Portugal’s great hiking, biking trails

Portugal has lots of cycling routes through the hilly countryside.
Portugal is a great place to cycle, even though the terrain can be challenging. The scenery is spectacular and there is little traffic on the country roads.

Portugal has a great system of bicycling trails that are part of the Eurovelo network. Whether you ride a mountain bike, a road bike or choose to do touring, there are plenty of cycling options.

The Eurovelo network extends throughout continental Europe. In Portugal, there is a well-marked trail going from North to South. Another goes through Spain and traverses the country. Or, you can ride along an Atlantic trail in the Algarve, on the southern coast.

Three major bike routes in Portugal.

Cycling is very popular in towns all over Portugal. Even on country roads where there are no shoulders, motorists are very considerate of cyclists. I used to be terrified riding on some back roads in New Mexico. Here in Portugal I haven’t had any problems. Drivers in the country are used to having to slow for tractors and animals. I also haven’t encountered the broken glass that was an unwelcome feature of roadsides all over New Mexico.

Small communities all over Portugal also have networks of way-marked trails that are suitable for walking or mountain biking.

There are also some great long-distance hiking trails in Portugal. One of the better known routes of the Camino de Santiago, starts in Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, and extends northward to the Spanish border. Another popular long hiking trail is the Rota Vicentina from Sines to Sagres, in southwestern Portugal.

Hiking trail under a hill with wind turbines on top.
Hiking on a way-marked trail near Alvaiazere, in Central Portugal. The trail goes over two big hills and skirts a valley beneath a crest where several wind turbines turn gently in the breeze.

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