Stage 5. Coimbra – Albargaria a Velha
Coimbra – Albargaria a Velha
If we have slept in Hotel Oslo as we recommend in the previous stage, we will only have to go out onto the street and proceed along the large avenue that passes right through the door.
If we have stayed at some other place in Coimbra we will have to guide ourselves by going down to the river and looking for the nearby and very visible railway station. To locate ourselves we should be on AVENUE FERNÄO DE MAGALÄES and for this coming we must move forward leaving the train station behind us and with the river on our left until we reach a knot of roads and bridge where we will have to turn left to look for proximity from the river and AVENIDA MARGINAL, which will bring us closer to a junction with the N 111-1 roundabout, and from there we turn right to pass in front of a large parking area.
So on the flat and on the asphalt we pass the nearby towns of PREDÜLA and ADÉMIA where the first tack of the stage awaits us…, 3 km of hard climb passing halfway through FORNOS and on reaching TROUXEMIL (luckily we climbed by asphalt).
This whole area is asphalt and relatively urbanized where small urban centers and groups of houses will be happening.
We rested a bit in terms of the slope (it will not last long) and soon we went back up strongly to SANTA LUZIA where we already glimpsed an area of countryside and forest. Shortly after this population we touch the first stretch of land. On the way down we go in the direction of MALA, be careful in this area of land because there are a couple of crossroads without indications (keep straight).
We lined up LENDIOSA, we left VIMIEIRA on our left (there is a bar in a green area with a picnic area where we can regain strength, we will pass in front following the arrows: (VIA ROMANA II).
If we have regained strength and have become hydrated, we can already take the direction of MEALHADA, when we arrive at this city we cross a sports area between two soccer fields and we come across the train station, where we meet our beloved obstacle again of the railway and the little game of crossing the station to be able to go to the other side. Luckily in this case there are some practical ramps that will allow us to effortlessly cross to the other side. We will advance along the main street of MEALHADA until we come across a large urban park that we will cross inside looking for a climb and SERDANELO where a small stretch of land that crossing a forest of eucalyptus and pine trees will leave us in ALPALHAO.
We cross ALPALHAO through its streets comfortably and, on the outskirts, take a path to the left that will return us to the ground along a forest path that will take us to a roundabout that is the prelude to the sports area of ANADÍA. on asphalt and we cross several roundabouts to reach the center of this small and very dispersed population.
We are in a sawtooth area, small slopes and small descents and we move forward. Thus we headed towards AGUEDA (km 50 of today’s stage) but to get there we will pass before by the small towns of ALFELOAS, AVELAS DE CAMINHO in this place and before entering a large city as it will be the next AGUEDA it is recommended to do the main meal of the day and on our trip to this place we found a very good restaurant that we recommend and that is this:
Casa Queirós Restaurant
R. da Eira 2537, 3780-351 Avelãs de Caminho, Portugal
FGHW + QJ Avelãs de Caminho, Portugal
+351 234 741 259
* It is on the main road very close to the road. *
If we have stopped to eat we continue our particular journey through the small towns of SAO JOAO DA AZENHA, AGUADA DE BAIXO, VALO DO GROU …, and thus we will transfer these small towns close to each other and with certain services where little by little we approach AGUEDA …, with this we will be reaching the deep valley that forms the river pass of the same name as the city “Agueda”.
As every time we reach a river we will go downhill and promise ourselves happy and like every time we leave a river behind we will have a climb and in this case the ramps through the streets of a large and populous city like AGUEDA are they will make us heavy. The kilometers weigh and this area with a lot of traffic, confusing junctions, roundabouts, hard and prolonged climbs, become a dangerous mix of events that will force us to make an extra effort and also take extreme precautions to avoid getting lost and not to suffer an accident. .
The climb (3 kms more or less) will leave us in a kind of plateau or plateau that for about 6 kms will give us a break in terms of the climb but not in terms of the stress and the transfer of cars that the go through an excessively urbanized and industrialized area.
In PEDAÇAES, once this truce plateau is over, we have a dizzying descent of a couple of kilometers and we will now approach a wooded and rural area … but be careful, there are ramps with very hard and demanding climbs. LAMAS DO VOUGA area is a complicated area that will make us give it our all. Luckily, we will do the hardest climbs on asphalt along the layout of the IC2 national road until we reach a junction with an idyllic and photogenic place…, after a steep descent we will reach a river with a stone bridge path and a kind of backwater of the very nice river with a church in the background .., for sure here we will stop to take photos and rest a bit…, we will cross the national road below and take a steep slope towards SEREM DE CIMA which, as its name indicates, is on the “Top of a mountain. Cheer up !!, a last effort that there is little left to reach the top and to finish this hard stage.
Once this small urbanization of SEREM DE CIMA is over, we will find ourselves facing a forest path with what had been a lush eucalyptus forest and that in my last step (September 2019) was recently burned and affected by a large fire from the which unfortunately happen in this area very often.
In this area we will already be in the anteroom of ALBERGARIA A VELHA where we will arrive through these mountains of forest tracks and then downhill to take the asphalt and access its urban core through avenues and wide streets. ALBERGARÍA A VELHA is a wide and very scattered city, its houses are very scattered and the different places far from each other.
Luckily and in case we need it, in the first houses of ALBARGARIA we will find a very well-attended bicycle shop and although modest the staff is very willing to help and solve anything we need:
R. Dom Dinis nº36,
3850-037 Albergaria-a-Velha, Portugal
+351 910 096 872
ALBERGARIA A VELHA also has the peculiarity that this place, even though it is an important city in the area, does not have enough hotels or accommodation of acceptable quality. Almost the entire accommodation offer is based on a very simple quality roadside hostel, guest house and motel. Throughout this area it is difficult to find accommodation and due to the length of the stage it is recommended to take special care to book in the few places that there are to sleep and settle for the quality of the hotel establishments as there are no better possibilities in the vicinity.
Luckily, not everything has to be bad expectations, but gastronomically, due to my memory and my own experience in this place, there is one of the best typical and genuine Portuguese restaurants that, in addition to a good price, offers PICANHA in the style of Brazil (with espeto) and that is a real delight if you like meat. Here is the restaurant information that is highly recommended:
Solar do Condado Restaurant
3850-126 Albergaria-a-Velha, Portugal
+351 234 527 961
Reflection on the Stage
Long stage and passing through many towns and some areas with a lot of car. The reflection that follows can serve in general for the entire Portuguese road and is that this road stands out mainly for the great attraction of its cities and not so much for the road we have to travel or travel until we reach them.
The road or the daily pedaling we must take as a challenge or a particular introspection as to what we can enjoy pedaling and doing kilometers …, but we will not find dazzling landscapes or milestones during the tour that especially call us the Attention. For the most part, the road will be monotonous to us, because within days it will give us the feeling that what we travel sounds as if we have seen it before. But I insist, the cities we will visit have a dazzling charm, at a tourist level they are exceptional places.
For this reason, we recommend on this way to program the stages well so that the stops are in places that are worth visiting and getting to know in depth, as this is really its main attraction.
Today’s stage is tough and luckily we rested yesterday in part in Coimbra. If we heed the recommendations we will have fully enjoyed such a beautiful city.
Today’s journey, as we discussed, will be mostly by asphalt and as we get closer to Porto it will become more urbanized and populated. So this will be the keynote of today’s stage and it will be up to us to fully enjoy it.
Another reflection to make and already mentioned in the description of the stage is that the destination is the least bad possible because there are not many places to stop in that area and ALBERGARIA A VELHA does not stand out precisely for being a very touristy and equipped place with good hotels. It could be said that it is a necessary link stage to connect Coimbra with Porto and that we will have to do and enjoy because for that we make the way …;)
Accommodations in Albargaria a Velha
Albargaria a Velha is not one of the best places on the Portuguese way to stop because it does not have good hotel establishments. Although decent places to sleep are not the best of the whole way and are very simple and discreet. Get used to the idea that the accommodations will be very humble and simple.
I even dare to say that the ESTALAGEM DOS PADRES accommodation, which is a hostel type, is the best accommodation of the three proposed.
On the contrary, in this city there is one of the best restaurants that we could enjoy on our tour. SOLAR OR CONDADO, Portuguese food and what makes it really special is the special menu of PICANHA in the Brazilian style that is a real delight. It is highly recommended to book and not miss the opportunity to dine at this place.
N1, 3050-382 Mealhada, Portugal
Tel: +351 231 107 049
|Ride My Bike Agueda|
R. Joaquim Valente de Almeida,
3750-154 Águeda, Portugal
Tel: +351 234 092 712
*Carretera N1 al final del pueblo*
R. Dom Dinis nº36,
3850-037 Albergaria-a-Velha, Portugal
Tel: +351 910 096 872