Women’s Week: Portugal Randonnée


This unique week combines all that’s great about cycling. Expect long days surrounded by incredible scenery and some even more amazing women from all around the world, led by Heidi Swift, who eschews the sport’s competitive nature in favour of camaraderie and who developed her own unique take on cycling by creating the Joy QOM. Read all about it here. 

Much of the inGamba team 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 and discover some of the best cycling that the Iberian peninsula has to offer. Alentejo is one of the most unspoilt regions in Europe, home to some of the continent’s best beaches and characterized by its hot, arid landscape and its famous cork tree plantations. Much of the sparsely populated landscape possesses an enchanting emptiness, but when we stop in its small towns you’ll feel the warmth of Alentejo’s people and taste the rich flavors of their food.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F10 Disk with SRAM Red eTap components and 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:


Finish Location:


Days Riding:


Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:


Total Elevation:


Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 8. Porto. 115km

Longest Day:

Day 2. Tortosendo – Penhas Douradas. 2,500m


Day by Day Breakdown


Fátima – Sertã

Bem-vindo a Portugal! We will begin with a short van transfer to the holy city of Fátima where it is said the Virgin Mary appeared in three apparitions to three shepherd children in 1917. From Fátima we head north and inland over the rolling hills of the Santarém district. Portugal is a country that still has influences from both Islam and Christianity. In fact, our home this evening, Convento da Sertã Hotel, is a modern transformation of a convent dating back to the 17th century.

Tortosendo – Penhas Douradas

Today we climb. Starting with a morning transfer from Sertã to Tortosendo, we will reach the foothills of the Serra da Estrela, Portugal’s highest mountain chain. From there our picturesque ride will take us through the towns of Unhais da Serra and Seia before the ascent to Penhas Douradas – a beyond-category climb of 20km with about 1,000 meters of elevation gain. After a tough day on the bike we will be welcomed into the peaceful surroundings of Casa das Penhas Douradas and the national park of Serra da Estrela.


Although today’s ride is a shorter loop around Serra da Estrella National Park, it has some of the most beautiful natural vistas of the entire week. The best views are from Torre, which stands at an elevation of 1993m above sea level. Of particular note here is that in 1717 the Portuguese King, João V, ordered a tower be built exactly 7m tall to reach an elevation of 2000m. From this tower you can see nearly the entire northern half of Portugal. This afternoon we will visit the local Burel factory, which makes what was once the most popular choice for fabric in Portugal due to its durability and strength.

Penhas Douradas-Marialva

Today we will go deep into the part of Portugal known as Beira Alta and near the birth town of João’s father, Sarzeda. We will start by riding down the glorious descent from the Serra da Estrella National Park and finish in the town of Marialva, a picturesque walled village that Literature Novel Prize novelist José Saramago describes as “...this complex of ruined buildings, and the mystery that unites them, the present memory of all those who lived here, that suddenly moves the traveller, brings a lump to his throat and tears to his eyes." make sure to make note of the Giant Fig Tree at kilometer 42. The big climb of the day starts at kilometer 54 and finishes a full 7km later.

Pinhel Loop

Overlooking the nearby Côa River, the border town of Pinhel was originally constructed as part of the line of the newly-created state of Portugal's defenses along the frontier with Spain and served as an important deterrent against invasion. This is a tranquil region; the roads are quiet and the rolling terrain is peaceful. Farmyards, vineyards and olive groves are interspersed amongst large swaths of dry, arid chaparral. Smooth pavement and big, expansive views characterize this ride.

Marialva – Quinta da Pacheca

The Wine House Hotel - Quinta da Pacheca is located in one of the first Douro properties to bottle wine under its own label in 1738. Up until that point none of the vineyards had their own label. This marked an important shift for the Portuguese wine industry. Within its 51 acres full of vineyards stretching down to the banks of the Douro river, the Wine House Hotel is housed in a typical 18th century building that has been completely restored. This charming boutique hotel is entirely devoted to gastronomy and wine tourism.

Pacheca Douro Vinhateiro

We pick up almost all of our vertical feet in the first half to today's ride, as we head south towards Lamego. We will see plenty of the famous Portuguese terraced vineyards, but this region is also famous for its fruit crops, olive oil and hearty meals. The second half of our ride will be a glorious descent back down to the Duoro River and a ripper back to our hotel for the night.


Today we follow the Duoro River headed for the city of Porto. The terrain will be undulating all day with a couple climbs of some significance, with one coming at 17km and the other at 47km.


If your flight is out of Porto we will arrange your transport to the airport in time for your flight. If your flight departs from Lisbon we suggest you consider a Monday flight.