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Portugal: Alentejo

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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 Alentejo, the sparsely populated, agrarian region known as Portugal’s breadbasket, that is also one of the world’s most charming and unique destinations. Alentejo is 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.

On this week-long, point-to-point odyssey you’ll get to know it intimately, all from the vantage point of your saddle. Starting in the ancient city of Évora, we’ll wind our way through the unspoiled countryside toward Monsaraz, not far from the border with Spain. Nestled amongst the vast miles of oak trees, olive orchards and vineyards, this ancient village is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Portugal and is steeped in the history and culinary culture that makes Alentejo so irresistible.

You can read more about what this trip is like on our blog, or check out this article from Travel + Leisure, who traveled to Alentejo with inGamba. 

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • 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:

Lisbon

Finish Location:

Lisbon

Days Riding:

6

Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:

480km

Total Elevation:

4,513m

Longest Day:

Day 2. Comporta-Évora. 115km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 2. Comporta-Évora. 930m

...

Day by Day Breakdown

1

Comporta Loop

Our trip begins in Comporta, an area that’s considered to be one of the most beautiful in Portugal. Comporta is located on the Alentejo Coast, a little over an hour south of Lisbon. It is a beautiful countryside area, surrounded by rice paddies, the ocean, sand dunes and pine forests, that for many years was kept secret by those in the know. This is an easy ride to shake off the cobwebs and make sure everything on your Pinarello is to your liking. If something isn’t quite right, now is the time to speak to the mechanic.
2

Comporta – Évora

This route takes us to 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. 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.
3

Convento do Espinheiro – Torre de Palma

This point-to-point route brings us to our new base at Torre de Palma. Just shy of 100 kilometers, it should test your stamina, but also reward your efforts with some stunning countryside and plenty of quiet roads. The ride is undulating the whole way until we reach our next hotel, which was originally built in 1338.
4

Cabeça do Mouro – Torre de Palma

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.
5

Torre de Palma - Estremoz

We leave Torre de Palma behind and head towards Estremoz, a fortified town that was the house of many Portuguese queens and kings. The first half of the ride will have a period of sustained descending until we reach the village of Figueira e Barros. From there, it’s all uphill to our next hotel, Casa do Gadanha.
6

Evora Monte Loop

A stunning loop that tours the town of Évora Monte, a picturesque village with walls which still protect its residentes on the mountain top. There are no big climbs, but expect plenty of what we call “Portuguese rollers,” the leg-sapping hills that look small on paper but take their toll over the course of a long day in the saddle. Your aperitivo will definitely be earned after this ride.
7

Departure

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.

BIKE OPTION

PINARELLO DOGMA F

FRAMESET:

Pinarello Dogma F

COCKPIT:

ZIPP Service Course SL

GRUPPO:

SRAM RED eTap AXS

PEDALS:

Speedplay (or your own)

SADDLE:

Selle Italia

WHEELSET:

Zipp 303 S Carbon Tubeless

TIRES:

Vittoria Corsa

BOTTLE CAGES:

Elite Custom Race

BIDON:

Elite Corsa Team

COMPUTER:

Garmin Edge 1030