Ride the Douro Valley Picture 1
Best Time of Year: April - October
Ride the Douro Valley Cycle Challenge
The Douro Valley in Portugal is a hidden gem that's just being discovered, rapidly growing in popularity for laid back cycle tourers and avid road cyclists alike. With recent features in popular publications like Cyclist magazine, the beauty of this stunning region is being revealed.
Quiet roads wind alongside the Douro river, with gentle shallow climbs up through the characteristic vineyard terraces that make this area so unique and earns the cultural recognition of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We're excited to offer four days of cycling from the vibrant city of Porto up into the Douro Valley, a mix of tranquil riverside gentle miles and stunning climbs. Four nights in gorgeous hotel accommodation enables us to experience all that this area has to offer beyond the bike, and returning into central Porto to celebrate our achievements we can enjoy more of the local delicacies and perhaps a celebratory tipple!
Increasingly popular in the cycling press, there's no surpise that this impressive region is rapidly growing in popularity. Think acres and acres of terraced vineyards, beautiful views, blue skies and the bluer Douro river. There's a mix of tranquil riverside roads and more challenging hills to tackle, with the virtually traffic-free and gently sloping routes making this ride a real pleasure. Part of the route, the N222, has been awarded the 'world's best road' according to Avis; to drive that is - but surely the beautiful tarmac and breathtaking countryside views will be even more enjoyable by bike?!
Yet there's so more to look forward to than just the riding and landscape; the area is well regarded for it's gastronomy which we will take full advantage of, and the luxury hotels in the region offer splendid comfort and relaxation after days in the saddle.
Day 1 - Fly to Porto - you must arrive by 12pm absolute latest or choose to fly out the day before. We'll arrange a transfer from the airport, assemble bikes, and depart in the early afternoon. On our first afternoon we'll head East from the city of Porto into the Douro Valley, following the river closely as we ease into our four days of riding. There's beautiful views and well surfaced roads from the off, and short, gentle climbs will warm up the legs ready for the journey ahead. Approximately 85km takes us to our first night's stop, a luxurious secluded hotel overlooking the Douro river. Take the opportunity to relax in comfort and enjoy some of the local delicacies and wines that this region boasts.
Day 2 - After fuelling up on a full buffet breakfast in the hotel, we head into the hills for today's 100km* route. Firstly we will loop North of the river, following the twisting valley roads as we climb steadily through the typical Portuguese rural towns of Baiao and Loivos do Monte. Here we'll be rewarded with glorious views down the valley, before the awesome descent back to river level. The next challenge of the day is a 800m climb to the South of the river now, although there's no need to be nervous of this ascent - the route is gently sloping at an average of 5.5%. From Pimeirol at the top, we can now enjoy the descent, navigating the switchbacks back down to our constant - the river Douro. Savour these couple of kilometres along the river to our hotel for the night, where a well-earned dinner and rest up will be had!
Day 3 - Today's route has an easy start, but we'll need to pace ourselves for this 100km* day. Alongside the river, we'll enjoy 24km of flat terrain before heading up into the hills again further North East up through the Vale de Mendiz. Through these spectacular vineyards we head further North and into the cultural city of Vila Real. From this high point, the undulating route will take us back down to the river again, heading back to the West to finish our day back at the familiar luxury hotel from our first night in Portugal.
Day 4 - Our last day in the saddle takes us back into the city of Porto, covering approximately 110km*. We'll be following the North side of the river in the Porto district, with even more gentle climbs than the previous days. You won't want to leave these quiet rural roads behind as we roll into Porto, easily navigating to the centre of the vibrant historic Portuguese city. This shorter day in the saddle leaves plenty of time to check into the hotel and freshen up before heading out to sample Porto's delights and celebrate in style!
Day 5 - Flights back to the UK from Porto. Choose to get back at your convenience; heading off early or spending the day exploring this beautiful coastal city and try some of it's world-renowned produce.
*daily mileage subject to change - we may increase the daily route length on the trip accordance with riders ability and conditions
We will be in hotel accommodation for all four nights including buffet breakfasts, sharing in twin rooms. If you require a single room then please request this at time of booking (a small supplement will be payable). Upgrades are also available for an extra charge if required.
What is a Level 3.5 Cycling Challenge Like?
These challenge rides are either longer, with more ascent, or span several days. In the case of single day events, you can expect up to 10 hours cycling. In the case of a multi day ride, you can expect lower daily durations - but of course - the effort is sustained over a longer period. You need to be a keen cyclist for these events, and to enjoy training, and to ride regularly. If the ride is outside the EU, it is likely to be easier in terms of the physical riding, however, you will need to be more resilient - due to more basic living conditions (in the case of Asia / Africa especially)
How Fit Do I need to be to join a Level 3.5 ‘Bike Ride’?
You need to have good endurance for these events. You must be used to doing long rides in the countryside - 6 hours + . You should be doing regular exercise - with some serious cycle training. Your typical comfortable cycling speed will be at least 22-24 km/hr, and you should be able to cycle at high speed for up to 1 hour or 25 km. You may also be concentrating on other types of exercise - but for longer periods of time (ie sessions in excess of 1.5 hrs.) - however cycling is the best preparation (obviously!)
Please note, it is extremely important for this physical challenge that you are in good health. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please consider carefully whether you should be joining the challenge. Please ensure you fill in the booking form accurately and honestly, this is important. In the case of serious conditions (epilepsy, diabetes, heart conditions, recent illness or operations), please discuss the challenge with your GP. Please also ensure you notify us of any allergies or similar.
It requires stamina and good aerobic fitness - but good willpower will also come in handy! Failure to disclose medical conditions is a serious omission - that could have serious repercussions on any of our challenges.
Visas / Redtape
When travelling abroad you may require a Visa. Please check the Travcour website (www.travcour.com) for up to date Visa information. Here they can advise you on the best action to take. If you require further information please don't hesitate to contact the Cafe.
Included In Trip
Experienced Cycle Leader (subject to numbers - if the group is small, the cycle leader will drive the support vehicle).
Full Vehicle Support and Driver/Mechanic.
Bed and Breakfast accommodation en route.
Full buffet breakfasts every day.
Transfer from the airport on day 1 to the start of the ride.
Bike transport from Porto to the airport on day 5.
Excluded From Trip
Transfer from Porto to the airport on day 5 - easily accessible by metro or taxi.
Lunches and dinners.
Personal insurance cover.
Bike hire in Portugal. Please advise us of the size of frame required when booking.
Road Bike / Hybrid Bike (with puncture resistant tyres) - please call us for guidance on type of bike on a trip by trip basis
2 X Water Bottles (bladder system/cycle water bottles)
Cycling Gloves, Bike Lock, Neck Scarf, Inner Tubes*, Multi-Tool (with allen keys)*
Day Bag for support vehicle, Small Holdall (for overnight gear)
Bike Lights (front and rear, head torch can be worn)
Saddle Bag (recommended - can be used to carry asterisk* items)
Puncture Repair Kit*, Spare parts for your bike (specialist parts and spokes), Pump (suitable for your valve type)
Personal Medikit Suncream, Plasters, Vaseline, Painkillers, Sunbloc, Insect Repellant
Warm Clothing Medium Weight Softshell, Long sleeve Jersey / insulating layer Lightweight Gloves.
Cycle / Overnight Clothing
Lycra Cycling Shorts, Cotton Shorts, Long Cycling Trousers (Tights/Tracksuit Bottoms)
Cotton T-Shirts for evening
Short Sleeve Cycling T-Shirts (wicking type material) or Cycle Top with rear pockets
Cycling Shoes (approach shoes suitable), Sandals / Spare Shoes for after ride
Casual Evening Wear
1 Outer Fully Waterproof Jacket (gore-tex, e-vent) - comfortable to cycle in
Travel Documents, EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) Credit Cards, Cash, Local Currency, Mobile Phone, Sunglasses
Snacks for Cycling Days (dried fruits, nuts, flapjacks, cereal bars etc)
Travel insurance (not included), Passport
Make sure you do not ‘over pack’ - bring only what is essential for the trip
A final kit list will be provided in your ‘Final Joining Instructions’ pre-departure
By nature all activities contain an element of risk.Your leader will be first aid qualified and will carry the appropriate safety kit for the activity. Safety equipment carried will be appropriate to trip. The leader's primary role is to ensure your safety, but it is your responsibility to listen to their guidance and instructions.
Although it will be heading into summer, expect possible showers. It is wise to prepare for all weather types, you never know we may be pleasantly surprised!
Hat and gloves are essential for this trip. Warm tracksuit trousers are recommended, and remember to bring sun cream.
Notes on Cycling Events
This is our standard range of Cycling Challenges in the UK, Europe and further afield. However, we offer completely tailormade itineraries to your specification. Call us to discuss!
Adventure Cafe Booking Terms and Conditions
By booking an event with Adventure Cafe, you agree to these standard terms of booking. Please ensure that you read the appropriate document for your type of event carefully.
Adventure Cafe Terms & Conditions
- For all types of event