Shredding meets recreational biking in Portugal. The jewel of Europe offers everything you could possibly want from a MTB holiday. The country of Fado has a lot to offer and last but not least the west coast is a paradise for surfers and overall outdoor enthusiasts.
Beautiful and in many places still empty beaches attract surfers from all over the world. Surfing is a national sport here. For MTB lovers Portugal is still an insider tip.
In the north, around Lisbon and in the south in the Algarve the country offers incredibly many and varied tours and trails. „Tranquilo, tranquilo“ – no rush. Mostly combined with a charming grin, this statement is the national phrase of life in Portugal. The Mediterranean joie de vivre and a large portion of relaxed casualness is felt everywhere in the Atlantic air and capture even most visitors on the very first day. For mountain bikers it’s extra relaxed – unlike surfing, hiking is not a national sport therefore in most mountain regions you can hardly find any pedestrian nature enthusiasts.
The small, but dedicated mountain bike scene knows how to use this freedom and so you will find flowing to challenging trails with high fun factor everywhere in mountains, hills and forests.
The trails are rarely or never sign-posted and so it is advisable to have a local guide with you. At Da Silva Surfcamp Daniel will put together the best tours for you, according to your personal preferences and skill level – no matter if for one day, one week or in one or several areas.
We have collected the three best spots for mountain biking in Portugal for you. What’s great about the spots you can read now.
With its historic towns, castles and characteristic granite villages, the north of Portugal is probably the most diverse region to discover by bike. The Serra da Lousã is only 30 minutes away from Porto and 1 hour from Coimbra. It is the destination of the european MTB elite with its rooted, confused single tracks and stony gardens. It gets technical! Nevertheless Lousa offers absolutely outstanding and breathtaking bike destinations with different trails for all levels – from cross-country tours to easy single trails to downhill tracks. Everything embedded in the most beautiful historical environment, which you have to discover in addition to biking. In the centre of Portugal you will find the Serra de Sicó for all those who want to improve their technical skills. Discover the kilometre-long, flat and flowy paths of this mountain region.
Terras de Bouro belongs to the Peneda-Gerês National Park and can be reached in only one hour from Porto. If you love pure trail riding, this is the right place for you. An enormous selection of versatile trails for all levels of ability awaits you through the most beautiful, open and breathtaking terrain full of granite rocks for smaller jumps. But some trails also lead through confused, rooted forests – wildlife sightings guaranteed! Other northern destinations to explore on the MTB are Ponte de Lima and Serra d’Arga near the Atlantic Ocean.
Lisbon and surroundings
The City of Light is the capital of Portugal. It enchants its visitors with its very special and historical charm. Experience the city from a completely different perspective and soak up the vibe of the streets on a bike tour through the many historic streets and alleys.
10km outside the city is the UNESCO World Heritage and MTB Mecca par excellence – Sintra. A wonderful blend of the rugged north and Mediterranean influences, this city has a very special charm and a great variety of tours and trails for all levels and tastes. It goes from fast single tracks to technical, steep trails through dense forests and granite gardens, and if that’s not enough, you can ride to the beach and finish it off with a refreshing jump into the Atlantic Ocean.
About 65km north of Lisbon, in the fishing village of Praia Da Areia Branca, you will find the perfect base for exploring the area by bike. The familiar Surf and MTB Camp offers packages of surfing and mountain biking. Ideal for every surfer who likes biking and for every mountain biker who likes surfing.
Here are you can ride tours through the rustic back country past vineyards and olive groves, where you rarely meet other people. It is more likely to drive past a donkey cart or see a lonely farmer working in his field in the distance. Other tours lead over narrow single trails directly along the steep coast and offer breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean.
But you can also go to much higher mountains, which are perfect for unforgettable day trips from there. You can also find extended downhill trails and a bunch of challenging single trails for every taste.
São Brás de Alportel is a city in the heart of the Algarve, about 30 minutes from Faro, where the Serra do Caldeirão begins – a mountain range with several peaks and altitudes of about 500 meters. The soil consists of slate and yellow sand, which makes this terrain easy to grip in winter/low season and very loose in summer – perfect for cruising from October to June. It passes cork trees, eucalyptus and flat vegetation. Other popular destinations are the Fonte Férrea National Park – venue of the National MTB Enduro Cup, the Ria Formosa National Park and Falésia – the orange cliffs. Carvöiro/ Sra da Rocha, Monchiqü offers a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean from its highest point at 900 meters. The name „End of the world“, which Sagres carries, is impressively reflected here with views of the south and west coasts.
As you can see – Portugal is incredibly diverse and offers ideal conditions for an extensive outdoor vacation. The mild temperatures attract mountain bikers already in spring from the long German winter break and rewards its visitors with year-round good weather and untraveled, almost endless and deserted trails.