Day 12: Cycle from Sagres to Lagos (then train to Faro)

Our last day’s cycle saw us leave Sagres with 8km mainly uphill, however we took the access local (bike path) route for most of it, to save cycling up the hard shoulder of the main route out of Sagres. What was particularly noticeable was the strong head wind the whole way, until we hit the turn off at Vale do Bispo, for Lagos. This made the first 8-10km tough and slow !

Not long after this we had a long steady uphill climb, followed by the rest of the journey on N125 being very up and down (and on what became a very busy road) into Lagos – which is why we’d decided to end our cycle there, and travel by train with our bikes and luggage to Faro (to avoid the busy main road).  

So after 22 miles, we arrived into Lagos in good time to buy water and find the railway station, and buy 2 single tickets to Faro – cost Euros 7.30 each and the journey took 1 hour, 50 minutes (see CP website for up to date timetable and fares).

There ended our 400 mile cycle journey which started 12 days earlier – leaving Porto for Lisbon, then Faro our final destination before a weeks R&R. 

We had a fabulous time, cycling to lots of places not travelled before. We still haven’t quite mastered the art of travelling light, but we’ve learnt a lot about what to pack and more importantly, what not to pack – and we know which places we’d like to go back to! 

Day 11: Cycle from Aljezur to Sagres

Our cycle from the Herdade back to the main road at Aljezur was c8k – a lot up hill, but then we had a rather long and steep (but quick) descent (remembering the steep climb the previous day!)

The journey to Sagres was around 32 miles (a bit longer than we thought) and the whole day was very up and down with long stretches of both uphill climbing and long descents; with long and windy roads through a natural park (with not great road conditions). Vila do Bpo followed, which was another long uphill but then we practically had 8km down into Sagres (note: it follows that coming back the same way tomorrow will be 8km uphill!)

Day 10: Cycle from Zambujeira do Mar to Aljezur

The weather first thing was not looking too promising when we woke, however by the time we’d had breakfast the sun was shining and it was hot!  First things first we sorted the route out from the country house back to the main road. It was still a bit tricky and required some parts to be walked, but it was a shorter off-road route than what we’d done the afternoon before! 

The cycle route was lovely, but it did have two steep and long climbs – one at Odeceixe, the other even steeper climb is as you get to Aljezur.  After this we then had a further 8km to go (which is up/down the whole way), to reach the Herdade we were staying in.

The journey was around 24 miles – but a tough day’s cycling, albeit still really enjoyable, and again blessed with really good weather. 

Day 9: Cycle from Santiago do Cacem to Zambujeira do Mar

Getting out of Sagres is a short downhill to the main road where we had a fairly long steep uphill; followed by a number more steep long uphills and (what goes up, must go down), steep downhills! 

There is a steady climb after you go over the bridge by Vila Nova de Milfontes but you get a lovely view of the town.

The weather today was a bit overcast and having stopped about 3-hours in for a tosta mista & coke, the rain started. With not too much further to go we made an error (because we just wanted to get to our hotel), and that was to take a shorter route – unfortunately this ended up being very off-road and took a lot longer than if we’d continued on the main road ! (You live and learn!)

The cycle route was around 39 miles and in parts was really quite scenic. 

Day 8: Cycle from Setubal to Santiago do Cacem

The journey started having left our hotel with just a 5 minute cycle to the Port of Setubal, where we boarded a ferry (run by Atlantic Ferries), from Setubal to Troia South Peninsula (around 20 minutes and at a cost of Euros 3.55 each – bicycles are free). 

The ferry journey is lovely and gives you a chance to see the beaches at Troia. (If you took the catamaran service it costs a bit more but only takes 5 minutes to the north of Troia).  Both the ferry and catamaran run very regularly. 

The cycle ride from Troia is relatively flat all the way to Melides. After this the journey was fairly lumpy, all the way to Santiago do Cacem, which is very hilly when you arrive with a fairly long and steep hill; and then like most of the hotels we’ve booked on this trip our hotel was also on a hill, and finding it was difficult to navigate to.

Cycling was around 38.5 miles and in lovely weather – we’ve definitely started to notice more heat in the day but also warmer in the evenings, which for us Brits is wonderful. 

Setubal (night 10)

Our hotel ‘RIO Art‘ in Setubal is not only in a fantastic location but this hotel is excellent – from the decor in the reception, the very comfy bed, with other delights like a welcome cake, half a bottle of wine & water, to the excellent breakfast, with the full stop being the staff – this is simply one of the best hotels we’ve ever stayed in; and was a real highlight of our stay. 

Setubal itself is also superb and a great place to visit and stay. It has an abundance of cafes, retaurants and bars. Whilst there and because it was a weekend we saw different music / family events that had been put on as entertainment. 

We had a glass of lovely sparkling Douro white wine and a cheese board at a bar called ‘CorkTale‘, followed by tapas at a typical Portuguese restaurant ‘In Sado – Sabores Locais’ (very popular with locals).

We will definitely go back to Setubal – it is so lovely & relaxing (and what seems like a world away from the noise, hustle & bustle of Lisbon). 

Day 7: Ferry from Lisbon to Seixal, then Cycle to Setubal

Our day started with a 09.30am ferry from Cais do Sodre ferry terminal in Lisbon to Seixal – which only cost us Euros 2.35 each, one way. The journey was by catamaran and ours only took 15-20 minutes. Looking back to the City is a great view. 

[Note: the catamaran journeys to Seixal are less frequent at the weekend than they are through the week. There are also other places to go to at the northern tip of Setubal, like Cachilus which has more journeys and more people travel to. See the website for timetable/prices].

On arrival at Seixal, we found our way to the road to Setubal quite easily. The route was a bit hilly around Coina, and a bit up and down, but the route takes in some stunning scenery including going past the Bacalhao Vineyard and Winery, and the 5* Casa Palmela Hotel (which looks stunning), we’d arrived in Setubal (earlier than planned) which was great for an ice cream and watch the locals / view the Saturday market.