Portugal

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
cello297
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Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 7:45pm

Portugal

Postby cello297 » 28 Dec 2018, 6:53pm

I am planning to ride up through Portugal, maybe flying to Faro and catching the Santander ferry back, starting in May. I will be camping. Has anyone done something similar, and could suggest a vague route? I have been told the EV1 is not very good. Any suggestions gratefully received!

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ConRAD
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Re: Portugal

Postby ConRAD » 28 Dec 2018, 7:59pm

cello297 wrote:... maybe flying to Faro and ...

... from Faro ... maybe some ideas HERE

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mjr
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Re: Portugal

Postby mjr » 29 Dec 2018, 8:19pm

cello297 wrote:I am planning to ride up through Portugal, maybe flying to Faro and catching the Santander ferry back, starting in May. I will be camping. Has anyone done something similar, and could suggest a vague route? I have been told the EV1 is not very good. Any suggestions gratefully received!

I've ridden bits of EV1 west of Faro a few years ago and it was fine. Just expect Sustrans style routes of cycleways of variable quality linked together by some perfectly fine back roads and some mad stuff (riding through a ruined house was probably the maddest, but missing drop kerbs were common) to be overall 40% poor and you won't be disappointed. I'd use it again despite the mad bits because the drivers on bigger Portuguese roads seem crazy careless.

Sorry I can't help with routing north.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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delilah
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Re: Portugal

Postby delilah » 29 Dec 2018, 8:31pm

If you pm me I'll let you have a copy of my route from Faro north to the Spanish border on quiet roads

whoof
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Re: Portugal

Postby whoof » 29 Dec 2018, 8:44pm

I've ridden from Faro inland a bit and also from Porto to Santander.
A couple of things to note. Portugal is very hilly and outside coastal areas campsites can be infrequent. Cheap accommodation is readily available though.

bohrsatom
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Re: Portugal

Postby bohrsatom » 30 Dec 2018, 10:36am

I rode Faro to Porto a couple of years ago. It was a great trip, the interior of Portugal is wonderful and the roads are generally very quiet too. However with the exception of the coast there aren't many campsites to choose from. We ended up leaving the tent at home as accommodation is plentiful and pretty cheap.

Take a look at Pedal Portugal's touring routes (https://pedalportugal.com/touring-routes-2/) for inspiration. Can also find the route we followed on https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pag ... 36089&v=49.

cello297
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Re: Portugal

Postby cello297 » 30 Dec 2018, 6:15pm

Thank you for the replies. That are extremely helpful. I have tried to pm you, delilah, but I don't think that it worked! I am a bit of a computer numpty! Please tell me if you haven't received it.

borisface
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Re: Portugal

Postby borisface » 30 Dec 2018, 8:21pm

I've lived in central Portugal for the last 6 years and know the country well. I rode part of the EV1 route from Faro to Sagres earlier this year. It was OK. It was well signposted with good road markings. Most of the route was on small lanes. some was on promenades and it was pretty flat. The area from Faro west for 40 miles or so is pretty built up but the further west you go the better it gets. I haven't ridden the EV1 north of Sagres but up toward Lisbon the area is fairly sparsely populated. From Lisbon onwards, the coast is pretty well developed and the route will go through smallish seaside towns.

However, the route posted by Conrad earlier on the thread would be far more interesting IMO. You'd get to see the real country and the roads will be empty. As a rough rule the southern half of Portugal is relatively flat and the northern half is mountainous.
If you are planning to go back via Santander, I would advise against cycling in a direct line from say Guarda through Salamanca and Valladolid - its pretty dull, empty relatively featureless landscape, although Salamanca is a great city. IMO a better option would be to head north of Guarda towards Braganza, Leon in Spain and on towards Santander. Although it will be longer and more mountainous it will be more interesting.

Any other questions let me know.

delilah
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Re: Portugal

Postby delilah » 31 Dec 2018, 4:55pm

Sorry cello but I have not received your pm. I need your email address to send you an attachment of my route, but I understand its not advisable to post email addresses in the open forum.

Cyckelgalen
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Re: Portugal

Postby Cyckelgalen » 1 Jan 2019, 8:02pm

The Alentejo coast, that is from Cape Sao Vicente to the Lisbon is stunning, secluded beaches, dramatic cliffs and grand views, it is likely to be awfully windy during the winter months, as most of the coast to the north.
The north east corner, from Guarda to the north is the coldest region by far. Camping sites are less common in the interior as someone said.
Some stretches if the coast have cycle lanes, often bits and pieces of sea side promenades, it will be flat and there will be more traffic than in the interior.
One option is to try to follow the Santiago road, you can find tracks in Wikiloc searching for "Camino portugues" it doesn't follow the cost but runs mainly still on the coastal plains, flatter, linking historical towns. The town do Tomar should be a must in your route with an inexpensive campings it's right in the town centre. From there you can veer straight into the mountains to the north or take the Santiago route towards Coimbra.
A very interesting route is to follow roughly the longest road in the country, (Portugal's own LEJOG) the Estrada Nacional 2, from Faro to Chaves. This dissects the country from north to south half way between the coast and the Spanish border.
As far as the EV1 goes, it goes from Faro straight into Spain and there is hardly any dedicated cycling infrastructure on tne way to the nothern coast, it exists only on the map.
Should you pass by central Portugal from February on, I will spend time there and can offer a simple place to stay If needed,

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mjr
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Re: Portugal

Postby mjr » 1 Jan 2019, 8:26pm

Cyckelgalen wrote:As far as the EV1 goes, it goes from Faro straight into Spain and there is hardly any dedicated cycling infrastructure on tne way to the nothern coast, it exists only on the map

This was not true a couple of years ago. EV1 goes along the coast the other way too, linking together what little infrastructure there is, which could be described as hardly any. cycle.travel estimates 4% tarmac infra and 11% gravel cycleways, although there seem to be routing oddities near Sines.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

cello297
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Re: Portugal

Postby cello297 » 1 Jan 2019, 10:30pm

Thanks to you all for being so helpful. I don't seem to be able to make the pm work, Delilah. My email is lucinda.rhodes42@gmail.com.

Graham O
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Re: Portugal

Postby Graham O » 4 Jan 2019, 10:29am

My last 2 tours have been in Central Portugal, on the Spanish border and it is a fantastic place to ride. Condensing both trips, heading northwards, I went through Elvas, Portalegre, Nisa, Castelo Branco, Idanha y Nova, Monsanto, Sabugal, Guarda, Pinhel and Vila Nova de Foz Coa, before heading west to the coast at Aveiro and Porto, staying in youth hostels and cheap hotels. Around Elvas,(fantastic history) you are in the Alentejo, (hot, dry, flat) which I wasn't impressed with, but from there north, it gets progressively better. As you go north towards the Duoro valley, the hills do become longer and steeper, but generally, they are fine for just "engage low gear and wind your way up". The roads are very quiet inland, but get busy on the coastal strip.

Inland, villages can be well spaced out and some have cafes which only serve coffee, beer and crisps, i.e. no proper food. But eating out can be cheap and the people are great. However, English is not widely spoken, so some words in Portuguese would be a help, but otherwise French is quite widely known.

My first trip was in late May and the weather was generally ideal with temperatures around the mid 20's and rain on 1 day in 7, although in 2018, it stayed cool and wet until mid June.

Feel free to pm me if you need more information.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o= ... 19302&v=7a
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o= ... 21322&v=4m