total: 271km (168mi)
41% asphalt + 59% dirt-roads and bike lanes
level 3 (3.2)
daily average: 54km (34mi)
Welcome at Lisbon or Porto airport, transfer to Castro Laboreiro, followed by a briefing about the tour.
The fortified town at the border with Spain
We can say that this tour starts on “the top of Portugal”. The first 3km are on a climb with 3% of grade (average) and then the decents start. The second descent from km 11 until km 17 has -5% of grade, and the third descent, from km 22 to km 29 has -7% of grade, so please control your bicycle and your enthusiasm! 😀 The way for today is mainly on asphalt.
level 3 (3.3)
The Atlantic coast
Today it is a very beautiful day, mainly on bike lanes along the river that makes the border with Spain. Then, you meet the mouth of the river and it continues along the Atlantic Coast, sometimes on bike-lanes, other times on the asphalted ways and it also includes some sections on cobblestones. You will have a very short but steep climb at km 47, a small section on bike-lane that is only 200 meters long. Grany gear is necessary! Further, to come down, the way is a little bit rough and it is better to push the bike (100 meters long). The way continues very flat, always along the coast with really great views, until you get to the hotel. It is an easy day!
level 3 (2.5)
Crossing a dense forest to get to another medieval town
The ride of today is a little bit different: you go inland and it is a kind of a Safari, in the forest at the begining, always on dirt roads, some single tracks in the middle, and along the river. You will find some dust on the way, if the weather is too dry. Pay attention to the pavement! The second half of the day is more demanding. The environment is more hilly, with several ups and downs on the road. At km 45 you will have 1km of climb with 5% of grade, and at km 47 you will have another climb that is almost 2km long and with 4.5% of grade. After this you will soon get to the hotel.
level 3 (3.0)
The most typical views in Minho region
Today you leave the “water level” and you ride further inland. The difficulty of the day is a long climb of 6km and 4% of grade on asphalt. …Little by little you can do it! The rest of the day you still continue on asphalt and the way is always up and down here and there.
level 3 (3.0)
Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal
Today, the last day, is the hardest day. We hope that you preserved some energy on your legs for today. Don’t waste time and avoid the lunch time because of the heat. The last town is a very warm place. The first long climb of 7km begins at km 13. It is a beautiful climb, in the shade, and along the winding road in the Natural Park. It is doable. Control your cadence and your breathing. The climb is 6% grade.
The second big climb of the day starts at km 38 and takes 5km with 5% of grade. Another climb that is doable, as long as you respect your own cadence and breathing. The way is on an empty road, always in the shade of the trees. After this, the other small climbs ahead are “a peace of cake”! 🙂
level 4 (4.4)
After breakfast we leave to Porto or Lisbon airport