Biking in Portugal - Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2018

Traveler: Deborah B. - Local specialist: António Gavinho

Whilst i did not have to do much organising (just added myself and a friend to the original plan) i found that the KimKim team were excellent to interact and communicate with. My only complaint is that on the first two nights I was given a room made up as a double bed (who has instructed it to be this way??), the first night Nancy and i managed but the second night i asked for the beds to be separated - this was not possible but could be done (with a sigh and "is that necessary" )on the third night. I then rang and asked that all following hotels be changed to have single beds in the rooms - this was done.
The tour itself was very well organised and despite the 4 of us arriving at different times from different destinations our first meeting with our guide Diogo went very well. Diogo went out of his way to take us somewhere interesting for our lunch whilst on route to our accommodation. We visited a small 'fair' and sampled local food and wine. He suggested local foods to try during our stay and was very knowledgeable about the area we were visiting. He assisted us in setting us up with our bikes and gear - a very pleasant service.
Accommodation:
*Monte Prado Hotel & Spa - superb, excellent restaurant, friendly staff
*Pousada de Valenca - another superb hotel - we were given a glass of bubbles upon arrival (very nice touch). Apart from the bed situation, staff were pleasant, food was excellent.
* Hotel Design and Wine - would NOT recommend this hotel - for its rooms. Rooms had no natural airflow (due to how windows/doors opened), air con operating made musty smell even worse and we were concerned that air con would NOT be good for health. Mentioned to staff but nothing was offered as "all rooms were booked". Nancy has asthma and did not enjoy our room at all. We asked to sit outside in our cycling gear as our rooms were not ready upon arrival and this was also frowned upon. We did not want to sit in the restaurant when we were hot and not dressed as per the standard, however the staff did allow us to join garden furniture together to sit and eat and drink whilst we waited.
*Casa Melo Alvim Hotel - superb - staff excellent and could not do more to help us. Food was excellent, staff excellent, location excellent. Top rate hotel.
*Inlima Hotel & Spa - superb. Staff helpful although not much on offer to eat when we arrived (wine and potatoes chips), great location, good breakfast.
*Hotel Teatro - superb hotel (even though my eyes struggled with the light). Friendly and helpful staff, great location, excellent breakfast.

Tour: i very much enjoyed the cycling - did not find it too difficult (as i haven't done much more than a few kilometres each day since leaving NZ where i regularly cycled). The couple of BIG hills on the first day (going to visit the Castle ) did make me wonder if i should have booked an E-bike, but other than then i managed with grinding through the gears to get up the hills. The routes were absolutely wonderful - road riding, alongside the river, along tracks, cobbled roads, through towns - so much variety and enabled us to see so much more. The only track that we found difficult was along the beach front (Moledo) as the sand was too heavy for cycling through so we took a road route and joined track further on. The last day riding alongside farmers fields was interesting and quiet but also enjoyable. I think the variety of riding was a good idea so as to not be bored with it.
Our final guide was Carlos who collected us and took us to Porto - gave us great recommendations of places to go and eat (and see a Faldo show), he also was a wealth of knowledge for the area and tours.

i would definitely recommend this trip to anyone and would love to do it again.