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Exodus Senior Product Manager, Tom Wilkinson recently returned from an epic cycling trip following the coastline of Portugal, from Porto to Lisbon. It was a trip packed with beautiful scenery, incredible culture and fantastic cycling. Read on to hear Tom’s review of our trip.

Cycling in Portugal

The trip title is Porto to Lisbon Atlantic Ride, so I was expecting a bit of culture at each end and lots of coastline in between. Yet, if I were to sum this magical trip up in so few words now, it would be a huge injustice.

The stretch of coastline between Porto and Lisbon is filled with natural beauty and curious sights that are as fascinating as they are unexpected. Our local teams have honed a wonderful route which shows off the highlights of this part of Portugal, as well as hidden gems you’d be unlikely to find by yourself.

Tom Wilkinson – Porto to Lisbon Atlantic Ride

Colourful houses of Costa Nova

Our journey kicks off in Porto, Portugal’s second city and a historic and cosmopolitan cultural hub. We start with a wine tasting session in one of the city’s famous wine cellars – an excellent way to meet your fellow cyclists!

The trip is bookended with Portugal’s major cities. We end our trip with a free day to soak up the sights of Lisbon, the capital city. In-between these well-known travel destinations, the beautiful coastline features heavily. And the route is lined with plenty of unexpected sights.

Image of Lisbon, Portugal during dramatic sunrise.

Portugal’s pretty coast

Culture and scenery

I genuinely didn’t expect the variety of scenery we encountered. Along the route, we would sometimes stumble across eerie ghost forests, which had burnt during the flash fires of 2015.

We encountered natural parks with untouched marshlands dotted with flamingos and sand dunes – a perfect contrast to the usual coastal riding. These rural routes also meant we spent very little time sharing the road with traffic, which is fantastic when you’re used to riding around London!

And we came across some real hidden gems too: the beautifully striped houses of Costa Nova and the atmospheric medieval cobbled streets of Obidos were some of the most memorable highlights. We even visited a lighthouse that had been converted into a surfing museum. It’s situated close to some of the most dramatic big wave surfing in the world, a major draw for professional surfers from all over the world.

On this trip, we were also treated to some lovely hotels. Each place we stayed was full of character and the properties were often located opposite the beach.

Tom Wilkinson – Porto to Lisbon Atlantic Ride

Heavenly beach view

Being by the sea, fresh fish was always on hand and each dish was wonderfully prepared. Our delicious food was washed down with a chilled glass Vinho Verde, so we were not only treated to sun, sea and exercise each day, but we had fantastically wholesome food too.

When travellers think of holidays in Portugal, many expect lounging on the beach, or pool-side villas cut-off from the everyday world. This was a world away from that Portugal. The beautiful weather was the same, but the natural beauty and the authentic sights we encountered along our cycle route were full of character. This was a surprising and hugely rewarding trip.

Find out more about the Porto to Lisbon Atlantic Ride below as well as our other cycling trips in Portugal.