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“3 day King's coast tour - great experience”

Blue Coast Bikes Day Tours
Ranked #13 of 20 Tours in Setubal
Reviewed November 19, 2012

My boyfriend and I booked this tour through the web and it was a wonderful way to see Portugal and get some exercise along the way. We had a bit of difficulty arranging the trip as the website had been hacked, the phone number didn't work, and their email was "down" - tripple whammy but we pursued and were able to book the tour. Paula was out of town during our trip but arranged to have someone meet us at the starting point. The trip itself was amazing and there were a number of great stopping points/tours/etc along the way. This was our first bike adventure in a foreign country and if we did it over would have opted for a guide as we aren't great with maps and there were so many ruins and other sites along the way that we wish we knew more about. The hotels/castles were wonderful and all our belongings were waiting at the castles upon our arrival. We brought along an ipad with GPS service which helped a great deal to navigate through the roads and trip. It indeed is a great experience and I would highly recommend it - if you've never done a trip like this before I would definitely opt for a guide and someone who speaks the language. But, overall, a great experience and a beautiful country.

1  Thank AllParkCityRentals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 26, 2011

I would recommend this company to anyone! I went to Setubal with a group of friends, which was a good starting point for exploring the rest of Portugal

- We enjoyed a good level of communication prior to the trip

- We opted for a greater degree of flexibility within our group, as we already had places we wanted to visit. Aaron and Paula were on hand, offering a wealth of information about routes, places to visit and just about anything we could ask about!

- Seeing the country by bicycle meant that we interacted with a lot of friendly people on the way. It made the trip very memorable indeed.

- We found Portugal to be a very safe place for cyclists, and also a beautiful country to cycle. We feel like we saw it all - coastal roads, the interior, cities, Roman towns, hills, flats, wildlife etc.

2  Thank R T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2011

Blue Coast Bikes of Portugal offers a variety of bike tours, ranging from single day to multi-day tours across different regions of Portugal. During September 2011, my husband and I opted to participate in the "Ports of Tradition" cycling trip through the Douro River region in northern Portugal. We travelled during September during the harvest of the grapes and cycling through the Douro Valley gave us a true appreciation of the unique region (the demarcation zones) where the grapes that are used to make Port wine are grown and harvested.

Cycling each day allowed us to slowly take in this beautiful and amazing region, see parts of the area rarely visited by tourists and to learn about the history and traditions of Portugal. I would HIGHLY recommend Blue Coast Bikes to anyone wishing to cycle in Portugal...or if you are travelling to Portugal would recommend this company to everyone wanting a unique travel experience.

My husband and I are in our 40's, parents of active children, have done some travel cycling before and are of average fitness levels...however, we found this cycling trip to be very manageable! Even the ascents out of the Douro Valley were manageable. The best part though...is that there is always a support vehicle nearby, so if there is a part of the trip that you want to ride in the jeep for...I imagine that the guides would quickly pack you and your bike into the jeep and drive you to the next destination. We understand that the company is able to accommodate cycling groups from 2-8 (or even higher) people...we lucked out and were offered the 'honeymoon' package and our tour was personalized for just my husband and myself.

Company & Owners. Blue Coast Bikes is owned and operated by Paula Lacerda and Aaron Gafner, two architects living south of Lisbon. Both Paula and Aaron are fluent in Portuguese and English and their passion and love of Portugal is what truly makes this a unique experience. Throughout the trip, they were both so willing to share their knowledge of Portuguese customs, history, traditions...and to even teach us some Portuguese words! We were fortunate to have the opportunity to share several wonderful meals with our guides, this really made the trip for us!

Trip Experience: This company understands luxury biking! Before arriving in Portugal, they made all of the reservations in wonderful 4-5 star hotels! Each night when we arrived at the hotels, Paula had already ensured that we were checked in and that it was arranged for our luggage (and our increasing number of bottles of Port wine) to be delivered to our room. How wonderful to also be greeted in each hotel room with a carafe of Port and two glasses! A nice way to end the day....and start the evening.

Paula has done a tremendous amount of research into selecting the most amazing hotels. Our favourite was the Acqua Pura Spa hotel! We also had an opportunity to stay in one of the Pousadas of Portugal.

In planning our trip, Paula was always available to answer our questions beforehand. We appreciated receiving the trip itinerary before we left Canada and loved getting an additional copy, as well as cycling shirts and chocolates delivered to our hotel room on the night before our first day of cycling.

They also provide bike helmets, water bottles and very comfortable and well-tuned bikes. Another bonus is that with the support vehicle, small delicious treats...homemade breads and cakes, juicy oranges were always in good supply on those much needed rests during the cycling days! The trip begins when you are picked up at your hotel...and the guides were available throughout the entire week to address any needs or concerns we had! At the end of the week, they safely delivered us right back to our hotel.

-This trip includes daily cycling, but there is also a focus on integrating other local activities...including hiking, museum visits, boat rides, a day visit to a working vineyard, a fantastic wine tasting and tour of one of the wineries in the region.
-Bookings in fantastic 4-5 star hotels...all of which had pools...a perfect way to cool off after a day of cycling.
-Locating wonderful, family-owned restaurants to stop at for delicious lunches! They will also provide recommendations for dinner spots in each different location.

Again, we would highly recommend that anyone interested in cycling through Portugal review the wide range of options offered through Blue Coast Bikes. It was truly a 5 star experience, one that we would not hesitate to do again...next time though we might just opt for one of their tours of the coastline of Portugal!

3  Thank DrNurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BLUECOASTBIKES, Owner at Blue Coast Bikes Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2011

Dear DrNurse, it was our pleasure to welcome you to Portugal for a tour! Thank you for the in-depth review. We cannot begin to emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction, and therefore make it our number one priority! Thanks for the lovely memories taken from your tour... Best wishes, bcbt.

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