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Portugal: Lisbon & the North


On this week-long, point-to-point odyssey we’ll explore Portugal, from the sea to the mountains and from the mountains to the valleys, all from the vantage point of your saddle — and the dinner table, of course, because this is inGamba.

Starting in Lisbon, the oldest city in Western Europe, you’ll head north, turning skyward and into the mountains where the real riding begins in the Serra da Estrella National Park, that boasts the highest roads in the country and some truly spectacular views. Then, you’ll find your way to the unforgettable Douro Valley, with every inch of its steep hills wrapped in precious vineyards, for some well-deserved wine-tasting before finishing in the enchanting city of Porto.

This trip will reveal Portugal’s unique landscape and culture, staying in a hand-picked selection of unique and charming properties along the way, taking you right to the heart of what we think is European cycling’s best kept secret. Expect quiet roads and hours of fun on rolling roads through beautiful countryside.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F12 Disk with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • One custom Castelli × 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 2. Tortosendo – Penhas Douradas. 2,566m

Longest Day:

Day 6. Marialva – Quinta da Pacheca. 93km


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."

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. Expect plenty of empty, smooth roads, gentle terrain, and stunning views.

Marialva – Quinta da Pacheca

The Quinta da Pacheca is located in one of the first Douro properties to bottle wine under its own label, way back in 1738. Today, this charming boutique hotel is entirely devoted to gastronomy and wine tourism. The first 50km of this route is on rolling terrain with a few easy climbs, while the last 30km follows the banks of the river into the town of Cambres.


This is our final morning together and after a leisurely breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye, or at least arrivederci, until we meet again. Transfers to the airport will be arranged by our hard-working crew but if you’re planning on staying a few extra days, let us know if we can help with reservations or a few recommendations. 

YOUR Guide

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.




Pinarello Dogma F12 Disk


ZIPP Service Course SL




Speedplay (or your own)


Selle Italia


Zipp 302 Carbon Clinchers


Vittoria Corsa CX


Elite Custom Race


Elite Corsa Team


Garmin Edge 820