Visit castles, churches, artisans, wine producers and typical family owned cafés on this 8-day cycling tour. The landscape changes from olive groves to vineyards and cork oaks and from from granite to schist and to marble.
What to Expect
Start in the small village of Alvito, very famous for its Gothic Manueline architecture, and from there cycle to Évora, an impressive city classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. In Évora you’ll explore the megalithic monuments. Continue to Monsaraz, the lovely white castled village with a panoramic view over the biggest artificial lake of Europe, and cycle through Terena and its impressive sanctuary. The tour then goes to Vila Viçosa, where you can visit the famous Ducal Palace, and finish in Estremoz, the city of the white gold (marble). The days are relaxing and easy. You’ll do between 35 and 50 kilometers a day. Roads are mostly undulating which means that you rarely have big climbs. There will be some dirt roads with asphalt, but most of the tour is on asphalt. The dirt roads give the tour a special link to nature.
Day 1: Welcome and Orientation
Early arrival to the airport and transfer to Alvito. At 18:00, enjoy a welcome drink and a briefing, before having dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Arraiolos Route
Cycle through the Arraiolos village, with its rich historical center, the famous carpets, and the delicious Pastéis de Toucinho, and climb to the castle for some unforgettable views. Continue on the winding roads to a cheese shop where local liqueurs are also produced for a tasty break.
Visit a winery with a fantastic private carriage collection and enjoy lunch there.
Continue on your way riding though some small farms we will to the Aldeia da Terra, a gigantic cartoon made of clay instead of paper. Then, ride the ecotrail, a bike lane built atop an old railway, to your final destination of Évora.
Day 3: Megalithic Route
Visit some of the most important megalithic monuments of the region. The landscape is lovely, with a lot of holm oak and cork trees. Learn about the cork extraction and about the people who inhabited the region more than 5000 years ago. Go to the Dolmen of Zambugeiro – the biggest one in Europe, the Cromlech of Almendres, and the Roman ruins of Tourega. In the afternoon cycle in the city of Évora and discover the amazing history of this beautiful city and then visit the surreal Bone’s chapel and the impressive cathedral, originally from the 13th century.
Day 4: The Valley of the Degebe River
Ride between olive groves to reach the small and traditional village of Nossa Srª de Machede. Here you should stop at a local café for a drink, visit the leather factory, and an olive mill (when in season). Then you´ll pass the Castle of Valongo and visit a cheese factory in Reguengos de Monsaraz. When you arrive to Reguengos de Monsaraz you will have plenty of time for some wine tasting in a gorgeous winery where they still have a room with old clay pots to keep the wine.
Day 5: Conquest of the Castle of Monsaraz
Visit the famous pottery village of S. Pedro do Corval, where you can see the men working with clay, transforming it into beautiful pots and plates, and the women painting them with flowers. Then, conquer the gorgeous village of Monsaraz, built on top of a hill. From Monsaraz you’ll take in the beautiful view over the lake of the Alqueva dam, the biggest artificial lake of Europe. Have lunch by the lake (included in guided tours only), and then cycle to your lovely hotel and enjoy the pool there.
Day 6: The Sanctuary Route
Leave the schist land and discover the marble kingdom. Begin by visiting the impressive sanctuary of Nossa Srª da Boa Nova and the flowery village of Terena. After, pass by the moon-like landscape of the marble quarries of Bencatel area, from where white gold was extracted to build gorgeous cities such as Estremoz and Borba. Arrive at Vila Viçosa, a favorite resting place for many kings who were followed by many noble people who built beautiful manor houses in the area.
Day 7: The Marble Route
Start by visiting the fabulous Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa and the marble museum (tickets included in guided tours only). In Borba, go to a typical local café where the wine served is produced in the clay pots that decorate the space. It’s the local «hand made wine». Ride through some typical villages and stop for typical "petiscos" (local snacks) which will be your lunch, and then follow to Gloria, where you'll visit the Church of Nossa Srª dos Martires, a marble Gothic church. Arriving to Estremoz you’ll be impressed by the beautiful architecture and the imposing tower of the castle where you will sleep!
Day 8: Departure - Transfer to Lisbon (2.5-Hours)
- Accommodation with breakfast
- Luggage transfers
- Emergency contact 24h/day
- Route descriptions and historical notes
- Personal accident and third party insurance VAT tax
What's Not Included
- Insurance for bikes (nonexistent)
- Travel insurance
- Tour cancellation insurance
- Transfer from Lisbon airport to Alvito
- Transfer from Estremoz to Lisbon airport
- Entrance fee at bones chapel, in Évora
- Entrance fee at cathedral, in Évora
- Entrance fee at Ducal Palace, in Vila Viçosa