Porto & Minho’s Green Coast
7 Days / 6 Nights / 5 Cycling Days
This cycling tour follows the rivers Minho and Lima, and the Ocean front of north Portugal discovering some of the cultural and natural beauties of this wonderful region, the Minho.
Starting in Melgaço the trip goes along the natural border of Portugal, the river Minho. It allow you to cycle thru one area of historical places, medieval fortress and churches, 17th century forts and strong halls, all in a green scenery of wine growth and lush vegetation. Places like Valença do Minho, Caminha and its old town center are charged of character and history. Places that show the Minho typical architecture and culture.
From Caminha the path veer to south, follow the Atlantic shores. Viana do Castelo is another stunning place, the historical center and its unique hilltop church on top of the city give a different aura. Entering via the shores of river Lima, to stay in the oldest Town of Portugal, Ponte de Lima, is one part of the Saint James path jowl. Returning to the coast line following river you’ll discover several beach resorts and their surroundings; in places you’ll cross protected areas of sand dunes and birds habitats. Povoa do Varzim and Vila do Conde are old fishing ports and are known for the caravels shipyards of XV & XVI century.
Arriving by north at Porto you will enter by the river Douro, small forts are a pronounced of the historical city you are entering. The medieval center is UNESCO classified, and well worth of a visit.
1: Arrival at Porto and Transfer to Melgaço
Overnight: Hotel 4* Monte Prado Hotel & SPA
The day start with your reception at the airport, or other place previously arranged.
It follows a 2h transfer to Melgaço Town and your Hotel.
After Check-in a comprehensive information pack will be handled to you.
Bike will be handle to you and we also help you for the final adjustments.
Melgaço Town is waiting if you still have time, take a stroll or cycle to the castle and old centre.
Take sometime and taste the famous Vinho Alvarinho, Alvarinho wine a green wine…
Transfer to Melgaço 2h.
2: Cycle from Melgaço to Valença do Minho
Overnight: Hotel 4* Pousada de São Teotónio
Today start going to Melgaço old centre where the cycling tour really starts.
If you couldn’t find time yesterday, this is a good way to start visiting the narrow street of the old town.
Make a stop at Solar do Alvarinho and have a glimpse of the famous Alvarinho Wine, one Green Wine!!
From Melgaço you will follow the river Minho to its river mouth, but today is only to Valença do Minho.
The cycling will follow one low traffic lane that passes thru villages and one always green landscape.
The scenery is of vineyards and patches of forest.
The history is always by the way, from old medieval bridges and towers.
From the XVII and XVIII centuries old Manors’ granite coloured white walls can be seing along the path.
Monção town is one good place to explore the fortress, streets and have a meal; the central square is typical of the Minho architecture.
Leaving Monção the path is an excelent cycling lane that follow the old railway tracks.
The railway is converted today into a easy cycling path to reach Valença do Minho Fortress.
Valença sits at the hilltop facing Spain, and the Fortress is a reminder of long beligerant times…
Note: Possible Side Trip to Brejoeira Palace (Visit & Wine Tasting Possible)
Cycle 48,3km | 3H»4H | + 530m | - 570m
Side Trip 9km | 1H | + 110m | - 110m
3: Cyle from Valença do Minho to Viana do Castelo
Overnight: Hotel 4* Casa Melo Alvim Hotel (Viana castelo)
The way will meet the river shore and follow it until Vila Nova de Cerveira.
Views over the river are calm and peaceful, it’s a relaxed bike ride.
The town is one important art centre in North Portugal; every two year there is one very important art festival.
Apart from that the town centre, the castle and surrounding narrow streets are to be visit.
To get to Caminha the path goes following the river outside Cerveira, but after a while it goes a little inland.
Over the river Coura to get into Caminha beautiful typical Minho town centre and his buildings from other era.
You are at the mouth of the river Minho into the Atlantic and follow now the coastline until Viana de Castelo.
All along the way you will go along small fields not far from beach, and in some points it is possible to get a bath… Viana do Castelo is a bigger city; the centre is characteristic of the Minho and reminds its ancient past.
At hilltop the Zimborio, that can be reach via road (bike) or Funicular.
Viana is a vibrant place, cafés and restaurants, the pedestrian streets are full of life and small shops.
Cycle 59,5km | 4H»5H | + 500m | - 540m
4: Cycle Loop Viana do Castelo - Ponte de Lima - Viana do Castelo
Out of Viana do Castelo by the margin of river Lima you’ll encounter a cycling path.
Path that takes you to Ponte de Lima, and traverse the natural reserve of Lagoas de Bretiandes.
Portugal most ancient town: Ponte de Lima is a passage over the river since the roman time.
More recently the most important passage to Santiago de Compostela this in medieval times.
The town itself have a wonderful historical center to be explored.
The path return to Viana do Castelo via the south marging.
The cycling trail is of a smooth dirt lane along rural minho landscape.
To enter back into Viana do Castelo take the crossing by the Eiffel Bridge.
Relax by one esplanade or visit the hiltop Basilica, this is Viana!!
Cycle 55,5km | 3H30»4H30 |+ 460m | - 460m
5: Cyle from Viana do Castelo to Vila do Conde
Overnight: Hotel 4* Santana Hotel & Spa (vila do Conde)
This day will take you back to the Atlantic coast.
Gustave Eiffel bridge near Viana do Castelo will take you south following part of the Santiago alternative path.
You will pass some villages and arriving at the river Neiva.
A place where you will still cross like a pilgrim, the bridge is one very Spartan, but a delight for travellers.
By the foot of the hill and crossing villages and along cobled paved lanes you'll arrive at Esposende.
A nice town at the river mouth of the Cávado. Nowadays is a beach-town with a beautiful beach front and lighthouse and even a fort from the XVII century.
From here is just a few more kms and natural park to cross the litoral norte natural park.
Dunes and patches of forest will lead you to Povoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde.
Vila do Conde is a small town in which Caravels were made and nowadays a replica awaits you for a visit…
Cycle 53,4km | 4H30»5H30 | + 430m | - 430m
6: Cycle from Vila do Conde to Porto
Overnight: Hotel 4* PortoBay Teatro Hotel
Vila do Conde port is smal but carries the historical site of the building of vessels for the discoveries in the XIV and XV centuries.
Now until Porto the path will follow in the opposite direction the variant of Saint James Path, this time to Porto.
Cycling paths will lead you crossing sand dunes, a bird sanctuary and hopping from beach to beach.
And even a Iron settlement unique as its the only one by the beach is all Iberian peninsula!!
Passing thru Matosinhos and its mobile bridge. Longing the Port and by the front Beach you reach the Fortress of Castelo do Queijo. You are entering Porto.
Continue cycling the lane and you’ll reach the mighty Douro river and soon the center UNESCO world heritage site.
One marvellous site, and once again history is present. By the river is of medieval times, as you start to climb away from the Douro...
The final pedaling stage is along XIII century town... And some from XIX c. to arrive at your hotel.
Cycle 34,9km | 3H»3H30 | + 470m | - 370m
7: Departure from Porto
If you still have time, take a visit to some highlights of Porto, they are just of walking distance from your Hotel.
A transfer will be organise to your schedules and meet you to transfer you at the Airport.
|Dates & Prices|
* Welcome transfer at Porto Airport or train Station to Melgaço Hotel. (other please inquire)
* Briefing at the Hotel with handover of documentation and Gps Device for navigation.
* Gps For Navigation (How to use tuition at briefing).
* Booklet with detailed information for your tour, including maps.
* Luggage transfer during Hike, Hotel to Hotel (2 Piece per person)
* Phone assistance during all journey.
* Portuguese phone for assistance 24/7 .
* 7 nights lodging on Comfort (2*/3*) or Superior (4*) accommodations on BB basis.
* Final Transfer from Hotel in Porto to Airport or Train Station
* Liability and personal accident insurance.
* Lunch and diners.
* Extra days for rest or visits.
* Personal expenses.
* Taxi transfer (not specified).
* Support vehicle during Cycle.
* Bicicle Rent.
* 5 Day Cycling trekking Bike rent (100€ )
* 5 Day Cycling E-Bike Rent (115€ per E-Bike)
Bike rental includes Helmet, handlebar bag + small rear bag, pump, extra inner tube, toolkit and locks
* Extra days for rest or Visits
* Support vehicle (ask quotation)
* Hybrid bike or E-Bike rental ( see Bike Rental)