Bike Ride Question - for 2022 travelers

The document that details this ride talks about it being 6 hours, 13 miles, experienced cyclists, and mostly paved path. What it doesn't say is whether the terrain is mostly flat or hilly. For anyone who has done the bike ride or will be taking the tour this year, I'd appreciate some feedback on this question.


  • I don't remember the exact thread but someone who did the bicycle ride posted that it was relatively flat, not strenuous and there were frequent stops for refreshments. She did state, however, that portions of the ride were on gravel. I recall that her name was Mimi or Mimmi. I remember the name because I thanked her for validating what I had reported based on feedback from fellow travelers.

  • We were on the tour in October -Lisbon to Madrid. We chose the Vinho Verde bicycle tour which was one of our favorite things on this trip. We traveled on a former railroad track that was recently converted to a bicycle path that went through beautiful countryside and vineyards. (a very wide path) Afterwards, we walked to a local pub (with beautiful views) where Tauck treated us to a drink and special dessert. My husband and I are not cyclists and we had no trouble keeping up with the group. This was a leisurely bike ride with many stops along the way. We had three guides with us as well as a TD. One of them always stayed at the end of the group in case anyone needed assistance. The bikes are fitted to each person according to their height. You get a helmet, water and snacks to have along the way. There are storage baskets to keep your belongings in. It was a great excursion, not to be missed!

    I forgot to mention that there is a van with the bicycle trailer that stays close in case anyone gets tired or decides they don't want to ride anymore. So you have an option to ride in the van at any time:)

  • Mimi, can I assume the path is relatively flat? The description of the excursion I got included a stop in Amarante. Did you stop there? If so is there much to see or do? We like to bike but most often it's just on our home gym version. This sounds like fun.

  • The path is smooth, but there are a few easy inclines. We did stop in Amarante (that's where the bike trip ended) at a restaurant for a special treat on Tauck. They also had clean restrooms for us to use. We had our snack on the outdoor terrace and enjoyed the views. It was a quick stop without time for anything else.

  • edited April 2022

    Thanx Mimi. We enjoyed our bike ride on the Danube. We're so looking forward to this cruise plus the time in Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona. I've been doing loads of reading about the food, architecture,history, etc.

    kfnknfzk, I do appreciate your inputs on this tour but also like to hear from others as well. We all have different views, experience and preferences so it's nice to hear from multiple sources.

  • Agreed. I was just trying to help thinking that perhaps you would remember which thread I was referring to since I could not recall. Enjoy your trip. I hope you like it as much as I did.

  • It's a great trip! One of our favorites! And the best Scylla crew of any Tauck river cruise we've done. The entire staff knew all of the guests names by the 2nd day. They went our of their way to make our trip so memorable. The Tauck director and guides were great as well. Please tell Jeremy, Inkan and Joah hello! They were awesome! The food and wine was also amazing! We may do this one again some day. I look forward to hearing about your experience Claudia.

  • Our Scylla crews on the Treasure and Espirit back in 2019 were excellent as well. I loved how they included and highlighted local foods on the menu. I hope the staffing and supply issues they're having are resolved by the time we sail.

    And yes, I usually write detailed reviews for those who like them.

  • Looking forward to cycling in the Douro Valley and your review Claudia. We travel mid June - Eastward - Lisbon to Madrid

  • Patrice, we aren't until Oct so I'll look forward to your's. Same direction though.

  • edited April 2022

    Six hours for 13 miles? An experienced cyclists can easily ride 15 MPH or more. There must be a lot of stops for that bike ride.

    Even if they rode 13MPH that's only one hour for the ride. If they rode 6 MPH, which is crawling on a bike (10 minutes per mile, which is a slow jog), that would only be a bit more than 2 hours. There must be more to that excursion than just a bike ride.

  • MikeHenderson, we will find out in a few weeks when we do this bike ride on our westbound Douro trip. I will share our experience after the trip.

  • Gafly, great. I'll look forward to your report. And anything else about the cruise. In particular whether the food offerings feature Spanish and Portuguese specialities.

  • edited April 2022

    @gafly26482: Thanks. I'd really like to hear your report. There are a couple of bike excursions on a future tour we're on and I'd like to know more about them.

  • Mike, you might want to specify which ones. Several of us have taken them so you might get your questions answered.

  • I will report after my June Douro cruise- including the bike ride. I cycled twice on the guided tours for the Savoring France Cruise (Avignon and Les Baux to Arles) There were stops along the way where the guide pointed out cultural and historical information. Stops also for a simple picnic - tastings and drink. We were not rushed. The route was not a challenge. Just one small area (70 feet?) of large gravel and bumps in the terrain where the guide suggested walking with the bicycles if we were not comfortable cycling. The local guide lead and our Tauck director stayed in the rear. Slower cyclists had several opportunities to catch up with the group during the rest stops. I also rode solo 2 times during late afternoon free time-- Bicycle path along the river in Lyon and also through the towns of Tain l"Hermitage and across the pedestrian/bicycle bridge to Tournon. I hope the Douro is a similar experience.

  • Patrice, I look forward to seeing what the bike ride is like for you, and I hope they don’t change it just because we were met with a surprise trail section closure and detour UP a cobblestone street and on to a “main” road with more hills and curves. It was handled safely with the bike van following the last rider. Now then, my lungs were screaming at me for not having taken my bike out but once this year. We earned that beer/wine and pastry at the cafe in Amarante and bragging rights as we laughed about the Portuguese meaning of “downhill.” Many of us walked up a couple sections. Well-maintained, very heavy bikes with upright handlebars, gears and handbrakes as well as a storage pack and helmets. At home I ride with clips on a much lighter bike, and I will make sure to get some short training rides in before a bike trip next time to be better prepared.
    Amarante is lovely and worth the trip. Don’t count on too many scenic views from the bike trail since it is on an old rail bed lined by trees. Look up the Tâmega Ecotrail; we started at the Gatão station and rode to Amarante. I won’t reveal the humorous surprise related to an annual festival in Amarante early June. Hope you love the Douro trip as much as we did.

  • Gafly - you are a peach! Such helpful information. I will get out on my bicycle today to start training! Our cycling excursion is scheduled for June 20. I told my group fitness class instructors Wed-Thurs-Fri that they have seen me for the last time until July. I want to stay Covid free until my PCR test that is required to board for the flight to Portugal. I think my legs are ready due to all the squats and lunges but probably need more cardio work - LOL.

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