Cycling Across Europe on a Marin Four Corners

In the summer of 2022, Bernardo Bacalhau traveled to England, picked up a new Marin Four Corners gravel bike, then rode it home to Portugal for over 38 days. Join him on his adventure as he rides through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe, makes new friends, and creates memories that will last a lifetime.

Cycling Across Europe, from England to Portugal

The cycling route from Corsham, England, to Nazare, Portugal, covers a distance of approximately 2,200 km, offering cyclists a unique and breathtaking experience. The route takes riders through different terrains, from rolling hills and verdant countryside to coastal towns and rugged mountains.

From Corsham, cyclists would ride southward to the port city of Plymouth, where they would catch a ferry to Santander, Spain. After arriving in Santander, they would continue their journey southward through the stunning Cantabrian Mountains before reaching the historic city of Salamanca. 

From Salamanca, the route leads to the wine region of Ribera del Duero before entering the breathtaking mountains of Serra da Estrela, the highest peak in mainland Portugal.

The route then descends towards the coast, passing through the historic city of Coimbra before reaching the coastal town of Nazare, the final destination. Along the way, cyclists would experience some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, including the Picos de Europa, the rolling hills of Castilla y Leon, and the stunning Douro Valley.

Regarding accommodation, cyclists have several options, including hotels, guesthouses, and campsites. Cyclists should also be aware of local traffic laws, regulations, and cultural practices in the countries they pass through.

3 Universal Bike Touring Lessons

Bernardo documented his journey well, identifying details about his trip that you can apply you your future bike-touring adventure.

  1. Always plan for unexpected detours. Road access changes daily for reasons beyond your control. Map a secondary route if you face a road closure or, in Bernardo’s case, a wildfire! 
  2. Riding with friends is more fun. Bike touring involves extended periods doing the same thing—pedaling. Another person to talk with and share the experience with is a good idea. Thus, Bernardo was thrilled to ride with the newlyweds from the UK as they biked across the world.
  3. Finally, never underestimate the sun. The sun and heat are no match for an exposed cyclist. Bernardo demonstrated the importance of planning for shaded campsites, proper headwear, and listening to your body when it demands water or rest.

Marin Four Corners Bike Check

Bernardo rode a Marin Four Corners during this massive 2500km journey from England to Portugal. Get to know the Marin Four Corners.

A butted 4130 CrMo steel frame and fork are designed to be comfortable on rough roads and handle fully loaded-touring and bikepacking. Thus, the Shimano 3×9 drivetrain provides enough gears to ride for 38 days across Europe comfortably. We’ve included six bottle mounts, rack and fender eyelets, lowrider fork mounts, generous tire clearance, and disc brakes to set you up for all conditions and all terrains.

Don’t be fooled; that classic frame material doesn’t mean low-tech. We’ve used biometric fit data to offer five different frame sizes, with size-matched 650b or 700C wheels to suit riders between 4’11” – 6’4”. A high front-end creates all-day comfort and heads-up visibility, off-road-ready geometry means you won’t skip a beat when you head off the asphalt and explore Beyond Road.

We can’t speak for Bernardo; however, he appeared more than pleased with the Marin Four Corners. The bike is heavy (just under 30lbs naked), but riders can reduce weight with the right components and smart loading, aka not overloading. More important, though, the Marin Four Corners proved to be bulletproof, a trusty companion on a long, arduous journey. There’s no substitute for reliability on the open road. 

Lastly, the Marin Four Corners provided plenty of mounting points for a 38-day ride across Europe. And it fits Bernardo’s Ortlieb panniers and QuadLock phone mount perfectly. Bernardo didn’t mention any trouble with his bike bags during the trip. It’s safe to say they remained out of sight, out of mind. You can’t ask for much more from your gear on such a long journey.

Want more Portugal cycling trip ideas? Check out these eco-cycling paths in Portugal.

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