Looking for the best cycling routes in Portugal? Whether you are a beginner in bike touring looking for the most beautiful views of Portugal, or a seasoned bicycle traveler looking for new routes to explore, this list has something for you.
The routes are graded on the difficulty of terrain and length. All of these cycling routes are scenic with plenty to see, so pack your bike and enjoy!
Table of Contents
The Best Coastal Cycling Routes In Portugal
Rota Vicentina bike route
The Rota Vicentina is one of the most popular routes in Portugal, and in the whole of Europe. The route follows the Atlantic coast through rice paddies and marshes, rolling hills, farms, fields and numerous villages.
Along the way there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a coffee break or snack or a proper meal of world class grilled fish. The route is graded as an easy-medium difficulty with an average daily distance between 35 and 65 kilometers.
Eurovelo 1 cycling route
The Costa de Prata Coastal Cycling Route runs along the picturesque coastline of southern Portugal. This route is popularly known as the Eurovelo 1, which actually starts in northern Europe.
This coast has some of the best beaches in Portugal and offers stunning views of the beach towns and wild nature. This route is graded at low to medium difficulty with flat to rolling terrain for most of the route.
This is a great choice for beginners or people who want to take it easy on their first bike tour in Portugal, with an average daily mileage of between 45 and 65 km. If you are looking for a tougher challenge, you can always ride 2 days back to back!
The Best Bike Touring Routes In The Mountains Of Portugal
Douro Valley bike route
You would be hard pressed to find more exceptional rides than what the Douro has to offer. The Douro valley cycling route is one of the very best bike routes in Portugal!
With excellent roads and near zero traffic for the most part, the Douro valley bike route will take you through the most stunning landscapes with breathtaking views of this unique valley.
This UNESCO heritage site owes as much to the labors of man in making the remarkable terraced vineyards as with the beauty of the valley itself.
A unique micro-climate and varying solar exposure ensure that no two hillsides are alike and the result are the wonderful wines of the region, as well as turn after turn of sublime vistas.
The rides are as challenging as they are rewarding, with most climbs being taken on the saddle, as they wind round the contours of the slopes rather than straight up them. Daily average mileage ranges between 35 and 65 km.
Even so, this is a more challenging route and it's important that you're in good shape to take it on - or you can always consider an ebike to get a little extra help on the hill climbs!
Camino Português bike route
The Camino Portugues cycling route follows one of the official pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostella, in the footsteps of the Way of St James.
The cycling route follows closely the walking path, along ancient Roman roads of Lusitania and is the second most traveled route after the Camino Frances.
Whichever route you take, the incredible beauty of its varied landscapes, charming villages and monuments to the glory of St James will instill unexpected awe in you.
Due to the hilly and mountainous terrain of northern Portugal, this is a more challenging route, so you need to be in good shape to undertake this adventurous bike tour. Expect to ride between 35 and 65 km per day.
As mentioned above, don't be put off considering the Camino Portugues, as an ebike can certainly help on the hills and make this route accessible to more riders!
The Best Bike Touring Routes In Portugal For Beginners
If you are new to bike touring, these routes are the best to start with. They are less difficult than the other routes and still offer beautiful views and an in depth experience of Portugal.
Alentejo wine country bike route
Relaxing, Self Guided bike tour across the rolling fields of the Alentejo in Southern Portugal, cycling past wild flowers, vineyards, ancient castles and cork trees along the way.
Medieval walled villages, white-washed and trimmed in blue, dot the hilltops while plains of wheat and oats spread out below, freckled with small flocks of sheep and goats grazing under majestic cork trees.
With traffic free roads and beautiful landscapes it is no surprise that the Alentejo is one of my very favourite regions in Portugal. This is an easy to moderate route with a daily average mileage of between 40 and 70 km on mostly rolling terrain.
Algarve interior bike route
The Algarve is famous for it's sunshine and sparkling beaches, but the often overlooked interior offers rustic tranquility and outstanding cycling on very low traffic roads.
Departing from Tavira, not far from the Spanish border and cycling to Lagos, near the south-westernmost point of Portugal, the Algarve route follows little traveled inland country roads, passing fragrant orange groves and fields of fig, almond and carob as we cycle back to the sparkling beaches the Algarve famous for.
This part of Southern Portugal gets around 300 days of sunshine a year and offers some of the finest cycling conditions in Europe. The cycling is easy to moderate with a daily average of between 40 and 60 km.
This warm, sunny bike tour route offers great rides, the unbeatable Portuguese hospitality, superb food (particularly fresh grilled fish!) beautiful beaches and plenty of reasonably priced accommodation.
If you are looking for a fun and easy bike tour, this is a great choice!
Conclusion: My Favourite Cycling Routes In Portugal
The popularity of cycling in Portugal is on the rise, and with good reason. The country has some of the most beautiful routes for cyclists, with scenery that ranges from iconic coastal routes to picturesque mountains.
Whether you're a novice cyclist or an expert, Portugal has the perfect cycling routes for you.
My personal favourite bike touring routes in Portugal include the Rota Vicentina, for it's perfect blend of seascapes and bucolic landscapes, as well as the daily option to wet your feet in the Atlantic - before or after a delicious seafood meal. I can never tire of this route!
Another personal favourite is the Camino Portugues, although it's not exclusively in Portugal, it covers some of my favourite regions in northern Portugal; the Minho and the Douro.
This is where you experience some of the warmest hospitality I've encountered in my travels and the cherry on top is arriving in Santiago de Compostella - always a jubilant triumph, no matter the weather!
While the previous two favourites tick all the boxes for an inspiring and exciting bike tour adventure, perhaps my very favouirte cycling route in Portugal remains the Alentejo wine country, for it's very simplicity and tranquility in our hectic times.
For someone who loves wine and food as much as they love cycling, the Alentejo is hard to beat - anywhere in the world. It's also a perfect place to unplug, unwind and get far from the crowds.
How about you? Have you cycled in Portugal, and if so what is your favourite cycling route or region? You can share your bike touring stories or submit your photos and videos with like minded cyclists right here!