Formerly UniCycle50, as featured by the BBC, ITV, the Guardian, the Independent, the Times and the Daily Mirror


Short Cycling Guides to Everywhere in Europe and Nearby

NEWS! I've had enough of hiding from COVID and so, from October 11th, I'm back on my travels again, this time attempting an experimental cycle ride from northern England to the south of Spain WITHOUT A MAP OR COMPASS (and not cheating by sticking to the coast or using a previous route or anything). I'll navigate by the sun, if I can see it, and other natural features if I can't (natural features that, erm, I've yet to learn about, but don't worry, I've got a book to teach me along the way). You can find more details on my site and follow my ride and find out the places I've visited (even if I won't know where those places actually are) on my Europe By Bicycle Facebook page.

This ride's for charity. Samaritans help those who are lost in a different sort of way, an especially useful service for those suffering during these difficult times. If you want to be lovely and donate to them, please visit my JustGiving page.

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Cycling in Portugal

Portugal In A Nutshell

If you're touring Spain and have cobbled together enough words to get by, why not pop over the border into Portugal and start again with a language that looks like Spanish but sounds nothing like it? It's also a very beautiful country.

Where and When I Went

Map of Portugal

25th - 30th August 2011
August 2015

Portugal's Scenery

Portugal has got it all: beautiful mountains, sugarcube villages on high hillsides and some right dumps.


Portugal's Road Quality

They are variable. Main roads, if beginning with 'IP', sometimes morph into dangerously fast race tracks that you won't want to be on (and, possibly, aren't actually allowed on). As these form the backbone of the road network it can mean some long detours.

In Lisbon you have the combination of potholes, cobbles and roads steeper than a wall. You're better off exploring on foot. Getting in and out can be a challenge too. You are not allowed on the only bridge over the River Tagus if you want to head south. You'll have to catch a ferry.

Portugal's Accommodation & Costs

Although I was unaware of this at the time, Portugal has many campsites, including many municipal ones. I didn't notice any on my route and so I have no prices for camping.

A price for a room in a hotel can be pricier than you might expect. A cheapskate like me has paid as much as €40, €47 and even €65. But if you hunt around you can find a much cheaper room in the backstreets or above a shop. I found two of these for €10 and €15. The cheaper prices were away from the coast, y'know, where the tourists live.

Also away from the coast, restaurant prices are much more reasonable.


Outside of Lisbon I found no one who spoke English although I found a lady who spoke a curious combination of French and Spanish. Everyone else spoke Portuguese and only Portuguese. Once again, Michel Thomas does a course if you're interested.

Neighbouring Countries

Spain. That was an easy one.

Reasons To Go To Portugal

Attractive scenery, reasonably priced if you're careful, to eat the truly orgasmic custard tart known as pasteis de nata.

Where Have You Written About Cycling In Portugal?

No Place Like Home, Thank God Hungry for Miles

What Others Say

Comments may be edited for concision. If the comment was taken from elsewhere, click the author's name for the full comment.

"There is some lovely cycling in Portugal, especially in the east and north." iviehoff

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