Cycling Portugal

I rode Portugal November 2021. November is considered off-season. There were very few tourists.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

Cycling Alentejo and the Algarve is very popular, especially with German tourists.

For me Alentejo was much better. Very undeveloped. Low population density.

The Algarve is overdeveloped. And not in any way more scenic.

Weather was good. But I did have one BIG rainstorm.

I mostly followed the EuroVelo 1 Atlantic Coast Route using an app called Mapy.cz recommended to me by two Polish cyclists. Other cyclists recommended RideWithGPS. I’ll try that on my next trip.

It’s not much signed. Not clear. The EV1 in France — by comparison — is well signed and much better maintained.

I was quick to go off route if something looked interesting either left or right. Ended up getting lost and having to backtrack quite often.

With a week long touring bike rental from BikeIberia here’s what I ended up doing:

Lisbon > train to Setubal > ferry to Costa de Gale
Night 1 – Small room beside a small town bar in Comporta
Night 2 – Great hostel in Porto Covo
Night 3 – Tenting near Odeceixe
Night 4 – Great hostel in Sagres (huge rain storm)
Night 5 – Sagres
Night 6 – Hostel Portimao
Night 7 – Great hostel in Faro

Cost was about 30 EUR (US$33.85) / day for 7 days. Cost / day is less if you book for longer.

That included a good bike, well maintained. Helmet, handlebar bag, 2 waterproof panniers, toolkit, spare tube, pump and lock.

BEST of all — you can drop the bike anywhere you want in Portugal and Spain at no cost. The company picks it up on your last day. Brilliant.

Click PLAY or watch an EV1 promo video on YouTube.

I’m already considering riding one of the Camino de Santiago routes in future. Perhaps Lisbon to Santiago along the coast.

I slept most nights in a hostel, the best of which was MUTE in Porto Covo, where I had started my Fisherman’s Trail hike the week prior.

sunset from the MUTE hostel balcony

I would have slept in the tent more often, BUT nights are long in November. And it was colder than I expected.

In general, I took the scenic route closest to the Atlantic.

Beaches in November are deserted.

I ate one restaurant meal a day.

Free coffee at the hostels. Or on the trail.

I’d detour to tourist attractions.

I easily finished at Faro within my 7-day rental. Probably the least charming town en route.

Small coastal villages are best for me.

I’ll be back to Portugal / Spain to rent AGAIN from the same Lisbon based company. This is the easiest way in the world to do cycle touring.

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