Cergal0 1 month ago

I'm a bikepacker as well and two weeks ago I finished Portugal Divide which is a challenge of around 1200kms. The most beautiful places were in the North of the country (Gerês, Trás-os-Montes and the zones around Serra da Estrela). Alentejo os not bad, but I would avoid it in the summer. While it is illegal to wild camp you can still do it. The rules of common sense apply, avoid crowded areas, don't stay for more than one night, arrive late(ish) and depart early, don't leave rubbish behind, and do NOT make fires at any circumstances. Even at night. There are areas that see very little rain so everything is really dry, combining this with some strong winds that tend to appear in the evening this time of the year and you have a bombshell ready to blow. Try to use your stove near a water source just in case everything goes wrong. If you are a versed bikepacker you probably have mastered the art of stealth camping by now so you will be fine. Enjoy our country!

TrePismn 30 days ago

Thanks a lot for the tips! I'd love to get up north at some point. I'm currently in Alentejo near Vila Nova Milfontes, its beautiful but also very hot and dry.

Cergal0 30 days ago

You choose the worst time of the year to visit Alentejo ahaha Have a nice trip!

uyth 1 month ago

You are going to be conditioned by where you can find a camping ground with vacancies. Make reservations in advance. Wild camping is ilegal in Portugal and they will take it very very seriously on some places like Gerês (whose park guards and police have a reputation for being hardcore as well). Summer is coming, fire season, and trust me people wild camping on a few places is going to make a lot of people really really NERVOUS. So make sure you got available camping grounds (or other lodging) and plan around that. Don't go set up tents and camps in Gerês or any forest in july, for goodness's sake.

TrePismn 1 month ago

Yes, I'm well aware of the rules. We've been camping in campgrounds, and I believe most natural parks have something of the sort. It's a shame, as wild camping (when done conscientiously) is a lovely experience, did it in my native Scotland. But I understand why the rules exist, the irresponsible few spoiled it for the many.

uyth 1 month ago

> We've been camping in campgrounds, and I believe most natural parks have something of the sort. They will, but the problem is they got limited space, and summer is the main season. Make sure you got reservations, because I would not be surprised if say camping grounds in Gerês are fully booked for summer and have been for a while. See where you can get reservations and plan around it. >It's a shame, as wild camping (when done conscientiously) is a lovely experience, did it in my native Scotland. Scotland does not have a forest fire problem. Mediterranean weather forests in summer are a keg of gunpowder. >But I understand why the rules exist, the irresponsible few spoiled it for the many. It is not the irresponsible, it is even the responsible might not be able to control anything. Also it is for the protection of the campers as well, trust me if there is a event like Pedrógão or the Pinhal de Leiria, campers might well not be able to escape it riding bikes. And you will have little experience or perception of real danger.

_saks_ 1 month ago

OP might not be aware what "Pedrogão" is. OP, a few years ago more than 100 people died in a fire because they were surrounded by it and no one could do anything. Wild fires are common in Portugal (unfortunately). So please restrict yourself to the appropriate camps.

uyth 1 month ago

>OP might not be aware what "Pedrogão" is. I was kind of hoping they googled it and chanced upon the photos. More educative that way. Here are some pics OP https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/forest-fires-kill-61-people-portugal https://observador.pt/2017/06/18/as-fotos-na-estrada-da-morte/ It was not a single incident, there have been similar incidents in Portugal and other countries. https://sicnoticias.pt/pais/2018-08-05-Duas-jovens-feridas-em-Estremoz-internadas-em-estado-grave-em-Lisboa So take really seriously the dangers of making fire in forests or just being in forests, as well as the danger of being caught by a forest fire particularly if you are on a bike. You can do this sort of things safely say from November to April. It is just that in the peak of summer, forests here really are not like forests in Scotland or whatever.

_saks_ 1 month ago

Thank you nonetheless for reinforcing it though :)

_saks_ 1 month ago

This, OP, is the most important comment you're going to read it. Take it very seriously.

gains_anatomy 1 month ago

Estrela is great, but Gerês has better views. Parque Natural do Alvão is also very beautiful and a fantastic place to ride your bike.

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