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Ideas for Portugal

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WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Ideas for Portugal

We're planning a three-week self-supported cycle trip in Portugal (flying in and out of Lisbon) in May 2010. Would greatly appreciate suggestions on routes, not-to-miss sights, and accommodations. I have not been able to locate any cycle-specific maps. Ideas? Thanks for any and all tips. Julia, Portland, OR, USA

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
Re: Ideas for Portugal

Hi Julia,
Have a look at my blog - days 82 to 96 - for a route in the southern half of Portugal. However, I would also recommend going up to Porto and cycling up the Douro Valley. I didn't do it myself but I was told it was rather beautiful up there.

I wouldn't bother with the Algarve if I were you as it's over-developed.

Cheers,
David

p.s. Link for blog is http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/euro2009

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Don't just stick to the coast

Hi Julia

My wife and I cycled from south to north back in January-March 2005. Which, as it turned out was the wrong way as then winds are predominantly from the north!

My main advice would be to concentrate on inland Portugal rather than the coast - although it's a lot flatter, it's nothing like so attractive as the interior and tends to be either overdeveloped or just long stretched of exposed sand and pine trees.

Having said that, there are some beautiful little sections of coast near Lisbon - around Sintra and Setubal. Other highpoints for me would be Tomar, Evora, Ponte de Lima and Viana do Castelo. I'd also highly recommend Castelo de Vide and the whole border section if you like quiet, wide-open spaces and little villages that haven't changed in centuries!

I could give more specific advice (we live in Viseu, Portugal now) depending on what kind of distance you're likely to cover. Maps are an issue. Basically there aren't any good ones - Michelin maps are probably the best. Campsites are ridiculously cheap (often no more than €10) and you can find decent guest house accommodation for as little as €25-30 in some places.

Any questions, just ask.

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
Portugal

Hi Julia -- I'd really appreciate your advice on the best route from Lisbon to Salamanca, Spain. I am seriously considering going through the Castelo de Vide, and am targeting about 80-100 km per day. If you could help me figure out a good route to Salamnca that would be much appreciated. I set off from Lisbon on June 5.

Thanks and best
Todd