860km 10-day Historic Gravel Adventure along the Spain – Portugal border
Guided, Self-Guided and Club options are available. Pricing starts at €1250pp.
Portugal is one of the least explored countries in Europe, and a true hidden gem for cyclists. During this unique gravel tour you will traverse the country from North to South, starting from Pocinho in the North-Eastern region of Portugal Tras-dos-Montes on the Douro river and finishing in Alcoutim in the Algarve. The regions of Portugal and Spain that we will cycle through are some of the least explored in the whole of the Iberian Penninsular. This gravel tour is a chance to do something new and completely different from other gravel tours on the market at the moment in Europe.
You will start the tour with an unforgettable train journey along the Douro River from Porto all the way to the end of the line in a small village of Pocinho. From here itis a stone throw away from where we will start the tour, in Torre de Moncorvo. The north of Portugal is hilly, lush and unspoilt – 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.
From here we will head into Spain, where similar countryside is set apart from Portugal by the completely different architecture. Wooden Tudor-like houses on stunning little streets of small villages with almost no tourism makes for a truly amazing start to the trip because you really are exploring areas that are very much untouched by modern living.
The central part of this trip is characterised by a number of hilltop fortified villages we will visit, such as Monsanto, Castelo de Vide, Marvao and Monsaraz. These spectacular towns have such a rich history, and are beautiful, fascinating places to walk around at the end of the day.
As you reach Southern Portugal and Spain, 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.
The route is littered with more magnificent castles – such as Elvas with its huge aquaduct and fortress, 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.