It unfolds through the Douro River valley – declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO - and one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world. The route showcases an unforgettable landscape, with the lush greenery of the Minho region during the annual grape harvest and the beauty of early autumn.
The most competitive cyclists enjoy timed segments at each stage allowing them to fight for the ranking in each stage and for the final victory in Ride Across Portugal – men and women classifications.
This more inclusive format allows cyclists to compete while still having time and freedom to socialise, regroup, stop at feed stations, ride with friends, pause, and take photos.
September 23rd to 27th, 2024, taking advantage of the grape harvest season in this region and the milder late summer climate in Portugal
Participants will stay in the finest hotels in each destination city, carefully chosen for optimal recovery after each day's stage.
Over 5 days, riders will traverse the most beautiful roads of Northern Portugal. These 5 stages not only challenge your cycling fitness but also engage your senses, immersing you in the diverse landscape and culture of a region declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Varied between undulating roads and some iconic climbs, but without major mountain challenges, the 5 stages cover a total of 500 km with 9,500 m of accumulated elevation gain.
PORTO - RÉGUA
113Km/70mi › 2070m D+
The first stage of the RADouro-Minho is a celebration to Port wine, the nectar that has spread the name of Portugal throughout the world. Starting from the city that gave it its name and finishing in Peso da Régua, this first stage takes place entirely along the banks of the Douro River, but in the opposite direction to what boats did in the past. Back then, they transported wine barrels from the vineyards planted on the rugged banks of the river to the mouth in the city of Porto.
The stage doesn't have major climbs; however, the successive ups and downs may take a toll by the end of the day, requiring good recovery for the more mountainous stages that participants will face in the following days.
Throughout this first stage, where the Douro River will shape the landscape, cyclists will cross through some emblematic localities of this region, as well as some of the most iconic tributaries that flow into the Douro River.
The city of Peso da Régua, considered by many as the capital of the Douro Valley, will host the finish of this first stage.
RÉGUA - MONDIM DE BASTO
92Km/57mi › 2680m D+
The beginning of the second stage is marked by the first major ascent of the day, taking participants from Peso da Régua to the highlands of the Marão and Alvão mountain ranges. Although not extremely steep, it is a long climb. The setting is magnificent, with the slopes covered by vineyards in what is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
Upon reaching the summit, it's time to descend along what is certainly one of the most beautiful roads in Portugal. The EN 304 offers the perfect blend of a winding and challenging route with a breathtaking landscape.
The second significant challenge of the day is the ascent leading to one of the iconic spots in the Serra do Avão, the Fisgas do Ermelo waterfall. The steeper gradients will appeal to climbers.
During the long descent to Mondim de Basto, everyone can regain strength for the final challenge - the conquest of Alto da Srª da Graça, where the finish line of this second stage is located. The climb to Senhora da Graça is one of the most mythical ascents for cyclists in Portugal, hosting some of the most decisive duels year after year in various editions of the Volta a Portugal (Tour of Portugal).
MONDIM DE BASTO - CANIÇADA
85Km/53mi › 2000m D+
The start of the third stage is framed by the typical landscape of the Minho region, following a route that connects Mondim de Basto to Cabeceiras de Basto, where the first major challenge of the day begins.
A long climb, traced along a spectacular valley, takes participants to the village of Salto, already in the Barroso region, before joining the EN 103 road, another of the most iconic roads in our country. This road is designed like a balcony along the banks of the Cávado River and the successive bodies of water, forming mirror-like reservoirs, created by a series of dams constructed along this river.
Before the final descent toward the river and Caldas do Gerês, the ascent to Serra da Cabreira will reward participants with spectacular views of the Peneda Gerês National Park, which will be the grand backdrop for the stage the following day.
CANIÇADA - MONÇÃO
112Km/69mi › 2540m D+
This is the Queen Stage of RADouro-Minho, where the spectacular roads and landscapes traversed will be the well-deserved reward for the challenges that the entire peloton will face.
Mapped along some of Portugal's most spectacular mountain roads, this stage will venture into Spain, taking participants to the heart of the Peneda Gerês National Park. The passage by the waters of the Caniçada Dam and through Caldas do Gerês will set the tone for what follows, with the challenging ascent to Portela do Homem, where the peloton will cross the border to enter Spain. The road, ascending in a challenging succession of curves, is framed by one of Portugal's most preserved forested areas, with Mata de Albergaria (located near the end of the climb) shining as one of the most valuable natural monuments in our country.
The thermal village of Loivos, with its hot springs, is the main reference point for the passage through Spain before the route re-enters Portugal at the border located near the shores of the Lindoso Dam, then delving into the mountain roads of the Peneda Range, surrounded by the rugged landscape that characterises this region.
MONÇÃO - VIANA DO CASTELO
96Km/59mi › 1470m D+
The last stage of the RADouro-Minho is a journey through some of the best landscapes of the Alto Minho Region, where mountains, rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean merge with the typical vineyards of the Vinho Verde Region, making it one of the best cycling destinations in Portugal.
About 10 km after leaving the town of Monção, the only major challenge of the day begins. A long climb with moderate slopes precedes the passage through the town of Paredes de Coura.
The several kilometers along National Road 301, along the banks of the Coura River, will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of this stage, preceding the arrival in the beautiful town of Caminha, located at the mouth of the Minho River.
The concluding section of the stage unfolds alongside the coastline, on a practically flat route, leading the peloton to the city of Viana do Castelo, which hosts the final arrival of the RADouro-Minho where everyone can celebrate the conquest of this challenge.