Slap bang in the heart of southern Portugal, stretching over one third of the country, from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border and from the south bank of the Tagus down to the Algarve, lies sleepy Alentejo. Its coastal region is a long stretch of wild cliffs and untouched beaches, its undulating hinterlands an undiscovered territory of empty roads, white villages, cork-tree forests, vineyards and olive groves. Its evocative hilltop castles are reminders of the many battles and conquests of yore. The patios and gardens bear witness to the rich influence of the North African Arabs, roots that shaped the people and the nature of this sultry region.
The herbs and spices grown in the Alentejo countryside season, (and the wines tendered on the hillsides accompany), the medley of fish caught on its coastal waters – intimately connecting the land and sea to its people. And so, we arrive at Alentejo’s principal vices: food and wine. The stoic farmers of Alentejo are proud advocates for the richness of their gastronomic products. Here you’ll taste the much-loved and traditionally-tilled land in its pork and ham, seafood, cheese and olive oil, black pigs, lamb and hearty red wines.
From Moorish villages, Roman structures and Portuguese kings, this region oozes big history, but Alentejo also offers incredible natural treasures. And, we think, much of the beauty of this region is encompassed in this tour. So, come along and join us on this journey around an unpretentiously sumptuous region; slow down with us to Alentejo’s very seductive, lost-in-time pace of life.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
  • Each of our trips in Portugal has a local guide
  • A ride you will never forget: Crato to Marvao
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks
  • Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups.
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.




Day 1



Day 2



Day 3

Vila Viçosa

Vila Viçosa

Day 4


Crato, Portugal

Day 5



What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?


Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides
Support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches and all dinners except 1
Entrance fees for selected tastings, historical sites and museums
All baggage transportation
Detailed map and route instructions

Not Included

Bike rental




Apr 7-13
Apr 14-20
Apr 21-27
Sep 9-15
Sep 16-22
Sep 23-29


Apr 7-13
Apr 14-20
Sep 15-21
Sep 22-28

Trip can start at any date. Private and self-guided trips also available. Call or email for details.


4-16 participants


7 days / 6 nights


Evora / Marvão


Daily distance average 52km/31miles.
This region is a mix of rolling terrain and flats. Elevation gains are as follows: D1: 200m; D2: 535m; D3:535m; D4: 220m; D5: 350m; D6: 685m


The majority of the riding follows river valleys and is quite flat with occasional moderate climbs.


Land Cost:
US $2,950
Includes 6B/5L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $750

Bike Rental:
US $280

E-Bike Rental:
US $480*

*E-bikes are generally available but are on an ‘on request basis ‘ and will be confirmed on receipt of your booking registration. Rental rates include delivery to the first hotel and pick-up from the last hotel. E-bikes provided are the best rentals available in the region. Our regular fleet of hybrid and race bikes are fun to ride and light and fast, but if having an e-bike will make your trip, we’ll do our best to provide. E-bike rentals are non-refundable. 

Optional: Lisbon extension
US $495pp
Single Supp: US $125
Includes 2 nights at a 4-star hotel with breakfast daily, one half day guided visit of the city and Insider’s Guide to Lisbon with recommendations on what to see, where to eat etc.

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at or by telephone at 604.730.1247.

Getting there :

Trains from Lisbon take approximately 1 hour.


Day 1

Arrival Day

The old walled town of Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a small-town feel but big-city ambitions. Within its ancient walls this compact town’s narrow, winding lanes lead to impressive architectural works: Gothic cathedral, Roman Temple, a 16th Century aqueduct and a picturesque town square. And not for the faint of heart is the macabre crypt of Capela dos Ossos. Built in the 16th Century, the Chapel of Bones warns at its entrance, We, the bones that are here, await yours. Its walls are coated with the bones and skulls of around 5,000 former Évora residents. Our guides will meet you on arrival at 4:00 pm at the hotel for a walking tour before dinner and then a welcome wine reception.


Day 2


This easy ride will work out the jet lag from your head and legs and get you ready for the week ahead. Arraiolos is world-famous for its embroidered carpets modeled on those of Moorish artists expelled from Lisbon, abstract motifs, azulejo designs and flower, bird and animal depictions. There are many carpet producers in town, providing opportunities to admire and purchase these important cultural works of art. This region is dotted with megaliths and dolmens (including Europe’s largest, near Valverde), built around 5,000-6,000 years ago. Back in Evora, enjoy strolling around the historical center and dine in one of the many great restaurants.
Distance: 46 km, elevation gain 279 m.*


Day 3


En route to Estremoz, today, you’ll pass through Redondo, renowned wine region and perfect place to stop for lunch.
Once the seat of the 14th Century Portuguese king, Estremoz remains grand and regal. The streets and buildings are lined in local marble, which gives the effect of everything appearing white and radiant. If you’re here on a Saturday, the town market is worth a visit for local produce and arts and crafts. The town is well known for its high-quality white marble and red clay sculptures. You’re here for two nights, providing plenty of time for exploration of this glimmering town.
Distance: 64 km, elevation gain 584 m.*


Day 4

Vila Viçosa

Today’s loop ride takes you east past marble quarries and fragnant orange groves, on to Vila Viçosa, a lovely marble town. It boasts the Praça da República, a lazy long plaza set amid orange trees, a marble palace, one of the country’s largest, and its castle make this small town an impressive visit. The route also takes you to Castelo, a fine red-roofed village, home to the oldest synagogue in Portugal, a steeped Jewish quarter and a marble-columned fountain with supposed healing waters.
Distance: 49 km, elevation gain 244 m.*


Day 5


Your destination is Flor da Rosa, just north of Crato, which was founded in the 14th Century but evidence in its ruins date it back to Megalithic times. This region is dotted in dolmens, with Anta do Tapadão being the most famous. En route today you’ll pass the famous stud farm, Coudelaria de Alter, in Alter do Chão, with its prized horses and informative museum.
Distance: 68 km, elevation gain 582 m or 106 km, gain 704 m.*


Day 6


Your route today will take you along roads lined with cork trees passing several villages including Castello de Vide, a fascinating village with dramatic castle and then climbs to the gorgeous walled town of Marvão (NY Times has it on the list ‘1000 places to see before you die’) which sits on a narrow, spit of rock, overlooking the rugged plains stretching across into Spain. From its lofty heights, Marvão offers the best vistas of any outlook on this trip.
Distance: 65 km, elevation gain 954 m or 60 km, gain 1362 m.*


Day 7

Depart from Marvão at your leisure.

*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.

Pousada dos Loios, Évora

The tranquil and luxurious atmosphere of this hotel suits that of its town, evocative Évora. The 15th Century building has been lovingly restored to its former glory and enjoys a central location in town. You’ll enjoy the redone monks living quarters along with a good restaurant and bar, relaxing swimming pool and sunny terrace.

Pousada Rainha Santa Isabel, Estremoz

This historic pousada, set in the Estremoz Castle, was built for Queen Santa Isabel. From the gardens and pool of this magnificent hotel, you’ll enjoy unparalleled panoramic views of Estremoz and the Alentejo plain. You’ll feel like a royalty in the four-poster beds.

Pousada do Crato, Flor da Rosa

You’ll find this historic gem within the walls of the Santa Maria de Flor da Rosa Monastery. Thanks to much careful and respectful restoration, the peace and tranquility of its monastic past is one of the hotel’s defining features today, as is its medley of influences; Gothic, Renaissance and Arabic.

Pousada de Santa Maria, Marvão

One of Marvão’s original hotels, this supreme hotel is now one of the best pousadas of the region, offering the best panoramic views from its lofty position. Tucked into one of the cobbled streets of steeped, Medieval Marvão you’ll find your little piece of heaven.


Trip Reviews

October 26, 2023

“This was our first biking trip and we really enjoyed it. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect. The local people were very gracious and welcoming. I was very happy with my racing bike – it was excellent. I loved that Great Explorations looked after all the details, provided a memorable trip with friends and executed it very well!”

October 26, 2023

“Loved the Portuguese people, food, culture, great biking and great hotels. I want to go back to Portugal for sure!”

October 26, 2023

“The wine tasting was fun. The town tours were great…an awesome tour guide. The hotels were great. I loved that most of them had a pool because of the warmer than average temperatures for May. The availability of the van was great.”

October 28, 2022

“Good price. Good guides. Good quality of hotels and meals. Enjoyed little extras like the wine tour and the olive farm with meal. Low traffic routes so I felt safe. I liked riding the bikes in the countryside, spending 2 nights at hotels, good food and good coffee!”

October 28, 2022

“The restaurants/dinners were excellent. I liked having the RideWithGPS maps on my phone. It was nice to have access to water and snacks regularly. I really enjoyed the guides, the Alentejo countryside, the accommodations, the meals, the cycling. A fabulous tour, thank you.”

June 4, 2022

“Guided trips are the way to go. The guides are excellent and add so much more to the experience. Met a lovely group of people and had some fantastic meals and fabulous hotels and excellent bike routes. Walking tour in Evora with Olga was really fantastic. She was so enthusiastic. Pousada do Crato was amazing – very comfortable and an amazing historical structure with modern comfort. The guides were really fantastic and accommodating. So kind and knowledgeable. Super nice guys.”

October 17, 2015

I enjoyed the atmosphere of the small towns, their history and especially the accommodations..

October 21, 2014

Great trip!! Well organized, guides were very supportive and knowledgeable. Dinners and tours were awesome, hotels were top notch. Highly recommend Great Explorations and Portugal. We intend to make this type of trip a yearly experience.

October 15, 2014

Once again, we were blown away by this trip with GE. It is our favorite way to travel…with the support of a fantastic team, we could enjoy the beauty and culture of Portugal on our bikes with great friends… New and old!

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