cycling alentejo

I just finished up a week of biking around the Alentejo region of Portugal, on a tour with Bike Tours Direct of the USA and Turaventur of Portugal. (Watch for a story later in Perceptive Travel.)

Sometimes you can’t hit a country at the exact right time because of school or work schedules, but when you do, it’s a glorious thing. I’ll let the photos do the talking, but to say I saw a few million flowers would be a gross underestimate. This was an especially rainy winter in Portugal and that translated to plenty of wildflowers in the spring. As in a record number of them.

So not only was I biking along country roads at the perfect time weather wise (pleasant warm weather, not too hot, no rain), but I got a big floral bonus on top. Clean air perfumed by roses. And orange blossoms. And dozens of different fragrant flowers.

In the Alentejo region of Portugal, there’s not much traffic either, especially mid-week in the spring. So much of the time the only sounds were chirping birds. When a rare car was coming, I heard it well in advance.

Later I’ll do a post on prices in Portugal. It’s a good deal all around for mid-range travelers, especially compared to the rest of Western Europe. Backpackers have a lot of advantages here, but have to work at it a bit on finding cheap places to eat out.

We were on the Castles and Wine tour in Alentejo, so I can tell you the wine here is a real steal. One of the best values I’ve seen anywhere in the world. And a lot of the castles are free. More on that later…