Bicycle Touring Experiences from Portugal

Portugal

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Portugal (you can share your experiences here).



Cycling in Portugal - Ecopista do Dão

Ecopista do Dão - Cycling in central Portugal along an abandoned railway line.
Easy cycling in a beautiful landscape in the centre of Portugal
The "Linha do Dão", until 1988 a rail road between Santa Comba Dão and Viseu in central Portugal, was opened again in 2011, but now as a bike and walking path called the Ecopista do Dão. With its 49 km, it is not only the longest Ecopista in Portugal, but probably the most beautiful as well.
The first part of this path, which passes in front of Quinta da Abelenda, runs along the banks of the river Dão. Every bend in the river is followed by a bend in the Ecopista, with stannic views.
Later on, the Ecopista leaves the river, but the landscape remains very beautiful, with views of mountains and valleys covered with oaks, cork oaks and chestnut trees, but also some vineyards, cultivated land and small villages. In the distance the mountains of the Serra do Caramulo (in the north) and the Serra da Estrela (in the south) are always present.

Peter Sales, April 19, 2014

Bike Rental Central Portugal

Bike Rental - At the beginning of the Ecopista do Dão in Santa Comba Dão, between Coimbra and Viseu.
The cycle route Ecopista do Dão used to be a rail road. With its 49 km, it is not only the longest Ecopista in Portugal, but probably the most beautiful as well.
The first part of this path, runs along the banks of the river Dão. Every bend in the river is followed by a bend in the Ecopista, with stannic views.

Peter Sales, April 19, 2014

Fold n´Visit - Rent a Bike n´Tours - Porto, Portugal

Bike shop near trindade metro statiosn (100 meters) and 200 meters from City Hall.
Bike rental, Bike tours anda walking tours are available

Fold n´Visit - Rent a bike n´Tous - Porto, Portuga, April 18, 2014

Trains in Portugal: Travelling with Bicycles

As an incentive to multimodal commuting and sustainable mobility, bicycles are allowed on all Portuguese trains free of charge, one per passenger ticket, according to the policy adopted by Portuguese operators (CP, Fertagus, Metro de Lisboa, and Metro do Porto).

Bicycles on Subways:
Bicycles travel free on the Lisbon Subway (Metro de Lisboa) and on the Porto Subway (Metro do Porto) and are allowed on weekends, weekdays after 8pm and for short periods between morning and afternoon rush hours in both cities.

Suburban and Regional Trains:
Bicycles travel free at all times in Portuguese urban, suburban and regional trains. Priority must always be given to other passengers when space is lacking, as in some of the express morning rush-hour commuter trains into Lisbon from Sintra (CP) or Cascais (CP). Service is very frequent on these two lines, and trains usually have space for 2 to 6 bikes per wagon, even in rush hour so missing an express train means waiting another 2 to 8 minutes for the next train, which usually stops at all stations as express and all-stop trains alternate.

Trains on the Azambuja line (CP) heading North from Lisbon, and the Setúbal line (Fertagus), heading due South are both prepared for bicycles on board, with designated space and Velcro fasteners.
Long-distance Alfa [high speed Braga – Algarve corridor], Intercidades (all major cities in the mainland) and International trains (to Spain and France): Bicycles must be dismounted or folded on Alfa [high speed Lisbon – Porto – Braga and Lisbon - Algarve], Intercidades and International routes such as the Sud-Express which does the daily route from/to Portugal (Lisbon, Coimbra, and Guarda) overnight to Northeastern Spain (Salamanca, Valladolid, Burgos), the Basque country (Vitoria, San Sebastian, Irun) and France (Hendaye).

Bikeplan, November 28, 2012

Bicycle storage in Portugal

For short to long-term bicycle storage of one to various bicycles in Portugal, Bikeplan recommends Storex self-storage units. More info at www.storex.pt/lang/EN/index.html
or free tel. # 800 91 5000 (from Portugal only)

Various locations are available throughout the greater Lisbon area, including a location at Lisbon Airport and others close to major train stations such as Benfica (Sintra railway), Alcântara (Cascais railway), and Matinha (near the Oriente train, subway and long-distance bus station).

Bikeplan, November 28, 2012

Lisbon Airport: Western Europe's best gateway for bicycle travellers

Lisbon airport is a comfortable airport for bicycle travellers, the principal hub for TAP Portugal, and a base for SATA and Easyjet. Besides TAP which flies worldwide (Miami and Newark in the US) and SATA (Boston and Toronto), United flies to Lisbon daily from Philadelphia, Newark, and Charlotte, and Air Transat has several flights per week from Toronto and also Montreal.
Lisbon is very well connected to the rest of Europe.
The airport has great advantages in comparison to other major European gateways, namely because it is close to the city centre and is close enough to great beaches in the Cascais and Caparica areas and the lush forests, castles and fairytale palaces of the Sintra mountains to provide a quick escape on longer connections or layovers. The airport itself has various travel lounges and family lounges are available free of charge, as are baby strollers, etc.
A significant advantage of using Lisbon airport is that it has CAT III landing capabilities allowing for complete fog /no visibility landings, and less delays or disturbances than nearby European cities such as Madrid, Barcelona or Bordeaux.
Access to Lisbon's city centre and the surroundings areas are excellent for cyclists, and multimoding is well planned:
The airport's subway station at Terminal 1 has a direct line into the city centre 15 minutes away; the subway has 50 stations and connects with all of Lisbon's four railway corridors, streetcars, ferry boats, cruise ship terminals, Expo and the city's central and business areas. Bicycles travel free on the Subway and are allowed on weekends, weekdays after 8pm and for short periods between morning and afternoon rush hours.
Bicycles travel free at all times in Portuguese suburban and regional trains and on ferry boats (with restrictions as to the number of bikes per boat).
The airport is served by various city bus lines 24 hours a day, and two shuttle buses to the business areas, hotels and city centre which serve both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 every 20 minutes. The Lisbon bus operator Carris has 6 bike-bus routes in the city with space for 4 bikes per bus, folded bikes are allowed on all buses at all times.
2 cycle paths connect Lisbon's 50+ km bicycle path network to 200m from Terminal 1 or 2 (bike rental is available in the Arrivals lounge of Terminal 1 at Rent-a-Stuff, Lisbon has various other bicycle rental firms downtown, and in nearby Cascais, Oeiras and Sintra).
Various car parks for short, mid and long-term parking assure easy parking is always available as are the car-rental services.
Two city avenues connect the airport to the city, one directly to the centre (25 minutes by bicycle) and the cycle paths and another to the Eastern quarters, the Oriente train station (10 minutes by bicycle) which is served by 3 suburban commuter train corridors (Sintra, Azambuja and Setúbal), and connects to railways to the North and South of Portugal, and also to Spain and France. Bicycles are allowed on all Portuguese trains (they must be dismounted or folded on Intercity, Alfa [high speed], and International routes).

Bikeplan, November 16, 2012

Bicycle rentals in Oeiras & Cascais, Lisbon [Portugal]

Bicycle rentals in Oeiras, Cascais and Lisbon area. A great and cheap way to see Lisbon city, coast and surrounding villages.
Information regarding paths, places to visit and current cycling events is available.

Bikeplan, November 10, 2012

Train from Madrid Airport, Portugal Trains

In Sept. 2012 I flew with my bike from Washington DC to Madrid, cycling to Lisbon, Portugal. There is no longer a need to cycle to or from the airport to downtown Madrid. At terminal 4 there is a train to Charmatin Station, connecting to Atocha and other stations. The train takes bikes and cost a couple of Euros. You can also, take a bike on the Metro (non-rush hours) but with the train this is really not necessary. If you land at Terminals 1-3 there is a shuttle bus to T-4 that that will take bikes.

The regional trains around Lisbon, Portugal, also, take bikes. I took mine on a regional train in Sept. 2012.

Stuart Bonning, September 26, 2012

Travelling with bicycles on TAP Portugal london to Caracas

yesterday we flew from london Heathrow to Caracas, via lisbon. TAP were the cheapest even though they charge 100 Euros per bike, each way, or so we thought. We arrived at Heathrow ready to hand over payment for the bikes but to our absolute surprise we were told because we were using the 'piece' system we didn't have to! Fantastic, saved us 200 Euros. They did lose the bikes in transit though, and we are going back to the airport today to pick them up ........... HOPEFULLY!

lynne roberts, July 01, 2009

Portugal & Spain Rental and Delivery

Cycling Rentals offers top quality bikes and totally flexible services to meet all your requirements; we can even plan a bespoke, tailor made trip for you, deliver your bike to your door and transport your luggage for you - or we can just give you your bike and let you be on your way.

We will deliver your bike to you anywhere in Continental Portugal & Spain. By special request we can also deliver to the Islands.

Cycling Rentals can also provide you with extra cycling gear, bike racks and maps or itineraries, or even arrange room bookings and luggage transfer at your request.

We have joined forces with CP, the Portugal national rail service, to offer you the cleanest, greenest and least expensive way to enjoy Portugal.

If you find our services of interest please tell your friends! Even if you are planning on bringing your own bike, why not email us for some useful information on where to go and what not to miss.

Cycling Rentals, June 18, 2009

Portugal & Spain

Traveling by bicycle can make for an unforgettable holiday - but getting there can be just the opposite.

Expensive overweight charges, careless handling and downright impracticality of lugging a bike around a foreign place can all be enough to ruin the enjoyment of your vacation

Cycling Rentals offers truly top quality bikes and totally flexible services to meet all your requirements; we can even plan your entire trip for you, deliver your bike to your door and transport your luggage for you - or we can just give you your bike and let you be on your way.

For any assistance in planning your bike trip in Spain or Portugal, just send us an email or give us a ring, we will be happy to help in any way we can!

If you are already in Portugal, and just want to hop on a bike, look up our Day Trips!

Martin Thompson, January 25, 2009

BIKE/motorbike RENTAL IN PORTUGAL

Hello to everyone. On May 2008 we went to Portugal for a 10 day trip (from Porto to Lisbon).We had some difficulties in renting bikes until we got in touch with Pedro of Northroad (www.northroad.pt - info@northroad.pt). We strongly reccomend to contact him. He will provide very good service and experience and he will transmit you his real passion to see the world!

manu , June 18, 2008

Bluecoastbikes Portugal: Guided, Self-Guided, Private Tours, Rentals & More

Enjoy a weeklong tour with one of our guided tours through the breathtaking Costa Azul, or the tranquil rolling hills of the Alentejo wine country. If that is not your cup of tea, perhaps you like to do things on your own, so reserve a time with us to take part in a self guided tour, where you lead the way, at your own pace. Dine on the fresh seafoods and savory dishes of the interior of Portugal, Sleep in the magnificent pousada palaces and castles, and witness culture in the making. Portugal will welcome you in with open arms, and fill you up with all the trimmings of a fine vacation.

Stopping through Setubal on your trip to Portugal? Rent a bike from Bluecoastbikes! www.bluecoastbikes.com

Bluecoastbikes Portugal, May 17, 2007

Trains in Portugal

Now (2006... )you can take you bike in the Portuguese trains except for the fast trains. Any "Regional" train and most suburban trains will take your bike at no cost or 1 euro.Regional trains enable you to cross the country although with nice stops at each and every station ! Not at peak hours in suburban lines. Look for + info at www.cp.pt

Manuel Pinheiro, July 30, 2006

Blue Coast Bikes Portugal - Bike the Costa Azul Portugal in 2006

We offer bike tours of the beautiful Costa Azul region of Portugal. We also supply rental bikes throughout the year. Our new line will be available Starting January 2006. Please visit our website www.bluecoastbikes.com for more info as we are constantly updating our site. Come cycle with us and see the best of the Portuguese coast and culture! Contact aaron or maria or Rui
acgafner@bluecoastbikes.com
mplacerda@bluecoastbikes.com
rui.neves@bluecoastbikes.com

We appreciate your time to check us out, reserve now before our tours fill up! See you on the coast!

Bluecoastbikes Portugal, August 31, 2005

Lisbon, Portugal

Il est très rare de trouver un aéroport si près du centre (6km). Facile d'accès même si la circulation est très dense.

Il est possible d'éviter les grands boulevards et de passer par des rues moins passantes.

Pas pire que bien des aéroports situés dans les grandes capitales européennes.

Pierre-Michel Lajeunesse, August 01, 2005

Bilbao airport to the old city (Casco Vieho)

The airport is generally not very busy and it is no problem riding out on the exit road. Take the very first right for the town of Derio, which you will quickly reach. You will find the train tracks (narrow gauge) for the EuskoTren blue line. You have to poke around a little, but their are ramps down to the ticket office. However, as I recall you will need to carry the bike up to the platform, but there may be a ramp.

You want the train signed for Deusto. We got off at Casco Vieho, as our hotel was nearby. We selected that location since the train station for San Sebastian was nearby. We took that and then "El Topo" to Hendaye and biked to Bayonne, taking the railcar to St. Jean in the morning to start our camino.

I don't know how much a taxi would be but I do not recommend biking into town, as the hills are tough. The train connection is very easy for bikes.

Charles Hansen, March 01, 2005

Bike Rental in Portugal

Hi there
Last April, I ((Patrick van der Meulen) went to Portugal for a 10 day trip. Around Evora, I was looking for a place to rent bikes. The renting venue that LP mentions, Bike Lab, could not provide me one on the day I passed by, and they didn't seem very eager to do much effort to book one for me either ("Come back tomorrow, maybe they will have returned the bikes.") By questioning some Dutch people on the market place about where they got their bikes,

I finally came into contact with Didier from "BikeIberia", which has a local "hub" at the Monte da Serralheira farmhouse (cf. "Places to stay" in Evora). He rented me a fine and very lightweight mountainbike for two days and gave me great advice on intresting itineraries. My encounter with Didier was a very pleasant experience, and from every detail, you could feel his large experience and great love for biking around, and his desire to share that passion with others. Also, Didier spoke fluent English, which was a relief after all those days of trying to explain yourself the best you could...

From their website www.BikeIberia.com, I learned that they provide guided tours all over the Iberian peninsula. Since the LP guide on Portugal doesn't mention them, I wanted to let you know this.


Our company is a small yet genuinely local one!
We would appreciate your visit to http://www.BikeIberia.com
We believe you will bring BikeIberia website up on your listings for both Portugal and Spain under Bike Rentals and Tours.

BikeIberia - Experience the Best of Portugal and Spain by Bike.
A site for those seeking an experience of the Iberian Heritage, Landscape and Culture while travelling on a bike. This local company offers: Bike Rentals and fully supported Mountain Biking and Road Biking Tours, since 1999.

Special: Bike Rental (Touring and Mountain Biking) anywhere in Iberia
Your bike will be delivered / collected* at the hotel you are staying anywhere in Portugal or Spain! The only thing you must do is straighten the handlebars and tighten 2 screws on the headset before you start riding!

Bikes will be delivered anywhere in Portugal/Spain (e.g. to your first hotel) in a bike case, after you take the bikes out we will forward the case to your last hotel (anywhere in Portugal/Spain) where you will put the bike back inside the case to be returned to us!
Didier, November 18, 2002

Lisbon, Portugal

Do you know of any Capital city in the western world without bike lanes and without having bikes as a means of transportation, where car drivers are friendly towards bikers? Wherever you go in Lisboa and its suburbs (way out or in) expect the same as in any busy town... without bike lanes, without the common use of bikes.

It will not be easy to get from the Airport by taxi. There aren't usually taxi vans available and bikes are not allowed on most of the public transportation (few exceptions on weekends).

Would you want to ride your bikes 5 miles through a busy capital city after? Then read the following...

If you decide to go ahead... and hoping you will not be venturing on this starting journey on rush hour (8:00-11:00 am) on weekdays, here is some advice for riders:

Turn right outside the Arrivals Hall and ride up past the Departures Hall.
You will then go on a gentle downhill and pass under "Segunda Circular" and as you approach the roundabout (Rotunda do Relógio) go straight across into Avenue Gago Countinho (2 or 3 lanes).
2 or 3 kms later you will come to another roundabout: Areeiro, Keep straight onto Av. Almirante Reis.
Go down a gentle hill into Baixa (Lisboa’s old quarter), After Alameda Garden watch out for the tram lines and pavement in bad condition in some sections, and of course the traffic will get worse...
In Martim Moniz keep straight onto Praça da Figueira and then right (you may have to walk or take the bus lanes) into Rossio (the Main Square in Baixa).

Didier, November 18, 2002

Portugal and bicycle

Portugal.
We flew with LTU from Dusseldorf to Faro. We gave them own bicycles and without any problems we arrived to Faro (30 DM in both directions).
We traveled one week by sea shore and next we taken train to Porto. But watch out! Officially you cannot take bicycle to train (since 1999?). So we had to dismount wheels, this is enough to travel with bike. ( http://www.ursula.republika.pl/zdjecia8/obidos_stacja.jpg - hole site is in polish, sorry 🙁 )
Do NOT try travel by IC (Inter City) there is no place to leave bicycle - we tested it :-/ .
From Porto to Lisbon we traveled by bike ( see map: http://www.ursula.republika.pl/portugalia_polnocram.html )
People are very kind and helpful even in trains.
It's really worth to see Portugall.

PiOtReK, February 08, 2002

Portugal: Trains, Planes and Buses

In september 2001 I visited Portugal. I was quite surprised (and shocked) to learn that it's impossible to take bikes on the train (any train) from Lisbon to Porto. We talked to different people and the answer was the same : we are not allowed to do it except if we sort of dismount the bike so it doesn't look like a working bike! I don't have the time for this when I'm travelling...

We phoned a bus company in Lisbon and the answer was the same. We finally took an airplane (only TAP allows bikes) to Porto.

My advice: don't plan to take the train or the bus in Portugal with your bike!


Claude Durocher, September 23, 2001

Bicycles on Trains in Spain

FEVE don't have a website but I have found their timetable out of Santander on the city's site..

Trenes FEVE . Departures and Arrivals
Bilbao 8,50 - 13,35 - 18,35 (daily)
Marrón 6,30 (working days and working days after fiestas) - 19,35 (working days Mon - Fri)
Oviedo 9,05 - 16,10
Bezana, Torrelavega y Puente San Miguel. Working days: every 30 minutos de 6,00 a 22,15
Cabezón de la Sal * Working days: hourly from 6,15 a 22,15
Solares y Liérganes. Working days. hourly from 6,15 a 22,25 (21,15 last train to Liérganes) Saturdays and Fiestas: hourly from 7,15 a 22,45 (21,15 last train to Liérganes)
Maliaño y El Astillero Working Days: Every 15 and/or 30 minutes from 6,15 to 22,15 Saturdays and Fiestas: hourly from 7,15 a 22,25

I have never had a problem taking my bike on board, even when there were a gaggle of us off the ferry from England. There is a large storage area at the end of each carriage with folding seats where the bikes go, but there always seems to be space to sit with the bike. *Cabezon de la Sal is the best stop for the Picos. VASCONGADAS go from Bilbao to San Sebastian. Narrow gauge as is EL TOPO from San Sebastian to Irun. Haven't had problems there either but it is a few years since I took that one.

All the best, Dan

Dan Gregory, April 18, 2000

Spanish RR

Found on: rec.bicycles.rides


FEVE and the other narrow gauge railways which run along the Northern coast of Spain from Irun at the French border, to San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo and beyond, all let you take your bike on board with you. There is space at the end of each carriage, so you can sit near it. Great way tto get out of the cities particularly into the Picos de Europa from Santander.


All the best, Dan

Dan Gregory, April 10, 2000

Spanish RR

Found on: touring@phred.org


I can only give my direct experience for transporting bike on trains.


Spain: it seems that since the 90's the transportation of bicycles on the trains it is much easier. Not every train will allow them (you should check on the time table), but in most cases they accept it as a normal piece of luggage if it is correctly packed.


Portugal: to tell the truth I've never been there with my bike, but since I hope to do it some day I've asked some information directly to the Lisbon railway station. They answered that bicycles are allowed on certain trains (it is necessary to ask which ones), but the girl at the information desk seemed not have ever been asked such a question or seen anybody wishing to load one. Not many bikes over there!


Ciao Valter FUMERO

Valter Fumero, March 15, 2000

Spanish RR

Dear George,
Just returned from a cycle tour of Spain and Portugal. All trains used in Spain whether they be RENFE or FEVE were easy to use, with bikes always going free. However our experiences in Portugal were more variable.

Hope this may be of some use.
Yours Ian and Maggie

Ian Rostron, August 24, 1999

Spanish RR

John wrote:
> Please explain the rules for transport of bicycycles on RENFE, both regional and intercity services.

Got this response from RENFE the Spanish Railroad Company.
Subject: Re: Bicycles on RENFE
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 10:01:16 +0100
From: "M. Eugenia Fernandez Hermos" (efernan@renfe.es)
In regional train is possible, the transport of bike is free except in train TRD, in intercity not possible ( only train Grandes lineas (long distance) in train with beds.) I send information for Grandes Lineas. http://www.renfe.es/largo/ivarios.htm

Ken Nielsen, May 18, 1999

Portugal

While touring in Portugal, we attempted to take our bikes with us on both buses and trains. We took two buses, and were able to take our bikes each time. Once was easy. The bus was largely empty, and the driver was quite willing. The second time, however, was a struggle. The bus driver was adament that we couldn't ship our bikes on HIS bus. Another bus station employee became our guardian angel. He went to the station manager who overruled the bus driver. We were forced, however, to buy a ticket equal to our passenger tickets for each bike. The other time, there was no charge.

It was easy to take our bikes with us from Porto to Lisbon on an "InterRegional" train. These trains go slower and make more stops, but there is a baggage car. I helped load the bikes along with the man who filled out the paperwork. I had read that there is a huge amount of paperwork, and that you must make arrangements far in advance, but this did not turn out to be true for us. We arrived at the train station one hour before the train left, and we had no problems.

We also tried to take our bikes on the short train ride from Lisbon to Sintra, but were told that it would be several hours before there was a train which could take our bikes. At least that's what I think we were told. My ability to understand Portuguese is limited.

Neal Teplitz, June 09, 1998

St. John's, Newfoundland

Easy access. Turn right at stop sign leaving airport (obvious). Turn left at T intersection (Portugal Cove Rd.). Turn right at second light (Fox Avenue). Turn left at T intersection with lights. First right is to Pippy Park Campground. Otherwise, continue through lights (Memorial University is to the right). Continuing straight (now on Allendale Rd.) to bottom of valley and turn left at Y intersection onto Bonaventure Ave. Up hill and then down to stop sign, cross, go down (steep) hill, turn right at stop sign to go to City Hall, tourist info, and start of Trans-Canada Highway.

Robert M. Lewis, January 07, 1998

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

No problem at Rio de Janeiro International Airport and at Madrid Airport. no charge for bike transportation.

Traveling long distance in Spain by train, you should buy a a cabin (with bed) ticket, and put the bike with you. Train clerks are friendly, and no problems.

Eng. Aurelio Moreira da Silva, July 26, 1996

Portugal

I don't remember the names of the airports in Lisbon and Porto, but the access roads, especially to Porto, didn't seem too terrible. Must admit I was busy talking to my pals and didn't pay a lot of attention to them with an eye for cycling.

Michele Faison, April 11, 1994

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon: access by road, finding a route easy, traffic nasty (100 meters out of the airport you encounter the Rotary from Hell).

Joe Chapman , April 10, 1994

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