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Portugal: Porto, the Silver Coast & Lisbon

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This Self-Guided Bicycle Vacation follows Portugal’s scenic Silver Coast from Porto to Lisbon along white-sand beaches, fragrant pine forests, and historic villages.

Self-Guided Biking

  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 30|
  • 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 leads you from Porto to Lisbon for this scenic Self-Guided Bicycle Vacation. You’ll ride at your own pace along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, stopping to bask in the sun on high bluffs and white-sand beaches pounded by surf, breathing in fragrant pine forests, savoring delicious fresh seafood and delightful pastries, and lingering in historic villages barely visited by tourists. Spa and beach towns steeped in history and character will host you along the way and an overnight in medieval walled Óbidos adds a romantic final touch to your trip. 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 - 30|
  • 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 framed by Atlantic waves, pine and cork forests, and stunning rural landscapes
  • Indulge in Portugal’s delicious fresh seafood, enticing pastries, espresso, and affordable, excellent wines
  • Spend the night exploring the medieval walled city of Óbidos after day trippers have left
  • Visit Alcobaça’s Gothic monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, founded by Portugal’s first king in the 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
Detailed information for your independent travel 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 spa hotels 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 24 to Mon, May 3 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

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

Upon arrival at the Porto Airport, make your own travel arrangements to your centrally located Porto hotel. For details, refer to your VBT Handbook.

The rest of the day is yours to explore Porto at leisure, using the VBT City Information as your guide.

Accommodation: PortoBay Hotel Teatro, Porto
Included Meals: None included

After breakfast at Hotel Teatro, meet your VBT local host and any other VBT guests arriving 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. Your host 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).

Today’s Ride:
Monte Real loop short option: 8.9 km (5.5 miles)

What to Expect: Designed for you to get comfortable with your bike and move your legs after your flight, this easy short loop starts at your hotel and goes through the town of Monte Real into the surrounding farmland and follow un-trafficked roads for a loop along the Lis River. Watch out for some uneven pavement between kilometers 5 and 7.

Monte Real loop long option: 19.9 km (12.5 miles)

What to Expect: Designed for you to get comfortable with your bike and move your legs after your flight, this easy short loop starts at your hotel and goes through the town of Monte Real into the surrounding farmland and follow un-trafficked roads to do a loop along the Lis River. Watch out for some uneven pavement between kilometer 12 and 15.

Non-biking options: After your Welcome Orientation you may be ready for lunch at your hotel or in town. Later, you may choose to enjoy your hotel’s spa facilities (spa access cost of approx. 16 euros and treatments additional). The hotel is surrounded by easily accessible and signed walking paths.

Accommodation: Termas de Monte Real, Monte Real
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Get your first taste of Portugal’s coastal beauty as you cycle to the Atlantic Ocean. You will travel through pine forests and past fertile farms. You may want to bring a snack and take the time to enjoy it on your arrival at the Ervideira Lagoon. You’ll see why this is a favorite spot among local families seeking a calm alternative to the nearby ocean beaches.

You will 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 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 atop the dramatic cliffs, the ideal place to observe a stunning sunset over the Atlantic. Choose from a half-dozen or more restaurants within a short walk of your hotel or take advantage of the ocean view from your hotel’s dining room.

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 farmland, then climbs 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 will ride past the Penedo da Saudade lighthouse.

Accommodation: Hotel Mar e Sol, São Pedro Moel
Included Meals: Breakfast

You will 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 erosion 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 brings 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.

Continue cycling past the marina and turn inland to follow the Alcobaça River on a dedicated bike lane. 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 tomb 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.

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 on a short section of cobbled street and immediately follows a paved, dedicated bike lane that alternates between pine forests and the 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 will ride on sidewalk for a few hundred meters). After leaving town you will turn inland along a flat paved road and join the riverside bike lane and country roads, ascending gradually to the town of Alcobaça.

Accommodation: Real Abadia Hotel, Alcobaça
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Depart your hotel this morning and coast down to the center of Alcobaça. Start the day at your own pace, revisiting the monastery or just enjoying a late morning coffee or early lunch at an outdoor café, and grabbing 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 in the 19th century. Cycle along its unique, protected 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 will 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 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. Several of the town’s restaurants are just a short walk away.

Today’s Ride:
Alcobaça to Foz do Arelho: 46.3 km (28.7 miles)

What to Expect: Descend gradually from Alcobaça to the river valley, then join 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 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.

Accommodation: Hillside House Suites and Spa, Foz do Arelho
Included Meals: Breakfast

Your Stay Put Day is full of possibilities! If you can’t get enough of cycling, you can ride a short loop back north toward São Martinho do Porto, or a longer option back to Nazaré, returning on a ridge high above the Atlantic with stunning views. You can also 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 suggest 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 and in the evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel or seek out a nearby restaurant.

Today’s Rides:
Foz do Arelho around Óbidos loop ride: 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.

Foz do Arelho to Nazaré loop long option: 67.1 km (41.6 miles)

What to Expect: On this longer optional loop, cycle north through gentle farmland, then back to the bay of São Martinho do Porto. From there, you will continue north back to the surf mecca of Nazaré. On the return ride, you’ll stay close to the coast after leaving Nazaré, which means a steep climb of about 2 kilometers (between kilometer 42.4 and 44.3) to a beautiful ridgeline with little traffic and a fun descent to São Martinho do Porto. After traversing the town, another climb of just over 1 km brings you to another ridge with Atlantic views before the descent back to the lagoon of Foz do Arelho and your hotel.

Accommodation: Hillside House Suites and Spa, Foz do Arelho
Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy today’s leisurely ride to Óbidos, one of Portugal’s most finely preserved medieval walled towns. You will 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.

This cultural and historic gem is so beautiful 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 become known as the Casa das Rainhas, the House of Queens. Whether or not you are royalty, you’re likely to fall in love with the 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 cobblestone streets lead 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 of the city walls and enjoy breathtaking views of the town’s red roofs and surrounding countryside—although not recommended 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 town in a magical glow—step out into this mesmerizing atmosphere to enjoy a celebratory evening and dinner.

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

What to Expect: The 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 shore of the lagoon (3 km), which is not accessible by car. You ascend gradually and then pedal through farmland and charming villages 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 shore of the lagoon (3 km). After a few hundred meters on the road, you rejoin the gravel bike path for 4.4 km 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 pedal through farmland and charming villages to the hilltop town of Óbidos. Take care in the busy and cobbled streets of Óbidos.

Accommodation: Josefa D Obidos Hotel, Óbidos
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, at 10:00 a.m., transfer to your hotel in Lisbon, roughly an hour away, together with any other VBT Self-Guided guests. You have the remainder of the day to discover the cultural and historic treasures of the fascinating Portuguese capital. Wander the narrow 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, you may enjoy dinner accompanied by the passionate songs of the city’s famed fado singers. See your VBT City Information for specific recommendations about how to spend your time.

Accommodation: Olissippo Castelo, Lisbon
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast* this morning, allow yourself a minimum of 3 hours prior to your flight departure to get to Lisbon’s Airport. For details, refer to your VBT Handbook. This timeframe includes a maximum of 1 hour of travel and around 2 hours of recommended pre-flight check-in 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Mon, Apr 26 to Sun, May 2 - 2021

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 arriving 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).

Today’s Ride:
Monte Real loop short option: 8.9 km (5.5 miles)

What to Expect: Designed for you to get comfortable with your bike and move your legs after your flight, this easy short loop starts at your hotel and goes through the town of Monte Real into the surrounding farmland and follow un-trafficked roads for a loop along the Lis River. Watch out for some uneven pavement between kilometers 5 and 7.

Monte Real loop long option: 19.9 km (12.5 miles)

What to Expect: Designed for you to get comfortable with your bike and move your legs after your flight, this easy short loop starts at your hotel and goes through the town of Monte Real into the surrounding farmland and follow un-trafficked roads to do a loop along the Lis River. Watch out for some uneven pavement between kilometer 12 and 15.

Non-biking options: After your Welcome Orientation you may be ready for lunch at your hotel or in town. Later, you may choose to enjoy your hotel’s spa facilities (spa access cost of approx. 16 euros and treatments additional). The hotel is surrounded by easily accessible and signed walking paths.

Accommodation: Termas de Monte Real, Monte Real
Included Meals: Dinner

Get your first taste of Portugal’s coastal beauty as you cycle to the Atlantic Ocean. You will travel through pine forests and past fertile farms. You may want to bring a snack and take the time to enjoy it on your arrival at the Ervideira Lagoon. You’ll see why this is a favorite spot among local families seeking a calm alternative to the nearby ocean beaches.

You will 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 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 atop the dramatic cliffs, the ideal place to observe a stunning sunset over the Atlantic. Choose from a half-dozen or more restaurants within a short walk of your hotel or take advantage of the ocean view from your hotel’s dining room.

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 farmland, then climbs 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 will ride past the Penedo da Saudade lighthouse.

Accommodation: Hotel Mar e Sol, São Pedro Moel
Included Meals: Breakfast

You will 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 erosion 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 brings 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.

Continue cycling past the marina and turn inland to follow the Alcobaça River on a dedicated bike lane. 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 tomb 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.

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 on a short section of cobbled street and immediately follows a paved, dedicated bike lane that alternates between pine forests and the 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 will ride on sidewalk for a few hundred meters). After leaving town you will turn inland along a flat paved road and join the riverside bike lane and country roads, ascending gradually to the town of Alcobaça.

Accommodation: Real Abadia Hotel, Alcobaça
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Depart your hotel this morning and coast down to the center of Alcobaça. Start the day at your own pace, revisiting the monastery or just enjoying a late morning coffee or early lunch at an outdoor café, and grabbing 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 in the 19th century. Cycle along its unique, protected 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 will 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 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. Several of the town’s restaurants are just a short walk away.

Today’s Ride:
Alcobaça to Foz do Arelho: 46.3 km (28.7 miles)

What to Expect: Descend gradually from Alcobaça to the river valley, then join 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 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.

Accommodation: Hillside House Suites and Spa, Foz do Arelho
Included Meals: Breakfast

Your Stay Put Day is full of possibilities! If you can’t get enough of cycling, you can ride a short loop back north toward São Martinho do Porto, or a longer option back to Nazaré, returning on a ridge high above the Atlantic with stunning views. You can also 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 suggest 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 and in the evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel or seek out a nearby restaurant.

Today’s Rides:
Foz do Arelho around Óbidos loop ride: 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.

Foz do Arelho to Nazaré loop long option: 67.1 km (41.6 miles)

What to Expect: On this longer optional loop, cycle north through gentle farmland, then back to the bay of São Martinho do Porto. From there, you will continue north back to the surf mecca of Nazaré. On the return ride, you’ll stay close to the coast after leaving Nazaré, which means a steep climb of about 2 kilometers (between kilometer 42.4 and 44.3) to a beautiful ridgeline with little traffic and a fun descent to São Martinho do Porto. After traversing the town, another climb of just over 1 km brings you to another ridge with Atlantic views before the descent back to the lagoon of Foz do Arelho and your hotel.

Accommodation: Hillside House Suites and Spa, Foz do Arelho
Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy today’s leisurely ride to Óbidos, one of Portugal’s most finely preserved medieval walled towns. You will 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.

This cultural and historic gem is so beautiful 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 become known as the Casa das Rainhas, the House of Queens. Whether or not you are royalty, you’re likely to fall in love with the 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 cobblestone streets lead 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 of the city walls and enjoy breathtaking views of the town’s red roofs and surrounding countryside—although not recommended 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 town in a magical glow—step out into this mesmerizing atmosphere to enjoy a celebratory evening and dinner.

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

What to Expect: The 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 shore of the lagoon (3 km), which is not accessible by car. You ascend gradually and then pedal through farmland and charming villages 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 shore of the lagoon (3 km). After a few hundred meters on the road, you rejoin the gravel bike path for 4.4 km 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 pedal through farmland and charming villages to the hilltop town of Óbidos. Take care in the busy and cobbled streets of Óbidos.

Accommodation: Josefa D Obidos Hotel, Óbidos
Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in Óbidos. At 10:00 a.m., a complimentary transfer of about one hour brings you to the VBT Self-Guided Air+ hotel in the heart of Lisbon (Olissippo Castelo Hotel, Rua Costa do Castelo, 112/126, Lisbon) together 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 with your independent travel. For details, refer to your VBT Handbook. 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.

If you wish to linger in Óbidos and travel to Lisbon on your own, the train and bus stations are a half-mile (850 meters) from your hotel.

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 $695
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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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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