North of Portugal Bike tour
Cycling in the oldest Village of Portugal and near the river and sea
The Cycle Trail of Minho River in 2009 was ranked as the fourth best trail in Europe in 2009, showcases all the amazing Portuguese landscapes, rivers and it even provides you a breathtaking seaside view. Cycling trough villages considered World Heritage will give you the fulfilment you’re craving.
The Minho River is also the perfect excuse for relaxing in the north of the country. Explore the trails and the Portuguese villages along this border river and its main highlights. The Minho River flows along 300 km until it reaches Caminha. The natural border between Portugal and Spain lies between Melgaço and the river mouth.
The taste of the worldwide known gastronomy and wines are the icing on the cake in this region with such a rich landscape and cultural, historical and architecture heritage. Enjoy the delicious corn bread, sausages, codfish, lamprey, trout and shad, cooked in many traditional ways. For those who enjoy good meat, you can’t miss out on the famous “sarrabulho” porridge and the seasoned pieces of pork. This will surely enrich your trip and give you the desire to come back and discover more of Portugal!
Tour Description: Easy
Estimated KM: 152 km and 1894 m of cumulative gap climbs
Day 1: Melgaço
Day 2: Melgaço – Valença (43 km)
Day 3: Valença – Caminha (30 km)
Day 4: Caminha – Viana do Castelo (25 Km)
Day 5: Viana do Castelo – Ponte de Lima (26 Km)
Day 6: Ponte de Lima – Ponte da Barca ( 18 Km; estended track to Arcos de Valdevez 28 km)
Day 7: Departure
Day 1: Melgaço – Valença (43 km)
This amazing cycling trip starts alongside the Minho River, in Melgaço, a city in the north of Portugal. Ride on several bicycle paths along the Minho River always with Spain on the other side.Famous for its beautiful landscapes, history, gastronomy and also for producing the well-known and much appreciated green wine caste, “Alvarinho”.Every year this city organizes the “Festa do Alvarinho e do Fumeiro”, a huge event which is national and internationally known, that showcases the local gastronomy (like the Alvarinho green wine) and many other local handmade crafts. Sloping in Monção where the valleys are conducive to the practice of agriculture and viticulture, and it’s possible to find several archaeological finds that testify to a past filled with traces of the passage of different peoples through these lands.Next entering the city of Valença, a historic town in the north of Portugal, located right on the border with Spain, separated by the beautiful Minho River, and surrounded by ramparts atop a hill, boasting a long defensive look. With very old origins, assumingly, the presence of human communities in this territory date since pre-history.
Day 2: Valença – Caminha (30 km)
Leaving Valença but continuing along with the Minho river that marks the border with Spain, , the destination today is Caminha, a fortified border town where several battles were fought between Portugal and Spain. Standing on a tiny island in the middle of the estuary are the ruins of the fort of Ínsua, built as a defensive measure concerning the entrance in the river during the XVth century. Nowadays there is a daily ferry-boat linking the two banks of the river between the countries. This city is also very well-known for its natural and green heritage: the sightseeing areas, waterfalls, beaches, camping parks and the Modelo beach (a favorite destination of famous people in Portugal). The middle stop of this day is Vila Nova de Cerveira, the 'Village of the Arts'. An internationally recognized 'cognomen', resulting from the pioneering of the “International Art Biennials”, which began in 1978. The city then became the meeting point of artists from all over the world.
Day 3: Caminha – Viana do Castelo (25 Km)
Now alongside the coast, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean while you cycle, you’ll be reaching Viana do Castelo. One of the most beautiful seaside cities of the north of Portugal, Viana held a huge importance to Portugal in the Age of the Discoveries and later on with the cod fish fishing. This city has a huge tradition and connection with the sea, with the fisherman proudly showcasing it nowadays, mainly during the great festivity of “Nossa Senhora da Agonia”. It was also here that the ships were built and later deployed to Brazil, India, Africa and other Portuguese colonies (XIVth and XVth centuries).Vila Praia de Âncora is the beautiful city of passage today. A place of overlooking enchanting landscapes, filled with breathtaking vineyards and vegetable gardens. From the fluvial and Atlantic beaches to the marvelous banks of the Âncora river, to the regional gastronomy, to the magnificent views from the Mount of Calvary, to the built heritage, this village will surely amaze you.
Day 4: Viana do Castelo – Ponte de Lima (26 Km)
Leaving Viana, today the cycling will be back to the interior of Portugal, with the beautiful Lima River alongside next. The destination is now is Ponte de Lima, a city recognized as a universal heritage and as the ultimate North of Portugal, in all its rusticity and scenic beauty. This land full of history is located in the former Braga-Tui military road. With charter since 1125 it’s the oldest Portuguese village. Its bridge over the river Lima, built by the Romans in the Ist century, has always been a place of passage for the pilgrims who were going to Santiago.The worship of land and tradition are the basic pillars of development, inscribed in the deepest liminal roots and traces the markedly rural profile of this town. Ponte de Lima is the cradle of Housing Tourism, of the “Loureiro” variety that distinguishes the “Vinho Verde” and the Rice of “Sarrabulho” appreciated in the most far away places in the world.
Day 5: Ponte de Lima – Ponte da Barca (18 km)
Continuing along the Lima River, now in Ponte da Barca, a mountainous municipality with the Lima river flowing along the left bank, having half of the territory in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, it earned the title of Natural Reserve of the Biosphere.The city as distinguished itself over the years for its important role as an emporium in the regional trade corridor between the coastal region and the inland routes.Like most Portuguese localities, Ponte da Barca has very distant origins that should correspond to a pre-Roman, or at least Roman constituency, but archaeological findings have proved that it was already inhabited since prehistoric times.Among the vestiges of the Roman occupation of this land, there are several ceramic objects, coins and sculptures, most of which were found in the area of Serra Amarela. Among all these findings, the most important one is “Pedra dos Namorados” (Lovers’ Rock), which was found in the parish of Ermida.The monument heritage of the municipality is also very rich. In Ponte da Barca, the bridge occupies a relevant position, for it is one of the most important medieval bridges in Portugal, dating back to the first half of the XVth century. In fact, it was initially named Barca because, at the time, only one boat was used for the crossing, but it later became Ponte da Barca when the brigde was built.
Arcos de Valdevez (extended track) – 28 km
With many charming characteristics: green landscapes, abundant freshness, sunny architecture and a river that mirrors all the vanity of a village steeped in history: the Vez River.The natural advantages of a municipality of surprising geographical variety have made Arcos de Valdevez a destination of choice, offering an example of harmony between the natural protected area and the daily life of the people who occupy these lands.The vast and rich panorama constitutes the Historical, Cultural and Architectural Heritage, where the sobriety of the hills and valleys is allied to the beauty of the most diverse artistic manifestations providing a unique experience: Castles, churches, towers, bridges, hermitages and vestiges of ancient civilizations, everything here can be discovered.Arcos de Valdevez offers all the charms of the villages on the waterfront, the heritage of an ancient memory allied with the preservation of traditional values, innovation and dynamism.
Prices are based for 2 people sharing the same room;
Prices can suffer updates due high season, holidays or weekends
Tour Description: Easy extended track
Estimated KM: 238
Day 1 – Melgaço
Day 2 – Melgaço - Valença ( 43 km )
Day 3 – Valença – Viana do Castelo ( 55 km)
Day 4 – Viana do Castelo – Ponte de Lima ( 25 km)
Day 5 - Ponte de Lima – Esposende ( 55 km)
Day 6 – Esposende – Porto (60km)
Day 7 - Departure