Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Alvados
Aires and Candeeiros have 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.
Arrive to Alvados (transfers from Lisbon airport are bookable for a surcharge). The small village of Alvados is hidden in a deep valley. Enjoy the architecture with modern lines but fully respecting local trends and materials. Here, in Alvados, in the heart of the Natural Park, you'll find your charming hotel. The valley is almost 300 meters deep, so now you know why we recommend e-bikes for this tour!
This evening you'll enjoy your first delicious meal at your hotel.
Overnight in Alvados
Day 2: Caves route (27 miles/43km; total elevation gain 3,316 feet/1011m)
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.
From here you will continue cycling through the agriculture fields of the area, which include a lot of olive trees. In the 1950s about 200,000 liters of olive oil were produced here! There may be an opportunity to visit an olive mill and taste 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 is about 500 meters in 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 (massages are bookable at the hotel). You deserve it after this biking tour!
A picnic lunch is included today, and you'll have your first included cooking class at 7:00pm with the chef at your hotel.
Overnight in Alvados
Day 3: The Monasteries Route (29 miles/47km; total elevation gain 2,703 feet/824m)
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 1517, spanning the reign of seven kings! It is one of the masterpieces of Gothic art, mingled with Manueline style. We suggest a nice cafe in Batalha for lunch today (not included).
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.
From Alcobaça, we transfer you to our farm in Évora. Here you will enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening.
Overnight in Évora
Day 4: The Wine and Cork Route (27 miles/44km; total elevation gain 1,062 feet/324m)
The bike tour leaves the farm heading toward Igrejinha, a very white village where all the houses have different color stripes and resemble 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 countryside 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.
After the visit to the winery, you'll be transferred back to the farm to avoid cycling on the main road (wine tasting and return transfer are included in the tour cost).
You'll have another cooking lesson this evening at the farm to learn about Alentejo regional food!
Overnight in Évora
Day 5: The Famous Carpets (25 miles/40km; total elevation gain 1,394 feet/425m)
Along the eco-trail, 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. This is a good place to stop for a drink and try the delicious meat pies of Mrs. Ilda (not included in tour cost)!
From here, the route heads to the Arraiolos village, with its rich historical center, 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 (included in the tour cost). A few miles past the winery, you'll discover a cheese production farm where local liqueurs, jams, and other regional delicacies are produced. You may enjoy sampling some of the treats at the cheese farm (about €11, not included in tour cost). Both farms are really nice, so plan about an hour stop at each.
From the cheese farm, you will be transferred back to the hotel (included in the tour cost). Dinner is not on the agenda for this evening so that you may enjoy dinner on your own in the city (if you wish, you may always dine at the farm again at your own cost; dinner must be booked 24-hours in advance).
Overnight in Évora
Day 6: Twenty Centuries of History (12 miles/20km; total elevation gain 396 feet/121m)
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 transfer you to Santiago do Cacém by car. We will deliver you to the castle for a visit, after which you will cycle to the hotel.
At 6:00pm you will meet the chef for another tasty cooking class. Enjoy!
Overnight in Santiago do Cacém
Day 7: From the Mountain to the Sea (40 miles/65km; total elevation gain 2,165 feet/660m)
After all these inland days, you deserve some sea views and maybe a swim! Before leaving, visit the last operating windmill 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. You will have the opportunity to "walk into the ocean" on a pier made of rock. Here you can watch the unloading of the fish and the lamprey drying in the sun.
Later relax at the beach or explore the small streets and shops of Vila Nova de Milfontes followed by the perfect end of the day at the romantic riverside agro-tourism. You'll enjoy a final delicious dinner, included in the tour cost.
Overnight in Vila Nova de Milfontes
Day 8: Departure or extension
The tour officially ends after breakfast, but of course we would welcome you to extend your stay with us!