Are you ready for a real challenge? How about a 738km 6-day N2 cycling trip on the longest road in Europe?
Portugal is one of the least explored countries in Europe, and a true hidden gem for cyclists. During this trip you will traverse the country from North to South.
The north of Portugal is lush and green, world famous for the Douro Wine Region, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. The ancient terraces cling to the side of every hillside, changing colour in Autumn turning the valleys to gold. leaving unforgettable images in the memory of any passing cyclists. K0 of the N2 road starts in Chaves, close to the border with Spain and this is where you will start your N2 cycling adventure!
Central Portugal is characterised by the drier expansive plains of the Alentejo, small villages that feel utterly untouched by modern life, and some of the best producers of cheese, wine and olive oil in the country. For many miles cyclists will be grateful for the plane trees that line the route, providing shelter from the strong sun – but don’t forget to look out for storks who roost in the telegraph poles beside the road.
As you reach Southern Portugal, the greenery returns along with a range of hills that produce a few punchy climbs but stunning views towards Spain and the surrounding ‘Serra’. Cork oak plantations make a large majority of the roadside vegetation, along with beautiful orange groves on the approach to Faro.
The route is littered with magnificent castles, a reminder of its less peaceful past. The Algarve itself was one of the last strongholds of the 400 year long Islamic Conquest of Iberia, re-taken by the Christians in 1189, and in fact many place names, churches and the gastronomy of central and southern Portugal still hint at this rich heritage.