Porto to Coimbra – Culture Heritage, nature and fishing villages
7 days / 6 nights | Self guided bike tours
The bike tour Porto to Coimbra is an incredible ride between two medieval cities filled with History secrets. Start your tour where Portugal has its own name born, Porto, classified as Unesco World Heritage Property. Learn about Port Wine, the beverage and the associated culinary dimension of its own. Taste, smell, meet and bask in the sun as you cycle gently along some of the most beautiful beaches of Europe. Experience Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, its canals and salt pans. Cross vast pinewoods planted to supply the Portuguese discoveries. Enjoy the lively Figueira da Foz, a great holiday spot.
End the trip on a high note, in the World Heritage city of Coimbra with its impressive university and romantic streets where a king changed the history for his lover. Lying halfway between Lisbon and Porto, venerable Coimbra nestles on the banks of the River Mondego in dignified glory. Famed for its university - the oldest in the country - and a fantastic collection of handsome churches, serene monasteries, and lively cultural institutions, Coimbra is also a busy commercial hub with its many shops, boutiques, and appetizing choice of cafés and restaurants.
Day 1: Porto
From Porto airport (Portugal) where you will arrive, you will be taken to your hotel at Porto city centre. Explore the city and from your hotel walk until the middle age Ribeira quarter. Porto is a World Heritage city, a historic jewel with more than 150 listed monuments. Ride gently past the famous Eiffel bridge; see how the proud Port Wine lodges rise uphill from the south bank of the River Douro. It will be hard to choose where to dine tonight: Porto is famous for Port Wine and the diversity and quality for its cuisine.
Day 2: Porto to Furadouro (Cycling 42 km / 26 miles)
This morning you exchange the hustle and bustle of the city for the peace and quiet of the Atlantic shore. You will have a lovely ride along the coast, partly through a pine woods. The day ends in Furadouro, a hospitable town renowned for its excellent fish. Enjoy your meal!
Day 3: Furadouro to Aveiro (Cycling 39 km / 24 miles)
For this stage, you must not miss visiting the small town of Costa Nova, with its picturesque town centre of multi-coloured striped houses; if you have time take a ride on a Moliceiro, the hand painted wooden boats used for gathering seaweed. Travel through the channels of the “Portuguese Venice” in one of the beautiful Moliceiros boats and let yourself be seduced by the typical pastry of Aveiro, a delight for both the senses and the eyes. As an option, take part of a workshop and learn how to do it! The best part is you can eat it at the end. Also visit the salt pans and enjoy the properties of sea salt on the skin, after putting your feet in the small reservoirs. Dance next to the salt pans and feel the wind on your face. Your bike tour for today is a pleasant ride of 39 kms, through the Protected Natural Reserve of the São Jacinto dunes.
Day 4: Aveiro to Mira (Cycling 35 km / 22 miles)
Your ride today is a great mixture of beach, pine woods and riverside paths. Mira, where you will sleep tonight, perhaps to dream, is a small fishing village, where the main activity stills the craft fishing with colourful boats once pulled by oxen. You will certainly be inspired by the beautiful multi-coloured striped houses and the friendly locals. Observe the golden effect of the sunshine on the sand, the sea, the vegetation and the brightness of the contrasting colors of the landscape. Be sure to visit the fantastic fishing village of Praia de Mira and discover the typical colorful wooden houses they call "palheiros". Indulge yourself with the fantastic gastronomic specialties made with fresh fish that you can find here. Stroll pass the beautiful lagoon of Mira and enjoy its natural landscape. Visit some of the little shops too; a nice carpet can be bought at affordable prices.
Day 5: Figueira da Foz – São Pedro de Moel (Cycling 58 km / 36 miles)
Today you leave the enchanting city of Mira in the direction of Figueira da Foz along the the Portuguese silver coast. Enjoy nature with a beautiful ride through green fields. You’ll be riding between long beaches and a big pine forest that makes you feel in the wilderness. The ride takes place in a cycleway that follows a road called Estrada Atlântica (Atlantic Road).
Surrounded by preserved dunes, the picturesque and tranquil village of Praia da Tocha has a huge golden sand beach that extends to the north. Also known for its amazing golden sandy beach, Figueira da Foz is the ideal destination to rest and maybe to dream.
Day 6: Figueira da Foz to Coimbra (Cycling 43 km / 27 miles)
The path today is along rice fields and nature. Feel the change within cities’s trails and the cyclepath along the Mondego river. Arrive at Coimbra, a contemporary riverfront park with terrace bars and restaurants, a spiffy pedestrian bridge across the Mondego, and vast shopping complexes. Its atmospheric, beautiful historic core cascades down a hillside in a lovely setting on the east bank of the Rio Mondego: it's a multicoloured collage of buildings spanning nearly a millennium. For the past five centuries Coimbra wore its weighty importance in Portuguese history with dignity: the location of the country’s greatest university. During the academic year, you’ll be sure to feel the university’s influence and on a summer evening, the city’s old stone walls reverberate with the haunting metallic notes of the guitarra (Portuguese guitar) and the full, deep voices of fado singers.
Day 7: Coimbra to Porto airport
Transfer to Porto airport (Portugal) from where you will departure.
End of the tour
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.