Rota Vicentina - Portugal
When we just had our new mountainbikes, we were of course very eager to try them out. From our first bike ride 10 years before, we remembered that the temperature in the south of Portugal was in fact perfect during November.
As this was our first "bike packing"adventure, we were looking for an offroad track which was categorised "moderate".
The Rota Vicentina goes from Santiago do Cacem to Sagres and is about 220 km long. The MTB track from Lisbon to Santiago is about 180 km and the Eurovelo 1 (Ecovia 1) from Sagres to Faro is about 170km. This last part is mostly on normal roads.
From Faro, you can take a train back to Lisbon.
The Rota Vicentina has 2 paths. The Historical Way is for hikers and mountainbikers, the Fishermans Way along the coastline is for hikers only.
While we had our camping stuff with us, we only used it one night as the accommodation along the way was so cheap that we could not resist the convenience.
We flew in our bicycles via Lisbon airport. Our bicycles were packed in carton bicycle boxes which we left with a Warmshowers host during the time of our trip. It's only 1 return taxi ride with the boxes from and to the airport.
In Lisbon, we went to a fado evening at Fabrica Braco de Prata, some 7 km's outside the city center. A place where you only find locals and the real fado. Traditional and vegetarian food and drinks at local prices. Check their website for programs.
Check out the youth hostels. They have comfortable rooms for 2 at budget prices.
Remember, when you go out eating, you pay extra for the bread, olives and pastes which they will put on the table. But it is really worth is and very cheap. Just don't be surprised if you see it as an add-on on the bill.
Best to make prior reservation for taking along your bikes on the train. Very convenient and ideal way to make your way back from Faro to Lisbon.
Worth staying a little bit longer: