What is the best thing after a great bike ride? How about some delicious crusty bread, spread with with fresh butter, dunked in virgin olive oil or some tasty tapenade? Time and again we are told by cyclists on our bike tours in Portugal that one of the things they love most is the bread - or pão in Portuguese. Despite beautiful cycling on low traffic roads, scenic monuments, exceptional hotels and exquisite meals - the bread does make quite an impression.
What is the secret you may wonder? Well, that's simple: half and half, stone ground flour, a generous touch of salt and a wood fired stove. You can enjoy the simple gastronomic treat of a pão Alentejano from the Alentejo wine region
, or a delicious wedge of corn broa
in the Minho on our vinho verde bike tour
in northern Portugal. Whether on the side of a hearty Portuguese soup or simply dunked in olive oil, this is a loaf to write home about!
If you're looking for a magical escape this summer we've got the perfect trip for you! Cycling through the Minho Green Wine region feels like you've stepped back in time to an ancient fairy tale land. On this easy going tour we roll through medieval villages with colourful folk festivals hailing from pagan times through to the coast of northern Spain where Columbus' ships landed on their return from the New World.
The 17th century Manor's with lush gardens and private vineyards are the perfect end to a day of riding through gorgeous valleys exploring the many green way cycle paths running parallel to the crystal rivers. The evenings are warm and topped off with a cool glass of delicious, light green wine tickling the palate in a perfect match for a fine dinner.
With a comfortable balance of small back roads and scenic cycle paths, this tour offers riders of every level a great introduction to Portugal , one of Europe's least known and most charming countries. If it sounds like a curious part of the world to you, that's because it is! Get in touch to find out more.
Of all the visits on our Alentejo bike tour , one of the most special is the pottery village of São Pedro do Corval. With a ceramics tradition dating back centuries, and family businesses just as old, its a delight to see that potters wheels are still spinning in the 21st century.
Despite the Roman origins of the trade of spun pottery in Iberia, traditional Portuguese pottery was influenced heavily by trade with China, dating back to the voyages of Vasco da Gama and perhaps even earlier. With the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, motifs of vegetal and geometric of the Islamic culture became popular and remain so to this day.
Although the pottery sold these days is mostly decorative, the majority are excellent for serving up hot or cold food and adding a wonderful splash of color to any table setting. So if sun, fun and colorful crafts are your thing, check out our Alentejo bike tour for all that an much more!
All Cycling Centuries Bike Tours feature exceptional local food, some meals are familiar and others decidedly not so. Few culinary delights could appear less appealing than Açorda . This very Portuguese bread stew has been likened to stuffing or chowder, and don't knock it until you have tried.
Even the most squeamish eaters come round to the delicious blend of bread, drippings, garlic and cilantro, which is making my mouth water even as I write these lines! No better place to sample Açorda than along our delectable Alentejo Bike Tour , where food and wine are simply to ride for.