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.
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 km, it is possible to ride to another beach or along a beautiful farmland valley. 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 (300 m).
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 km 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. Terrain: Difficult start with some steep climbs, always on asphalt. Then dirt tracks, most of them flat or down. One technical descent (400 m) where some people may prefer to walk.
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!
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. 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.
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. Terrain: Flat asphalt most of the way. Very few dirt tracks.
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! Terrain: Flat asphalt most of the way. Very few dirt tracks
After breakfast we bid you farewell.