† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.
Experience the full flavor of Portugal on a two-week combination of its Alentejo and Minho regions. Spring is an ideal season to bike the Alentejo, when its landscape is carpeted by poppies, wildflowers, and greening groves of cork and olive trees. Our route winds though whitewashed villages with their traditional blue trim and ornate azulejos tiles, many crowned by hilltop castles and medieval walls. Each destination has its own story to share: Évora’s Roman temple and Moorish streets, Vila Viçosa’s ducal palace, Flor da Rosa’s Templar castle (now a pousada where we’ll stay), Marvão’s commanding mountaintop perch.
A half-day transfer leads to the Minho region for the second half of our tour. Following an afternoon for sightseeing in the capital city of Viana do Castelo, we’ll discover the verdant wine country of northern Portugal. Grapevines suspended on trellises form graceful patterns on the Minho’s terraced hillsides. Timeless granite villages line our route through the Rio Lima, Vez, and Minho valleys. We’ll climb through the rugged mountains of Peneda-Geres, Portugal’s only national park, before ending with two days along the coast of Galicia in Spain. A grand finale loop ride combines backcountry wilderness, mystical Celtic ruins, and Atlantic coast views along a biking path that’s part of the Portuguese Way to Santiago.
Vineyards and valleys, castles and coastlines—it’s the ultimate Iberian cycling celebration!
The average distance per required riding day is 36 miles. The average elevation is 2816’ partly due to one more challenging required day from Mezio to Moncão where the mileage is 45 and the elevation gain is 4498’ (but with 6300’ decline, mostly in last half). Day 5 is 54 miles so exceeds B rating by 4 miles. Therefore, this ride will be classified a 3B. Riders are expected to ride the distance. Daily van support will support illness, injuries, emergencies and breakdowns.
There are many town centers on our route that are paved in cobblestones. If you bring your own bike, the recommended tire width is 28mm to accommodate the cobblestones and short sections of dirt roads. A 25mm tire may also work but tire widths less than that are discouraged.
Typically, late May in the Alentejo has warm, comfortable daytime temperatures in the upper-70s to mid-80s with low humidity. The Minho region tends to be a bit cooler, with daytime temperatures averaging in the low to mid 70s. Bring a lightweight jacket for cool nights and a waterproof windbreaker in case of the odd shower. In recent years, temperatures have been as high as 96 degrees and as low as 50.
LODGING & MEALS
Our accommodations will be in historic Portuguese pousadas, 3- and 4-star hotels, a wine estate, and a seaside Parador in Baiona, Spain. Nine dinners with wine or beer will be included. Social hours will have snacks provided. However, due to hotel restrictions, riders will need to purchase their social hour drinks at the hotel bars.
The trip meets at noon on May 26 in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Évora. You may wish to arrive a day or two early for sightseeing on your own. Évora is located 130km (80 mi.) east of Lisbon. Most riders will fly into Lisbon, which is a city worth spending a few days visiting. A list of recommended hotels in Lisbon is available from Easy Rider Tours. The train from Oriente Station in Lisbon to Évora takes 1 1/2 hours and operates 3 times daily (see www.cp.pt). For those who wish to arrive early for sightseeing in Évora, extra nights may be reserved at our first hotel.
At the end of tour in Baiona, Spain, Easy Rider will include charter bus transportation back to Oporto Airport in Portugal (130km/80 mi south of Baiona) for flight connections. We’ll arrive at Oporto Airport by 10:30 a.m. local time and Campanha Station in downtown Porto (the Portuguese name for Oporto) by 11:00 a.m. The high-speed train from to Lisbon runs frequently and takes under 3 hours (see www.cp.pt).
COST & ADMINISTRATION
Cost of the trip per person includes 12 nights lodging with breakfast, 9 group dinners including wine and beer, 3 picnic lunches, snacks at social hours, maps, cue sheets, GPS files, daily luggage transfer, emergency van pick-up, bike box storage and transfer, rider transfers per itinerary, local guides, gratuities for 2 guides, bus transfers between the Alentejo and Minho regions, and from Baiona, Spain to Porto, Portugal.
The initial deposit is $1,500. The second deposit of $1,500 is due on October 1, 2018 and the final payment of $950 is due Dec 1, 2018. The fee from Easy Rider Tours is based on an exchange rate of 1 US dollar to 1.24 Euros. If the exchange rate worsens significantly, the amount of the final payment may be adjusted.
Bike rentals are available from Easy Rider Tours; arrangement must be made directly with Easy Rider Tours. If you bring your own bike, you need to bring spare tubes and any items that may be non-standard or unique to your bike. A maximum of 2 tandems can be accommodated by the van. Please advise when signing up if you are travelling with a tandem.
SINGLES AND SOLOS POLICY
It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until Oct 1, 2018 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee, payment processing fee and Easy Rider Tours fee) or pay the $850 solo supplement by Oct 1, 2018, and stay on the ride. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193
The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.
In addition to the above possible penalties for cancellation if a replacement cannot be found, the Easy Rider Tours cancellation policy will also apply. Cancellations made before Feb 24: $150 fee, between Feb 25 to April 11, $1,675 forfeited to Easy Rider Tours ; after April 11, $3350 forfeited to Easy Rider Tours.
Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.
To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit $1,500 by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.
Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 firstname.lastname@example.org