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Portugal - End to End (Faro to Santander)
30th May 2019 - 18th June 2019 (20 days)
This end-to-end is a moving-on tour exploring the huge diversity of Portugal and Northern Spain - a trip for regular cyclists who wish to visit parts of Iberia that many tourists never see. Starting at Faro, leaving the beaches of the Algarve behind, the tour travels through Portugal's central heartland, cycling through cork and eucalyptus forests, onto the Duoro Valley, crossing mountain ranges to reach the north east border with Spain and traversing northern Spain through the Picos du Europa to Santander.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Julie & Nic Hodgetts
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Some Meals
- Travel Arrangements Ferry
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Luggage Transfer
- Holiday Ref 01916
Thursday 30th May
Meet at Faro airport, short transfer to hotel. Stay 1 night.
Friday 31st May
Cycle from the coast by Faro to Castro Verde. 101km (1512m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Saturday 1st June
Cycle to Evora. 110km (1105m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 2nd June
Cycle to Ponte de Sor. 95km (618m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 3rd June
Cycle Serta. 84km (1210m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 4th June
Cycle Lousa. 75km (1399m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 5th June
Cycle to Tondela. 74km (1103m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Thursday 6th June
Cycle to Lamego. 95km (1648m total ascent). Stay 2 nights.
Friday 7th June
Rest Day or explore Lamego and the Duoro valley.
Saturday 8th June
Cycle to Alijo along the Duoro valley. 59km (1049m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 9th June
Cycle to Valpacos. 63km (1097m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 10th June
Cycle to Braganca. 79km (1255m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 11th June
Cycle to Peubla de Sanabria in Spain. 45km (939m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 12th June
Cycle from Peubla de Sanabria to Villagallegos. 106km (825m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Thursday 13th June
Cycle to Boca de Huergano. 116km (965m total ascent). Stay 2 nights.
Friday 14th June
Rest Day in Picos de Europa.
Saturday 15th June
Cycle Puentenansa. 94km (1953m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 16th June
Cycle to Puente Viesgo. 56km (1019m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 17th June
Cycle to Santander. 40km (600m total ascent). Overnight ferry to the UK.
Tuesday 18th June
Arrive in Portsmouth where the tour ends.
Accommodation & Meals
This will be in a range of hotels chosen to give the best flavour of each area, in twin or double en-suite rooms based on two people sharing. Single occupancy is not available. Meals are usually taken at the hotel but occasionally at nearby restaurants. Vegetarians and those with other dietary requirements should make their requests known on the Booking Form, but options might be limited. Non-meat eaters should indicate if they will eat fish. Lunches and other snacks at stops are not included, though will be taken at local bars and restaurants along the route. Meals on the ferry are not included.
A backup vehicle will transport luggage each day between hotels.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid on the date of their return to their home country. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether they require a visa. There are no compulsory health related requirements for UK residents, but you are strongly advised to check that your tetanus protection has not expired. You must also carry your European Health Insurance Card.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £1,895 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the holiday and is calculated at a rate of 1.12 Euros to £1 sterling (Based on exchange rates published on www.x-rates.com on 14 September 2018.; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 21st March 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Ferry travel from Santander to Portsmouth, sharing 2-berth inside cabin
- 15 nights hotel, sharing room, half-board
- 3 nights hotel, sharing room, bed and breakfast
- Backup vehicle to carry luggage
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Outward travel to Faro to join start of tour
- Meals in transit
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any attractions
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £400 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £1,495 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 21st March 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 21st March 2019
From 21st March 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
We set off from the coast near to Faro and head north, quickly passing through the Algarve region and its cork forests onto the Alentejo region and it's capital Evora, with its UNESCO listed historic centre. Continuing north we cross the River Tagus, at 1007km long, it's the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. Soon we will cross the centre of Portugal just south of our overnight stay in Serta. We travel through vast areas of eucalyptus forests, which provides a profitable cash crop for paper and pulp now one of Portugal's biggest exports. At Lousa, we stay in an 18th century palace, now a 4 star hotel. The town has a Baroque style municipal hall, 11th century castle and 15th and 16th century chapels. Following our stay in Tondela, we continue north using a bike path, a former railway line. We reach Lamego and our first rest day, a short distance from the 3rd longest river in Iberia, the Douro. This region is considered the centre of Port production. After our rest day, we climb up out of the Douro valley, passing the many vines that make this region such a prolific area of wine production. As we continue northwards, we travel through areas of national parks with oak and chestnut trees and sparse population. Just 22km from the Spanish border we climb up to 674 m and our stay in the town of Braganca with its imposing castle, just a short walk from our hotel. We cross into Spain and stop in Puebla de Sanabria one of the oldest settlements in the province. We are now in the region of Castilla y Leon a high plateau ringed by mountains and cross south of Leon heading into the Picos de Europa. After crossing the Puerto de San Glorio at 1609m we descend to the Cantabrian coast at Santander.
Rides & Rest Days
Most of each day will be spent cycling and sightseeing from the saddle. We will lead one or two groups at a pace to suit participants, but you are welcome to ride separately at your own pace, meeting up at pre-arranged points along the day’s route. To get the best from this tour you should be fit enough to ride back to back days. You should be riding regularly and including some hills.
A detailed itinerary with maps, route sheets and GPX tracks of each day will be sent with the final tour information.
Accommodation & Meals
Participants will be sharing en-suite rooms in all the hotels, with meals on a half-board basis for 15 nights and bed and breakfast for 3 nights. Vegetarian meals (if pre-booked) may be available. Please note that in Portugal and Spain they eat late, some hotels serve evening meals from 2100hrs. Breakfasts are generally continental style, offering fruit juice, bread and jams and hot drinks, but many also supply cereals, yogurt, cheese, ham, eggs and fresh fruit. Lunch can be taken as a group or individually in local bar-cafés and restaurants when practical. Where possible we will try to have mid-morning and mid-afternoon café stops.
Outward travel to Faro is to be arranged by yourself. Travel from Spain is on an overnight crossing aboard Brittany Ferries’ flagship the "Pont-Aven” sharing 2-berth inside cabins. This large and comfortable vessel is equipped with the range of dining and entertainment options you would expect on a cruise ship.
The maximum group size will be 18 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
Travelling through such diverse countries means that we could encounter all four seasons during the trip. Please come prepared for the heat of the south and potential colder, wet weather in the north, especially in the Picos, as well as everything in between. The support vehicle will, where practical, be available during each day’s ride to pick up or drop off additional clothing.
Cycles & Equipment
A road or touring cycle or a hybrid would be suitable and must be in good working order, especially the brakes. A bottom gear of 27 inches or lower (eg a small chainring approximately the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Managers. Mudguards are optional, though you should consider bringing a small front light and flashing rear LED light in case of poor weather conditions or unexpected evening riding. Each participant is expected to carry spares and tools and be able to deal with punctures and minor repairs. One of the Tour Managers, Nic, is a very competent bike mechanic and will have tools and some spares in the support vehicle and can usually fix most things.
You will not need to carry luggage, but a rack top pack or bar bag will be useful for carrying wet weather gear, spare clothing needed for the day, camera, snacks and your map.
Helmets are a legal requirement in Spain
Maps & Guides
GPX files will be suplied for GPS cycle computers as well as route cue sheets and maps. If you would like to purchase a paper map to cover the entire route we suggest you use the Marco Polo map of Spain and Portugal.
Travel Insurance & Advice
In addition to travel insurance, EU nationals should carry a European Health Insurance Card, obtainable from www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/. This enables you to take advantage of emergency medical services free or at a discount under a reciprocal provision that exists between EU member states. Your travel insurer may refuse to meet the extra costs of medical treatment if you do not carry this card.
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.