Bicycling and Walking Vacations Call a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Biking Southern Portugal: Alentejo to the Algarve

Ebikes Available on this TourBegin in Alentejo, where you’ll pedal through landscapes full of cork forests, vineyards, and olive groves to Évora, known for its well-preserved medieval center. Continue along the Guadiana River to the Algarve—Europe’s sunniest destination.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 11 - 37 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 14 - 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Ideal for energetic beginners to more experienced riders.
  • Airfare Packages Available

New for 2018!

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available

Limited quantities —
first come, first serve.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Biking Southern Portugal: Alentejo to the Algarve

Rolling plains harbor lush vineyards, wheat fields and neat cork and olive groves. Medieval fortresses perch atop graceful hill towns. Charming fishing towns line the Guadiana River. These are the treasures of Portugal’s Alentejo and Algarve, steeped in history and breathtaking vistas, and ideal for cycling. You’ll ride into sleepy white-washed villages, remarkable medieval cities and the bucolic Guadiana Valley, pausing for a farm-fresh lunch, a glimpse of potters at work, and a tour of an historic copper mine. It’s a Portugal you never knew existed, and one you’ll never forget.

Cultural Highlights

  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Évora and the Chapel of the Bones
  • Discover the charm of hilltop Monsaraz
  • Cycle past acres of cork and olive trees
  • Step back in time during your stay in the ancient town of Mértola
  • Follow the Guadiana River by bike and by boat
  • Relax at an elegant retreat in the scenic Algarve
  • Savor Portugal’s traditional cuisine and wines

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of rolling terrain and moderate-to-challenging hills. Our VBT support van is always available for those who need assistance. Ideal for energetic beginners and experienced cyclists.

Average Daily Mileage: 11 – 37 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 5 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Évora
Mar 62°/46° Apr 64°/48° May 70°/52°  Sep 81°/60°  Oct 71°/55°  Nov 62°/49°

Average Precipitation (in.) – Évora
Mar 1.6  Apr 2.3  May 2.0  Sep 1.2  Oct 2.7  Nov 3.0

What’s Included:

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available on this tour.

Limited quantities — first come, first serve. Learn more.

Bicycle Vacation Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in 3-, 4-, and 5-star hotels
  • 15 meals – 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

International Air Package

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 6 nights in 3-, 4-, and 5-star hotels
    PLUS: 2 extra nights in Lisbon in the historical Pousada de Lisboa – a member of “Small Luxury Hotels”
  • 17 meals – 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • ALL overseas transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions:
    Pre-trip: Lisbon – 2 nights for only $445
    Post-trip: The Algarve – 2 nights from only $345-$495*

Both Vacation Options Include

New! Reading List

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $745 | Land Only Single Supplement: $445

Please note: Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only. Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer.

United-Airlines2007399E-LOGO AFKLM QStar Alliance

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Lisbon, Portugal

Depart from home and travel to Portugal. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.

DAY 2: Arrive in Lisbon

Upon arrival at Lisbon’s International Airport, proceed through immigration; claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is delayed, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area; VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you. After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign. Transfer to your Lisbon hotel in the city center. Transfer time is approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Lisbon.

Hotel:
Pousada de Lisboa

DAY 3: Bicycle Vacation begins / Évora

VBT Bicycle Vacation only guests: Meet your VBT Representative at the Pousada de Lisboa at 9:00 am. The hotel is located at Praça do Comércio, 31-34, 1100-148 Lisbon and the phone number is +351 21 040 7640. Please be dressed in your riding attire. If you are so delayed that you will miss the morning transfer from here, then we suggest you take a train to Évora at your own expense. There are direct trains departing from Lisbon’s Estação do Oriente train station and the cost is approximately 13 euros – journey time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. From the Évora train station you may take a taxi (approximately 20 minutes) to your hotel outside of Évora. Cost of the taxi is approximately 20 euros. Please contact the Lisbon hotel to advise them of any travel delays or changes so the staff can pass the message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package & Pre-Trip Extension guests: Please have your luggage outside your room by 8:15 am. Make sure you have your VBT luggage tags on your bags. After breakfast, meet your VBT Representative in the lobby of your hotel at 9:00 am. Please be dressed in your riding attire.

Your VBT Representative will escort you by shuttle (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes) to join your VBT Trip Leaders. You will depart Lisbon via the expansive Vasco de Gama Bridge, the longest bridge in Europe, spanning the mighty Tagus River. Heading east, you will arrive on the scenic plains of the Alentejo region, known for its stunning vistas and abundant cork and olive groves. You will meet your VBT Trip Leaders for a bike-fitting and safety session, then depart on a warm-up ride amidst this scenic region of rustic farmland and gentle hills. Afterwards, get to know your fellow travelers over lunch before shuttling to your hotel outside of the historic medieval town of Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Your accommodation for the next two nights is in the Convento do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa. The 15th-century convent is listed as a national monument for the many important noble figures who have met here throughout the centuries to shape Portugal’s history.

This evening, join the hotel’s sommelier in the Convent’s wine cellar to sample some of the region’s wines before enjoying a sumptuous welcome dinner in the hotel’s historic dining room.

Hotel: Convento do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa
Meals: B (for Air/Extension Guests only), L, D
Daily Options: 11 miles (17 kms)

DAY 4: Historic Villages of Redondo and Monsaraz / Walking tour of Évora

After breakfast, cycle from your hotel to the white-washed town of Redondo, home to a 500-year-old Portuguese pottery tradition. During free time here, you can visit one of the pottery shops, perhaps meeting a local craftsman and admiring their unique pottery designs. Later, continue cycling across the plains of Alentejo, following scenic country roads bordered by cork forests. Our destination looms in the distance: hilltop Monsaraz, one of Portugal’s oldest settlements, and its imposing castle. Enthusiastic riders may enjoy the climb into town; the VBT van will be available if you need assistance or would like more time to explore Monsaraz.

With Monsaraz’s ideal hilltop location and endless vistas of the Alentejo and neighboring Spain, it has been occupied by various civilizations since pre-historic times. After the town’s Roman occupation, the Visigoths, Arabs, Mozarabs, Jews, and Christians settled here as well. As you explore its narrow warrens and admire it white-washed, red-roofed houses, you can marvel at the remarkable view of the Alqueva Dam and the second-largest artificial lake in Europe. Enjoy lunch at a local café, then take more time to explore before shuttling back to your hotel.

Later, you will venture into Évora for a visit to the São Francisco and its infamous and eerie Chapel of Bones, constructed by 16th-century Franciscan monks. Then join a local guide for a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Évora, wandering atmospheric alleyways past old patrician mansions and white-washed houses with bright yellow trim. Enjoy dinner on your own in Évora this evening.

Hotel: Convento do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 17 or 27 miles (28 or 43 kms)

DAY 5: Baixo Alentejo Region / Mértola

After breakfast, shuttle south to the small town of Castro Verde in the lower Alentejo region. Today’s rides introduce you to the arid landscapes of the Campo Branco, or White Plains, territory. As you cycle, you may pass shepherds grazing their herds on wide-open spaces. For lunch, stop at a typical Portuguese farm, or herdade, for a farm-fresh meal with warm, welcoming hosts. After, shuttle or ride to the remarkable fortified hilltop town of Mértola and your hotel.

After settling into your accommodations, join a local guide for a fascinating exploration of Mértola. This town’s history dates back to the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans. The most important remnant from the 500-year Moorish occupation is the medieval mosque, the only mosque to have survived the period in Portugal. Today it is Mértola’s main church, though it boasts many of its original Moorish features. This evening, dine at your leisure in one of the town’s restaurants.

Hotel: Hotel Museu
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 23 – 37 miles (36 – 59 kms)

DAY 6: Mina São Domingos / Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana / Guadiana River Cruise

Today begins with a 30-minute shuttle to the small village of Mina São Domingos, home to deserted open-pit mines. The Romans mined this area for gold and silver for almost 400 years. The mine was deserted until 1854, when an Italian miner staked claim to it, only to pass ownership to a French syndicate. Later, the English mining company Mason and Barry turned it into a large copper mining enterprise as the demand for copper grew during the Industrial Revolution. And so it was that this little-known region played a part in introducing electricity to Portugal. The mine closed in 1966 and today provides insight into another slice of Portugal’s history.

After your fascinating visit, shuttle to the start of today’s ride. Spend the majority of your morning cycling through the Guadiana Valley Natural Park, one of 30 areas in Portugal officially protected by the government. You will wind your way through small towns of well-preserved traditional architecture and coast to the banks of the Guadiana River. The river’s small port village of Pomarão was specially constructed for the nearby mining operations. Savor lunch in a riverside café overlooking the marina. Then embark a privately chartered boat for a relaxing afternoon on the River Guadiana. Your cruise delivers you right to our hotel dock in Mértola. Those seeking a longer ride option today may cycle back to the hotel.

This evening, as weather permits, enjoy dinner on your hotel terrace overlooking the Guadiana River.

Hotel: Hotel Museu
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 16 miles (26 kms)

DAY 7: Transfer to the Algarve / Guadiana River loop ride

After breakfast, shuttle southward to the Algarve and the banks of the Guadiana River. The Guadiana is the fourth longest river on the Iberian Peninsula and serves as the natural border between Spain’s Andalucía region and Portugal’s Alentejo and Algarve regions.  Today’s lovely loop ride traces the scenic banks on the Portugal side while providing distant views across the river towards Spain. At the end of your ride, savor a tasty picnic lunch served by your Trip Leaders.

After, you will shuttle (approximately 1 hour) to our lovely accommodations in the Algarve, the Vila Monte Farm House, and settle in to one of breezy, elegant suites. Enjoy an authentic Algarvian countryside experience here in an elegant setting, removed from the bustle of coastal resorts and embraced by a distinctly Portuguese beauty and tranquility.

Enjoy delicious regional Algarve cuisine made with the freshest of ingredients during your dinner here this evening.

Hotel: Vila Monte Farm House
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 20 miles (32 km)

DAY 8: Loop ride from hotel / Farewell Dinner

After a sumptuous breakfast, enjoy a leisurely reel through the surrounding Algarve countryside. You may pause in the small fishing town of Fuzeta whose colorful boats bob along the town’s riverbanks. There’ll be time to browse the small covered market to view some of the catches of the day and enjoy lunch at one of the lively cafés. Alternately, you may cycle back to your resort for lunch and an afternoon at leisure, taking advantage of the property’s pools or spa. Afternoon ride options will also be available today.

This evening, join your fellow travelers and Trip Leaders to reminisce about your Portuguese adventures during a fireside farewell reception, followed by a delightful dinner with local wines.

Hotel: Vila Monte Farm House
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 22 miles (35 kms)

DAY 9: VBT Bicycling Vacation Only and Air Package guests Transfer to Lisbon / Begin your optional Post-Trip Extension

VBT Bicycle Vacation Only guests: Enjoy breakfast before your transfer to Lisbon (approximately 3.5 hours).  Your tour concludes mid-day at the Pousada de Lisboa hotel in Lisbon. Important: Flight departures from Lisbon prior to 4:00 pm are not recommended. If you depart earlier, you are responsible for your own transfer arrangements from the last hotel to Lisbon’s airport.

VBT Air Package guests: Our morning journey to Lisbon will take approximately 3.5 hours. You will have the remainder of the afternoon and evening to explore the historic capital of Portugal. You will spend tonight at the Pousada de Lisboa, a member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” located on the Praça do Comércio in the heart of Lisbon. The city is a pleasure to explore by foot. Wander the atmospheric streets of Bairro Alto, the Alfama and the Baixa, pausing in a charming praça, or square, to sip coffee or a glass of vinho verde or port wine for which Portugal is known. This evening, you might catch a fado performance at a local hall. You will receive City Information in your Final Travel Booklet, with recommendations for transportation options, cafés, museums and restaurants.

VBT Post-trip Extension Guests: You have a full day to explore the Algarve. The Vila Monte Farm House offers a roster of activities (at an additional expense) to help you immerse yourself in the wonders of the Algarve. You might visit the Castro Marim salt ponds, source of the farm house’s salt. Explore the Algarve’s undulating hills and natural beauty by horseback or by foot. Or explore nearby Tavira, a typical seaside Portuguese town. Or you can simply enjoy the amenities of the resort.

Air Package Hotel: Pousada de Lisboa
Post-trip Extension Hotel: Vila Monte Farm House
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for home

After breakfast*, transfer to the Lisbon International airport (approximately 30-45 minutes) for your departing flight**. Please note: Ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

* Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

** Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

Portugal Bike Tour MAp

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Accommodations

Biking Southern Portugal: Alentejo to the Algarve

Convento do Espinheiro

The Convento do Espinheiro is a proud Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa. Steeped in history, it is listed as one of Portugal’s national monuments for the many significant noble figures who met here to shape the history and character of the nation. The 15th-century convent has been restored to offer all the amenities of a modern resort amidst a peaceful and inspiring atmosphere. During your stay, sample one of its five restaurants and bars, the indoor or outdoor pool, and health club. Enjoy a meditative stroll in the almost 20 acres of gardens, or a contemplative visit to its onsite historic church. The wine cellar features some of the region’s preferred wines.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Museu

A standout property in Mértola, the Hotel Museu—a literal “museum hotel”—rests on a foundation that dates back to Roman times, as guests can see from a glance through the glass floor of the lobby. Onsite exhibits showcase additional artifacts from the Roman and Moorish period. Tucked between the historic center of Mértola and the banks of the Guadiana River, the hotel offers splendid riverside vistas. Rooms are simple yet boast all the amenities of a typical 3-star hotel, and more. Enjoy dinner on the scenic hotel terrace overlooking the river.
Free WiFi Included

Vila Monte Farm House

Your hosts at the Vila Monte Farm House invite you to settle in to Portugal’s picturesque seaside haven. At this unique and authentic resort, buildings are fashioned after the typical architecture of the Algarve with chimneys, terraces and white-washed stairways. Guests who are joining us on the post extension can indulge in the property’s Junior Suites and Superior Suites, set among orange trees and offering all the amenities of an elegant retreat.  The Farm House restaurant serves regional delicacies made from the freshest ingredients from local markets or from the resort’s own gardens. Relax in one of the swimming pools or treat yourself to a massage in the gardens. The resort’s Guest Assistants are on hand to help you customize your stay, whether you simply want to relax or explore more with several available optional excursions.
Free WiFi Included

Pousada de Lisboa

Located in the center of Lisbon, Pousada de Lisboa sits in the most chic part of the city overlooking the famous Praça do Comércio along the Tagus River. A former house of kings and meeting place for ministries, this Small Luxury Hotel has been transformed into sophisticated and comfortable base from which to explore Lisbon. Enjoy the small indoor swimming pool and private sunbathing deck, a spa with sauna and Turkish bath, and easy access to the Avenida da Liberdade, the city’s commercial district. Each elegant room exudes the classic and timeless beauty of Lisbon’s Golden Age.
Free WiFi Included
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Lisbon, Portugal

Pre-Trip Extension - Lisbon

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Algarve, Portugal

Post-Trip Extension - The Algarve

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2 nights for only $345-495*

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