CYCLING TOURS AND HOLIDAYS | Spain and Portugal June 2023

14 to 28 June 2023, 15 days / 14 nights

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Also offering an optional World Heritage Site visit.

RIDE Holidays invites you to experience the very best of Portugal with a taste of north Spain. We start in Madrid and finish in the beautiful city of Lisbon. Some of you will arrive in Madrid early and have the option to visit the World Heritage Site of Toledo. Dean will be there along with some of our Spanish team to make sure things go smoothly. Like all RH trips there will be a variety of rides to choose from on a daily basis. As well as a separate plan (and vehicle) for Team Macchiato. Hire bikes are available, in fact, for this trip we can even offer a mixture of e-bikes and road. Cyclists - yes, you will be tested. In fact, our first decent day on the bike includes two rather large hills that feature regularly on the Vuelta a Espana. Don't worry, we'll always have support vehicles around us. Sit back and relax… it's about the food, the wine, the sites and a spot of coffee. The cycling will be epic but I can assure you - this won't be a weight loss program. See you in Madrid.

Overview of the Tour

Tour Details

Tour Inclusions

  • 14 nights' accommodation using quality 3&4* hotels
  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 7 dinners
  • All food and drinks while cycling
  • Wine making school in Duoro incl for Team Mac. If cyclists join then the cost is Approx. 85 euro.
  • Team Mac - private guided walking tours of Segovia, El Escorial & Porto
  • 5 to 6 staff depending on final numbers
  • Tips included for all staff
  • Airport to airport private transport
  • Souvenir booklet, itinerary included
  • RIDE Holidays cycling jersey
  • Multiple ride options daily
  • GPS assistance & physical maps
  • 10 week training program

    The Tour Price Excludes

    • Airfares and extra accommodation
    • Travel Insurance - compulsory!
    • Meals, alcohol not indicated in itinerary
    • One of the guides is also a Massage therapist - costs apply
    • Toledo guided visit (optional pre tour extension)
    The Tour Cost (per person, New Zealand Dollars)

    • $8,295.00 NZD per person
    • $1,650.00 NZD Single room supplement
    • $700.00 NZD Bike hire (conventional or electric)

    $200.00 extra if you would like both conventional and electric. You can then swap and change.

    In lieu of COVID-19, all future bookings do not require a deposit. Full balance required 60days prior to departure. * This may change later on in the year if the situation improves. We only see that as a good thing.

    Please note: The cost of the tour is subject to change - mainly because of exchange rate fluctuations.

      Spain & Portugal 2023 Tour Itinerary

      Day 0, Tuesday 13 June (optional)

      Madrid, Spain

      In 2019, we organised a group visit to the World Heritage Site of Toledo. The response from everyone was overwhelming so we have included this as a pre tour extension. Known as the "Imperial City", Toledo has a long history in the production of bladed weapons and is the repository of more than 2000 years of history.

      Highly recommend you arrive on Monday 14 September and join us for this awesome day. We have organised a local English-speaking guide who will meet you at the hotel reception before the 1-hour transfer. You will spend the day soaking in the history of this amazing city before returning to your Madrid hotel.

      / Meals: Breakfast (Lunch and Dinner own arrangements)
      / Accommodation: Madrid (Spain)

      Day 1, Wednesday 14 June

      Madrid, Spain

      We will be available to collect you from either Madrid Airport (12 noon) or your central city hotel. It's only a short 1hr drive to the outskirts of Segovia where we will set up the bikes in the beautiful settings and grounds of the Royal Palace of Rio Frío. It is a short ride today to test the bikes in preparation for a classic and historic Vuelta route tomorrow through the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains! The ride finishes with a group photo under the towering aqueduct in the town centre.

      Team Macchiato will visit the iconic 18th Century San Ildefonso Palace and Museum and explore the Versailles inspired gardens.

      / Meals: Dinner included
      / Today's Ride: 35km cycling (400m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Segovia (Spain)

      Day 2, Thursday 15 June

      Pedraza (Spain)

      Now you are in the land of Castile & Leon where 1st Century Roman aqueducts and medieval walled towns dominate the landscape. Traditionally the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range plays host to the penultimate stages of La Vuelta. Climbs, such as, Navafria, Cotos & Navacerrada are written in Vuelta folklore. When you arrive at the Navacerrada ski station (1800m) you are cycling in the altitude training base for Spanish pro outfit Movistar.

      There will be ride options for all levels but the one thing for certain is everyone (including our non-cyclists) will finish in Pedraza. This medieval walled town is in excellent condition and the old plaza is the perfect place for a long Spanish lunch. (and possibly a snooze)

      For Team Mac our morning program includes a 3hr guided walking tour of Segovia (1st Century Roman Aqueduct, Alcazar fortress, La Muralla (ramparts) and the Jewish Quarter) before a 40min van transfer to meet up with the rest of the group for lunch in Pedraza.

      / Meals: Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch included
      / Today's Ride: 50km or 100km cycling (1650m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Segovia (Spain)

      Day 3, Friday 16 June

      Avila (Spain)

      There is a 1hr van transfer this morning to UNESCO Avila which is a beautifully conserved medieval walled city.

      Avila most recently hosted the Stage 19 finish for the 2015 & 2019 La Vuelta pro race and today you can ride a scenic loop south of the city. The main challenge for the day will be the 8km climb ´Alto de Navalmoral´ (1500m elevation) which at an average grade of 5% is actually very achievable! Either turn around and head back to town or continue on to complete the loop. The choice is yours.

      Team Mac will have plenty of time to wander and explore the inner charm of this walled city! We've booked a local guide. Or, you can simply watch some suffering on the hills. Look out for hill climbers like Mark Grahame to dominate today.

      / Meals: Breakfast included
      / Today's Ride: 40km & 80km cycling (1250m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Avila (Spain)

      Day 4, Saturday 17 June

      El Escorial Monastery (Spain)

      Team Mac will marvel at this architectural masterpiece which dates back to the late 16th Century and King Felipe II. You will have plenty of time to visit the monastery which also includes a royal palace, church, pantheon, library and school. If you are keen walkers there is also an excellent short walk to a wonderful lookout point above the monastery!

      Avila and its surrounds have some amazing cycling, no wonder the Vuelta visits this area often. Today, we have planned a few special Vuelta routes ranging from 50km to over 100km.

      Tonight, you will taste test a traditional Castile & Leon dinner.

      / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner included
      / Today's Ride: 50km & 100km cycling (1050m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Avila (Spain)


      Day 5, Sunday 18 June

      Jimenez de Jamuz (Spain)

      Today begins with a 2hr transfer to the small town of Benavente before riding to Jimenez de Jamuz. This town has received international recognition thanks to the 'El Capricho' restaurant which many rate as home to the world's best steak. Our table is reserved so now all you need to do is work on your appetite! Sunday lunch in Spain is late (around 3pm) so cyclists will have time for a late morning ride through the fields of Castile y Leon.

      While Team Mac, you will have time to visit an acclaimed pottery exhibition and demonstration. The red clays from the Jimenez de Jamuz township are so famous that the great Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi even requested this material for some of his finest works!

      / Meals: Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch included
      / Today's Ride: 60km cycling (500m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Puebla de Sanabria (Spain)

      Day 6, Monday 19 June

      Lago de Sanabria

      Only a stone's throw away from our accommodation is the largest glacial lake of the Iberian Peninsula - Lago de Sanabria. The region provides photographers and nature lovers with many picture-perfect opportunities of small lakes, varied vegetation and canyons. Cyclists will be able to ride out to the lake and take in the expansive views before following some final kilometres from the 2016 La Vuelta a España race. In 2016 the Puebla de Sanabria township hosted the Stage 7 finish of La Vuelta!

      There are also many activities for Team Mac to choose from. Would you like a 2-3hr guided walk through the national park or perhaps some time on the water (kayak or solar powered eco-boat ride)?

      During the late afternoon there will be time to stroll through the medieval old town and admire the impressive facades and balconies before reaching the 15th Century castle and enjoying its spectacular views. From the tallest tower one can truly appreciate the importance of this castle and its strategic position on the edge of the Portugese border.

      / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner included
      / Today's Ride: 45km & 90km cycling (1300m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Puebla de Sanabria (Portugal)

      Day 7, Tuesday 20 June

      Duoro Wine Region

      After 6 consecutive days on the bikes it is now time to rest-up and enjoy everything that the Douro Wine Region has to offer! The Douro Valley could as easily be called the enchanted valley, such is the beauty and magic that its landscapes offer. The Douro was even the world's first demarcated wine region established way back in 1756!

      You will get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site this morning on a guided river cruise. During this tour you will meander along the Douro River in an old rabelo boat (wooden Portuguese vessels that carried the wine casks from the quintas (wine estates) where it is produced to the mouth of river) before the various dams & locks that made the river navigable were built. And yes, we will enjoy some traditional Portuguese cuisine and local wine / beer during what will be a very pleasant journey.

      / Meals: Breakfast & Lunch included
      / Today's Ride: Cycling Rest Day
      / Accommodation: Lamego/ Douro (Portugal)

      Day 8, Wednesday 21 June

      N222 Road (Portugal)

      The mountain terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley are simply amazing, but pictures simply fail to capture its beauty. Cyclists, you will ride the heart of the Duoro following the N222 which in 2015 was voted the World's Best Road. The road follows the course of the Duoro River providing many exceptional vantage points along the way. After climbing through the terraced vineyard roads, you will finish with a fantastic 13km descent before enjoying a tapas lunch. We have reserved some tables at a local restaurant to cap off an unforgettable ride.

      Team Mac - something special. We've arranged for you to join a wine making class in one of our favourite quintas (wine estates)! You will even handpick your own grapes before helping us start production for the first bottles of our Ride Holidays wine collection. What shall we call our wine? Theresa can decide that….

      Now that we are all in the heart of the Douro Wine Region what else is there to do but feast on a gourmet dinner and a glass or two of the local product!

      / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner included
      / Today's Ride: 55km or 85km cycling (1300m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Lamego/ Douro (Portugal)

      Day 9, Thursday 22 June

      Douro Wine Region

      Another day in this magnificent wine region and it's all ours. Each year in May, thousands of cyclist flock to these parts to participate in the Douro Granfondo. Yesterday you rode half of the course and today you will complete the remaining. The plan is simple, we will have a short 30min transfer to Pinhao and ride back on the north side of the river. Sounds simple right....well there is the fact that you will need to climb 2000vm.

      Team Mac - This morning you have time to explore the spectacular surroundings of our villa (Hotel Rural Casa dos Viscondes da Varzea) and spend some time relaxing by the pool. For the afternoon, we have organised a traditional (hands-on) cooking class with none other than Countess Maria the owner of this hotel. In 2019 this was a highlight. Enjoy your lunch!

      Dinner is own arrangements tonight. We will have options to head into town or we can simply pre book a group for the hotel restaurant.

      / Meals: Breakfast included
      / Today's Ride: 50km or 85km cycling (2200m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Lamego/ Douro (Portugal)

      Day 10, Friday 23 June

      Porto (Portugal)

      If Douro is famous for wine can you guess what Porto is famous for? I will give you a clue…It's not water! After breakfast, we will load the vans with luggage and head to Porto, on bike of course. Like most days, we will have several distances to choose from with the longest being 100km. We will re-group for a quick tapas lunch before jumping into the vans for the short 1hour transfer to our next hotel in Porto.

      Team Mac - How about a touch of culture with the Art DecoSerralves Museum in Porto. Established in 1999, it's now a National Monument of Portugal. It features the Park of Serralves, Villa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Auditorium and Library. Not your average museum!

      Tonight, we all have dinner together and maybe a drop of port or two.

      Night night.

      / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner included
      / Today's Ride: 70km or 100km cycling
      / Accommodation: Porto (Portugal)

      Day 11, Saturday 24 June

      Porto (Portugal)

      Today is our second rest day from the bikes and what better place than Porto. This morning there will be time to catch up on some sleep before a mid-morning guided walking tour of Porto. You will then have the rest of the afternoon to explore this beautiful City.

      Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and famous for port wine, if you haven't guessed already! Its settlement was originally part of the Roman empire with the Celtic people being amongst the first known inhabitants dating back to 300BC.

      Porto has so many sites, but we have all day. Here are a few suggestions, Cais de Riberia, Luis I Bridge, Church of Sao Francisco, Palacio da Bolsa, Casa da Musica, Porto Cathedral… Most of the port houses are found along the river in the heart of the city which makes tasting some of the finest port too easy.

      / Meals: Breakfast included
      / Today's Ride: Rest Day
      / Accommodation: Porto (Portugal)

      Day 12, Sunday 25 June

      Obidos (Portugal)

      Team Mac will drive out of Porto and directly to the historic city of Coimbra (1hr drive) where they will enjoy a guided walking tour before continuing to our hotel in Obidos. Coimbra is a small city with Portugal's oldest university in the country. The university is found precisely where Portugal's first kings had taken up residence centuries before, and the city's monasteries have tombs for these rulers. To get an excellent perspective of the city you can scale the 180 steps in the 16th-century tower at the highest point of the university.

      Another site of interest is the Arco de Almedina gate which was part of the solid medieval wall rebuilt in the 11th Century by the Arab conqueror Almansor. It is the only surviving gate of the three that once led into the citadel. It now marks the entrance into the old part of Coimbra and is a good spot for a rest and a beer or wine!

      Cyclists - It's a total of 240km from Porto to Obidos. Don't worry, even after a rest day we won't make you ride the whole distance. That said, you will ride as much of the Atlantic coastline as possible.

      / Meals: Breakfast included
      / Today's Ride: 100km or 130km cycling (500m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Obidos (Portugal)

      Day 13, Monday 26 June

      Obidos (Portugal)

      Today's cycling will be a choice of two out and back options. We will select local / quiet roads and include the rocky peninsula of Peniche, known for its long beaches and unique examples of the early Jurassic extinction. Its only 50km return but we will have plans in place to extend for those that want the extra km's.

      Team Mac - This morning we have organised a guided walking tour of the medieval west wall with views of the castle, vineyards and orchids are not to be missed. This afternoon you have a few choices, one being the coast or staying in town to visit the south side 16th century Aqueduct. Either will be exciting.

      Tonight, you are in for a treat, lets take the vans back to Peniche for an evening meal with views of the Atlantic Ocean. Feel the serenity!

      / Meals: Breakfast & Dinner included
      / Today's Ride: 50km or 100km cycling (1000m elevation gain)
      / Accommodation: Obidos (Portugal)

      Day 14, Tuesday 27 June

      Lisbon (Portugal)

      Today is our last day on the bike so let's make it a good one. Starting from our hotel, you again have the chance to cycle down the magnificent west coast catching glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean before arriving to the UNESCO township of Sintra.

      Team Mac will explore the Pena Palace and gardens which is one of Portugal's finest tourist attractions and a grand example of 19th Century Romanticism architecture. Standing on top of the hill the castle will take you back to places that could well be from a fairytale! Sintra is only a short drive to Lisbon.

      To round out the day you will enjoy a typical Fado singing show and dinner in the heart of the Alfama district….Shhh no talking!

      / Meals: Breakfast & Fado farewell Dinner included
      / Today's Ride: 80km or 100km cycling
      / Accommodation: Lisbon (Portugal)

      Day 15, Wednesday 28 June


      Our tour finishes after breakfast. We will transfer you to the airport at about 9am.

      For some it's time to head home, while others will take some time in Lisbon or head off to explore other parts of Europe.

      Thank you for joining us on the adventure of a lifetime.

      Safe travels for the remainder of your journey.

      / Meals: Breakfast included


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