Porto Coastal Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Portugal
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C07OP
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Ages: 12+

Trip Overview

Your holiday starts in Porto, where shuttered townhouses tumble downhill to colourful rabelo sailing boats cruising the Douro River and passing world-famous wine cellars. From here, you'll beach and bay hop south to your luxury beachfront hotel in Furadouro, before heading via the Aveiro Lagoon, home to pink flamingo and colourful birdlife, to Aveiro for two nights in a waterside mansion. Known as 'Portugal's Venice', this is where colourful moliceiro boats cruise along canals beneath tall palm trees, while alleyways are filled with tempting restaurants. Your final cycling stretch takes you back to the ocean to high sand dunes, meandering through pine and acacia forest, to Praia de Mira.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Port wine-tasting
  • GPS device

Trip Highlights

  • Coastal cycling routes: beaches, sand dunes, lighthouses, colourful marinas and charming cities
  • Porto's famous wine cellars with wine tasting included; Aveiro's Venetian canals
  • Coastal and lagoon wildlife: pink flamingo, purple heron, kingfisher and sandpiper
  • 4-star hotels throughout in beachfront and city locations

Is This Trip for You?

Cycling Conditions
Classification
: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance: 28.2km (17.8miles) Please note that these are the averages for the shorter walks , however on three of the days there  is the opurtunity to extend them.
No. of days cycling: 5
Terrain and route: The suggested routes mainly follow a mixture of dedicated cycle paths, either beside the road or separate from the road, and along 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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. In emergency, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.
Adult min age:
18
Child min age:
12
Child max age:
17

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Porto
End City:
Porto

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Porto

    Arrive at your hotel where our agent will kit you out with your bike and run through the routes with you before a traditional dinner on the Douro riverfront. (Staying at the Hotel Vincci Porto, Half Board)

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    At Porto

    An optional, return cycle route takes you north of Porto following cycle paths, first along the river and then the ocean. You'll pass beaches, restaurants, the C16 castle of Sao Joao da Foz, the fishing village of Matosinhos and the Boa Nova Tea House of the famous Portuguese architect Siza Vieira, which belongs to Chef Rui Paula (from the Portuguese Masterchef). Alternatively, relax in Porto for the day, strolling along the narrow alleys and along the riverfront. A port wine tasting and cellar visit across the Douro River is included in the afternoon, while your evening meal has been left free so you can choose from one of the many restaurants on offer. (Staying at the Hotel Vincci Porto, Breakfast Only)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 20 km / 13 miles
  • Day 3

    Porto to Furadouro

    Take your time this morning, cycling along the south bank of the Douro River, where the rabelo boats line up along the quay. Perhaps stop for a tasting in one of the famous cellars before a glorious waterfront cycle path leads you from the Natural Reserve of the Douro Estuary, with its birdwatching hides, to the Atlantic coast. You exchange bays for beaches for the rest of the day, with many seafront restaurants to stop at for lunch. Relax on the sands at Espinho before hopping on the train (13 mins) to Ovar. For the longer route, continue cycling from Espinho to Ovar, making sure to visit the Parque de Bucaquinho. It's then flat cycling to your beachfront hotel at nearby Furadouro where you'll dine in the hotel restaurant. (Staying at the Furadouro Boutique Hotel, Half Board)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 30 km / 19 miles
  • Day 4

    Furodouro to Aveiro (Estarreja)

    Leaving Furadouro, pedal south along the protected Aveiro Lagoon past rickety pontoons, where plover and sandpiper tiptoe amid golden wattle and parrot feather in search of lunch. Hop on the train from Estarreja (14 mins, pay locally) or Salreu (another nearly 10km further on for those looking for a longer cycle) to the heart of Aveiro and your luxury mansion hotel. For dinner tonight you're free to choose from one of the many famous fish restaurants nearby. (Staying at the Hotel Moliceiro, Breakfast Only)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 34 km / 22 miles
  • Day 5

    At Aveiro

    Aveiro is known as 'Portugal's Venice'. Alleyways are lined with churrasquerias for lunch, and gondola-style boats cruise below swaying palms on the latticework canals. The noisy fish market is a daily event, and the excellent museum is set in a beautifully preserved Augustinian convent. A short bus trip (30 mins) leads to neighbouring Costa Nova; streets of wooden houses are squeezed between the beach and the lagoon, painted in candy floss pink, summer yellow and sailor-blue stripes. (Staying at the Hotel Moliceiro, Breakfast Only)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Aveiro ro Praia de Mira

    The Aveiro Lagoon narrows as you cycle south today. Vista Alegre is Portugal's oldest fine porcelain producer and has a fascinating museum and factory in Ilhavo. Head for lunch in Costa Nova (extends the day's route by a round-trip cycle of 12km) if you wish. Next, cross the lagoon to meet the ocean again in Vagueira where oxen were once used to pull fishing nets up the beach. You then turn inland, pedalling past pears, lemon orchards and strawberry fields to your beachfront hotel at Praia de Mira with its inviting rooftop pool. (Staying at the Macarico Beach Hotel, Half Board in a local restaurant)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 33 km / 21 miles
  • Day 7

    At Praia de Mira

    A leafy trail leads east into lagoons and acacia forest this morning, and sun-dappled routes cross timber, New England-style, covered bridges spanning clear-water canals. Kingfisher and blue heron are common here, and bright cistus and iris splash colour along the route leading past several perfect picnic spots. Have lunch by the sea and enjoy a final paddle before dinner back at your hotel. (Staying at the Macarico Beach Hotel, Half Board in a local restaurant)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 24 km / 15 miles
  • Day 8

    Leave Praia de Mira

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels

Your hotels range from 4-star hotels in art-deco and historic buildings in Porto and Aveiro respectively, to a chic designer property at Praia de Mira and a boutique spa hotel in Furadouro. We've included four evening meals and left you free to select from one of the many restaurants in Porto (night two), and also in Aveiro.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £322.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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 & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

 

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf (£30 admin fee per person). We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Air-rail prices include our standard flights, onward rail and station transfers
TAP Air Portugal Gatwick to Porto 11:50/14:10 then transfer to hotel 20 mins Return: Transfer to station 50 mins then rail Aveiro to Porto Campanha 14:02/14:36 and TAP Air Portugal to Gatwick 17:55/20:05.

Standard transfers
Transfers included from Porto airport at 14:10, and back to Aveiro station at 13:00.

Location start:
Porto
Location end:
Porto

What to Take

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount on the price of the holiday, as specified above.  You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees.

N.B This does not apply to trips within the UK, for which local bike hire is not included.

You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. It is also your responsibility to ensure your bike is roadworthy and suitable for the type of cycling to be undertaken. If in doubt, the model of local bike hire available should act as a guide and details of terrain, ascent and descent are available both in the itinerary and the ‘Is this trip for you’ sections. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

E-Bikes Available

Electric bikes offer all the thrills and healthy exercise of a regular bike, but with one crucial difference - power! A tiny electric motor (capped at 25mph) assists your pedalling, allowing you to make molehills out of mountains. Cycle further, see more, have more fun. They are just perfect if you want to try a trip with companions of differing fitness level - or a trip at a slightly harder grade - and want to know there’s a bit of motor power available if you need it.

Reading List

Lonely Planet - Portugal

The Rough Guide to Portugal

Practical Information

Passport

Portugal

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Portugal

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Portugal's Timezone:
Europe/Lisbon WEST (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Portugal's Electricity:

European 2-pin plug. 

Money

Portugal's Currency

The national currency of Portugal is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Responsible Tourism

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

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.