300 days of sun, mild temperature all year round, winding roads, and top-notch food & wine.
Welcome to a new episode of REVnTRAVEL interviews, where we uncover destinations for your next motorcycle adventures!
Today’s guest is a motorcycle enthusiast and owner of a motorcycle tour operator specializing in bespoke tours of Portugal.
During this friendly chat, we have discussed:
- Why choose Portugal as a destination?
- Best times of the year and weather
- Average rates for rooms, meals, and bike rentals
- How are the roads in general? Traffic, rules, and police strictness?
- A recommended itinerary with must-see places
- What are other activities for which it is worth visiting Portugal?
Here’s a recap…
Why choose Portugal as a destination?
Portugal as a nation dates back to 1143 (XII century) and its borders as today were defined in 1297. There is a great cultural diversity, influenced due to its geographical location – SW corner-point of Europe and in a peninsula – where many different people passed by and that settled for long periods or left some of their traditions.
Celtics, Visigoths, Swedes, Fenicians, Muslims (600 years), Romans (500 years), South Africans, Brazilians, and many others passed by and contributed to the melting pot that is today’s Portuguese culture.
And of course, plenty of roads and a large variety of scenery to enjoy on a motorcycle. Being rather a small country, it’s ideal for short trips as you can easily reach important places with 2-3 hours of fairly easy riding.
Best times of the year and weather
There are mild temperatures all year round and 300 sunny days on average. The Northeastern and Central-Eastern regions feature some days of below 0° and snow/ice. The Coastal and Southern regions, being highly influenced by the Atlantic northern winds, provide balanced temperatures in winter or summer.
For motorcycle riding purposes Spring and early Autumn are probably the best times of the year, with mild temperatures, fewer people on the roads and touristic spots, affordable accommodation, lush green landscapes, and in Spring wild flowers cover the fields and orchards paint the landscape (trees often start to bloom in February !).
Average rates for rooms, meals, and bike rentals.
Inland where the riding is more fun, relaxed and diverse, a 3-4* star hotel with breakfast costs around 70€ and a traditional Portuguese meal in any local restaurant about 15€, with a drink and dessert.
The variety of offers in terms of accommodation and restaurants is wider in coastal áreas – in the Southern coast of Algarve even more – but prices increase and float a lot depending on the season or whether it’s a weekday or weekend/holiday.
Bike rentals go from 50€/day (scooter) to 150€/day (BMW GSA1250). Most rental companies ask for high deposits through credit cards only (2500-3500€) and don’t rent +500cc bikes to those under 25 years old.
How are the roads in general? Traffic, rules, and police strictness?
There is a very good network of paved highways but the fun and interesting riding are in class N roads and even some M. Most have very good road surfaces and go through on top of mountains and down the valleys and very few tunnels. Winding road fans will certainly keep a happy face all the time.
No mandatory protection gear is required, except for the helmet. Aftermarket (x are tolerated most of the time. Customized bikes as well.
The police are very strict in terms of speed with hidden cameras but mostly on highways and main busy roads. The driving style in Portugal can be a bit stressful for northern European drivers/riders
A recommended itinerary with must-see places
Central Portugal mountain ranges of: Serra da Estrela, Serra do Açor, Serra do Montejunto and Serra do Caramulo are great for rides. Algarve mountain ranges of Monchique and Caldeirao provide wonderful riding even during winter time.
Minho/Geres and Tras-os-Montes and Douro Valley during spring or autumn are also must-see/ride regions.
Besides riding, what are other activities for which it is worth visiting?
Wine enthusiasts would love to tour in this country since there are twelve (plus two in the archipelagos) different wine regions and all have unique features in terms of taste and also because of the vineyards’ locations.
Surfers can enjoy lots of spots to practice and be connected to our biggest neighbor: the Atlantic ocean. try one of the ten surf reserves in the world (Ericeira)
Foodies also have a haven here since the climate and nature provide some outstanding key ingredients for simple yet rich-flavored gastronomy. The cold and choppy Atlantic provides many fish and seafood species and with an average of 300 sunny days and mild temperatures, the vegetables are fueled in abundance.
Need help in planning your trip?
Contact Sérgio to organize your bespoke motorcycle tour in Portugal!
Mobile: +351 963 636 124