December 17, 2010
There are few things in this world that are as awe inspiring as cycling along a dramatic coastline. The problem is you often have to share the route with others ... who are driving cars, motor homes, trucks, etc.
There have been a few places on the planet where I've cycled a coastline sans traffic. Cuba. South Africa.
Now I can add Portugal. Specifically the coastline of the Alentejo region south of Lisbon.
Most people visit the southern coast of Portugal, and for a good reason. The weather is milder. The water warmer. The access easier. But you also get gobs of traffic and a skyline often filled with ugly concrete condos.
The west coast in the Alentejo offers dramatic cliffs, stunning views, and little-to-no traffic. You'll have to work to get there. Due to the topography, there isn't a long continuous coast-hugging route. But the small sections that are accessible by bicycle are well worth the effort.
Check out some other photos of this region on Yellow Tent Adventures (our blog), and I'm guessing you'll add Portugal to your "must tour" list.
Photo by Kat Marriner
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His latest book Travels with Willie: Adventure Cyclist will inspire you to hit the road and just might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at http://yellowtentadventures.com.