This special randonnée is an opportunity to share their intimate knowledge and discover one of the world’s most charming and unique destinations. We will skirt along the coastline, explore Medieval towns, and ride through the oldest village in Portugal, all while putting in plenty of miles and riding some of the most beautiful roads in Europe, embracing the “Mangia, Beve, Bici,” philosophy with a Portuguese twist.
Much of the inGamba team calls this part of the world home, and they’re really excited to share it with you. This particular trip is the work of our star guide Manuel Cardoso, who used to train on these roads as a junior dreaming of riding in the professional peloton. Of course, he did more than just ride in the pro pack, he won races too, beating some of his generation’s biggest talents in thrilling sprint finishes.
The landscape here is incredibly diverse, from the Serra da Estrela National Park, home to the highest roads in the country, to the beautiful banks of the Douro, where every inch of the surrounding hills is wrapped in precious vineyards. And in between it’s packed with cute little towns and absolutely brilliant restaurants. We think you’re going to like it!
VIANA DO CASTELLO
Distance » 46 km
Elevation » 694 m
To begin our adventure, we’ll leave Porto with a short transfer north to our starting point in the city of Viana do Castelo. From there, it’s a relaxed 46km route that should give you plenty of time to get acclimatized and make sure that everything on your bike works perfectly. The highlight of the day will be the Santa Luzia climb towards the end, known for the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at its top and for its panoramic views.
VIANA – PAÇO DE VITORINO
Distance » 76 km
Elevation » 1,8398 m
We’re heading towards the interior of Minho, through an area characterised by its Medieval architecture and dominated by the Lima river. Our scenic route gets a little lumpy in the middle so expect some testing climbs before a relaxed downhill finish to to the Hotel Paço de Vitorino, our new home that is famous for its gorgeous gardens and bold, baroque interiors. There will also be plenty of views of the mountains in the nearby Peneda-Geres National Park.
PONTE DE LIMA LOOP
Distance » 80 km
Elevation » 1,310 m
Ponte de Lima is the oldest chartered town in Portugal and today we’ll explore the countryside surrounding it.The route takes us through historic villages such as the particularly picturesque Ponte da Barca, where we’ll cross over the Lima river. There will be undulating terrain throughout the day, with a tough climb to Codeceda beginning at 40km.
PAÇO VITORINO – POUSADA AMARES
Distance » 77 km
Elevation » 1,598 m
After a flat opening 8km, this ride hits a lengthy climb to the village of Armada. From there, it’s a twisty fun descent for the next 10km, passing through several little towns and including some sections of tightly cobbled streets that are typical of Portugal. The remaining 40km of the route is on undulating, rural terrain – perfect for some fast rolling as a group. Our new home is a Cistercian Monastery from the 12th century, which was restored by one of Portugal’s most respected architects, Eduardo Souto de Moura, who won the Pritzker Prize in 2011.
Distance » 77 km
Elevation » 1,558 m
The Geres Loop is the queen stage of the week, with 1,546m of altitude gain and a total of 76km, each one of them packed with brilliant roads and stunning surroundings as we wind our way into the Peneda-Gerês National Park. The day’s only climb begins after 15km, topping out at just over 780m after 28km, but be warned, it’s still a long way from home at the top so you’ll want to pace your efforts.
AMARANTE – PORTO
Distance » 81 km
Elevation » 1,035 m
Our final riding day begins with a transfer to Amarante, before we embark on 80 kilometers that runs mostly beside the rivers Tamega and Douro. There are no big climbs but expect plenty of ups and downs as we race through the spectacular Douro Valley towards the finish line in Porto.