We designed this tour for people searching for a good mix of nature and heritage, and a sprinkle of excellent cuisine on top!
The tour explores the Natural Park of Serra d’Aire e Candeeiros and the beautiful region of Évora, a city classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Then we follow to the gorgeous natural park of SW Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, for a dramatic change of landscape.
Due to the tough profile of the climbs in Serra d’aires e Candeeiros we have decided to do this tour in e-bikes. Be aware that if you chose a normal bike you shall expect a really tough time.
Your evenings will be spent with Chefs or local people. In our cooking classes you will learn delicious and simple Portuguese food. At each place you will be given a little book with the recipe of what you cooked so that you may repeat the experience at home.
We may adapt the week to your wishes:
OPTION 1 – Having extra nights at all or some of the hotels to guarantee some resting time
OPTION 2 – Removing one of the areas for a shorter trip in case you have less time.
OPTION 3 – Swapping some of the cooking classes for served dinners if you don’t want to do all the 3
Aires and Candeeiros has a very special landscape. As you bike you will discover man made rock walls marking the roads and proprieties and a barren landscape dotted here and there by boulders, fissures and slopes. Underground there is a rich network of caves and galleries that extend beyond your imagination. There is a rich and varied range of animal life, including 18 species of bats (the symbol of the Park) that find ideal shelter in the various grottoes. In a deep valley the small village of Alvados is hidden. There our hotel comes as a surprise. Enjoy the architecture with modern lines but fully respecting local trends and materials.
Bike and Cook and relax at this charming place.
At arranged time - Transfer to Alvados, included in guided and van guided tours only
5.00 pm or other arranged time - Briefing at the hotel
7.30 pm - Dinner at hotel
Accommodation and breakfast at Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel, located in Alvados village, which is situated in the heart of the Natural Park, in a depression almost 300 meters deep! Now you know why we propose an e-bike!
Dinner included in guided and self-guided tours.
This cycling tour will take you first to the wonderful limestone caves of the natural park. The guided tour takes about 1 hour.
In 1955 two men working at a place called Pedra do Altar went through an opening in the rock as they were trying to catch a bird. Inside they discovered a gallery of Santo António caves, formed more than 150 million years ago. The caves occupy a huge area of 6,000 square meters, adorned with stalagmites and stalactites (photos by Bruno Seabra)
From here you will continue cycling through the agriculture fields of the area, which include a lot of olive trees. In the 50s about 200.000 liters of olive oil were produced here! There may be a chance of visiting an olive mill and tasting some olive oil.
On the way you may park your bikes for a beautiful short walk. When you reach the top of the Fornea you find the perfect place to relax. The amphitheater has about 500 mts of diameter and 250 meters in height!
Arriving to the village of Porto Mós you may choose to visit the castle and then head back home for some relaxing time in the SPA. You deserve it after this biking tour!
Picnic lunch included in guided and self-guided tours
5.30 pm – Time for the special SPA in the hotel. Possible to book a massage for 2
7.00 pm – Cooking class at hotel - In the end of the day we invite you to meet the Chef in the kitchen and make your own dinner, which we hope will be Yummy!!!
Cooking class included in guided and self-guided tours.
Base kms: 43 Kms / 26,72 miles
Total ascent: 1011 mts / 3316 feet
Level: difficult with normal bike, medium with e-bike
Terrain: 80% asphalt, long steep hills, easy dirt track (ecotrail).
The Monasteries Route
Today you will cycle from Alvados to the Monastery of Batalha and then the Monastery of Alcobaça.
The route is again hilly at the beginning but then you have a wonderful downhill on a really narrow road through the mountains.
The monastery of Batalha took over a century to build, starting in 1386 and ending around the 1517, spanning the reign of seven kings! It is one of the masterpieces of Gothic art, mingled with Manueline style.
The Alcobaça Monastery has a beautiful 13th century façade but the building of the complex started in 1178. The impressive tombs of King Pedro I and his mistress Inês de Castro, who was murdered on the orders of Pedro's father, King Afonso IV are one of the highlights of the monastery.
Level: difficult with normal bike, medium with e-bike
Terrain: 100% asphalt, some long steep hills.
The Wine and Cork Route
The bike tour leaves the farm direction of Igrejinha, a very white village where all houses have stripes with different colors, resembling a great painting. From here cycle to the cork factory, which will surely be the highlight of the day. See how cork is transformed and learn about all you can do with it! From here ride to S. Miguel de Machede, another small country side village where you should stop for a drink at a local café. The day should finish with a visit to the winery of São Miguel, a really fun and interesting visit led by Joana.
OUR RECOMMENDATION: 42 kms, with transfer back to the farm, avoiding cycling in the main road
55 kms cycling to the cork factory and back to the farm, repeating the last 15 on the same road and not going to the winery
74 kms if you cycle all the route and back to the farm, with 20 kms on a main road. We do not recommend this option.
Base kms: 43,7 Kms / 27 miles
Total ascent: 324 mts / 1062 feet Level: easy
Terrain: mostly flat and really secondary roads. A few kms on main road if you cycle back
Wine tasting - 11 € per person – included in guided and van guided trips
Lunch not included, cafés on the way
6.30 pm – Cooking Class at our farm – Meet one of our team members for a cooking lesson on Alentejo food!
Along the ecotrail, a bike lane built on an old railway, through small farms, you'll get to Graça do Divor, a very well preserved white and blue village .
Good place to stop for a drink and try the delicious meat pies of Mrs Ilda!
From here, this bike tour heads to the Arraiolos village, with its rich historical centre, famous carpets and delicious Pastéis de Toucinho. The views from its castle are unforgettable.
It’s now time for a winery visit with a fantastic private carriage collection, a few kms later a cheese production farm where local liqueurs, jams and other regional delicacies are produced. Simply delicious!
If you want you can do a tasting of their products (includes cheeses, liqueurs, jams, bread. Really good value).
Both farms are really nice.
OUR RECOMENDATION: 36 kms with all visits described and transfer from cheese farm back to hotel. You should count with about 1 hour visit in each farm.
45 to 53 kms - to winery and back - easy level
75 kms - to winery and cheese farm and back a different way - medium level, very long day with the visits. Only for the very fast cyclers or those who don't want to do the visits.
Base kms: 40,3 Kms / 25 miles
Total ascent: 425 mts / 1394 feet
Terrain: gentle rolling roads, 15 kms on dirt roads
Wine tasting and carriage collection - 8 € per person (included on guided and van guided tours).
Tasting at cheese farm - 11 € per person.
Lunch not included, cafés on the way
Dinner not included – we suggest you have dinner in the city tonight, or you may buy an extra meal in our farm (book 24 hours in advance).
Évora is such a gorgeous city you must cycle there to explore it. Visit some of the most interesting sites, cycling through beautiful streets we carefully selected for you. The Roman Temple, the Cathedral, the Bone’s chapel and the University are some of the places we recommend.
After your lunch (not included) we will take you to Santiago do Cacém by car. There we will drop you off in the castle for a visit, really worthwhile, and you may cycle to the hotel afterwards.
At 6 pm you will meet the Chef for another tasty cooking class. Enjoy!
Terrain: Ecotrail for 8 kms and city streets afterwards.
ALTERNATIVELY YOU CAN STAY AT OUR FARM FOR 2 NIGHTS MORE, CYCLING ONE MORE CYCLING ROUTE HERE. PLEASE SEE PRICE SECTION.
From the Mountain to the Sea
After all these inland days, you deserve a bit of sea views and maybe a swim! Before leaving visit the last operating wind mill and head out towards the coastline through a lush green oak forest. The Blue Ocean and schist cliffs will frame the arrival to the fisherman’s village of Porto Covo. On the way check out a fortification that used to protect a natural bay from pirate attacks. Soon after you will have the opportunity to “walk into the ocean” in a pier made of rock, watch the unloading of the fish and the lamprey drying in the sun.
Later relax at the beach or snoop around the small streets and shops of Vila Nova de Milfontes followed by the perfect end of the day at the romantic river side agro-tourism.
Base kms: 65 kms / 40,40 miles Total ascent: 660 mts / 2165 feet Level: difficult with normal bike, medium with e-bike Terrain: 2 climbs and then flat roads and some dirt roads