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8 Days Guided Bike Tour and Cooking Holiday in Portugal

Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel, Asseguia das Lages Road 181, 2480 - 032, Alvados, Porto de Mos, Leiria District, Portugal

Incredible Culinary and Cycling Tour Portugal

You are invited to come and enjoy a tour specially designed for people in search of a good mix of nature and heritage, with a sprinkle of excellent cuisine on top! Explore the Natural Park of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros and the beautiful region of Evora, a city classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Then follow the gorgeous natural park of Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, for a dramatic change of landscape. Book this holiday today and create memories for a lifetime!

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to point
  • Terrain: Hilly with some climbs
  • Starts in: Alvados
  • Ends in: Vila Nova de Milfontes
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31-45 miles per day)
  • Total Distance: 155,77 Miles / 253 Kilometers
  • Type of bike: Hybrid bike
  • E-bike: Available to rent / 200 EUR per week
  • Minimum 2 participants

Highlights

  • 3 cooking classes
  • Lovely wine tasting nights
  • Guided bike tour on incredible routes
  • Visits to the monasteries of Batalha and Alcobaca
  • Support car to go along during the six cycling days
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
  • 7 nights of accommodation
  • Delicious meals

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
Airport transfer included: Lisbon Portela Airport
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Accommodation

You will be staying at various accommodations during this tour including the Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel, the Monte do Serrado de Baixo house, the Santiago Hotel Cooking and Nature, and the Monte do Zambujeiro farm.

Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel (2 nights)

The hotel is located in the Alvados village. It is situated in the heart of the Natural Park, in a depression almost 300 meters deep. You will enjoy here the architecture with modern lines, but fully respecting local trends and materials.

Monte do Serrado de Baixo (3 nights)

Typical Alentejana, it honors the wisdom of traditional rural architecture. Tempered coarse, the blue bar so characteristic of Alentejo, imposing chimneys, and a leafy garden with enormous holm oaks. The rooms refer to the Alentejo landscape, the field, the olive tree, and the vineyard.

Santiago Hotel Cooking and Nature (one night)

The Santiago Hotel Cooking and Nature is an invitation to the experiences, where gastronomy and culinary are the main attractions, without forgetting the nature, the sports, the nearby ocean, and outdoor activities. It is located in the heart of the historic city of Santiago do Cacem, and close to desert beaches.

Monte do Zambujeiro farm (one night)

It is located just a step away from the most beautiful and wild white sandy beaches of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Vincentine Coast, and several fishing villages like Vila Nova de Milfontes, Almograve and Zambujeira do Mar. Here you will breathe nature and you will find tranquility, authenticity, friendliness, and a cozy atmosphere of comfort where hospitality makes a difference.

Program

During this eight-day tour, you will enjoy a mix of rides, cooking, and a lot of incredible places to visit and to learn about.

Day 1

Aires and Candeeiros have a very special landscape. As you bike, you will discover many man-made rock walls, marking the roads and proprieties, and a barren landscape dotted here and there by boulders, fissures, and slopes. In a deep valley, the small village of Alvados is hidden. There, the hotel comes as a surprise. You will bike, cook, and relax at this charming place.

At the arranged time, you will be transferred to Alvados.

  • 17:00 or other arranged time, you will enjoy briefing at the hotel
  • 19:30 Dinner at the hotel

The accommodation and breakfast will be at the Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel, located in Alvados village.

Day 2 (43 km / 26.27 miles)

This cycling tour will take you first to the wonderful limestone caves of the natural park. The guided tour takes about one hour.

On the way, you may park your bike for a beautiful short walk. When you reach the top of the Fornea, you will find the perfect place to relax. The amphitheater has about 500 meters of diameter and 250 meters in height.

Arriving in the village of Porto Mos, you may choose to visit the castle and then head back home for some relaxing time at the spa. You will deserve it after the biking tour. A picnic lunch is also included in the tour.

  • 17:30 Special time for spa in the hotel (it is possible to book a massage for two persons)
  • 19:00 Cooking class at the hotel

At the end of the day, you will be invited to meet the chef in the kitchen and make your own dinner, which it will definitely be delicious.

The accommodation and breakfast will be at the Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel.

  • Total ascent: 1011 meters / 3316 feet
  • Level: difficult with normal bike, medium with e-bike
  • Terrain: 80 percent asphalt, long steep hills, easy dirt track (ecotrail)

Day 3 (47 km / 29,2 miles)

Today, you will cycle from Alvados to the Monastery of Batalha and then back to the Monastery of Alcobaca. The route is hilly at the beginning, but you will have a wonderful ride downhill on a really narrow road through the mountains.

Lunch is not included today, but Portugal Best Cycling suggests a café in Batalha.

  • 16:00 Transfer to the farm in Evora
  • 18:30 Arrival at the farm, followed by a lovely dinner

The accommodation and breakfast will be at Monte do Serrado de Baixo.

  • Total ascent: 824 meters / 2703 feet
  • Level: difficult with normal bike, medium with e-bike
  • Terrain: 100 percent asphalt, some long steep hills

Day 4 (43.7 km / 27 miles)

The bike tour leaves the farm direction of Igrejinha, a very white village where all the houses have stripes with different colors, resembling a great painting. From here, you will cycle to the cork factory, which will surely be the highlight of the day. See how the cork is transformed and learn about all you can do with it.

From here, you will ride to Sao Miguel de Machede, another small countryside village where you will stop for a drink at a local cafe. The day will finish with a visit to the winery of Sao Miguel, a really fun and interesting visit led by Joana. The lunch is not included, but there are many cafes on the way.

Recommendation:

  • 42 kilometers with transfer back to the farm, avoiding cycling in the main road
  • 55 kilometers cycling to the cork factory and then back to the farm, repeating the last 15 kilometers on the same road and not going to the winery
  • 74 kilometers if you cycle all the route and then back to the farm, with 20 kilometers on a main road (this option is not recommended)
  • Total ascent: 324 meters / 1062 feet
  • Level: easy
  • Terrain: mostly flat and really secondary roads. A few kilometers on the main road if you cycle back
  • 18:30 Cooking class at the farm

You will meet one of the team members for a cooking lesson on Alentejo food.

The accommodation and breakfast will be at Monte do Serrado de Baixo.

Day 5 (40.3 km / 25 miles)

Along the ecotrail, a bike lane built on an old railway, through small farms, you will get to Graca do Divor, a very well preserved white and blue village. It is a good place to stop for a drink and try the delicious meat pies of Mrs Ilda.

From here, this bike tour will head to the Arraiolos village, with its rich historical center, famous carpets, and delicious Pasteis de Toucinho. The views from its castle are unforgettable.

It is now time for a winery visit with a fantastic private carriage collection, a few kilometers later, a cheese production farm where local liqueurs, jams, and other regional delicacies are produced, simply delicious.

If you want, you can do a tasting of their products (including cheeses, liqueurs, jams, and bread)

Recommendation:

  • 36 kilometers with all visits described and transfer from the cheese farm back to the hotel
  • 45 to 53 kilometers to winery and back, easy level
  • 75 kilometers to winery and the cheese farm and back a different way - medium level, very long day with the visits (this option is only for the very fast cyclers or those who don't want to do the visits)
  • Total ascent: 425 meters / 1394 feet
  • Level: medium
  • Terrain: gentle rolling roads, 15 kilometers on dirt roads

Lunch is not included since there are several cafes on the way. Also, dinner is not included, as Portugal Best Cycling suggests that you can enjoy dinner in the city, or you may buy an extra meal at the farm (kindly book 24 hours in advance). Tasting at the cheese farm is available at 11 EUR per person.

The accommodation and breakfast will be at Monte do Serrado de Baixo.

Day 6 (20 km / 6.84 miles)

Evora is such a gorgeous city that you must cycle there to explore it. Visit some of the most interesting sites, cycling through the beautiful streets that were carefully selected for you. The Roman Temple, the Cathedral, the Bone’s chapel, and the university are some of the places Portugal Best Cycling recommends.

After your lunch, you will be taken by car to Santiago do Cacem. There, you will visit the castle, really worthwhile, and you may cycle to the hotel afterward. You will meet the chef for another tasty cooking class at 6 p.m.

The accommodation and breakfast will be at Santiago Hotel Cooking and Nature.

  • Total ascent: 121 meters / 396 feet
  • Level: easy
  • Terrain: eco-trail for 8 kilometers and city streets afterward

Day 7 (65 km / 40,40 miles)

After all these inland days, you deserve a bit of sea views and maybe a swim. Before leaving to visit the last operating windmill and head out towards the coastline through a lush green oak forest. The blue ocean and schist cliffs will frame the arrival to the fisherman’s village of Porto Covo.

On the way, you will check out a fortification that used to protect a natural bay from pirate attacks. Soon after, you will have the opportunity to “walk into the ocean” in a pier made of rock, watch the unloading of the fish, and the lamprey drying in the sun.

You can later relax at the beach or snoop around the small streets and shops of Vila Nova de Milfontes, followed by the perfect end of the day at the romantic river side agro-tourism.

  • Total ascent: 660 meters / 2165 feet
  • Level: difficult with normal bike, medium with e-bike
  • Terrain: two climbs and then flat roads and some dirt roads

Lunch and dinner are included today. The accommodation is at Monte do Zambujeiro, a lovely farm with a swimming pool.

Day 8

On your last day, you will be able to choose if you want to stay or you would like to end the tour.

Option 1

Continue cycling along the coast on a trip set for fit people. Kindly check the "Go active tour", started on day five.

Option 2

Continue riding along the coast but on a biking tour with shorter days. You will cycle the last day along the coast tour and as many days as you want of the wild Algarve.

Option 3

Stay one or two extra nights in the wonderful farm Monte do Zambujeiro and ride to the beach for relaxing days.

Option 4

Check-out.

Included excursions

For this tour, you will be enjoying the Natural Park of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros, the limestone caves, and the beautiful region of Evora. Then, you will follow the gorgeous natural park of Alentejano e Costa Vicentina.

Location

During this tour, you will be able to learn about the history and landscape of Portugal, and also about their cooking. You will enjoy the Natural Park of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros, the limestone caves, and the beautiful region of Evora. Then, you will follow the gorgeous natural park of Alentejano e Costa Vicentina.

Limestone Caves

In 1955, two men working at a place called Pedra do Altar went through an opening in the rock as they were trying to catch a bird. Inside, they discovered a gallery of Santo Antonio caves, formed more than 150 million years ago. The caves are occupying a huge area of 6,000 square meters, adorned with stalagmites and stalactites.

From here, you will continue cycling through the agriculture fields of the area, which includes a lot of olive trees. In 1950, about 200,000 liters of olive oil were produced here. There may be a chance of visiting an olive mill and tasting some olive oil.

Monastery of Batalha

The monastery of Batalha took over a century to build, starting in 1386 and ending around 1517, spanning the reign of seven kings. It is one of the masterpieces of Gothic art, mingled with Manueline style. The Alcobaça Monastery has a beautiful 13th-century facade but the building of the complex started in 1178.

The impressive tombs of King Pedro I and his mistress Inês de Castro, who was murdered on the orders of Pedro's father, King Afonso IV, are one of the highlights of the monastery.

Natural Park of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros

As you bike, you will discover many man-made rock walls, marking the roads and proprieties, and a barren landscape dotted here and there by boulders, fissures, and slopes. Underground, there is a rich network of caves and galleries that extend beyond your imagination.

There is a rich and varied range of animal life, including 18 species of bats (the symbol of the park) that find ideal shelter in the various grottoes.

Food

You will enjoy delicious meals during this tour, and also three amazing cooking classes with an experienced chef. You will also attend two incredible wine tastings.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Book a massage and relax after a long day of cycling at the Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel
  • Learn about the history by talking to the locals
  • Try some Portuguese delicacies at the local restaurants and cafes

What's included

  • 1 liqueur tasting
  • 1 picnic lunch for cycling tour on day two
  • 2 wine tastings at wineries
  • 24-hour phone support
  • 3 cooking classes (includes a bottle of wine per couple)
  • 3 dinners (includes a bottle of wine per couple)
  • 7 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • A gift
  • Basic tools to fix small problems
  • Bike hire
  • Entrance fee at Bones' Chapel, Evora
  • Entrance fee at Monastery of Alcobaca
  • Entrance fee at Monastery of Batalha
  • Entrance fee at Santo Antonio’s caves
  • Entrance fee at the Evora University
  • First aid assistance
  • Guide to ride with the group (one or two, depending on the group size)
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Portugal Best Cycling jersey
  • Route instructions, detailed maps, and history notes
  • Support car to go along during the six cycling days
  • Transfer from Alvados to Evora
  • Transfer from Evora to Santiago do Cacem
  • Transfer of route The Famous Carpets
  • Transfer of route The Wine and Cork
  • Transfer on a private bus from Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) to the hotel
  • Transfer on a private bus from the last hotel to Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS)
  • VAT tax
  • Water and fruit for the day

What's not included

  • All items not mentioned in the "What's included" section
  • Insurance for bikes
  • Tour cancelation insurance
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Portugal Best Cycling will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport Airport transfer included: Lisbon Portela Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 21% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 45 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
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Important information

This tour needs a minimum of 2 riders in order to take place.

Saturday April 13, 2019
(8 days / 7 nights)

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