Rota Vicentina 2022 - the historical way

10/11/2022 08:00

This cross country mtb tour in Portugal's south western corner is a guided adventure of 3 nights and 4 days riding. Dipping in and out of the Vicentina Natural Park (PNSACV - Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina) on a mountain bike is an excellent way to get to know this authentic, quiet, rough and rural part of Portugal.   

The recently developped Rota Vicentina has produced two trails, the Fisherman's trail and the Historic trail. The Historic trail is 230 km and bikeable, whereas the Fisherman's trail is better suited for walking. This mtb holiday mostly follows the historic trail, which is also classified as a long distance route, Grand Randonnee (GR11, or E9).



Day 1: Transfer to Santiago de Cacém, cycle to São Luis, 62 km, 990 m. elev. 

After our journey from central Algarve to the Alentejo province we set out from the route's starting point in Santiago de Cacém. The trail leads through forests of cork oak, undulating countryside where local breeds of Black Pig can be seen or encountered on the tracks. An interesting mosaic of bio diversity follows, featuring olive groves, orchards, small ponds and streams. After passing through low density farm land and the traditional Alentejo town of Cercal the terrain becomes more mountainous with beautiful rocky outcrops. São Luis appears at the bottom of a wonderful decent to close the first day of riding.

Day 2: Cycle to Odeceixe, 61 km, 870 m. elev.

After the overnight stay in São Luis another day of riding in the wonderful Alentejo is ahead. A scenic route through peaceful valleys leads into Odemira, another quaint town with plenty of cafés for a first coffee break. Along the river Mira the route passes through pleasant undulating countryside on the way to São Teotónio where cafés for lunch can be found in the main square in the middle of town. Continuing south from São Teotónio the route finally reaches the Algarve region at Odeceixe, a quaint hillside town, where also the Fisherman's trail is met at one of 7 elected Portugal's most wonderful beaches.

Day 3: Cycle to Carrapateira, 54 km, 760 m. elev.

After a welcome rest with the most friendliest of hostesses, Dª Celeste, a sharp climb out of Odeceixe is followed by completely flat paths alongside the irrigation channels on the way to Aljezur where the castle above the old town is well worth a visit. The trail becomes more undulating as it reaches the coast south of Aljezur. Some great coastal scenery on the tracks near Arrifana and the views of the Atlantic Ocean before passing inland on the way via Bordeira on the way to the surfer's town of Carrapateira.

Day 4: Carrapateira circuit, 12 km, cycle to Cabo de São Vicente, 36 km, 500 m. elev., transfer to central Algarve

Before setting out on the final stage to Cabo de São Vicente we suggest a tour on the Fisherman's trail of the wonderful Pontal de Carrapateira, a well cyclable loop of about 10 kms through this rough part of the Atlantic coast of great natural beauty. Back at Carrapateira a short sharp climb out of the village leading along the ridge top offers spectacular views of the coastline before leading down to the river valley where a pleasant track leads along to the restored old village of Pedralva, a wortwhile refreshment stop along the way. Some undulating sandy trails amongst pine trees follows on the way to Vila do Bispo, where also the legendary Via Algarviana mtb route is met on its way to the cape. Finally the trail heads on down to the coast and the route comes to an end at Cape St Vincent.



  • 420 euro per participant
  • Single supplement can be requested, but depending on availability
  • Minimum of 4 and maximum of 14 participants 


  • Transfer between central Algarve and Santiago de Cacém (Alentejo) on day 1
  • Transfer back to central Algarve from Cape St Vincent on day 4
  • 3 nights b&b stay in comfortable guesthouse or hotel based on 2 persons sharing a twin room


  • Flights to and from the Algarve
  • Lunches and evening meals
  • Helmets and spd pedals. You can hire at a small fee, but we suggest you bring your own
  • Personal accident insurance which we strongly recommend you take out.


For more information and bookings:

In cooperation with: Algarve Bike Holidays