Cycling from Lisbon to Albufeira

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by nabru, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. nabru

    nabru FujiXspot Regular

    Jul 23, 2013
    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 … :)
    • Like Like x 10
  2. NigelL

    NigelL FujiXspot 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 :)

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Armanius

    Armanius FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    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?
  4. nabru

    nabru FujiXspot Regular

    Jul 23, 2013
    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 ;-)
    • Like Like x 2
  5. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    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)
  6. nabru

    nabru FujiXspot Regular

    Jul 23, 2013

    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.

    DSCF0758 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

    DSCF6514 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

    17. Dinner anyone ?
    DSCF6528 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

    DSCF6532 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

    DSCF6574 by Mateusz77, on Flickr

    DSCF6576 by Mateusz77, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 3
  7. NigelL

    NigelL FujiXspot Regular

    May 16, 2013
    More excellent images (and narrative), thanks for sharing :)
  8. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

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

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Excellent images, and sounds like a really fun way to make a trip!
  10. Armanius

    Armanius FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    Sounded like a wonderful trip!!

    And the octopus did look yummy!
  11. nabru

    nabru FujiXspot Regular

    Jul 23, 2013

    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 ... 10409562464_58cc7f310b_b.
    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 :)
    • Like Like x 3
  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    NW corner of CT
    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!
  13. nabru

    nabru FujiXspot Regular

    Jul 23, 2013

    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 :) ).
    • Like Like x 3
  14. NigelL

    NigelL FujiXspot Regular

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

  15. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    NW corner of CT
    By the way, I sent a link to your Flickr set to my Portuguese friends and they loved seeing your photos as well, nabru!
  16. nabru

    nabru FujiXspot Regular

    Jul 23, 2013

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

    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

    • Like Like x 2
  17. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    NW corner of CT

    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: