Portugal: Alentejo

$7,450

Much of the inGamba team of soigneurs and mechanics call Portugal home. This special randonnée is an opportunity to share their intimate knowledge and discover one of the world’s most charming and unique destinations. On this week-long, point-to-point odyssey you’ll get to know Portugal, all from the vantage point of your saddle.

Starting in Lisbon, the oldest city in Western Europe, we’ll head south through the countryside toward the very special São Lourenço do Barrocal, which has been in Jose Uva’s family for over 200 years and is nestled in amongst the vast miles of oak trees, olive orchards and vineyards of Alentejo, the sparsely populated, agrarian southern region known as Portugal’s breadbasket. It’s famous for rich, uncomplicated cooking and for its salt cod, sheep’s cheese, black pork, olive oils, mushrooms – and its wine. The region makes almost half of Portugal’s total, and in some neat synergy, it’s also the largest producer of cork in the world.

Travel + Leisure recently traveled to Alentejo with inGamba. You can read all about it here!

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F10 Disk with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • One Giordana FRc custom inGamba cycling kit
  • Daily post-ride massage from a professional soigneur
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing

*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included

**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start Location:

Lisbon

Finish Location:

Lisbon

Days Riding:

7

Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:

585km

Total Elevation:

5,312m

Longest Day:

Day 2. Setubal – Évora 131km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 2. Setubal – Évora 1,045m

...

Day by Day Breakdown

1

Costa Azul Test Ride

Bem-vindo a Portugal! Our trip begins just south Lisbon, along the coast in Setúbal, where we’ll be staying at the Pousada de Palmela, a remarkable hotel that offers 21st century luxury within the walls of a 15th century monastery. This 38km loop may be short, but has some good climbing along the coast, which boasts fantastic views out over the Atlantic, and we guarantee it will work out the cobwebs from the flight. This is also a test-ride with your Pinarello, so if something isn’t quite right, now is the time to speak to the mechanic.
2

Setubal – Évora

This route begins with a quick spin to catch a ferry ride to the coastal town of Tróia before taking us away from the Atlantic coast and into Alentejo. We’ll pass Comporta, one of Portugal’s chicest beach resorts and several charming towns such as Alcáçovas along the way. The finish line is in Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s oldest towns, that is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Portugal. We’ll be staying at the wonderful Convento do Espinheiro, a convent dating back to the 1500s. It has been lovingly converted into a luxury modern hotel. We guarantee that it will leave an impression.
3

Évora – Barrocal

This route begins in Évora, a small city that’s considered to be one of the most beautiful in Portugal and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Evidence can still be seen of its Megalithic and Roman past, and in particular the Roman Temple of Évora is a popular landmark. From there, we’ll continue eastwards to our new home at São Lourenço do Barrocal, in the heart of Alentejo. The roads will be rolling all day and usually they’re completely empty as we ride through the plains and the olive groves typical of this area.
4

Barrocal Loop

Riding around Barrocal is like stepping back in time, into a land of little villages and farms stretching out in every direction, criss-crossed by empty, undulating roads. This route begins by heading north as far as Venda, before turning toward Montoito and and then south to home, passing through Reguengos de Monsaraz, a historic town of a few thousand people that is actually the second-largest in the region. Aside from the occasional tractor, we can expect to have the road to ourselves all day.
5

Barrocal – Torre de Palma

Tonight you are in for a treat as we will be staying at the wine hotel, Torre de Palma, which was built in 1338. We’ll pass some picturesque towns like Borba and Vila Viçosa, the historic center of Monforte in the final kilometers, but other than that it will be mostly quiet, rural roads through the rolling countryside. The day’s longest climb only gains a couple of hundred meters, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that this ride will be flat because we’ll be going up and down all day, and by the finish you should have developed a healthy appetite for some fine Portuguese food and wine.
6

Cabeço do Mouro – Torre de Palma

After a transfer, this route begins with a short climb followed by a long descent, all in the gorgeous surroundings of the Serra de São Mamede Natural Park. We pass the medieval fortress of Castelo de Vide at the edge of the reserve and then, after 32km, we change direction and head south through the plains of Alentejo, passing through quiet villages and past crumbling ruins of Portugal’s rich past. The Castelo de Alter do Chão is particularly impressive.
7

Montemor – Casa Palmela

Another day on the Portuguese rollers as we head west from Montemor to Casa Palmela and the Atlantic coastline. For the most part we’ll be traveling on quiet backroads and occasionally passing through rural, whitewashed towns typical of the region. Expect plenty of olive trees and wide-open views.
8

Palmela

All good things must come to an end, unfortunately, and today it's time to say goodbye and return to Lisbon.

YOUR Guides

Joao Correia

The Boss

João Correia is Portuguese. He spent his formative years in New York. And he lives in California. He is not defined by any of this, but this diversity informs all he does. He loves his refurbished ‘69 VW camper. He lives to make a deal. And his favorite lunch is a giant pot filled with chicken cooked in its own blood. The one defining factor in João’s life is the importance of family. He’s fiercely loyal and you can take his word straight to the bank. It’s his bond. Which explains why you will see very little turnover within the staff at inGamba. We’re family, and like a family we look to the head of our table for inspiration, encouragement and direction. He carries this burden as the don with passion and pride.

Manuel Cardoso

The Quiet Crusher

Manuel Cardoso is no longer sitting on the front of the pack, pulling everyone along at what some would describe as a “brisk” pace and what others are unable to describe at all, because they're too busy gasping for breath and holding onto the wheel in front of them for dear life. Manuel is now sitting just slightly off the back of the pack. As I look back, I realize he has that look on his face. The look which struck fear in the hearts of the Pro Peleton for many years. The look which is part grin, part mischievous child and all business. He is about to start some shenanigans. Sure enough, just a few kilometers later and Manuel has picked one lucky contestant out of the pack and they are sitting-in, waiting, like predators, for the perfect moment. For Manuel, just like when he raced pro, this is when the road turns slightly up, a spot in the road where it gets tough for everyone. And he accelerates with his breakaway “partner” in tow. It is something to see. He ramps it up to a speed with which no one can latch onto the back and with such precision you have to question whether or not you actually want to try and close the gap he has created. And you can’t see it, but you just know, he is grinning from ear-to-ear.

André Cardoso

The Zealous One

When he was but a wee-tot André fell in love with the majesty of cycling. The racers used to come to his hometown once a year and he would set his alarm clock to wake him in the wee-hours of the morning, so he could run to town and take in all the majesty of the days races. It wasn’t too much longer he started bugging his father for a bicycle of his own. His father thought it was a fad, his father told him he loved everything and his father thought this love affair would pass like so many young men's dreams. But his father finally caved to young André’s drive to ride the bike and bought him a bright and shiny race machine from the local shop. André went on to finish on the podium in his local race, then pile up a huge list of professional palameres and, luckily for us, his love of bicycling has never faltered.

BIKE OPTION

PINARELLO DOGMA F12 DISK

FRAMESET:

Pinarello Dogma F12 Disk

COCKPIT:

ZIPP Service Course SL

GRUPPO:

SRAM RED eTap AXS

PEDALS:

Speedplay (or your own)

SADDLE:

Selle Italia

WHEELSET:

Zipp 302 Carbon Clinchers

TIRES:

Vittoria Corsa CX

BOTTLE CAGES:

Elite Custom Race

BIDON:

Elite Corsa Team

COMPUTER:

Garmin Edge 820