Overall we are all glad we did this tour, but we agreed that an honest review was required. Our group of 4, downsized the tour to 3 days of unguided cycling in the 4 star hotel option. Two of our group had, one month previous to this tour, completed a 7 day bike tour in France that was rated as a 1-2 in difficulty. So, expectations were to have a comparable tour since the difficulty rating was the same. This was not our experience however. Our contact person for the Alentejo tour was really great during the first day orientation, answered all our questions, checked us out on the bikes and gear and left us with her personal phone number in case of problems. Terrific! Our group range in age from 66-76, all fit (2 active bikers one runner) and ready for the challenge. The first 6 miles or so were on the main highway to Lisbon (fast drivers and trucks closely along side the shoulder used for biking). Then when we turned off to the quiet roads as in the suggested option, the dirt roads were not in the 1 or 2 difficulty category rating as outlined in the tour. These unpaved roads were more like 4-5 difficulty as they were often like mountain bike roads for at least 1/4 of the days' 35 mile route. Steep upgrades, deep ruts from recent rain, many rocky and sandy roads impeded travel. It rained much of this, the first day. Even though our tour operators could not control the rain, they should have reassessed the level of difficulty and road conditions and report honestly about current road conditions status of deteriorated due to recent rains. Two of our group opted out for day 2 due to exhaustion and lack of faith in level of tour difficulty, but the two who continued enjoyed the quieter country roads which were less harrowing than the dirt roads, but more trafficked and still above level 1-2. Day three was great, though still there were several long, lowest-gear slopes more of a 3-4 rating and still on medium trafficked roadways. This days' outlined tour was also changed--we walked the 3 miles each way to the top of the hill town, as the 'road' very steep and all jarringly cobbled (in the level 9-10 difficulty range). Safety concerns: due to roads with traffic, tour company should supply high viability vests and warning lights. Hotels were great, maps good. The personnel we dealt with was great!