Victor and Missy White’s
Portugal Adventure in 2016
Cycling in Europe conjures up dreams of castles, rolling vineyards, and wonderful European foods. Most of the time France, Germany and Italy top the list of places to visit. The declining value of the dollar over the years along with airline prices have made the dream of cycling in a foreign country almost out of reach. Victor and Missy did some research on this dream and came up with a pleasant surprise, Portugal. Imagine, bicycle rentals for nice road bikes at 15 euros a day and less for multiple days. Grilled salmon with potatoes, salad, and a good beer for 5 euros for lunch. Can that be true? Victor and Missy say yes.
I have done quite a bit of cycling in Europe over the last 30 years and found their story almost unbelievable, but I checked it out, and it is for real. Just think about it a little. United Airlines now charges $200 one way to carry your bike to Switzerland. Do the math. Shipping my bike now runs $400 round trip. Flights to Portugal (via Boston and Lisbon) run about the same as Washington to Geneva. You can rent a nice Scott road bike in Portugal for two weeks at a cost of about $200 and you do not have to pack and unpack your bike twice. A salmon meal in Geneva would cost you around $30 to $40. I wouldn’t have to sell my first born to travel to Portugal! So, let’s go! The following pictures are a only a small sampling of what they found in Portugal.
Victor and Missy White in Albufeira enjoying beautiful weather along the southwestern coast of Potugal.
The red roofs of Lisbon with St. Georges Castle perched high up above the city.
Cycling along the Tagus River that flows through Lisbon. The Tagus is the longest river on the Iberian peninsula, 626 miles, and flows through the heartland of Portugal and Spain flowing through Toledo, Spain, and on to Lisbon where it empties into the Atlantic.
E-bike rentals can be found in most cities. They seem to be a favorite of tourists. Victor and Missy tried one only because there were no other options one day. Other times they rented quality road and mountain bikes.
Cycling is a big part of the scene in Portugal as evidenced by lots of designated parking places for bicycles.
Scott and Giant road bikes were available for rent in several coastal towns. See rate chart below. They were very reasonable by all standards.
They rented Gary Fisher mountain bikes in one location, again very affordable. Good for some of those gravel roads and bike paths. There was mountain biking in some regions if you were looking for more serious stuff.
This beach was in the Algarve region of Portugal. There were many “ocean” caves to explore if you wanted a different adventure, but you had to take a boat out to get to them. You can see the boats coming in from those caves.
Mother Nature has worked hard carving the coast of Portugal. Caves and archways dot the region giving anyone traveling there a feast for the eyes. Missy says the water tends to be cold along the Atlantic except in some of the deeper coves where the water gets warmed by the Iberian sun. This arch was found on Priaia Porches (priaia is Portuguese for beach.)
Lunch for 5 euros! Grilled salmon, roasted potatoes, salad and a beer. Wow!
These are bike lanes that run by the airport in Faro. Victor and Missy started in Lisbon where a rented a car for a one way trip—Lisbon to Faro.
The end of a wonderful vacation.
Here’s a bike rental brochure from Portugal. Look at those rates! Victor and Missy said that bike rates and food were all very affordable when compared to other parts of Europe.
Many thanks to Victor and Missy for sharing their adventures with us. They also have offered some websites that might help you plan your cycling trip to Portugal:
live, love, ride Portugal