The landscape of Portugal is truly impressive. Due to the pleasant temperatures all year round, local vegetation grows and blooms all year round. There are numerous national parks and scenic routes to cover on foot or by bike.
Flowers of all colours can be found almost everywhere and even on the stoniest of coastlines. Beautiful hiking trails and cycle routes along the Algarve offer wonderful views over the vast Atlantic Ocean with the shoreline dotted with hidden coves and beaches. You can also cycle from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon to the Algarve too or between Lisbon and Porto, two of Portugal's most important cities.
You aren’t tied to any season to visit Portugal as the warm climate means that there is often excellent hiking or cycling weather at most times of the year.
The highest mountain, Pico Ruivo, is 1,862 metres high. Due to the terrain, our active holidays in Madeira are more difficult than other tours, but you do not need to be a top athlete to complete the routes. We do recommend a good level of fitness before booking and an electric bike will certainly be a useful assistant. Help-out transfers are available on our Madeira tours over the more challenging segments.
Portuguese cooking is often presented to us in different ways. On the one hand, it resembles Spanish cuisine, yet combines influences from Portugal’s colonial past. For example, the frequent use of cinnamon in dishes stems from the country's Moorish history. The national dish of Bacalhau (dried, salted cod) has been popular for centuries. Among the other fish dishes, soup is popular in Portugal such as the Sopa Alentejna as well as meat dishes such as Cozido à Portuguesa or desserts such as the famous Pastéis de Nata.
The Pastéis de Nata tarts can be found everywhere and are small puff pastries filled with custard. You should also try the delicious fruit and vegetables which grow in perfect conditions and benefit from hours of endless sunshine!
Heavenly scents of Madeira
The hilly island of Madeira in the Atlantic is an impressive place. The rolling hills have lush greenery and the coastal paths look out over the blue sea. The warm temperatures and climate mean that walking and cycling holidays are possible at all times of the year.
Whilst Madeira is a paradise for hikers, the island is also an undiscovered gem for cycling. We recommend hiring an e-bike or sportier frame as the terrain is certainly challenging. You’ll cycle past colourful flora and fauna at different altitudes and see many different sides of the island. You’ll also get to experience the culture and history of the Portuguese island differently every day without being on a tour bus on winding roads.
Portugal is one of the sunniest places in southern Europe and is a very popular destination in the summer months, but also throughout the rest of the year. Temperatures rarely exceed 30°C so you could say that there is a spring-like climate all year round and resorts such as those along the Algarve are busy all year round.
Madeira has a more diverse micro-climate with warm days and some increased rainfall at the higher levels. The water temperatures are quite warm, but often under 20 degrees due to the Atlantic currents. For hikers, the mild climate is ideal with lots of hours of sunshine and low rainfall.
With a focus on delivering well-organised self-guided cycling holidays, walking holidays, active family holidays and Bike and Boat tours throughout Europe, we can offer a wide range of active holidays to suit all abilities.
All of our active holidays include luggage transfers and local support. You can contact us by telephone by calling our UK-based booking line on 0044(0)1706 618155 and we are available from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 17:30.
Our website is continually updated and we will be able to answer any questions that you may have about specific tours and general availability.
Find out more about Active on Holiday here.