Portugal2Ride – The Route

Stage 1

The route starts in Lisbon, passing numerous points of interest, on a stage that runs along Portugal’s western border with the Atlantic Ocean.

Throughout the stage, the rugged landscape of the promontories above the sea is interrupted by beaches and more sheltered places, which in the past were the site of ports, cities and towns.

It’s therefore a day dedicated to “coastal navigation”, with a few hints of low-lying mountains along the route.

Highlights include roads such as the N247 or the Atlantic Highway, and waypoints such as Cabo da Roca, Peniche, Foz do Arelho, Nazaré, Figueira da Foz and Aveiro, among others.

Aveiro is precisely the end of the stage. The perfect stop to appreciate the influence of the sea and the estuary on centuries of history and culture.

Stage 2

Stage 2 of the Portugal2Ride – Around Portugal, starts from Aveiro in the direction of Monção.

The day is dedicated to finishing the northern part of the Atlantic Coast and entering the Minho region, in search of the river border with Spain.

Highlighted roads are the N13 and, of course, the N101.

Porto is just a short distance from the starting point and allows you to catch a glimpse of the River Douro. We’ll meet up again later on in the route.

The stage route crosses three regions (Beira Litoral, Douro Litoral and Minho) and passes through Esposende, Viana do Castelo, Vila Praia de Âncora, Vila Nova de Cerveira and Valença.

The final destination is Monção, the capital of the Vinho Verde region. Fantastic for an end to the day with quality gastronomy and a visit to Monção Castle.

Stage 3

Departure from Monção in the direction of the city that hosts km0 on the N2 – Chaves.

The N202 sets the tone for a change of scenery and driving style. The route is lined with wooded sections and bends are on the menu, like an appetizer before entering the Peneda-Gerês National Park. The River Minho accompanies the stage, forming a natural border with Spain.

On the route is Melgaço, as well as points of interest such as the Tibo viewpoint or the Mezio swing, which offer breathtaking views, Campo do Gerês, Vilarinho das Furnas, Vilar da Veiga, São Bento da Porta Aberta, the Caniçada reservoir, Cabril, Paradela and Montalegre.

Chaves is an appropriate stage ending for those who like to travel.

Stage 4

Departure from Chaves towards Vila Verde da Raia, located on the border with Spain.

From here, the stage heads to Moimenta and follows the Terra Fria Transmontana Route, entering the Montesinho Natural Park as far as Rio de Onor.

In Rio de Onor – one of the Wonders of Portugal – you have to see the viewpoint and visit the Roman Bridge.

Also on the route are the Outeiro Castle Ruins, São Martinho da Angueira, the São João das Arribas viewpoint and the Castrilhouço viewpoint.

The stage finishes in the wonderful Miranda do Douro, with its Castle and the Miranda Dam next door.

Stage 5

From Miranda do Douro, the route goes down to the Portuguese border with Spain to the east.

Highlights include the N221, one of the most beautiful roads in Portugal, with some absolutely magnificent sections. There are plenty of views over the Douro International Park, such as the Fraga do Puio viewpoint or Penedo Durão. The section between Freixo de Espada à Cinta and Barca de Alva is fantastic.

The route is punctuated by historic towns and villages as it moves away from the Douro towards the Tagus. Almeida, Sabugal, Penamacor, Monsanto and Penha Garcia.

It also passes through the outskirts of the Serra da Malcata Nature Reserve, home to the Iberian lynx.

The day ends in Rosmaninhal, halfway along the Tagus International Natural Park.

Stage 6

The stage starts in Rosmaninhal, with the first stop in Vila Velha de Ródão. The view over the Portas do Ródão is worth it.

Then Nisa, Castelo de Vide, the well-known Alameda dos Freixos and Marvão, in the heart of the Serra de São Mamede Natural Park.

Until you reach the world’s smallest international bridge, in the village of Marco, the route follows the valley roads of the Serra de São Mamede. It is in Mosteiros that we can visit Pego do Inferno, a natural waterfall of singular beauty.

From Arronches to the Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Enxara, and from there to Campo Maior, the stage draws to a close.

Elvas is the destination. With a welcome from the Amoreiras Aqueduct, the view of the Castle and the three Forts that make up the city’s defensive architecture.

Stage 7

Stage 7 of the Portugal2Ride – Around Portugal, starts in the city of Elvas and ends in the southeast corner of the map, in Vila Real de Santo António.

Whether on riverside roads or on the reservoir of Europe’s largest artificial lake, the Guadiana River is present throughout the route, influencing it as much as it influences the landscape, culture and gastronomy of Alentejo.

One of the first contacts with this natural border with Spain is in Jurumenha, with the view from the belvedere next to the Fort.

In Monsaraz, the view of the Alqueva reservoir’s body of water offers a glimpse of its grandeur, both from the São Bento viewpoint and from the statue paying homage to Cante Alentejano.

Shortly afterwards, the route crosses the bridge over the Guadiana in the direction of Mourão and Aldeia da Luz, and then heads away towards Portugal’s hottest land, Amareleja.

The stage also passes through Barrancos, Mina de São Domingos and beautiful Mértola.

From the Alentejo to the Algarve, the meeting with the Guadiana takes place in Alcoutim, where the M507 heads south towards the Atlantic and the final destination, Vila Real de Santo António.

Stage 8

Departure from Vila Real de Santo António with the final destination in Sagres, on a stage that crosses the Algarve from Sotavento to Barlavento, drawing the southern line of the map of Portugal.

The first and mandatory stop is Cacela Velha. The initial impression of the beauty of the Ria Formosa is fantastic, and the Natural Park itself is an absolutely incomparable treasure.

The route continues through Tavira, Olhão and Faro, with a stop on Faro Island, which is easily accessible by road.

Benagil, Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Lagos and many others, such as Lagoa and Vila do Bispo, follow, alternating the N125 with detours on other less-traveled roads.

The stage ends in Sagres, in the southwest corner of the map. The starting point for so many explorations of Portugal’s history.

Stage 9

Stage 9, and the last of the Portugal2Ride – Around Portugal. The connection from Sagres to Lisbon. 345km of coastal exploration and immersion in the southwest of the country.

Departure from Sagres with the end of the challenge in sight, and with the charms of the Costa Vicentina in between.

The route passes through places like Carrapateira, Aljezur, Odeceixe, Zambujeira do Mar, and the Cabo Sardão Lighthouse.

Until the finishing and starting points meet, the last stage still offers wonderful coastal driving through Vila Nova de MilFontes, Porto Covo, and Melides, among others.

A ferry connection from Tróia to Setúbal allows you to enjoy one last section of mountain road before arriving in Lisbon – the Serra da Arrábida – fantastic, by the way.

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