Portugal N2 End Touring Bike Holiday
Activity: Self-guided touring bike holiday
Bike type: Touring bike (optional e-bike)
Duration: 14 nights & 12 cycling days & 1 rest day
Activity Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Accommodation: Good quality 3 & 4 star hotels
Daily Average: 62 km
Portugal’s “Route 66” is a tourism attraction based upon the N2 road that runs from Faro in the South all the way to Chaves in the North of Portugal some 738.5 kms in total. The N2 is over 70 years old and it is the longest continuous road in Portugal crossing 4 mountain ranges, 11 rivers and 29 municipalities, with tremendous variety in scenery & landscapes along the way. The road doesn’t have the same economic importance that it once had and has now been largely superseded by the nations motorway network, making the now quieter old road particularly interesting for tourism purposes and this of course includes long distance cycle tourism.
Day 1 Arrival
Upon your arrival in the Algarve, we will transfer to your first hotel in Faro so that you are at the start of the route for the first days cycling. If you decide not to bring your own bike and require a hire bike, then we will organise a bike fit for you en route to the hotel.
Day 2 Cycle to Almodovar: (75 km/1241m elevation gain)
Heading out of Faro on the N2, you will soon leave behind the town traffic and head up some steady climbs past Estoi and up towards the old Portuguese town of Sao Bras de Alportel. From there the road up to Barranco do Velho is a cyclists delight, twists and turns leading through pine forests and some magnificent scenery . Excellent views back to the coast if you get a chance to look back. From Barranco do Velho you pass the high point of todays ride ( around 580 m ), offering splendid views over the Serra do Caldeirão protected area and then gradually descend via Ameixal with views over to the Alentejo plains to the north . Gradually descending towards Almodovar your destination for the day .
Day 3 Cycle to Odivelas: (81km/474m elevation gain)
Todays ride is longer day in terms of kms, but with gentler climbs allowing some shorter days for the tougher climbing days ahead. Initially crossing typical Alentejo rolling countryside passing fields of cork oaks and agricultural land, with many Olive tree plantations , even including the occasional vineyard for which the Alentejo is of course famous .
Day 4 Cycle to Montemor O Novo: (63km/771m elevation gain)
Todays ride continues across the rolling Alentejo plains via the olive groves and vineyards towards one of the regions major wine producing centre – Montemor O Novo. There are possibilities to visit one or two vineyards in the vicinity and of course the chance to sample some of the local produce.
Day 5 Cycle to Montargil: (60km/500m elevation gain)
Continuing along the N2 towards the Barragem de Montargil, a steady days riding passing a few small towns along the way, some rolling hills before arriving at the side of the Barragem. Our chosen hotel for the night is close by the lake and offer splendid views out over the lake.
Day 6 Cycle to Abrantes: (60km/355m elevation gain)
Cycling alongside the barragem for the first 10kms or so the views are spectacular, continuing north toward the Tejo river and the town of Abrantes. We take a small detour from the N2 along the river Tejo to the small town of Pego our destination for the day.
Day 7 Cycle to Serta: (56km/1227m elevation gain)
Heading north from Abrantes leads to some climbing up towards todays highest point of around 500m before some descents and more climbing then arriving in the destination town for today Serta. Just before we reach Serta, we pass through the town of Vila de Rei which is recognised as the exact geographical centre of Portugal.
Day 8 Cycle to Gois: (68km/1224m elevation gain)
With more climbing into the hills todays ride takes in the famous schist villages of the Gois area, characterised by the houses made of the schist rock from the area. This is spectacular walking and biking territory with the scenery and hills that are to be expected .
Day 9 Rest day in Gois
A day to relax and explore the beautiful scenery and character of this famous area.
Day 10 Cycle to Tondela: (72km/1089m elevation gain)
A more challenging day with more hills as we pass towards the Parque Natural da Serra de Estrela, a 101 thousand hectare nature park, it is the largest and first ever nature park created in Portugal. Climbing towards 780 metres, todays ride offers some splendid views of the surrounding countryside as well as plenty of challenges along the way.
Day 11 Cycle to Carvalhal: (58km/987m elevation gain)
From Tondela, there is more climbing in on the road towards the city of Viseu a regional capital and economic hub. Viseu is also a wine industry centre as well as being a cultural centre so well worth a stop along the way. The destination for todays ride is Carvalhal, a famous spa town set in a beautiful valley.
Day 12 Cycle to Douro Valley: (55km/738m elevation gain)
From Carvalhal, there is a long steady climb for around 22 kms up to the highest point along the entire N2 at around 973 metres above sea level. From this high point the remainder of the ride is a descent down to the Douro valley taking some 27kms or so to descend 900 metres down to the river at Peso da Regua at the heart of the famous vine growing region.
Day 13 Cycle to Vila Pouca de Aguiar: (55km/1403m elevation gain)
The final days starts with a climb out of the valley and then up and over more hills towards Vila Real. There’s quite a lot of climbing on a shorter cycling day as we pass through the city of Vila Real the capital of the Tras os Montes province. Vila Real is a quiet university town with plenty to see of historical and architectural interest and a good place to rest a while before continuing the remainder of the climb up to Vila Pouca de Auiar.
Day 14 Cycle to Chaves: (34km/312m elevation gain)
A short final days cycling and mostly downhill to the final destination and the end of the N2 at a roundabout on the edge of Chaves. With plenty to see and do in Vila Pouca de Aguiar and also in Chaves, a late start or an early finish is your choice for the last day.
Day 15 Return to Algarve / Onward Transfer
PRICE ON APPLICATION
- 14 nights B&B accommodation in good hotels along the route
- X 1 garmin with route loaded – per group
- Airport / train transfer in Algarve upon arrival
- Return transfer to the Algarve
- Your flights
- Bike hire, we expect you prefer to bring your own, but we can provide a good quality rental bike with options for upgrade to E-Bike.
- Luggage transfer, you are expected to travel light with change of clothes etc in panniers
- Lunches and evening meals, lunches can be had in cafes along the way and evening meals at local restaurants or in some cases at the hotel
- Insurance, which we recommend that you have
Prices are per person based upon two people sharing a twin/double room.
Discounts are available for large groups, please contact us with more details on your group and for more information.