I visited Portugal to extend my summer before the days in Amsterdam become wet and gray. Lisbon was the destination and a bike tour was first on the agenda.
The tour was provided by Lisbon Bike Tours. We met our group at the top of Parque Eduardo VII and received our multi-speed bikes equipped with front shocks. Helmets were optional but water was graciously accepted by everyone.
The 4 hour tour began on one of the longest descending inclines I’ve ever rode into the heart of the city. We made short stop in downtown where we were offered a ginjinha, a portuguese liqueur made by infusing ginja berries (sour cherry) in alcohol. Another pit stop was at an old café where we sampled custard pastry.
The tour continued along the Tagus River. Lisbon is dominated by car culture but there is a transition phase taking place to incorporate bicycle infrastructure. We took advantage of these paths making it effortless to reach our stops. The ride was completely flat and the bike shocks were useful for rolling over cobbled streets in the old part of town.
Our guide was personable and friendly. At times the history lesson was just too much to take in as we were bombarded with facts, often without context of looking at something. While I think it’s important to know something about the city, I prefer to read about history in length on Wikipedia before passing out in my hotel room.
Overall the tour was quite varied and most worthwhile. For a few hours, it’s the best way to immerse yourself in this historic city. Our guide also offered some suggestions on places to eat and where to enjoy some fine vino, which was the perfect conclusion to our afternoon in Lisbon.