total: 207km (129mi)
74% asphalt + 26% dirt-roads + bike lanes
level 3 (2.7)
daily average: 41km (26mi)
Welcome at Porto (or Lisbon) airport. 1-hour drive to Valença (from Porto). Briefing about your cycling tour in Portugal.
Cycling Along the Coast
This first day of your bicycle tour 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 the way 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 meter long. Grany gear of your bicycle is necessary! The way continues very flat, always along the coast with really great views, until you get to the town. Now it is time to climb to the Pousada that is almost on the top of the hill. The total of the climb is 5km and the average grade is 3.5%. This climb is divided in 3 sections divided with some small flat section; on the 2nd section you can stop your bicycle and enjoy a great view on a great spot.
level 4 (3.5)
Along the Lima River Banks
You start your bike ride on the top of the hill. You still have a small climb to do that leads you to a very small village in the mountain. Now it is time to come down to the city :). The descent is long and winding, so you must be carefull! Control your speed! After you leave the city crossing the river on the bridge, the bike ride will be 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 so, always flat. You will find some dust on the way, if the weather is too dry. Pay attention to the pavement and you will soon be in the next town. 🙂
total: 38km (24mi)
level 2 (2.0)
The Most Typical Views in Minho Region
Today is the most difficult cyclind day of the whole bicycle tour. It is very mountainous. The first climb that starts at km 5 and finishes at km 13 (8km long) is only 3% of grade. It is made on asphalt in a very green environment :). Then, there is another small climb, 2km long and with the same inclination, etc. So, the day is like this, up and down, mainly on asphalted roads, sometimes on cobblestones, always in a very green environment with many houses here and there :). Only on the last 10km, the way starts to be more “regular”.
total: 50km (31mi)
level 4 (3.5)
Climbind the Green Luxuriant Hills
The North of Portugal is very mountainous, and this region of Minho is very green, with many trees and vegetation. So, today the bike ride is very short. You continue to bike and enjoying this beautiful landscape, you will cross a dam and, after this, the climb of the day starts. It is not a difficult climb. It is on the road and the inclination is very constant. So, you only need to keep your cadence and your breathing, nothing else. The climb is only 4km long, with 6% of grade. It is doable! 😉
level 2 (1.9)
Guimarães, the Birth Place of Portugal
Because the Pousada is at the middle of the slope, you start the bike day climbing the rest of that hill. It is a very short climb to finish it, with only one mile (1.6km). The grade is 5%. After this you will ride a long descent with -4% of grade (average) :). The next long climb, 5km long is at km 21. The climb is on asphalt (the beginning is on cobblestones) and under the trees. The grade is 5%. Some more descents beetwen and at km 33 you are already very close to the end of the bicycle tour and very near to Guimarães. So you will find more traffic on the road. However, to get to the hotel, that is on the slope of another hill, you know already what to do: you have to climb to get there :D! There are only about 4km to the end, not always climbing, but the very last small section, 150m long, is not easy because it is very steep (11% of grade), and it is made of cobblestones!!… This is the main entrance to get the front of the Monastery, that is your hotel/Pousada.
level 3 (2.7)
Departure – After breakfast transfer to Porto airport (40mn drive) or Lisbon airport (3h40m drive)