The location for the main Harley-Davidson European Rally in 2019 is the beautiful coastal town of Cascais, in southern Portugal. The rally was held there in 2012 and it proved to be a popular and busy rally.
The rally will host live bands, a custom bike show, dealer stands, demonstration rides and much more. The setting of the beachfront location next to a great range of the towns bars and restaurants is ideal.
Our tour starts in the UK and by using the 24 hour ferry to get from Portsmouth in the UK to Spain, we can then concentrate on riding the terrific roads in Spain and Portugal.
If you want to ride wonderful and scenic roads, with someone else making all the arrangements, then riding with Tour1 is for you. We are hugely experienced riders having ridden all over Europe and we know where the best roads are.
The tour concentrates on riding terrific roads in wonderful landscapes. Many of the roads we have selected for the tour run through national parks, alongside rivers or through glorious countryside – our aim is to put a huge smile on your face as you ride south towards what promises to be one heck of a party.
Day One (Friday)
*Day one is subject to the ferry company confirming their summer 2019 sailing times, but is not likely to change.
We will catch a Friday evening ferry from Southampton to Spain. The cost of the ferry is included in the tour price. You will have an outside cabin on the ferry for the 24 hour sailing to Spain.
Day Two (Saturday)
The ferry docks in northern Spain early evening, so we have just a short ride this evening to get to our hotel on the edge of the Picos de Europa mountain range. The name is thought to be because the mountains were said to be the first sight of Europe for ships arriving from the Americas. We stay in a terrific traditional Spanish country 3-star hotel.
Day Three (Sunday)
We ride in Spain all day today. First, we ride along the northern edge of the Picos National Park before heading south to ride through one of its long gorges. The road twists and bends a great deal through the gorge. We then ride alongside the huge Embalse de Riaño reservoir and ride atop its dam, before heading south west towards the city of Leon, which we skirt to get to our 3-star hotel, which sits in a beautiful town square.
Day Four (Monday)
We ride a variety of road types today, from narrow and twisty to fast and straight. In the morning we continue on wonderfully scenic roads as we cross the border into Portugal and ride in the Serra da Nogueira low-lying mountains and then into the Serra de Bornes. We stay the night in a 4-star hotel.
Day Five (Tuesday)
This is as fantastic day’s riding as today is spent riding the Serra da Estrela mountain range, which are the highest mountains in Portugal. All of the roads we ride today are scenic, affording wonderful views of the area. We will take the highest road in Portugal which is the Torre Road at 1,993 metres / 6,539 feet. We stay the night in a modern 4-star hotel.
Day Six (Wednesday)
More great roads follow today as we ride in the Serra de Alvelos and the Serra de Aire mountains. We stay the night in a terrific 4-star hotel in Caldas da Rainha, close to the Atlantic Ocean.
Day Seven (Thursday)
We have a short ride today of just 75 miles before arriving in Cascais. For a short part of the day, we will ride along the Atlantic coast road. We will arrive in Cascais and our 4-star hotel at around 3pm.
At the Rally
There is always much to see and do at the Harley-Davidson main European rally. The rally site hosts bands, dealer displays, demonstrator bikes, vendors, bars and all shapes and sizes of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. On our arrival day of Thursday, or perhaps on Friday morning, we will have a group orientation ride / walk to ensure you all know where the various rally activities take place.
For most of your time in Cascais, from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning, you are able to do as you please, whether that is ride in the local area, visit the rally site, watch some of the live bands on the beachfront main stage, or visit the custom bike show – it is up to you. If your partner wants to fly down to the rally and spend time with you, there is only a small charge for your partner to stay at the hotel.
On the Friday afternoon we are likely to ride to the location of the custom motorcycle show.
On the Saturday, if you wish, you can join thousands of others in riding in the parade.
On the Sunday morning, we will take our motorcycles to the We Move Bikes base and leave them there, along with any reasonable amount of helmets / luggage, ready to be shipped back to London on one of the WMB trucks. From that point, you are responsible for you own journey home. For flying back to the UK, Lisbon Airport is about a 45 minute taxi ride away from Cascais (most riders will share taxis). Airlines fly to many UK airports from Lisbon. You are responsible for booking your return flight to the UK to whatever airport best suits you. Some people may choose to stay a few more days in the area before flying home.
Our group sizes normally range from 10 to 14 motorcycles.
Each day, we normally start riding at 8.30am sharp and cover in the region of 150 to 200 miles. We try to avoid motorways wherever possible and only use these when there is no real alternative. We take mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks and of course find somewhere for lunch. Our plan is to normally arrive at that evening’s hotel by around 6pm.
We use good quality hotels – not super luxury and not bottom end, but mid-range – normally 3 and 4-star.
We ride at a pace to suit all of the riders. We stick to all speed limits in towns, but in rural areas we ride at, let’s call them ‘more appropriate’ speeds. We generally ride in staggered convoy on straighter roads.
As we have pre-booked hotels and a schedule to stick to, we ride in all weathers. During any exceptionally inclement weather, we will pull over for short periods. We could experience a range of different types of weather, so bring waterproofs, just in case.
Each of our rides has a difficulty rating and this tour is rated as ‘moderate’. That means this tour is not recommended for new riders. You should have at least four years of riding experience on large motorcycles. You must have ridden on the right-hand side of the road before and you must be comfortable with travelling in a group of riders and be able to keep a good pace within that group. We do not ride fast, but at the same time, it is better if riders do not go too slowly. While there is not much motorway riding on the tour, as a guide, the group will be riding at speeds of 75mph on motorways. You must be confident of riding in rain and on wet roads. Each day’s riding will be around 9 hours, including breaks. You should be able to ride all day. If you are at all unsure if your riding ability is good enough for this tour, then you must contact us by telephone to discuss.