12, but it could easily be much more. Here’s why:
Motorcycle travel is now more popular than ever. And rightly so, because it is one of the most amazing experiences and one of the most exciting adventure activities on Earth.
Portugal is one of the best motorcycle travel destinations in the world. It is also one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.
Home to a large number of great motorcycle roads and riders, Portugal is a country that boasts a motorcycle-friendly environment. And a perfect year-round travel destination in Europe. No wonder Portugal is often the set of plenty of motorcycle launches, tests, and reviews.
This stunningly beautiful country has so much to offer that you cannot help but be drawn in. It has a strong cultural history and showcases a vast array of natural beauty. From a variety of roads in different conditions to beaches, hills, mountains, and cities, there is something for everyone.
Fortunately, it is my home country, so I get to enjoy firsthand all it has to offer. Let me share my best reasons to get your 2WheelsonRoad, and Tour Portugal on an Adventure Motorcycle.
1 – The Destination
Traveling to the westernmost country in Europe could be a reason to tour Portugal all on its own. But, this country has much more to offer than its southwest location.
In 2020 Portugal was voted for the fourth consecutive time Europe’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards.
Yet apart from the most touristy areas, there are still many others less explored, that call on for an adventure motorcycle tour.
2 – The Climate
Portugal has a mild Mediterranean climate, averaging 3000 hours of sunlight per year. There are significant climate variations by region. However, in the colder higher zones, it is always warmer than in other European areas. That means you can ride all year round, and it is never too hot or too cold.
3 – Amazing Landscapes
Portugal is an extremely diverse country in terms of landscapes, all within easy reach through a good network of roads. From the mountainous terrain in the northern part of the country to the endless plains on the south, the geographic diversity is so great, that you can choose what you like best, or choose them all.
The Atlantic 528 miles (or 850km) of beaches are never more than 2h30 away from the opposite border. On the same day, you can be strolling a beautiful beach after breakfast, exploring a nature preserve in the mountains in the afternoon, and having dinner in a city restaurant by sunset.
4 – Awesome Motorcycle Routes
This one is a slam dunk. Easier than ticking boxes on a checklist.
Let’s see just a few examples of how easy it is to find an epic motorcycle route.
Want a condensed scenic route Route 66 style?
Tour the N2 road. Much more modest than the US original, but packed with diversity, history, and breathtaking landscapes. N2 connects the North to the South, through the vertical centerline of Portugal, stretching along 457miles of epic mountains, river crossings, and everchanging scenery.
Want to combine a Douro Valley experience with a perfect 10-second straight / 1-second turn ratio route?
Take the N222 from Régua to Pinhão, enjoy the riding, and the overwhelming views of the vineyards, steeped upon the hills.
Want to ride the same twisty roads that motorcycle and auto manufacturers choose for launching their newest vehicles? The very same used for shooting commercials with scenic perfection?
Take the N379 connecting Setúbal to Sesimbra, riding between the mountains and the sea, enjoying the breathtaking landscapes over Troia, the twisty road, and some of the best beaches in the world.
Want to ride off-road?
The overwhelming offer of off-road tracks is so great, that it doesn’t matter if you are looking for rocky, gravel, or sand roads, forest trails, or enduro-style trails. You will always find want you want. Like the throttle wide open on an unpaved road? Technical sections on a mountain trail? They are already there, ready and waiting.
5 – The Beaches
Having 528 miles (or 850km) of beaches poses a major problem. Choosing one. But I can guarantee that even if you spend a year riding the Portuguese coastal roads, you won’t be able to enjoy them all. Want a beach where you can lounge and recover from a ride with all the amenities and services? There are plenty. Prefer a more secluded beach where you probably won’t see another living soul? You’ll find one, or more.
6 – The History and a rich and diverse culture
For some, Portugal is a place of legend, and the tales of the Portuguese people are the stuff of legend. There are endless tales of both the early Portuguese explorers, the Knights of the Order of Christ, and the freedom fighters who fought for Portugal’s independence from the invading Spanish. After all, Portugal is almost 900 years old. The whole country is a testament to that heritage and is full of castles and fortresses that tell that history. Megalithic monuments, Roman roads, bridges, and aqueducts recall past times. The Portuguese culture also influenced and was influenced by centuries of travel and explorations. That can be seen in architecture or even in the language.
7 – The People
The Portuguese people are very easy-going, and friendly, and enjoy welcoming new people. Being helpful to strangers is normal, and there is virtually no language barrier as younger generations are English speaking.
Proud of their history and heritage, never miss a chance to showcase the best the country has to offer. Entertaining guests, and doing it in the best way, is a deeply engraved habit, that normally happens around the table. I wouldn’t be surprised if, during your ride, you met some locals that invited you to lunch or dinner. As a matter a fact, meals play such an important part in the country’s social culture that a frequent theme of conversation while having lunch is “what are we having for dinner”?
8 – The Food.
Speaking of the food, Portugal has some of the best in the world. Not only one of the best but one of the most diverse. For the Portuguese, food is culture and history. It is centuries of tradition poured into a meal. And you won’t find it only in Michelin-star-rated restaurants. More importantly, the traditional food available at local restaurants, even in rural areas, is a showcase for the quality of the seasonal ingredients.
Every region has its gastronomical traditions, and there is always a dish for every taste.
The close Atlantic Ocean provides much-appreciated seafood and fish.
The plains, hills, and pastures provide meat, from selected breeds, native to the country. Cheese is also a must at every table. The smellier it is, the better it tastes.
9 – Portugal is a wine country.
There is no escaping the Douro Valley’s astonishing landscape. It also produces some of the best wines in the world, Port Wine included. But the vineyards extend to the entire country. Regions like Alentejo, also have renowned producers. Just imagine yourself at sunset, relaxing after a day out riding, sipping through a world-class wine.
Of course, Portugal is also a beer country, with plenty of local breweries producing an enormous variety of craft-quality beers that you can pair with local snacks.
10 – All sorts of activities to enjoy
If your tour timeframe permits more flexibility, you can combine an adventure motorcycle tour with several other activities. From a vast offer of outdoor activities to more leisure-like programs, you won’t find boredom unless you want it. Outdoor recreation sports like surfing, windsurfing, water-ski, sailing, rafting, trekking, and many others are widely available. There is even the possibility to enjoy snow activities in the winter in the Serra de Estrela mountain range.
Not least important are the motorcycle-related activities like the MotoGP held yearly, or the numerous concentrations organized by motorcycle clubs around the country.
The biggest cities, Lisbon and Porto, are vibrant and active.
11 – Relatively Cheap
Portugal is relatively cheap compared to other countries in Europe or even North America. Considering what it has to offer, some may find it a bargain.
A full meal costs around 25eur per person in a city restaurant, but the price lowers considerably in the rural areas, dropping as much as 15 euros. Even better is that the meal quality and quantity won’t drop together with the price.
There is a meaningful offer of hotels, B&B, country-ins, camping grounds, plus many affordable lodging options, that suit all travel budgets.
12 – The Safety
Portugal ranked the fourth safest country in the world on the Global Peace Index 2021.
Overall, that makes Portugal an extremely safe country. Of course, some common-sense safety rules must be applied, as in any other place. Particularly in big cities.
Bonus Reason – Great location to be a starting or ending point
Portugal’s location in Europe’s southwestermost point can also serve you as a springboard to more exotic destinations around Europe, or Northern Africa. It can be a great starting or ending point for different adventure motorcycle tours.
Are These 12 Best Reasons To Tour Portugal On An Adventure Motorcycle Enough To Set Your 2WheelsOnRoad?
If those 12 + 1 reasons to tour Portugal on an Aventure Motorcycle left you wanting to do it, rest assured there are plenty of options to make it happen.
With your own Adv Bike, with any bike, or with a rental bike, all is possible.
There are plenty of motorcycle tours and motorcycle routes to choose from.
You can also choose to do a self-guided tour or choose one of the many reputable motorcycle tour organizers, including 2WheelsOnRoad.
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