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Portugal: Porto, the Silver Coast & Lisbon

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Portugal’s scenic Silver Coast points you from Porto to Lisbon during this Self-Guided Bicycle Vacation brimming with white-sand beaches, fragrant pine forests, and historic villages.

Self-Guided Biking

  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35|
  • Biking: 2 - 5 hr
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
Self-Guided Tour
Self-Guided Tour

Starting From

10-day Self-Guided Air+

$3,895

7-day Bike Vacation Only

$2,895

Per person, double occupancy

Portugal: Porto, the Silver Coast & Lisbon

Portugal’s scenic Silver Coast points the way from Porto to Lisbon during this Self-Guided Bicycle Vacation. Cycle Atlantic shores at the pace that suits you, stopping as you wish to bask on high bluffs and white-sand beaches pounded by surf, breathe in fragrant pine forests, and linger in historic villages barely visited by tourists. Spa and beach towns steeped in history and character host you along the way while an overnight in medieval walled Óbidos adds a romantic final touch. This is Portugal’s best-kept secret; you’ll want to savor every moment.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain and moderate hills and is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. Rides are on relatively flat paved roads and bike lanes tracing the Atlantic coast. Expect more undulating terrain when crossing the small coastal hills separating the coast from the more rolling interior. You encounter some traffic when entering and exiting historic town centers and beachside bike paths and lanes. Please verify your bike selection for this tour as it is not always possible to change bikes once you arrive on tour. Travel with your friends and family—we can accommodate multiple guests on this self-guided vacation. Our 24/7 support system is available as needed.

  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35|
  • Biking: 2 - 5 hr
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
24/7 Support System 24/7 Support
System

Tour Highlights

  • Stay in diverse locales, from the spa town of Monte Real to the old fishing village of São Pedro Moel
  • Cycle along the Silver Coast’s sandy beaches pounded with Atlantic waves, pine and cork forests, and stunning rural landscapes
  • Enjoy several beach stays and a two-night stay at an accessible calm beach in Foz do Arelho
  • Indulge in Portugal’s delicious fresh seafood, enticing pastries, espresso, and wines that are affordable and excellent
  • Explore the medieval walled city of Óbidos after day trippers have left, thanks to your overnight stay here
  • Visit Alcobaça’s Gothic monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, founded by Portugal’s first king in 12th century

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Apr67º/50º

May71º/53º

Jun75º/58º

Jul77º/60º

Aug78º/60º

Sep77º/58º

Oct73º/55º

Average
Precipitation:

Apr2.4 in

May2.2 in

Jun0.9 in

Jul0.4 in

Aug0.4 in

Sep1.2 in

Oct3.4 in

What's Included

Self-Guided Air+

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to/from arrival and departure airports Check
One night in Porto and one night in Lisbon in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
6 nights in town-center boutique hotels and countryside spas Check Check
8 meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners Check Check
Transfer from Porto centrally located hotel to first hotel in Monte Real (two-hour drive) Check Check
Transfer from last hotel in Óbidos to central Lisbon (one-hour drive) Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Self-Guided Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT bike, helmet, and bike bag

Welcome orientation and bike fitting with local host

Luggage transfers

Ride with GPS and daily route notes

VBT Road Book with destination information

24/7 support system

Flat kit and multi-tool

Your choice of VBT branded gear for your adventure

Itinerary

Sat, Apr 25 to Mon, May 4 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Depart home for Portugal. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Porto airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, you must fill out a PIR form before leaving the customs area; VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Also, make sure that your VBT luggage tags are attached to your bags so that your representative can identify you.

Upon leaving customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign. Your representative welcomes you to Porto and helps you transfer via taxi or van (approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic) to your Porto hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore Porto at leisure, using the VBT City Information as your guide.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense

Hotel: PortoBay Hotel Teatro, Porto

After breakfast at Hotel Teatro, meet your VBT local host and any other VBT guests departing on the same day at 10:00 a.m. in the hotel lobby for the approximately two-hour transfer to the town of Monte Real. He or she will be carrying a VBT sign. Your transfer to the historic village of Monte Real will take approximately two hours.

The Welcome Orientation with your VBT local host includes:
• An overview of the itinerary
• Bike fitting and equipment familiarization
• Review of the Ride with GPS navigation app
• Important contact information in case you need to reach your VBT local host
• Safety briefing
• Local suggestions (restaurants, things to do, etc.)

The natural hot springs in and around Monte Real have long been considered curative. Lucky for you, your palatial hotel draws on them for their soothing therapeutic spa treatments. Before you indulge, you might want to get acquainted with your bike during an easy loop ride, or take a stroll around the extensive grounds that stretch some 60 acres. Take your time and enjoy this beautiful property. An included three-course dinner is served at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. If you wish, take advantage of the Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, or indoor heated pool this afternoon. (Spa access and treatments are at your expense).

Hotel: Termas de Mont Real
Included Meals:Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Rides:
Monte Real Loop short option: 8.9 km (5.5 miles)

What to Expect: Designed to get you used to your bike and move your legs after your flight, these two easy short loops depart from your hotel and through the town of Monte Real into the surrounding farmland and follow un-trafficked roads to do a loop on either side of the Lis River. Watch out for some uneven pavement between kilometer 5 and 7.

Get your first taste of Portugal’s coastal beauty as you cycle to the Atlantic. You traverse a route through pine forests and past fertile farms, arriving at the Ervideira Lagoon, with mirror-like waters where you might fuel up on a snack you may have brought along. You’ll see why this is a favorite spot among local families seeking a calm alternative to the nearby beaches of the ocean.

You continue with a slight ascent up a small ridge, arriving at the white sands of the sleepy village of Pedrogão. Take a refreshing swim in the Atlantic if you wish. Then turn slightly inland to parallel the coast, passing the town of Vieira and its namesake beach. Later, arrive in the resort of São Pedro Moel, a graceful village tucked above the surf and sand in a protective cove. Pass its landmark Penedo da Saudade lighthouse, built on the rocky promontory from where a 17th-century widowed Duchess is said to have mourned her husband. After settling in to your hotel, take a scenic stroll along the boardwalks that trace the dramatic cliffs, the ideal place to observe a stunning sunset over the Atlantic. Choose from a half-dozen or more restaurants, some listed in your VBT Road Book, within a short walk of your hotel. Or take advantage of the ocean view from your hotel’s dining room.

Hotel: Hotel Mar e Sol
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Rides:
Monte Real to São Pedro Moel: 42.6 km (26.4 miles)

What to Expect:Today’s route descends from Monte Real on paved roads through agricultural land, then climbs back up a small ridge before reaching the Atlantic coast. At the ocean, take a left and head south, paralleling the coast along a paved bike lane through the town of Praia de Vieira. Just before reaching your evening’s destination and hotel in the small town of São Pedro Moel, you ride past the Penedo da Saudade lighthouse.

You depart São Pedro Moel’s cobbled streets and join a dedicated bike route through fragrant pine forests paralleling the coastline. Sections of this historic Atlantic pine forest were planted in the 13th century by King Afonso III to stop the degradation of the dunes. Later, during the Age of Discovery, they supplied the timber for Portugal’s fleet of intrepid explorers as they sailed to distant shores.

Your route delivers you to the town of Nazaré, renowned for its long crescent beach and resort atmosphere, and celebrated as the place where surfer Garrett McNamara rode the record-breaking 100-foot wave at North Beach. You’re sure to find a spot for lunch here; freshly caught seafood is always on the menu.

Later, you pass the marina and turn inland to follow the Alcobaça River on a dedicated bike lane. In the charming town of Valado dos Frades, admire the late 19th-century train station and its artful azulejo tiles, once voted the most beautiful train station in Portugal. Then gently ascend to the small city of Alcobaça, centered around the 13th-century Cistercian monastery, one of the country’s most magnificent Gothic structures. It was originally built to commemorate the taking of Santarém from the Moors in 1147 and today holds the tombs of King Pedro I. Architecturally, it represents the first example of its style, with its unique portal and rose window. Take all the time you’d like to wander this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Conclude your ride at your resort, where you may choose to relax in its indoor or outdoor pool, steam room or sauna. Savor an included dinner in the fine-dining restaurant.

Hotel: Real Abadia Hotel
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride:
São Pedro Moel to Alcobaça: 40.2 km (25 miles)

What to Expect: The route departs the town of São Pedro Moel along its cobbled streets and immediately follows an un-trafficked, paved, dedicated bike lane that alternates between pine forest and coast with ocean views. In the busier town of Nazaré, use caution on the steep descent through narrow streets and along the beach-front bike lane (you ride on sidewalk for a few hundred meters). Then after leaving the town, you turn inland along a flat paved road and join the riverside bike lane and country roads, ascending gradually to the town of Alcobaça.

Depart your hotel this morning and coast down to the center of Alcobaça. Start your day at your own pace here, whether you revisit the monastery, enjoy a late morning coffee or early lunch at an outdoor café, and grab some snacks for the road. Any time of day is perfect for the delicious pastel de nata, the Portuguese custard tart pastry dusted with cinnamon. Then cycle into the agricultural fields that slope to the coast, following a bike route to the seaside town of São Martinho do Porto. Founded by monks in the 13th century, it was a favorite seaside resort of Portuguese nobility by the 19th century. Cycle along its protected unique scallop-shaped bay of fine sand, coming upon one of Europe’s largest dunes at the far end: The red sandstone Salir do Porto soars to 160 feet. Continuing south, you rise to a plateau with magnificent Atlantic vistas. Then enjoy an exhilarating descent to the seaside resort town of Foz de Arelho, sitting on the beautiful Óbidos Lagoon where it opens out to the Atlantic. This stunning inlet shimmers under the Portuguese sun in varied shades of turquoise and emerald.

Here, a two-night stay allows for a beachside rest day or an optional ride. Dinner is on your own and if you wish, you may reserve a cooking experience with a resident Portuguese chef. Or some of the town’s restaurants are a short walk away.

Hotel: Hillside House Suites and Spa
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Alcobaça to Foz do Arelho: 46.1 km (28.6 miles)

What to Expect: Start by descending from Alcobaça to the river valley, joining a dedicated bike route to the Atlantic coast and the beach resort town of São Martinho do Porto. Follow town streets and bike lanes to the lane along the scallop-shaped beach, then ascend to a plateau at about 31.4 km (19 miles) that separates the Atlantic from the inland plain. You ride four rolling hills for about 10 km (6 miles) before an exhilarating descent to the Óbidos Lagoon and your hotel for the next two nights.

Alcobaça to Foz do Arelho high road: 46.3 km (28.7 miles)

What to Expect: Start by descending from Alcobaça to the river valley, joining a dedicated bike route to the Atlantic coast and the beach resort town of São Martinho do Porto. Follow town streets and bike lanes to the lane along the scallop-shaped beach, then ascend away from the shore just under a 1 km (at 31.9 km) to four rolling hills for about 10 km (6 miles) before a stunning ocean view and an exhilarating descent to the Óbidos Lagoon and your hotel for the next two nights.

Your Stay Put Day is full of possibilities! If you can’t get enough of cycling, you can ride a loop back north toward São Martinho do Porto and returning on a ridge high above the Atlantic with stunning views. Or take advantage of Foz do Arelho’s unique setting on the seawater-fed Óbidos lagoon, the most extensive coastal lagoon system on Portugal’s coast. Your hotel’s staff can point you to a rental outfit where you can set out on a kayak, canoe, sailboat, paddleboard, paddle boat, or windsurfer. Relax in the calm waters of the lagoon or head out into the waves of the Atlantic, grabbing lunch at a seaside café along the way. Or simply relax on the beach or at your hotel’s pool. The day is yours to do as you please as is the evening, to enjoy dinner at your hotel or seek out a nearby restaurant.

Hotel: Hillside House Suites and Spa
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Rides:
Foz do Arelho to São Martinho do Porto short: 27.8 km (17.2 miles)

What to Expect: If you choose to ride today, cycle north through gentle farmland, then back to the bay of São Martinho do Porto. An initial climb of just over 1 km brings you high on a ridge with Atlantic views before the descent back to the lagoon of Foz do Arelho and your hotel.

Enjoy today’s leisurely reel to Óbidos, one of Portugal’s most finely preserved medieval walled towns. You ride out of Foz do Arelho, following the northern shore of the lagoon and winding inland through a mixture of small farms, villages, and pear orchards.

So beautiful is this cultural and historic gem that King Dinis offered it as a wedding gift to Queen Isabel in 1282. Future kings followed suit—for 600 years!—and the hilltop town has since been known as the Casa das Rainhas, the House of Queens. You’re equally likely to fall in love with its whitewashed houses, bougainvillea vines, and crenellated walls. It is a fitting end to your Self-Guided Bicycle Vacation.

The charming pedestrian center invites endless exploration. Narrow cobbled streets point to leafy shaded squares, rising gradually to the town’s highest point, the 15th-century castle. If you’d like, you can walk along the top of some portions of its city walls and enjoy breathtaking views of the town’s red roofs and surrounding countryside—though you might want to pass if you dislike heights! Staying in Óbidos overnight is a real treat. After the day trippers have left, a hush falls over the cobblestones as street lamps illuminate the townscape in a magical glow. After you settle in to your hotel, a former convent, you can step out into this mesmerizing atmosphere to enjoy a celebratory evening and dinner.

Hotel: The Literary Man
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Rides:
Foz do Arelho to Óbidos short option: 35.6 km (22.1 miles)

What to ExpectThe shorter option to Óbidos skirts the northern side of the Óbidos Lagoon with some undulating terrain up to just over 14 km (8.6 miles), then flattens out on the hard-packed gravel bike path along the lagoon (3 km), which is otherwise not accessible by car. You ascend gradually and then roll through farmland and charming villages leads to the hilltop town of Óbidos. Take care in the busy and cobbled streets of Óbidos.

Foz do Arelho to Óbidos long option: 48.6 km (30.0 miles)

What to Expect: If you choose to ride today, cycle north through gentle farmland, then back to the bay of São Martinho do Porto. An initial climb of just over 1 km brings you high on a ridge with Atlantic views before the descent back to the lagoon of Foz do Arelho and your hotel.

After breakfast, at 10:00 a.m., transfer about one hour to your hotel in Lisbon, along with any other VBT Self-Guided guests. You have the remainder of the day to uncover the cultural and historic treasures of the historic Portuguese capital. Wander the narrow atmospheric streets of the Alfama district. Explore the fantastic Manueline architecture of the Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower. Marvel at the enormous Monument to the Discoveries. This evening, perhaps you will enjoy dinner accompanied by the passionate song of the city’s famed fado singers. See your VBT City Information for specific recommendations about how to spend your time.

Hotel: Olissippo Castelo, Lisbon

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast* this morning, a private transfer is provided to Lisbon airport for your homeward flight.

*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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Mon, Apr 27 to Sun, May 3 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

We suggest arriving in Portugal at least one day prior to the tour start date as your tour begins at 10:00 a.m. Meet your VBT local host and any other VBT guests departing on the same day at 10:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Teatro Hotel in Porto (Rua Sa Da Bandeira 84, tel. +351 220 409 620). He or she will be carrying a VBT sign. Your transfer to the historic village of Monte Real will take approximately two hours.

The Welcome Orientation with your VBT local host includes:
• An overview of the itinerary
• Bike fitting and equipment familiarization
• Review of the Ride with GPS navigation app
• Important contact information in case you need to reach your VBT local host
• Safety briefing
• Local suggestions (restaurants, things to do, etc.)

The natural hot springs in and around Monte Real have long been considered curative. Lucky for you, your palatial hotel draws on them for their soothing therapeutic spa treatments. Before you indulge, you might want to get acquainted with your bike during an easy loop ride, or take a stroll around the extensive grounds that stretch some 60 acres. Take your time and enjoy this beautiful property. An included three-course dinner is served at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. If you wish, take advantage of the Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, or indoor heated pool this afternoon. (Spa access and treatments are at your expense).

Hotel: Termas de Mont Real
Included Meals:Dinner

Today’s Rides:
Monte Real Loop short option: 8.9 km (5.5 miles)

What to Expect: Designed to get you used to your bike and move your legs after your flight, these two easy short loops depart from your hotel and through the town of Monte Real into the surrounding farmland and follow un-trafficked roads to do a loop on either side of the Lis River. Watch out for some uneven pavement between kilometer 5 and 7.

Get your first taste of Portugal’s coastal beauty as you cycle to the Atlantic. You traverse a route through pine forests and past fertile farms, arriving at the Ervideira Lagoon, with mirror-like waters where you might fuel up on a snack you may have brought along. You’ll see why this is a favorite spot among local families seeking a calm alternative to the nearby beaches of the ocean.

You continue with a slight ascent up a small ridge, arriving at the white sands of the sleepy village of Pedrogão. Take a refreshing swim in the Atlantic if you wish. Then turn slightly inland to parallel the coast, passing the town of Vieira and its namesake beach. Later, arrive in the resort of São Pedro Moel, a graceful village tucked above the surf and sand in a protective cove. Pass its landmark Penedo da Saudade lighthouse, built on the rocky promontory from where a 17th-century widowed Duchess is said to have mourned her husband. After settling in to your hotel, take a scenic stroll along the boardwalks that trace the dramatic cliffs, the ideal place to observe a stunning sunset over the Atlantic. Choose from a half-dozen or more restaurants, some listed in your VBT Road Book, within a short walk of your hotel. Or take advantage of the ocean view from your hotel’s dining room.

Hotel: Hotel Mar e Sol
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride:
Monte Real to São Pedro Moel: 42.6 km (26.4 miles)

What to Expect:Today’s route descends from Monte Real on paved roads through agricultural land, then climbs back up a small ridge before reaching the Atlantic coast. At the ocean, take a left and head south, paralleling the coast along a paved bike lane through the town of Praia de Vieira. Just before reaching your evening’s destination and hotel in the small town of São Pedro Moel, you ride past the Penedo da Saudade lighthouse.

You depart São Pedro Moel’s cobbled streets and join a dedicated bike route through fragrant pine forests paralleling the coastline. Sections of this historic Atlantic pine forest were planted in the 13th century by King Afonso III to stop the degradation of the dunes. Later, during the Age of Discovery, they supplied the timber for Portugal’s fleet of intrepid explorers as they sailed to distant shores.

Your route delivers you to the town of Nazaré, renowned for its long crescent beach and resort atmosphere, and celebrated as the place where surfer Garrett McNamara rode the record-breaking 100-foot wave at North Beach. You’re sure to find a spot for lunch here; freshly caught seafood is always on the menu.

Later, you pass the marina and turn inland to follow the Alcobaça River on a dedicated bike lane. In the charming town of Valado dos Frades, admire the late 19th-century train station and its artful azulejo tiles, once voted the most beautiful train station in Portugal. Then gently ascend to the small city of Alcobaça, centered around the 13th-century Cistercian monastery, one of the country’s most magnificent Gothic structures. It was originally built to commemorate the taking of Santarém from the Moors in 1147 and today holds the tombs of King Pedro I. Architecturally, it represents the first example of its style, with its unique portal and rose window. Take all the time you’d like to wander this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Conclude your ride at your resort, where you may choose to relax in its indoor or outdoor pool, steam room or sauna. Savor an included dinner in the fine-dining restaurant.

Hotel: Real Abadia Hotel
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride:
São Pedro Moel to Alcobaça: 40.2 km (25 miles)

What to Expect: The route departs the town of São Pedro Moel along its cobbled streets and immediately follows an un-trafficked, paved, dedicated bike lane that alternates between pine forest and coast with ocean views. In the busier town of Nazaré, use caution on the steep descent through narrow streets and along the beach-front bike lane (you ride on sidewalk for a few hundred meters). Then after leaving the town, you turn inland along a flat paved road and join the riverside bike lane and country roads, ascending gradually to the town of Alcobaça.

Depart your hotel this morning and coast down to the center of Alcobaça. Start your day at your own pace here, whether you revisit the monastery, enjoy a late morning coffee or early lunch at an outdoor café, and grab some snacks for the road. Any time of day is perfect for the delicious pastel de nata, the Portuguese custard tart pastry dusted with cinnamon. Then cycle into the agricultural fields that slope to the coast, following a bike route to the seaside town of São Martinho do Porto. Founded by monks in the 13th century, it was a favorite seaside resort of Portuguese nobility by the 19th century. Cycle along its protected unique scallop-shaped bay of fine sand, coming upon one of Europe’s largest dunes at the far end: The red sandstone Salir do Porto soars to 160 feet. Continuing south, you rise to a plateau with magnificent Atlantic vistas. Then enjoy an exhilarating descent to the seaside resort town of Foz de Arelho, sitting on the beautiful Óbidos Lagoon where it opens out to the Atlantic. This stunning inlet shimmers under the Portuguese sun in varied shades of turquoise and emerald.

Here, a two-night stay allows for a beachside rest day or an optional ride. Dinner is on your own and if you wish, you may reserve a cooking experience with a resident Portuguese chef. Or some of the town’s restaurants are a short walk away.

Hotel: Hillside House Suites and Spa
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride:
Alcobaça to Foz do Arelho: 46.1 km (28.6 miles)

What to Expect: Start by descending from Alcobaça to the river valley, joining a dedicated bike route to the Atlantic coast and the beach resort town of São Martinho do Porto. Follow town streets and bike lanes to the lane along the scallop-shaped beach, then ascend to a plateau at about 31.4 km (19 miles) that separates the Atlantic from the inland plain. You ride four rolling hills for about 10 km (6 miles) before an exhilarating descent to the Óbidos Lagoon and your hotel for the next two nights.

Alcobaça to Foz do Arelho high road: 46.3 km (28.7 miles)

What to Expect: Start by descending from Alcobaça to the river valley, joining a dedicated bike route to the Atlantic coast and the beach resort town of São Martinho do Porto. Follow town streets and bike lanes to the lane along the scallop-shaped beach, then ascend away from the shore just under a 1 km (at 31.9 km) to four rolling hills for about 10 km (6 miles) before a stunning ocean view and an exhilarating descent to the Óbidos Lagoon and your hotel for the next two nights.

Your Stay Put Day is full of possibilities! If you can’t get enough of cycling, you can ride a loop back north toward São Martinho do Porto and returning on a ridge high above the Atlantic with stunning views. Or take advantage of Foz do Arelho’s unique setting on the seawater-fed Óbidos lagoon, the most extensive coastal lagoon system on Portugal’s coast. Your hotel’s staff can point you to a rental outfit where you can set out on a kayak, canoe, sailboat, paddleboard, paddle boat, or windsurfer. Relax in the calm waters of the lagoon or head out into the waves of the Atlantic, grabbing lunch at a seaside café along the way. Or simply relax on the beach or at your hotel’s pool. The day is yours to do as you please as is the evening, to enjoy dinner at your hotel or seek out a nearby restaurant.

Hotel: Hillside House Suites and Spa
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Rides:
Foz do Arelho to São Martinho do Porto short option: 27.8 km (17.2 miles)

What to Expect:If you choose to ride today, cycle north through gentle farmland, then back to the bay of São Martinho do Porto. An initial climb of just over 1 km brings you high on a ridge with Atlantic views before the descent back to the lagoon of Foz do Arelho and your hotel.

Enjoy today’s leisurely reel to Óbidos, one of Portugal’s most finely preserved medieval walled towns. You ride out of Foz do Arelho, following the northern shore of the lagoon and winding inland through a mixture of small farms, villages, and pear orchards.

So beautiful is this cultural and historic gem that King Dinis offered it as a wedding gift to Queen Isabel in 1282. Future kings followed suit—for 600 years!—and the hilltop town has since been known as the Casa das Rainhas, the House of Queens. You’re equally likely to fall in love with its whitewashed houses, bougainvillea vines, and crenellated walls. It is a fitting end to your Self-Guided Bicycle Vacation.

The charming pedestrian center invites endless exploration. Narrow cobbled streets point to leafy shaded squares, rising gradually to the town’s highest point, the 15th-century castle. If you’d like, you can walk along the top of some portions of its city walls and enjoy breathtaking views of the town’s red roofs and surrounding countryside—though you might want to pass if you dislike heights! Staying in Óbidos overnight is a real treat. After the day trippers have left, a hush falls over the cobblestones as street lamps illuminate the townscape in a magical glow. After you settle in to your hotel, a former convent, you can step out into this mesmerizing atmosphere to enjoy a celebratory evening and dinner.

Hotel: The Literary Man
Alternate Hotels: Josefa D Obidos Hotel
Included Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Rides:
Foz do Arelho to Óbidos short option: 35.6 km (22.1 miles)
What to ExpectThe shorter option to Óbidos skirts the northern side of the Óbidos Lagoon with some undulating terrain up to just over 14 km (8.6 miles), then flattens out on the hard-packed gravel bike path along the lagoon (3 km), which is otherwise not accessible by car. You ascend gradually and then roll through farmland and charming villages leads to the hilltop town of Óbidos. Take care in the busy and cobbled streets of Óbidos

Foz do Arelho to Óbidos long option: 48.6 km (30.0 miles)

What to Expect: The longer option to Óbidos skirts the northern side of the Óbidos Lagoon with some undulating terrain up to just over 14 km (8.6 miles), then flattens out on the hard-packed gravel bike path along the lagoon (3 km). After a few hundred meters on the road, you rejoin the gravel bike path for 4.4 km right along the tranquil lagoon (total on gravel 7.4 km). Continue west to the mouth of the lagoon at Bom Successo Beach before turning inland on rolling roads, then ascend gradually and roll through farmland and charming villages leads to the hilltop town of Óbidos. Take care in the busy and cobbled streets of Óbidos.

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in Óbidos. At 10:00 a.m., a complimentary transfer of about one hour is provided to the VBT Self-Guided Air+ hotel in the heart of Lisbon (Olissippo Castelo Hotel, Rua Costa do Castelo, 112/126, Lisbon) along with any other VBT Self-Guided guests. (If you would like to be dropped off at another location in Lisbon on this day, please advise your local host at the beginning of the week). From there you may continue your onward travels. Depending upon your destination, it may not be possible to depart for the U.S. on the last day of the tour. Please check airline schedules carefully. If you plan to schedule return flights immediately following the tour’s conclusion, please call your airline directly for specific check-in requirements.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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Dates & Prices

Self-Guided Air+

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $745
Solo Surcharge: From $1,295

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Bike Vacation Only

7 Days. Includes Self-Guided bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $445
Solo Surcharge: From $1,295

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Why Sweden & Denmark Are a Biker’s Valhalla

February 10, 2020

Two Countries, Two Wheels. Longtime VBT tour developer Kevin Wilks found himself dazzled by something unexpected on his recent trip to Scandinavia. Though impressed by classic sights like Denmark's Kronburg castle—the...

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Why Laura from VBT Loves Croatia

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Why Eric Loves Self-Guided Biking

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