Featured Tour - Cycle the N2 Top to Bottom - Europe’s Longest Road - Portugal End-to-End
With its mild climate, 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, Portugal is the perfect cycling holiday destination! This is a country that has the oldest borders in Europe, with an exceptional range of different landscapes to pedal through. Tradition and modernity blend together in perfect harmony. Its superb cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people make for a cycling tour to never forget!
About the Portugal N2 End to End Cycle Tour
You will cycle the length of this wonderful country from north to south mainly on the popular N2 route - Europe's ‘Route 66’. Imagine cycling its rugged mountaintops, tranquil valleys and vineyards, all on one safe, smooth and quiet road with the support of an experienced crew. The Portugal End-to-End tour is a strenuous tour with some longer days in the saddle. 8 Days (6 cycling). Average - 120 km and 1,640 m per day. The route has some climbs of medium difficulty and a few which are challenging. The rewards are stunning. This amazing tour starts in the historical and lively town of Chaves in the north. Chaves is a city that has both a natural beauty and an incomparable historical and cultural legacy. If flying to Porto you will enjoy a leisurely transfer from the airport.
Portugal End-to-End Itinerary
Cycling Day 1 - Chaves to Peso de Regua 90 km 1,470 m
After a photo shoot at the N2 start sign, we cross the River Támega and leave wonderful Chaves with its Roman bridge and head for the hills and villages further south. Winding our way through forests and open rural landscapes. Small villages and towns such as Vidago and Villa Real punctuate the day. Then it’s the mountainous area of the Alvão Natural Park with some effort on the hills you will be rewarded with inspiring scenery. Waterfalls, farms and quaint villages are typical of this lush area. Major climbs are few, however the road is seldom flat! Peso da Regúa is our finish. A beautiful little town on the banks of the Duoro River in Portugal’s wine region - the Duoro Valley.
Cycling Day 2 - Peso de Regúa to Tondela. 106 km 1,8900 m
Prepare for hills and valleys! Today is our second biggest climbing day. We leave the Douro River and climb out of its valley. The Douro is the highest-flow river of the Iberian Peninsula. The first 30 km section of our ride grants us a glorious 973 m ascent. Very enjoyable with a modest average gradient of 3%. The road meanders and is mostly open with views of distant green hills, mountains and lush vineyards. The Douro Valley is listed as a World Heritage Site and riding through it is sheer joy! Albeit in places with a little burn in the calves 😊. Our finish is in Tondela - a placid town in pine coated mountains by the River Dão.
Cycling Day 3 - Tondela to Sertá. 140 km 2,400 m
Our biggest climbing day with even bigger rewards. The morning starts with a slow descent from Tondela to the Dáo River and the Barragem de Montargi reservoir with beautiful scenic water-filled landscapes. Our main climb begins at Lousá and continues for 20 km climbing 960 m at an average 4% gradient. A breath-taking climb of stunning beauty, wide vistas and whirring wind turbines. The finsh town of Sertá has a wonderful little river at its centre. You will find some lovely restaurants and cafés.
Cycling Day 4 - Sertá to Mora. 127 km 1,400 m
A day of two halves. The first half is within a hilly area of rivers and gorges on the eastern flanks of Portugal’s largest reservoir – the Castelo de Bode. Three beautiful moderate climbs. Broad sweeping roads through tree covered hills. From 50 km on the terrain is kinder. We cycle through the pretty riverside town of Ponte de Sor with its many café opportunities. The day finishes with a section along the Montargil reservoir with coves and beaches. Popular with water sports enthusiasts.
Cycling Day 5 - Mora to Castro Verda. 165 km 1,563 m
A day with sections of long, straight roads. We are now in the fertile agricultural areas of southern, central Portugal. An “uppy downey” day from start to finish. Section upon section of straight, smooth and quiet road. Each mile is different as we pass through areas of scrub, orchards, green pastures, irrigated grasslands and grazing livestock. The finish is in the charming town of Castro Verde with its busy cobbled shopping streets, cafés, restaurants and bars.
Cycling Day 6 - Castro Verda to Faro. 100 km 1,160 m
A relatively short but amazing day to finish! Allowing you time to enjoy the rooftop terrace overlooking the bay from our hotel in Faro! As the gateway to the Algarve, Faro is a delightful city with its Old Town, marina, nightlife scene and music venues. The cycling on our last day is in stark contrast to yesterday. Gorgeous twisty mountain roads abound as we wind our way south to the Algarve coast. The terrain noticeably drier. Panoramic views from our highest point, the Miradouro do Caldeirão are stunning. Our final 50 km are on a 500 m downhill trajectory to the coast along gorgeous sweeping roads with little traffic and views to die for!
Portugal Cycle Tour Photos Along the Classic N2 Route
Accommodation on the Portugal N2 End-to-End Cycle Tour
You will enjoy a range of great hotels. We use good quality accommodation throughout. Breakfasts are generally continental style with a choice of cereals, fresh fruit, omelettes breads and rolls normally on offer. Some do cooked breakfasts.
In Portugal, temperatures will generally be around 18oC to 25oC with a good deal of sunshine and light winds. There may be occasional cloud or rain showers. Bring clothing to cope with a range of conditions. Sun-screen will be required. Some passes are high in the mountains and you may feel cooler on descents.