The climb to Pomares from Melgaço is a gentle introduction to northern Portugal. It averages less than 5% over its 8km, but nonetheless, it isn’t that easy. There are ramps of up to 9%, so it gets your attention.The climb starts from the border town of Melgaço, that sits across the river Miño from Arbo. This provides another great reason for a cycling holiday in Galicia, its proximity to Portugal, and the ability to experience their culture.
The road is the N-202, and it gently winds its way out of Melgaço at a steady 6% for two kms. The road is very well surfaced, but doesn’t have cycle verges. So for the first couple of kms you have to be wary of any local traffic. The road is quite twisty, constantly curving through the villages that skirt Melgaço, but very smooth and constant gradient.
Once through the village of Lourençao, the houses give way to beautiful woodland. You will steadily climb up surrounded by pine, eucalyptus and oak trees, providing great shade on a warm day. The road continues like this for the last 4km. Continuously winding through lush forest, without a person or car in sight, until you arrive in Pomares. Pomares is the gateway to the Geres national park, via Senhora de Paneda. A climber’s paradise.