TRAVESSIA DE PORTUGAL (TransPortugal Tour)
In the 30 years I have dedicated my life to cycling, I have organised over 1000 events thus I have met a lot of very interesting people. Most of these events have been cycling tours in Portugal and abroad including 13 TransPyrenees tours; 2 TransAtlas tours; 18 “Travessia” TransPortugal tours; 17 TransPortugal stage races; 6 Tours on the French St James' Way Pilgrimage route (el Camino de Santiago), 2 Ruta de la Prata, 2 Cross Country World Cup Championships, 7 GeoRaids and hundreds of self-guided tours.
Some of the other activities I have organised include hiking trips, multi-activity events, orienteering events, climbing and mountain biking courses, GPS courses, Jeep excursions and I have also designed and set up a number of outdoor activity circuits.
Origanally the Travessia is a Mountain Bike trip but again, this year, to satisfy even more cycling fans I will continue offering the possibility to do the “Travessia” both off road and on the prettiest and most quiet secondary roads of Portugal. This road option of doing the “Travessia” will enable less well-prepared cyclists to cross the country at the same time as the mountain bikers that will be taking the tougher off-road option. Everyone will stay at the same hotels each night and the daily distances are comparable. Both routes will cross the same areas, but the road option will always be somewhat easier.
Although it will be less tough than the mountain bike option, it will still be a great challenge for anyone with an adventurous spirit and a reasonable level of physical fitness.
"Pedal for on average 6 to 7 hours per day for two weeks and over 1100 km"
From Chaves to Sagres, passing through small villages where stories and history have stopped in time: Vila Pouca de Aguiar, Vila Real, Régua, Mezio, Castro Daire, Termas do Carvalhal, Cabrum, Viseu, Termas de Alcafache, Manteigas, Alpedrinha, Castelo Novo, Castelo Branco, Póvoa e Meadas, Castelo de Vide, Marvão, Jerumenha, Monsaraz, Santa Clara, Alzejur. Meeting the friendly people of rural Portugal and tasting the gastronomic riches of the country from North to South.
Pedalling from the Trás os Montes region to the Alentejo, never losing sight of the border, then turning towards the Costa Vicentina coast line, all the way to Cabo de S. Vicente.
You will cross the Tejo River calmly in Vila Velha de Rodão, then the trails that will lead you to Marvão will keep changing in both colour and consistency, from red sandy to grey granite soil. Next come the Roman cobble stone climbs and the sharp ascent to the S. Mamede Mountains. Now you are heading towards the Guadiana River where the Alqueva Reservoir has covered the land, and which you will follow for the next days, until you reach Monsaraz and Mourão. After Pias the landscape changes dramatically, and you will be able to rest on the rolling plains of the Alentejo, enjoying the bright greens of the fields of cereals and wide horizons of arable land (but if it rains the mud will make this region a “cyclist's hell”). To reach the Algarve there is another challenge, the Espinhaço de Cão ridge and the Monchique Mountains that you have to cross. You will reach the coast at Vale da Telha and this is the final stretch of the “Travessia”, riding by the sea, on good quality trails with stunning views from the cliff tops.
When you get to the end of the “Travessia” you will leave behind a country of strong contrasts, but the images you will have collected will remain permanently recorded in your memories, and in the memories of all those who took up the challenge and pedaled through the depths of Portugal with you. Images of the locals with skin weathered by the sun, who greet us as we pass by, invite us to join them at the table, to enjoy food that tastes of the land it was grown on and where time still moves slowly, leaving us time to savour life.
This “Travessia” was conceived to cross the country off-road, and by the most isolated and remote route possible. This means we are in close contact with "Portugal at its most natural". The route runs from the North to the South, Through the middle of the country all the way to Pias and then crosses the Alentejo province diagonally to the Vicentina Coast, reaching Sagres following the coast line. In most of the places we stay there is limited accommodation, and for this reason we have to limit the number of people we can accept in the “Travessia” of Portugal, this historical event in the world of mountain biking in Portugal.
This is 14 consecutive mountain bike rides, amongst the best you will find in Portugal. But if you can't do the whole “Travessia” I accept a booking for either the first or the second week.
All of the course is recorded on maps and tracks for GPS.