Category Archives: “On the road again”

Portugal: 5 Days By Bike From Porto To Coimbra

5 Days By Bike From Porto To Coimbra

Accompanied by a friend keen on cycling, I accepted the challenge of spending 5 days by bike – in fact 4 days actually pedaling – from the north of Portugal, Porto to the center, Coimbra. Or 180.7 km in 4 days! Hello! Far from being a great sportswoman, I had never done even more than 10-20 km in a day: the exceptional bike ride! In short I knew nothing about it and so much the better (lol)!

I was recommended for more comfort, an electric bike. My friend preferred a traditional bicycle. I’ll stop you right away: we also pedal on an electric bike! It’s not a moped, lol! Certainly less difficult than a real bike, but we pedal anyway! And I can say it remains physical, especially if you do it for 5 hours straight.

So that this challenge takes place in a pleasant way, without having to think about practical details, such as: what do we do with our luggage each morning (because we sleep each night in a different place)? Etc … The VOS Travel agency specializing in bicycle trips, organized our trp: starting with the route mainly on cycle paths in beautiful landscapes, our bikes with local assistance (we received a phone with an emergency number). And of course, our flights, hotels and restaurants. 

One of our bikes is equipped with a GPS with our route recorded day by day. No more unnecessary maps, a simplified navigation! Awesome! In the morning, our luggage is transferred by taxi to our next hotel (from one town or village to another). Our breakfasts and dinners are also planned in advance. And we discover for ourselves picturesque restaurants where to have lunch on the way. What happiness! And a lot of sweat (lololol!) …

Pictures of the best times and locations of our bike trip below.

Day 1: The Arrival In Porto

Day 2: From Porto To Ovar (46,7 km)

Day 3: From Ovar To Aveiro (40 km)

Day 4: From Aveiro To Praia de Mira (40 km)

Day 5: From Praia de Mira To Coimbra (54 km)

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.vostravel.be

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to VOS Travel for this amaing invitation. As always these are my opinions.

5 jours à vélo de Porto à Coimbra

5 jours à vélo de Porto à Coimbra

Accompagnée d’un ami féru de vélo, j’ai accepté le challenge de passer 5 jours en vélo – en fait 4 jours à réellement pédaler – du nord du Portugal, Porto jusqu’au centre, Coimbra. Soit 180,7 km en 4 jours! Hello! Loin d’être une grande sportive, je n’avais jamais fait ne serait-ce que plus de 10-20 km : la promenade à vélo exceptionnelle! Bref je n’y connaissais rien et tant mieux (lol)!

On m’a recommandé pour plus de confort, un vélo électrique. Mon ami a préféré une bicyclette traditionnelle. Je vous arrête tout de suite : on pédale aussi sur un vélo électrique! Ce n’est pas une mobylette, lol! Certes moins difficile qu’un vrai vélo, mais on pédale quand même! Et je peux vous assurer que ça reste physique, surtout si vous en faites pendant 5h d’affilée.

Pour que ce challenge se déroule de manière agréable, sans avoir à penser aux détails purement pratiques, comme : que fait-on de nos bagages chaque matin, puisque nous dormons chaque soir dans un endroit différent? Etc… L’agence VOS Travel, spécialisée dans les voyages à bicyclette, a organisé notre séjour : à commencer par le parcours essentiellement sur pistes cyclables dans de magnifiques paysages, nos vélos avec une assistance locale (nous avons reçu un téléphone avec un numéro d’urgence). Sans oublier les vols, les hôtels et les restaurants.  

Un de nos vélo est équipé d’un GPS, avec notre route enregistrée jour par jour. Plus de carte inutile, une navigation simplifiée, fantastique! Le matin, nos bagages sont transférés par taxi jusqu’à notre prochain hôtel (d’une ville ou village, à l’autre). Nos petits déjeuners et dîners sont aussi planifiés à l’avance. A nous de découvrir de pittoresques restaurants où déjeuner en chemin. Que du bonheur! Et beaucoup de sueur (lololol!)…

Notre parcours en images ci-dessous.

Jour 1: l’arrivée à Porto

Jour 2: de Porto à Ovar (46,7 km)

Jour 3: d’Ovar à Aveiro (40 km)

Jour 4: d’Aveiro à Praia de Mira (40 km)

Jour 5: de Praia de Mira à Coimbra (54 km)

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.vostravel.be

Autres articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Un grand merci à VOS Travel pour cette superbe invitation. Comme toujours, ce sont mes opinions.

Switzerland, Graubünden: From Davos To Valposchiavo

On My Way To Davos

First Stop In Chur

After a short flight from Brussels to Zurich, I’m on the train to Davos, via Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland (over 5000 years old) and capital of Graubünden. My second trip to this awesome Swiss canton: the first time, I was in Lenzerheide and Arosa

I only stop a few hours in Chur to discover the old town. It is snowing a lot! I won’t complain, cause I also came for the snow! My basic city tour is promising. I guess in spring and summer, it should be very nice to visit the old town with its small medieval streets and monuments.   

Hello Davos!

A Sport Walk In The Schatzalp Strela Ski Resort

Hello Davos! What a light and spectacular view this morning! I arrived the previous evening in Davos, where I took a small (shuttle) train to go up to the Hotel Schatzalp. This old sanatorium was made famous by Thomas Mann (the author of “Death in Venice” novel adapted to the screen by Visconti). 

Hotel departure around 9:45 am for a quite physical walk of 2 hours on the Wässerfall Rundgang route. We walk in fresh powder snow, because the narrow path has not yet been groomed. Last night a lot of snow fell!

I am euphoric. Lunch at the Restaurant Strela Alp, enjoying the terrace overlooking ski slopes and for dessert a pie selection. 

A Spa Afternoon

Long spa session at the really cool Hard Rock Hotel Davos (photo on the left below): the rooms, trendy young clientele and general atmosphere suit me more than the Hotel Schatzalp. The hotel is located in the center of Davos, so we stayed in town the evening too. We had a Thai fusion dinner at the very good Monta Grill Restaurant of the Grischa hotel (photo on the right below).  

The Old Sanatorium

If you consider that a hotel is an experience that allows above all to test different universes, then welcome to the Hotel Schatzalp. Ideally located in the middle of majestic mountains covered with fir trees. The panorama is superb. The view, THE VIEW! But I found the facilities and furnitures dated. The hotel was originally a luxurious sanatorium, built between 1898 and 1900, in Art Deco style. A past greatness. 

From Davos To Alp Grüm

On The Panoramic Bernina Express Train

After two nights in Davos, I take a first Rhaetian Railway train from Davos Platz to Filisur, then the famous Bernina Express with panoramic windows from Filisur to Alp Grüm. Breathtaking landscapes! Glaciers, frozen lake, an ocean of snow covers the summits, under an azure sky and a blazing sun. I am amazed and stop at the terminus: the Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm

My “Must” Stay

L’Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm

Suffice to say that I liked everything of this old train station nestled at 2091m and transformed into a restaurant, terrace and hotel, with a very comfortable modern simple interior design. Far from any village and with a 360 degree view of Val Poschiavo, the Alps and the Vadret da Palü glacier.

This place is just magical! Getting lost in contemplation … Below, photos from my bedroom window, at different times of the noght and day. I recommend you to make the reservation of your room well in advance, because there are few rooms.  

Intense Snowshoeing

Arrived at the Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm in the middle of the day, we took an aperitif on the terrace, then had lunch. In the afternoon, supervised by our guide Romeo Lardi, we go snowshoeing near the Lago Bianco.

I have snowshoeed several times, but this outing is really intense. Our guide is indestructible! It goes up, it goes down, the fast constant pace. I focus on my breathing and the white ocean of snow. I feel good, happiness …

On My Way Back

Albula

This morning, I take the train to Zurich airport. Leaving Alp Grüm, I stop at the picturesque village of Albula. While walking, I look at the pretty facades and an old palace very well renovated. Beautiful village! 

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.MySwitzerland.com, www.graubuenden.ch, www.churtourismus.ch, www.davos.ch, www.klosters.chwww.valposchiavo.ch, www.swiss.com, www.rhb.ch

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thnaks to My Switzerland, the different tourism boards, the Raethian Railway and Swiss for this beautiful invitation. As always these are my opinions.