Video: Micayla Gatto & Scotty Laughland Ride Sintra's Enchanted Forests - GoPro Track Down S1 EP3

With deep, jungle foliage on one side of the mountain and fast, dry singletrack on the other, Sintra can offer you a 360° mountain bike experience all in one day. Scotty Laughland and Micayla Gatto headed to the Portugese coast to sample as much of this mtb paradise as they could.

Follow along with GoPro athlete and all-around bloody good chap, Scotty Laughland, as he explores trails, trail networks, and the local scene in our new five-part series: Track Down. Where will his GoPro travel with him this season? Europe.

MTB and surfing in Portugal – Where would WE be then?

Words: Julian Lemme Photos: João Mourão

Hey there. I’m Julian, Art Director for

Although my work is anything but monotonous, I find myself frequently falling into a routine, one that ends with my creativity in a headlock. Habits, it turns out, are probably the most quicksand-like element in the world. For this issue of the magazine, I knew it was time to break free of the shackles and find a new horizon – namely that of the Portuguese coast.


The words ‘time to shine’ flash luminously on my phone’s lock screen. That’s the alarm, I realise groggily. I’m inside my van, tucked into a sleeping bag and cosily lying between my bike and a surfboard. At home, round about this time is when I switch on the coffee machine and hunch over my laptop, eyes flickering for hours on end between design layouts and cat videos. But today is different; I’ve got a banana and a handful of nuts for breakfast. I’m on the Atlantic coast and from the sliding door of the van, I can see there are just a few metres separating me from the sea.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
— Henry Ford

The good life is within easy reach if you hit the road

Routines can be a simultaneous blessing and curse. They’re like lined paper or road markings, organising and demarcating where to go, what to do and neatly putting our lives into order. But therein lies the danger too. We slump, worn down by demotivation, from weekend to weekend, plagued by a vague sensation of boredom. In my case, it saps my creativity, stirring up a cloudy broth of sameness. But there’s no chance of that happening when I’m on the road. No time for routines to emerge. I wake up in a new location every day and manoeuvre around my small living space. In the best-case scenario, I have to switch languages too. 

But is there a solution for self-discovery for those who don’t have the luxury of calling themselves a freelancer, for those who can’t simply schlep their laptop to a new beachside cafe each day to work? Sometimes the only solution might be to brush your teeth with your non-habitual hand and walk backwards. That’s my trick anyway. By shaking up the status quo of the way I do things, I try to avoid sinking into the boredom of daily life. New experiences are established in unknown territory, right?

Where would we stand if everybody said where do we stand, and nobody went to look where we would stand if we went?
— Kurt Marti

Jump into cold water

Escape the infinite loop that’s built on old quirks and repetition. Straight into the cold water! If walking-backwards-brushing-your-teeth doesn’t help, why not take up a new sport? The sea is my substitute for the woods. There’s no Wi-Fi in the sea, no power sockets, no clock-watching. It’s all new and strange and unfamiliar. I find myself toying with thoughts and ideas while I wait for the next set. It’s the sort of time when I’m usually hit by a sense of clarity and a new way of looking at things. I can take it back to the desk, executing a new layout or switching imagery. Creative ideas, fuelled by the ebb and flow of the waves.

Ships in harbours are safe but that is not what ships are built for.
— Unknown

From the trails to the surf

To the west of Lisbon the trails shoot you out right on the beach. There’s the sort of variety you’d normally associate with an all-you-can-eat buffet at a five-star hotel – that’s how appetizing the trails are here. Impeccably built downhill tracks with berms, drops and rock gardens, and flowing natural singletrack along the craggy cliffs that border the sea.


Back home I spend a lot of time riding on my own. I ride at my own rhythm and find it easier to switch off. But inspiration, I’ve come to realise, often breeds better with company. When travelling, I’m not averse to latching onto fellow riders. Perhaps a local who’ll show me a hidden trail, or another tourist on a similar hunt for new routes. Each ride brings new stories, perspectives and ideas. Oftentimes, these are the encounters that influence how I live my life and how I approach work projects. Not to mention the new friendships that are forged. So why not say ‘hi’ to the next unknown individual you bump into on the trails, in the supermarket or in the water.


Remember that the world is bigger than us as individuals. You don’t need to bear its whole weight on your shoulders, so embrace the freedom. That’s the freedom of going on an adventure and gaining a new perspective. Pack your bathing trunks or swimsuit, and go catch some waves if that’s your thing. Walk backwards while brushing your teeth, because you’ll end up where you might have gone had you gone there. Say hi to people with a smile and mean it. And me? I’m on my way home now. Real life is calling ;-)

Muito obrigado for the support and the photos to João Mourão of

YT Jeffsy 2019 launch in Algarve with WERIDE

JEFFSY is here for the good times. And to stay when things get nasty. 

Some encounters change your life. One short moment and nothing is like it used to be. Everything’s better.
You’ll experience this when you jump on the new JEFFSY for the first time: it will make you raise your game and turn you into the rider you always dreamed of becoming; ride every trail the way you always wanted to ride it.
To truly master both the ups and the downs, the new JEFFSY is the most versatile of all the Young Talents. A true all-mountain bike, this light and effective weapon is perfect for flowy singletrack, long backcountry adventures and racing. JEFFSY lets you climb with ease and tackle any challenge on the way back down. Because nothing is like it used to be. The new JEFFSY lets you truly redefine your riding style.

Fullscreen gallery here

Photography and film are property of YT industries
Photos by Ale di Lullo and film starring Christopher Walken
Riders: Ace Hayden and Bryan Regnier

We’re born alone, we die alone. And in between we spend our lives looking for something, a connection. That’s all we want. Every once in a while we might find it, in a true friend. Many friendships will come, only to fade as quickly as a firework. But some, a rare and precious few, turn life up to 11 and keep it there. You got to hold on to friends like these because, just like air, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. No one else gets “it” but they do. Cause they know what’s in your soul, your heart, your mind. They can blindside you - come out of nowhere but you’ll know them right away, you’ll click as perfectly as a jack plug into an amp. They’ll know what you’re thinking before you’ve thought it, anticipating your every move. They’ll understand the demons as well as the angels inside of you. Never judging you for it either. And together, you’ll uncage a thrill that makes you surge with life. But don’t be fooled: friendships are not easy. You’ve got to put the effort in and take as good care of them as you do your own flesh. There will be good times and epic, adrenalin filled challenges where it seems there’s no way you can make it. But, if you trust in one another and commit, you’ll find a way. Coming through together, closer, stronger. Even so, you, they, the world in time, everything and everyone changes. Slowly that boiling energy of young friendship will cool and be replaced by the bonds of a deep, mutual history, complete with the scars that tell the stories of a lifetime well lived. It’s as inevitable as ripples altering their size. So don’t fight it, go with it. Ride it out. Together. Just like Jeffsy and I.

—Christopher Walken

MTB-Urlaub im Winter: Top-Destinationen in Europa


Du sehnst dich nach Sonne? Wir zeigen dir 5 Locations, die nur einen kurzen Flug weit entfernt sind.

Autor: Sissi Pärschvor 4T

Matschige Wintertrails und knusprige Temperaturen können ganz nett sein – aber ehrlich: Wie schön ist es, wenn auch im Winter Sonnenstrahlen unsere Wadeln wärmen?! Deshalb haben wir für Euch 5 Top-Destinationen zusammengetragen, die gut erreichbar sind und auch im Winter wohligen Bike-Spaß bieten.

Finale, Italien

Enduro World Series, Finale Ligure  © SVEN MARTIN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Enduro World Series, Finale Ligure


Finale an der italienischen Riviera ist mit seinem dichten Netz an Trails europaweit einer der besten Spots für Mountainbiker und war eine der Stationen der Enduro World Series. Der Bikepark hat einiges zu bieten, um die besten Trails zu erkunden, ist jedoch das Wissen von Locals gefragt. Zum Glück gibt es hier aber eine Menge Guides, die Euch gerne alles zeigen.

Luberon, Frankreich

An der Cote d'Azur kann man im Winter sensationell biken – aber der Geheimtipp in der Provence ist der Luberon, eine Region, die nur eine Autostunde vom Flughafen Marseille entfernt liegt. Hier gibt es die schönsten Dörfer Frankreichs, mit dem Mont Ventoux eine Tour-de-France-Legende und es ist die Wiege des französischen MTB-Sports. Das Trail-Netz ist unglaublich dicht und abwechslungsreich. Wer zwischen all den Lavendelfeldern, Olivenhainen und Mischwäldern nicht verloren gehen will, sollte sich guiden lassen.

Sintra, Portugal

Portugal hat die Vulkaninsel Madeira, 737 Kilometer westlich der marokkanischen Küste im Atlantischen Ozean, die mit mildem Klima und großartigen MTB-Trails aufwartet. ABER Portugal hat auch sein Festland und das mausert sich vom Bike-Geheimtipp zu einer Must-Go-Destination. Wenn die Marken für ihre Katalog-Shootings hinfahren, kann man sich vorstellen, wie sexy es ist. Sintra liegt nah an vielen sexy Sports – Lissabon, Porto, Küste – und ist selbst ungemein attraktiv. Speziell auch für Biker. Das werden Euch die Locals von WERIDE sicher auch in den Wintermonaten beweisen.

Malaga, Spanien

Auch Gee Atherton mag Malaga  © KYLE BLANSHARD

Auch Gee Atherton mag Malaga


Malaga an der Südküste von Spanien ist bekannt für seine trockenen, staubigen Trails mit jeder Menge steilem Gelände für Downhill-Rider. Das Terrain variiert von Sand bis zu Felsen und hartem Boden, es wird also nie langweilig. Im Winter ist es relativ ruhig und man kann sich richtig genüßlich austoben.

Gran Canaria, Spanien

Sonne, Meer und Mountainbikes  © ISMAEL IBAÑEZ

Sonne, Meer und Mountainbikes


325 Tage Sonnenschein pro Jahr: Wenn das nicht verlockend klingt! Gran Canaria liegt 210 Kilometer westlich vor der Küste Südmarokkos im Atlantischen Ozean und ist eine der beliebtesten Winterdestinationen für Sonnenhungrige. Wenn du lange Rides vor einer tollen Kulisse magst, dann bietet Gran Canaria jede Menge unerschlossenes Terrain für deine Abenteuer. Einige Abschnitte setzen wirklich gute Fitness voraus, wenn du noch nicht so geübt bist, dann empfehlen wir dir einen Guide. Oder du mietest ein Auto und machst eine Shuttle-Gemeinschaft mit deinen Freunden. Die meiste Sonne kriegst du übrigens im Süden der Insel ab.

Video: Waves & Rocks In Portugal - The Syncronicles

Video: Waves & Rocks In Portugal - The Syncronicles

Instagram feeds are a synonym for living the dream – everybody is always on holiday, always on the road, always riding. No doubt about it, my posts may look the same, and one can be forgiven for thinking that I’m simply living the perfect van and bike life every single day. However, this picture perfect dream is quite often different to reality…

7 Hills for 7th Heaven – e‑biking around Lisbon

click the logo for the original URL link from E-MOUNTAINBIKE Magazine

click the logo for the original URL link from E-MOUNTAINBIKE Magazine

Leave your bike at home. There’s everything you need right here.

Nomads used to refer to this place as Finisterre, a name that signifies the end of the world. But these days the once-presumed End of the World now looks a lot like a mecca for riders. So how are Lisbon’s seven hills, unpretentious neighbourhoods, green trails, and heavenly beaches best explored on an e-bike? We sought the help of professionals to find out.

When I think of Portugal, I just see green. A subtropical climate, where the sea and the mountains flood into a cocktail of greatness, of which you just can’t get enough. After my last trip to this Iberian peninsula, I left feeling like I had unfinished business – but that next time I’d be needing added help (in more ways than one). With my mind set on riding the Sintra mountains the local hills of Lisbon, I hauled in the guides from WERIDE Portugal, confident I’d get more than just fish and fado music.

Uncomplicated and cool

We meet João and José from the WERIDE Crew under a bridge. But not just any old bridge; this red steel construction is simply called ‘Ponte’. 3.2 km in length, it joins Lisbon’s creative district Alcântara with the town of Almada and represents the military coup that liberated Portugal on 25 April 1974 from the dictatorship.

As the cruise ships and fishing vessels chug out of the nearby harbour, we pedal off towards Belém.

From Belém to the world

Once the departure point for explorers like Vasco Da Gama to set sail and discover new continents, Belém is now a popular haunt for sightseers, swarming the must-visit tourist hotspots like a game of Tetris. Thanks to the all-inclusive eMTB package provided by the WERIDE crew, we slip into Eco mode and swerve the queues, confirming that an eMTB is the ultimate mode for avoiding mass tourism and seeing the city from a different perspective. We ride by buildings dating from the year 1501, a figure that’s matched by the number of people trying to nail the perfect selfie. Eventually concrete turns into trees and the noise subsides.

The city’s beating green lungs

Lisbon’s Parque Florestal de Monsanto, also known as the city’s green lungs, isn’t short of anything within its 800 hectares. From basketball courts to a RC Formula 1 racetrack, the landscaping has been dialled, with picnic-touting families, horse riders and joggers all seeking their own little piece of tranquillity outside of the city. Our first trail is hidden behind a park bench. We drop into it. Short, flowing and void of people. The trail network is complex and somewhat mysterious, so it’s best explored with guides. I’d probably still be lost otherwise.

It’s an interchangeable game of flow and what a buddy of mine has dubbed ‘ratatatat’, that sort of trail that jars your jaws with consecutive bumps. At times it reminds me of riding in Rio de Janeiro. The script is similar; you don’t have to ride for long before you’re out of the city and into the dense jungle. I lose myself in the lush greenery, stare into the crystal-clear water and ride into the open arms of Cristo Rei. 

New shores (and a new trail) reached by boat

Certain things can only happen in Lisbon, surely. Like boarding a boat at the end of one trail in order to reach the next. Naturally skipping over the part where we had to once more weave our way through the crowds–but the view over the historic city from the deck of the boat provides more than enough compensation.

Good views

The sun stays low in the sky, the wine is warm and the people are friendly. Wherever we go in the city, we’re met with smiles and waves. Passers-by inquire about our bikes, wanting to know more about the sport and us. It all feels very familiar, particularly at the Miradouro de Santa Catarina, where people of all ages are chilling out with the tones of Bob Marley singing ‘Don’t worry about a thing, ‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright.”

From here your best bet is to once more climb to the heart of Lisbon, then back down. Steps, wall drops, steep gradients, in hot pursuit by the trams. The battery is still full. For the last time our pedal strokes bring us face to face with the city’s most tucked-away corners. The view from all of the seven hills is magical. Down a final Ginginha liquor and back into the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s Friday and the city is ready for the weekend. Us too. 

ATÉ JÁ – See you next time

Travel tips

When’s best to go: All-year round! Autumn is probably the best time for riding though, with dry trails, sunshine and a refreshing Atlantic breeze.

How to get there: Lisbon’s airport is super accessible from the city and most budget airlines fly there from across Europe. 

Where to sleep: My friends will hate me for saying this, but nothing beats an airBnb experience in Lisbon. 

Guides, shuttles and sublime BMC e-bike rental (BMC):

What to eat: To eat like a local you need to stock up and eat at the Mercado da Ribeira and Mercado de Campo de Ourique. Vegans will love Ao 26 Vegan Food Project and there are all sorts of alternatives. No one has to go hungry. 

Words: Julian Lemme Photos: João Mourão



“Fuck look at the rays! This is why we got up so early!” exclaimed João as the sun pushed its way through the clouds on the Atlantic horizon. Half an hour earlier we had been in the WERIDE van, wondering why it was that we were all awake at that time. Now we were no longer regretting the dark, cold and early start.

João’s excitement about the rays was partly because the sun’s arrival meant that things would warm up a bit, but also because we were at the Outerio Dirt Park in Cascais for a sunrise photoshoot, and the sunrise was looking good! Behind the lens was the talented Thomas Brynjulf Svendsen. The subject of the photos were two of WERIDE’s steezy guides, Diogo and Duarte.

João couldn’t have chosen a better location. I was amazed that this small coastal town has these jumps. Not just a set of dirt jumps dug by locals, this spot was voted for by the town and built with machines. The result is perfectly formed jumps ranging from small enough for me to send up to Diogo and Duarte were soon warmed up and sending the biggest double, right in front of the sunrise. One of Thomas’ photos even made as the chosen photo on Pinkbike’s Movies for your Monday.

Woah I am not even going near that”. There is also a wooden wallride and the smoothest pumptrack I have ever ridden.

Photo credit: Thomas Brynjulf Svendsen/ Pinkbike

Once the sun was higher in the sky, we loaded the bikes onto the trailer and set off for the Sintra Mountains. These mountains are a special place. Out on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, they have their own microclimate and the weather can change pretty fast. It is not unusual to find yourself enveloped in mist. Adding to the atmosphere are the round boulders that litter the ground. Ranging in size from small to huge, they give the woods a unique character.

A consequence of Sintra’s atmosphere is that practicers of dark magic like to visit the woods. Watch out for circles of candles or other strange items and definitely do not touch them!

RAD Season by Richard Bailey

We spent the rest of the day sampling the high quality trails and being shuttled back up again. By this point we had been joined by some other riders, including one of Portugal’s finest mountain bikers, Emanuel Pombo.

To put it bluntly, the trails in Sintra are awesome. Tight twisting singletrack, rock gardens, jumps, kickers and drops. Lisbon and Sintra have a lively downhill, enduro and XC scene. On the weekends there are literally hundreds of bikers out and the trails are very well maintained.

We ended the day riding the Donkey Trail, which runs from the heart of the mountains down to the southern tip. Half way down we stopped so that Duarte and Pombo could session some big jumps while Thomas captured the action. Photos of riders sending jumps is one thing, but witnessing Pombo’s smooth style as he got huge airtime was something else!

RAD Season at Torgas

The Donkey trail ends at a beach bar and we enjoyed some hard-earned beers as the sun went down.

WERIDE offer a variety of single and multi-day tours in and around Lisbon, as well as other Portuguese locations. You can choose standard riding, girls only, a training camp or even a day riding with a pro (Pombo). Not only are they highly professional, they are also really nice guys. Lisbon is a perfect location for riding all year round. I was there in winter, which was chilly but by no means too cold to ride.

For more information head to
Written by Richard Bailey
original URL at RAD Season here

YT Capra 2018 launch in Sintra with WERIDE

Once again the CAPRA is setting new standards.
Confidence, creativity, endurance: this G.O.A.T. will get you and it will turn you into the rider you have always aspired to be. And true to our core, we keep pushing boundaries: the all-new CAPRA is a full-on downhill machine crossed with the uphill performance of a trail bike.

The modern geometry with short chainstays and a slack headtube angle perfectly unites the best of two worlds. The new CAPRA delivers the most advanced combination of trail bike agility and traction at downhill standard. The metric 250mm shock delivers the solid suspension travel of the CAPRA with a low leverage ratio and fully convinces with a performance that's hardly ever seen away from downhill courses.

Fullscreen gallery here

Photography and film are property of YT industries
Photos by Ale di Lullo and film direction by Mark Jenkinson
Riders: Ace Hayden and Bryan Regnier

RED BULL: Mountain biking on Portugal's coast


Spectacular trails in Sintra National Park, Portugal and through the old town of Lisbon

The Sun refuelling and baking the coast

Original review (german only) at RED BULL Austria here

From Maria Sendlhofer-Schag / on February 16, 2017

One of my - at least for myself - most unpleasant quirks is that overwhelming pleasant anticipation for a new adventure which leaves me sleepless the night before 'it' starts. But as soon as the taxi is waiting in front of my door at 4:00am in the morning and I get seated between bikes and bags, my own body wakes me up. It’s kicking in, better than three double Espressos. Holger and Rene are still sleeping with their eyes open. 

A month ago I packed my skiing bag and walked through the airport; now I’m comfortably carrying my bike bag next to me: destination South! "Land of the "pastel de nata" and Porto wine: for the next week you are mine!"

In shorts and T-shirt

The welcoming sun in Lisbon feels like a warm hug. The short-short season has begun. I finally arrived to Surfcamp owned by Martin Roll and I’m immediately looking for my flip flops to put on. But before we even have a chance to build our bikes together, Holger puts us into a thick wetsuit and hands us a board. Swell, tide and a few other terms that I do not understand would be just great - we have to do that now.

The guys excited to go surfing

Lots of fun with technical trails

Surfboard! = air mattress

Apart from the fact that such a neoprene suit is the most unpleasant pijama one can imagine - a surfboard is not an air mattress for chilling. And if the temperatures look like early summer, the Atlantic ocean is f****** cold in April.  Cold as a mountain lake, definitely not a thermal pool. I've tried, honestly, but after one hundred nasal purges, I decide for myself - fair enough as an inhabitant of an interior land - it is totally ok to prefer to water in a different gaseous state. In addition to that, freeride jerseys conceal female problem areas much better than a whole-body suite. So much for that.

Corners, jumps and single tracks in Sintra...

Yes, we can: WERIDE

I prefer to stay ashore and lead my beautiful bike to its destination. We are not only here for vacation, we want to scout the area to emerge a new bike program. And we meet with locals for biking. These locals call themselves WERIDE and are a sympathetic bunch of guides, with a lot of enthusiasm and joy in the matter - exactly our type. Under the blue WERIDE tricot, a story / an English teacher, an architect and an opera singer are joining us in Portugals trails. Interesting people who know many exciting things to tell. It is amazing to bike through the old town of Lisboa with a local architect! Lonely Planet, Baedeker and consorts can’t keep up with that.

The Donkey Trail in the Sintra National Park


We have our first Meet & Greet & Ride in Sintra. This region is situated west of Lisbon on the coast and marks the westernmost point of continental Europe. The cultural landscape of Sintra has been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1995.
"WE prefer to go uphill comfortably and rock downhill," we are briefly informed about the personal preferences of our guides. Hugos sparkling eyes and his 34 teeth chain ring make me smile too and also suspicious. His brand new carbon Enduro is shining in the sun and I am packing one more layer of suncream on my legs. Let’s hope for a magic effect during the next days. At least I smell good. 
Shortly afterwards we are standing in a dense, damp forest, the trails are fast and also steep, partly with built jumps and berms, in between mossy stones and wet roots. Places for fiddling, tree slalom, small wooden bridges and fords. Strangely, it is foggy even though it is actually a wonderful sunny day.

warning: try not to enjoy too much the panorama

The last meters to the beach.

Braking is a sign of fear

The guys give gas and let it crash. Holger and Rene just stick to Hugo's and Miguel's rear wheel. I lack this kind of primal trust, and I prefer to find my own line, but if I get too far away, I have a hard time to find the right path. It's the 34 teeth time now: as soon as it gets a little flatter, there is no relaxing cruising and looking into the area but stand-up pedalling to burn the thighs. Well ok, training mode ON. With my 30 teeth chain ring and the lack of resistance in the last gear, I feel like a mixer.

Time goes by and after seven hours and some epic descents we can totally feel our legs. But the best part of the day lies still in front of us and it is called 'Donkey Trail': a seemingly endless path in the coastal area that just ends at a secluded beach - just in time for sunset. We are overwhelmed. And we are as hungry as a bear. Fortunately, Hugo knows the right place to go and I can taste my first Bacalhau, it was great.

Lisbon and Monsanto

João takes over in Lisbon. We start in the Parque Florestal de Monsanto. No, this is not about pesticides. It is the 900 ha large recreational area of the "Lisboetas". A park planned and built around 1938 by the architect Francisco Keil do Amaral. A rather hilly area, which has been completely reforested and planted for the purpose of recreation. There are riding paths, climbing spots, sports facilities... And of course trails, trails, trails for bikers! Because of the diversity of the terrain I’m struggling not to loose the guys - and myself. But it happened and it increased my mobile phone roaming charges: "At the beehive left?" - "There was no turn at all and what beehive?" You cannot rely on tire tracks - they lead in all directions, Monsanto houses the hometrails of the Lisbon biker scene. Accordingly, they are also cherished and cared for and above all: they are used by many bikers.

On the coastal road near Ericeira

Dead end on the coast

We enjoy this huge playground all day long until João leads us into the city late in the afternoon. A city tour with a MTB flavour. It is great to see all of those old streets and buildings, but riding there with my own bike is marvellous. Memories of previous visits are popping up. But now I can cruise through the old town, relax on my bike and enjoy the beautiful scenery without having a look on a city map every five minutes.

Rapunzel listening to Fado

At 8:00pm we are invited to a small family restaurant in Bairro Alto. The bikes are just left outside of the bar and nearly block the whole alley. João knows the owners and they not only offer excellent traditional food but also great Fado music. 

We learn quickly that once the show is started and musicians are playing and singing, we have to chew gently and be quiet - no gossip talk allowed here. Unfortunately, I do not understand a single word, but it is definitely very dramatic. Probably someone knows someone who knows someone who once won the lottery and the receipt has been burned down with the house? Or the good-looking boy must leave the country for political reasons, the fiancée promises to wait until she can finally forget him with progressive dementia, a gray streak flashes in the light of the sunset, fade out, aperture, change of scene. My imagination is going wild and I am very entertained.

A fado restaurant in the old town of Lisbon, Alfama

Rapunzel listening to Fado

Every small musical break, the waitress is running from table to table to fill up the glasses. The appearance may be deceptive, but our table is more often visited than others. And every time she moves closer to me, caressing my cheek, sometimes my hair. It’s no solution, not to drink and order. She keeps on coming to our table. Damn it, what’s going on here?

I could have guessed: the reason is my red hair. Shortly afterwards I’m officially called Rapunzel and we are asked to sign a thick guestbook. What's closer to cutting a single curl? A Leatherman has many features and can help in so many situations - it cuts hair quite well. Now they stick beside our names in the guestbook and I got a big kiss in addition to an even bigger hug.

Nightride and Soulmates

João warned us not to eat too much… didn’t help. The uphill to the castle with our full stomach was challenging and the muscles in our legs are complaining about the uneven blood distribution in our bodies. Those who don’t know the old town of Lisboa: the streets are partly very steep and the alleys are more like staircases and footpaths.

Nightride through the narrow streets of Bairro Alto

The famous streets of Lisbon

The castle has been locked just before we arrived, so we continue to the "miradouro" and enjoy a fantastic view over Bairro Alto and the lights of the city. The last downhill of the day starts here: over the many stairs and through narrow lanes, past strolling tourists with their cell phones. We also ride parts of the city downhill circuit. Sometimes I have fortune favours, that my unusually wide handlebars do not get stuck with a handrail or wall. At the bottom, in the middle of the city, endorphins rush in and we are totally awake again. 

So what to do with the night? Correct. Biking from the Baixa Pombalina to Bairro Alto. The Bohemian corner and all the pubs of the city - João knows the best place for ice cream - Santini in Baixa Chiado. Afterwards, we walk through the crowd of party people and enjoy the nightlife. And somehow, we reached the subway station for the last train back to Monsanto and Martin's van. A fast ride to the ticket counter, but after the barrier we have to push the bikes. 12 hours of riding and intense life are over.

Ericeira and coastal flowers

The rest of the trip we are exploring the surrounding area of Martin's Surfcamp in Ericeira on our own. We also take a closer look at the coastal walk. At this time of the year the otherwise rather sparse vegetation shows a colourful flower dress. Climbs can quickly become hikes but the view to the sea is amazing. Holger is getting nervous when beautiful big waves are rolling in. I believe that those are the moments when his surfer heart is trying to fight the MTB heart. Landlubbers like me don’t have such problems - right?

Right on the beach at

Rene had a lesson to learn: it’s not a good idea to hand me his credit card to buy some stuff from the "pastelaria" without precise orders. Hungry and with his money, I probably exaggerated a little bit. I returned with the two tablets of Pastel de Nata in all different kinds. And from my point of view it was definitely worth it! 

We enjoy our time and collect impressions, moments of happiness and sunny days. In the camp, where  wetsuits and surfboards are normally put to be cleaned from salt water, we shower the dust from our bikes. At least the colours of our bikes fit to the rather colourful surfing equipment in the garage.

We will be back!

There is no trail on the surfboard

But towards the end of the week, Martin insists that we try surfing one more time. He asked Flávio, his main surf-trainer, to show us some basic skills. We have run up and down the beach in those wetsuits, dry paddling in the sand and jumping up to the board on command. Have I already mentioned that these neoprene suits are not quite breathable? In a short time, it gets very hot and I’m looking forward to the icy Atlantic. 
The current is much stronger than at the beginning of the week. I have to fight my way through the white water to Flávio. The waves determine the rhythm. There’s no time for waiting and thinking. And they come in very short intervals. I cannot wait for the moment when I feel ready, I have to adjust myself and be ready when the moment comes. This is new to me and probably my biggest challenge. 
And at some point, after the most frequent dive, I manage not to tip forward or tilt backwards or sideways, but just get up and stand still. And very briefly I have a slight idea of how it could feel. And soon the water is only mouse-knee deep and the fun is over. 

Who knows, maybe I am not such a huge landlubber as I thought and there’s room for improvement. But there’s enough time to find out. And until then, my bike is my best friend - and "pastel de nata", and port wine, and Portugal…

ENDURO MAG: RUN TO THE SUN: our top 6 winter riding destinations

Original review at ENDURO Mag here

Sick of gazing out the window as winter’s chill reigns supreme and the trails are a filthy, snowy mess? For those struggling to get out on the northern hemisphere’s wintery trails, think of us as your savior. We’ve compiled a list of the six best winter riding destinations. You can thank us later. 

If you want to keep riding throughout the long, cold winter, you’ve got to reach that pretty hefty decision of whether to go by car or plane for your riding holiday. Planes are your best bet if you want to jet out to the two small islands in the Atlantic that have evolved into veritable top riding spots: Madeira and La Palma. Another great option is a flight to Lisbon, from where you can explore the Sintra and Algarve region. Similarly, if you’re fortunate enough to have more than a week’s holiday, direct your sights to New Zealand where it’s now summer and you can give winter the two fingers from a safe distance. However, if four wheels and Italian flair are more your thing then the classic bike mecca of Finale Ligure is worth considering. Our fifth tip? That’s the surprise entrant onto the list, and somewhere that’s always worth an outing.


The volcanic island of La Palma is split into two markedly different climate zones by a central mountain ridge, with one side being a serious sun magnet. Here you’ll find descents that drop 2,000 metres of altitude and take you through wildly diverse vegetation and micro-climates, so don’t be surprised to start in below-freezing temperatures from Roque de los Muchachos before hitting over 20°C as you roll towards the beach at midday. The trails have a bit of everything, and definitely aren’t the easiest one around so you won’t get bored. Given the aggressively-edgy lava rocks and fine sand, it’s wise to pack robust tyres and replacement brake pads for any trip here. Seriously, La Palma is even that good that pro rider Daniel Schäfer spends half the year here.

Guiding & Hotel: Atlantic Cycling/Magic Bike
When to travel: Oktober–April
Where to fly: Santa Cruz


Over the past few years Madeira has evolved into a genuine insiders tip for riding.Thanks to the efforts of the local scene, there is now a huge choice of diverse trails on the island with super quick ones on fine, earthy ground right through to rocky, technical trails. As the last few hundred metres of altitude drop down to the sea tends to be eye-poppingly steep, you’ll find most of the trails above 600 metres altitude. A bike with 160 mm of travel is going to be your best pal out in Madeira, and given the steep climbs you’ll be shuttling a lot of the uphills.

Guiding & hotel: Bikulture/Freeride Madeira
When to travel: October–April
Where to fly: Funchal


The ocean that batters the Portuguese Atlantic coast is rough and wild – not so the climate. Even in winter, the temperatures are consistently above 10° and there’s very little rainfall, offering great conditions for riders throughout the year. The regions Sintra and Algarve are well known for their wonderful trails, picturesque beaches and Portuguese flair. With a very active local riding community constantly adding new trails to the network, fun can be found from the eucalyptus forests all the way to the coast. While these are not strictly ‘official’ trails, conflicts with hikers are never an issue and riding is positively encouraged. However, most of these trails are not signposted, so you’ll be well advised to get some help from local guides like Hugo, João, and Luis Pedro from WERIDE.

Guiding, shuttles, hotel recomendations and great rental bikes:
When to travel: All year round, preferably spring and autumn
Where to fly: Lisbon or Faro


That quiet period just moments after the circus of the Enduro World Series departs Finale Ligure is exactly when you want to get this spot on your radar. It’s the ideal coastal resort for more northerly-based riders who are just not into winter. Thanks to the mild temperatures, it’s virtually a year-round riding destination with low temps of around 10°C. The trails directly on the coast are gnarly and rocky, and the true gems are set a little bit further inland. Head out from the Nato base and enjoy drops of 1,400 metres in altitude on seriously dreamy trails to get back towards the sea. The off-season doesn’t mean boredom either; both Finale Ligure and Finalborgo have winding little streets in the old towns where you can kick-back and soak up la dolce vita.
Guiding & hotel: Finale Ligure Bikeresort

When to travel: October–November/April–October
Where to drive: best reached by car, head south from Milan
Where to fly: Genoa/Turin


A country that’s basically the polar opposite of Europe, New Zealand is on the other side of the world. So while we’re caught in the throngs of winter right now, they’re enjoying summer. Not into snow and the extra TLC your bike needs, then hop onto a long-haul flight. That’s what our intern Daniel did with his mates and they didn’t regret it. Loads of pro riders love to head to the region around Queenstown on the country’s southern island, and you might recognize some of the super diverse trails from the countless bike videos that have been shot there. The north island isn’t without its charm though, so it’s wise to give yourself at least a month to explore properly.

Travel tips: Brett Kennedy gives his take on the trails around Wellington.
When to travel:: October–April
Where to fly: Expect a good few hours in the airplane to Wellington.


Why travel so far when winter can dish up some amazing days of riding? Those home trails that you might write off as boring get a new sheen and added challenge with a carpet of snow and the longer shadows of winter. Riding on a pump track is a hot-fire way to scrub up your skills and that feeling as the blood circulation returns to your frozen toes and fingers under the hot shower is simply indescribable. Our winter special is crammed with tips to make sure you get a ton of fun riding in the cold weather.

When to travel: all year. 
Text: Christoph Bayer Photos: Christoph Bayer/Trevor Worsey/Victor Lucas/JC Smith
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer


WERIDE Enduro mag
Original review at ENDURO Mag here
ENG: Hard-core shredding meets pleasure biking: Portugal offers everything you could want from a mountain bike holiday, plus picture-postcard beaches, eucalyptus forests and incredible fruit brandy. Where can you find all this? Read on…
DE: Hard-Core-Shredden meets Genussbiken: Portugal bietet alles, was man sich von einem Bikeurlaub nur wünschen kann. Und legt dann noch Postkartenstrände, Eukalytpuswälder und fantastischen Obstschnaps obendrauf. Wo ihr was findet, lest ihr hier...

ENG: Sun, sea and amazing trails. Portugal has much to offer
DE: Sonne, Meer und feinste Trails: Portugal hat einiges zu bieten

ENG: “Tranquilo, tranquilo” – take it easy. This statement, often combined with a charming grin is a life philosophy in Portugal. The mixture of the Southern European lust for life, combined with a laid-back atmosphere can be found everywhere in the Atlantic air, enchanting most visitors from their first day of vacation. For mountain bikers, Portugal is a very serene country; and because hiking (unlike surfing) is not a national sport, you’ll hardly find any walking nature lovers in most mountain regions.

DE: „Tranquilo, tranquilo“ – immer mit der Ruhe. Dieser Ausspruch, meist mit einem charmanten Grinsen kombiniert, ist in Portugal Lebensmotto. Die Mischung aus südländischer Lebensfreude und einer großen Portion entspannter Lässigkeit liegt hier überall in der Atlantikluft und erfasst auch die meisten Besucher gleich am ersten Urlaubstag. Für Mountainbiker ist Portugal aber auch in anderem Sinne ein sehr gelassenes Land. Weil Wandern (im Gegensatz zu Surfen) hier kein Nationalsport ist, gibt es in den meisten Bergregionen kaum fußläufige Naturliebhaber.

ENG: Conflict between hikers and mountain bikers? The Portuguese don’t know what you are talking about! There is a lot of freedom in the hills and the small but extremely enthusiastic mountain bike scene knows how to use it. Especially the hot-blooded enduro, freeride and downhill-community who have created a varied network of trails in the mountains, hills and forests: from flowy to demanding, all with a high fun factor! The guys (female bikers are a rarity in Portugal unfortunately) fulfill their own trail dreams with a lot of zeal and Portuguese passion; and although the trails are more tolerated by the municipalities than legal, with almost no signposts, the trails are waiting to be discovered. Therefore, it is worth letting the local guides (such as Hugo, João and Luis Pedro from the guiding company WERIDE) show you the highlights, especially because they put together the ideal trail package for each guest or group based on personal riding style, experience, and trail preferences. No matter whether you have one day or two weeks to ride, WERIDE can design a trip to take in one or multiple areas of Portugal.

DE: Wegerecht-Konflikte zwischen Wanderern und Mountainbikern? Kennen die Portugiesen nicht. Diese Freiheit weiß die kleine, aber extrem enthusiastische Mountainbike-Szene zu nutzen. Vor allem eine heißblütige Enduro-, Freeride- und Downhill-Community zaubert allerorts flowige bis anspruchsvolle Trails mit hohem Spaßfaktor in Berge, Hügel und Wälder. Und das mit viel Eifer und portugiesischer Leidenschaft, wenn auch von den Gemeinden eher geduldet als legal. Ausgeschildert sind die Trails allerdings fast nie. Deshalb lohnt es, sich von Local Guides wie Hugo, João und Luis Pedro von WERIDE die Highlights zeigen zu lassen. Zumal die Jungs für jeden Gast das optimale Trailpaket zusammenstellen – nach persönlichen Vorlieben und egal, ob für einen Tag oder zwei Wochen, in nur einem Gebiet oder mehreren nacheinander.

ENG: We tested three of the best Portuguese mountain biking spots for you. Read below to find out more about their character: 

Text: Mila Hanke
Guided bike tours and shuttles:

DE: Wir haben drei der besten Bikespots in Portugal für euch getestet. Was den jeweiligen Spot auszeichnet, erfahrt ihr auf den nächsten Seiten:

Text: Mila Hanke
Guides, Shuttles und sehr gute Leihbikes über:


WERIDE Enduro mag

Original review at ENDURO Mag here


ENG: The Sintra-Cascais Natural Park featuring the small mountain range of Serra de Sintra lies approximately 25 km northwest of Lisbon and is a relatively unknown biking paradise with a special mystic charm. Firstly, medieval castles and ostentatious cathedrals and palaces are scattered in the jungle-like hilly forest – no wonder the region was honoured with a UNESCO World Heritage title; the colourful and ornate buildings certainly add a magical atmosphere to each bike tour. Secondly, very committed local enduro and downhill riders have built around 25 trails into the forest of Sintra, uncovering overgrown farm tracks in the process to add to the growing network.

DE: Der Naturpark Sintra-Cascais mit der kleinen Gebirgskette Serra de Sintra liegt ca. 25 km nordwestlich von Lissabon und ist ein noch wenig bekanntes Bikeparadies mit besonderem Charme. Denn erstens sind in den dschungelhaften Hügelwald mittelalterliche Burgen und prunkvolle Kathedralen und Paläste verstreut, die der Region einen UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe-Titel eingebracht haben und jeder Biketour etwas Märchenhaftes verleihen. Zweitens haben hier engagierte Enduro- und Downhill-Fahrer rund 25 Trails in den Wald gebaut oder zugewucherte Bauernpfade freigeschnitten.

ENG: The result is a playful mix of natural trails with roots, switchbacks and rocks, garnished with drops, jumps, berms and even some North Shore elements. In Sintra you feel like you are in a big freeride park for all skill levels – but without chairlifts and in the midst of lush nature. Here renowned Colombian downhiller Marcelo Gutiérrez baptised the crisp descent “11th level”, creating a famous “Strava challenge” where downhillers from all over the world can come and try to beat Marcelo’s fastest time.

DE: Das Ergebnis ist eine verspielte Mischung aus natürlichen Trails mit Wurzeln, Kehren und Felsen, garniert mit Drops, Sprüngen, Anliegern und sogar dem einen oder anderen North-Shore-Element. In Sintra fühlt man sich wie in einem großen Freeride-Park für alle Könnerstufen – aber ohne Lifte, mitten in üppiger Natur. Der kolumbianische Downhill-Profi Marcelo Gutiérrez hat hier die knackige Abfahrt „11th Level“ bekannt gemacht, weil er mit einer Strava-Challenge dazu aufrief, seine eigene Zeit zu schlagen.

ENG: The region also offers less adrenalin-pumped biking experiences, including endless flow trails with panoramic views over the entire coast, finishing directly at the sea and beaches. Sintra also has other trump cards up its sleeve distinguishing the region from other European mountain biking spots – most notably the never-sleeping metropolis of Lisbon, just 38 minutes away by regional train from Sintra Railway Station.

DE: Die Region bietet aber auch weniger Adrenalinvollgepumptes: etwa endlos lange Flowtrails mit Weitblick über die gesamte Küste direkt bis ans Meer. Zudem hat Sintra noch weitere Trümpfe im Ärmel, die die Gegend von anderen europäischen Bikespots unterscheidet: Nur gut 35 Regionalzug-Minuten vom Bahnhof Sintra entfernt liegt die nimmermüde Metropole Lissabon.

ENG: Whether in daytime by foot, or on a night ride by bike, you can spend hours drifting through the narrow streets with charming faded facades to eventually stand in one of the many famous Fado bars, where you can look forward to typical dishes (for example one of the many variations of “Bacalhau”, Portuguese codfish), regional wines and of course some live Fado singers, the traditional melancholic Portuguese music. If you want to stay longer in Sintra and not just go biking, the Natural Park Sintra-Cascais also offers a large collection of rock faces for bouldering and rock climbing and beaches for surfing, all within a one-hour drive.

DE: Egal ob tagsüber zu Fuß oder bei einem Night-Ride per Bike – hier kann man sich stundenlang durch die Gassen mit den charmant heruntergekommenen Hausfassaden treiben lassen, um schließlich in einer der vielen Fado-Bars zu stranden: für typische Gerichte (etwa eine der zig Varianten des Bacalhau, des portugiesischen Stockfischs), Wein und den traditionellen, melancholischen Live-Gesang. Und: Wer länger bleiben und nicht nur biken möchte, findet im Naturpark Sintra-Cascais auch noch eine riesige Auswahl an Felsen und Stränden zum Bouldern, Klettern und Surfen, alles im Umkreis von maximal einer Stunde.

ENG: Helpful information at a glance

Best time to visit: Sintra is a year-round biking destination, but the most pleasant times for riding are spring and autumn. In September and October, the Atlantic is also warmer than in spring for those wanting to enjoy the ocean.

Good to have: Tubeless tires or many spare tubes, thorns and spines are commonplace on the trails. Good to know: Even in Lisbon you can find bike trails, just head to the city park Monsanto. To help you chat with the mountain biking locals: the Portuguese abbreviation for “MTB” is “BTT”: “Bicicleta Todo Terreno”.

Accommodation: “The Lodge” located a 10 minute walk from the beach “Praia Grande” has a large garden with cozy hammock spots, sauna, Jacuzzi, a great breakfast buffet and a self-catering kitchen. “The Lodge” is run by manager Ralph, a German immigrant and passionate surfer. Female bike travellers and couples will especially like “The Lodge” for its spacious garden, relaxed atmosphere and daily yoga classes ( Next door, also run by Ralph, is the slightly cheaper and just recently opened: Starpine Lodge ( For both accommodation options you can book weekly packages with climbing courses, surf lessons or bike tours. If you want to stay closer to the bike trails and the train station and go to the beach by bus or car, you will be better accommodated directly in Sintra town (located roughly halfway between the main beaches and Lisbon.) where there are plenty of cheap guesthouses and hostels to choose from.

Bars in Lisbon: “Marcelino Pão e Vinho” (Rua do Salvador, 62, Lisbon): A cute little restaurant in the Alfama district serving very good food on old records. Live music can also be enjoyed here on some evenings. Drink Tip: Try Ginjinha, a cherry liqueur, served in a wine glass, with a taste similar to Port wine. “A Tasca do Chico” (Rua do Diário de Notícias 39, Lisbon): Small cozy Fado bar in Bairro Alto district. Arrive early, it gets crowded quickly!

Guides, Shuttles and excellent rental bikes via:

DE: Alle Informationen im Überblick

Beste Reisezeit: Ganzjährig, am angenehmsten aber im Frühjahr und Herbst. Im September und Oktober ist der Atlantik wärmer als im Frühling.

Gut zu haben: Tubeless-Reifen oder viele Ersatzschläuche. Dornen und Nadeln gehören auf den Trails dazu.

Gut zu wissen: Auch mitten in Lissabon gibt es Biketrails, nämlich im Stadtpark Monsanto. Und zum Mitreden: Die portugiesische Abkürzung für „MTB“ lautet „BTT“, bicicleta todo terreno.

Unterkunft: Etwa 10 min Fußweg vom Strand Praia Grande entfernt liegt die schicke Outdoorsport-Lodge „The Lodge“ mit großem Garten, Sauna, Jacuzzi und Selbstversorger-Küche, betrieben von Ralph, einem deutschen Auswanderer ( Diese Anlage gefällt vor allem weiblichen Bikeurlaubern und Paaren. Nebenan, etwas preiswerter und erst vor Kurzem ebenfalls von Ralph neu eröffnet: Bei beiden kann man Wochenpakete mit Kletterkursen, Surfkursen oder Biketouren buchen. Wer näher an Biketrails und Bahnhof wohnen will und zum Strand den Bus oder das Auto nimmt, übernachtet besser direkt im Ort Sintra (liegt etwa in der Mitte zwischen Stränden und Lissabon.) Hier gibt es jede Menge günstige Pensionen und Hostels.

Bars in Lissabon: Nettes kleines Lokal im Stadtteil Alfama: „Marcelino Pao e Vinho“. Sehr leckeres Essen, auf alten Schallplatten serviert. Drink-Tipp: Ginjinha, ein Kirschlikör, der im Weinglas serviert wird und wie Portwein schmeckt. Ab und zu abends Live-Musik (Rua do Salvador, 62, Lissabon). Kleine gemütliche Fado-Bar im Stadtteil Barro Alto: „A Tasca do Chico“ (R. do Diário de Notícias 39, Lissabon). Früh da sein, ist schnell voll.

Guides, Shuttles und sehr gute Leihbikes über:


WERIDE Enduro mag

Original review at ENDURO Mag here


ENG: If you want to combine biking with lots of sun, picture postcard beaches and nightlife the Algarve is the right spot for you. The most southern coastal region of Portugal is famous for its year-round mild climate and lively beach life, not to mention: surfer bars, seafood restaurants, clubs and swanky marinas. All this attracts many tourists and the Algarve is definitely not a place to look for solitude; but the quaint idyllic hinterland is full of great mountain biking spots, where you can quickly escape the coastal hubbub. All spots are located within a 30 to 60 minute shuttle drive from typical holiday accommodation locations such as Albufeira. Each trail area has its own character, but in most spots the wide sea view will be part of the “Algarve biking experience”.

DE: Wer Biken mit viel Sonne, Postkarten-Stränden und Nachtleben verbinden will, der ist an der Algarve richtig. Die südlichste Küstenregion Portugals ist berühmt für ihr ganzjährig mildes Klima und ein quirliges Strandleben zwischen Surferbars, Fischrestaurants, Clubs und mondänen Yachthäfen. All das zieht auch besonders viele Touristen an, einsam ist man an der Algarve deshalb nicht. Doch im urig idyllischen Hinterland gibt es zahlreiche Mountainbike-Spots, in denen man dem Küstentrubel schnell entfliehen kann. Sie alle sind von Unterkünften in Ferienorten wie etwa rund um Albufeira 30 bis 60 Shuttleminuten entfernt, zu einigen kann man auch direkt mit dem Bike treten. Jedes Gebiet hat seinen eigenen Charakter – aber fast überall wartet der weite Blick aufs Meer.

ENG: Serra de Monchique: This mountain range is great for All-mountain and Enduro riders. Here the climate is cooler and more humid than at the coast and the runs are also longer than other Algarve spots. That’s because Monchique features the highest peak of the region: the 902 metre high Fóia. The mountain range offers trails for every taste and skill level: fast and flowy, some with built berms, drops and jumps (particularly around Marmelete), but also more technical trails with small rock gardens, roots, switchbacks and natural drops. To enjoy many of the longer trails in one day, the shuttle services are worth a call. Riders can also look forward to riding through lush green eucalyptus forest, orange groves and blooming meadows with gnarled cork trees on the flanks of ravines. Post-ride, join the locals in the pub at Marmelete, where the ambiance is just right for a celebratory Medronho, the traditional local fruit brandy or a cool Sagres, the most famous brand of Portuguese beer. By the way, you can also buy it in mini-bottles to take home.

DE: Serra de Monchique: Diese Bergkette ist ein tolles Gebiet für Trailbiker. Hier ist das Klima etwas kühler und feuchter als an der Küste und die Abfahrten sind länger als bei den anderen Algarve-Spots. Denn zu Monchique gehört auch der höchste Gipfel der Region, der 902 m hohe Fóia. Das Gebirge bietet Trails für jeden Geschmack und jedes Können: schnell und flowig, teilweise mit gebauten Anliegern, Drops und Sprüngen (besonders rund um den Ort Marmelete), aber auch technischer mit kleinen Rock Gardens, Wurzeln, Spitzkehren und natürlichen Drops. Um möglichst viele der längeren Trails an einem Tag erleben zu können, lohnt sich das Shutteln. Außerdem typisch Monchique: Man fährt abwechselnd durch üppig-grün berankten Eukalyptuswald, blühende Wiesen mit knorrigen Korkeichen, an den Flanken von Schluchten entlang und durch Orangenhaine. Urig: Zwischen den Einheimischen in der Dorfkneipe von Marmelete herrscht genau das richtige Ambiente für einen After-Ride-Medronho,den traditionellen lokalen Obstschnaps. Oder ein kühles Sagres, die bekannteste portugiesische Biermarke. Gibt’s übrigens auch in der Mini-Flasche zum Mitnehmen.

ENG: São Brás de Alportel: A little enduro track paradise which is easily accessible from Faro for an evening ride. Here the young local bikers eagerly build and optimise trails. Most of them are rather short, but the fun factor is high – and typical for all runs at São Brás is the wide sea view. This combination might be a reason why the Portuguese Downhill series “Portugal Cup DHI” chose to have one of its races here. Also there is no need to shuttle; you can pedal up as the altitude is pretty manageable. São Brás de Alportel is also the only spot near Faro, where you can bike even in or after rain, because the ground here does not turn into a tough muddy glissade.

DE: São Brás de Alportel: Ein kleines Enduro-Track-Paradies und z. B. ab Faro auch für eine Feierabendrunde schnell erreichbar. Hier bauen die jungen einheimischen Biker besonders eifrig Trails. Die sind eher kurz, dafür ist aber der Spaßfaktor hoch – und typisch für alle Abfahrten ist der weite Meerblick. Auch deshalb macht hier wohl die portugiesische Downhill-Serie „Portugal Cup DHI“ Station. In São Brás wird nicht geshuttelt, man pedaliert die überschaubaren Höhenmeter selbst nach oben, so oft man will. Außerdem ist dies der einzige Spot nahe Faro, an dem man auch bei Nässe biken kann, denn hier wird der Untergrund dann nicht zur zäh-schlammigen Rutschpartie.

ENG: Cerro Cabeço de Câmara: A hill not far from the coast, with fast, flowy and curvy fun trails. Good for a “first day of vacation-ride” to get used to the grip of the soil in this area – there is hardly any! These trails are also a nice option to combine with a sunset ride at Falésia (see below).

DE: Cerro Cabeca de Camara: Kleiner Hügel nicht weit von der Küste, mit schnellen, flowigen und kurvigen Fun-Trails. Gut für einen „Einfahr-Tag“, um sich an den (geringen) Grip dieser Gegend zu gewöhnen. Und schön zu kombinieren mit einem Sonnenuntergangs-Ride bei Falesia (s. u.).

ENG: São Miguel: Here experienced enduro and downhill riders can take advantage of shuttles to go up, before really going for it on the way down. These trails are fast, with rock sections, big drops and jumps. Besides full protection gear, a downhill bike and downhill tires are a must. Warning: In São Miguel the red soil has very little grip, so don’t get too fast and enthusiastic on your first runs. Also, during rain this area becomes virtually unrideable; the “red dirt” turns into soft soap which sticks firmly to bikes and tyres.

DE: São Miguel: Hier können sich Enduro- und Downhillfahrer shutteln und es richtig krachen lassen – auf schnellen Trails mit Felspassagen und ordentlichen Drops und Jumps. Für gute Fahrer sind in São Miguel Full Protection, Downhillbike und Downhillreifen ein Muss. Achtung: Die rote Erde hat hier extrem wenig Grip, auf den ersten Runs nicht zu übermütig loslegen. Wenn es regnet, ist dieses Gebiet quasi unfahrbar, dann wird der „red dirt“ zur Schmierseife und klebt batzig an den Reifen fest.

ENG: Falésia: Typical for this stretch of coast (very close to holiday accommodation around Albufeira) are the red soil and eroded cliffs. Falésia is not about hardcore runs (although there are a few steep challenges for those who look for it), instead it is a place to simply enjoy an easy pleasure ride with impressive sea views. Falésia is also a great place to relax after a more demanding biking day in the hinterland; enjoy a coffee or drink in a fancy marina bar and cruise towards the sunset along the cliff-top plateau. Another highlight is the 8 km long sandy beach of Praia de Falésia, a great swimming spot. This area is ideal for a relaxed afternoon trip with less experienced trail bikers or children.

DE: Falésia: Typisch für diesen Küstenabschnitt direkt an den Ferienunterkünften nahe Albufeira sind die rote Erde und die erodierte Steilküste. Hier geht es nicht um Hard-Core-Abfahrten, sondern um Genussbiken in der Ebene mit eindrucksvollem Meerblick. In Falésia kann man einen Hinterland-Biketag entspannt ausklingen lassen, sich in einer schicken Yachthafen-Bar einen Kaffee oder Drink gönnen und dann auf dem Steilküsten-Plateau dem Sonnenuntergang entgegencruisen. Zudem ist der 8 km lange Sandstrand Praia de Falésia ein toller Badespot. Und: Dieses Gebiet ist auch ideal für einen entspannten Nachmittagsausflug mit Kindern oder weniger trailerfahrenen Bikern.

ENG: Helpful information at a glance

Best time: Winter (pleasant daytime temperatures, but often very cold nights), autumn (when the Atlantic Ocean has warmed to the perfect temperature for a post-ride swim) and spring (to see blossoming trees and meadows). In the summer months the Algarve is rather too hot for bike rides, with temperatures around 30°C.

Good to have: Tubeless tyres or many spare tubes as there are lots of thorns on the trails. If you really want to shred on the challenging trails in São Miguel and São Brás, you will have most fun with a downhill bike and downhill tyres. 

Good to know: You can buy fresh oranges at street stalls everywhere, directly from the farmers. Oranges from the Algarve are considered the sweetest in the whole of Portugal! Also a “bica” (Portuguese espresso) in the small village pubs of the hinterland only costs around 80 cents to 1€. That makes short caffeine stops even more fun!

After-ride Spot: The “Wax Restobar” in Faro is right on the beach.

Rest day: The Ria Formosa is one of the largest sheltered lagoon landscapes in Europe. Paddling between the islands on a SUP board is a great experience! ( offers board rental and guided trips).

Text: Mila Hanke
Guided bike tours and shuttles:

DE: Alle Informationen im Überblick

Beste Reisezeit: Winter (tagsüber angenehm, allerdings oft sehr kalte Nächte), Herbst (dann ist der Atlantik zum Baden am wärmsten) und Frühjahr (dann blühen die meisten Bäume und Wiesen). In den Sommermonaten ist es bei Temperaturen um die 30 °C zum Biken eher zu heiß.

Gut zu haben: Tubeless-Reifen oder viele Ersatzschläuche, auch hier gibt’s viele Dornen. Wer es auf den anspruchsvollen Trails in São Miguel und São Brás richtig krachen lassen will, hat mit Downhillbike und Downhillreifen den meisten Spaß.

Gut zu wissen: An Straßenständen gibt es überall Orangen frisch vom Bauern. Und die der Algarve gelten als die süßesten in ganz Portugal! Außerdem: Eine bica (der portugiesische Espresso) kostet in den kleinen Dorfkneipen im Hinterland nur etwa 80 Cent bis 1 €. Da machen kurze Koffein-Stopps doppelt Spaß!

After-Ride-Spot: z. B. die "Wax Restobar" in Faro direkt am Strand.

Pausentag: Die Ria Formosa ist eine der größten geschützten Lagunenlandschaften Europas. Mit dem SUP-Board zwischen den Inseln hindurch zu paddeln: tolles Erlebnis! (z. B. über

Text: Mila Hanke
Guides und Shuttles:


WERIDE Enduro mag

Original review at ENDURO Mag here


ENG: Terreiro das Bruxas – The Witches’ Field. This mystical sounding place is actually a famous picnic spot as well as a shuttle drop-off in the mountain range of Serra da Lousã. The densely forested mountain region is located about 220 km north of Lisbon and from the highest point (1,200 m) you have an impressive view over the hinterland of northern Portugal.

Wild boars and deer roam in the woods, but also (on separate paths) so too do hikers and mountain bikers. The locals emphasise that this is the birthplace of the Portuguese enduro and downhill community. In fact, the long descents in Serra Lousã offer fun for every taste and skill level, but also really “gnarly trails”. From rooty and flowy cross-country trails or fast enduro tracks to really steep downhill runs with high drops and jumps, bikers can look forward to riding through dense pine forest on soft forest soil. Some of the more difficult and super steep tracks also challenge riders with very technical loose rock sections and tight corners. Helpful hint: Most tracks are signposted here and colour-coded according to difficulty.

Because of the long descents and the shuttle services, Lousã is also a popular training ground for European enduro and downhill professionals. Each year the area hosts the Fox Enduro Race and the Avalanche Licor Beirão.

DE: Terreiro das Bruxas – Hexenfeld. Was ein bisschen mystisch klingt, ist ein berühmter Picknickplatz, aber auch Shuttle-Drop-off im Gebirgszug Serra da Lousã. Die dicht bewaldete Bergregion liegt etwa 220 km nördlich von Lissabon und bietet vom höchsten Punkt aus (1.200 m) einen eindrucksvollen Blick über das Hinterland Nordportugals.

In den Wäldern tummeln sich hier Hirsche, Wildschweine und Rehe – aber auch (auf getrennten Wegen) Wanderer und Mountainbiker. Die Einheimischen betonen: Hier ist die Wiege der portugiesischen Enduro und Downhill Community. Tatsächlich bieten die langen Abfahrten in der Serra da Lousã Spaß für jeden Geschmack und jede Könnerstufe, aber eben auch richtige "gnarly trails", von wurzelig-flowigen Cross-Country-Strecken über schnelle Enduro-Tracks bis hin zu wirklich steilen Downhill-Runs mit hohen Drops und Sprüngen. Immer geht es durch dichten Kiefernwald, über Waldboden oder bei den schwierigeren Abfahrten auch mal sehr technisch über lose Steinpassagen mit engen Kehren. Hilfreich: Die meisten Tracks sind hier ausgeschildert und nach Schwierigkeitsgrad farblich markiert.

Wegen der vielen Tiefenmeter und Shuttledienste ist Lousã auch ein beliebtes Trainingsgebiet für europäische Enduro und Downhillprofis. Jedes Jahr findet hier das Fox Enduro Race statt – und die Avalanche Licor Beirão.

ENG: Helpful information at a glance

Culture: The area is famous for its 27 traditional mountain-schist villages (“Aldeias do Xisto”), which are scattered over the hills, e.g. Talasnal and Casal Novo. In small pensions and holiday houses you can also stay overnight. Alternatively you can camp at picnic areas such as “Terreiro das Bruxas” (for one night you are allowed to wild camp anywhere) or book an organised camper trip with the bike guiding company “WERIDE” (see below).

Shuttles & Trail Info: Louzanpark” opened recently, providing a meeting and information point for bikers but also other outdoor sport and nature lovers who want to explore this mountain region, such as hikers and trail runners. Learn more about the offers of Louzanpark at (contact – email under the heading “BTT”).

Restaurant tip: “Ti’Lena” in the schist village Talasnal is the perfect place for a truly quaint dinner in front of the fireplace. Register a day in advance, to give the current cook time to prepare (eponym “Aunt Lena” died recently at the age of 89). A great option is a dish of unbelievably tender lamb in red wine, very slowly cooked on fireplace coal for 24 hours. For more information contact

Repair shop tip: Hidden, in a kind of backyard allotment hut in Lousã, Daniel Pombo has his repair shop. The brother of Portugal’s most famous downhill pro rider Emanuel Pombo is considered the “suspension god”; bikers from all over Portugal and even neighbouring countries send their forks and shocks to him for repair. Naturally, Daniel is also a really fast downhill rider and quite a successful racer too. Contact via his Facebook page or e-mail to

Bike shop: for normal spare parts, clothing, etc. visit:

Guiding and multi-day packages with either guesthouse accommodation in one of the small schist villages or in a campervan:

DE: Alle Informationen im Überblick

Kulturelles Plus: Besonders machen die Gegend auch 27 urige Berg-Schieferdörfer ("Aldeias do Xisto"), die über die Hänge verteilt sind, z. B. Talasnal oder Casal Novo. In kleinen Pensionen und Ferienhäusern kann man dort auch übernachten. Alternative: Camping auf den Picknickplätzen wie Terreiro das Bruxas (für eine Nacht pro Standort darf man in der ganzen Gegend wild campen) oder ein organisierter Camper-Trip mit dem Mountainbike-Veranstalter "WERIDE" (s. u.).

Shuttels & Trailinfo: Vor Kurzem eröffnete "Louzanpark", eine Anlaufstelle für Biker, aber auch andere Outdoorsport- und Naturliebhaber, die diese Bergregion entdecken wollen, z. B. auch Wanderer und Trailrunner. Infos zu den Angeboten von Louzanpark über (Kontakt - Email unter dem Stichwort "BTT").

Restaurant-Tipp: "Ti’Lena" im abgelegenen Schieferdorf Talasnal ist der perfekte Ort für ein wirklich uriges Abendessen vorm offenen Kamin. Einen Tag im Voraus anmelden, dann bereitet die jetzige Köchin (Namensgeberin "Tante Lena" ist vor Kurzem mit über 90 Jahren gestorben) z. B. ein einmalig zartes Lamm in Rotweinsoße vor: 24 h ganz langsam in Kaminkohle gegart. Kontakt über

Werkstatt-Geheimtipp: Versteckt und unausgeschildert, in einer Art Schrebergartenhütte in einem Hinterhof der Kleinstadt Lousã, hat Daniel Pombo seine Werkstatt. Der Bruder von Portugals berühmtesten Downhill-Profi Emanuel Pombo gilt als "Suspension God": Biker aus ganz Portugal und sogar den Nachbarländern schicken ihre Gabeln und Dämpfer zur Reparatur zu ihm. Und natürlich fährt auch Daniel seit 15 Jahren ziemlich erfolgreich Downhill-Rennen. Kontakt über seine Facebook-Seite oder per E-Mail an

Bikeshop: Für normale Ersatzteile, Kleidung usw.:

Guiding und Mehrtagespakete mit Schieferdorf-Pension oder Campervan:

Text: Mila Hanke