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Castles and Wines of Portugal

  • 4.8

    (9)

  • 7 nights | 27 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 3
  • Guided from: €2100
  • Self-guided from: €840
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

The castles and wine tour will live up to its name.

Most nights will be passed either in a castle or an old convent, now beautiful charming hotels.

Along the way the great ancient city of Évora, world heritage site, and small fortified hamlets will tell the stories of wars with moors and Spain. The border is right there on the other side of the biggest artificial lake in Europe.

The loveable Alentejo people, at first shy, the Mediterranean typical gastronomy along with the wonders of cork, marble, olive oil and other crafts will enrich your experience. And the wine… well come and judge for yourself…

All this in safe backroads with some easy bits off the asphalt riding, with us by your side.

*Note: It is not recommended to travel in July or August due to extreme heat.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrival to Arraiolos
You should plan to arrive early so that you can transfer to Arraiolos and still have time to explore the town. At 6pm there will be a welcome drink and first briefing.
Overnight in Arraiolos.

Day 2: Arraiolos – Évora (26 miles/42 km to Evora; or 22 miles/35 km to farmhouse)
We start the day cycling through to the Arraiolos village, with its rich historical center, the famous carpets and the delicious Pastéis de Toucinho. We climb to the castle to conquer unforgettable views from one of the only round castles of the peninsula.

Riding through secondary undulating roads we reach the cheese farm, where they also produce local liqueurs. A really tasty stop!  It's now time to visit a winery where there is a fantastic carriage private collection. We will have our lunch here.

Riding through some small farms we will reach the Aldeia da Terra, a gigantic cartoon made of clay instead of paper. Curious? We reach our final destination, Évora, riding in the ecotrail, a green lane built on top of an old railway, traffic free.
Overnight in Évora or at a farmhouse 7 km from Évora.

Day 3: Megalithic Route – cycling around Évora (28 miles/45 km)
If you are intrigued by the evolution of our kind, puzzled by the enormity of some Neolithic constructions or wondered about the magical meaning of some pre historical sites, than this day is for you. The biggest dolmen and one of the most important cromeleques in Europe with over 5000 years of history are waiting for you.

The ride finishes in Évora, where you will have the chance to wonder around and get immersed in this ancient roman settlement. One of the highlights will be the visit to the surreal XIII century bone's chapel.
Overnight in Evora or at a farmhouse 7 km from Evora.

Day 4: The Valley of the Degebe River – cycling Évora to Reguengos de Monsaraz (31 mils/50 km to Evora; 35 miles/57 km if you stay in farmhouse)
Leaving Évora toward the rising sun a more baren landscape will keep us company. We ride between olive groves to reach the small and traditional village of Nossa Srª de Machede.

After a pause for a cold drink or coffee a visit to an old working leather factory. After lunch the mysterious castle of Valongo will provide shade while it unveils its roman past. A calm ride through easy backroads sets the tone to the day's final destination. Before dinner a visit to a local distinct winery where the scent of the brewing clay pots fills the air with the ancient knowledge that makes great wine.
Overnight in Reguengos de Monsaraz.

Day 5: Conquest of the Castle of Monsaraz – cycling from Reguengos to Monsaraz (22 miles/35 km)
Today's destination is the fortified village of Monsaraz, an important stronghold in the defense of our nation just by the border with Spain. On the way we will visit the famous pottery village of S. Pedro do Corval, where you can see the men making magic with the clay, transforming it into beautiful pots and plates, and the ladies painting them with flowers in an impressive speed.

Then with Spain in sight lunch by the biggest artificial lake in Europe, the Alqueva dam reservoir. Then it's time to conquer the castle, use all your energy to climb up to Monsaraz before going down to the relaxing country hotel to cool off and dine.
Overnight in Monsaraz.

Day 6: The Sanctuary Route – cycling from Monsaraz to Vila Viçosa (31 miles/50 km)
The day's ride will lead to the marble capital of Portugal and one of the biggest in Europe. The marble triangle will mark the landscape for the next cycling days. The so called white gold is the main economy driver of the region. Its richness is a constant presence in the wide streets and tall buildings. The picnic lunch and the visit to an impressive fortified sanctuary with an interesting tale will close the morning. Then a rare sight over distinct colored lagoons finishing with accomodation in an aristocratic convent.
Overnight in Vila Viçosa.

Day 7: The Marble Route – cycling from Vila Viçosa to Estremoz (22 miles/35 km)
Today the ride is soft so take this opportunity to taste some local delicacies: Petiscos.

From tavern to tavern the ride will delight your senses. The rest of the day will be spent in contemplation and admiration until the doors of Estremoz, the final destination of the journey. Dinner and closing celebrations with some surprises will be held in an old 15th century jail house - only for the nobles!!! And the journey will not be over until you climb up to the marble Donjon tower of the castle where you will sleep!
Overnight in Estremoz.

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, depart individually to your connecting travels.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrival to Arraiolos
You should plan to arrive early so that you can transfer to Arraiolos and still have time to explore the town.
Overnight in Arraiolos.

Day 2: Arraiolos – Évora (26 miles/42 km to Evora; or 22 miles/35 km to farmhouse)
We start the day cycling through to the Arraiolos village, with its rich historical center, the famous carpets and the delicious Pastéis de Toucinho. We climb to the castle to conquer unforgettable views from one of the only round castles of the peninsula.

Riding through secondary undulating roads we reach the cheese farm, where they also produce local liqueurs. A really tasty stop! It’s now time to visit a winery where there is a fantactic carriage private collection (wine and cheese tasting not included).

Riding through some small farms we will reach the Aldeia da Terra, a gigantic cartoon made of clay instead of paper. Curious? We reach our final destination, Évora, riding in the ecotrail, a green lane built on top of an old railway, traffic free.
Overnight in Évora or at a farmhouse 7 km from Evora.

Day 3: Megalithic Route – cycling around Évora (28 miles/45 km)
If you are intrigued by the evolution of our kind, puzzled by the enormity of some Neolithic constructions or wondered about the magical meaning of some pre historical sites, than this day is for you. The biggest dolmen and one of the most important cromeleques in Europe with over 5000 years of history are waiting for you.

The ride finishes in Évora, where you will have the chance to wonder around and get immersed in this ancient roman settlement. One of the highlights will be the visit to the surreal XIII century bone's chapel (entrance fee not included).
Overnight in Évora or at a farmhouse 7 km from Évora.

Day 4: The Valley of the Degebe River – cycling Évora to Reguengos de Monsaraz (31 miles/50 km from Evora; 35 miles/57 km if staying in farmhouse)
Leaving Évora toward the rising sun a more baren landscape will keep us company. We ride between olive groves to reach the small and traditional village of Nossa Srª de Machede.

After a pause for a cold drink or coffee a visit to an old working leather factory. Later, the mysterious castle of Valongo will provide shade while it unveils its roman past. A calm ride through easy backroads sets the tone to the day's final destination. Visit a local distinct winery where the scent of the brewing clay pots fills the air with the ancient knowledge that makes great wine.
Overnight in Reguengos de Monsaraz.

Day 5: Conquest of the Castle of Monsaraz – cycling from Reguengos to Monsaraz (22 miles/35 km)
Today's destination is the fortified village of Monsaraz, an important stronghold in the defense of our nation just by the border with Spain. On the way we will visit the famous pottery village of S. Pedro do Corval, where you can see the men making magic with the clay, transforming it into beautiful pots and plates, and the ladies painting them with flowers in an impressive speed.

Then with Spain in sight, you may lunch by the biggest artificial lake in Europe, the Alqueva dam reservoir. Then it's time to conquer the castle, use all your energy to climb up to Monsaraz before going down to the relaxing country hotel to cool off and enjoy your evening.
Overnight in Monsaraz.

Day 6: The Sanctuary Route – cycling from Monsaraz to Vila Viçosa (31 miles/50 km)
The day's ride will lead to the marble capital of Portugal and one of the biggest in Europe. The marble triangle will mark the landscape for the next cycling days. The so called white gold is the main economy driver of the region. Its richness is a constant presence in the wide streets and tall buildings. Then a rare sight over distinct colored lagoons finishing with accomodation in an aristocratic convent.
Overnight in Vila Viçosa.

Day 7: The Marble Route – cycling from Vila Viçosa to Estremoz (22 miles/35 km)
Today the ride is soft so take this opportunity to taste some local delicacies: Petiscos or snacks (not included).

From tavern to tavern the ride will delight your senses. The rest of the day will be spent in contemplation and admiration until the doors of Estremoz, the final destination of the journey. The journey will not be over until you climb up to the marble Donjon tower of the castle where you will sleep!
Overnight in Estremoz.

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, depart individually to your connecting travels.

Dates

Group guided: Mar 17, Apr 7, May 5, Oct 20, 2018 (minimum 2 participants) Private guided: Saturdays: Mar 3-24; Apr 7-Jun 30; Sep 1-Nov 30, 2018 (upon request; minimum 2 participants. Additional start days may be available for a surcharge.)
Low season: Mar 03, 2018 - Mar 30, 2018, Apr 07, 2018 - Jun 30, 2018, Sep 17, 2018 - Nov 30, 2018
High season: Jul 01, 2018 - Sep 16, 2018

Prices

Tour package: Private guided

(on date of your choice)

Per person, double occupancy
€2650
High season surcharge
€54
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
Low season
€311
High season
€434
Non-Saturday start date, upon request
€80
Bike Rentals
Electrically assisted bike
€200
Discounts
Per person, groups of 4 or more (on base package price)
€-400
Tour package: Group guided

Mar 17, Apr 7, May 5, Oct 20, 2018 (minimum 2 participants)

Per person, double occupancy
€2100
High season surcharge
€54
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
Low season
€311
High season
€434
Bike Rentals
Electrically assisted bike
€200

Dates

Saturdays: Mar 3-24; Apr 7-Jun 30; Sep 1-Nov 30, 2018 (minimum 2 participants; additional start days may be available for a surcharge)
Low season: Mar 03, 2018 - Mar 30, 2018, Apr 07, 2018 - Jun 30, 2018, Sep 17, 2018 - Nov 30, 2018
High season: Jul 01, 2018 - Sep 16, 2018

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€840
High season surcharge
€54
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
Low season
€311
High season
€434
Non-Saturday start date, upon request
€80
Bike Rentals
Kross Trans Alp touring bike
€100
Electrically assisted bike
€200
GPS rental
€50
Cell phone rental
€10
Transfer
Per person, Estremoz to Lisbon airport
€70
Per person, Lisbon airport to Arraiolos
€70
Discounts
Per person, groups of 4 or more (on base package price)
€-95
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Turaventur Terms and Conditions

1. Identification of the company
The tour operator activities are registered at the Portugal National Tourism Organisation, the National Board for tourism activities:

RNAAT 17/2002 – Adventure and cultural activities
RNAVT 340 – Tour operator
RNET 597 - Accommodation

Our activities in Protected Areas are classified as Turismo de Natureza.(Nature Tourism)

2. Included Services
Included and not included items

  • The tour price is per person and includes those items mentioned in the “INCLUDED” section of our website or, in case of a personalized proposal, in the included section of the proposal sent to you by e-mail.
  • Any item not mentioned on the included section is not included.
  • We sometimes may mention some NOT INCLUDED items or services we consider important to call your attention to.

3. Cancellations and refunds
By The tour operator’s initiative

The tour operator has the right to cancel a program according to the following circumstances:

  • Force Majeure: Refunds and compensation payments are not liable in circumstances beyond our control or our supplier’s control. This includes but is not limited to changes due to war, threat of war, acts of terrorism, civil strikes, natural disaster, fire, adverse weather or similar circumstances. If possible we will supply an alternative program.
  • In the unlikely event that we have to cancel your tour for any reason, we will refund you 100%.
  • Extreme weather conditions that may compromise the security of the program. In this case we will offer an alternative program as close as possible to the original one.
  • Programs for individual guests with set date and minimum number of participants to given price: if the minimum number of participants is not achieved then you may choose one of the following options:
  • Price for an inferior group, to be accepted or not by the client;
  • alternative program;
  • money refund.

The tour operator has the right to change the program or the routes whenever it's necessary for any reason as per example road works, health, safety etc. No refund will apply in these situations.

By Client’s initiative

Individual package activities - including accommodation and activities:

We highly recommend you to make a trip cancelation insurance.

Should you be unable to proceed with your tour for any reason you should inform us immediately. Our cancellation and refund policy for all tours is as follows:

  • For cancelations until 56 days before the tour start date we refund your deposit minus 50 € for handling charges.
  • For cancelations  between 55 and 42 days before the tour start date, we will keep your deposit but we will not charge anything else.
  • For cancelations between 41 and 21 days before the tour start date, you can choose one of the following options:
  • 70 % refund of the paid total
  • Rebook the tour on another date
  • Choose another tour
  • For cancelations between 20 and 1 days before the tour star there will be no refunds.
  • No refunds are available once the tour starts. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS, including weather or other factors beyond our control.

Individual activities up to 1 day

  • If you cancel at least 28 days weeks before the tour start date, your deposit is returned
  • If you cancel between 27 and 1 day before the tour start date, we will keep your deposit but we will not charge anything else.
  • No refunds are available once the trip starts. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS, including weather or other factors beyond our control.

Business Events

  • If you cancel at least 84 days before the tour start date, your deposit is returned, except for 200 € of handling charges.
  • If you cancel between 83 and 42 days before the tour start date, we will return the deposit except for 200 € of handling charges and any costs that we already incurred such as hotel advance payments, research costs, etc).
  • If you cancel between 41 and 1 days before the start date, there will be no refund.
  • No refunds are available once the trip commences. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS, including weather or other factors beyond our control.
  • Cancelling conditions may be negotiated BEFORE the booking of the trip and not after.

4. Risks and liabilities

The tour difficulty level is explained in each tour description. If you have any doubts please contact us.

Your booking is accepted on the following conditions:

  • You will inform us of have any medical condition that may be affected by or affect the activity.
  • You understand and accept the risks associated with bicycle, canoeing, walking or jeep travel (depending on the tour you chose)
  • You are fit and medically able to undertake the activity you booked.

5. Warranties, insurances and liabilities

The tour operator is fully insured according to the Portuguese law in force for its activity. This means that those participating in our programs are covered by insurances as described below:

(Personal) Accident insurance policy - Number 27/2588

  • This insurance is nominal which means we need to know each participant full name and age before starting date.
  • Coverage per accident:
    • Medical treatment: Limited to 3500 €/person/accident.
    • Death or Permanent Disability: Limited to 20.000 €/person.
    • In case of a child under 14 years old death or permanent disability is substituted by funeral expenses of a maximum of 3000 €.

Civil liability insurance policy - Number 95/219928 and 95/933735

  • Civil liability insurance covers damages caused to third parties or clients and that occurs because of the activity and of our responsability.
  • Limits:
    • 50.000 € / Accident / year, in outdoor animation activities
    • 75.000€ / Accident / year in travel agent activities

Responsibilities

  • The tour operator accepts no liability for illness/injury suffered by you or loss/damage to your property during the holiday save that covered by its insurances.
  • Travel insurance should be arranged by you at the time of booking.
  • Trip cancellation insurance is not included in the tour price but is strongly recommended. This will protect you should you need to cancel for unpredictable reasons such as illness, and should provide for your air and tour refunds in full. Additional insurance for baggage, health/accident is also strongly recommended.

Our program are run by experient guides. We have emergency plans and procedures for all activities.

Procedure

  • In case of accident you or a member of our team will call the Emergency service. Transport costs to hospital are of your responsibility. If the emergency service considers an ambulance is not necessary you must pay for a taxi and this is never refunded by the insurance company. Hospital bills must be paid by you. We will file a report to the insurance company. The insurance company will then decide the amount to be refunded and will refund you directly or through us.

6. Available emergency means

  • Portugal has a national emergency system that can be used anywhere in the country through the number 112.
  • Human resources: all full time employees have a 1st aid certificate.
  • Material resources: in all our programs we have a basic 1st aid kit and mobile phones. We may also use our bikes, jeeps or canoes as emergency means.

7. Bicycle: Rental Conditions, Technical Support and Responsibility

  • Bicycle rentals are subject to availability and on the condition that the client assumes responsibility for the bicycle during the rental period. There are no insurances for bicycles. For more details on insurances please see point 6.
  • Your responsibility may go up to the total cost of the bike – 500 €. In case of an e-bike your responsability may go up to 2000 €.
  • The safety of the bike is your responsability so make sure that when leaving the bike unattended it is securely locked to a fixed point through frame and back wheel in a visible place.
  • You may purchase a Theft and Damage extra protection service from us. Please see the conditions of this service in point 9.
  • If, when we deliver the bikes to you, something is not in perfect conditions, you shall inform us immediately, before the bike delivery guide leaves.
  • Bikes are equipped with helmet, rear rack and trunk bag, lock and spare tube.
  • In self-guided tours we also provide a pump, tire levers, map carrier, odometer and multi tool kit.
  • When you return your bike you must pay for any lost or damaged items.
  • Bikes are delivered working properly but small problems can occur due to continuous use. If you book a self-guided tour you are also expected to solve minor problems on your bike like changing a flat tire or tuning your gears or brakes.
  • If you need us to meet you to solve these kind of problems an additional fee will be charged.
  • If you book a guided trip the guides will take care of all problems.
  • You're booking a cycling tour so you must know how to ride a multispeed bicycle and be sure that its use and physical effort present no risk to your health.
  • Participants assume all risks associated with the activity they have booked. Your safety comes first so the use of HELMETS is required.

8. Bicycle Theft and Damage protection service (not for e-bikes)

  • This is not an insurance.
  • This service covers:
    • Bike theft. Providing that you have taken all precautions to prevent the theft from happening. You must always file a complaint with the local authorities.
    • Bike damage in case of accident or fall.
  • Moving you and/or the bike to a local bike shop or having a mechanic on your location is not included. You must, at your expense, go to the shop advised by the tour operator or pay for the mechanic to meet you on site. In this case the service is subjected to mechanic availability and delays due to distance.

The cost for this service is 75€ per bike/tour (up to 8 days), VAT included.

Exceptions:

  • Damage caused by negligent use.
  • Damage caused by noncompliance with road traffic laws.
  • A road accident involving other vehicles. In which case the authorities must be summed to access responsibilities on site. An insurance declaration form must be fulfilled (declaration form will be provided with the bicycle).
  • E-bikes

This service may be halted at any moment without prior notice and without prejudice for on going tours.

9. Itinerary changes
 
We reserve the right to make changes to your itinerary. Should this be necessary we will do our utmost to ensure that any such changes do not substantially alter the nature of the tour.
 
10. Routes
We cannot guarantee the condition or accessibility of routes, since they follow public highways that are subject to road works, diversions, landslips etc.
11. Support Car (Guided Tours)
The support car does not ride with the group.
It will be always at a reasonable distance from the group in order to be able to reach it in a maximum of 60 minutes in case of need.
The support car also does other services like setting up picnics or doing shopping for the day.

12. Photographs

The tour operator is entitled to use the photographs taken during the activities for promoting and marketing purposes for our tours only. No images shall be used when the image of a person is equal to or larger than 50% of the photograph size.

13. Queries and Complaints

We will respond to email and telephone queries concerning your tour within 48 hours.

If you have a problem during your tour, you should talk to your guide or phone the tour operator and we will do our utmost to resolve the matter there and then. Otherwise, you should notify us in writing with the details of your complaint within 30 days of your tour finish date.

Our first goal is to serve you well. Whenever you have a complaint please try to inform us in time to solve it during your trip.

According to legislation, we do have a complaint book.

We also have a Compliment’s book and 3 trip advisor pages where clients can share their experiences.

14. Applicable Law and Competent Court

The present terms and conditions are governed by the Portuguese Law.

All disputes arising from the interpretation or execution of these Terms and Conditions will be submitted to the District Court of Évora, with express waiver of any other.

All photos used by permission. ©Turaventur

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 8
  • 4 Star 0
  • 3 Star 1
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4.8

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3.4
  • Value 4.4
  • Included meals 4.6
  • Bikes & equipment 4.2
  • Hotels or boat 4.8
  • Scenery 4.9
  • Ease of navigation 3.8
  • Tour documents 4.2
  • Local tour company services 5
  • Route selection 4.4
  • Guides (if applicable) 5

Reviews

LuAnn April 28, 2018

Beautiful countryside & amazing castles and wineries

We had a great time cycling through The Alentejo region where wildflowers, castles, olive and cork tree groves, and fields of grapes were abundant. The bikes were in great shape, detailed directions and tour guides helpful!

Thomas November 13, 2017

This is a fun trip

Weather in October was pretty good , but we did get one day of 90oF which was unusual. The biking is not particularly strenuous, but the road conditions vary between paved and dirt so you are going to be riding double duty touring bikes that can handle the range. These make the 30 mile days feel longer than they would on a carbon road bike. There are lots of stops along the way at small farms, cafes, businesses and museums, neolithic sites, and of course, wineries and castles. I felt like we were exposed to Portugal in a way I would not have been otherwise.
As much as I like cycling, I like food and drink even more! This is where this tour really excels. The picnics every day were great, The organized meals at night were wonderful, and when in Evora without included meals there are great restaurants everywhere. Wine flows freely and is delicous. Everwhere you turn there seems to be something from the 15th or 16th century, and you don’t have to try too hard to find things from Roman times. The hotels are very nice and usually interesting historical buildings. The towns of Evora and Monseraz are especially striking. This is a fun tour and Teresa was a great guide with loads of historical and agricultual knowledge.

Responses from Biketours.com

Brittany May 22, 2018
"As much as I like cycling, I like food and drink even more!"- I couldn't agree more with your sentiment. We're so glad to hear you had a great time on tour. Experiencing the best of Portugal by slow travel is hard to beat. Your pictures are fantastic, and we hope to help you again in the future!
Nathan June 30, 2017

Great trip

The tour was a lot of fun. Location was great. Tour operator was very helpful. Hotels were wonderful. Only problem was that it was very hot. Probably best before June as weather is unpredictable. We had bad luck of a heat wave and riding in 100 degree heat was hard and made us rush through some of the middle towns. This was a shame as local people were very kind and towns were interesting and filled with a lot of history. Would be a perfect Spring time ride. The second to last day is very hard as is one earlier climb but overall a great trip. We plan on doing one of the other tours offered by this operator in the future.

ontherun June 6, 2017

Authentic, Beautiful and Engaging

What an authentically Portuguese experience this was! Our guide was from the area and knew all the history and culture of Portugal. There were perfect choices for historical places and the rides were lovely routes through villages and farms.....so perfect. Every day was amazing.

Nancy N November 6, 2016

Very Educational and Interesting

We started this tour as "self-guided" but had difficulty with the maps. The tour company was able to provide a guide for us and what a difference that made. Not only did we not get lost, but we learned so much more than we would have on our own. Our guide was very knowledgeable and having someone translate for us was a big help. Plus we no longer had to waste time looking at maps.
We upgraded to the "charm hotels" which was amazing. Everyplace we stayed was just indescribably beautiful and serene. I highly recommend the upgrade and a guide.
We learned so much about the cork, olive, and wine harvests. We particularly enjoyed the leather and pottery factories.
Portugal is a great country with an incredible old world charm.

beyeKur November 5, 2016

Downsized tour, questionable difficulty rating.

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!

Responses from Biketours.com

Jim Johnson May 22, 2018
We're sorry for the misleading ratings and characterization of the terrain. We've increased the difficulty level to 3. For clients who are interested in this tour and would like to see detailed elevation profiles for each day, please contact our tour advisor team at info@biketours.com. This is a great tour operated by a top-notch Portuguese bike tour company.
Isaac June 8, 2016

excellent guided bike trip

I am participating bike trip almost 30 years and this was the best one .
The service , very good guided tour explanations in every spot we visited .
The food ,restaurants are great. Worst every penny.

Whatever May 15, 2016

Castles and wines

The company Turaventur was one of the best that we have worked with anywhere. The bicycles we rented were excellent with front suspension and a suspension seat post they were perfectly suited to the varied terrain (dirt roads, asphalt, lots of cobblestone) we covered. I also appreciated the female specific gel seat. The routes they chose were really beautiful countryside, small towns and directions were well written and easy to follow. Their support was outstanding, they were available by text, email or phone seven days a week and were always very responsive The castles we visited were just phenomenal and though it was hard to believe after one gorgeous site after another, they just kept getting better! I was only able to do one of the wine tastings and enjoyed it a lot. my suggestion is to be sure to sign up earlly as they seem to fill up ahead of time.

sandyp May 2, 2016

Wonderful family vacation!

Our self-guided tour lived up to our expectations and provided us with a great family vacation. They tour company did an excellent job of responding to our questions and requests. The countryside was beautiful, the bike ride was the right level of both challenging and gentle hills, and the people we met were friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend this tour if you want to chill out....