Luís Simões, travel sketcher around the world
EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina
The EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina tour is 225 kilometers a scenic route along the southwestern coast of the country. This venture offers a chance to explore the natural beauty of the region, including the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, and its diverse landscapes, such as sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and rolling hills.
The EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina tour is a beautiful and scenic route along the southwestern coast of Portugal. This tour offers the opportunity to explore some of the most stunning landscapes and seascapes of its country, including the Vicentine Coast Natural Park. Start from Troía, where the Atlantic ferries harbor, through diverse landscapes, such as sandy beaches, rice fields, rocky cliffs, and rolling hills until Sagres, the southwestern tip of the country, in the Algarve region. Together with the EuroVelo 1 – Atlantic Coast, Algarve, it creates 445 km (276 miles), two weeks of exploration.
Before we dive into the tour, let’s understand what is EuroVelo…
The EuroVelo Atlantic Coast
The EuroVelo Atlantic Coast Route is a long-distance cycling route that runs along the Atlantic coast of Europe, including Portugal. This route, also known as EV1, runs for over 4,500 kilometers, beginning in the north of Scotland and ending in Caminha, Portugal.
In Portugal, the route runs from north to south, starting at the Spanish border near Vila Nova de Cerveira and ending in Vila Real Santo Antonio in the Algarve region. It passes through several historic towns and villages, including Porto, Aveiro, and Lisbon, as well as beautiful natural landscapes such as the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the Serra de Sintra, Arrabida Natural Park, and the Costa Vicentina Natural Park.
The route is primarily on dedicated bike paths and quiet roads and is suitable for experienced and adventurous cyclists. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the country’s history, culture, and natural beauty.
The EuroVelo Atlantic Coast Route is part of the EuroVelo network of long-distance cycling routes, which covers the whole of Europe and is promoted by the European Cyclists’ Federation
EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina
The EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina tour is popular among cyclists of various skill levels, as it provides both challenging terrain and breathtaking views. Some of the most scenic spots along the route include the cliffs of Cabo de São Vicente, the beach at Praia do Tonel, and the village of Aljezur. In addition to the natural beauty, the Costa Vicentina bike tour also provides an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the region, including the Roman ruins of Milreu and the 17th-century castle at Odeceixe.
The best time to do this tour is from spring to autumn when the weather is mild and the landscapes are lush. Before embarking on this tour, it is recommended to research the route and accommodations beforehand, as some areas of Costa Vicentina can be remote, and accommodations may be limited.
How to get there
The EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina isn’t a loop tour. Yet, it can be done perfectly in a reverse way. However, getting to Costa Vicentina is quite simple. You can rent a car or take a shuttle bus to reach the coastal region. Please keep in mind, the rule to bring a bicycle on a bus usually varies, depending on each company.
Nevertheless, it also depends on where you are coming from. The easiest way from Lisbon is by train or bus to Setubal. From there, you will need to get a ferry to cross to Troía, where the adventure starts.
If you decide to do this in a reverse way, the easiest way from Faro is by train to Lagos and ride to Sagres, which is the southern point of this tour. Check here for more about the rules for the transport of bikes on trains in Portugal.
Troía to Sines
Troia is a peninsula located in the Setúbal district of Portugal. It is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular tourist destination for sunbathing and water activities. The peninsula is also surrounded by protected natural areas, including the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve and the Troia Nature Reserve, which offer wildlife watching and outdoor recreation.
Troia is also home to a well-preserved Roman settlement featuring remains of a temple, baths, and a lighthouse. Additionally, the area is rich in history and culture, with several castles and museums that showcase the past of its region. With all of these, you may want to explore Troía before you venture on EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina tour.
The stretch from Troia to Sines is approximately 71 kilometers long and offers lovely views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Portuguese countryside. You can expect to experience a mix of flat terrain with a few gentle hills. The route is well-signed and follows the coastline, providing stunning views of the sea and the cliffs. You can stop at various beaches or fishing villages to rest, refresh, and explore en route.
Sines to Vila Nova de Milfontes
Sines is a small coastal town known for its gorgeous beaches, rich cultural history, and vibrant fishing industry. Sines was once an important port for trade and commerce, and the remains of its old castle, fortifications, and historic center provide evidence of this rich past.
As you make your way to Vila Nova de Milfontes, you will pass through small villages, fields of wildflowers, and forests of pine trees. The route is relatively flat for approximately 32 kilometers (depending on where will you stay) and shorter than the previous day, so it may give you extra time to indulge yourself with the pristine beaches in the region.
Vila Nova de Milfontes to Aljezur
In Vila Nova de Milfontes, you can explore the historical center of the town, with its narrow streets and charming buildings, as well as its beautiful beaches. Here is also home to several restaurants and cafes that serve delicious seafood dishes, making it the perfect place to end your journey and relax after a day of cycling.
Luís used to spend his summer holiday in Vila Nova de Milfontes when he was younger. And he has a favorite pastry that serves croissants that still exist until now, called Mabi. If you go there, let us know what you think!
The trip continues to Aljezur. As you ride, you will encounter adorable villages and local communities that provide a glimpse into the unique culture and history of its region.
The route is primarily flat and easy to ride. However, some sections are more challenging, including small steep hills and narrow roads, so it is important to be prepared for these challenges. This part of the EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina tour is approximately 69 kilometers long (depending on where you stay), and ends at the Castle of Aljezur.
Aljezur to Sagres
Aljezur is surrounded by the Vicentina National Park, a protected area with a diverse landscape of dunes, marshes, and pine forests. making it an ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking, bird-watching, and surfing. It also has a rich cultural heritage, with an old castle and a church dating back to the 15th century.
The town is a popular destination for surfers, and there are several surf schools and rental shops offering equipment and lessons. In addition, Aljezur is a hub for eco-tourism, with several sustainable tourism initiatives aimed at preserving its natural beauty.
Being in Aljezur also means that the next stretch is the final day of the bike tour through the stunning EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina tour. You have covered so many beautiful places and made some unforgettable memories, but last may not least.
Biking from Aljezur to Sagres was our favorite part of this tour. It is a fantastic journey that shows close-up scenery of the Portuguese southern coastline. The route covers approximately 52 kilometers of diverse terrain, including rolling hills, sandy beaches, and rocky cliffs like in Carrapateira village.
Overall, the EuroVelo 1 – Costa Vicentina tour is a truly memorable experience that displays the best of the Atlantic Coast in Portugal. So pack your panniers, grab your bike, and get ready for an unforgettable journey!
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- Magnificent coastline: The Eurovelo 1 – Costa Vicentina tour provides a scenic journey along the coastline with its crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, and breathtaking cliffs.
- Wildlife: Costa Vicentina is a haven for wildlife, with a variety of birds and other species inhabiting the area.
- Historic villages: Explore the traditional villages dotted along the route, each with its own unique character, history, and architecture.
- Natural parks: The Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina boasts a rich and diverse landscape, including pristine beaches, cliffs, and rolling hills.
- Surfing: The region is renowned for its great surf conditions, with many surf schools and rental shops available for those who wish to try their hand at the sport.
- Gastronomy: The local cuisine is rich in seafood, with delicious seafood dishes available at many of the local restaurants.