Currency
  • Your Cart is Empty

    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on one of the accessories you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on one of the accessories you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on one of the accessories you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on one of the accessories you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on one of the accessories you've added to your cart.
    Delivery for all the products in the basket will be delayed to around the 10th of November as we are temporarily out of stock on the Beeline Moto you've added to your cart.

    SECURE CONNECTION

    Your details are securely stored with our payment
    processing partner using bank-grade encryption Cards logos

    30 day money back guarantee
    If you return your order anytime within 30 days, we'll send you your money back. No questions asked.

    Ultimate Trip Runner-up: Douro Valley

    Last summer, Charity and her boyfriend Hugh were in the market for an intrepid Iberian trip.

    A little bit of online research later and they had selected their route: they would start in Salamanca before heading into the Parque Natural de Arribes del Duero and then tracking the Douro river down (and up) into Peso da Regua.

    After a glorious day-and-a-half of downhill out of the southern Spanish city across 'cowboy country' they were geared up for a few days of relaxed riding under the beautiful blue skies of August, blissfully unaware of the arduous ascents that they were rapidly approaching. 

     

    Quick facts

    Highlights

    Riding down into Pinhão on the banks of the Douro river, a night in a tiny hamlet near Lumbrales

    Length

    290km 

    Terrain

    Tarmac 

    Difficulty

    ★★

    When to go

    Late spring or early autumn

    Why is it Europe's best?

    'The scenery is just ridiculous. It’s so dramatic. Stunning.'

     

    Overview

    charity douro valley cycling route map

    With a rough route in mind and a few years of riding under their belts, Charity and Hugh booked flights ordered bikes from c ycling-rentals.com for their adventure. The Portuguese company comes moderately recommended by them both - just select the bike you'd like (carbon, aluminum, road, touring, e-) and where you'd like to have them delivered to and they'll sort out the rest. Simples! 

    If you decide to rent from cycling-rentals.com, Charity would recommend re-confirming the order with them a few days in advance. She was delivered two extra panniers (she had taken her own) and had to carry the surplus bags for the whole trip. It's also worth giving the bike a quick check-over before setting off to avoid any mechanical issues down the road. Otherwise, the bikes did the job just great.


     

    The ride

    Setting off from Salamanca, Charity and Hugh enjoyed a first couple of days of very easy riding through rural southern Spain. After arriving one afternoon in Lumbrales they had a wander through the town before meandering down to a small nearby hamlet for their favourite night of the trip. 

    bull ring in the douro valley

    With the 'most delicious steak and red wine' and the gentle humdrum of cows trundling through the streets, their B & B was a perfect tonic to the furious pace of everyday life. Dogs dozed in doorways and locals sat on deserted streets soaking up the last of the summer's day with a drink. They could get used to this! 

    bulldog sleeping

    After another half day or so in the saddle, the terrain started to change and became undulating; forcing Charity and Hugh up seemingly never-ending hills. Many borders in Europe are mountainous - the steep terrain providing a natural buffer zone between two territories - and they soon learned that the Portuguese-Spanish line is no exception. 

    While the landscape was spectacular, the climbs were punishing in the mid-August heat and sometimes the only way to stick to tarmac roads was to continue uphill (past enticing but excessively sandy downhill tracks). So tough was their route that it was, in fact, part of 2017's Volta a Portugal, which Charity and Hugh happened to stumble upon a few days into their ride when they found themselves being absorbed into the peloton!

    Pinhão and Peso da Régua

    After a couple of days in the mountains, Charity and Hugh were relieved to join the Douro river and pedal down into the small towns of Pinhão and Peso da Régua. The area is full of beautiful port vineyards and estates and the pair went to stay at the house of a German count - a beautiful home with a conservatory overlooking the rolling terraced hills. 

    Their original aim had been to cycle all the way to Porto but after some very tough days in the saddle, and with nothing but hills between them and the coastal city they made the wise decision to hop onto a vehicle with a few more wheels and take in the breathtakingly beautiful landscape from the comfort of the train. 


    Well, kudos to Charity and Hugh! Their ride was much tougher than they could have imagined but would they change anything if they were to give it another go? 'Probably not.'



    Also in Cycling

    Best South London cycle routes: The hills are alive…
    Best South London cycle routes: The hills are alive…

    Follow this classic route to Surrey's Box Hill. Make your way through the parks of South West London, crossing Richmond Park and passing Hampton Court Palace on your way out of the city. Get up early to make the most of quieter roads!

    Read more
    Best South London cycle routes: The Royal Treatment
    Best South London cycle routes: The Royal Treatment

    Follow the River Thames most of the way towards Windsor for a fantastic cycle route out of London, making the most of parks and towpaths. Treat yourself like a king or Queen and enjoy a pub lunch on the way… Train or bike back!
    Read more
    Best South London cycle routes: head East!
    Best South London cycle routes: head East!

    Make the most of South East London by setting off from glorious Greenwich for a lovely ride down the Thames. A fantastic ride for the late summer/early autumn when all of the blackberries in the bushes that line the route are ripe. You could even continue down to the sea if you fancy.
    Read more