Bike Tour by the Douro River - Wine Country and International Park
Join this Douro bike tour, fit for road cyclists who want to discover the world’s first demarcated wine region and the portuguese historical villages Ride by the river, enjoying its trademark UNESCO world heritage “socalcos” or terraced vineyards and experience the secular traditions of this region. Visit the wine cellars, taste some of the best port and Douro wines and discover traces of the early history of Portugal, from up to 30000 years old. Visit the historical villages and challenge yourself up to top of the most beautiful viewpoints. Ride towards the portuguese historical villages and visit the medieval castles, the paleolithical engravings and rugged nature of the Douro International park and it's backroads.
The sheer history of this region starts and ends in Porto, one of the oldest city centres in Europe, settled in the 4th century during the roman occupation when it was named Portus Cale, to the UNESCO world heritage “socalcos”, that hold the wine farms on the steep hills of the Douro river, and to its own unique traditions, architecture, port wines and cellars. Visit the Palaeolithic archaeological sites with pre-historic rock art engravings and drawings dated from 22000-20000 years BC and spend your night in some of the historical villages of Portugal, with their very own medieval castles.
In this Douro bike tour, you'll get to experience beautiful landscapes and vantage points over the Douro valley, also a UNESCO world heritage, with its trademark "socalcos" or terraced vineyards; The undiscovered paradise of one of the most remote areas in Portugal, the Douro International Park: never-ending olive oil and orange fields, river beaches and animal life. Visit the authentic and picturesque villages of Peso da Régua, Pinhão, Marialva, Barca d'Alva; They are all close or on the riverbank of the Douro “expressway” and were historically focused on the commerce and transportation of the grapes and the wine, to and from Porto, in the traditional “Rabelo” boats that docked in their ports.
Dine and sleep in local charming hotels, once wineries or medieval castles, but now fully equipped hotels with their very own spas and amazing amenities to make you feel comfortable. Climb aboard a boat and sail in the Douro to discover the region from a different perspective.
Challenge yourself in this Douro bike tour by climbing towards the viewpoints and get a privileged look at the world’s most beautiful wine growing area. And fully enjoy the long, sweeping and almost car-free descents of the Douro International Park. Choose everyday between shorter or longer rides and define your own goals and pace throughout your riding experience.
Flat and rolling stages: Along the Douro valley and the Douro International Park. Great descending towards the big dams across the river and in the Douro International park but not technically difficult.
Mountain and hilly stages: Long climbs to the vantage points alongside the river, they make good challenges for those who wish to push themselves a little harder;
Landscape: A good mixture between the typical wine country landscape of the Douro, the rough nature and car-free roads of the Douro Valley and International park and the urban but traditional city of Porto.
Day 1: Arrival in Porto – Transfer to Pinhão
Transfer from Porto airport to your hotel in Pinhão, in the heart of the Douro River. Stay either at Quinta de La Rosa or Vintage House Douro, a 5 star hotel by the Douro river. Free day to rest at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of the ride by the N222, voted the world’s best road by Avis. You’ll then climb towards Tabuaço, cruising by the Távora River and witnessing the amazing views over the vineyards. Stop in Tabuaço to visit the city centre and start descending towards Adorigo and Peso da Régua. Return to your bike tour in the Douro Valley and ride back to your hotel in Pinhão to finish the loop. In the afternoon, visit Quinta do Seixo wine farm and wine cellar and taste some of Sandeman’s best Port wines.
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of the ride towards the Pinhão River, a tributary of the Douro. Ride upwards to the “Casal dos Loivos” viewpoint and continue to Alijó (see the wine and olive oil cooperative) and Favaios (home of the “Favaios” liquorish wine) and then back to Pinhão, with arrival at your hotel. Relax by the swimming pool during the afternoon or visit the Douro museum in Peso da Régua, to get a better understanding on the history of the Douro ecosystem.
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of your bike tour, from Pinhão towards São João da Pesqueira, on a long but manageable climb – or choose to begin your ride in São João da Pesqueira, being transferred there. Experienced riders are invited to ride towards the São Salvador do Mundo vantage point for a great view over the river and Douro valley. Ride towards Mêda and the Marialva historical village and witness the changes in landscape, as you go deeper into the Beira Alta. Sleep and relax in the historical hotel “Casas do Côro”, ( included in the premium option) in the centre of Marialva, right next to its century old Castle, or the newly refurbished "Termas de Longroiva", a thermal hotel perfect to relax nearby Mêda.
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of the ride from Marialva towards Trancoso, another historical village in Portugal, with its trademark medieval castle and fortified walls enveloping the historical city centre. Ride back towards Marialva by the plateau, passing through Mêda and descending back to Marialva. Relax at the hotel during the afternoon and go for a sunset boat ride in the late afternoon, lounging in an untouched beach by the Douro River.
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of your Douro bike tour towards the national park of Faia Brava, by the Côa River. Ride on car-free roads up to Freixo de Espada à Cinta and then enjoy the amazing 20km descent towards Barca D’Alva, on the frontier with Spain. Transfer back to the hotel. Relax at the hotel or visit the Foz Côa museum and archaeological sites. Suggested dinner at Casas do Côro.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out at the hotel and transfer to Porto. Free day to visit the city, before the transfer to the airport or your hotel in Porto.
Extend your stay in Porto, Pinhão or Marialva for an extra day before or after this trip.