Cycling 12,000 miles from Lisbon to Shanghai
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Portugal

  • Miles cycled: 282
  • Feet climbed: 16,508
  • Cycling days: 8
  • Non-cycling days: 2

Rating (1-10) and comments:

  • Road – condition: 8
    (Generally excellent – marked down only due to tendancy for town centres to be cobbled)
  • Road – shoulders and cycle lanes: 8
    (Very few cycle lanes, generally a good shoulder though)
  • Road signage: 9
    (Even the smallest junction is well signposted with each turn-off listing the villages in that direction)
  • Drivers: 9.5
    (Excellent – very patient, almost without exception never squeezing past)
  • Campsites – Availability: 8
  • Campsites – Facilities/Value: 7
    (Generally very good value but facilities tended to reflect this (we were there in low season so many of the on-site shops etc. were not open yet)
  • Hotels: 7.5
    (Look for residencials – they are cheap and offer very good value for money)
  • Shops: 7.5
    (Pingo Doce supermarkets were great)
  • Food: 6.5
    (Eating at the same time as locals is difficult to fit in with an early start to cycling. Lunch is usually not served until after 2pm and in smaller towns the cafes seem to only serve drinks and cakes.)
  • People: 7.5
    (Helpful enough but seemed a little reserved)
  • Cost: 8
    (Cheap and very good value for western Europe)
  • Scenery: 7
    (Usually interesting but rarely spectacular – obviously this is based on the route we took)
  • Cultural interest: 7
    (think this is mainly based on the route we took and the short time we spent here)

Overall: 7.7

General tips:

  • Remember the siesta – all shops are closed from 2pm to 5pm
  • Restaurants – 7.30pm is about the earliest anywhere opens
  • Residencials are better value than anything labelled as a hotel
  • Campsites never have toilet paper – bring your own
  • If you don’t know any Portuguese understanding some Spanish will help