Ride Motorcycles with Women Riders Now on a Western Spain / Portugal Tour

8-day European motorcycle tour offers exciting roads, amazing scenery, and 4-star hospitality

By Tricia Szulewski, Editor

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.

Portugal tour
If you’ve been dreaming of exploring some of Europe’s beautiful scenery from the seat of a motorcycle, now’s your chance! This all on-road tour is going to be an epic adventure.
Portugal tour
Riders will fly into the beautiful port city of Porto, Portugal, where the tour officially begins. Airfare is not included but there will be transportation to and from the airport.

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.

Italy tour
Bill Knieggie, owner of Blue Strada Tours, has been running motorcycle, Mazda Miata, and Jeep tours in Portugal, Italy, Spain, and in the U.S. since 2009. He was a pivotal leader on WRN’s Ladies First tour of Italy in 2015, and knows how to lead a top-notch experience. We are excited to ride with him again.
Trish and Dad
As a “ladies first” tour, it is primarily a women’s tour, but men who accompany a woman are welcome. In fact, Editor Tricia’s dad, Pete (shown here with Trish), will be joining us.

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.

The Motorcycles

Royal Enfield INT 650
The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is a classically-styled midsized standard with the appearance of a British roadster. True to retro styling, there’s no wind protection. The bench seat height is 31.65 inches. The cost for a solo rider who chooses this bike is $4,660.
Honda CB500X
Honda’s CB500X offers an upright seating position, light weight, easy handling, and a windshield for touring comfort. The 471cc liquid-cooled twin has a 32.68-inch seat height. Solo riders will pay $4,660 to tour on the CB500X.
BMW F 750 GS
The BMW F 750 GS has long been popular with women riders due to its low option (31.1 inches) and superior long-haul ride quality. Solo riders will pay $4,785 to tour on this model. There will also be new F 800 GS's available with a low (29.92 inch) seat option.
Yamaha Tenere 700
The Yamaha Ténéré 700 is so popular here in the States, it’s almost impossible to find one for sale. An affordable, lightweight adventure bike with advanced tech features and long-distance comfort, it has the tallest seat height (33.74 inches) on the list. The cost to ride this bike is $4,825 for a solo rider, and $7,895 for couples.
The Husqvarna Norden 901 has a comfortable ergonomic seat and the integrated fairing offers a bit of wind protection. Seat height is 33.6 inches. Solo riders will pay $4,895 while two-up couples will pay $8,110 to tour on the Husky.
Honda Africa Twin
Honda’s popular adventure model, the 1084cc Africa Twin, has a standard seat height of 34.3 inches, and a low position of 33.5 inches. The cost to ride this bike solo on the tour is $4,825, or $7,895 for rider and passenger.
BMW R 1250 GS Erin Sills
The world-standard for adventure travel, BMW’s R 1250 GS offers plush comfort and tons of power. The regular seat height is 34.25 inches and low seat height is 33.46 inches. WRN’s Erin Sills has plenty of experience aboard this model coaching riders at RawHyde Adventures (shown here with her personal BMW R 1200 GS.) Solo riders will pay $4,950 to use this model and two-up riders will pay $8,150.

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.

This view of the picturesque village of Monsanto shows what kind of topography and landscape we can expect to see.
There will be plenty of mountain vistas like this view of Spain.

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.)

What’s Included

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.

Hotel in Portugal
There’s nothing better than enjoying beautiful luxurious accommodations (and wine!) after a day on the motorcycle. This is just one of the 4-star hotels we will be staying at.

To reserve your spot, or for more details and any questions please contact Bill at BillK@BlueStradaTours.com or 704/292-8801. Check out the Blue Strada Tours website here.

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