Atlantic Coast biking vacation in Portugal

“Leisurely small group cycling trip on Portugal's Atlantic Coast. Average daily distances of 45kms for 5 days lead past pine forests, sand dunes and bird-fringed estuaries.”

Highlights

Porto | Douro River | Furadouro | Aveiro Lagoon | Sao Jacinto Nature Reserve | Mira Beach | Figuera da Foz | Sao Pedro de Moel | Nazaré fishing village | Lisbon |
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Date
Price
Basis
01 Sep 2019
US $2449
excluding flights
Full
 
08 Sep 2019
US $2449
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Full
 
15 Sep 2019
US $2449
excluding flights
Full
 
18 Sep 2019
US $2349
excluding flights
Full
 
22 Sep 2019
US $2449
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Full
 
29 Sep 2019
US $2179
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Full
 
06 Oct 2019
US $2179
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20 Oct 2019
US $2099
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19 Apr 2020
US $2099
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03 May 2020
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10 May 2020
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17 May 2020
US $2099
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24 May 2020
US $2179
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31 May 2020
US $2179
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07 Jun 2020
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14 Jun 2020
US $2249
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21 Jun 2020
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28 Jun 2020
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05 Jul 2020
US $2249
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19 Jul 2020
US $2349
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30 Aug 2020
US $2349
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06 Sep 2020
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13 Sep 2020
US $2349
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27 Sep 2020
US $2249
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04 Oct 2020
US $2179
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11 Oct 2020
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18 Oct 2020
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Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Atlantic Coast biking vacation in Portugal

Accommodation & meals:
On this trip we spend the week in a variety of hotels along the Portuguese Atlantic coast. Most of the hotels are locally owned and employ local staff. The group eats dinners and some lunches in independents restaurants and cafes in each town visited thus providing income to a variety of small local communities. When picnics are organised, the food is purchased at small shops and supermarkets. The majority of local cafes and restaurants are family run businesses and uses ingredients which are all sourced locally.

Local crafts & Culture:
During the trip, we will visit several cultural and heritage sites such as the picturesque town of São Pedro de Moel and Nazaré, one of the most famous fishing town in Portugal, providing clients with the opportunity to experience the culture of Portugal. This cycling tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover what life is really like in this part of Portugal.

Activity:
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. Most rides will be point to point which means transport is barely needed during the week thus reducing even further carbon footprints.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

2 Reviews of Atlantic Coast biking vacation in Portugal

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 14 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I enjoyed cycling through beautiful natural scenery such as woods, coast best. Also our guides organized our lunch and dinner well so I was pretty much satisfied with them.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The first cycling day would be easy for guides to see how well we cycle so that any level cyclists can enjoy this tour. If all the attendants cycle well, the distance gets longer and sometimes you should climb a short steep hills. But there is always a van to take you through these hills so if you feel like not trying climb, you can always ride on a van.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I felt my vacation benefited local people as we stayed in good 4 star hotels, enjoyed lunch and dinner, and sightseeing each town we visited. We keep one bottle to refill water and bring everyday in order to reduce environmental impacts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I enjoyed this tour very much as our guides were very well prepared for this tour as this was the first time this year and made every effort to meet our requirements. The route we took was very safe and sometimes scenery was breathtaking, and I enjoyed every meal from breakfast to dinner. When there was not an appropriate restaurant for lunch, the guides prepared a picnic for us.

Reviewed on 21 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Fabulous weather and scenery.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Ask questions as to the composition of the group. We had a 43 year old, two early 50+ year olds and rest were over 60 including an 81 year old. This affected speed we could cycle.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. We used local restaurants and hotels throughout the week. Water was purchased in large containers locally and divided between cyclists.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We had a really good time. Fabulous weather for cycling. Stayed in excellent hotels and ate in very good local restaurants. It would have been a full house of excellent ratings if we had an experienced guide. Unfortunately we had a first time guide who was very young and extremely risk averse. This affected the quality of the cycling activity.

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