Lima and Minho bike tour

Bike along the outskirts of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, follow the Lima river towards the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy beautiful landscapes passing by. Continue biking along coastal hamlets, fortresses and small fishing ports. This is a journey rich in colors and sensations.

Duration: 
7 days/6 nights
Country: 
Activity: 
Type: 

Highlights

  • Ancient little town Ponte da Barca and the river Lima
  • The picturesque mountain village of Sistelo, known as the "little Tibet" of Northern Portugal
  • Ponte de Lima, the oldest city of Portugal 
  • The protected landscapes of Lagoas de Bertiandos and Sao Pedro de Arcos
  • The coastal harbor town of Viana do Castelo
  • Beaches at the fishing hamlet Vila Praia de Ancora 
  • Beautiful Caminha and the Minho river, border between Spain and Portugal
  • Valença
  • Wine tasting

 

 

 

This bike tour will lead you along the most beautiful places of Northern Portugal. Starting at the outskirts of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, passing by the Atlantic and ending by the Minho river, you will not have to tackle a lot of hight meters.  Day 2 and day 5 are the most demanding. The routes consist of a combination of cycle paths along the rivers and the ocean, and beautiful rural roads. 

DAY 1 Ponte da Barca

Your adventure starts in Ponte da Barca, where you can walk through the historical center and along the river Lima.

Accommodation in hotel Fonte Velha.

For travelers arriving by plain in Porto Airport, a shuttle or private transfer from the airport to Ponte da Barca can be arranged at an additional cost.

DAY 2 Ponte da Barca - Sistelo - Ponte da Barca: 28 km

Today you will bike along the river Vez to the amazing mountain village of Sistelo, known as the "Little Tibet" of Portugal. This picturesque village is surrounded by terraced hills with old ladies dressed in black herding sheep, cobble stoned and rural hiking trails. The beautiful image of this village and its surroundings will stay in your memory for a very long time. 

Today there are more height meters than on the days to come, so we have foreseen a transfer back from Sistelo. This way you will also have time to discover this pretty village and surroundings. There are several hiking paths of different length starting in Sistelo.

Distance: 28 km I +480/-230 I Terrain: a combination of bicycle paths, rural and sand roads, tarmac, forest roads and bitumen.

Accommodation: same as day 1, in Hotel Fonte Velha in Ponte da Barca.

DAY 3 Ponte da Barca - Ponte de Lima & Lagoas de Bertiandos: 34 km

From Ponte da Barca you will cycle through the Lima Valley, following the Lima river, passing forests and fields. Ponte de Lima is the oldest town of Portugal. The old bridge, leading from the Lima river to the historic center dominates the view and brings you right back to Roman times. You need to pass by the beautiful protected zone of Lagoas de Bertiandos.

Distance: 34 km I +130/-152 I Terrain: Bicycle paths, combination of asphalt and sand

Accommodation: hotel Império do Norte in Ponte da Lima (***), breakfast included

 

DAY 4 Ponte de Lima - Viana do Castelo - Vila praia de Âncora: 46 km

Today you will bike from Ponte de Lima to the Atlantic Coast. Here you can visit the beautiful town of Viana do Castelo. Viana do Castelo is the place where captains embarked and set sail to discover new horizons. The Gil Eannes ship, that served as a hospital ship, is now open for visits. The historical center of the town is dotted with interesting musea, narrow streets and trendy new bars and restaurants by the river. From the hilltop with the Santa Lucia church you get an amazing view of the surroundings.

It will be hard to leave Viana but the second part of the route today will lead you along the beautiful coast to the also very charming Vila Praia de Âncora.

Distance: 46 km I +95/-98 I Terrain: Bicycle paths with a combinations of asphalt and forest.

Accommodation: Hotel Meira (****) in Vila praia de Âncora. Breakfast included.

Day 5 The valley of Âncora: 22 km

A more relaxing day allows you to discover the charming Minho culture and the valley of Âncora, named after its river. Green fields dominate the rural landscape. As the sun sets, the day ends with a typical Vinho Verde wine tasting.

Distance: 22 km I +370/-370 I Terrain: bicycle paths consisting of  asphalt and sand roads

Accommodation: Hotel Meira, as on day 4. Breakfast included.

DAY 6 Vila praia de Âncora - Caminha -Vila Nova de Cerveira - Valença: 40 km

Leaving Vila praia de Âncora this morning, you will follow a part of the St. James Way along the coast in the direction of Santiago de Compostela. At the coastal village of Caminha you will start following the Minho river which forms the border with Galicia in Spain. Passing small fishing villages and fortresses, you will finally reach the city of Valença.

Distance: 40 km I +89/-46 I Terrain: bicycle paths and asphalt.

Accommodation in Valença in Hotel Lara. Breakfast included.

Day 7 Departure day or extension

This morning your biking adventure through Northern Portugal comes to an end in Valença. 

On request we can arrange shuttle or private transportation to Porto or Santiago de Compostela. We can also arrange extensions.

Please contact YŪGEN tours to make pre or post tour arrangements. We will be more than happy to assist in creating your memorable journey.

Pricing and options

The price for this sample itinerary, VAT included, and based on 2 persons in a double room, is  765 EUR per person. When you are 4 persons the price is 675 EUR per person and if you are 6 persons, the price is 650 EUR per perons. For a single room there will be additional costs.These prices are NOT valid in June, July, August and September due to different room prices of the mentioned hotels.

The prices are indicative and subject to availability. They can vary according to personal wishes, extra services, changes in the itinerary, amount of participants and so on. Only the confirmed price on your definite order form is valid. Please contact YŪGEN tours to request a personalized itinerary and quote according to your personal wishes. 

Included:

  • Welcome meeting with local rep
  • 6 nights in hotels as described in the itinerary
  • 6 x breakfast
  • GPS GARMIN EDGE 1000
  • Road book and GPS tracks
  • Bike rental and equipment for 5 days
  • Luggage transfers between stages
  • 24h support during the tour
  • 1 wine tasting

Not included:

  • Flights
  • Transfers to the tour starting point and onward from ending point 
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Lunch and dinners
  • Everything not described as included

Possible options:

Our tours in Northern Portugal are very flexible and can be customized in any way. Examples which you can use as inspiration are:

Bicycling tours:

  • Guided tours
  • Day bicycling tours of different lengths and levels, with fixed accommodation in e.g. Viana do Castelo
  • Add extra nights to the proposed tour

Optional (guided) walking tours (English speaking guide) in:

  • Peneda-Gerês mountain villages (Amarela mountain)
  • the Peneda granite mountain
  • exploring the Wolf territory in Sistelo (includes local products degustation)
  • shepherd for one day in Sistelo (includes local products degustation)

Optional activities:

  • Canyoning in Amarela Mountain
  • Kayaking on the Lima River
  • Horse-riding in Gerês full day (for experienced riders)
  • Horse-riding in Gerês 2 hours 
  • Hiking in Northern Portugal (outside the NP)
  • All activities offered from Viana (please check our description of Viana do Castelo on the country page for all possible water and land activities)

Other services on request:

  • Mountain pic-nics (pic-nic box or catering)

Optional extensions in Northern Portugal:

  • extension in Peneda-Gerês NP
  • extension at the beach in Viana do Castelo or surroundings (please check our description of Viana do Castelo on the country page for all possible water and land activities)
  • extension in Porto City

Other accommodation types as described in the itinerary are possible (bungalow, rural house rental and so on).

Please contact YŪGEN tours in order to create your personalized adventure in Northern Portugal. 

 

Important information

Best time to travel

This tour is available from March to October. Best time to travel is spring and September as the weather is normally excellent. During summer months it may get hot and crowdy, especially in August.

Travel insurance

  • It is aways recommend to take out a travel insurance, covering for cancellation and curtailment, medical situations, baggage, emergency evacuation. Always check the specific conditions and coverage of your insurance policy, especially when participating in more adventurous activities.
  • YŪGEN tours does not provide travel insurance.

Medical Precautions

  • Check with your local immunization authority, travel clinic, public health facility or personal physician.
  • Visit the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION website for up to date information www.who.int

Travel documentation

  • If you do not have the Belgian nationality, you should inquire at the embassy in your country. The following is valid for people with Belgian nationality:
  • A valid Belgian identity card or an international passport. 
  • A visa is not required.
  • Children need their own identity card. Within the Schengen Zone it is recommended to bring a copy of the passport of the parent which does not accompany the other parent and the minor during the trip, as well as a document of consent of the non-traveling parent. This can prevent delays.
  • Belgian citizens should consult the website of the Federal government for all travel related advise: diplomatie.belgium.be/nl/Diensten/Op_reis_in_het_buitenland/reisadviezen/portugal

Flights

  • Flights are not included in the price of the tour. You are free to choose your flight dates, route, price and airline company if you wish to fly to Portugal.
  • If you opt for flights with a stopover or transfer in the United States of America, please note that you must complete a VISA WAIVER. You can do this up to a minimum of 72 hours before arrival, and this on the website of ESTA (link is external). The permission is valid for 2 years and costs approximately 14 USD per person.
  • Before booking your flights, please contact YŪGEN tours first to check if our local partners are not fully booked on the desired dates.
  • The closest international airport to our suggested trips is Porto's Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport.

Drive and self-drive tours

If you do not have the Belgian nationality, you should inquire in your country of nationality. Travelers from the Netherlands can consult the website of ANWB. The following is valid for people with Belgian nationality:

  • Your identity card and drivers license should be sufficient. In case of renting a car, do check the specific regulations of the rental company. Often a credit card is required to be able to rent a car and you need to be in possession of a drivers license during a certain amount of time already and/or a minimum age may apply.
  • More information on driving in Portugal and regulations can be found here: www.vab.be/nl/info-en-diensten/wegeninfo/europa/portugal
  • Please note that there are several toll roads in Portugal. Rental companies offer different solutions. On some highways you can pay in cash, but some are fully electronic and you need a special device to use them. Car rental companies can provide the device against an additional cost. Dutch speaking travelers can consult https://www.vab.be/nl/info-en-diensten/wegeninfo/europa/portugal. In case of renting a car always consult the car rental company.
  • Several car rental companies are present at Porto Airport. Cars can also be rented in Viana do Castelo, according to availability.

Feel free to contact YŪGEN tours for more information and assistance. We will be more than happy to assist.