Easy Rider Tours - vacations and travel

Minho Grape Escape

Portugal, Spain, Europe

from $3,695* per person 8 Days June-August
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Easy Rider Tours 24 people max
  • Oporto airport, portugal
  • Culinary & Wine Travel trips
The “vintage” countryside of the Minho stretches from Portugal’s colorful wine country to the rocky coastline of Spanish Galicia. Trellised grapevines and red-tiled rooftops seem to cascade down the fertile hillsides of Portugal’s Costa Verde. Spinning north into Spain, we’ll pedal through the Galician countryside to the seaside resort of Baiona and on to the medieval magnificence of Santiago de Compostela. All along the way, we’ll toast our travels with tasty local wines: crisp vinho verde from the Minho and velvety reds from the Douro, Dão, and Lima Valleys. Saúde! Salud! Cheers!

    *  Spectacular rural biking though scenic wine country
    * Seaside cycling along the Galician coast
    * Historic accommodations in manor houses and paradors
    * Visit Peneda-Gerês, Portugal’s only national park
    * Tour and dinner in a vinho verde winery
    * Celtic ruins at Monte Santa Tecla
    * Paella feast in Baiona
    * Private guided tour of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela

Locations visited/nearby

Portugal, Spain, Europe

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Day 1: Late morning transfer from Oporto Airport to our four-star pousada in Viana do Castelo. Welcome reception on the terrace, whose view overlooking the city has been called one of the world’s finest panoramas. An optional warm-up ride explores the forested hillsides of Monte Santa Luzia. Tonight’s dinner in Viana’s Old Quarter features specialties of the region. (0 or 6 mi.)

Day 2: Roman bridges lead through pastoral countryside to historic Ponte de Lima for lunch. Afternoon ride follows the Rio Lima to Arcos de Valdevez for a two-night stay at an 18th-century country manor. The long option offers a challenging climb to “Castle Rock” for commanding valley views. Relax with an après-ride swim, or stroll into town along the Rio Vez. (38, 42, or 54 mi.)

Day 3: Pedal a spectacular backcountry loop through pine and eucalyptus forests, mountain villages, and the granite peaks of Peneda-Gerês, Portugal’s only national park. Lunch in Soajo, whose picturesque espigueiros (granite granaries) have been declared a National Monument. Return through the Rio Lima valley or take a challenging side trip to a rustic shepherds’ village. (30, 36, or 48 mi.)

Day 4: Rewarding vistas of terraced valleys and distant mountains, before descending to the town of Monção, on the Rio Minho and Spanish border. On the main square, look for the statue of local heroine Deu-la-Deu Martins, whose baking skills saved the besieged town from the Spanish in 1368. Our country estate boasts its own award-winning winery, where we’ll tour, taste, and dine this evening. (32 or 56 mi.)

Day 5: Visit the colorful street market in Valença do Minho or tour the Gothic cathedral in Tui, Spain, just across the Eiffel-designed international bridge. A climb through Mount Aloia Nature Reserve leads to a picnic lunch with bird’s-eye views of the Atlantic. Descend to the coast for a paella feast and two-night stay in Baiona, Spain, where our luxurious parador looks out to sea from the heights of Monterreal Fortress. (33 mi.)

Day 6: Free day to explore Baiona’s harborfront and beaches, or bike along the Atlantic coast. Our seaside route visits the mystical stone ruins of Monte Santa Tecla, a 2,500-year-old Celtic settlement. Long option returns through viño verde wine estates and the forested backcountry of Chan de Lagoa. (0, 26, or 50 mi.)

Day 7: Bike the final miles through the forested Galician countryside into Santiago de Compostela, entering the Old Quarter along an ancient pilgrimage route. Free afternoon to tour, shop, and absorb the ambiance of this magnificent medieval city, followed by a guided tour of the Cathedral. Farewell celebration and overnight at Spain’s most famous parador, the five-star Hostal de Los Reyes Católicos. (21 mi.)

Day 8: Transfers to Santiago Airport for morning flights and Oporto Airport for late afternoon flights.

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