Headwater - Porto to Coimbra Cycling

10 days
from
£1,699
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Trip code: 
C09OP
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
12

On this nine-night, self-guided cycling holiday you'll enjoy wonderful, relaxed cycling along the idyllic coastline south of Porto and the beautiful Aveiro Lagoon, discovering two of Portugal's most important cities - Porto and Coimbra - and sampling some of the country's signature wines.

You begin in UNESCO-recognised Porto, a beautiful mix of winding, mediaeval streets, impressive architecture and the serene Douro River, packed with brightly coloured rabelo sailing boats - it's also home to some world-famous wine cellars and we've included a port tasting for you in the afternoon. From here you'll head south, past sandy bays and beaches, to your luxury hotel in Furadouro right on the beachfront, before heading via the Aveiro Lagoon, to 'Portugal's Venice', Aveiro.

Highlights

  • Superb varied cycling: riverside and forest routes; beaches and sand dunes; charming cities
  • Taste wine in Porto's famous wine cellars and in the superb Bairrada wine region
  • Aveiro's Venetian canals; UNESCO-recognised Coimbra
  • Coastal and lagoon wildlife: pink flamingo, purple heron, kingfisher and sandpiper
  • 4-star hotels throughout in beachfront, town and country locations

Key information

  • 9 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 5 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 5 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Supplement for single traveller (includes single accommodation supplement)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

7

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

The suggested cycle routes follow a mixture of dedicated cycle paths, which are either beside the road or separate from the road and some tracks.

Day by day breakdown
Day 220.0km/13.0miles
Day 330.0km/19.0miles
Day 434.0km/22.0miles
Day 633.0km/21.0miles
Day 724.0km/15.0miles
Day 842.0km/27.0miles
Day 937.0km/24.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Porto

    Arrive at your hotel in Porto. After a briefing with our agent you can enjoy dinner on the Douro riverfront. (Staying at the Hotel Vincci Porto, Half Board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    At Porto

    Today you could opt for a return cycle ride, taking you north of Porto and along both the Douro River and the ocean front, passing glorious beaches, the C16 castle of Sao Joao da Foz, Matosinhos - with some great seafood restaurants - and the Boa Nova Tea House which belongs to the Portuguese Masterchef's Rui Paula. If you'd rather spend the day exploring Porto, why not enjoy a stroll along the riverfront, wander the narrow, winding streets or explore the historic Ribeira district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site? We've included a port wine tasting and cellar visit for you in the afternoon, across the Douro, and for dinner this evening you can choose from a number of fine local restaurants. (Staying at the Hotel Vinicci Porto, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Porto to Furadouro

    This morning, enjoy a relaxed ride along the Douro River's south bank, full of brightly coloured rabelo boats. You could stop for a tasting in one of the famous port wine caves before following an idyllic waterfront path from the Natural Reserve of the Douro Estuary - a great spot for birdwatching - to the Atlantic coast. Heading onwards, you'll pass some beautiful sandy beaches - perhaps stop for lunch in one of the seafront restaurants and relax on Espinho's gorgeous golden sands - before following a cycle path through pine forest to your beachfront hotel in Furadouro, where you'll enjoy dinner in the restaurant. (Staying at the Furadouro Boutique Hotel, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Furadouro to Aveiro (Estarreja)

    Head south from Furadouro along the protected Aveiro Lagoon, one of Europe's last pristine coastal marshes and a haven for many bird species including plover and sandpiper - you can discover more about the area by joining the canal and paying a visit to the BioRia Interpretation Centre. It's then on to Salreu where you'll take a short train journey (10 mins - pay locally) to Aveiro, your home for the next two nights. There are plenty of good fish restaurants to choose from for dinner, within easy reach of your luxury hotel. (Staying at the Hotel Moliceiro, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    At Aveiro

    Aveiro is known as 'Portugal's Venice', with a picturesque network of canals weaving their way through the city, lined with grand buildings and former fishermen's houses and filled with gondola-style boats making their way leisurely along the water. Charming alleyways are lined with churrasquerias for lunch, while a bustling fish market takes place every day. Visit the impressive Jesus Monastery and Aveiro Museum, along with the beautiful cathedral which dominates the town square. (Staying at the Hotel Moliceiro, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Aveiro to Praia De Mira

    Cycle southwards today and visit the factory and museum of Vista Alegre, Portugal's oldest fine porcelain producer, based in Ilhavo, before crossing the Aveiro Lagoon to meet the ocean again in Vagueira. From here you head north to Costa Nova, home to a lovely sandy beach lined by colourful candy-striped houses, before cycling back to Vagueira and along the coast. Turning inland, you'll make your way to your 4 star beachfront hotel at Praia de Mira, passing fields of pears, lemons and strawberries en route. (Staying at Macarico Beach Hotel, Half Board, evening meal taken at a local restaurant)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Praia de Mira

    Perhaps take it easy today and enjoy a day at a beach, relaxing on Praia de Mira's silky sands dotted with brightly coloured fishing boats and several beach cafes. Alternatively, follow a trail eastwards into lagoons and acacia forest, crossing the canals over New England-style bridges. This is a lovely route lined by iris and bright cistus and you're likely to spot kingfisher and blue heron, along with several good picnic spots! (Staying at the Macarico Beach Hotel, Half Board, evening meal taken at a local restaurant)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Praia de Mira to Curia

    Leave the coast behind and follow a cycle path inland through acacia forest, before passing farms and small villages on your way to the vineyards of the Bairrada region. Stop for a spot of wine tasting at the Quinta do Encontro before a short ride brings you to Curia and your 'Palace Hotel' set in 14 acres of gardens and parkland. (Staying at the Curia Palace, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Curia to Coimbra

    Your final day takes you through vineyards to the Mondego River Valley. You'll cycle alongside farms and rice fields, following the river, with a final stretch through the Choupal Forest to arrive in Coimbra. There's so much to discover in this beautiful riverfront city, including the historic university with its spectacular Baroque library, the Museo de Castro, whose art collection in the Bishop's Palace is one of the finest in Portugal, not to mention the interest-packed streets and leafy plazas just perfect for exploring. We recommend spending extra nights here so you can enjoy the city to the full, including the markets, restaurants and lively fado bars! (Staying at the Hotel Vila Gale, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Leave Coimbra

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Portugal

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Portuguese cuisine is wholesome, hearty, and rarely fancy and relies heavily on the use of different herbs and spices due to its Moorish influence. Fish dishes are more predominant in the south, although northern regions often offer delicious freshwater fish dishes.
The region is also famous for sticky desserts that use egg yolk. During the Golden Age (15C and 16C), the area was very rich because of all the treasures that were brought back from the discoveries of the New World. These riches paid for many convents. The nuns needed egg whites to starch their habits so they used the egg yolks in many gooey desserts that have curious names like monk’s breast and nun’s stomach.
The Alentejo is also a highly respected wine region. The Romans were the first to start cultivating vines here. You’ll find a whole range of different vintages to try en route, the best known ones include Roupeiro, Rabo do Ovelha and Antão Vaz (white) and Periquita, Trincadeira and Aragonez (reds), although many small family run vineyards produce their own versions as well. The majority of the wines served in Portugal come from this region. If you enjoy a very young wine, try Vinho Verde from the North. Calcos do Tanha from the Douro region is a good red wine as are Cozinha Velha, Esporão and Ma Partilha from Terra do Sado. Try one of the many excellent ports as a digestif.

Weather

Porto has a temperate maritime climate with a strong Mediterranean influence. The climate here is long, warm summers and mild winters, with most rain falling in the winter months, but possible in all other months. Seasons are marked, with pleasant temperatures in the spring, in the summer and in the autumn. Heat waves can push up temperatures between mid June and September.

Is this trip for you?

Cycling Conditions
Classification
: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance: 31.4km (21miles)
No. of days cycling: 7
Terrain and route: The suggested cycle routes follow a mixture of dedicated cycle paths, which are either beside the road or separate from the road and some tracks.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

We've picked some rather special accommodation for you including luxury 4-star hotels in art-deco and historic buildings in Porto and Aveiro respectively; a design hotel in Praia de Mira with a rooftop pool boasting fabulous ocean views, stylish spa hotels in Furadouro and Coimbra and a restored Belle Epoque hotel in Curio, set in 14 acres of private gardens and parkland. We've included five evening meals for you on this holiday and you're free to choose from some great local restaurants in Porto (night two), and also in Aveiro and Coimbra.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936