An Iberian Adventure: Ride Across Portugal

An Iberian Adventure: Ride Across Portugal

Portugal, the land of sun, surf, and… stunning cycling routes? Absolutely. Ride Across Portugal (RAP) proved just that again, with a peloton of 62 riders through the heart of the country, from the lush Douro Valley to the sun-kissed shores of the Algarve.

As a first-time visitor to Portugal, I was captivated by the diverse landscapes. This is a country with a soul, revealed in the vineyards that terraced the Douro, the ancient city of Evora, and the desolate mountain beauty of the Serra da Estrela. The ride profile was a delicious mix of challenge and reward. Each of the six stages offered something unique – from punchy climbs to exhilarating descents, with timed sections adding a dash of competition.

What struck me most was the solitude. Portugal, with its relatively small population, boasts long stretches of quiet roads where cyclists can truly experience the rhythm of the landscape. Cycling through a country is the best way to see it up close and this route was another great example. This experience was amplified by the cycling camaraderie - participants were a diverse group from across the globe. 

The weather was a mixed bag, from sun hot days to gusty headwinds, and while fortunately no real rain to speak of, we ran into snow forcing a reroute on one of the stages to the highest point in Portugal. And the aroma of eucalyptus through large plantings of gum trees - a surprising reminder of home for Australian cyclists.


For those contemplating an Iberian adventure and a unique cycling challenge, coupled with cultural immersion and a dash of competition, Ride Across Portugal delivers on all fronts.

In a nutshell:

  • Route: 6 stages through the heart of Portugal, showcasing diverse landscapes and cultural highlights.
  • Ride Profile: A challenging but rewarding mix of climbs and descents, with timed sections for competitive riders.
  • Experience: Intimate, with a friendly focus on camaraderie, and wine tasting.
  • Logistics: Impeccable organisation and support from Two Wheel Tours, highly recommended.

A must-do for cyclists seeking adventure, challenge, and a taste of the real Portugal.


The numbers:

  • Total 799.87kms 10,769 ^m
  • Day 0 From Penafiel along to Douro Valley to RAP start 88.23kms, 1091 ^m
  • Day 1 Douro to Guarda 118.52kms, 2262 ^m
  • Day 2 Guarda to nearly the top of Serra da Estrela (highest point in Portugal) 82.5kms, 1808 metres of climbing. A change in route due to snow conditions.
  • Day 3 From the mountains to Alter do Chao 164.78kms, 2076 ^M
  • Day 4 Alter do Chao to Evora 95.44kms, 928 ^m
  • Day 5 Evora to Monchique 193.4kms, 1977 ^m
  • Day 6 Monchique to Porches 57kms, 627 ^m