In the south of Portugal lies the Algarve, known for its Mediterranean beaches, surfing, and world-class golf courses. Though much of the coast consists of built-up beach and port towns, there are still a few pristine pockets. The best base is the boutique Bela Vista Hotel & Spa. Nearby, the tranquil hills of the Serra de Monchique are home to cork-tree forests, citrus groves, cobblestone villages, Roman baths, and much more—all best explored on two wheels. Sagres, the southwesternmost point of mainland Europe, is where 15th century Portuguese explorers set sail to the unknown world. The walled old town of Lagos is well known for its fish market.
Moving north, surrounded by ancient oaks, olive groves and vineyards, sits one of our favourite new retreats from which to hike and bike, São Lourenco do Barroçal. The Alentejo’s flat roads link whitewashed villages, lakes, vineyards, castles, and churches. In the heart of the region lies the city of Évora, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a melting pot of history, culture, and gastronomy. For the great access to the nicest rides, we also love the Convento do Espinheiro hotel, housed in a 15th century convent.
In northeastern Portugal, the Douro Valley features dramatic hills and terraced vineyards that produce the famous port wine. The Six Senses Duoro Valley Hotel and Spa is a restored 19th century manor house. Not to be missed is a trip to the fascinating medieval coastal city of Porto. Historic alleyways, contemporary buildings, and vibrant street art lead to Ribeira square. Stay at the Yeatman Hotel, one of the best in the country.