Live, Love, Ride – Cycling in Portugal
Serra da Estrela and Central Portugal
Terrain Profile: Mountainous sections.
Type of ride: Great for mid to long rides, from 60 to 90kms. Mainly mountainous and hilly.
Best time of the year: May to October.
How to arrive and explore: Fly into Lisbon or Porto airport and either establish your base at a hotel near to the Serra da Estrela – Seia, Covilhã or Unhais da Serra are great options – or choose to ride from hotel to hotel in the region.
Within the Estrela mountain range you’ll find many historical villages that are worth exploring, like Monsanto or Belmonte, many of which are fortified, so you could choose to explore the medieval castles of the area.
Region description: If you’re visiting this part of the country you’ll need to bring your climbing legs as it contains many of the biggest climbs in the country. The Estrela mountain range is nearly 2000m high and is known for its iconic climbs such as the “Torre”, which you can climb from Manteigas, Covilhã or Seia, making it a region to explore for several days. The Estrella mountain range is a designated Natural Park – in which you’ll find untouched landscapes, glacial valleys and picturesque historical villages – all of which you can discover on your own, with great restaurants to help fuel your ride.
Some of these climbs can last up to 25km’s, making for challenging rides, but the views and descents are worth the effort. Around the mountain range, the terrain is less steep and are worth riding to discover the nearby historical villages, but you can also head out to bigger cities like Viseu (30km from Seia) to explore the Dão Ecopista (50km car-free cycloroute), or tackle the nearby mountain ranges of Caramulo, Lousã and Açor, all of which deserve a visit to explore their picturesque villages, like the famous “Schist Villages”. Combine these great rides with a great local gastronomy and Dão wines for very fulfilling rides.
Tours and events: Join the most challenging cyclosportive in Portugal, the “Serra da Estrela SkyRoad Granfondo” in July for a great cycling weekend.
There are other amazing regions for road cycling in Portugal, like the Alentejo, but these are probably the most challenging and diverse in terms or riding. More about riding in Portugal coming soon!
If you’d like to know more about cycling in Portugal, contact Live Love Ride – Portugal Bike Tours to plan your Portuguese cycling adventure.
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