cycling in Portugal

Like most European countries there are not so many cycling paths in Portugal. Fortunately the roads are either very quiet or have a wide shoulder to cycle on. In general motorists drive responsibly and give much room to cyclists.  Most roads are paved with good quality asphalt except roads through villages which are often paved with the cobble stones which are less comfortable to cycle on.

If you think you can simply follow the official EuroVelo 1 (Atlantic roast route) through Portugal, think again. This route is not marked anywhere. To be precise during the whole trip I only saw a single EV1 marker close to Lissabon.

The suspension bridge across the Tagus in Lissabon is not for cyclists but you can take the ferry from here to Trafaria and then cycle to Setubal. 


Further to the South there are some very nice cycle paths between Coimbrao and Nazare. On such such paths I can cycle at a constant speed of about 27 km/h and cover large distances on a single battery charge.

Area close to Figueira burned by forests fires :

Wooden cyclypath with a nice view (somewher in the region of Porto)

The coastline below Lissabon was most attractive with nature reserves and nice beaches. The image below was taken close to Porto Covo where there are many small sandy beaches. It was already end of October and people were still swimming sun bathing there.


Camping in Portugal

During my trip through Portugal from North to South, I tried to follow the coast as much as possible for several reasons : fewer hills, more cycling paths and more campings that would be open in the low season. Campings located close to popular beaches are often really big and not very attractive. The worst place I camped was on Parque de Esmoriz in Esmoriz: 


Tightly packed caravans, fences, flood lights, concrete paving and security guards walking around day and night.  It feld like a prison camp and I cannot understand people that want to spend their holiday in such places.


Orbitur is a chain of campings that are usually open all year and usually have a bit more space and vegetation.

Below are some other nice places in Portugal that I did like very much :

Cepo Verde : nice terras camping in Montesinho nature park in the North with a good restaurant and a nice swimmingpool.

Camping Coimbrão : This camping is run by a friendly Dutch couple who keep everything exceptionally clean and well organised.It is located a bit inland and open most of the year. There is also a swimming pool.

Parque de Campismo Sao Jacinto : on a land tongue just a few km from the village where you can take a ferry to the main land. It has a nice area for pitching up a tent and Eucalyptus trees.

Parque de campemismo de Quiaios : spacious camping with pine forest close to the beach.

Parque De Campismo São Miguel : it was strange to be in this luxurious place with a big restaurant, supermarket, swimmingpool etc. all fully operational in mid October for just a handfull of guests.