Best of the Algarve: 13 Nights

See the highlights of the Algarve from your two wheels. This thirteen-day tour shows you the gems of this popular and stunning area, ranging from interesting coastline to beautiful countryside and other surprises in between. Enjoy culinary delights, bigger cities, and varied landscapes.

Calender 13 days

Difficulty: Moderate

From £2210.00 P/P

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Itinerary

Once you arrive in the Algarve, we will pick you up and take you to Vila Real de Santo António (VRSA). This is a fascinating town on the shores of the Guadiana River that separates the borders of Portugal and Spain. The VRSA was heavily damaged in the great earthquake of 1755 and was re-built on a grid system. There is a laid-back feeling here and it is home to a gorgeous central square, which is filled with numerous cafes and shops and bordered with orange trees. Sip on a glass of wine and bite on some local food while you watch the world go by. The perfect first evening before you set off on your bike!

Jump back on the saddle and head through several unique coastal towns. The first resort is Monte Gordo which gained popularity in the 70s, here you can see a large promenade ideal for cycling and a huge sandy beach. In the hotter summer months, you may opt to cycle through the Mata Nacional da Dunas Litorais and find shelter from the blaring sun. Your next stop will be Manta Rota, a town on a slight hill with an untouched beach. You can also go on to Caçela Velha, a small white village with a great view of the lagoon and a beautiful church. Neighbouring Fabrica is also worth a visit. From here ride along dirt tracks and quiet roads, through the fishing village of Cabanas, past salt flats and into Tavira. Tavira hosts a castle and an old Roman bridge, and the city is built on two sides of the River Gilão. Enjoy a delicious dinner in one of the many restaurants.

This day will start with a calmer ride, where you’ll head through the sleepy coastal village of Santa Luzia, Pedras del Rei and Barril. Take a break in Fuseta, where you can enjoy one of many charcoal fish restaurants and enjoy a peaceful view. The final part of today’s journey will be to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a world of lagoons, channels, salt marshes and islands. Your stop for the night is Olhão, a central point for fishing and a wash of amazing architecture. Enjoy a terraced meal and perhaps a refreshing drink.

Pass through small villages and agricultural land, seeing the idyllic side of this area. Take a coffee and cake break in one of the quaint side-road cafes, which are notably cheaper than by the coast. After navigating the countryside reach Almancil, a busy working town and the most north point of the Golden Triangle. You can also find the São Lourenço Church, which has detailed-painted tiles and is open to visitors. Next stop is your home for the night of Loulé, a lively old market town with narrow cobbles streets and shops and restaurants to visit. You’ll stay in a central hotel, making it easy to navigate.

Day 5 is your opportunity to re-charge your batteries and get acquainted with the town of Loulé. Discovering this town is truly an adventure, there are numerous small shops and hidden bars and restaurants. There are also several museums, art galleries and chapels to visit should you want a touch of culture. Lunch could come in the way of a café, or perhaps you want to really relax by the hotels’ rooftop pool.

Embark on a slightly more difficult route today as you head through the hills, which is more than worth it for the gorgeous views. Just a stone’s throw away is Querença, a village located on a hilltop with a gorgeous church square. This village is also known for its produce, and it even hosts a yearly sausage festival. Perhaps not gladly, you will leave Querença and cross the valley experiencing a route that is very shy of traffic. You will come across Salir, here you can take a quick loop up to Rocha de Pena, a natural rock that provides panoramic views. Then it’s time to head to your destination for the night of Alte, popular for its white houses and freshwater springs.

Set off on another pleasant and diverse day of cycling. Cover quiet roads to Messines, a traditional farming town with both culture and lush green scenery. Next head to Barragem do Arade (one of a few reservoirs that provide water to the region), you can climb up to this dam to see amazing views of the unspoilt scenery. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to your destination of Silves which lives on the banks of the Rio Arade. This was previously the Moorish capital, soak in the culture and enjoy a bite to eat in the numerous cafes.

Start the day by crossing the Roman bridge in Silves and then set off for a quick journey to Praia da Rocha. Go along the track along the Rio Arade, which takes you to Estombar and then Ferragudo. Take in the nature as you cross the new bridge into Portimão, the biggest town in the Algarve. You’ll notice how busy it is, for this reason it’s best to avoid the city centre on your bike. Your stop for the night will be the coastal resort of Praia da Rocha.

Head up the coast through Alvor, a quiet but growing resort. Enjoy a coffee on the riverfront while watching boats passing by. Then you will head slightly inland around the estuary towards the Meia Praia and then onto Lagos. Lagos is a lively town with an abundance of exciting restaurants to visit, some of the most popular are around the marina.

After some more leisurely rides, the afternoon will bring some tougher terrain as you head up the jagged hills to Sagres. However, the view more than makes up for the arduous nature of the route. Reach your home for the night of Sagres, a town with a breath-taking fortress and copious tasty restaurants. You can settle yourself here and take it easy this evening as you have the whole next day to explore the city.

Time to once again re-charge your batteries with a day not on the move. Enjoy this peaceful town with gorgeous buildings, a nice town square and of course amazing views. Try your hand at surfing on the huge waves, or perhaps visit the breath-taking fortress. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could complete a 12km round trip to the southernmost point of Portugal – Cape St Vincent.

Having seen the “end of the world” aka Cape St. Vincent, head north along well-preserved coastline. Pass by wildflowers, jagged cliffs, and through the towns of Vila de Bispo and Pedrelva. You may opt to stop for lunch in Carrapateira, a fishing village with awe-inspiring views of the water and even the Sagres lighthouse. As you pedal onwards north, you will reach Aljezur. Aljezur is the so-called “capital” of this region aka the “land of the sweet potato”. It is believed that the best tasting varieties are produced here due to the climate and proximity to the sea, so it goes without saying you should try some while you are here! Should your tour be in October or November you will have the chance to visit the yearly Sweet Potato Festival.

Today is your last day of cycling, but it is certainly not the least (and not least challenging either!). As you head to the market town of Monchique, in the Serra de Monchique you will see some incredible views which differ from those of the coastal Algarve. Ascent to the hamlet of Pedascas, which offers tremendous views. Heading to Marmelete, the road becomes much flatter. Here you will find just one café which serves sugar and caffeine products. The route to your destination of Monchique consists of downhill lanes in valleys with views of pine forests. Once you arrive there you will experience the laid-back and friendly atmosphere of this town. You could opt to have a spa treatment in the thermal baths, or if you are feeling adventurous you could climb up the highest peak of the Algarve!

Transfer provided from accommodation.

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Route overview

Start point: Vila Real de Santo António

End: Monchique

Distance: Approx. 314 km

Medium difficulty, some steeper hills unavoidable.

What’s included

  • Quality bike and equipment hire. Options for upgrade to E-Bike.
  • Detailed maps and route suggestions
  • Good quality hotels/apartments along the route
  • Route assistance where necessary
  • Airport Transfers.

Not included

  • Flights
  • Holiday insurance – recommended.
Whats included

Check Availability

We have put together a fantastic selection of self-guided cycling holidays throughout Europe. All prices shown are per person and exclude flights.

Tip: To book, please select a day of the week that the cycling holiday is operating on. If the tour starts daily, you can pick any date. If there is a specific start date e.g. Saturday or Sunday only, please choose the right day of departure from the list of options.

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