Arriving in time for lunch overlooking the bay and meeting up with Walter who was the main organiser of the trip and was to be our tour guide for the next few days in the Alentejo. Continuing north we arrived in Setúbal via the ferry across the Sado River estuary.

In the evening we very much enjoyed a splendid buffet generously provided by Walter and Ana at their home a short walk from our hotel.

Daybreak on day two and we were greeted by some heavy rain showers but still managed a visit to the beautiful Arrábida National Park although the views from the high road were restricted by the misty, cloudy and wet weather.

Eventually after dodging the many showers, we arrived relatively dry at the Cork Museum in Coruche where we were given an interesting tour by Dra. Maria and learned much about the history and economics of the Cork industry in Portugal and the surprising number of uses it has in the modern world.

Overnight we stayed in the pretty village of Brotas. Our accommodation was in several of the traditional rustic cottages of the Casas de Romaria.

It was decided that evening to change the next day's route to avoid the worst of the rain and high winds further north. Not much fun on a motorbike.

So we made time to visit the Fluviário de Mora aquarium on the river near the town before riding across the country to Arraiolos where there is a museum dedicated to the hand-sewn decorative patterned carpets produced in this locality.

After a visit to Estremoz castle, the day's ride ended on some beautiful country roads to Elvas and our next overnight stay.

The weather improved as we left Elvas past the famous Aqueduct on the steep climb up to Forte Graça, which as well as being a place of historical interest offers superb views on all sides of the surrounding countryside and over the town below. A short visit to the Ducal Palace in Vila Viçosa and soon it was time for lunch as we arrived at Praia fluvial de Monsaraz beach restaurant on the waterside.

Then the short ride to the viewpoint just below the walled town of Monsaraz.

Here we all joined the steel sculpture of the Alentejo Choir for a photo opportunity before heading south and across the long bridge to Mourão castle.

Image: L to R. Eric, Alfred, Anne, Dino, David, Walter, Nancy and John

A short ride and we arrived in Moura to conclude the tour.

Also arriving in Moura that evening was the ASB gravel road group who were also on a three-day tour led by Andrew Chilton. So what else could we do but join forces for dinner and a few glasses of wine in a nearby traditional restaurant?

Great way to celebrate the completion of our tour of around 900 km through this beautiful region of Portugal and there is no better way to enjoy it than on a motorbike with fellow biking friends.

by David Shirley - Organiser