Portugal offers some of the best cycle sportives in Europe, where cyclists can explore breathtaking mountain ranges, scenic coast views and the gastronomy, culture and history the country is known for. Each year, thousands of road cyclists, from Portugal and all over the world join these Granfondos that occur all over the country, from May to September. These events are mainly sought out by cycling enthusiasts that want to challenge themselves and explore regions like the Douro, Gerês or the Algarve.
Here’s our list of Portugal’s best cycle sportives for 2016, by chronological order. Read on and join one or more of these events to explore these amazing regions in Portugal:
.1 Love Tiles Douro Granfondo– 1st of May of 2016
Apart from being a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Douro will once again become a pedaling destination in 2016. This will be the second edition of the Douro Granfondo cycle sportive, which will transform this renowned region- the world’s first demarcated wine region - in an international cycling destination. Over 2000 road cycling enthusiasts joined the 2015 edition and up to 3000 are expected in next year’s event. The event will start in Peso da Régua, and will lead the participants of the Granfondo or the Mediofondo by Lamego, Tabuaco, Tua, Favaios, Pinhão, Alijó and back to Évora. Meanwhile, participants will be challenged with amazing climbs and descents in the Douro Vinhateiro area, and rewarded with great viewpoints of the typical landscape, composed by the traditional wine terraces.
Choose between the Granfondo (162km and 3220 accumulated height) or Mediofondo (112km, 2150 accumulated height) and enjoy the most of your time during this event exploring the wine cellars and farms of the region, whether by boat or bike, on our three to five days Douro Granfondo cycling weekend.
For more info click:
.2 Gerês Granfondo – 10th of June 2016
2016 will mark the 4th edition of the Gerês Granfondo, a sportive held in the national park of Peneda-Gerês, that is marked by its unspoilt nature and views. The oldest signs of human presence in the region date only from 6000 B.C. to 3000 B.C.d and in this special event you’ll be able to ride by dolmens megalithic tombs and enjoy the vibrant nature of this park, located up north of Porto. This is a very challenging cycling event, in which you’ll be able to ride up to 154km in the Granfondo or 95km on the Mediofondo.
Established in 1971, Peneda-Gerês park has helped preserve not just a unique set of ecosystems but also a highly endangered way of life. Spread across four impressive granite massifs in Portugal's northernmost reaches the park encompasses boulder-strewn peaks, precipitous valleys, gorse-clad moorlands and lush forests of oak and fragrant pine.The park is known for its idyllic rural accommodation in far-flung cottages and stone shelters.
For more info click:
.3 Skyroad Granfondo Serra da Estrela – 17th of July 2016
This event takes cyclists through the Estrela mountain range and numerous historical villages that you’ll ride by in this National Park. The Skyroad Granfondo Serra da Estrela is Portugal’s toughest road cycling challenge and explores the most iconic climbs in the country. Over 1000 cyclists joined this event in 2015, this Sportive’s first edition, and will join again in 2016 to tackle this challenge.
The dramatic landscape, that counts with glacial valleys, is breathtaking. You can opt to ride the Granfondo (131km ride with 4200 meters of acucmulated height) or the Mediofondo (77km ride with 2800D+ ). Enjoy this great cycling challenge by staying for some extra days in the region and visit the nearby historical villages on Live Love Ride’s Serra da Estrela Granfondo three to five days cycling weekend.
For more info, click here:
.4 Skyroad Granfondo Schist Villages – 11th of September 2016
Another popular cycle sportive in Portugal, and one of the most popular road cycling events in the country. In the Skyroad Granfondo Schist Villages, you’ll get to ride in the beautiful Lousã mountain range, on the outskirts of the historical city of Coimbra. This region is home to the beautiful Schist Villages, picturesque houses hidden in the pure nature of Lousã and Açor.
In this magical world, where time passes more slowly, the hospitable people always have the time to welcome visitors, and to share their stories, crafts and traditions. Climb to the top of Trevim and experience the exhilarating 23km descent towards Lousã in the Granfondo ( 16km and 4100D+) or Mediofondo(95km and 2000D+) options.
For more info click here:
There are other great road cycling events in Portugal but these provide a great option to visit and explore the amazing regions they are held in. Contact us for more information or to ride in these amazing events!