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo. From here we’ll continue North on the EuroVelo 1 Atlantic Coast route. Although one of our longest days, this is a relatively easy stretch and largely cycle lane for the majority. We’re hugging the coast with stunning beach views, so it’s largely flat as well. The first point of interest is Praia de Vitória. A pristine beach that has more of a locals’ feel than some of the other beaches we’ve seen so far. We’re going to crack on and hoover up some kilometres before reaching our halfway point, Lagoa da Ervedeira for a quick break.
We’ll break into the home stretch to Figueira Da Foz. When we reach Figueira Da Foz, the Edgar Cardoso bridge is under construction for the next few years, so we’re getting on a short ferry to take us across the river. Figueira feels very slow and sleepy for a city. Perfect to have a nighttime stroll down the promenade or a visit to the Casino Da Figueira if you’re feeling lucky.
We’ll take an early morning train back to Lisbon. Catch up on any of the wonderful sights you may have missed at the start of the tour.
includes & excludes
- 4 nights accommodation in charming B&Bs, Guesthouses and Hotels
- A hearty breakfast each morning
- A visit to a world class winery and vineyard
- Train transfer back to Lisbon
- Luggage Transfers from one accommodation to the next
- Detailed itinerary, GPX files and printable maps of your route
- Tips on local attractions, history & evening meals
- Rear panniers and one way rental fee (when bike rental is selected during booking)
- On call support before and during your tour
- Flights and transfers to and from the trail heads
- Lunches & Dinners
- Bike rental (costs are added once you select your preferred bike type during the booking process)