8 days
Duration
250 km
Distance
Medium
Difficulty
Algarve
Location

Highlights

  • Algarve’s picturesque and lively historical centers
  • Cycling holidays in Portugal through incredible and wild scenery on the coast of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina NP
  • Backwaters and salt mines of Ria Formosa
  • Visit to an organic farm and to local pastry factory
  • Tasty picnics served at the beach or at local restaurants
  • Very nice hotels, including a night in a convent

Description

This medium level cycling tour begins where our Along the Coast tour finishes. You can complement your cycling holiday by doing the two bike tours together. You can also do a walking tour to get to the starting point.

We start cycling in a wild rugged area of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina NP, on the west coast. Then, we cycle along the popular south coast, the true Algarve, including very picturesque spots closer to the Spanish border!

Our days have lots of variety with visits to places such as the Fisherman’s museum, the cape of Sagres and several fortresses. The Portuguese Sea Discoveries of the 15th century are always present.

Besides cycling and enjoying the amazing scenery, we invite you also to learn about the local economy. One of the learning highlights is a visit to an organic farm where its fruit is transformed in jams, chutneys, cakes, and chocolates. The salines visit is another one and, to a sweet end, a visit to a pastry factory where you will have the chance to learn to bake some cakes and in the end taste them (cooking on van guided and guided tours only)!

The beaches are beautiful, on the first days with fun waves and impressive steep cliffs on the background while the last days offer us quiet and crystal blue waters.  You will find out that even in the more touristy Algarve areas there are still hidden away empty beaches.

Though the Algarve is apparently flat, there are several short ups and downs along the day, so you should be fit enough to handle the hills.

On the 6th day, there is a transfer by train or van to avoid the more busy area of the Algarve.

The hotels are all top quality and have a swimming pool, (except for the first one), though we hope you don’t have much time to spend there! There are a couple of Pousadas included and an old hamlet, time forgot, transformed into one of a kind hamlet/hotel tourism project.

The Algarve usually is a bit warmer than the rest of the country in autumn and spring, so you may end up having a swim in late October or early April! Algarve bike tours can be done all year round!

You can make this trip:

  1. with us on a guided tour getting all the interpretation and companionship
  2. with us, having the support car guiding you
  3. with friends on a self guided tour.

Additional information

Tour typeHeritage, Landscape, Ocean views
1

Day 1

Arrival
Arrival at Faro or Lisbon airport and transfer to Odeceixe.

Briefing of your cycling holidays in Portugal.

If you arrive early we suggest a visit to the historic centre of Faro before the transfer to Odeceixe (if you flew to Faro).
Arrival to Odeceixe in time for a beer at the little square, and maybe to visit the windmill.
Also possible to use your bike to ride to the beach, classified as one of the seven wonder beaches of Portugal.

Dinner included in van guided and guided bike tours only.
Accommodation at nice guesthouse in village centre.
2

Day 2

The Wild Beaches
Cycling from Odeceixe to Aljezur.

Cycle along the river until the gorgeous beach of Odeceixe. Enjoy the stunning views and the rock formations near the beach.

Then we go through farmland with some green cornfields that contrast with the yellow grass in the warm seasons and reach another wild beach. A nice café will be a perfect place for a stop, enjoying a cool drink and a light lunch while watching the surf schools in action.

Have a swim and then cycle to the village of Aljezur, one of the last ones to be conquered to the moors.

The local artist shop and gallery deserve a visit, as well as the local museums.

If you want to do some extra kms, it is possible to ride to another beach or along a beautiful farmland valley.

 Distance: 32
  Total ascent: 350 mts
 Difficulty: easy +
  Terrain: Secondary roads with no traffic at all. Some dirt tracks.

One more adventurous descent where some people may prefer to walk, but very short and easy to walk (300m).

Optional extra kms: 4 + 20 (to ride to the extra beach).

 Lunch and dinner included in van guided and guided bike tours only.
Accommodation: Vicentina Aparthotel, 4*, with a swimming pool.
3

Day 3

From Impressive Cliffs to Charming Valleys
Cycling from Aljezur to Pedralva.

Start by conquering the Castle of Aljezur, enjoying the beautiful views over the village and its neat and tidy vegetable gardens. Then cycle to the coast again, visiting a fortress with stunning views over the cliffs. The perfect defense setting! From here we can see the “needle rock”, an imposing rock standing in the middle of the ocean.

We go inland again and start our dirt track adventure. First between eucalyptus, later between the wild endemic bushes and finally along a gorgeous little lake and along a valley. Completely wild, surprising and breathtaking.

Cycle to Bordeira, a lovely hamlet with a Manueline style church, and then ride along with another enchanting valley until Carrapateira. Here you will be stunned by the incredible views and rough coastline.

Cycle for a few kms along the cliffs. Take time to stop and enjoy. Picnic lunch will be served by one of these beaches (on guided tours only).

The fisherman’s museum is a visit not to be missed, with fantastic pictures of the man hanging from rocks to catch the famous local delicacy “percebes“. Learn about the lives of the people from the region that risk their lives to catch the best fish for your meal!

Riding along another green valley we reach tonight’s accommodation, a lovely hamlet where half of the houses were carefully recovered for tourism.

Distance: 44
Total ascent: 650 mts
Difficulty: medium +
 Terrain: Difficult start with some steep climbs, always on asphalt. Then dirt tracks, most of them flat or down. One technical descent (400m) where some people may prefer to walk.
Optional extra kms: 4 with 150 mts ascent.
 Picnic and dinner included in van guided and guided tours only.
AccommodationAldeia da Pedralva, rural tourism, with a swimming pool.
4

Day 4

Infant D. Henrique and the Sea Discoveries
Cycling from Pedralva to Sagres.

Leave Pedralva through a dirt road along the valley. Pass just under some modern wind farms and reach the sanctuary of Guadalupe. Here learn about the interesting life of Infant D. Henrique, the sea discoveries prince.

After cycle through a couple of lovely villages to reach the wild coast again. Have a swim at the beach and then cycle to the Cape of S. Vicente, the most SW point of Europe. From there on, only the sea discoveries and the adventures of the sea sailing!

Stop for a swim again at a fantastic beach surrounded by huge cliffs. We feel small!!!!

After visiting the Fortress of Sagres we continue to our very nice hotel with gorgeous views over the cliffs and the fortress. These visits make our Portugal bike tours special!

Distance: 41
Total ascent: 500 mts
Difficulty: medium
Terrain: Good dirt tracks, mostly flat, with a couple of short climbs. Steep climb on asphalt to come back from the beach where we do our lunch (guided trip only).
Optional extra kms: 4
 Picnic and dinner included in van guided and guided tours only.
Accommodation: Charming “Pousada“, with a swimming pool.

5

Day 5

Beach Roller Coaster!
Cycling from Sagres to Lagos.

Today the route goes along the southern coastline, in and out to wild beaches. Stop several times for swims and drinks. Enjoy!

The ocean here is warmer than on the west coast, the waters are quieter.  The cliffs change colour, from the black schist to the orange sandstone.

The villages are bigger, more touristic, with many cafés, restaurants and shopping opportunities.

We pass a couple of fortresses with fantastic views and go up and down on narrow secondary roads. The last kilometers will be on an amazing trek along the cliffs from where we can see beautiful rock islands in which erosion formed arches, caves and different shapes.

Lagos is a lively coastal city with charming architecture, perfect for a stop in our Algarve bike tours. Visit the local museum, the beautiful church and enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Distance: 43
Total ascent: 720 mts
Level: medium +
Terrain: Start with flat dirt track with some rocks to challenge our senses. This is a real dirt track! Steep valley passage to be done walking by everyone. Steep down and steep up, too technical to ride. (but what a gorgeous views!!!). Then asphalt roller coaster, always steep up and down but always short. Maximum 80 meters each time. In the end optional flat cliff dirt track or asphalt.
Picnic included in van guided and guided tours only. Dinner not included.
AccommodationHotel Tivoli, 4*, with a swimming pool.

6

Day 6

The Charming Villages
  Cycling from Lagos to Tavira.

The day starts with a 9:30 am transfer from Lagos to Olhão. Arriving at your destination, unload the bikes and cycle to a little village famous for its pottery.

It’s a quiet and charming place.

Then cycle back to the coast and have a drink by the lagoon of the Natural Park of Ria Formosa. Cycle along this lagoon and stop to enjoy the quietness and watch the bird life.

It’s usual to see fisherman catching clams and razors in low tide and boats arriving from a fishing day in high tide.

Tavira is probably the prettiest village of the Algarve. Its architecture is charming, the atmosphere relaxing. Save time to explore. Here it’s a good place to buy some arts and crafts, at the local association.

Distance: 30
Total Ascent: 220 mts
Difficulty: easy +
  Terrain: Flat asphalt most of the way. Very few dirt tracks.
  Picnic included in van guided and guided tours only. Dinner not included.
Accommodation: Charming “Pousada“, with a swimming pool.

7

Day 7

The Local Economy
Cycling from Tavira to Vila Real de Santo António.

From Tavira we cycle along the Natural Park again, passing several beach and golf resorts that make the wonders of tourists and golfers. Beaches here are busy and lively.

To reach then you either walk over a wood board over the river or take a little charming train or a local boat. Between the mainland and the beach, there is always the lagoon.

Visit the charming Cacela-a-Velha and the views over the lagoon and then cycle inland to Castro Marim.

On the way, we will visit a biological farm and learn about the fig and carob trees, and the local products that are made from their fruits. In this farm the motto is “waste nothing”, and everything the trees give us is used.

After we visit the salt lakes and learn about this local production. Here you may immerse yourself on a wonderful outdoor salt-mud SPA experience!

It is time to cycle to our final destination, Vila Real de Santo António, where the second language is Spanish! All restaurants have menus in Spanish as this is the main tourism market. After all, Spain it’s just across the river!

At arrival, we have a last surprise! We have the opportunity to visit a local pastry factory! On guided groups, besides visiting, you will have the chance to make some pastries and, of course, taste them!!!!

 Distance: 37 km
Total Ascent: 250 mts
Difficulty: easy
Terrain: Flat asphalt most of the way. Very few dirt tracks.
Optional extra kms: 13
Picnic and dinner included in van guided and guided tours only.
Accommodation: Hotel Apolo, 3*, with swimming pool. If you prefer to stay again at the gorgeous Pousada this is possible. You will cycle to Vila Real and then have a transfer back to Tavira and stay at the same hotel. This also has the advantage of not having to pack. Please contact us to receive the upgrade cost.
8

Day 8

Departure
Transfer to Faro airport

Tour extension: Continue Cycling with us to the gorgeous inland of the Alentejo and do the Castles and Wine Tour.

Notes:
On Van guided tours the guide will be the driver. He/she will guide you from a distance. The car will be near enough so that you can see it on the junctions. The guide will stop at important or interesting places to give history explanations or tell a story. Some people call this a supported tour, though in our case it is more than that because you are actually being guided.

On Guided tours groups are accompanied by one or two cycling guides, besides a guide who takes the support car, prepares the picnics and transports your luggage. Lunches are picnic type with traditional foods from the area where we are cycling. Sometimes we also use local restaurants.

In dinners arranged by us and you can be sure you will try the best gastronomy as we choose restaurants well known by us for its good traditional food. No «touristy» places included!

On van guided or guided cycling tours, you can expect full service from your guides. They will do their best to make your holiday an unforgettable one.

Our guides are all Portuguese and know our region very well. They are very service minded and most of them have been working with us for many years. They are bikers themselves and love to go cycling on their holidays, so they know what you expect from them!

MAP

PROFILES

1st cycling day from Odeceixe to Aljezur

Altitude gain: 361 mt/ 1184 ft
Total Distance: 34.2 km/ 21 mi
Level: easy plus


2nd cycling day from Aljezur to Pedralva

Altitude gain: 825 mt/ 2706 ft
Total Distance: 54,8 km/ 34 mi
Level: medium plus


3rd cycling day from Pedralva to Sagres

Altitude gain: 614 mt/ 2014 ft
Total Distance: 44 km/ 27 mi
Level: medium


4th cycling day from Sagres to Lagos

Altitude gain: 840 mt/ 2755 ft
Total Distance: 46,4 km/ 28 mi
Level: medium plus


5th cycling day from Olhão to Tavira

Altitude gain: 281 mt/ 921 ft
Total Distance: 32,7 km/ 20 mi
Level: easy


6th cycling day from Tavira to Vila Real de Santo António

Altitude gain: 389 mt/ 1276 ft
Total Distance: 38.7 km/ 24 mi
Level: easy plus

Prices per person – 2019

Departures everyday for all types of Tour.

Come on our set dates and Get a Better Price.

conditions SELF GUIDED TOUR VAN-GUIDED TOUR GUIDED TOUR
Price per person (group tour dates) - - 2 100 €*
Price per person (minimum 4 adults) 835 €* 1 410 €* 2 150 €*
Price per person (minimum 2 adults) 1 150 €* 1 990 €* 2 475 €*
*plus season supplement if applicable
Included
Accommodation in double room with breakfast
Maps, route instructions and history notes
24h phone support
Personal accident insurance
Luggage transfer
Basic tools
Transfer from Lagos to Olhão
VAT tax
Souvenir
Faro airport transfer
Support car with guide
Bicycle, helmet, back rack and pannier or similar
Water and fruit
4 Picnic lunches
2 Lunch at regional restaurant
5 Dinners with wine
1 liqueur tasting
Entrance fee at Fortress of Sagres
Entrance fee at Municipal museum of Aljezur
Entrance fee at Fisherman's museum
1st aid assistence
Portugal Best Cycling jersey
Guide
* Season supplement
Apr 1 to May 30 140 € 140 € 140 €
Jun 1 to Jul 12 197 € 197 € 197 €
Jul 13 to Sep 14 379 € 379 € 379 €
Sep 15 to Sep 30 189 € 189 € 189 €
Oct 1 to Oct 30 140 € 140 € 140 €
Easter under request
Supplements
Single** 226 € 226 € 226 €
Single** - Apr 1 to May 30 514 € 514 € 514 €
Single** - Jun 1 to Jul 12 636 € 636 € 636 €
Single** - Jul 13 to Sep 14 991 € 991 € 991 €
Single** - Sep 15 to Sep 30 627 € 627 € 627 €
Single** - Oct 1 to Oct 30 514 € 514 € 514 €
** Single supplement applys for a 3rd person in a group of 2.
Departure different then Saturday 99 € 99 € 99 €
Transfers
Lisbon's Airport transfer to 1st hotel
Per person (min 4) 87 € - -
Per person (min 2) 139 € - -
Faro's Airport transfer to 1st hotel
Per person (min 4) 47 € - -
Per person (min 2) 94 € - -
Lisbon's Airport transfer from last hotel
Per person (min 4) 115 € - -
Per person (min 2) 159 € - -
Faro's Airport transfer from last hotel
Per person (min 4) 21 € - -
Per person (min 2) 42 € - -
Rentals
Bicycle rental with helmet, back rack and pannier or similar 100 € - -
E-bike rental 200 € 100 € 100 €
GPS Rental 50 € - -
Phone rental (plus calls) 10 € 10 € 10 €

Discount price if you book 2 tours!

Tour extension: Continue Cycling with us to the gorgeous inland of the Alentejo and do the Castles and Wine Tour.

Upgrade: You can upgrade your first night to the hotel Casas do Moinho. Upgrade costs between 25 € and 70 € per person, depending on date.

Notes:

  • For a single person tour Contact us.
  • For a massage Contact us.
  • Extra nights – we strongly recommend that you do one or two breaks along the way. There are great places that deserve an extra night (see the programme). We will charge you only the cost of the hotel and 5 € per day per bike.

Not Included: Bikes insurance, Travel insurance, Tour cancellation insurance, and all items not mentioned above. See Terms & Conditions for more details.

Guided group tour dates


Subject to availability, you can do this tour at any date as a private guided tour or as a self guided tour. The fact that a group date is full does not mean you cannot do a private tour on that date. So contact us anyway!

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Tour Reviews

4.82 based on 11 reviews
11/03/2019

This was our first trip to Portugal, and we loved having a guided tour. We did this tour in early June when the weather was unseasonably cool, but great for biking. It was too cold to get into the water, but the scenery was beautiful. We signed up through the website about 5 months before the trip. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that the 2 of us were getting an exclusive trip on our own, with 2 great guides, Jorge and Maria-Jose (“Ze”), to keep us in line. They were friendly, courteous, informative. The communication before the trip was no problem, but “relaxed” but everything was very organized in the end. The itinerary is hotel door to hotel door on bike with a single exception. You travel in the van from Lagos to Olhao to skip the busy part of Algarve. We stayed in Faro a couple of days on arrival to acclimatize since that is the pickup point, so that area was familiar. If you do that, the commuter trains run fairly often along the coast and you can visit places like Olhao (wonderful Saturday market) on your own without a car. Each day is about 40-50km of fairly relaxed riding with breaks, starting around 9:30 and arriving at the destination around 4-5 PM. Since dinner is not until 8, there is plenty of time to wash up and explore each area. The hotels were very good, and the pousada at Sagres was more than that. The description on the website very accurately states that about 75% of the route is on unpaved roads. There is some riding on asphalt roads, and drivers are very courteous and careful. The unpaved surfaces ranged from very rocky (walk up and down a path through Barranco), to sandy, to gravel, and cobblestones. Many of the streets in the core areas of the towns are cobblestones. The bikes were hybrid with front shocks and fairly wide treaded tires (37-42 mm I would guess), and well-suited for unpaved. Rear rack with a trunk stored the extra layer, phones, cameras, etc. The food was delicious without attempting to be fancy. The 2 picnic lunches were great. Guides enthusiastically shared much information about historical and present day Portugal, gave us tips on Setubal where we were planning to go. We hope to do another trip with them on a return visit in the future.

19/06/2019

I just wish to let you know what a fabulous cycle we have just enjoyed with Mario. He is an inspired leader passionate about Portugal, imparting lots of information, considerate and thoughtful of his cyclists and great company. We also enjoyed wonderful accommodation and superb food. All in all a tour I would highly recommend and we can’t thank you enough. John Larking.

19/06/2019

Had an amazing bicycle tour of the wild Algarve. Theresa, Maria, Manuel and Andre were spectacular. They are a top-notch group who does whatever it takes to make your trip fantastic, fun and safe. They are very knowledgeable about the area and provided history as well as scenic beauty. The accommodations were eclectic and fun. We had great meals along the way with two beach picnics prepared by the gang. This tour company is the best combination of professionalism and fun you will find. They were always timely and prepared. We were a large group and Theresa was able to provide us with options to accommodate all our wants and needs. Making us happy was definitely their top priority. If you want to see the wild Algarve, you should definitely do it this way with this company. I left feeling like I made new friends.

Susan P

19/06/2019

Wow! What a fantastic week of biking and touring this amazing area! Our tour guides and leader I highly recommend for an incredible way to visit this beautiful country! Thanks again to Teresa,Maria,Andres and Manuel!

19/06/2019

I have been on many bicycle tours in Europe and this is top-notch! Teresa, Maria, Manuel and Andre are a wonderful tour guides with great personalities and very accommodating. They go over and above to make the tour special and their first priority is your enjoyment and safety, the accommodations were wonderful, each with a different vibe. Food was regional and delicious, especially the picnics, I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone wanting to visit Portugal close up and personal .

19/06/2019

We had a fantastic time on our one week guided tour! Teresa, Maria, Andres and Manuel are the best! Rides on asphalt and dirt. Great info on local history along the way. They took care of everything and accommodations ranged quaint villages to city hotels. All were perfect. Picnic lunches were a wonderful sampling of local dishes on amazing sites. Even include a day of kayaking in Lagos.

19/06/2019

This was our first trip to Portugal, and we loved having a guided tour. We did this tour in early June when the weather was unseasonably cool, but great for biking. It was too cold to get into the water, but the scenery was beautiful. We signed up through the website about 5 months before the trip. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that the 2 of us were getting an exclusive trip on our own, with 2 great guides, Jorge and Maria-Jose (“Ze”), to keep us in line. They were friendly, courteous, informative. The communication before the trip was no problem, but “relaxed” but everything was very organized in the end.

The itinerary is hotel door to hotel door on bike with a single exception. You travel in the van from Lagos to Olhao to skip the busy part of Algarve. We stayed in Faro a couple of days on arrival to acclimatize since that is the pickup point, so that area was familiar. If you do that, the commuter trains run fairly often along the coast and you can visit places like Olhao (wonderful Saturday market) on your own without a car.

Each day is about 40-50km of fairly relaxed riding with breaks, starting around 9:30 and arriving at the destination around 4-5 PM. Since dinner is not until 8, there is plenty of time to wash up and explore each area. The hotels were very good, and the pousada at Sagres was more than that.

The description on the website very accurately states that about 75% of the route is on unpaved roads. There is some riding on asphalt roads, and drivers are very courteous and careful. The unpaved surfaces ranged from very rocky (walk up and down a path through Barranco), to sandy, to gravel, and cobblestones. Many of the streets in the core areas of the towns are cobblestones. The bikes were hybrid with front shocks and fairly wide treaded tires (37-42 mm I would guess), and well-suited for unpaved. Rear rack with a trunk stored the extra layer, phones, cameras, etc.

The food was delicious without attempting to be fancy. The 2 picnic lunches were great. Guides enthusiastically shared much information about historical and present day Portugal, gave us tips on Setubal where we were planning to go.

We hope to do another trip with them on a return visit in the future.

19/06/2019

We recomand this tour. Good guiding, we learned a lot about Portugal´s history, culture and geographi. Safety was good taken care of. Each stage was good planned , Hotels and meals was very good

19/06/2019

We did this trip as a guided week long cycling tour with ever-enthusiastic and fun guide Maria in October 2017. The cycling became secondary to Maria’s cooking and restaurant choices, her passion for her country and its culture and heritage, and her constant smile. We so much enjoyed this trip we cant wait to go back for more and cant recommend this company and Guide Maria highly enough! Many thanks.

19/06/2019

Algarve late September a very nice cycling experience
The guides of Portugal best Cycling were really helpful and professional in every way. Good instructions and information about the area made the trip very interesting. Parts of the route were offroad cycling, mostly firm paths but some streches had a bit demanding surface with gravel and sand. The lunches were very good, nothing better than a picnic at a beautiful beach a sunny day !

19/06/2019

Palmela to Lagos via Sagres
My wife and adult daughter tried out their “Go Active” van guided ride from Palmela to Sagres, which was often along the coast, but sometimes went in the hills further inland. My wife had broken her wrist 6 weeks prior, which tended to slow us down, so most of each day was spent on a bicycle. Our guide, Jorge, was very conscientious about making sure we were well fed, well informed, not lost, and comfortable. The accommodations ranged from over the top unbelievable (staying in a castle on the first day) to beyond our expectations. The food was great, and the scenery was wonderful. Biking might well be the best way to see this part of Portugal. This company was very fairly priced, and as a local company seemed to be much cheaper than the international biking companies (or American companies). I absolutely would go with them again.

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