Stage 1. Lisboa – Vilafranca de Xira
LISBON – VILAFRANCA DE XIRA
We start by talking about the logistics of how to get to Lisbon and the peculiarities of this beautiful city to start the Camino de Santiago by bicycle.
Being the capital of Portugal, it goes without saying that its international airport is very easy to reach from anywhere in the world.
What will have to be taken into account is that the monumental or historical part of this city is of narrow streets and very old buildings. Most of the hotels and accommodations available in the central part of the city may have a lot of trouble receiving bicycles through transport agencies. For this reason we recommend arranging very well with the chosen accommodation the possibility that they can receive and store bicycles.
Whether we send our own bikes or request them for rent, this is a point of great importance.
At Bicigrino we have selected these 2 hotels as highly recommended for the start of the journey in Lisbon, both for different reasons.
HOTEL Olissippo Oriente . This 4-star hotel is located on the outskirts of Lisbon and in the new area specially built for the 1998 Expo (Parque de las Naciones) . We have chosen this hotel near the airport, also because it is in a wide and easy area for the delivery of bicycles, well connected to the center of Lisbon by public transport and, above all, important, the route of the Camino de Santiago passes a few meters from this hotel.
Residential pension Fonte Luminosa . In a cheaper version, this pension stands out above all for the good reviews from travelers and the possibility of receiving bicycles, which is what worries us the most. As we have previously indicated, we need a large and easily accessible place for the management of bicycle transport and this forces us to move a little away from the center of Lisbon. In the case of this accommodation, as a great advantage we have a metro station right outside the door.
Of course you can choose other accommodations at your convenience but above all take into account the logistics of the bikes and make sure before choosing the place that they confirm that they can safely receive and store the bikes.
And now we are going to start pedaling, we are going to start this unforgettable journey !!!
The easiest thing in this case to find the beginning and the first arrows to follow is to go to the SÉ DE LISBOA or what is the same the cathedral. Whether we have been touring the city before starting the journey, or if we have just arrived, finding the cathedral landmark should not be a problem.
Right on the facade of the cathedral we already find the first yellow arrows and official road signs. We went downhill through cobbled alleys and with euphoria and nerves on the surface. We are taking the road to the most genuine and typical neighborhood of the city as regards Fado (well-known Portuguese music), in this area are the main places where we can have a drink and listen to this melancholic and emotional music. In a brief and exciting transfer through alleys with an ancient and maritime atmosphere, it gradually brings us closer to the Parque de las Naciones area.
Little by little we will see that we are entering a more modern area, with a bike path and wide boulevards by the river. In the distance we will also see the imposing figure of the Vasco da Gama Bridge. Those who have stayed at HOTEL OLISSIPPO ORIENTE , if you have previously visited the cathedral you can comfortably start your way here.
The arrows will lead us under the Vasco de Gama bridge and will direct us to an area of dirt trails and reedbeds that will bring us closer to the town of SACAVÉM where we will have to be vigilant, as we are just exiting a highway (roundabout with a lot of traffic) you will have to cross that road, go a little bit along that same road and pay attention to the signs so as not to miss them because in this area there is a somewhat confusing turn on the same route (to the left) stops in this area (be careful traffic and cars) retake the path of the road, if we get lost or disoriented we will have to locate ourselves, we are in a wide valley through which a small river passes, we have to continue following the course of the river and leaving our right the houses and the population that we have just abandoned, we will advance through the valley with a hill overflown by planes to our right, (we are near the airport).
From this confusing area and once you have found the path of the path, along a winding and undulating path (careful with the mud in rainy seasons), the sandy path with car tracks will take us to a small town after passing two abandoned fifths.
We cycle alternating asphalt, dirt roads, we cross areas of junqueras, the small urban centers of Granja and Alpriate and we approach Póvoa de Santa Iria, a city with a lot of vehicle traffic and people transfer.
We will go through an ugly industrial estate (beware confused area in the industrial estate, look for the proximity of the river) and we will arrive at a kind of river park where it begins and a very nice path of wooden footbridges. We will go through these walkways to the vicinity of the train tracks (we will have them on our left) and very close to an airfield. It is in this place (airfield and train station) where we arrive at one of the first places of confusion that, by dint of doing it more times, we will get used to.
What is it about? , the arrows and signals, or the GPS tracks who carry it (highly recommended on this road) will deliver us to a train station. And the fact is that we will have to cross the train station by elevators or stairs to jump to the other side of the track. The path or our route has to go to the other side of the station and we will find this in many other places on this path.
We are already in ALVERCA DE RIBATEJO. Next to the train station there is a small shop where you can buy drinks or some food.
We continue to transit through the urban and industrial area and go towards the town of ALHANDRA where soon we will come across an easy pedaling path next to the river, this red-colored bike path that along with piers and beautiful river walks will present us on the horizon the silhouette of our final destination: VILAFRANCA DE XIRA, this city is recognizable by the silhouette of a large factory and a bridge in the background that crosses the Tagus river estuary.
Those who stay the night in VILAFRANCA DE XIRA will be able to wander around looking for their accommodation, and those who go to the recommended place (the LEZIRIA PARQUE HOTEL hotel) will have to move a little further and leave the town behind, the hotel it is on a hill to the left of the road and shortly after having passed the bridge. This hotel is in the municipal district of POVOS and a few kilometers from VILAFRANCA. Very cozy, bike-ready and recommended.
Reflection on the Stage
It may be a short or low mileage stage.
Perhaps it is so, If someone dares they could try to get to AZAMBUJA, but be very careful in that city there are not many lodging alternatives.
Why have we chosen VILAFRANCA DE XIRA as the final destination of this stage? And with only 42 kms ??
Because from the experience we have with the different roads and layouts of the Camino de Santiago we know that the first day is always a day of nerves, of adjustments to the bicycle, of possible delays, etc. For this reason, our philosophy is to advise that excessive kilometers are not done in this first stage in order not to stress excessively and have a good stage.
Also in this area, the accommodation in good condition does not abound and between this city and Azambuja there are not many other options, so we either stay here or we go to this other town.
|Albergue en Lisboa|
Pousada de Juventude
R. Andrade Corvo, 461050-009 Lisboa
Tel: 21 353 26 96
Fax: 21 353 75 41
|Albergue en Lisboa|
Pousada de Juventude
Parque das Naçoes
Rua de Moscavide, 471998-011 Lisboa
Tel: 21 892 08 90
Fax: 21 892 08 91E-mail: email@example.com
|Albergue en Alverca do Ribatejo|
BV de Alverca do Ribatejo
R.- Bombeiros Voluntários
2615-052 Alverca do Ribatejo
Tel: 219 581 551
Fax: 219 571 078 / 219 578 519
|Albergue en Alhandra|
BV de Alhandra
Rua Vasco da Gama, Nº 582600-529 Alhandra
Tel: 219 500 021
Fax: 219 501 397
|Albergue en Vila Franca de Xira|
BV de Vila Franca de Xira
Rua Antonio Lucio Batista
2600-102 Vila Franca de Xira
Tel: 263 280 650
Fax: 263 280 657/9
En Lisboa ante una dificultad tenéis estos talleres de bicicletas disponibles :
(Tienda especializada en E-bikes)
Zona Parque de las Naciones
Passeio de Neptune lote 2.01.01
F, Loja 221990-192 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: 263 280 650
TV. do Adro 2G1800-033 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: 263 280 650
Estr. de Benfica 4001500-080 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: +351 217 742 549