Featured Cycle Tour
This week we’re featuring one of our more popular cycle routes which is very much in keeping with our theme of reporting on Portugal’s hidden wonders.
Many tourists and visitors to Porto often miss these amazing sites out of their adventures and our planned cycle route aims to highlight them for our clients.
Our Porto & Minho Route is exciting and gloriously beautiful. Below is an outline of what you can expect on this route.
The tour will take a big part of the journey on the path that leads to Santiago de Compostela. But we’ll start by getting to know the town where the Portuguese nationality was established 800 years ago. Visit the oldest natural park in Portugal and the museum of a sunken village. In Ponte de Lima, we will visit its medieval burg, discover the well-known bridge whose one visible part was built by the Romans and have a taste of its famous gastronomy. From Valença to Viana do Castelo, we will travel to an old rail, nowadays adapted to all kinds of bikes, along the Minho River to its delta in the Atlantic Oceano. The next ride will be along the with sea, towards Póvoa de Varzim. The route is developed mostly on secondary roads and bike paths, mainly between farmlands and vineyards that characterize this Green Wine producing region.
Tour Description: Moderate level
Estimated KM: 329 km and 5719m (1.73) of cumulative increases
Day 1- Porto — Guimarães (53 km).
We will take the central Portuguese path, from the city of Maia, that will eventually lead to Santiago de Compostela.
Guimarães, an incredible historical city, whose role is connected with the construction of Portugal, which in the Middle Ages was called “Vimaranes”, a geographical reference to the rider of the IXth Century, Vímara Peres.
A World Heritage Site and European Capital of Culture, Guimarães became the political and administrative center of the Portucalente County, by Henrique, father of of the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques. The city holds a length of religious architecture, from churches and centurial convents, to outstanding chapels and shrines. Its cuisine, traditionally northern, consists in the famous pies, the buds of heaven and the famous white wine. The city is also known for its festivals and traditions, very dedicated to university students, S. Gualter, Santa Luzia and S. Torcato.
Day 2- Guimarães — Gerês (69 km).
We will leave this religious city and head torwards the Gerês, following the course of the Homem River.
This mountainous region received its medieval charter in 1514 by the Portuguese king D. Manuel I. The territory belongs to Terras de Bouro, with a huge Roman influence, we can the ancient Roman road between Braga and Astorga, where we will ride along.
In this site you can find the National Park of Peneda-Geres, one of the most fantastic sights in Portugal.
Day 3- Gerês — Ponte de Lima (70 km).
Our bike ride will take us to “Portela do Homem” and then we will visit the so called village’s museum “Vilarinho das Furnas”. After this cultural visit, it’s time to move on to Terras de Bouro and Vila Verde, ending the day in Ponte de Lima.
Ponte de Lima is very well-known for being one of the oldest villages in Portugal, whose history is imbued with its heritage, environment and tradition. Being one of the villages with an abundance of multicolor flowers, its cuisine comprises rice, the unquestionable “sarrabulho”, the famous white wine and taste buds.
Nevertheless, it is also recognized for being a place of passage and pilgrimage to Santiago Compostela, current concentration of religious tourism. Allied to this rurality, tranquility and abundant vegetation, Ponte de Lima holds Rural Tourism dedicated to the nature lovers.
Day 4- Ponte de Lima — Valença (41 km).
Following the pilgrims path to Santiago, we end our day in Valença do Minho.
Between Portugal and Galicia, Valença contains good road and rail access, proximity to ports and airports and less than an hour from major cities such as Porto, Braga and Vigo. Historic city and symbol of cross-border relations between Portugal and Spain, today is a multicultural space where the imposing Square-Fort is one of the largest and best preserved military structures of Europe. The environment and heritage are its ultimate trademarks. By betting on nature tourism, heritage and gastronomy, Valença excels in the art of hospitality.
Day 5- Valença — Viana do Castelo (51 km).
A bike ride along the river Minho, where we will witness an old train railway, nowadays a bicycles’ path, heading to Viana do Castelo. After, we can enjoy the incredible sightseeing of the Moledo and Carreço’s beaches.
Viana do Castelo, the name of the region concerns the legend of a shy princess, named Ana, who fell in love with a young man who could see her from the other bank of the river, screaming with joy and satisfaction. Holding a strong gastronomy with a typical component of the Minho region, there are several traditional festivities that advertise’s Viana do Castelo.
Day 6- Viana do Castelo — Póvoa de Varzim (46 km)
Cycling along the waterfront, we can appreciate Apulia and Esposende’s beaches.
Póvoa de Varzim’s first settlements´ take us back to 900 a.C. when the first communities grew inside a medieval walled city and developed a fishing industry for many years. With a 12 km coast, Póvoa de Varzim promotes the health and leisure activities, combining with a fantastic fish gastronomy and urban landscapes.
Day 7- Support Vehicle to Porto