total: 319km (198mi)
level 3 (3.2)
daily average: 64km (40mi)
Welcome at Lisbon airport, transfer to Sesimbra and briefing about your cycling tour in Portugal.
Cycling Along the Wonderful Coast of Arrábida Natural Park
The first day of this road bike tour starts in Sesimbra, a small fisherman village on the coast, protected by the slope of a hill. So, we start right there, near the sea level. But once you leave the hotel you immediately start to climb up the hill, during 3km with about 6% of grade average. The second climb of the day will only start when you have to cross the Arrábida Hill Natural Park, and 4km more of climbing are waiting for you, with 4% of grade average. When you reach the top of your track you will start a steep and winding decent to finish with a gradual and pleasant decent until the end of the route. 🙂
level 3 (2.8)
Crossing the River Sado to Troia
This is a longer bike day, comparing with the previous day, because it is almost flat until the end. The roads are very quiet and calm, within a pine tree and cork tree environment :). Almost at the end of the day you start feeling your legs, when you start a 2km climb with about 5% of grade to get to the center of the town and the hotel for tonight.
level 3 (3.0)
The Beautiful Beaches of the Natural Park
This is the longest day of the whole bicycle tour. It is also the hardest day, not because of the climbs but because of the length. The day starts with a quiet and winding road within a small cork tree forest :). The road leads you again to the coast. Now you are in another Natural Park, the biggest and the longest protected coast of Europe. After km 80 you start feeling the weight on your legs with a smooth but long climb, more because you are at lunch time, just when you feel more heat from the day ;). Control your energy and your breathing, and you will reach the end. 🙂
level 4 (4.2)
Riding Towards South to Sagres
You start the bike day with a long and pleasant decent until the next small town :). From here you will ride a few kilometers on a national road, to enter again in the National Park roads. You will see that the landscape of today is very different from yesterday: more people, more “civilization” ;). After this small town you start a small climb with 3km but very smooth (1.5% grade). You are again in the Natural Park of Vicentine Coast and the Southwest of Alentejo. A fast and winding descent is waiting for you (control your speed), and at km 34 the last climb of the day will appear, with 5km distance and about 2% of grade, …”piece of cake”! 😀
level 3 (3.2)
The Coast of Algarve
This is the last day of your road bike tour in Portugal. A short day because you need time to visit Lagos, a beautiful town to visit. It seems that this day is easy but it is not. In other words, it is not a “difficult day” but you have many ups and downs along the way, with short but steep climbs. For example, at km 23 you will find a very steep climb with less than 1km long, but the sign on the side of that road tells you that the climb is 16% of grade!!. …I know, that only happens during 15 or 20 meters, …but the grade is there!! Don’t forget that you are in the south coast of Portugal, so short ups and downs will continue until the end of the day. Just before the end of your cycling day don’t forget to go behind the Lighthouse and visit the famous rock formations (take the bicycle with you!) ;).
level 3 (2.7)
After breakfast transfer to Lisbon airport (3-hour drive)