Spend a week on a self-guided cycling holiday between Portugal’s exquisite spa town of Monço and historic Porto. This carefully crafted itinerary follows rivers and coast, including the River Minho’s natural border with Spain, Atlantic coves and expansive beaches and the River Lima, which takes you to one of the country’s oldest towns, Ponte de Lima.
Staying in 3-4 star hotels, with luggage transfers, cycling in Alto Minho is a journey through some of Portugal’s most magnificent cultural and natural heritage, ancient towns and villages, nature reserves, with a fitting finale in Porto.
- Monção spa town
- Valença fortress town
- Art-filled Vila Nova de Cerveira
- Medieval Caminha
- Viana do Castelo
- UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto
- Port wine cellar visit and tasting
- Bike rental included
Click to view map
Day 1: Transfer from Porto to Monção
Meet your driver and enjoy the scenic drive to the small town of Monção in the Alto Minho region. After a welcome briefing with one of our local representatives, visit a local Alvarinho winery. If you have time, you may wish to sample the healing waters at Termas de Monção Spa.
- Accommodation: Hotel Convento dos Capuchos or similar
Day 2: Monção to Caminha | 48km
Enjoy views of neighbouring Galicia across the mighty Minho River as you follow it to its mouth at Caminha, where birdlife abounds. Take time to explore the fortress town of Valença and the art and architecture in the pretty little town of Vila Nova de Cerveira. Caminha ́s medieval centre is full of charms and worth exploring once you have settled into your hotel.
- Cycling for the day: 48km
- Accommodation: Wine & Design Hotel or similar
Day 3: Caminha to Ponte de Lima | 57km
Portugal’s Costa Verde (Green Coast) is known for its pristine beaches backed by dunes, forests and peppered with fishing villages. Enjoy the coastline for the first part of today’s journey and spend time exploring the historical centre of Viana do Castelo, famous for heart-shaped filigree jewellery and colourful embroidery, before heading inland. Follow the south bank of Lima River, through forests and farmland, to reach Ponte de Lima, one of Portugal’s oldest towns.
- Cycling for the day: 57km
- Accommodation: Hotel Mercearia da Vila or similar
Day 4: Ponte de Lima and Arcos de Valdevez | 42km
Using the Lima and Vez rivers as your guide, follow the ecotrail upstream through gorgeous countryside to Arcos de Valdevez, another pretty riverside town with an impressive bridge and delicious local cakes called charutos. The return journey to Ponte de Lima follows the opposite banks of the Vez and Lima Rivers, passing through more rural wonders and the village of Ponte da Barca. When you get back to Ponte de Lima, a chilled vinho verde (regional wine) and Portuguese tapas awaits at a typical tasca.
- Cycling for the day: 42km
- Accommodation: Hotel Mercearia da Vila or similar
Day 5: Ponte de Lima to Barcelos | 33km
Don’t be surprised if you see lots of people hiking on today’s route as this is one of the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail segments, although they will be heading in the opposite direction. This stage also takes you through tiny villages and vineyards, offering fabulous views of nearby mountain ranges.
- Cycling for the day: 33km
- Accommodation: Hotel Bagoeira or similar
Day 6: Barcelos to Vila do Conde | 45km
Make your way through more beautiful countryside as you head back to the Atlantic and the mouth of the Cávado River. Then follow the coast south to the sandy beaches and riverside town of Vila do Conde, which is famous for bobbin lace-making, embroidered “handkerchiefs of love” and its naval history.
- Cycling for the day: 45km
- Accommodation: Hotel Brazão or similar
Day 7: Vila do Conde to Porto | 35km
Keep an eye out for more birdlife as you cross a nature reserve south of Vila do Conde. The coastline is varied and beautiful, with windmills on some of the beaches. Stop at the colourful fishing village of Angeiras to see the community at work before making your way past the port of Matosinhos, following the Douro River into Porto. After you’ve freshened up, head to one of the famous port wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia.
There are plenty of other sightseeing opportunities in Porto, including Lello Bookstore and the Stock Exchange Palace.
- Cycling for the day: 35km
- Accommodation: Hotel Neya Porto or similar
Day 8: Departure
Departure or extension upon request.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of small, 3 or 4 star hotels, B&Bs and traditional guesthouses. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view our default hotels for this trip
- Hotel Convento dos Capuchos (Monção)
- Wine & Design Hotel (Caminha)
- Hotel Mercearia da Vila (Ponte de Lima)
- Hotel Bagoeira (Barcelos)
- Hotel Brazão (Vila do Conde)
- Hotel Neya Porto (Porto)
Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.
All breakfasts are included in the trip. When no restaurant location is available en route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or from the restaurants in the town where you stay overnight.
Difficulty and terrain
We rate the difficulty level as easy to moderate, with daily distances ranging between 35 and 57km, going on quiet coastal and forest asphalt paths with limited car traffic, and a few occasional climbs. (read more about difficulty grades). We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.
When to go
This trip is available from March until the end of October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season. There is a higher chance of rain in the spring and autumn months, but temperatures are cooler and better for cycling.
Click to view travel options and route planner
Our recommended airport for this tour is Porto.
By train or bus
- 7 nights of hand-picked accommodation with breakfast
- 6 days bike rental (MTB TREK Marlin 6 with 29” wheels + panniers + helmet)
- Private transfer from Porto airport to Monção (day 1)
- Private transfer from Porto hotel to Porto airport (day 8)
- Luggage transfer between accommodations (One bag per person, up to 23kg/bag)
- Visit and wine tasting in Monção (day 1)
- Taste of local products in Ponte de Lima (day 4)
- Visit and wine tasting in port wine cellars (day 7)
- Detailed route notes
- App with trail information for use on a smartphone
- In-person welcome briefing
- 24-hour emergency contact number (English-speaking)
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Personal equipment
- Local tourist taxes
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a single room.
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
- Additional nights along the route
- E-bike upgrade
Complimentary bike rental
We offer complimentary standard 29″ hard-tail mountain bikes that are most suitable for the paths you will be riding on. For cycling the Atlantic coast we selected the MTB TREK Marlin 6 with 29” wheels, disc brakes and front suspension. The bike you will receive is regularly checked; still, basic knowledge on bike maintenance is highly recommended, as you will be cycling by yourself. E-bikes are also available at an extra charge.