1. Cycling within the largest National Park in Portugal
2. Typical villages, its habits and traditions
3. The highest and one of the most typical villages in Portugal
4. Castles and remote santuaries
5. Roman monuments and many other ancient evidences
6. Cycling on the border and crossing to Spain at the highest border point
7. The delicious food and wine typical from the region
8. Breathtaking landscape
9. The Natural Park of Xurés (Spain)
10. Unspoiled Nature to be discovered
This is a gorgeous region and it is one of the most well preserved regions in Portugal still maintaining many Portuguese ancient traditions and the small and traditional villages made of granitic stones. The luxuriant vegetation completes this awesome scenario.
The tour starts in a small village called Casas Novas (near Chaves) where we can see several manor houses dated from the 17th and 18th centuries. We cycle along the river banks and the dam, and our way leads us to Vilarinho de Negroes, one of the most picturesque villages in the region and then to Montalegre, famous for its castle and its witch nights.
We go on cycling along traditional villages within the amazing luxuriant landscape of oak trees. Pitões das Junias, the highest village in Portugal, is a place to visit because of the breathtaking landscape around, its traditions and its people.
We cross the border to Spain at 1213m high and we cycle within the Natural Park of Xurès and visit some of its villages.
Our day without cycling is spent at a thermal hotel where you can relax or you can opt to take a scenic drive on the mountains that will take you to walk along the most well-preserved Roman road in Portugal, the Roman Military Road XVIII (Geira) which originally extended itself from Braga (Minho) to Astorga (Spain) and contains 250 milestones, used by the roman soldiers to measure the distances.
Our tour goes on to Peneda Hills and Castro Laboreiro where we can admire the walls of the old castle dated from the 11th century and located on the top of a granitic mountain and its Roman bridge.
We cross a forest of cedars and birch-trees which leads us to the Sanctuary of Senhora da Peneda. The landscape is amazing and the winding mountain roads take us to Lima valley and the land of Vinho Verde, the typical wine of this region.
We cycle along the river Lima to Ponte de Lima, admiring an astonishing view and luxuriant vegetation. Ponte de Lima is a beautiful small town whose name derives from the bridge (ponte) which was the only safe way to cross Lima river in the Middle Ages.
- Type: Road Bike Tour
- Class: Landscape Tour
- Version: Guided or Self-Guided
- Region of Portugal: Minho and North of Portugal
- Duration: 7 days/6 nights/4 days cycling/1 day rest
- Begin: Chaves (Minho)
- End: Ponte de Lima (Minho)
- Overall difficulty level: 4
- Level: Advanced
- Distance: 236km (147 miles)
- Average: 59km/day (37 miles/day)
- Trails: 100% asphalt
Day 1: Arrival – Welcome at Porto (or Lisbon) airport. 1H30 drive to Chaves. Briefing about the tour followed by dinner. Lodging in a Rural 4* Hotel whose building is dated from the 18th century.
Day 2: Lakes and Castles – 59km (37mi), 1080m ascent, level 3.
After breakfast we cycle around the mountains within fields under different crops. We follow the banks of the dam and have our picnic near the water and continue to Montalegre with its beautiful castle. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 4* hotel which was recently renovated and whose building was once the jailhouse.
Day 3: Crossing the border to Spain – 69km (43mi), 1090m ascent, level 4.
After breakfast we cycle towards several typical villages surrounded by lime fields and windmills. The highest village in Portugal, Pitões das Junias, is the place for our picnic. Then we cross the border to Spain and continue cycling within beautiful sceneries and lost villages. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 4* Thermal Hotel located in a paradise-like environment.
Day 4: Peneda Gerês National Park – FREE DAY.
After breakfast you can walk around and go to a beautiful waterfall or you can have a relaxing massage or a revigorating swim in the thermal pool. Dinner with the group. Lodging in the same hotel as the day before.
Day 5: The Quiet Villages on the Plateau – 47km (29mi), 1150m ascent, level 5.
After breakfast we cycle to Castro Laboreiro; this place is known for its castle and its breed of dogs. The views are amazing: there are huge rocks everywhere, many oak trees. We cross a forest of cedars and birch-trees. Picnic on the way. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 3* beautiful hotel which was once a lodging-house for pilgrims.
Day 6: The rural life in the valleys – 61km (38mi), 950m ascent, level 3.
After breakfast we cycle towards Peneda Hills and we can admire an amazing view. After the picnic we cycle to Lima valley where we find a different landscape: we are in the land of Vinho Verde (wine of the region). Dinner with the group. Lodging in a new 4* hotel overlooking Lima river and very near to the historic center.
Day 7: Departure – After breakfast we drive 0H45 to the airport. Farewell at Porto (or Lisbon) airport.
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