Come Ride With Us!
Does your motorcycling bucket list include riding in Europe? How about riding alongside some of motorcycling’s groundbreaking women? We would cordially like to invite women and those who ride with them to join WomenRidersNow.com (WRN) staff on our “Ladies First” Western Spain and Portugal tour September 27–October 4, 2024. In collaboration with Blue Strada Tours, a limited number of lucky riders will experience the best of the Iberian Peninsula, including vineyards, waterfalls, wildlife, and 4-star restaurants and accommodations with us.
Editor Tricia Szulewski and Co-Chairwomen Erin Sills and Sarah Schilke will all be riding alongside attendees, as well as special guest, Elspeth Beard. In the early 1980s, Elspeth set out on her BMW alone to ride around the world. Facing all kinds of challenges from breakdowns, illness, and crashes to robbery and unwanted sexual advances, her story is one worth reading.
The Perks of Group Touring in Europe
Riding motorcycles in Europe is often quite different from what we are used to in America. Traffic can be unpredictable, signs may be difficult to understand, and even gassing up can prove to be a challenge. Often the roadways themselves are very narrow with sharp curves and limited or no guardrails.
Sure, you can rent a motorcycle and create your own tour to get around Europe. But it can be stressful if you don’t speak the language or know the terrain. Just ask Elspeth—planning a tour in another country takes a ton of time and often things don’t go as planned. You may enjoy going where you want, when you want. But on your own you have to make all the plans and risk getting off-track. You need to arrange transportation to and from the airport and rental outfit, carry your own gear, be prepared for mechanical issues, and possibly worry about security. For these reasons and more, paying a little more for an organized motorcycle tour like this one can alleviate a lot of stress, especially if you are traveling alone.
Motorcycling Skills Needed
The Ladies First Western Spain and Portugal tour is designed for confident road riders with experience. On a scale from 0 to 5, you need at least a 3.5 road-riding skill level to participate. The motorcycles offered provide optimal comfort and handling on the planned roadways. There are no off-road routes, gravel, or insane hairpin turns, and the fleet of mostly adventure-style motorcycles will be optimal for these roads.
BMW, Honda, Yamaha, Husqvarna, and Royal Enfield standard and dual-sport bikes from 500cc’s to 1250cc’s are available at different price points. All the bikes are outfitted with three bags for you to carry gear and souvenirs, but there will also be a vehicle to transport your additional luggage. The cost to participate starts at $4,660 for a shared room. A single-room supplement can be added for $640.
Where Are We Going?
The extraordinary tour of the Iberian Peninsula starts in the city of Porto and on Day 1 reaches the centuries-old hillside vineyards of the Douro Valley, ending in the mountain village of Lousa. Along the way, we visit the vast beauty of Peneda-Gerês National Park, which is the first and only protected area to be established in Portugal. Its rugged hills are home to deer, wolves, golden eagles, and beautiful waterfalls. On to Serra da Estrela—the largest mountain range in mainland Portugal—that can make one feel as tiny as the sheer size of its imposing valleys.
The route is carefully planned to offer an amazing experience with enough time built in to enjoy where we are without becoming too tired to enjoy it. The most we will ride in a single day is only 150 miles.
Here’s a simple outline of the schedule:
Day 1: Welcome to Porto, Portugal! Meet your motorcycle and new friends.
Day 2: The ever-beautiful Douro River Valley awaits your riding spirit. 150 miles
Day 3: Ride a continuing loop through Douro Valley close to Spain. 125 miles
Day 4: More exciting roads to scenic Serra da Estrela. 125 miles
Day 5: We stay in the same hotel this day, so you can enjoy the area or take a scenic loop ride on the mountain roads. 120 miles
Day 6: A ride through the Da Estrela Valley to historic Lousa. 145 miles
Day 7: Departing Lousa for more scenic and fun riding as Porto awaits. 135 miles
Day 8: Depart Porto for home (or continue on for another adventure.)
Besides the motorcycle rental, insurance, taxes, and fuel, as well as experienced English-speaking guides and support van to haul luggage and provide mechanical support, you get a lot for the cost. The Ladies First Western Spain and Portugal tour package price includes six nights in 4-star hotels, all breakfasts and dinners, a special visit to a wine cellar and tasting, a tour route book, and commemoratives. You will have to secure your own flights and travel insurance. You're responsible for lunch and personal expenses as well.