Cycling from Lisbon to Albufeira

Mateusz

Regular
Jul 23, 2013
Warsaw, Poland
Mateusz
This will be a bit long story (spread over a few posts) of bicycle vacation in Portugal. This was our first time (for my girlfriend and me) to try to go for bicycle vacation. We had 11 days (14 - 3 in Lisbon) to go from Lisbon to Albufeira, ~400km, so 30-50 per day, in quite relaxed pace, 3-5 hours of cycling and ~half of day left for walking around, eating great dinners and having some nice wine....
We took bikes with us (took some bike boxes from local bicycle store and packed bicycles into it for plane), packed ourselves into 2 side bags each and off we go ... :)
In the evening we were planning the next day route and how far we would plan to get and booked the hotel for next day.
I had x-e1 and x-m1 + 14, 35 and 55-200 , carrying it in waist salomon bag (not photo dedicated bag).


First set is from Lisbon. We spend first 3 days in Lisbon, enjoyed it on foot, just cycled from the airport to our apartment in city centre and then did some walking around the city.

1. Fado graffiti

DSCF0329 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

2. Archs by main square

DSCF0370 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

3. View from the big lift in the centre

DSCF0398 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

4. Small shop selling some great cherry liquor

DSCF0411 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

5. You can really see the crisis around the city, a lot of places is closed

DSCF0533 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

6. White and red wine …. on tap :)

DSCF0537 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

7. Not all houses are nicely white, pink or blue

DSCF6327 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

8. One of many nice buildings, with tiny tiles on outside

DSCF6361 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

9. Some nice graffiti

DSCF6376 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

10. Some more graffiti

DSCF6457 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

11. Just some random door

DSCF0594 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

12. and just a look at what our bicycles looked like:

DSCF0700 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

Next post will cover first 100km of cycling … :)
 

NigelL

Regular
May 16, 2013
Fine set of shots, and in particular I like the composition of the #4, I look forward to reading more from your travelogue :)

Nigel
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Jack
Wow! Really nice! Love the colors and composition. Particularly the one with the man pouring what I'm guessing is ... olive oil? Love that perspective. Wast that with the 14/2.8?
 

Mateusz

Regular
Jul 23, 2013
Warsaw, Poland
Mateusz
thank you very much for the visit and opinions.
yes, #4 is one of may favourite too :), and yes it was 14/2.8, not sure on what the man is pouring ... it might have been olive oil, but it sure felt like mixed with some high alcohol substance ;-)
 

ean10775

All-Pro
Feb 13, 2013
Cleveland, Ohio
Eric
Very nice set of photos and it sounds like a great vacation! I'd love to do something like that but there is no way my wife would ride with me. Are you primarily riding on pavement or off-road? (just wondering about the choice of front suspension and knobby tires)
 

Mateusz

Regular
Jul 23, 2013
Warsaw, Poland
Mateusz
Hi,

Glad you like it.

As for bikes and paths:
At home we have two sets of bicycles - city/road and MTB. For the trip I kind of felt to take the mtb bikes as more reliable and more agile, in case we would like to take some off-road paths.
In general we did ~340km on roads and ~60 off road. We did one great off-road path along the cliff, which was amazing, my girlfriend was so excited that we took some offroad next day too, but this time it was very hilly, and it was our last off-road stage :)
For those interested in truly off-road experience there is interesting trekking path - Rota Vicentinha

Elements that, in my opinion, made it fun for my girlfriend:
- short daily distances, 30-50km
- relaxed pace, our ride pace was ~15km/h, overall pace ~10km/h
- brake every 1hour, we would stop in small towns/villages on the way, for a coffee, cake, wine
- no early wake up, we would go for breakfast at ~9:00 and departure after 10:00
- we would reach the destination at 13:00 - 15:00, so still enough time to go to the beach, swim in ocean
- we did 3 days of riding, 1 day break, 3 days riding, 1 day break, 2 days riding.
- we were staying in nice hotels
- good food and wine, waiter would always bring nice choice of fish catch of the day
- my girlfriend would be the one who chooses to which city we will go next day and choose the hotel :)


Some more photos.
Stage 1: Lisbon to Comporta (with two ferries on the way) - not many pictures, it was raining all the way (the only day with rain, rest of trip it was sunny. luckily it was
Stage 2: Comporta to Sines

13. Comporta, probably have seen better times a few years ago

DSCF0710 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

14. I was surprised with amount of storks, this one found quite extreme place to stand (there will be more extreme stork later in the trip ;-) )

DSCF6472 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

rest of shots in this post is from Sines, relatively big town with nice port.

15.

DSCF0758 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

16.

DSCF6514 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

17. Dinner anyone ?

DSCF6528 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

18.

DSCF6532 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

19.

DSCF6574 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

20.

DSCF6576 by Mateusz77, on Flickr
 

pniev

Student for life
May 13, 2013
It's a beautiful set of photos! I am looking forward to the next post.
 

Mateusz

Regular
Jul 23, 2013
Warsaw, Poland
Mateusz
hi,

Thank you for all the good words!

One of the best things about vacation like that, what we realised quite fast, is the thing about the road. When you go for the road trip by car, usually the ride is a way to get to the objective of the day. With bicycle trip , the ride is the objective. The ride becomes so fundamental part of vacation, its full of emotions, experience, sweat, people in cars giving thumbs up on the way up on big hill, saying hi to other biters, stoping when you smell freshly baked cake, ....

here comes next 2 stages :)

Stage 3: Sienes to Villa Nova de Milfontes.
Most shots from Milfontes (we stayed there for 1 day rest on the beach, in the ocean and almost no biking)

21. Very nice to cycle along the views like that ...

DSCF6597 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

22. Cat in the middle of the road waiting for ... the sunset ?

DSCF6889 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

23. Cat waiting for ... a boat ? :)

DSCF6774 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

24. Surfers waiting for ... the waves ? (while ladies taking romantic pictures .... no she did not roll down that hill during that shot)

DSCF6826 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

25. Enjoying sunset, the colors were truly amazing ...

DSCF6711 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

Stage 4: Villa Nova de Milfontes to Zambujeira

26. Traditional Portugal windmill , somwhere on the way. There was many of those, most in very poor condition.

DSCF0965 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

27. going offroad to ride along the cliffs pays out with nice views

DSCF0986 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

28. some more of that

DSCF6974 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

29. the kind of road on part of that stage of the trip

DSCF0991 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

30. This stork must be true ocean lover

DSCF6990 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

31. Those guys were quite hard-core (this picture is taken from the edge of the cliff , at 200mm)

DSCF7021 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

32. How about this field ?! nice place to play , I would not want to be the one who misses the shot and needs to fetch the ball :)

DSCF0995 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

still more to come ... I told you it was going to be long :)
 

BBW

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
This is a wonderful travelogue photo thread - with great photos! I really liked that one close up of the fellow with what look like olives in that "high octane" drink he was pouring:wink_old: but love the ocean photos...the stork, the girl about to roll down the hill:D...and I think that #31 is a real winner. I can't wait to show my Portuguese pals your Flickr photos. I would love to go there one day.

Keep 'em coming!
 

Mateusz

Regular
Jul 23, 2013
Warsaw, Poland
Mateusz
hi,

Thank you for the visit and kind words !
I sure recommend the place for visit, especially the west cost, between Sines and Sagres, really great place, with stunning views, lovely small towns, great people, superb food and wine .... :)

And here come next two stages of our trip:

Stage 5: Zambuzeira --> Aljezur/Arrifana


33. Still in Zambuzeira, just another beach pick

DSCF1067 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

34. The view with which Zambuzeira says good bye as we departure toward our next destination

DSCF7160 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

35. In some parts we were riding along Historical Way of Rota Vicenta , like this nice path along small canal, with tens of frogs jumping out of the way into the water.

DSCF1151 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

36. Arrifana beach, nicely positioned in the cliffs

DSCF1160 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

37. People staying for stunning sunset views

DSCF7205 by Mateusz77, on Flickr



Stage 6: Aljezur --> Sagres (all picks from Sagres)

38. Boat is probably also cool way to enjoy sunset

DSCF7332 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

39. Fishing seems a national sport :)

DSCF7327 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

40. Small park in town center was turning into boule/petanque field in late afternoon

DSCF7301 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

41. Was interesting to see that bicycles had number plates

DSCF7289 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

42. Just some abandoned scooter

DSCF7286 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

With this we reach the south cost and have two stages of our trip left (for next post :) ).
 

NigelL

Regular
May 16, 2013
As a bit of a cyclist myself, I'm thoroughly enjoying this thread, nabru - once again, thanks for sharing :)

Nigel
 

Mateusz

Regular
Jul 23, 2013
Warsaw, Poland
Mateusz
hi,

BBW,
Thanks, great to hear that 'Local Folks' like it too !

NigeiL,
Thank you ! This was my first cycling vacation and I enjoyed it very much. I have been in more exotic places then Portugal :), but as overall experience this was my best vacation ever.

The last two stages of the trip.
We go into south coast. It feels very strange after the west coast. We come from small, quiet, slow, embracing towns to a truistic headquarters full of people, with english breakfast, hamburgers, ....

Stage 7: Sagres --> Lagos
(photos are from Lagos, nothing really interesting on the way)

43. there is a nice beach just by the city centre, so those folks would just walk out from home in surfing suite and then walk back through the streets

DSCF7461 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

44. street on the back of our hotel (and very good restaurant :) )

DSCF1421 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

45. just a funny sign

DSCF1412 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

46. the dog and the shadow

DSCF1321 by Mateusz77, on Flickr




stage 8 (last): Lagos --> Albufeira
and Albufeira is like English town, most of places are run by English people, there is Sky news on, most places would show football (as for european football) games, .... I have nothing agains England and people from England, but it was quite a change from west cost towns where restaurant would not even have menu in english :)

47. Albufeira beach

DSCF7579 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

48. This Guy was really making miracles on those roller-skates

DSCF7538 by Mateusz77, on Flickr


That is it ! Done :).
From Albufeira we were planning to back to Lisbon by train, but it turned out that we would need to pack our bicycles, but our boxes stayed in Lisbon airport .... so we rented a car and drove back to Lisbon. :)

I am very happy that you liked the thread !
And I really recommend to try cycling vacation. Choose good place, not very long distances, plan time without bike and even people who are not as much into bicycles as you, will enjoy it !


and just 2 bonus shots of the hard-core guys fishing !

49. Just to show the path that I think they were taking, once you notice them, you get the point :)

DSCF7024 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

50. And last one , just to get to 50 :)

DSCF7031 by Mateusz77, on Flickr


cheers,
Mateusz
 

BBW

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
Matuesz,

Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us - I think this last one is the perfect ending and a great shot. I hope to make it to Portugal one day!:th_salute:
 

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